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Elemental Shaman PvP Guide (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated Yesterday at 10:32 by Mysticall 3 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play an Elemental Shaman in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta

Elemental Shamans are one of the strongest casters right now. With multiple ways to burst and disrupt opponents, you will annoy many teams. In combination with a class that can peel for them, they are very strong at surviving and have some of the strongest single-target AND spread pressure that a class can have.

2. Gear

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

3. Artifact Traits

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Protection of the Elements and  Icon Shamanistic Healing) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

3.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you should go for is  Icon Power of the Maelstrom.

  1. Take  Icon Surge of Power.
  2. Take  Icon Firestorm.
  3. Take  Icon Elementalist.
  4. Take  Icon Protection of the Elements.
  5. Take  Icon Molten Blast.
  6. Take  Icon Power of the Maelstrom.

3.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to take is  Icon Fury of the Storms.

  1. Take  Icon Lava Imbued.
  2. Take  Icon Call the Thunder.
  3. Take  Icon Fury of the Storms.

3.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden Trait,  Icon Volcanic Inferno, picking up any remaining traits after that. Although there is no particular order you need for the rest of the traits, you should prioritize  Icon Shamanistic Healing over the other traits.

4. Relics

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

5. Talent Choices

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

5.1. Regular Talents

5.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

If you are playing against casters or a team that will be spread out, Totem Mastery Icon Totem Mastery is the best choice in this tier. However, if you are playing against a team with pets or that will be stacked, Path of Flame Icon Path of Flame is the best choice in this tier. This talent will allow you to spread Flame Shock Icon Flame Shocks much easier and increase your sustained damage.

5.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Gust of Wind Icon Gust of Wind is the best choice in this tier. Because Elemental Shaman have very little mobility, this talent gives you a way to create distance between you and an enemy.

5.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem is the best choice in this tier. This gives you the ability to root to either get away from enemies or to land crowd control. However, if you are playing with a teammate that already has root effects, Lightning Surge Totem Icon Lightning Surge Totem is the better choice.

5.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness is the best choice in this tier. The increased Haste this talent provides is a great overall damage increase to all of your spells.

5.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Elemental Fusion Icon Elemental Fusion is the best choice in this tier. By maintaining Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on multiple targets you will frequently proc instant cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts. This is an increase to your sustained damage.

5.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements is the best choice in this tier. This talent is an increase to your overall damage output.

5.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Icefury Icon Icefury is the best choice in this tier. This ability is a strong offensive cooldown that is important when using burst cooldowns.

5.2. Honor Talents

5.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

If you are an Orc or playing against a team with a lot of crowd control, Relentless Icon Relentless is the best choice in this tier. In any other situation, Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier, which provides a standard PvP trinket effect.

5.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

Mind Quickness Icon Mind Quickness is the best choice in this tier. The Haste gained from this talent is an increase to your overall damage output.

5.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem is the best choice in this. This will primarily be used while using your burst cooldowns.

5.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

Spectral Recovery Icon Spectral Recovery is the best choice in this tier. This heals you and gives additional movement speed while in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf. If you feel you will struggle to get away from the enemy team, Swelling Waves Icon Swelling Waves is the better choice in this tier. This talent will give you additional healing when being focused by the enemy team.

5.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Fire and Ice Icon Fire and Ice is the best choice in this tier. This talent increases your Maelstrom generation and works very well with the talent Icefury Icon Icefury.

5.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Earthfury Icon Earthfury is the best choice in this tier. Every time you use an Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock with 100 Maelstrom you will be able to guarantee your target will be stunned by it. It is also important to note that this stun does not share diminishing returns with any stun in the game.

6. Racial Bonuses

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

Orc is the best race for Elemental Shaman, thanks to the passive Orcs have(Hardiness Icon Hardiness), reducing all stuns greatly improves survivability.

6.2. Alliance

The Dwarf Bonus (Stoneform Icon Stoneform) is a good defensive to use when you are being focused by melee classes or classes with poison, disease, curse, magic or bleed effects.

Alternatively, the Draenei bonus (Gift of the Naaru Icon Gift of the Naaru) is a good heal to have for you or your teammates.

7. Playstyle

The Elemental Shaman has two role when in an Arena: be as disruptive to the enemy team as possible and use your versatility to help you or your teammates stay alive. By maintaining Lava Shock Icon Lava Shocks and using Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts you will quickly generate Maelstrom. Using Earth Shock Icon Earth Shocks at 100 Maelstrom for the 2-second stun is key to the disruptiveness of an Elemental Shaman. By generating Maelstrom rapidly, you will be able to use this stun (that has no diminishing returns) with any other stun. You will also want to use Earthquake Icon Earthquakes on a team that is grouped up for an additional stun that also does not share diminishing returns with any other stuns. The second role will be using your versatility to keep you or your teammates alive. This comes in the form of Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem, Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem, and Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge. You will want to use these to slow down enemies and create distance away from them. Use Healing Surge if you or a teammate needs healing.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Although Elemental Shaman do lack crowd control, they still have Hex Icon Hex.

7.2. Offensive Playstyle

7.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Enhancement Shamans should focus on sticking to an enemy and gaining their buffs.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on all enemies (including pets).
  2. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst or use it when you get a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc.
  3. Use Earthquake Icon Earthquake if the enemy team is stacked.
  4. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a filler.
  5. Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Hex Icon Hex or have a teammate do this).
  6. Use your burst rotation.

7.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

Before you burst, make sure you have almost 100 Maelstrom. If you are maintaining Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on all enemies, this should not take too long.

It is important to note that if you get interrupted on  Icon Stormkeeper you can use the burst with Icefury Icon Icefury because they do not share the same lockout school and vise versa.

  1. Use Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem.
  2. Cast  Icon Stormkeeper.
  3. You have two options after this:
    1. If the enemy team is not grouped up, you will use 3 instant Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolts in a row.
    2. If the enemy team is grouped up, you will use 3 instant Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightnings in a row.
  4. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if you get a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc.
  5. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock at 100 Maelstrom.
  6. Use Icefury Icon Icefury.
  7. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge is active or if you have 2 charges of Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  8. Use Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock if you have 20 or more Maelstrom.
  9. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if you get a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc.
  10. Use Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock if you have 20 or more Maelstrom.
  11. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a filler.

7.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Maintain Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on all enemies (including pets).
    • This will allow you to generate as much Maelstrom as possible.
    • If it is dispelled or expires reapply it as soon as you can.
  2. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst or use it when you get a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc.
  3. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock at 100 Maelstrom.
  4. Use Earthquake Icon Earthquake if the enemy team is stacked.
  5. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a filler.

7.3. Defensive Techniques

Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift is your main defensive cooldown. This is a very powerful defensive. Use this when you are being focused and your healer is having trouble healing you or is stuck in crowd control.

Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge is a spammable heal that can be used on any of your teammates. Use this if the enemy team does not have interrupt and you or a teammate need additional healing.

Thunderstorm Icon Thunderstorm is an ability you will want to use if you are being focused and stuck in a stun. This will disrupt incoming damage even while stunned.

Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem/Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem are abilities you will want to use alternatively (using one while the other is on cooldown). Use these against teams to slow/root them and create distance between you and them. You can also use Earthgrab Totem if an enemy healer is behind a pillar to root them and get a crowd control them.

8. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 16 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2. Changed recommended tier 4 honor talents.
  • 23 Sep. 2017: Few changes needed for Patch 7.3
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
    • Updated burst damage rotation.
  • 01 Jul. 2017: Updated recommended Tier 5 honor talent.
  • 01 Jun. 2017: Elemental Shaman PvP Guide was created.
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