Enhancement Shaman PvE Guide (WoW BfA 8.1.5)
- Main abilities
- Artifact and Relics
- Netherlight Crucible
- Set bonuses
Basic information on the spec:
Enhancement uses one main combat resource – Maelstrom, and an auxiliary mana. Hence all the abilities are devoted to collecting and spending Maelstrom.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
+ Nice damage on a single target, although it is a bit unpredictible.
+ Lossless target switch.
+ Increased damage on a single target due to secondary abilities.
+ A wide variety of probabilities for a group, i.e. stuns, slowdowns, dispersing magic of your enemies, cancelling spells on your allies.
– Rather weak AoE.
– Strong dependency on Legendary items.
– Since it lacks DoT mechanics, it is strongly dependent on constant being in the Melee zone.
– Low surviving.
AoE (Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.=
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your artifact has.
Rockbiter is your main Maelstrom generator. Has 2 charges with 6-sec CD. Deals Nature magic damage. Generated 25 Maelstrom.
Stormstrike is your main Maelstrom spender and the strongest ability. Deals physical damage for 40 Maelstrom. CD 12 secs. Due to Stormbringer and Mastery, your attacks may instantly restore Stormstrike‘s CD, the next one would cost half the Maelstrom, and it will have a shorter cooldown.
Crash Lightning hits all your enemies within a close-range area in front of you with Force of Nature. Costs 20 Maelstrom. If you hit at least 2 targets, within the next 10 secs your Stormstrike and Lava Lash will deal additional damage to all the nearest targets around the main one. CD 6 secs.
Flametongue demands no Maelstrom, has a 10-sec CD, deals Fire damage and puts a buff on you that would empower your attacks with additional Fire damage over the next 16 secs.
Frostbrand does minor Frost damage and decreases your enemy’s speed by 50% for the next 3 secs. It also buffs you for 16 secs with the ability for all of your attacks to slow your enemies down just like it does when you use the ability directly.
Lightning Bolt allows you to deal Nature damage for free. Active range – 40m. It’s only used if there is no way to do Melee damage. With the talent Overcharge, it gets a 10-sec CD, spends up to 40 Maelstrom and deals up to x15 damage.
Feral Spirit summons two Spirit Wolves for 15 secs. Deals nice damage doing its whole action, and restores 5 Maelstrom off every attack.
Bloodlust (a.k.a. BL) /Heroism. A raid buff increasing every raider’s or group member’s Haste by 30% for 40 secs, except for those subject to Sated / Exhaustion. This effect is cast for 10 min after receiving any spell similar to Bloodlust.
Windfury generates attacks employing your main hand weapon. Has 20% probability of triggering 2 extra attacks that would deal some nice physical damage.
Stormlash passively buffs your group’s dps by small amounts. When activated, 2 of your allies would do extra Nature damage with their attacks.
Stormbringer. Your weaponized attacks have a 5% probability of finishing the CD of Stormstrike and empowering it. In this case, Stormstrike would demand 50% more Maelstrom and would need no CD afterwards.
Healing Surge restores a sizable share of Health to an ally of yours within the 40m range, and it consumes mana. If available, it spends 20 Maelstrom which makes the spell casting immediate.
Astral Recall has an action similar to that of Hearthstone, but the CD is not the same, though. This one allows quicker (the casting speed depends on your Haste rating) teleportation with lower CD to wherever your Hearthstone is bound.
Hex transforms a target within the 30m range into a frog for 1 min. The target gets paralyzed, and can’t cast a spell or attack. Damage done to it can cancel this effect. You can only cast this on one target at a time. CD 30 secs. Applicable on Humanoids and Beasts only.
Far Sight moves your camera to the indicated place for 1 min.
Ancestral Spirit is your usual resurrection spell applied on an out-of-combat ally.
Cleanse Spir cancels all Curse effects on your ally. Demands Mana. CD 8 secs.
Spirit Walk cancels all movement-impairing effects and increases your running speed by 60% for 8 secs.
Ghost Wolf allows you to transform into a Spirit Wolf. In this shape, your Haste is 30% higher, and your moving speed cannot go lower than 100%.
Wind Shear interrupts your enemy’s cast and keeps them from casting a spell from the same school for the next 3 secs. CD 12 secs.
Purge removes 1 magic effect from your enemy. Demands Mana.
Earthbind Totem installs a totem in the selected area for 20 secs. Action range – 35m. The totem slows down by 50% anyone who gets in its 10m active radius.
Water Walking buffs a selected ally by allowing them to walk on water surface for 10 min. Incoming damage cancels this effect.
Reincarnation is Shaman’s unique ability that allows them to resurrect after death with 20% Health and Mana. The effect cannot be actuated more often than once in 30 min. Does not affect Combat resurrection.
General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 56.
- Windsong. Deals substantial Nature damage to your enemy and increases your Haste by 30% for 20 secs. CD 45 secs.
- Hot Hand. During active Flametongue, your attacks with certain probability activate your next Lava Lash with no Maelstrom spent, and its damage grows by 100%.
