Enhancement Shaman PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated on Nov 05, 2018 at 13:04 by Mysticall 13 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play an Enhancement Shaman in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Enhancement Shaman

Enhancement Shamans have flown under the radar as far as damage goes. They have very strong consistent damage, but what makes them scary is how strong their burst is. With tools such as Purge Icon Purge to dispel important enemy buffs and Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust being able to be used in Arenas they are certainly a threat to any class.

1.1. Strengths of Enhancement Shaman

  • Strong burst damage
  • Decent mobility
  • Purge Icon Purge is crucial in matchups

1.2. Weaknesses of Enhancement Shaman

  • Low sustained damage
  • Predictable burst damage
  • Very few defensive cooldowns

2. Stat Priority for Enhancement Shaman in PvP

The stat priority for Enhancement Shaman in PvP is as follows:

  1. Agility;
  2. Haste;
  3. Mastery;
  4. Critical Strike;
  5. Versatility.

Agility is the best stat in all situations. Haste is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to it reducing the Global Cooldown on abilities and increasing your attack speed.

3. Azerite Traits for Enhancement Shamans

Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage or healing of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Natural Harmony Icon Natural Harmony
  2. Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans
  3. Roiling Storm Icon Roiling Storm
  4. Strength of Earth Icon Strength of Earth

The most important trait you are going to want to get in all pieces of your gear is Natural Harmony Icon Natural Harmony or Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans. Both of these traits are crucial to increasing your sustained and burst damage. Roiling Storm Icon Roiling Storm and Strength of Earth Icon Strength of Earth are great versus teams you will have a lot of uptime on, but lack when you are unable to get close to your target.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power
  2. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call
  3. Gutripper Icon Gutripper
  4. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl

This tier is primarily for increasing your overall damage output. All of the traits above increase your damage in some form and provide you will a significant damage increase. For random burst damage, Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power and Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl are best. For more consistent damage, Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call and Gutripper Icon Gutripper are better options for this tier.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  2. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification
  3. Serene Spirit Icon Serene Spirit
  4. Pack Spirit Icon Pack Spirit

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Gear Recommendations

4.1. General Guidelines

In general, Enhancement Shaman want to get trinkets that line up well with Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust or Ascendance Icon Ascendance. These trinkets can have a passive or on-use effect. The stats you want to be increasing are either Agility or Haste. The Agility will provide a very large increase to your damage and Haste will reduce your global cooldown, resulting in powerful, quick damage.

To be successful in 3v3 arena, you need to have at least 2 pieces of gear with the Natural Harmony Icon Natural Harmony trait. You will also want either Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power or Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call in the second tier.

Below, we list the items that have these traits.

4.1.1. Helms

4.1.2. Shoulders

4.1.3. Chest

4.2. Recommended Items

Dread Gladiator's Badge Icon Dread Gladiator's Badge is strong for the versatility and the on-use Agility effect. You can rotate this trinket with @Dread Gladiator's Medallion Icon Dread Gladiator's Medallion to increase your sustained damage output.

Dread Gladiator's Medallion Icon Dread Gladiator's Medallion is good because of the Agility and the on-use Versatility effect. This increases your overall damage and lines up well with your burst cooldowns.

Dread Gladiator's Insignia Icon Dread Gladiator's Insignia provides a passive boost to your Versatility. This will increase your survivability versus teams that focus you. It also has a passive proc effect that will increase your Agility. This is a solid choice if you just want to increase your sustained damage and want to survive while in a stun.

4.3. Weapon Enchant

Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation Icon Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation is the best weapon enchant. You will be duel wielding weapons and you can enchant both of them with Versatile Navigation. One thing to note is that Versatile Navigation is great for when you get put in a stun and a team swaps to you. Although you will not be able to heal much, the damage reduction might be enough to keep you alive.

5. Talent Choices for Enhancement Shaman

Level Choices
15 Boulderfist Boulderfist Hot Hand Hot Hand Lightning Shield Lightning Shield
30 Landslide Landslide Forceful Winds Forceful Winds Totem Mastery Totem Mastery
45 Spirit Wolf Spirit Wolf Earth Shield Earth Shield Static Charge Static Charge
60 Searing Assault Searing Assault Hailstorm Hailstorm Overcharge Overcharge
75 Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Feral Lunge Feral Lunge Wind Rush Totem Wind Rush Totem
90 Crashing Storm Crashing Storm Fury of Air Fury of Air Sundering Sundering
100 Elemental Spirits Elemental Spirits Earthen Spike Earthen Spike Ascendance Ascendance

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

5.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist is the best choice in this tier. This increases the damage of your Rockbiter Icon Rockbiter and is an overall increase to your sustained damage.

