Enhancement Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.2.5

Last updated on May 31, 2022 at 00:05 by Wordup 25 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Enhancement Shaman in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.2.5.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Enhancement Shaman rotation.

1.

Enhancement Shaman Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Enhancement Shamans. Here we go through the specifics of executing the spec in combat to get the most out of it in PvE scenarios.

1.1.

Easy Mode

If you are just looking for a basic primer to get started and find the full breakdowns overwhelming, you can always start with our Easy Mode page to get yourself started with a close-to-optimal build and a simpler breakdown.

1.2.

PvP

The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.

2.

Enhancement Shaman Single Target Rotation

Enhancement Shaman plays with a priority list that focuses on making sure to cycle your ability cooldowns as often as possible, while reacting to procs as they happen. Your goal is to reduce downtime as much as you can, which sometimes means using a lower damage (but lower cooldown) ability in moment-to-moment gameplay. Having a sense of the cooldowns so that you can predict this in advance will come with practice, and is a good skill to have.

We have provided rotation switches below that allow you to populate the priority list based on talents we recommend in the Talents section. Check each box based on the talents you are currently using. If you are using a talent not recommended on the talent page it is not included; passive options with no impact on the rotation are also not included.

Talents Covenant Legendaries
Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds
Stormflurry Icon Stormflurry Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave Primal Lava Actuators Icon Primal Lava Actuators
Hot Hand Icon Hot Hand Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion
Ice Strike Icon Ice Strike Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest
Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm
Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova
Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper
Sundering Icon Sundering
Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike
Ascendance Icon Ascendance
  1. Cast Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem if not currently active.
  2. Cast Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit.
  3. Cast Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock if it is not currently active.
  4. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash if Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock has less than 4 seconds remaining.
  5. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you have 10 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  6. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  7. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  8. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if at 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  9. Cast Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock.
  10. Cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning.
  11. Cast Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock.
  12. Refresh Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem if nothing else is available.

Your time will be spent juggling your different strike cooldowns in Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike, Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash, and using Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock. Any empty space can be filled with the lowest priority fillers in Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning and refreshing Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock. In between this you will be managing your stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon that is spent on Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a mix-up tool to fill any downtime, but is more flexible due to it not having a cooldown.

The more that you play with Enhancement, the more you will adjust to the ebb and flow of each ability cooldown and know when you need to fill with Maelstrom spenders. Making sure that you also react to quick bursts of this, alongside Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer procs while keeping yourself as close to Global Cooldown locked as possible by managing each of your strike cooldowns defines your performance on the spec.

2.1.

How to Use Covenant Abilities as Enhancement Shaman

The majority of Enhancement abilities are extra damage sources that are just used on cooldown as often as possible, with some small differences:

  • Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem is used on cooldown as much as possible, ideally lining up with burst windows or with additional waves of enemies.
  • With Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave should be used on cooldown to apply Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock to your target, and you should make sure to consume the buff before it expires with Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt. In multi-target situations use this to apply the DoT to a different target, and replace one Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning cast to make use of the Lightning Bolt echo effect.
  • Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion should be used on cooldown, ideally when your main abilities are not available. Make sure if you take Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike to line these up, and that you are safe before you begin the channel.
  • Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest simply replaces your Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon spender of choice when it is available, and slots in that place regardless of target count. Try to hit as many enemies as possible, even if that means holding onto it for a bit.
2.2.

Doom Winds Gameplay

If you are playing with Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds, while the buff is active you should aim to fit as many main-hand abilities within the window as possible as the highest priority. These are Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike, Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning, and Sundering Icon Sundering and take precedent, as they will each trigger their own individual Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon proc.

Try to keep an eye on the cooldown of the buff so you can prepare to switch up to main-hand strikes quickly, even if they are not regularly at the top of your priority. Also, make sure not to drop it just before downtime and waste the effect, as making use of these windows is crucial. If paired with Ascendance Icon Ascendance, make sure to drop it after shifting form to overlap the buffs as much as possible.

2.3.

Effects of Conduits on Enhancement Shaman

The only Conduit that has a strong impact on your rotation when taken is the Necrolord-specific Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves. When using this, you need to make sure you have consumed the Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave before recasting it, and if you have access to Splintered Elements Icon Splintered Elements you should also make sure to wait for the Haste buff to expire. This usually means spending it to trigger the Haste, casting Primordial Wave and then sitting on the buff until it ends.

2.4.

