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

Last updated on Sep 06, 2018 at 12:05 by Mysticall 11 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

1.3. 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.

2. Talent Choices for Enhancement Shaman

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, PvP talents (which we talk about later on in the guide) are inactive outside of a PvP environment, unless you have enabled War Mode.

2.1. 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.

2.2. 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.

2.3. 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.

2.4. 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.

2.5. 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.

2.6. 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.

2.7. 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.

3. PvP Talents for Enhancement Shaman

PvP talents are typically only available in PvP content, but War Mode (explained below) allows you to also benefit from them in the open world.

As you will see below, the PvP talents are very flexible. Depending on what classes you are playing with and against, you can adjust your talents to better suit your team's goal. You must choose:

  • 1 trinket talent, out of 3 possible choices;
  • 3 PvP talents, out of a pool of about a dozen possible choices.

3.1. War Mode

War Mode is a new PvP system added in Battle for Azeroth. War Mode can be toggled on and off in any major city. When it is enabled, you are able to use your PvP talents in the open world, and because you will be fighting enemies of the other faction, you also get an experience bonus while leveling. Do note that this makes you vulnerable to being killed by players of the other faction.

3.1.1. Bonuses of War Mode

Enabling War Mode provides the following perks.

  • The ability to use all PvP talents in the outdoor world. You do not need to be in PvP combat to use them.
  • You can earn Conquest Points.
  • You gain +10% experience while leveling.
  • There are PvP achievements you can earn.
  • At maximum level, you get a +10% World Quest reward bonus.

3.1.2. War Mode Bounties

If you kill too many players in a single zone, there will be a bounty put on you. Everyone in that zone will know your exact location. You can see the location of players with a bounty by checking your map. Killing players with a bounty on them rewards Conquest Points and is part of an achievement called Bounty Hunting Icon Bounty Hunting. Bounty Hunting is part of a meta achievement called Conqueror of Azeroth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth / Conqueror of Azeorth Icon Conqueror of Azeroth that rewards the title Conqueror of Azeroth.

3.1.3. Air Drops

From time to time, a flying machine will make its way across the sky. The rumble of its engine is a clear indicator that something is afoot. You'll want to keep an eagle eye on the sky and watch for a War Supply Crate to drop somewhere in the zone. Similar to the chest in Gurubashi Arena, players can fight over the crate and claim it for their faction. Once a faction has gained control of the crate, anyone of that faction who is within the area will have a short period to open it and collect a piece of personal loot.

As long as you have War Mode on, an air supply drop will be dropped every 20 minutes. Once it has landed, it will stay on the ground until it is looted. The crate will contain Azerite Power, Gold, and Conquest Points.

3.2. Trinket Talent

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.

3.3. PvP Talents

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.

3.4. PvP Gear

Gear is what determines how strong a player is in PvP. The better gear you have, the stronger your abilities are. There are several ways to receive gear from PvP. One important way to get gear is by completing the weekly Conquest Point cap. You will receive gear at the end of the week based on your rating. For example, if you played and won at Rival in 3v3, you will receive a reward with an item level based on your ranking at the end of the week. It is important to note that, if you are rated at a Rival level in 3v3, but only do 2v2 that week, you will not receive a piece of gear unless you won a game in the 3v3 bracket. The following are the names and ratings of all of the brackets:

  • Combatant: 1400-1599;
  • Challenger: 1600-1799;
  • Rival: 1800-2099;
  • Duelist: 2100-2399;
  • Gladiator: 2400+.

3.4.1. Conquest Points

Every week, there will be an empty bar in your PvP queue tab. If you earn enough Conquest Points to fill it, you will receive a piece of gear. When you complete a set, you can receive higher tiers of gear. Conquest points can be earned by doing the following:

  • Rated Arenas;
  • Rated Battlegrounds;
  • Normal Battlegrounds;
  • Epic Battlegrounds;
  • World PvP.

3.4.2. Obtaining Gear

You will obtain gear by earning Conquest Points. The following are the three ways to receive loot in PvP.

  • At the end of an Arena match, there is a chance to receive a piece of gear. This gear is based on your Arena Rating.
  • After you win a Rated Battleground or win your first Battleground of the day, you will get a piece of gear and earn Conquest Points.
  • Once you earned enough Conquest Points for the week, you will unlock a new weekly reward. This gear is based on your rating.

It is important to note that the gear you get from capping your Conquest Points is predetermined in a specific order. There are mechanics for players to get gear quicker if they have not played a character for a while.

4. Racial Bonuses for Enhancement Shaman

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

4.1. Horde

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

4.2. 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.

5. 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.

5.1. 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.

5.2. Offensive Playstyle

5.2.1. 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.

5.2.2. 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.

5.2.3. 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.

5.3. 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.

6. 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.

6.1. 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

6.2. 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)

7. 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.

7.1. 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.

7.2. 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.

7.3. 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.

7.4. 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.

7.5. 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.

7.6. 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.

8. ChangeLog

  • 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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