Enhancement Shaman Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 18, 2024 at 10:00 by Wordup 36 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Enhancement Shaman changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Enhancement Shaman in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Enhancement Shaman. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Enhancement Shaman or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."

1.

Enhancement Shaman: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Enhancement Shaman. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Enhancement Shaman spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some insight into the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, and will be kept up to date with developments during the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Enhancement Shaman, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.

2.

The War Within Changes for Enhancement Shaman

Currently throughout Alpha and Beta, both Enhancement as a spec and Shaman as a class have not seen any changes to any of its talents or mechanics. As such, the spec at its core operates the same as it has in Dragonflight - though the addition of Hero Talents add in some new things to play with. In some cases, this is good; in other cases, it opens up flaws that were previously able to be ignored but are now on full display.

3.

Hero Talent Trees for Enhancement Shaman in The War Within

The flagship feature of The War Within are "Hero Talent Trees", with Enhancement having the choice between either "Stormbringer" shared with Elemental, or "Totemic" shared with Restoration. These trees will grant all 11 talent points at once when you reach Level 80 (with a handful of choice nodes), and you can freely swap between them just like regular talent points.

4.

Enhancement Shaman Hero Talents

Stormbringer Totemic
3.1.

Stormbringer

Stormbringer focuses entirely on Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon, providing a powerful "finisher to our finisher" with Tempest Icon Tempest that activates after spending 40. This rolls over, counting any extra you spend above the 40 count and feeding into your next one. Alongside that, Awakening Storms Icon Awakening Storms as the capstone provides a second, more random activation point in the form of an RPPM proc from Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning and Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.

The goal of this tree is relatively simple: generate and spend as much resource as possible to cycle through Tempest casts. This deals strong uncapped AoE damage, and interacts with Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon itself to become instant and deal increased damage. The remainder of the tree leans even further into this process, incentivizing using as many of these casts as possible to activate other effects after. Most important of these is Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder, spawning a Lightning Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit every time Tempest is cast to amplify our Nature damage even further.

Leaning even further into the heightened value of spending as frequently as possible is Unlimited Power Icon Unlimited Power, providing a stacking 3% Haste buff whenever we spend any Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon, but has a fixed duration of 15 seconds that does not refresh. This gives the tree a ramping feel that flows well into our gameplay loop.

Alongside this, Arc Discharge Icon Arc Discharge gives a very powerful follow-up of 3 instant Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning casts that deal 75% additional damage (these will also consume any leftover Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon when cast to amplify the damage further). These rapid-fire follow-ups give the tree a frenetic feel in AoE, and leans really heavily into the goal of cycling as much as possible.

In terms of defense and utility, on the other hand, the tree is fairly weak. Shocking Grasp Icon Shocking Grasp slows targets we critically strike with Nature spells, which can be quite obnoxious given the inconsistent application. Nature's Protection Icon Nature's Protection does provide some defense following our Tempest Icon Tempest casts, but we cast it infrequently enough that it is not reliable, and holding it plays counter to the tree as a whole. Surging Currents Icon Surging Currents is largely irrelevant too, considering the overlap it has with Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon, and that spells also consume stacks of that when activated by this.

As it stands right now this tree is relatively powerful due to the strong interaction with our primary gameplay loop of our resource, providing an extra big burst moment that flows well. It also slots into both build archetypes, though it has a leaning toward Dragonflight Storm due to Static Accumulation Icon Static Accumulation and Thorim's Invocation Icon Thorim's Invocation. The value of Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder in tandem with Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast does still keep it relevant though, and is universally good in AoE scenarios. Alongside that, currently Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave does not seem to be intended to interact with Tempest Icon Tempest at all (though there is a bug that says otherwise.

3.1.1.

Bugs

While it is still Beta and bugs are a part of the process, there are a handful of fairly pervasive bugs that may get in the way of testing the tree to be aware of:

  • Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder causes Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit to lose buffs if you are not talented into Elemental Spirits Icon Elemental Spirits.
  • Storm Swell Icon Storm Swell and Arc Discharge Icon Arc Discharge are both active regardless of which talent you pick.
3.1.

Totemic

Totemic spreads itself thin by interacting with a huge number of our spec tree abilities, alongside adding in a replacement to Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem with Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem. This is a 30-second cooldown ability that will deal AoE damage to the nearest enemy every 6 seconds, which we mostly use as soon as its ready. The tree also gives some nice quality of life by moving the Windfury aura to ourselves so long as we have Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon applied to our main hand.

