How To Improve As Enhancement Shaman — Dragonflight 10.2
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Enhancement Shaman in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.2. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Optimizing your Global Cooldowns
The single most common mistake Enhancement players make is not adjusting their rotation to minimize empty Global Cooldowns. This problem is twofold:
- Simply not pressing buttons fast enough. You should be GCD locked at this stage in Dragonflight, so you should always be pressing something.
- A combination of not keeping on top of your ability cooldowns and casting things in an order that causes them to clash in the next cycle.
Ideally, you should plan your globals based on your ability state, making sure to keep abilities cooling down in a way that does not cause this to happen. This is not a skill you learn overnight and comes with practice and muscle memory, but downtime is the enemy of any good Enhancement player.
Also remember that Enhancement does have tools to keep dealing a small amount of damage when you are forced out of range. Both of your Shock spells have a 40-yard range, as does your Maelstrom Weapon spenders, letting you fill space that other melee specs may not be able to. With none of these available, shift into Ghost Wolf whenever possible to quickly re-engage your target in melee.
Correctly Managing Maelstrom Weapon
The above is also intertwined with your Maelstrom Weapon management. This serves as the central mix-up in the rotation that allows you to fill gaps that can be caused by incorrect cooldown cycling or bad Stormbringer that creates a clash. Treat it as a one GCD delay, giving other abilities time to return. This means pooling is a core part of Maelstrom management, as you can store up to 10 stacks before any waste occurs. If you are at risk of reaching 10 stacks, however, due to cooldowns or passive generation, you should shift to burning it off quickly, as waste is terrible in Dragonflight due to how much damage it contributes.
Overflowing Maelstrom doubles down on this, giving more room to use Maelstrom-positive GCDs without worrying about overcapping because you cannot spend it fast enough, as it always spends your entire pool.
For Storm builds specifically, our rules surrounding Maelstrom Weapon changes drastically. Unlike in all other cases, when playing this in single-target, we do not care about resource waste at all. Instead, we aim to cast as many Stormstrikes as possible. That means it is used more to fuel Legacy of the Frost Witch resets, and as such, whenever Stormstrike is not ready, we spend to try and trigger both this and Static Accumulation. This rule is exclusively for Storm builds due to the way its entire loadout works and the nature of fishing for Deeply Rooted Elements procs.
Ability Prioirty Mistakes
While Enhancement is not the highest APM spec, it does come with a lot of different active buttons that all interact with each other. Due to this, knowing when to prioritize something because it is currently buffed and when to sit on it because more important things are currently available is key.
For Elementalist builds effects such as Hot Hand drastically alters the playstyle when active raising Lava Lash to the top to avoid waste. Similarly, Hailstorm and Ice Strike buffs raise Frost Shock much higher to avoid reapplying the buff without consuming it.
For Storm builds on the other hand the highest priority is getting Stormstrike on cooldown and keeping it there to fish for Deeply Rooted Elements procs. Anything that can trigger Stormbringer should be used when it is not ready, and shifting to maintenance in the short period while waiting (such as refreshing Flame Shock with Lava Lash or managing your Maelstrom Weapon) becomes the priority.
Both builds also have to balance their Maelstrom Weapon carefully, as mentioned above due to the ebb and flow that changes between them. Storm comes in bursts and leverages it for extra resets via Legacy of the Frost Witch, while Elementalist plays around with the Elemental Blast cooldown and uses it to fill otherwise while also trying to aim for as few stacks as possible before casting Primordial Wave.
Our Rotation section goes into more depth regarding this as it comes with a fairly robust ruleset for the conditions on when to shift priorities.
Knowing When RNG Is Not On Your Side
No matter the build you play (though some are worse than others), there is simply a factor of high RNG that can impact Enhancement at all times. Sometimes, there is nothing you could have done to fix it. Elementalist can simply have bad Elemental Spirits rolls not overlapping with Hot Hand and badly timed Maelstrom Weapon slumps, which can hurt performance. Storm, on the other hand, is at the whim of Deeply Rooted Elements and Stormbringer proc chains, which can be extremely erratic, and both contribute a lot to your performance. If you check your logs and you see you only got a couple of procs in 5 minutes compared to someone who got 10+, unfortunately, that is just the luck of the draw, and the only real answer is to move on to the next pull.
Flame Shock Uptime
In single-target situations, you should always aim to have as close to 100% uptime on your enemy as possible with Flame Shock. This is an extremely high DPS DoT effect that also has strong talent pairings with Lashing Flames, making it even more important when taken. With Molten Assault, Lava Lash will reapply Flame Shock to your target if it already has Flame Shock on it and will also apply it to nearby targets in AoE, allowing you to maintain Flame Shock uptime without having to recast it.
Because Enhancement is a spec with a lot of moving parts, it really does benefit from having some form of tracking via Weakauras or something similar. While a lot of the packs can be very helpful, nothing compares to manually adjusting things to your own weaknesses. If you find you are struggling with a particular part of the rotation, just highlight that aura a bit more aggressively to train yourself into managing it properly. There is nothing wrong with using all the tools at your disposal to improve, just remember to think about the why when pressing buttons!>
Knowing How to Sim Yourself
It is challenging to optimize your character without first accurately using Raidbots to sim your own character to identify a fixed start point. This will allow you to quickly identify the ideal gear choices you have available to equip, and due to the variables of different gear interacting with each other (and the War/Titanforging system causing unpredictability) should be the go-to tool to decide what you use.
On top of this, simming is now very easy, with no need to understand SimulationCraft APLs or installation yourself. All you will need is the in-game SimulationCraft AddOn and the Raidbots website. Below is a video on how to sim your character using the website.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2, added note regarding UI.
- 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7, no changes necessary.
- 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.5 to add extra emphasis to Storm and Maelstrom waste.
- 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1, no changes necessary.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight launch.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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