Enhancement Shaman DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Jan 28, 2019 at 14:57 by Wordup 51 comments

Welcome to our Enhancement Shaman guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. Here, you will learn how to play as an Enhancement Shaman in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

1. Enhancement Shaman Overview

Enhancement Shaman has remained largely intact in Battle for Azeroth, with the core abilities carrying over a lot of the same design from Legion. It still keeps a focus on single target tools with some easy access into additional sustained cleave and AoE without it altering the rotation significantly. Losing the artifact has diluted some parts of what made Enhancement strong within the Legion landscape, however its ability to maintain a strong sustained damage package should not be underestimated. It can feel quite susceptible to damage however with a lack of strong defensive tools, so requires a good amount of awareness to stay safe. It also still keeps the large package of flexible small utility tools that are useful in a variety of situations, but largely remains as a specialization that does not provide anything truly unique.

2. Season 2 Changes for Enhancement Shaman

With the release of Season 2 in Battle for Azeroth, an additional ring has been added to each Azerite piece, increasing the availability of many class specific traits. This has opened up a number of Azerite enabled talent builds for different situations, which are explained elsewhere in the guide.

3. Patch 8.1 Changes for Enhancement Shaman

A number of talents have been adjusted, alongside an across the board damage buff.

Two new Azerite, traits Ancient Ankh Talisman Icon Ancient Ankh Talisman and Thunderaan's Fury Icon Thunderaan's Fury, have been added to the game.

4. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Enhancement Shaman

The core of Enhancement remains, however some mechanical changes have been made alongside some new abilities being added.

4.1. Existing Ability Changes

  • The Maelstrom cap has been reduced to 100, down from 150.
  • Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike has been reduced to a 30 Maelstrom cost, and had its base cooldown reduced to 9 seconds.
  • Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer now grants a free Stormstrike cast, instead of reducing the cost by 50%.
  • Stormlash has been removed from the Enhancement toolkit.

4.2. New Spell and Mechanic Additions

  • Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash now costs 40 Maelstrom and deals a larger amount of damage as a Maelstrom spender.
  • Lightning Surge Totem returns as a baseline spell, and has been renamed to Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem, with an increased cooldown of 1 minute and a reduced stun duration of 3 seconds.
  • Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental returns to the spec, and is the same as the Elemental Shaman equivalent.
  • Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem returns to the specialization as a Fear, Charm and Sleep removal tool.
  • The artifact trait Raging Storms has been rolled into Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer as a baseline effect.
  • The artifact trait Gathering Storms has been rolled into Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning as a baseline effect.

5. Enhancement Shaman's Strengths

  • Strong sustained single target damage.
  • Flexible, can mesh with a number of different encounter styles.
  • Able to funnel AoE and cleave into single target, gaining a large amount of priority target damage.
  • Potential to do extremely high burst damage to targets with RNG at your side.
  • Versatile group utility toolkit for both dungeons and raids.
  • Azerite opens up a lot of talent options to customize your build depending on encounter.

6. Enhancement Shaman's Weaknesses

  • High variance in burst due to Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer.
  • Reliant on uptime, so can be punished in very high movement encounters.
  • Relies heavily on gear to enable certain damage profiles, which can be restrictive.
  • Weak defensives, so cannot take a lot of punishment.

7. Viability of Enhancement Shaman in the Current Patch

With newly introduced Azerite builds, there is the potential for Enhancement to improve compared to Uldir significantly, but this is based on Sims rather than testing. Having variety in what you can select may also allow you to tailor talents toward different encounters as well, increasing flexibility. It will also likely have a strong showing in Mythic+, but may perform worse due to being less powerful than other melee options in response to the Reaping affix. A number of Battle of Dazar'alor encounters also have situations that may lean well into the damage delivery system of Enhancement, but this is currently conjecture due to post-testing changes. It will also be heavily reliant on having access to the Azerite pieces to enable these builds.

8. Changelog

  • 28 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Enhancement Shaman tips for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Season 2 Primal Primer optimisation with Mastery.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (easy mode page): Small update for stat recommendations to account for secondary values.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (talents page): Updated for season 2 deviations depending on Azerite gear available.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (how to improve page): Updated for Season 2 notes, with specific notes regarding different build playstyles.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Season 2 Azerite to cover significant changes to Azerite and builds.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (rotation page): Updated for Season 2 with extra Azerite related build notes.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Updated for season 2 gear, updated item levels and recommended Azerite.
  • 17 Jan. 2019 (FAQ page): Updated for season 2 changes including notes regarding different builds.
  • 20 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated with additional notes.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Small updates for Boulderfist/Landslide checkmarks, and explanations underneath.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (spells page): Updated range of Capacitor and Earthbind Totems.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added in new upcoming trait additions.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for patch 8.1 with additional talent choices.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for patch 8.1 with Landslide notes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for patch 8.1 talent changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for 8.1 to indicate Crash Lightning as a filler with Crashing Storm.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for new talent changes in 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 06 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated page format.
  • 15 Sep. 2018 (stats page): Added note regarding Mastery being strong in AoE.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated with gearing paths and Uldir item recommendations.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Preliminary update for Uldir launch week.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Switched to Bloodmallet charts for Azerite rankings.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated to remove references to Landslide rotation changes due to simulation updates.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added note regarding Gale-Force Striking following the buff.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Gale-Force Striking buff.
  • 25 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated to account for simulation changes revealing Landslide weakness.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Edited talent choices to shift to the easier to use Spirit Wolf.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page created in preparation for the eventual Uldir release.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page created.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page created.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added Hekili to the list as a regularly updated rotation aid tool.
  • 22 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Altered trinket section to indicate direct damage trinkets are performing better.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 21 Jan. 2018 (stats page): Updated for season 2 to cover different weights depending on specific Azerite builds.
  • 21 Jan. 2018 (this page): Updated for Season 2 Battle of Dazar'alor release.
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