5.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Landslide Icon Landslide is the best choice in this tier. This has a chance at increasing the damage of your next Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike and results in a large increase to your sustained/potential burst damage.

5.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf is the best choice in this tier. This is an overall large increase to your survivability. Ideally, you should be in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf when you get stunned or before large incoming damage.

5.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Overcharge Icon Overcharge is the best choice in this tier. This is a great talent that will increase your burst damage. This will also make your damage seem random to enemy teams and might force defensives without you using any cooldowns.

5.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian is the best choice in this tier. This is a crucial defensive cooldown to help your survivability. Enhancement Shaman are very weak while stunned and this talent will help them survive.

5.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Sundering Icon Sundering is the best choice in this tier. This talent deals a decent amount of damage and can also be used as an interrupt.

5.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike is the best choice in this tier. This talent increases your already strong single target pressure.

6. PvP Talents for Enhancement Shaman

The first PvP talent tier will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel. You will normally save your trinket for a stun, followed by Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift or Ethereal Form Icon Ethereal Form.

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.

Shamanism Icon Shamanism reduces the cooldown of your Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust to 60 seconds at the expense of only making it give 20% Haste and last only 10 seconds. Additionally, you affected players will no longer receive the Exhaustion Icon Exhaustion debuff. This talent is a staple PvP talent that increases you and your teammates burst very deadly.

Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem summons an Air Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster that will redirect all harmful spells cast on a nearby party or raid member to itself. Will not redirect area of effect spells. It lasts 3 seconds. This is a crucial talent for both you and your teammates. You should use this to "ground" crowd control like Polymorph Icon Polymorph or Cyclone Icon Cyclone or large spells like Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt.

Ride the Lightning Icon Ride the Lightning makes it so that when you use Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike, you also cast a Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning on the target. This is a great increase to your spread damage.

Ethereal Form Icon Ethereal Form causes you to turn ethereal, making you immune to all Physical damage, but unable to attack or cast spells and your movement speed is reduced by 50%. It lasts 15 seconds. Use Ethereal Form Icon Ethereal Form again to shift out. This should only be used when playing against two melee DPS. You can replace Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem with this PvP talent.

7. Racial Bonuses for Enhancement Shaman

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

7.1. Horde

Orc is the best race for Enhancement Shaman, thanks to the passive Orcs have (Hardiness Icon Hardiness); reducing all stuns greatly improves survivability.

7.2. Alliance

The Draenei bonus (Gift of the Naaru Icon Gift of the Naaru) is a good heal to have for you or your teammates.

The Dwarf racial bonus (Stoneform Icon Stoneform) is also a good choice. This is a great defensive racial when playing against classes with magical DoTs, bleeds or poison.

8. Playstyle for Enhancement Shaman

The Enhancement Shaman has one role when in an Arena: do damage. Enhancement Shamans lack crowd control and the ability to peel for teammates. Players should focus on maximizing their damage as much as they can. Because Shamans lack mobility, when you get to the enemy you should deal as much damage as you can to them. Although Shaman consistent damage can force defensives from enemies, you should wait to use important cooldowns for when Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust is available.

8.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Although Enhancement Shaman do lack crowd control, they still have Hex Icon Hex and Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem if someone stands near it.

If you are playing against a team that has the ability to fear your healer, you can use Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem. This is a great utility spell.

8.2. Offensive Playstyle

8.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Enhancement Shaman should focus on sticking to an enemy and gaining their buffs.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Rockbiter Icon Rockbiter to generate Maelstrom and have a chance at increasing the damage of your next Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  2. Use and maintain Frostbrand Icon Frostbrand to slow the enemy.
  3. Use and maintain Flametongue Icon Flametongue for additional damage.
  4. Use Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike as soon as you can.
  5. Use Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  6. Use Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  7. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you cannot connect to your target.
  8. Use Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning as soon as you can.
  9. Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Hex Icon Hex or have a teammate do this).
  10. Use your burst rotation.

8.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

Before you burst, make sure you have Landslide Icon Landslide, Flametongue Icon Flametongue, and Frostbrand Icon Frostbrand buffs active.

  1. Use Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit.
  2. Use Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike.
  3. Use Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust on your DPS teammate.
  4. Use Rockbiter Icon Rockbiter.
  5. Use Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  6. Use Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  7. Use Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  8. Use Sundering Icon Sundering.
  9. Use Rockbiter Icon Rockbiter as a filler.
  10. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you 40 Maelstrom.
  11. Use Sundering Icon Sundering for a small amount of damage or to crowd control the enemy healer.

