Elemental Shaman Guide for The War Within

Last updated Yesterday at 11:00 by Stormy 64 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Elemental Shaman changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Elemental Shaman in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Elemental Shaman. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Elemental Shaman or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."

1.

Elemental Shaman: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Elemental Shaman. Ahead of the launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Elemental Shaman spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within Beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Elemental Shaman but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.

2.

The War Within Changes for Elemental Shaman

2.1.

Core Changes

Note that Hero talent trees are not relevant for the Prepatch period as you unlock your first point at level 71. There will be a dedicated guide for them available for The War Within's release.

While we received an extensive rework, it will not drastically upend our playstyle for the Prepatch period, as we remain more or less locked in Fire-dominant builds due to our tier set. There are significant differences, however, most notably:

  • You will now have Deeply Rooted Elements Icon Deeply Rooted Elements AND Ascendance Icon Ascendance. They have also become stronger thanks to Preeminence Icon Preeminence. Meatball enjoyers rejoice!
  • Primordial Surge is gone; now you will pretty much always get Splintered Elements Icon Splintered Elements.  Those last two changes add up to a lot of Haste, which means you will most likely want to drop some Haste from your gear.
  • Icefury Icon Icefury is now much easier to use and is recommended on every build.  It is now a proc from your Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts that transforms your Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock button into Icefury, which is now instant and buffs your next 2 Frost Shocks.  Currently, the proc and the number of buffed Frost Shocks you get stacks, which may not be intended. You want to use those, particularly if you are grabbing Flux Melting Icon Flux Melting.
  • Fusion of Elements Icon Fusion of Elements is currently very strong for several reasons. For starters, it is bugged and deals full Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast damage. It also procs from both the Icefury Icon Icefury proc and when Icefury is spent. And both times, it interacts with everything a regular Elemental Blast interacts with (except Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power and Echoes of Great Sundering Icon Echoes of Great Sundering).
  • We received a bunch of talents enhancing our Elementals, meaning it is both easier and much more important to maintain as much uptime as possible on your Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental. Thankfully, we will almost certainly lock in Skybreaker's Fiery Demise Icon Skybreaker's Fiery Demise, making Fire Elemental uptime a non-issue, especially outside of single-target scenarios.

Now that the most crucial changes for your actual play have been covered, we will list a detailed breakdown of the changes affecting Elemental Shamans, starting with the Elemental-specific changes, then the changes common to all Shamans.

2.2.

