Elemental Shaman PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / 9.2.5)

Last updated on Jul 31, 2022 at 17:05 by Tiqqle 6 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 Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave, Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock, and using Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts.
  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.
  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 Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  4. Cast Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso on kill target, while avoiding being interrupted by being max range or move behind a pillar while channeling.
  5. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if single target or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning if 2 or more targets are close to each other (including pets), to generate Maelstrom.

Burst Damage with Surge of Power or Primal Elementalist

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

  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 60 Maelstrom to be able to use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock.
  3. Use Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental.
  4. Cast Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper, if talented.
  5. Use Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem.
  6. Use Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave to spread another Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock and activate the buff from the Covenant ability.
  7. Use Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock on any target to activate the buff (and the Elemental Equilibrium Icon Elemental Equilibrium legendary effect if equipped).
  8. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst to empower you with Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements.
  9. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock and Meteor Icon Meteor; since Meteor is off of the global cooldown it can be pressed while pressing Earth Shock if you have Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist selected.
  10. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, with Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper buff, if talented.
  11. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, with Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper buff, if talented.
  12. Use Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if you have a Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge proc, or if you have stacks of Lava Burst available from Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements.
  13. Use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock, if you have sufficient Maelstrom.

Burst Damage with Vesper Totem

Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem can do significant burst damage. The totem itself is easily killed though. The Elemental Shaman should hide the totem while triggering 2 of the 3 total bursts of damage from the totem. For the third burst, use Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem, then the Elemental Shaman should place the totem on the enemy who should be isolated with no other targets nearby. Then, quickly press another damaging ability to proc the 3rd and largest explosion from the totem.


Playing Defensively


Healing or Crowd-Controlling the Opposing Team

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.

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 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.


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.

Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin is a 40% reduced damage with a 10 second duration, activated if taking the Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist talent, from the Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental. This is a stronger defensive cooldown than even Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift due to the longer duration, though the 5-minute cooldown means this will likely only be available once per arena. This ability can only be cast on the Elemental Shaman, though it can be cast on the Elemental Shaman while stunned, as long as the Earth Elemental is not stunned. The main way to use this ability is through a "/cast Harden Skin" macro.



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.



  • 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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