Elemental Shaman PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.1)

Last updated on Jul 04, 2021 at 14:24 by Tiqqle 4 comments

Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as a Elemental Shaman and gives you the best combinations you can take.

This page is part of our Elemental Shaman PvP Guide.

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE
1.

Talent Choices for Elemental Shamans

Elemental Shamans are mainly a burst caster, with above average sustained pressure. Their main source of damage is using Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave, Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock and Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, combined with Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper and Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso. This combination puts out some of the highest burst damage in the game right now.

The talent and PvP talent combination focuses on maximizing the number of Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts, and maximizing defensives.

1.1.

Regular Talents for Elemental Shaman

Level Choices
15 Earthen Rage Earthen Rage Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements Static Discharge Static Discharge
25 Aftershock Aftershock Echoing Shock Echoing Shock Elemental Blast Elemental Blast
30 Spirit Wolf ? Spirit Wolf Earth Shield Earth Shield Static Charge Static Charge
35 Master of the Elements Master of the Elements Storm Elemental Storm Elemental Liquid Magma Totem Liquid Magma Totem
40 Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Ancestral Guidance Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem Wind Rush Totem
45 Surge of Power Surge of Power Primal Elementalist Primal Elementalist Icefury Icefury
50 Unlimited Power Unlimited Power Stormkeeper Stormkeeper Ascendance Ascendance

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

1.1.1.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Earthen Rage Icon Earthen Rage does not provide enough consistent pressure and damage to justify taking this talent, when compared to Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements due to the damage of Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements is now the preferred talent since Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst is dealing a significant amount of damage, and our main damage dealing ability.

Static Discharge currently does not provide enough pressure when compared to Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements, and the amount of damage an additional Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst would deal.

1.1.2.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents

  • Aftershock Icon Aftershock grants your spells a 25% chance to refund their Maelstrom cost.
  • Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock deals moderate damage, then repeats the next damage or healing spell one second later, with a chance to overload for those abilities, which can potentially overload from our Mastery.
  • Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast deals good damage and increases either your Critical Strike, Haste, or Mastery by 366 for 10 seconds. It has a 2-second base cast time and a 12-second cooldown.

Aftershock Icon Aftershock provides the chance of refunding Maelstrom which could allow for multiple Earth Shock Icon Earth Shocks, if you are lucky, but this does not provide the highest burst damage for the Elemental Shaman. This is not the preferred talent on this tier.

Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock is the best option on this tier and amplifies the Elemental Shaman's ability to deal burst damage. Using this with Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst and Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper allows for significant damage.

Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast is not viable for PvP currently, due to not having significant enough damage and putting the caster at risk of being interrupted on all schools of magic.

1.1.3.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents

  • Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf grants you 5% increased movement speed and damage reduction every 1 second, stacking up to 4 times, while you are transformed into a Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf.
  • Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield places a shield that heals its target for a small amount whenever they take damage. This heal can only occur once every few seconds, and has 9 charges.
  • Static Charge Icon Static Charge is a new talent that reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem by 5 seconds for each enemy it stuns, up to a maximum of 20 seconds.

Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf the main value coming from this talent is the 20% defensive it provides. Only use this talent against team compositions with Rogue or Hunter, where they will be doing significant damage from stealth, as you can sit in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf at the beginning of the match to decrease the incoming damage.

Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield is the best option on this tier, as this spell can be purged or dispelled off of you, but cannot be spell-stolen by Mages. This talent provides significant passive healing when hit, as well as providing additional healing to the Earth Shielded target from the Elemental Shaman.

Static Charge Icon Static Charge can be useful in rated battlegrounds, though the defensive alternatives on this tier are usually preferred given the focus of Elemental Shamans in battlegrounds. For arena this talent is not useful due to the lack of number of targets and the 3-second stun duration which is underwhelming.