Elemental Shaman Spec Changes

  • All Damage increased by 30%
  • New Talent: Fusion of Elements Icon Fusion of Elements — after casting Icefury Icon Icefury, the next time you cast a Nature and a Fire spell, you additionally cast an Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast at your target at 60% effectiveness.
  • New Talent: Storm Frenzy Icon Storm Frenzy — your next Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning or Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt has 40%  reduced cast time after casting Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock, Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast, or Earthquake Icon Earthquake. Can accumulate up to 2 charges.
  • New Talent: Elemental Unity Icon Elemental Unity — while a Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental is active, your Nature damage dealt is increased by 10%. While a Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental is active, your Fire damage dealt is increased by 10%.
  • New Talent: Lightning Conduit Icon Lightning Conduit — while Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield is active, your Nature damage dealt is increased by 8%.
  • New Talent: Everlasting Elements Icon Everlasting Elements — increases the duration of your Elementals by 20%.
  • New Talent: Thunderstrike Ward Icon Thunderstrike Ward — imbue your shield with the element of Lightning for 1 hour, giving Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning a chance to call down 2 Thunderstrikes on your target for Nature damage.
  • New Talent: Earthen Rage Icon Earthen Rage — your damage spells incite the earth around you to come to your aid for 6 seconds, repeatedly dealing Nature damage to your most recently attacked target.
  • New Talent: Echo of the Elementals Icon Echo of the Elementals — when your Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental or Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental expires, it leaves behind a lesser Elemental to continue attacking your enemies for 15 seconds.
  • New Talent: First Ascendant Icon First Ascendant — the cooldown of Ascendance Icon Ascendance is reduced by 60 seconds.
  • New Talent: Preeminence Icon Preeminence — your Haste is increased by 25% while Ascendance Icon Ascendance is active, and its duration is increased by 3 seconds.
  • New Talent: Fury of the Storms Icon Fury of the Storms — activating Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper summons a powerful Lightning Elemental to fight by your side for 8 seconds.
  • Primordial Fury Icon Primordial Fury has been redesigned — now increases the critical damage bonus of Elemental Fury Icon Elemental Fury by 25%.
  • Icefury Icon Icefury has been redesigned — casting Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst has a chance to replace your next Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock with Icefury Icon Icefury, stacking up to 2 times.
  • Icefury Icon Icefury now empowers the next 2 Frost Shock Icon Frost Shocks (was 4).
  • Mastery: Elemental Overload Icon Mastery: Elemental Overload has been redesigned — now increases all Physical and Elemental damage dealt. The damage of Elemental Overloads is now 25% of normal damage (was 85%).
  • Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge is now learned at level 12 and has been removed from the Class tree.
  • Inundate Icon Inundate is now learned at level 14 and has been removed from the Elemental tree.
  • The trigger rate of Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge and Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames now scale based on the number of targets Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock is on. In single target, it should trigger slightly more often, and in AoE, it should trigger less often.
  • Flash of Lightning Icon Flash of Lightning now also increases the critical strike chance of Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning by 10%.
  • Swelling Maelstrom Icon Swelling Maelstrom now also increases the damage of Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock, Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast, and Earthquake Icon Earthquake by 5%.
  • Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements now increases the damage of the next spell by 15% (was 10%/20%).
  • Echo Chamber Icon Echo Chamber now increases the damage of Elemental Overloads by 10% (was 8%/15%).
  • Power of the Maelstrom Icon Power of the Maelstrom now causes the next Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to trigger an additional Elemental Overload (was 2). Can now stack up to 2 times.
  • Magma Chamber Icon Magma Chamber now stacks up to 10 times (was 20).
  • Elemental Equilibrium Icon Elemental Equilibrium is now a 10% damage bonus (was 8%/15%).
  • Elemental Equilibrium Icon Elemental Equilibrium no longer has a tracking debuff.
  • Eye of the Storm Icon Eye of the Storm now reduces the Maelstrom cost of Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock and Earthquake Icon Earthquake by 5, and Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast by 10.
  • Maelstrom generation has been updated for the following abilities:
    • Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt is now 6 (was 8).
    • Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt Overload is now 2 (was 3).
    • Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning is now 2 per target hit (was 4).
    • Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning Overload is now 1 per target hit (was 3).
    • Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst is now 8 (was 10).
    • Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst Overload is now 3 (was 4).
    • Icefury Icon Icefury is now 12 (was 25).
    • Icefury Icon Icefury Overload is now 4 (was 12).
    • Frost Shock Icon Frost Shocks empowered by Icefury Icon Icefury is now 10 (was 14).
  • Flow of Power Icon Flow of Power no longer increases Maelstrom generation from overloads.
  • Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper has been removed from its choice node with Lightning Rod Icon Lightning Rod.
  • Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock is now a choice node against Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast.
  • Earthquake Icon Earthquake is now a choice node with an option to have it be cast on your target.
  • All nodes are now 1 point.
  • The following talents have been removed:
    • Tumultuous Fissures Icon Tumultuous Fissures
    • Focused Insight Icon Focused Insight
    • Refreshing Waters Icon Refreshing Waters
    • Primordial Bond Icon Primordial Bond
    • Call of Thunder Icon Call of Thunder
    • Call of Fire Icon Call of Fire
    • Electrified Shocks Icon Electrified Shocks
    • Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence Icon Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence
    • Oath of the Farseer Icon Oath of the Farseer
    • Further Beyond Icon Further Beyond
    • Rolling Magma Icon Rolling Magma
    • Primordial Surge Icon Primordial Surge
    • Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon
2.3.

Elemental Shaman Class Changes

The Shaman Class Tree has received a large rework. Many talents have been removed, many have been added, and the pathing and position of many talents have changed.