Currently much like our spec tree, there are two entirely separate paths you can take with the tree, which can be a little confusing. For Storm builds that lean into Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike, it will be leveraging the damage from Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem itself, alongside Totemic Rebound Icon Totemic Rebound to empower the totem further with Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike casts. This is rounded out by Oversurge Icon Oversurge to empower it even further during Ascendance Icon Ascendance procs, and Earthsurge Icon Earthsurge to give a big burst of damage via Sundering Icon Sundering. This all works well with the baseline Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit buffs as the totem deals Physical damage.

Conversely, Elementalist builds focus on Lively Totems Icon Lively Totems and Reactivity Icon Reactivity as its primary damage source here, instead using Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem as an enabler. This somewhat reduces the value of the talents on the tree you can take that interact with the totem directly, but it is reasonably similar value, if a bit confusing. This is mostly because when taking Elemental Spirits Icon Elemental Spirits, we lose a lot of the buffing power that applies to the totem, shifting the value in the tree around a lot.

The capstone, Whirling Elements Icon Whirling Elements, hooks into a lot of different spells, granting a mote of Air, Fire and Earth when cast that enhances the next associated ability of that element. The main one of note here is the Earth Mote, which interacts with either Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast or Sundering Icon Sundering in the form of cooldown reduction. Obviously, Storm trends toward Sundering here to bring it down to a roughly 30 second cooldown to make use of Earthsurge Icon Earthsurge. Elementalist on the other hand makes use of the Elemental Blast consumption to get an extra cast every totem cycle, meaning that Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon pooling is required to make sure it never sits at 2 charges while playing.

For defense and utility, the tree is severely lacking. Oversized Totems Icon Oversized Totems is fun, but a bit pointless in terms of power, while Swift Recall Icon Swift Recall is so incredibly niche that you will be unlikely to ever see real value from this. Wind Barrier Icon Wind Barrier is theoretically a nice anti-rot tool, but at 6% of our max health every 30 seconds it is both weak and infrequent.

Power wise, Totemic can be quite strong (if a little RNG) for either build archetype, but the problem comes down to the spec talent tree failing to give room to actually pick up everything you need to. No matter what build you play, there are always some compromises you need to make here to get things working, and some of those sacrifices are significant.

3.1.1.

Bugs

While it is still Beta and bugs are a part of the process, they are worth keeping track of. Thankfully, for the most part Totemic has had most of its issues cut down, with a handful left:

  • Reactivity Icon Reactivity does not activate on target dummies.
  • Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem cannot be dragged from the Hero Talent UI, instead you need to drag Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem from the spec tree.
4.

Enhancement Shaman Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Season 1 Tier Set Bonuses for Enhancement Shaman in The War Within. Bear in mind that these are the first passes of bonuses and may change going forward.

  • Shaman Enhancement 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Shaman Enhancement 11.0 Class Set 2pcStormstrike Icon Stormstrike, Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash, Ice Strike Icon Ice Strike and Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning deal 15% increased damage.
  • Shaman Enhancement 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Shaman Enhancement 11.0 Class Set 4pcFeral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit lasts 100% longer. This includes any Feral Spirits spawned from alternate sources.
4.1.

Enhancement Shaman War Within Set Bonus Impact

Due to this being a very early reveal of the set bonuses, I have a feeling that at least one of them may change going forward, so bear that in mind.

The 2-piece is very standard, a non-committal bonus that simply improves our primary strikes regardless of build. A healthy start to a new expansion that is unlikely to rock the boat while letting the Hero Talents breathe.

The 4-piece on the other hand is incredibly powerful, providing an enormous boost to our DPS due to the value of our Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit buff effects and the multiplicative nature of them. The power of this bonus is universal, applying to both single-target and AoE, and to both archetypes and Hero Talent trees. It does however, incentivize Stormbringer quite heavily due to Rolling Thunder Icon Rolling Thunder, allowing you to reach up to 10 wolves with some good RNG - which seems a bit extreme.

The current value of the 2-piece is somewhere around 2% give or take in most situations depending on build. The 4-piece however is harder to predict because of just how much it hooks into the very core of the spec and warps it, but rough estimates put it somewhere north of 20%.

5.

Enhancement Shaman Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Still have flexible damage profiles, allowing us to tailor damage to raid encounter needs.
  • +Strong sustained single-target alongside some decent burst tools.
  • +Very mobile, with some decent control options, alongside easier to use Windfury Totem.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Still a lack of consistent uncapped AoE tools.
  • -Even longer setup time than before for both Hero Talent trees.
  • -Still very fragile, with a lack of tools to survive frequent big damage events.
6.

Changelog

  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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