1.1.4.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents

  • Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements increases the damage of your next Nature or Frost spell by 20% after casting Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  • Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental replaces Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental. It summons an elemental for 30 seconds that deals significant damage and reduces the cast time of and the global cooldown incurred by your Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning by 3% each time you cast either spell, up to 20 times. This has a 2.5-minute cooldown.
  • Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem summons a totem at the target location for 15 seconds that hurls liquid magma at a random nearby target every 1 sec, dealing Fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards. It has a 60-second cooldown.

Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements, this is always selected for PvP. With Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock now lasting 24-seconds, we can maintain 4 up at one time allowing for frequent procs. Using this talent along with Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem and stacking Critical Strike stat, significantly multiplies our damage, with Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock and Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper.

Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental is not the preferred option of this tier mainly since Storm Elemental does not provide additional Maelstrom, this comes from the Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental. This allows for more Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock which is currently the main damaging ability for Elemental Shaman. Fire Elemental also has Meteor Icon Meteor, which is an on use ability which does between 10,000-15,000 damage, further enhancing Elemental's burst damage.

Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem is not a viable option for arena game-play due to the uncontrollable area-of-effect damage which could break crowd control. Though this talent could be viable for heavy team fight battlegrounds like Battle for Gilneas, Warsong Gulch, or Twin Peaks.

1.1.5.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents

  • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian heals you for 20% of your maximum health when your health is brought below 35%. It can only proc every 45 seconds. It does not proc if you take fatal damage.
  • Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance converts 20% of your damage and healing done into healing on up to 3 nearby party and/or raid members. Lasts 10 seconds, with a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem summons a totem for 15 seconds that increases the speed of allies within 10 yards by 60% for 5 seconds. The speed buff is continually refreshed as long as they are within range.

Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian is the default pick, as it provides significant healing even when in a stun, acting as another defensive.

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance can potentially be useful if the Elemental Shaman is not being focused in arena and needs to have another tool to heal his teammates. Using this talent and bursting will provide healing to your teammates which could save them, even when you are out of mana. This is also viable for Battleground to support the healing of your team when you are not being focused.

Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem is not viable for Elemental Shaman in PvP, mainly due to the short duration and 2-minute cooldown.

1.1.6.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents

  • Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power causes Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock to enhance your next spell cast within 15 seconds.
  • Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist grants your elementals 80% increased damage, new abilities, and the ability to control them directly. Notably, this talent grants your Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental the ability to cast Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin, reducing your and the Elemental Shaman's damage taken by 40% for 10 seconds. It also grants new damage abilities to your other elemental pets.
  • Icefury Icon Icefuryhurls frigid ice at the target, dealing high damage and causing your next 4 Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to deal 200% increased damage, and generate 8 Maelstrom. It generates 25 Maelstrom, has a 2-second cast time and a 30-second cooldown.

Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power is the highest burst pick on this tier. This does mean you will only have one defensive cooldown since you will not have Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin from the Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist talent choice. Using this talent means you will have huge burst potential when combined with Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper's 150% increased damage Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolts and Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock. Using this talent with the correct burst rotation will deal incredible single-target damage.

Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist is the defensive option on this teir, this is selected against team compositions which have significant setup and burst, where you will be able to see the damage coming and use the Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental's Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin as another defensive ability to prolong your life and the match.

Icefury Icon Icefury is an okay pick for this tier. This allows for mobility, as the empowered Frost Shock Icon Frost Shocks now provide 8 Maelstrom each, which allows for Maelstrom generation while moving. Thought will leave you with only one defensive instead of two with Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist.

1.1.7.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents

  • Unlimited Power Icon Unlimited Power grants 2% Haste for 10 seconds when one of your spells causes an Elemental Overload. This stacks, but gaining a stack does not refresh the duration of the previous stacks.
  • Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper has a 1.5-second cast time and causes your next 2 Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt to deal 150% more damage, and also causes your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightnings to be instant cast and trigger an additional Elemental Overload on every target hit. It also affects Lava Beam Icon Lava Beam.
  • Ascendance Icon Ascendance transforms you for 15 seconds, removing the cooldown from Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst and transforming Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning into Lava Beam Icon Lava Beam. The damage of lava burst is further increased by your Critical Strike chance while Ascendance is active. Ascendance has a 3-minute cooldown.