  • Many talents have moved locations or have had their pathing updated in all trees.
  • New Ability: Skyfury Icon Skyfury — Harness the fury of the Windlord to grant a target ally 2% Mastery and empower their auto attacks to have a 20% chance to instantly strike again for 1 hour. If the target is in your party or raid, all affected party and raid members will be affected. Learned at level 17.
  • New Talent: Elemental Resistance Icon Elemental Resistance — healing from Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem reduces Fire, Frost, and Nature damage received by 6% for 3 seconds.
  • New Talent: Refreshing Waters Icon Refreshing Waters — your Healing Surge is 25% more effective on yourself.
  • New Talent: Traveling Storms Icon Traveling StormsThunderstorm Icon Thunderstorm now can be cast on allies within 40 yards, reduces enemies' movement speed by 60%, and knocks enemies 25% further.
  • New Talent: Seasoned Winds Icon Seasoned Winds — interrupting a spell with Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear decreases your damage taken from that spell school by 15% for 18 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.
  • New Talent: Encasing Cold Icon Encasing ColdFrost Shock Icon Frost Shock snares its targets by an additional 10%, and its duration is increased by 2 seconds.
  • New Talent: Arctic Snowstorm Icon Arctic Snowstorm — enemies within 10 yards of your Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock are snared by 30%.
  • New Talent: Ascending Air Icon Ascending Air — the cooldown of Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem is reduced by 30 seconds, and its movement speed effect lasts an additional 2 seconds.
  • New Talent: Enhanced Imbues Icon Enhanced Imbues — the effects of your weapon imbues are increased by 20%.
  • New Talent: Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem — summons an Earth Totem at the feet of the caster for 30 seconds, granting the caster a shield absorbing damage for 10 seconds, and an additional absorb every 5 seconds. 2-minute cooldown.
  • New Talent: Jet Stream Icon Jet StreamWind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem's movement speed bonus is increased by 10% and now removes snares.
  • New Talent: Primordial Bond Icon Primordial Bond — while you have an elemental active, your damage taken is reduced by 5%.
  • Voodoo Mastery Icon Voodoo Mastery has been redesigned — your Hex Icon Hex target is slowed by 70% during Hex and for 6 seconds after it ends. Reduces the cooldown of Hex by 15 seconds.
  • Flurry Icon Flurry moved from the Class tree to the Enhancement tree.
  • The cooldown of Gust of Wind Icon Gust of Wind has been reduced to 20 seconds (was 30 seconds).
  • Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem and Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem no longer share a choice node.
  • Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso and Thundershock Icon Thundershock no longer share a choice node.
  • The following talents are now 1 point:
    • Totemic Focus Icon Totemic Focus
    • Elemental Warding Icon Elemental Warding
    • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian
    • Winds of Al'Akir Icon Winds of Al'Akir
    • Nature's Fury Icon Nature's Fury
    • Totemic Surge Icon Totemic Surge
  • The following talents have been removed:
    • Go With The Flow Icon Go With The Flow
    • Flurry Icon Flurry
    • Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon
    • Enfeeblement Icon Enfeeblement
    • Stoneskin Totem Icon Stoneskin Totem
    • Tranquil Air Totem Icon Tranquil Air Totem
    • Ancestral Defense Icon Ancestral Defense
    • Surging Shields Icon Surging Shields
    • Swirling Currents Icon Swirling Currents
3.

Elemental Shaman viability in The War Within

Elemental Shaman's damage on Beta is currently the best in the game along with Arcane mages by a significant margin, however, this is largely due to multiple interactions from our rework, which I do not believe are intended. Our various damage profiles are solid, however, and I expect that with proper tuning, Elemental should be at the higher end of DPS.

All Shamans now bring the Skyfury Icon Skyfury raid buff, which is quite powerful, especially with melee-heavy compositions. This vastly improves the general desirability of bringing a Shaman, any Shaman, to every raid group.

Elemental Shaman survivability took a large boost. We obtained a significant increase to our passive/background defenses as well as a mediocre but still significant new defensive with Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem. We also received the somewhat niche but situationally very powerful Seasoned Winds Icon Seasoned Winds talent, as well as the oddly designed Elemental Resistance Icon Elemental Resistance talent that is hard to gain value from reliably. Reincarnation Icon Reincarnation remains as clunky as ever, and got worse in Mythic+ with the longer Death Timer Penalties.

Elemental's utility toolkit is even greater than before and excellent outside of raids where it went from abysmal to alright. The new Traveling Storms Icon Traveling Storms node has some potential, we received a choice node allowing us some snare customization from Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock (though it will probably hardly ever be used), we have more sensible access to Totemic Focus Icon Totemic Focus, Totemic Surge Icon Totemic Surge and Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection and received a brand new choice node to customize our Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem with either Ascending Air Icon Ascending Air and most notably Jet Stream Icon Jet Stream, the latter being potentially very powerful.

The amount of customization and choices available to Elemental Shaman is good, although, unfortunately, Tier Sets often narrow down our competitive options significantly. For The War Within's Prepatch, our tier set, assuming it remains enabled, will keep locking us into Fire-dominant builds.

Many build variants are viable, and there is room to customize your build often. Playstyles also vary a lot; the main Lightning builds have stricter rotations in order to optimize the various ways we buff our Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolts, with some potential complexity rewarded by significant damage output, and Fire builds are generally more straightforward & and mobile in single-target. Note that Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast is very strong and worth using for AoE purposes on up to 3 targets (and with any amount of targets when using Echoes of Great Sundering Icon Echoes of Great Sundering , which is somewhat counter-intuitive and lowers your mobility potential.

4.

Hero Talent Trees for Elemental Shaman in The War Within

Elemental Shaman gets to choose between the Farseer and Stormbringer Hero Talent Trees. In the sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch. Note that this is meant to be a quick overview, we will delve into advanced, point-by-point details in the dedicated page later on.

4.1.

