Enhancement Shaman Frequently Asked Questions — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, we go over several of the most frequently asked questions regarding Enhancement Shaman in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. This will be updated as more common repeated questions surface over the course of the expansion.
1. Should I Worry About Maelstrom Waste?
Currently, Enhancement has a serious problem with being able to actually make use of the high fluctuations in resource gain, and unfortunately there is not much that can be done. As long as you are not wasting any Stormstrike casts or Stormbringer procs by waiting an unnecessary amount of time to use them, you are doing as much as you can to increase your damage. This is especially true during high generation periods, such as with Feral Spirits active.
This does however change when using the Primal Primer oriented build. This build has a very strong relationship between Maelstrom and damage, and wasting any Maelstromg is a serious loss. Making absolutely sure you avoid doing so is crucial. This is relatively easy however, due to the shift toward Lava Lash being the primary damage source, which is less likely to cause overflow due to being free.
2. Should I Put My Highest Item Level Weapon in the Off-Hand?
Much like in Warlords of Draenor, this question has appeared again and the answer is a firm no (regardless of build). Since then, we have shifted even further toward the Main Hand, and the highest portion of damage we deal is sourced from there. This is less pronounced with Primal Primer, but not enough to change this rule.
3. Should I Be Using Earth Elemental as a DPS Cooldown?
Generally speaking, this is also a no. The amount of damage it will deal, assuming it has full uptime on a target and is able to live the entire duration will be a marginal increase over an alternative cooldown. However, it is also prone to dying, poor AI, or disrupting a group with its taunt. It is much more beneficial to simply save it as an emergency defense tool in case something goes wrong, when the gain is so marginal.
4. Should I Play Around Elemental Spirits?
This is something that could change in the future, but as of right now no. The effects Elemental Spirits provide are all relatively neutral and tend to grant their bonus passively, with the exception of Molten Weapon. This should not be played around in single target, but if you can fit a Sundering cast into this window, it will gain from the bonus and is especially strong in AoE if they line up.
This still extends to the Primal Primer build as well. While the value of the wolves change, you do not deviate from the recommended priority list when any are active. Your rotation will however be accelerated during Frost wolves, due to the Icy Edge effect triggering Primal Primer stacks.
5. Should I Use Crash Lightning in Single Target?
Only if you have Crashing Storm selected. This will push it over the edge of being more valuable than a Lava Lash cast as a filler (when not using Primal Primer), and should therefore slot into the rotation just above as a Maelstrom spender. Otherwise, this is an exclusively Cleave and AoE tool.
6. What Piece is Better, X or Y?
The answer to this question in any context will always be to simulate it. This is because what is an upgrade for you may not be an upgrade for someone else. In other words, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer, even when talking about 2 completely identical comparisons from you to another person. Everything in your gear has an effect on everything else.
This applies to gear, set bonuses, trinkets, Azerite traits, and in certain circumstances, talents.
The only exception to this rule is when a specific fight dictates a certain set of optimal talents and gear pieces that enhance their strength. If you are curious about what kind of setup to go for a specific fight, WarcraftLogs.com's rankings and statistics are a good place to see what others are doing.
We have a guide on how to sim yourself here:
7. How much Haste, or other secondary stat, should I have?
For Enhancement, there is no strict "amount" or breakpoint of any stat that you are required to reach. Nor are there any points at which a stat stops being desirable. In the majority of cases, the specific secondary you have is less important than the volume. This is however, another case of a situation in which a simulation done to check your ideal gear pieces and stat values will provide you invaluable information.
8. Which Race is best for Enhancement Shaman?
Currently, races are fairly even from top to bottom, and the choice you make will likely result in a very small difference. Note this assumes the current ideal build using Primal Primer, baseline simulations indicate the following in Patch 8.1:
9. How good is Enhancement in Patch 8.1 Season 2?
This is covered in the Introduction section of the guide, however it appears that the additional Azerite builds brought in with Season 2 have a solid chance of improving some of the serious problems Enhancement has with keeping up with other specs purely in single target-situations. The specialization has increased versatility, and depending on the type of damage needed in Battle of Dazar'alor it has a good chance of improving due to the new talent options available. This is however to be taken with a grain of salt due to the timing of testing occurring before many of these builds were discovered.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Updated for season 2 changes including notes regarding different builds.
- 20 Dec. 2018: Updated with additional notes.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 10 Aug. 2018: Page created.
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