Enhancement Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Dragonflight 10.1
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 — Dragonflight 10.1.
If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK Classic Enhancement Shaman rotation.
Enhancement Shaman Rotation
Welcome to the Rotation section of our Enhancement Shaman guide. If you came here without first checking over the Spell List/Glossary page, we recommend that you do so if you are new to the specialization. Understanding what your spells and abilities do will make it much easier to understand what is discussed on this page.
If you are looking for an introductory 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 more straightforward breakdown. While the recommendations on the page below are not strictly optimal for endgame, they provide an excellent springboard to get to grips with the core gameplay Enhancement focuses on:
In addition to your rotation in general content, there is also a separate section of this guide devoted to how your playstyle may change in Mythic+ as situations are often less scripted and more hectic. Please take a look at the page below if you are looking for more tailored information for that content:
The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.
Enhancement Shaman Single Target Rotation
Enhancement Shaman plays with a priority list that focuses on managing your Maelstrom Weapon stacks and keep as many of your abilities on cooldown as often as possible while reacting to procs as they happen. After playing for a while, you will gain intuition on the state of your cooldowns and be able to predict what you will be pressing in the next few globals. Learning this skill is invaluable to maximizing your performance when playing Enhancement.
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 your current talents. We have currently set the tool to a default Elementalist build due to its popularity, but use the tool below to switch talent selections:
- Cast Lava Burst if at 5 or more stacks of Maelstrom Weapon
- Cast Lightning Bolt if at 10 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon
- Cast Flame Shock if it is not currently active on your target.
- Cast Lava Lash.
- Cast Stormstrike.
- Cast Stormstrike.
- Cast Frost Shock.
- Refresh Flame Shock.
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 Weapon spenders. Making sure that you react to quick bursts of stack generation alongside Stormbringer / Hot Hand procs while keeping yourself active with every Global cooldown. Alongside this, it cannot be stated enough that avoiding Maelstrom Weapon waste is more important than ever in Dragonflight, so keeping on top of this - and planning when you need to dump - is the first skill you should focus on learning.
Ascendance with Elementalist builds is a new addition in Patch 10.1, which in single-target situations turns it into a huge generator via Static Accumulation. You still ideally want to be casting Windstrikes where it can slot in, but ideally aim to keep Thorim's Invocation primed to Lightning Bolt. This can be difficult during the new 4-piece bonus window, which is explained in its section later on.
Static Accumulation alters the priority by drastically raising Lightning Bolt spending even at 5 Maelstrom Weapon stacks due to how much value is in the reset, regardless of the build being played. It also removes Lava Burst entirely from the rotation if you are playing it, but not Elemental Blast.
Enhancement Shaman AoE rotation
Similar to the single-target rotation section, use the checkboxes below to populate the list underneath. The one assumed talent here is Molten Assault, as it is taken in virtually every AoE build and sets up Flame Shock spread gameplay:
|Ascendance||Crash Lightning||Crashing Storms|
|Deeply Rooted Elements||Doom Winds||Elemental Blast|
|Feral Spirit||Fire Nova||Hailstorm|
|Ice Strike||Lashing Flames||Primordial Wave|
|Sundering||Thorim's Invocation||Windfury Totem|
- Cast Lava Lash if Flame Shock is active on your target and you do not have the maximum number of active Flame Shocks.
- Cast Flame Shock if it is not active on any targets.
- Cast Chain Lightning if at 10 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon.
- Cast Lava Lash.
- Cast Stormstrike.
- Cast Chain Lightning at 5 or more stacks of Maelstrom Weapon.
- Refresh Windfury Totem.
- Cast Flame Shock
- Cast Frost Shock.
While it can be overwhelming at first glance to look at all of the different components in Enhancement's AoE toolkit, many things are dictated by how you have built your talent tree. In Dragonflight, there are many different paths you can take for your AoE damage delivery, and each talent setup or encounter type has a different approach. This has created more nuance in managing your buffs, procs, and resources, but the main cornerstone remains — avoid wasting Maelstrom Weapon by casting Chain Lightning as much as possible ( Overflowing Maelstrom is invaluable here to dump more at once) and weave in Crash Lightning between these casts. This is capped off by a suite of powerful cooldowns mixed in as often as possible.