- Landslide. Rockbiter increases your Agility by 8% within 10 secs.
* In this Tier, your default talent is Landslide as it is passive and efficient.
If you need max burst, Windsong, together with Ascendance and active Doom Winds, may give you nice dps.
If you’re using Akainu’s Absolute Justice, it could be beneficial if you get Hot Hand as they sinergise perfectly. Without this Legendary, this talent loses to the other two.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Rainfall. Apply healing rain on a selected area. The rain restores a minor count of HP for up to 6 allies within 10 secs. Lava Lash and Stormstrike increase the Rainfall‘s active time by 3 secs, up to 30 secs.
- Feral Lunge. Attacks an enemy in 8-25m away from you. CD 30 secs.
- Wind Rush Totem. Install a totem in a selected area within a 40m radius. The totem will exist for 15 secs and have the active area of 10m. Any Ally within that area increase their Haste by 60% for 5 secs. The effect is renewed when they enter the area for the next time. CD 2 min.
* Feral Lunge allows you to get mobility which is always of use, so from a selfish point of view, it’s your best pick.
If you’re in a group/raid in an encounter that demands running speed, you’d be thanked for Wind Rush Totem.
If you don’t need to run, you could help them with Rainfall‘s healers. So it’s up to you.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Lightning Surge Totem. Install a totem in a selected area within a 35m range. In 2 secs, it stuns all the enemies within an 8m radius for 5 secs. CD 1 min.
- Earthgrab Totem. Install a totem in a selected area within a 35m range for 20 secs. It pulsates once every 2 secs and immobilizes every enemy within an 8m range for 8 secs. For its second action on an enemy, instead of stunning, it will slow them down by 50%. CD 30 secs.
- Voodoo Totem. Install a totem in a selected area within a 35m range for 10 secs. It transforms every enemy into a frog (like with Hex). The effect is over if the enemy leaves the Totem’s active area, or if they receive damage. CD 30 secs.
* It is always great to have a stun at hand, so Lightning Surge Totem would be your default pick. The other 2 talents are extremely peculiar. Use them if your encounter demands something of the sort.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Lightning Shield. Shield yourself around for 1 hour. The shield has a probability of doing mild Nature magic damage to an enemy attacking you in the Melee zone.
- Ancestral Swiftness. You Haste rating goes 6% up.
- Hailstorm. Frostbrand now acts similar to Flametongue. While it is active, your attacks deal extra damage by Frost.
* Ancestral Swiftness is the Tier’s strongest talent.
Hailstorm is used if you’re wearing Akainu’s Absolute Justice.
Lightning Shield is only applicable for solo content in the Open World. In a raid or Mythic+ it’s useless.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- Tempest. Stormbringer increases the probability of Stormstrike being critical by 40%.
- Overcharge. Lightning Bolt now spends up to 40 Maelstrom, and its damage is increased up to 1500%, but the CD is 10 secs now.
- Empowered Stormlash. Stormlash now acts on 3 targets, and its damage is increased by 50%.
* The strongest and the easiest to work with talent is Tempest – your default pick.
Overcharge is quite close to it when you need a strong and quick switch to a prioritized target.
Empowered Stormlash is not far from them, either but it implies you’re in a group. If you have Soul of the Farseer, the difference between Overcharge and Stormlash is really minor, so it’s up to you.
Tier 60. Lvl 90.
- Crashing Storm. Crash Lightning leaves after itself a small area in which, for 6 secs, minor Nature damage is dealt.
- Fury of Air. Actualizes a buff which consumes 6 Maelstrom per sec attacking every enemy with Forces of Nature slowing them down by 30% for 3 secs within the 8m range around you.
- Sundering. For 20 Maelstrom, hits every enemy in front of you dealing major Nature damage and dragging them slightly to the sides off the center.
* Fury of Air is good once you have 2 targets. And with Smoldering Heart, it’s your pick even for single target. But keep in mind the talent depends on your ability to correctly utilize your Maelstrom energy in order for you not to be left without it.
Crashing Storm deals not that much damage but it does affect your gameplay so it’s a default choice.
Sundering is only beneficial on short burst AoE when your targets live for so short that Crashing Storm simply has no time to teak, or when your targets are far from each other, far enough for Crashing Storm not to hit all of them. It can also be used in Mythic+ for AoE and extra cast canceling due to the dragging out.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Ascendance. Allows you to transform into a Air Ascendant for 15 secs. In this form, your Stormstrike restores 80% more efficiently, and the Stormstrike itself and auto-attacks deal damage ignoring your enemy’s armor; their active area is now 30m. CD 3 min.
- Boulderfist. Rockbiter restores 15% faster, and the damage dealt is 20% higher.
- Earthen Spike. For 20 Maelstrom it allows you to deal major physical damage to your enemy, after which it increases the physical damage and Nature damage dealt to them by 30% for 10 secs. CD 20 secs.
* Ascendance is a powerful talent that allows you to burst your priority talent.
Earthen Spike is on the same level but it ties you to a target. Pick the one that’s more convenient for you.