Double Legendary Impact

The Night Fae and Necrolords have considerations when using the effects with their desired Legendary:

  • Necrolord — this needs to be set up before triggering the effect to make sure you have as many active Flame Shock Icon Flame Shocks as possible. The extra Haste drastically accelerates the rate of Primal Lava Actuators Icon Primal Lava Actuators stack generation and provides a very strong burst window.
  • Night Fae — while it grants cooldown reduction to Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit, the amount of active cooldown reduction already coming from Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones Icon Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones means that holding it for longer than 10 seconds really is not worth it. The only time to deviate from this is if a boss timer is especially favourable to adjusting your casts for it.
2.5.

Tier 28 Set Bonus Impact

While the Enhancement bonuses are strong, neither of the effects strongly alter the priority you should already be using and it is extremely focused on single-target. The important factors are what decisions you make when building your character after accessing it rather than the active gameplay. Both Hot Hand Icon Hot Hand and Stormflurry Icon Stormflurry builds can be played with this for single-target, and this talent selection dictates the button (and buff) you want. Elemental Spirits Icon Elemental Spirits becomes a lock-in talent after gaining access to the 2-piece, but which wolves spawn do not cause any changes to the rotation.

3.

Enhancement Shaman AoE rotation

With all of the Patch 9.2 systems combined the number of variables change enough for Enhancement for it to warrant its own separate rotation tool specifically for what you are playing. Similar to the single-target rotation section, use the checkboxes below to populate the list underneath:

Talents Covenant Legendaries
Lashing Flames Icon Lashing Flames Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds
Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave Deeply Rooted Elements Icon Deeply Rooted Elements
Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion
Crashing Storm Icon Crashing Storm Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest
Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper
Sundering Icon Sundering
Ascendance Icon Ascendance
  1. Cast Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem if not currently active.
  2. Cast Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit.
  3. Cast Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock if it is not currently active on your target.
  4. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash if the Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning buff is active.
  5. Cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning if you have 10 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  6. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike if the Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning buff is active.
  7. Cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning.
  8. Cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  9. Cast Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock.
  10. Refresh Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock.
  11. Refresh Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem.

While there is a lot going on in Enhancement's AoE rotation in Patch 9.2, a lot of it comes down to what selections you make with your build. There are many different avenues to delivering AoE, and lots of the damage profiles differ in their style which is why it requires a more tailored approach now. The crux forms around maintaining Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning's buff component while also making use of the high power AoE cooldowns available through various parts of the toolkit to deal strong sustained damage.

4.

Enhancement Shaman Opening Rotation

The opening sequence has some small quirks with some talents, but the spec is quick to get started as soon as you enter combat:

  1. Pre-cast Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper if taken.
  2. Without Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds only: Pre-cast Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem just before a pull.
  3. Cast Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock (or Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave if Necrolord Covenant) when running into melee.
  4. Cast Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike if taken.
  5. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  6. Cast Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit to generate Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon early.
  7. Night Fae Covenant only: Cast Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion.
  8. Kyrian Covenant only: Cast Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem.
  9. Cast Ascendance Icon Ascendance if taken, and then immediately Windstrike Icon Windstrike.
  10. With Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds: cast Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem to trigger the buff.
  11. Continue with the single-target rotation.

Where you go from here depends entirely on your resource state with Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon, and if Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer has activated. You will often go down the priority list getting your cooldowns cycling, and the flow will begin from there.

Note if you are playing with Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds here, you should not pre-cast Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem to avoid wasting a portion of the buff and instead use it after your cooldowns are set up.

5.

Mythic+ Rotation

The rotation page covers all of the details on playing the spec in combat, but if you are looking for specific details related to Mythic+ you can refer to our dedicated page below.

6.

Enhancement Shaman Cooldowns

Enhancement only has access to two cooldowns, one of which is a talent, and is mostly reliant instead on its sustained damage profile.

6.1.

Feral Spirit

Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit summons two wolves that deal low damage to your target, and generates one stack of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon instantly when cast on a 2-minute cooldown. It will also generate an additional 5 stacks over its 15-second duration. These deal reasonable single-target damage, and also help to give an instant burst of Maelstrom Weapon to get you started in an encounter, so we try to use it on cooldown. Elemental Spirits Icon Elemental Spirits can be taken to reduce the cooldown by 30 seconds and grant additional effects, but the RNG buffs and lack of ability to play around them means it really does not change anything about our gameplay.

6.2.

Ascendance

Ascendance Icon Ascendance is a big cooldown that deals a huge AoE burst when cast, and also gives 15 seconds of sustained single-target via the reduced cooldown on Windstrike Icon Windstrike. While this does require a talent to use, it provides an extra burst option as a 3-minute cooldown that is also quite versatile because of the newly added on cast AoE effect paired with a reliable window of strong ability usage.

7.

Optional Read: Notes on Enhancement Shaman

7.1.