An important thing to note is that Chain Lightning enters in as your main Maelstrom Weapon as soon as a second target is present. The only exception to this rule is if you are playing Elemental Blast, which remains worth casting at 3 or below targets.
Patch 10.1 adds in the new set bonus focused on Sundering that sends it way up the priority to activate both buffs, but the charges are usually consumed naturally by our AoE cycle. It has also significantly improved Fire Nova, adding it to the new Storm build, but otherwise many of the same rules we had previously are in place here.
Enhancement Shaman Opening Rotation
The opening sequence has some minor quirks if you select specific talents, so if you are using any of these, set them in the tool below:
|Ascendance||Doom Winds||Elemental Blast|
|Feral Spirit||Ice Strike||Hailstorm|
|Primordial Wave||Windfury Totem||T30 2-piece|
- Cast Flame Shock on the way into melee to get it active.
- Cast Stormstrike to generate Maelstrom Weapon and get it on cooldown.
- Cast Lava Burst as soon as you reach 5+ Maelstrom Weapon stacks.
- Continue with the normal priority list.
Where you go from here depends entirely on your resource state with Maelstrom Weapon, if Stormbringer or other procs have activated, and what other talents you have selected. You will often go down the priority list, get your cooldowns cycling and building up a pool of resources and move on with the priority from there.
Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible Set bonus for Enhancement Shaman
Season 2 introduces the Runes of the Cinderwolf set, available from Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible. This set grants the following bonuses:
- Shaman Enhancement 10.1 Class Set 2pc casting Sundering increases your Mastery by 24% for 15 seconds.
- Shaman Enhancement 10.1 Class Set 4pc your Sundering also increases all Fire and Physical damage dealt by 20%, and causes your next two Chain Lightning casts to deal 100% increased damage and refund 50% of Maelstrom Weapon spent.
Both of these bonuses require you to play Sundering to get any value and drastically warp your rotation to play around a new burst window. There are a number of quirks that you need to bear in mind for different situations when using this:
- In single-target, the 4-piece does require you to use the charges related to Chain Lightning, as these are not only more valuable than alternative spenders, but the Maelstrom Weapon refund makes it highly efficient.
- Chain Lightning refunds contribute to Witch Doctor's Ancestry, and can also proc a full refund from Static Accumulation.
- Sundering does buff itself with the 4-piece bonus, but not get affected by the 2-piece.
- The 4-piece bonus currently double-dips on multi-school spells such as Sundering and Fire Nova, making it's quite potent.
This is ideally layered with our other cooldown windows such as Doom Winds and Splintered Elements, and creates a period of resource flood, but there are still clashes in resource management due to Elemental Blast. You should aim to always spend both charges of Crackling Thunder, so be aware of your resource state before spending without a way to recover.
Both of the multiplier buffs do not significantly alter our regular priority and will mostly overlap with abilities that benefit from the effect naturally. You should aim to swap to this bonus as soon as you get the 4-piece, but not before if you are using T29. This is due to the extremely useful burst and AoE benefits it confers, emphasizing our strengths.
Vault of the Incarnates Set bonus for Enhancement Shaman
Season 1 introduced the Elements of Infused Earth set, available from Vault of the Incarnates, granting the following bonuses:
- Enhancement Shaman 2pc causes Stormstrike casts to increase the damage of your next direct Fire, Frost, or Nature spell by 10%, and generate a charge of Maelstrom Weapon.
- Enhancement Shaman 4pc causes your Maelstrom Weapon consuming spells to grant 1% Haste per stack consumed for 3 seconds.
These bonuses are strong and provide good power gains for both builds. Neither effect drastically alters the rotation, but they have a significant effect on resource generation and smoothing and remain relevant going into the start of Season 2.
You should aim to hold onto this until you have completed the entire 4-piece from the new set, especially if playing a Storm build.
Enhancement Shaman Major Cooldowns
Doom Winds deals minor physical damage to your target and empowers you for 8 seconds, tripling your chance to activate Windfury Weapon and increasing the damage of your Windfury Weapon attacks by 10%. While the buff is active; you should aim to fit as many main-hand abilities within the window as possible without sacrificing Maelstrom Weapon spenders. Our mainhand attacks include:
These abilities will take precedence over most actions during Doom Winds windows to fuel additional Windfury Weapon procs. Try to keep an eye on the cooldown so you can prepare to spend resources or get other cooldowns active beforehand, even if they are not regularly at the top of your priority. Also, make sure not to use it just before downtime or you will waste the effect, as making use of these windows is crucial. If paired with Ascendance, make sure to use it after shifting form to overlap the buffs as much as possible.