Unlimited Power Icon Unlimited Power requires significant casting and uptime to build stacks, since the buff only lasts for 10 seconds. Due to this, and the fact our main damage is coming from Earth Shock makes this talent not viable for PvP.

Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper is the preferred talent; this deals significant single target damage with the empowered Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolts, and should no longer be used to generate Maelstrom. Combining this burst with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave, Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock, and Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst deals incredible burst damage.

Ascendance Icon Ascendance is not viable in the current state of Elemental Shaman in PvP. There may be certain circumstances you could take this into battlegrounds if you are not being targeted. The short duration and clear animation make it generally easy to counter with a single interrupt or stun.

1.2.

PvP Talents for Elemental Shaman

  • Control of Lava Icon Control of Lava provides dispel protection for Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock, enabling Elemental Shaman to have consistent pressure and Maelstrom generation. This talent is one of the default choices for Elemental Shaman due to the impressive damage and the disruption that comes when a Flame Shock is dispelled.
  • Seasoned Winds Icon Seasoned Winds provides 15% damage reduction against possibly multiple schools of magic when interrupting the enemy. This promotes use of Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear which is critical to the utility of the Elemental Shaman. This is a very strong choice against any teams with casters. When interrupting some casters like a Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt the Shaman will gain 15% damage reduction for all schools of magic, which is a significant defensive to maintain throughout the match.
  • Static Field Totem Icon Static Field Totem has only around 5K HP, but can be an important factor when going for burst. This will allow you to get off your damage without being kited. This traps the enemy team within the circle, and they cannot even escape using Blink Icon Blink or Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield.
  • Unleash Shield Icon Unleash Shield provides additional utility for the Elemental Shaman to benefit from pushing enemy teammates off ledges using the benefit of this talent with Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield, or using the root effect from Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield which does not have diminishing returns with normal root abilities from other classes.
  • Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso is the most important PvP talent. This currently does significant damage, as well as a 5-second stun which is not dispellable. This currently provides significant pressure, while crowd-controlling, and providing time for the Elemental Shaman to move away, or reposition.
  • Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem is a default pick. This talent increases the critical damage by 20% of only spell casts or heals. Although this is highly dependent on how often your spells critically hit, if a critical strike happens the damage is significantly higher due to the multipliers of Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements, and the combination of Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power and Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper. This also affects Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso now.
  • Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem is a default selection against caster or Hunter teams. This can stop crowd-control from the enemy team, as well as stop large damaging spell casts from casters.
  • Spectral Recovery Icon Spectral Recovery can be useful. This can be a strong talent as provides healing while in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf, but also raises the ghost wolf speed to 110% of movement speed even when slows are applied. This can be taken if you know you are against heavy melee teams and know you will need to kite for a considerable portion of the match. This can also be useful in battlegrounds for more mobility works well with Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf for mobility and defensives.
  • Swelling Waves Icon Swelling Waves is a great defensive pick if you expect to be targeted. Since this talent only effects the heals you use on yourself this talent is very situational. If you are against a class you know you will not be able to kite using Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock or Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf, like Demon Hunters or Windwalker Monks, then this is a good option to be able to self-heal to help during stuns on your healers or stay self-sufficient.
  • Traveling Storms Icon Traveling Storms is not taken in any circumstance in arena as there are better selections to increase pressure on the other team. This can be taken in Eye of the Storm battleground if you will be sitting in the middle defending the flag and want to knock off opponents.
  • Counterstrike Totem Icon Counterstrike Totem is a situational talent. This can be useful as a small peel for your teammates or as a surprise against enemies in arena. In battlegrounds this can be used as considerable damage option, but will not lead to kills. Generally teams are aware of this Shaman ability to use this totem and will stop attacking once it is on the ground.
2.

Changelog

  • 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands.
  • 19 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 02 Dec. 2020: Updated in preparation for first PvP season of Shadowlands.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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