Weapon Imbues and Buffs

You should always make sure you have both Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon and Flametongue Weapon Icon Flametongue Weapon imbued on your weapons. These contribute a lot to both your damage and your ability proc rates, and missing them will hurt you a lot. You should also keep Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield active if you are facing enemies that will strike you in melee, as the extra Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon charges can be converted into more damage or healing.

7.2.

Maelstrom Weapon Details

The newly added mechanic of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon is important to grasp if you intend to play Enhancement. This has a 20% chance to trigger from any melee hit, and stacks up to 10 times. Each stack reduces the cast time of your next Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning cast by 20%, and increases its damage by the same amount. Only 5 stacks can be consumed at once, making the spells instant.

While it is tempting to cast these spells as soon as you hit 5 stacks, you should instead be pooling to make use of the 10 stack cap. It serves instead as a high damage filler to mix up the rotation based on the state of your other ability cooldowns. If you rush to cast this as soon as you hit 5, you will often find yourself starved and having wasted other ability uses.

7.3.

Windfury Totem

Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem currently provides a solid boost to anyone in your party, meaning up to 4 other melee players can gain an advantage from this effect in a raid. This has a 20% chance to proc per auto-attack with a 0.5-second internal cooldown per player, but will only trigger from main-hand swings. These extra attacks count as regular auto-attacks, meaning they proc all on-hit effects, but they do not affect Hunter auto-shots, pets or guardians.

7.4.

Crash Lightning Explained

Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning looks simple on the surface, but has a lot of moving parts and is an important aspect of Enhancement gameplay. The Nature damage proc while the buff is active will trigger in single target as well, so finding opportunities to activate the buff will improve your single-target damage as well, so look for chances to hit a stray add and get it active. Second, any hits from the initial strike have a chance to trigger Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer due to them all being counted as a weapon strike, so try to hit as many targets as possible with the initial cast. Finally, these hits all have a chance to trigger Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon on targets struck, emphasizing the importance of hitting multiple enemies. This is even more important when using Forceful Winds Icon Forceful Winds, which can gain multiple stacks per Crash Lightning cast.

Alongside this, Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning casts are augmented by your Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning casts increasing the damage by up to 60%, making it a good follow-up. It will also trigger the Gathering Storms Icon Gathering Storms effect, boosting the damage of your next Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike cast by 5% per target hit, allowing you to funnel more damage into one target.

7.5.

Shocks and Pandemic

In single-target situations, you want to make sure that you keep Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock active at as close to 100% uptime as possible. You can refresh it based on the Pandemic window at any time under 5.4 seconds. With Patch 9.2 Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash will refresh this when there are less than 3 other targets in range, meaning that it effectively maintains itself with the rotation.

Patch 9.2 also unlinked the cooldown of our Shocks, meaning we can use either freely. Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock is the stronger filler so is your go-to cast especially due to it being buffed by 40%, while Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock is at the very bottom of our priority unless it is not active on your target already.

7.6.

Flame Shock Spread

Patch 9.2 brings the long awaited addition of Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock spread via Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash casts. This is simply just free damage in AoE compared to previous patches due to the extra DoTs, but also enables a lot of other things such as Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova, Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave and Primal Lava Actuators Icon Primal Lava Actuators.

The way it currently works is that when you cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash, it does not just apply the DoT to other targets it selects but actually casts an extra Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on them, dealing the direct damage at the same time.

7.7.

Talent Specifics

7.7.1.

Tier 1 Talents

Lashing Flames Icon Lashing Flames provides a strong damage boost by doubling the output of your Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock when maintained, which should be doable at all times on 1 to 2 enemies. If paired with effects such as Hot Hand Icon Hot Hand or Primal Lava Actuators Icon Primal Lava Actuators you can keep this active all the way up to the cap of 6, making it a strong AoE option just from the DoT damage alone. While this is simple to play in single-target, it is significantly harder to pull off in AoE so keep that in mind.

Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast brings the strongest single-target damage, and requires you to maintain Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon to make sure you have 5 available when it is about to come off cooldown. This is the hardest talent to optimally play, but is worth it when you can manage the rotation around it. In AoE the displacement of other higher value casts causes it to fall off so is not recommended in those situations.

Forceful Winds Icon Forceful Winds is the simplest option on the tier, and has very little to play around. It slots into the rotation and will naturally cycle based on your casts, with slightly higher value when there are extra targets to proc it with via Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning. The only situations it is currently taken, though, is when paired with Doom Winds Icon Doom Winds.

7.7.2.