Primordial Wave deals light shadow damage and applies Flame Shock to your target. When used, your next Lightning Bolt will be empowered, echoing for 150% of its normal damage against all enemies currently affected by your Flame Shock. With Primal Maelstrom, casting Primordial Wave will also generate 5/10 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, allowing you to easily combo your Primordial Wave-empowered Lightning Bolt with Overflowing Maelstrom. Finally, with Splintered Elements, each Lightning Bolt echoed by Primordial Wave will grant a stacking haste buff for 12 seconds - up to 60% haste with 6 active Flame Shocks, giving you a window that can be used to unleash powerful burst AoE or funnel damage. Due to its relatively short cooldown, you should plan around these windows, ideally dumping your Maelstrom Weapon and using this to refill immediately.
Feral Spirit summons two wolves to fight with you for 15 seconds on a 90-second cooldown. When this is cast, you instantly generate one stack of Maelstrom Weapon and gain an additional Maelstrom Weapon stack every 3 seconds for their duration. While active, the physical damage of your abilities (not including auto attacks) is increased by 15% per active wolf, stacking multiplicatively - meaning the default effect before other stacking buffs is 32.25% increased physical damage. This physical buff can be paired with our other physical cooldowns, such as Doom Winds and Sundering, to devastating effect. With Witch Doctor's Ancestry, the cooldown of Feral Spirit is reduced by 1/2 seconds every time you generate a stack of Maelstrom Weapon.
The Feral Spirit capstone talents allow you to customize the effects of your cooldown even further, with Elemental Spirits replacing the Physical buff provided by the wolves with random 20% fire, frost, or nature buffs, or Alpha Wolf causing your wolves to be empowered by your Crash Lightning or Chain Lightning casts for 8 seconds, pulsing light, armor-ignoring Physical damage to all enemies around them every 2 seconds which can result in a lot of extra uncapped AoE damage. This package is a staple in virtually all Enhancement builds, and it thrives on high Maelstrom Weapon generation to fuel even more casts for higher uptime on the respective buffs. This is treated more as a rotational cooldown in endgame play than a big cooldown movement due to this frequency, so always aim to keep them on cooldown cycling to the next use.
Ascendance is a long cooldown that deals a huge AoE burst when it is either manually cast or randomly triggered via Deeply Rooted Elements, and also gives 15 seconds of sustained single-target damage by converting our Stormstrike and auto-attacks into ranged, armor-ignoring attacks. Static Accumulation enhances this burst window, causing you to generate Maelstrom Weapon stacks every second while in the form passively. Finally, Thorim's Invocation greatly amplifies the burst potential of the cooldown, causing your Windstrike to automatically consume up to 5 Maelstrom Weapon stacks to discharge a Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning at your enemy, whichever you most recently used. This is especially useful as during the window; you are often flooded with resources without having spare Global Cooldowns to use them, so this allows us to siphon stacks efficiently.
New to Patch 10.1 is the addition of Ascendance to Elementalist talent builds. While most of the benefit is gaining access to Static Accumulation's refund effect, while this is active, there can be a number of clashes to keep in mind. This is exacerbated by the T30 set as well, so there are some rules:
- Still try and keep Elemental Blast recharging
- If you ever reach a point where Feral Spirit may come off cooldown fast enough to have 4 wolves active; make sure to have 10 Maelstrom Weapon for a last-second Elemental Blast.
- When using the 4-piece bonus, following the two Chain Lightning casts, you should ideally try to weave in a regular cast of Lightning Bolt between Windstrike casts if you have the Maelstrom spare. This is to reset Thorim's Invocation to single-target.
Dragonflight Enhancement Shaman Insights
Weapon Imbues and Buffs
You should always make sure you have both Windfury Weapon and Flametongue Weapon imbued on your weapons. These contribute greatly to your damage and ability proc rates, and missing them will hurt you greatly. You should also keep Lightning Shield active if you are facing enemies that will strike you in melee, as the extra Maelstrom Weapon charges can be converted into more damage or healing.