Farseer Hero Talents for Elemental Shaman

The Farseer tree is all about summoning and enhancing your "Ancestors" that function in most ways like pets and cast things depending on what you cast. The short version is:

  • Whenever you cast a single-target damage ability, they cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst
  • Whenever you cast a multi-target damage ability, they cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning (but that only bounces twice)
  • Whenever you cast a single-target healing ability, they cast Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge
  • Whenever you cast a multi-target healing ability, they cast Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal

Most notably, while they scale with your stats (to a point), they do not benefit from Mastery or any of your talents and features, nor do you gain anything from them beyond buffs from Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast if you pick the Final Calling Icon Final Calling node). They do a bit of damage, and that is it.

While there are some choice nodes, the balance at the moment is very bad, and you are essentially forced to pick all the RNG-based talents that synergize with each other, which is bad for multiple reasons.

Moreover, these nodes largely reinforce the already problematic spend 70% of your time casting Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst behavior from the last seasons of Dragonflight.

We get a choice of defensive nodes that are both disappointing and hardly worth the bother. Chances are you will take Natural Harmony Icon Natural Harmony, but it does little.

Finally, the fact that the entire tree essentially has zero effect on your gameplay is quite puzzling, to say the least.

4.2.

Stormbringer Hero Talents for Elemental Shaman

The Stormbringer tree is all about buffing Nature spells and, particularly adding more Lightning-based mechanics to your gameplay.

As much as Farseer is unintrusive to gameplay to the point of making you wonder why they don't replace it with a flat damage buff, Stormbringer is at the extreme opposite end, adding a variety of mechanics that are overly involved and problematic, both in and of themselves and especially combined with what would be proper talent builds for it.

Not one, not two, but THREE different nodes essentially REQUIRE custom WeakAura in order to use them properly. This is...

Most notoriously, our Aberrus 2pc is back with the Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder node. While it certainly is fun to get more uses of Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper, the fact we likely have to use some version of the Season 2 talent builds and have to deal with several more RNG events and an ability force-replacing one of the lynchpin abilities of our somewhat complicated rotation is quite likely to be nightmarish to use in practice. Having optional complexity and room for player skill to shine is good, but this particular setup seems like it would just lead to needless frustration.

The new Tempest Icon Tempest ability causes numerous issues both with its lack of synergies with the rest of the spec, your lack of control over when you have to cast it, and what it actually does (not much currently). It is also very buggy.

Add to that that there are a lot of other bugs (with both trees, really, but since Farseer does not affect your gameplay; it is less problematic), and one key node is currently not implemented, and knowing exactly how they implement it can potentially make or break builds; we are waiting for more updates to the tree.

5.

Elemental Shaman Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Elemental Shaman in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Shaman Elemental 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Shaman Elemental 11.0 Class Set 2pcElemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast / Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock damage increased by 25% Earthquake Icon Earthquake damage increased by 25%. Our spenders need help, and 25% is a solid buff. The worry here is tier bonuses are inherently temporary, and this buff should probably be a baseline buff.
  • Shaman Elemental 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Shaman Elemental 11.0 Class Set 4pc — Spending Maelstrom grants you 5% increased Critical Strike chance and 10% increased critical damage dealt. This helps with ou low crit rate early on in an expansion, solid damage increase.
5.1.

How Good is the Elemental Shaman Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The 2pc bonus' value depends on your build and the situation but should be an increase of between 5% and 7% DPS.

The 4pc bonus is more reliable but fairly comparable in power, giving another 6% DPS.

The total expected value of the Tier Set is around 11-13%, which is solid and matches expectations.

6.

Elemental Shaman Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Essentially no change compared to Dragonflight aside from Hero Talents
  • +Farseer hero talents are easy to handle gameplay-wise
  • +Stormbringer hero talents brings potentially significant rotational gameplay
  • +Stormbringer hero talents can enable massive AoE burst
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Essentially no change compared to Dragonflight aside from Hero Talents
  • -Farseer hero talents are fairly unbalanced and have little to no gameplay impact
  • -Farseer hero talents cannot significantly contribute to AoE damage
  • -The Farseer hero tree as it is currently balanced will likely force people into
  • - "fire-focused" builds and Lava Burst spam
  • -The currently sensible way to build the Farseer tree triples down on RNG procs
  • -Ancestors from the Farseer hero tree can body-pull
  • -Several Stormbringer hero talents come with basically mandatory weakaura requirements
  • -Stormbringer hero talents force you into a "lightning-focused" build
  • -Both hero talent trees bring additional problems and solve none of the issues the spec had.
7.

Changelog

  • 23 Jul. 2024: Added tags to section 2.3, updated core changes section to reflect undocumented hotfixes.
  • 17 Jul. 2024: Added breakdown and immediate playstyle changes from the Shaman rework.
  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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