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World of Warcraft: Legion: Elemental Shaman guide (7.1)

Our constantly evolving guide to levelling and playing the Elemental Shaman specialization in WOW Legion.

While all Shaman specialisations tap into the power of the elements, the Elemental Shaman focuses on using them to wreak havoc upon their foes from a distance, resulting in a very satisfying and unique take on the spellcasting damage-dealer archetype. This Elemental Shaman guide will help you make the most out of the specialisation.

As a mail wearer, the Elemental Shaman is a very resilient ranged damage dealer, albeit one that can be more challenging to play than others, especially in fights were mobility is important. Their mastery over the four elements ensures that they have a diversified spell portfolio that can be adapted to any kind of fight, and also provides some defensive utility.

Their powers have a considerable ramp-up time, however, and they need to generate Maelstrom - the Shaman exclusive resource - to spend on the most powerful attacks. This makes Elemental a less-than-optimal specialisation for fights where enemies need to be burned down quickly.

Even taking that into account though, this is still a viable specialisation for any kind of endgame content - and indeed for the levelling process as well. If you follow our recommended build and rotation, you'll be able to level up from 100 to 110 without a hitch, and then seamlessly transition into the endgame with few tweaks to the playstyle.

In future updates of our Elemental Shaman guide, we'll also cover the best way to power up the Elemental Artifact Weapon, and go through each main and secondary stat and the ways in which they affect your spells and attacks - this will ensure you have all the information you need to make optimal gear selections.

All articles in this series

Elemental Shaman talent build

As you level your Elemental Shaman, we recommend you pick up the following talents. You’ll find they’ll make the levelling process much smoother, and will serve you well in the endgame content too. While they may not provide you with the maximum theoretical damage output, in practice you’ll perform well thanks to their ease-of-use.

Level Talent Choice Reason
15 Earthen Rage - Your damaging spells incite the earth around you to come to your aid for 6 seconds, repeatedly dealing Nature damage to your most recently attacked target. What this loses in net damage output when compared to Totem Mastery, it earns back in mobility and versatility, as it doesn’t tether you to a specific spot.
30 Gust of Wind - A gust of wind hurls you forward. A very simple movement boost on a very short cooldown.
45 Lightning Surge Totem - An AoE 5-second stun with a 2 second delay. None of the talents in this tier are particularly great for the endgame, but this one is the most reliable while levelling and questing.
60 Ancestral Swiftness - Gives you a passive 10% Haste increase. A flat, passive damage output increase that requires no extra maintenance on your part.
75 Primal Elementalist - Your Earth, Fire, and Storm Elementals are drawn from primal elementals 80% more powerful than regular elementals - with additional abilities - and you gain direct control over them. Despite the occasional inconvenience of needing to micromanage your elementals - they usually figure stuff out well enough on their own - this talent gives you a huge damage increase and asks for very little oversight in return.
90 Elemental Mastery - Elemental forces empower you with 20% haste for 20 seconds. Your very own pocket Heroism / Bloodlust, available every 2 minutes. There’s no contest here.
100 Lightning Rod - Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning have a 30% chance to make the primary target a Lightning Rod for 10 sec. Lightning Rods take 40% of all damage you deal with Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. This is a good talent to take as your base rotation will allow you to keep up the buff without too much hassle. For very specific fights where you want a big damage burst during a vulnerability period, you should switch to Ascendance instead.

Elemental Shaman rotations

The Elemental Shaman specialisation generates Maelstrom in a slow and predictable manner, so the rotation below - largely a priority list, really - can be summed up pretty easily. In short, use your “filler” spells to generate Maelstrom, use up Maelstrom on your power spells, and while your powerful spells are on cooldown, use more “filler” spells to restock Maelstrom.

The dynamics of Maelstrom expenditure and re-generation, combined with the importance of maintaining Flame Shock on your target, can make the rotation look a bit odd on paper. Once you try it out in practice though, you’ll find that it’s very easy to get into the proper groove.

Elemental Rotation - Single target

This is a very straightforward rotation, and to make the most out of your shamanistic powers, you’ll often want to pull 2 or more enemies and use the multiple target rotation described below.

Action Condition / Further Instructions
1 Lightning Bolt Only if you have the buff from Stormkeeper(see step 8) and you are at or under 90 Maelstrom.
2 Flameshock You always want to have this on your target, and keeping it up should be your main priority. While it’s preferable to have Maelstrom when casting it (as it increases its duration) you can open with it “dry”.
3 Lava Burst If Flameshock is applied to the target.
4 Lightning Bolt As filler, if at or under 90 Maelstrom.
5 Earth Shock As filler, if over 90 Maelstrom.
6 Elemental Mastery Whenever available (but delay a few seconds if you can ovelap it with Fire Elemental).
7 Fire Elemental Whenever available.
8 Stormkeeper (level 100 Artifact Weapon ability) Whenever available.
9 Repeat from Step 1

More WOW class guides:

Death KnightDemon HunterDruid
Blood Death Knight guideHavoc Demon Hunter guideBalance Druid guide
Frost Death Knight guideVengeance Demon Hunter guideFeral Druid guide
Unholy Death Knight guide-Guardian Druid guide
--Restoration Druid guide
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Beast Mastery Hunter guideArcane Mage guideBrewmaster Monk guide
Marksmanship Hunter guideFire Mage guideMistweaver Monk guide
Survival Hunter guideFrost Mage guideWindwalker Monk guide
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Holy Paladin guideHoly Priest guideAssassination Rogue guide
Protection Paladin guideDiscipline Priest guideOutlaw Rogue guide
Retribution Paladin guideShadow Priest guideSubtlety Rogue guide
ShamanWarlockWarrior
Elemental Shaman guideAffliction Warlock guideArms Warrior guide
Enhancement Shaman guideDemonology Warlock guideFury Warrior guide
Restoration Shaman guideDestruction Warlock guideProtection Warrior guide

Other WOW guides:

Elemental Shaman rotation - Multiple targets

This is your optimal scenario, as it allows you to capitalise on your strong cleave spells like Earth Shock and Chain Lightning.

Action Condition / Further Instructions
1 Chain Lightning Only if you have the buff from Stormkeeper (see step 9) and are at or under 90 Maelstrom.
2 Flameshock Always have it on up to three targets (cast it on a new target as soon as it comes off cooldown). While it’s preferable to have Maelstrom when casting it, as it increases its duration, you can open with it “dry”.
3 Lava Burst If Flameshock is applied to the target.
4 Chain Lightning As filler, if at or under 90 Maelstrom.
5 Earth Shock As filler, if over 90 Maelstrom and 2 targets
6 Earthquake If over 90 Maelstrom and there are 3 or more targets.
7 Elemental Mastery Whenever available (but delay a few seconds if you can ovelap it with Fire Elemental).
8 Fire Elemental Whenever available.
9 Stormkeeper (level 100 Artifact Weapon ability) Whenever available.
10 Repeat from Step 1

This concludes the first part of our Elemental Shaman guide! Did we miss something? Please let us know in the comments, and make sure you check in for future updates, where we’ll discuss the best path to power up your artifact weapon and how to select the best gear for the specialisation.

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