You always require both imbues active to activate Elemental Weapons (which should always be taken). Do not try and double buff Flametongue Weapon - it does nothing for our damage.
Maelstrom Weapon Details
Maelstrom Weapon management is important if you intend to play Enhancement at a competitive level. This has a 16% chance to trigger from any melee hit and stacks up to 5 times (or up to 10 times with Raging Maelstrom). Each stack reduces the cast time of your next Lightning Bolt/ Chain Lightning cast by 20%, and it can also increase the damage of affected spells by 0-25% per stack consumed, depending on how many points you have invested into Improved Maelstrom Weapon and Raging Maelstrom. By default, only 5 stacks can be consumed at once, at which point the affected spell will be instant cast; however, Overflowing Maelstrom allows you to consume up to 10 Maelstrom Weapon stacks per spell, greatly increasing the amount of damage done per cast.
While it is tempting to cast these spells as soon as you hit 5 stacks, you should train yourself to make use of the 10-stack limit granted by Raging Maelstrom. If you are not at risk of overcapping your Maelstrom Weapon stacks, then it makes more sense to focus on keeping your other abilities on cooldown as much as possible; however, do not use other abilities at the expense of wasting Maelstrom Weapon stacks.
Due to the newly added Static Accumulation refund, when playing this talent it removes Lava Burst (if you are not playing Elemental Blast) from your rotation. It also raises the priority on Lightning Bolt even at 5 stacks, as the chance to refund here is significantly more valuable than any other generation source.
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.
Patch 10.0.5 removed the link with a stationary totem for this talent and doubled the effect, allowing us to bring Mana to healers, especially in raid situations. This is even more potent if you are playing a Physical build as this will often be pressing significantly more Stormstrikes. Since points are not very tight on our class tree, this is a great option for many situations should you have room for it.
Crash Lightning Explained
Crash Lightning looks simple on the surface but has many moving parts and is an essential aspect of Enhancement gameplay. While the buff is active, the Nature damage proc triggered by your Stormstrike, Lava Lash and Ice Strike casts can activate in single target, so finding opportunities to activate the buff will improve your priority-target damage. Second, any hits from the initial strike have a chance to trigger Stormbringer due to them being counted as a weapon strike, so try to hit as many targets as possible with the initial cast. Any instance of Crash Lightning (cast or buff) can also generate a stack of Maelstrom Weapon, leading to a huge flood of resources in AoE situations. Finally, these hits all have a chance to trigger Windfury Weapon on targets struck by the cast, emphasizing the importance of hitting multiple enemies. This is even more important when using Forceful Winds, which can gain multiple stacks per Crash Lightning cast.
Crash Lightning is also augmented by your Chain Lightning casts, increasing the cast damage by 20% per target hit (up to a maximum of 100% buff with Crashing Storms), making Crash Lightning a good follow-up. It can also be talented to trigger the Gathering Storms effect, boosting the damage of your next Stormstrike cast by 25% per target hit, up to a maximum bonus of 150%, allowing you to funnel more damage into a priority target.
Shocks and Pandemic
In single-target situations, you want to make sure that you keep Flame Shock active at as close to 100% uptime as possible. You can refresh it based on the pandemic window whenever the damage over time effect has less than 5.4 seconds. With Molten Assault, Lava Lash will reapply Flame Shock if it is active on the target of the Lava Lash cast, meaning that it effectively maintains itself with the rotation.
Flame Shock Spread
Molten Assault allows the Shaman with an active Flame Shock on their target to apply Flame Shock to nearby targets via Lava Lash casts. This enables a lot of other parts of our AoE kit, such as Fire Nova, Primordial Wave and Ashen Catalyst. When you cast Lava Lash, it does not just apply the damage over time effect to other targets; rather, it casts an extra Flame Shock on them, dealing the direct damage at the same time.
- 04 May 2023: Tweaks to rotation tool, added warnings to false talent combinations.
- 01 May 2023: Overhauled for Patch 10.1 updates, with Storm builds, rotation tool updates, T30 bonuses and added sections.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed and improved rotation tool to align closer to current gameplay.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Added Tier Set section.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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