Enhancement Shaman Essences — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Enhancement Shaman, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Enhancement Shamans
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Notable Major Essence Powers for Enhancement Shamans
Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance) recieved a large buff in 8.3, causing it to boost the Agility granted by Lifeblood Shards by 300% for 18 seconds when activated. This makes it a strong choice for almost all content assuming you have good uptime, and can be used in both single target and AoE situations.
Blood of the Enemy ( Blood of the Enemy) serves as a good catch-all Essence, with strong Major and Minor powers that work in any situation. By Rank 3, the Major provides a significant boost to your cooldown window (although brief) and a small burst of AoE damage on top when activated. The Minor also gives a solid boost of free Critical Strike rating that culminates in a burst of Haste, which works great for us.
Condensed Life-Force ( Guardian of Azeroth) performs the best in single target situations, providing a strong burst cooldown that synergizes well with the Minor power when it reaches Rank 3. This has not got any strong AoE implications however, so it may fall off compared to other choices if extra targets are present.
The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame) is the easiest Essence to acquire, and provides a good single target boost with the Major active ability. This can be used to fill empty GCDs with a high damage cast when nothing else is available, dealing heavy damage that can also be pooled for a burst window at Rank 3, when the second charge is unlocked. The Minor power is a purely passive damage proc that deals solid damage, but you cannot play around this effect outside of doing your normal rotation.
Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam) gives a huge burst AoE tool for its Major power that also does solid damage even in single target, making it a good pick. Note however that it is channelled, so it comes with a higher opportunity cost than any other power on the list. It also comes with one of the strongest Minor powers, giving a constant boost to your Haste rating (but is lost on target swaps). Given that we mostly deal our AoE damage while splashing from an anchor target, this is not as punishing as it may appear in many situations making this Essence a great pick.
Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection) unfortunately is very weak for Enhancement, unless you are making use of Elemental Spirits. This means that it has some very niche uses with Primal Primer, but is otherwise something to avoid. The Minor power is also extremely weak due to how low the cooldown reduction is, meaning that it is not only unlikely to help it line up with moments in encounters, but also will not usually grant an extra use.
Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) gives a Major that is a 100% boost to ALL Maelstrom generation for 12-15 seconds, on a 2-minute cooldown. Due to how low value Maelstrom usually is for Enhancement, this relegates it to a Primal Primer-only option. Even then, due to the desynchronized cooldown caused by Elemental Spirits, it is not recommended. The Minor power does however work with Fury of Air if playing this talent, so does have some options there.
Notable Minor Essence Powers for Enhancement Shamans
Purification Protocol ( Purification Protocol) provides a good option for AoE as passive damage, alongside getting even better against Aberration targets. Generally a good pick in M+ or AoE fights, or any that contain this enemy type.
Conflict and Strife ( Conflict) provides a near constant boost to your Versatility that can be treated as a free secondary stat bump, and slots in well as a Minor.
All of the following essences provide a Unique passive 10 Corruption Resistance, allowing you to equip more Corrupted items. You can only have one instance of this on your gear, regardless of it is in the Major or Minor slot, and is highly recommended to have at least one of these equipped.
Breath of the Dying (Major: Reaping Flames / Minor: Lethal Strikes) provides a high damage global that has a lower cooldown above 80%, and below 20%. This is awkward to use as Enhancement sometimes becomes very Global locked and this can line up with the cooldown, alongside usually being outshone by The Crucible of Flame, except for in niche scenarios. The Minor on the other hand deals significant single target damage that only gets better on targets below 20% Health with the 400% increased proc rate, making this an extremely good pick.
The Formless Void (Major: Replica of Knowledge / Minor: Symbiotic Presence) allows you to copy an allies equipped Major Essence, but with an increased cooldown. Outside of very niche situations, it is unlikely this is better than simply equipping the DPS Essence you want to use, so is not recommended. The Minor on the other hand grants Agility and Haste when an Ally uses their Major Essence, so in raid groups especially with high uptime this is a solid choice.
Spark of Inspiration (Major: Moment of Glory / Minor: Unified Strength) gratns an ability that causes all nearby party (not raid) members to deal 45% increased damage with their equipped Essences (both Major and Minor) for 20 seconds. While the effect is strong, it comes with a high opportunity cost that Enhancement will suffer from due to the Global locked playstyle. Despite this however, it is largely going to depend on group management to dictate if this is worth taking. The Minor has a 4 RPPM chance to reduce the cooldown of you and 2 other Allies equipped Major Essence by 1 second, and grant Haste to all of you. This can be extremely useful to help line up certain Essences with your cooldown windows, but is fight-specific.
Tier lists are dependent on what you have available, so they have been batched into groups that are of equivalent value depending on the content being done.
- Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance);
- Blood of the Enemy ( Blood of the Enemy);
- Condensed Life-Force ( Guardian of Azeroth).
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam) (AoE).
- Purification Protocol ( Purifying Blast) (AoE);
- The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame).
- Breath of the Dying ( Reaping Flames).
Niche, Weak or Hard to Execute:
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams);
- Conflict and Strife ( Conflict);
- Ripple in Space ( Ripple in Space);
- The Unbound Force ( The Unbound Force).
- Spark of Inspiration ( Moment of Glory);
- The Formless Void ( Replica of Knowledge).
- Breath of the Dying ( Lethal Strikes);
- Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Energy);
- Blood of the Enemy ( Blood-Soaked);
- Conflict and Strife ( Strife);
- Worldvein Resonance ( Lifeblood) (with a group).
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Lucid Dreams) (if using Fury of Air);
- The Formless Void ( Symbiotic Presence);
- Purification Protocol ( Purification Protocol) (AoE);
- Condensed Life-Force ( Condensed Life-Force).
Niche, Weak or Hard to Execute:
- Vision of Perfection ( Strive for Perfection);
- Ripple in Space ( Reality Shift);
- The Unbound Force ( Reckless Force).
Essence Comparison Simulations
These charts are provided by Bloodmallet, a website that provides simulation comparisons for all kinds of parameters for all classes.
As with all simulations provided in our guides, they only provide a very rough guideline, and you should not rely on them for making decisions on your own gear. Always use Raidbots.com to sim your own character.
Single-Target Major Essences for Enhancement Shaman
AoE Major Essences for Enhancement Shaman
Single-Target Minor Essences for Enhancement Shaman
AoE Minor Essences for Enhancement Shaman
- 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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