8.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Rockbiter Icon Rockbiter to generate Maelstrom and have a chance at increasing the damage of your next Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  2. Use Frostbrand Icon Frostbrand to slow the enemy.
  3. Use Flametongue Icon Flametongue for additional damage.
  4. Use Earthen Spike Icon Earthen Spike right before you start using your Stormstrike Icon Stormstrikes or Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  5. Use Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike as soon as it is off cooldown.
  6. Use Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  7. Use Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning as soon as you can.
  8. Use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you cannot connect to your target.
  9. Use Sundering Icon Sundering for a small amount of damage or to crowd control the enemy healer.

8.3. Defensive Techniques

Ethereal Form Icon Ethereal Form/Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift is your main defensive cooldown. This is a very powerful defensive. Use this when you are being focused and your healer is having trouble healing you or is stuck in crowd control. It is also good to note that neither of these can be used while stunned.

Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge is a spammable heal that can be used on any of your teammates. Use this if the enemy team does not have interrupts and you or a teammate need additional healing.

Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk will mostly be used to get to an enemy trying to run away, it can be used to avoid incoming damage or crowd control.

9. Best Team Compositions for Enhancement Shamans

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the arena with your team. Your primary way of winning will happen when you use Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust thanks to the talent Shamanism Icon Shamanism. This lets you play extremely aggressive while it is active, but you should play defensively while waiting for it to come off cooldown.

9.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena, you do not have many options. As a Shaman, you have Purge Icon Purge. This ability is useful against healers healers that do not have many HoTs or buffs (Mistweaver Monks, Holy Paladins, and Holy Priests). When Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust is available, you will want your healer to stun your target and give your partner the buff as well. With this strategy you are trying to do so much single-target damage to a target that the enemy healer will not be able to heal through it. While you are doing your burst rotation, you can weave in a Purge to add to the pressure.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Enhancement Shaman + Mistweaver Monk
  • Enhancement Shaman + Holy Paladin
  • Enhancement Shaman + Discipline Priest
  • Enhancement Shaman + Restoration Shaman

9.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. If you are playing against a team with a healer with multiple HoTs or buffs (Restoration Druid or Discipline Priest), make sure you are using Purge Icon Purge as often as you can. When your team has damage, your healer should use a stun on the enemy healer. Use Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust on your DPS partner and do your burst rotation. When your Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust is on cooldown, you will primarily be kiting and avoiding as much damage as you can. Use Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge if your healer is in crowd control.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Turbo (Enhancement Shaman + Arms Warrior + Holy Paladin/Mistweaver Monk)
  • Enhancement Shaman + Windwalker Monk + Discipline Priest/Restoration Druid
  • Enhancement Shaman + Demonology Warlock + Restoration Shaman/Restoration Druid
  • Enhancement Shaman + Frost Death Knight + Holy Paladin/Restoration Druid)

10. Useful Macros for Enhancement Shaman

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Enhancement Shaman can benefit from.

10.1. Wind Shear 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Wind Shear
  • /cast [target=arena1] Wind Shear

Using this macro will use Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to interrupt an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

10.2. Hex 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Hex
  • /cast [target=arena1]

Using this macro will cast Hex Icon Hex on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

10.3. Hex Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Hex
  • /cast [target=focus] Hex

If you find that you do not have much room on your action bars, you can use a focus macro. This is much simpler to use than the arena123 macro. Put an enemy on focus and this macro will cast Polymorph Icon Polymorph on that player while you are still focused on your target.

10.4. Cleanse Spirit Macro

  • #showtooltip Cleanse Spirit
  • /cast [@PlayerNameHere, exists] Cleanse Spirit

This macro will use Cleanse Spirit Icon Cleanse Spirit on whichever teammate you put into the macro. It is recommended that you make a macro for both of your teammates.

10.5. Purge Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Purge
  • /cast [target=focus] Purge

This macro uses Purge Icon Purge on any enemy you have as your focus target. This is useful for Purging important buffs on one enemy while still targeting the other.

10.6. Capacitor Cursor Macro

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@cursor] Capacitor Totem

This macro is great for quickly placing Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem. Instead of clicking it and placing you, the totem will be placed wherever your cursor is.

11. Changelog

  • 05 Nov. 2018: Added Gear Recommendation section.
  • 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 28 Sep. 2018: Added Azerite Traits section.
  • 06 Sep. 2018: Updated guide for patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Added Stat priority.
    • Updated tier 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 regular talents.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Damage and Sustained Damage sections.
    • Updated Defensive section.
    • Updated Macros section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Removed Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 23 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 07 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 20 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 11 Nov. 2017: Fixed an error whereby we were referring to a golden trait by an incorrect name.
  • 15 Sep. 2017: A few changes were made for patch 7.3.
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
    • Changed recommended Tier 5 and 7 regular talents.
    • Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
  • 17 Jul. 2017: Changed recommended Tier 1, 4 and 7 regular talents. Updated opener and sustained damage.
  • 01 Jun. 2017: Enhancement Shaman PvP Guide was created.
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