Elemental Shaman PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight / 10.0.2)

Last updated on Feb 04, 2023 at 09:12 by Tiqqle 7 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilises your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Elemental Shaman, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Elemental Shaman PvP Guide.


Playstyle for Elemental Shaman

Elemental Shaman are dependent on combining the benefits of multiple talents to kill their opponents, which requires Maelstrom and preparation. Elemental Shaman will either be one of three states during PvP:

  1. Sustaining damage and generating Maelstrom.
  2. Dealing large amounts of damage by using Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock, Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave, Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, and Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock on cooldown, along with Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper/Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso when you are able to line up burst damage.
  3. Playing defensively.

Sustained Damage

This is done through spreading damage and disrupting the enemey team.

  1. Maintain Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on up to 4 enemies on cooldown (including pets), using Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave to help spread Flame Shocks. This helps generate Maelstrom if talented into Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames.
  2. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if you have a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc, on a target with Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock active to guarantee a critical strike.
  3. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock if Maelstrom is above 80.
  4. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  5. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a filler.
  6. Cast Purge Icon Purge or Greater Purge Icon Greater Purge as a filler.
  7. Cast Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear on the healer or enemy casters.
  8. Cast Hex Icon Hex on enemy melee to reduce incoming damage.

The burst of Elemental Shaman is high compared to other classes at this point.


Burst Damage with Lava Burst Build

  1. Ensure Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock is on your kill target and as many other enemy team members as possible.
  2. Ensure you have 80 or more Maelstrom to be able to use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock.
  3. Ensure you have Power of the Maelstrom Icon Power of the Maelstrom buff.
  4. Use Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental.
  5. Cast Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper.
  6. Use Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave.
  7. Use Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem.
  8. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, along with Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental's Meteor Icon Meteor since this ability is off global cooldown.
  9. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock.
  10. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, empowered from Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper and with the Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power buff.
  11. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst with Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge procs from Splintered Elements Icon Splintered Elements.
  12. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock.
  13. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, empowered from Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper and with the Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power buff.
  14. Fill with Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.

Playing Defensively


Healing or Crowd-Controlling the Opposing Team

Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge is a spammable heal, which provides significant side-healing. This should be used if your healer is stunned or crowd-controlled.

Hex Icon Hex is a curse 7-second crowd-control which can be broken by damage. In general you do not want to damage a target that has been hexed. That player does still have control of their character to move out of line of sight. This is best used on the enemy team when their have used an offensive or defensive cooldown, or the healer as part of a crowd-control chain.

Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem is a placed totem which slows any enemies within the radius. This totem is incredibly useful and should be used on cooldown. This helps your team's positioning. This totem can also help you land Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem.

Thunderstorm Icon Thunderstorm knocks back all enemies around the Elemental Shaman as long as they are not rooted or have an immunity to knock-backs or magic effects active like Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell from Death Knights. This is incredibly useful and can be used to save your teammates on arena maps with ledges, Dalaran Sewers and Blades Edge Arena. This is also a great ability for battlegrounds in Eye of the Storm or certain areas of Twin Peaks and Arathi Basin, which can kill the enemies from fall damage in these cases.

Purge Icon Purge or Greater Purge Icon Greater Purge can be used defensively to purge off your opponents offensive cooldowns or Mana back cooldowns which are purgeable. One very important use is during a Priest's Mind Control Icon Mind Control of your teammate. When a Priest does this it is better to use purge on your Mind Controlled teammate, and not use your Wind Shear interrupt. This is because Purge has no cooldown, while Wind Shear is on a 12-second cooldown.

Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem should be used to provide low amounts of passive healing, or for the increased healing from Swirling Currents Icon Swirling Currents. Getting this buff along with the 20% benefit if Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield is on the target will provide significant side healing.


Defensives Abilities

Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift is the main defensive for Elemental Shaman which is on a 1.5 minute cooldown. This ability decreases damage taken by 40% for 8 seconds and is not usable while stunned. It is best to communicate with your healer and use this cooldown at high health when your opponents are using their offensive cooldowns and your healer needs help keeping you alive.

Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf is an underrated ability; it allows the Shaman to stay at 100% movement speed with any slowing debuff active. This can further be enhanced to 110% base speed using the Spectral Recovery Icon Spectral Recovery PvP talent. This is the way Elemental Shaman can kite melee opponents and stay very mobile. If you are moving beyond a very short distance, ghost wolf is worth the global cooldown it incurs. Ghost wolf can be purged, which is one of the reasons why the Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf talent is not as good as it could be.



It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.



  • 04 Feb. 2023: Updated for 10.0.2 updates.
  • 13 Jan. 2023: Updated for mid-season changes.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight post-launch.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
  • 31 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 27 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2 of Shadowlands
  • 17 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5 of Shadowlands.
  • 17 Jul. 2021: Removed optional rotation references.
  • 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands.
  • 19 Mar. 2021: Updated based on Patch 9.0.5 for Shadowlands.
  • 02 Dec. 2020: Updated in preparation for first PvP season of Shadowlands.
  • 29 Nov. 2020: Removed Azerite mentions. There is a trait mention left to remove.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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