Tier 2 Talents

Hot Hand Icon Hot Hand has a very low proc chance which can be frustrating, but the extreme value of these procs is too much to ignore. It creates a brief window of a one-two playstyle, having you cycle Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash casts between the next highest damage ability available as it floods you with ability uses. It is ordinarily single-target focused usually, but with the right build it can also work in AoE and cleave situations, and is generally the go-to pick in Patch 9.2.

Stormflurry Icon Stormflurry is the easiest to play option, providing a good boost in both single-target and AoE situations alongside synergizing well with the Stormspirit Icon Enhancement Shaman 4-Piece Tier set bonus. The additional hits do trigger the Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning splash and are affected by the damage boost from Elemental Assault Icon Elemental Assault, but do not trigger the guaranteed extra stack of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon. They also trigger all on-hit effects (such as Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon and Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer).

Ice Strike Icon Ice Strike requires you to be using your Shock spells aggressively, while also managing the cooldown of itself, and the other abilities you do in the regular rotation. This clash makes it hard to execute ideally, and even when it is the payoff is so low that it is unlikely to see any use. Patch 9.2 effectively kills the talent due to how high the GCD requirements are from other portions of the rotation, so it should always be avoided.

7.7.3.

Tier 4 Talents

Elemental Assault Icon Elemental Assault is the single-target powerhouse on the row, increasing consistency via the extra reliable Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon charges and increasing the damage of Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike which pairs very well with our ideal single-target Legendary Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones Icon Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones.

Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova has been brought back from the dead thanks to the addition of Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock spread via Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash, meaning that getting effective casts consistently is realistic now. It does good upfront AoE, has a fairly low GCD requirement (which is important in Patch 9.2), and really excels at 4 targets and up.

Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm increases the value of your Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon spending abilities by triggering a buff that turns Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock into a huge AoE burst tool. This rounds out the AoE rotation nicely as a finisher in between the other buttons we use regularly, dictating the pace via the cooldown of Frost Shock and received a 40% buff in Patch 9.2. This serves as the mid-range Cleave option and with a build that has room to fit it in it excels in those situations.

7.7.4.

Tier 6 Talents

Sundering Icon Sundering is the most flexible option and should always be your pick. This provides an additional rotational tool for intermittent downtime, or a heavy burst AoE cooldown if needed with the lowest GCD requirement. You should make sure to save if it you expect enemies to spawn within its cooldown instead of burning it on a single target, but otherwise is a simple active to make use of.

Crashing Storm Icon Crashing Storm might be the easiest to play here, but is extremely weak. While it slots in rotationally without any requirements, that enemies are prone to moving out of the pool before it gets full value can often really hurt it. With Patch 9.2 systems considered, the GCD requirement from this as well means that the value shrinks because there are simply more valuable buttons to be pressing.

Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper has a similar story to Crashing Storm Icon Crashing Storm, it costs too many GCDs to make use of with too little payoff. Because it does not benefit from Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon the Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning casts are pretty unimpactful, and as such it should just be avoided.

7.7.5.

Tier 7 Talents

Elemental Spirits Icon Elemental Spirits improves your Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit dropping it to a 90-second cooldown. Each wolf will come with an independent element that is rolled randomly when cast:

  • FireMolten Weapon Icon Molten Weapon. This increases the value of Fire damage you deal, but due to Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash's high cooldown, is hard to capitalize upon unless you get lucky Hot Hand Icon Hot Hand procs.
  • FrostIcy Edge Icon Icy Edge provides a flat damage buff and impacts none of your abilities, just providing a flat damage boost to your hits when active.
  • LightningCrackling Surge Icon Crackling Surge has large swing potential by boosting the impact of Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer chains.

You can also roll two of the same wolf, and their boosts multiply. While all of these effects may sound important when reading them, the buffs alone do not dictate your rotation in any meaningful way. Regardless of the number of each wolf active, you will still follow the same priority list at the top of the page based on your talent selections. With the T28 set bonuses, this talent becomes a locked-in choice in all situations.

Ascendance Icon Ascendance provides a 15-second window of consistent damage via Windstrike Icon Windstrike with the reduced cooldown, and a big burst on cast. When you pair this boost with the additional range it provides, it makes for a versatile and high powered option certain encounter types if planned around correctly, and adds a powerful burst AoE cast into your arsenal.

Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike is very much focused on sustained single-target, but even then does not outdo the alternatives. Picking this means you are opting into a less desirable damage profile without much in the way of synergistic talents to improve this. It also has by far the highest GCD requirement on the row, and as such should be avoided.

8.

Changelog

  • 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 24 Apr. 2022: Small change to AoE priority for Maelstrom spending.
  • 21 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2 to explain changes, add new rotation tool and AoE sections.
  • 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Page updated for Patch 9.0.5 with some small adjustments.
  • 24 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands launch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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