Boulderfist gives too little dps as compared to the other two, so it’s no good in any situation.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
For Akainu’s Absolute Justice: 2003111
For Smoldering Heart: 3002123
Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.
Enhancement Shamans use 1 Fire, 1 Iron and 1 Storm relic.
As with Shamans, a large share of the dps depends on the weapon’s dps which increases together with the its ilvl, we’re always interested in those relics that have the highest item lvl. But still, some traits are definitely worth paying attention to as they have a bonus of their own.
- Wind Strikes – 3.3
- Weapons of the Elements – 2.6 with 4T21
- Gathering of the Maelstrom – 2.1
- Wind Surge – 2.1
- Forged in Lava – 1.0
- Crashing Hammer – 0.4 / For AoE – 2.8
- Gathering Storms – 0.3 / For AoE – 1.5-3
Other traits are of no interest for us.
If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out if you should swap relic A for relic B.
Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.
Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Dark. Like the relics, they’re recalculates as of the weapon ilvl.
- Torment the Weak – 5.7
- Secure in the Light – 5.5
- Infusion of Light – 5.4
- Shadowbind – 5.2
- Light Speed – 4.9
- Murderous Intent – 4.8
- Shocklight – 4.6
- Chaotic Darkness – 4.5
- Master of Shadows – 4.2
- Dark Sorrows – 1.8
- Wind Strikes – 3.3
- Weapons of the Elements – 2.6 with 4T21
- Gathering of the Maelstrom – 2.1
- Wind Surge – 2.1
- Forged in Lava – 1.0
- Crashing Hammer – 0.4 / For AoE – 2.8
- Gathering Storms – 0.3 / For AoE – 1.5-3
Other traits are defensive and provide no dps that’s why they are not accounted for here. Hence their value is considered equal to 0.
If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:
cruweight^128819^ilvl^1^252799^5.99^252922^2.21^252875^4.92^198292^3.5 6:3.09 7:3.26^215381^2.45 6:3.16 7:2.5^198236^0.63 6:1.72 7:0.96^252888^3.98^252091^5.6^198247^1.74 6:2.5 7:1.81^198299^0.18 6:0.41 7:0.21^198349^2.13 6:2.11 7:2.02^238070^0.12 6:0.31 7:0.08^252906^4.78^252191^5.94^252088^4.96^253070^4.84^253093^4.68^end
An Enhancement Shaman has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.
Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:
- Eye of the Twisting Nether is a universal Legendary for any Combat type. Generates most of dps.
- Smoldering Heart is slightly random, but it still is your best pick on a single target.
- Emalon’s Charged Core gives you an effect working on 3+ targets; when activated, proves to be the strongest for AoE cleave.
- Akainu’s Absolute Justice is great on solo talent, especially if combined with Eye of Twisting Nether as for this setup you take Hot Hand and Hailstorm.
- Soul of the Farseer is a great Legendary on a solo target allowing you to get Tempest or Overcharge on lvl 75 Tier.
- Uncertain Reminder is a good one, too. Its power grows in an inverse proportion to Combat duration – the shorter the combat, the higher the efficiency.
Other Legendaries are significantly worse that those mentioned above:
- Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus. Tons of secondary stats and a socket + it increases surviving which is Shaman’s soft spot. It’s a nice Legendary to try.
- Storm Tempests. If there are 2 constant targets in the combat, you need to renew the Stormstrike‘s debuff on each of them to maximize dps. In any other case (on single target it doesn’t even work if the adds don’t live long) it’s practically useless.
- Roots of Shaladrassil. This is a big fat piece rich in stats, slightly increases your surviving.
- Spiritual Journey can earn you a bunch of dps in encounters entailing many runs. In any other case, if you can hit something – you hit it. Waliting CD’s in Spirit Wolf is a dps loss.
- Sephuz’s Secret is quite a nice choice for combats where you can call it in often considering it can interrupt casting, gives you a stun, and even Hex. It’s worked with best of all in Mythic+. In raids, things are more difficult. Nevertheless, if you have something to trigger it on constantly, you could even attribute it to the good Legendaries.
- Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish. This is the best trinket; however, it falls into one of the two Legendary slots. Compared to other orange pixels, this is a bad Legendary for a Shaman.
- Vigilance Perch is you profession’s Legendary. You can use it until you get a second Legendary, if you’ve got fresh char. In any other case it’s just garbage.
If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list, and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.
The whole damaging process of an Enhancement Shaman boils down to the correct usage of Maelstrom, maintaining various buffs and using bursts effectively.
Other priorities in combat, considering various talents:
- Rockbiter for generating Maelstrom and maintaining Landslide.
- Fury of Air, if it’s taken and not active.
- Crash Lightning, if it is sure to hit 2 targets, and you don’t have any buffs or it’s almost over.
- Feral Spirit per CD. After activating it, instantly use Crash Lightning to activate Alpha-Wolf.
- Earthen Spike.
- Stormstrike / Wind Strikes (with Ascendance) regardless of proc.
- Frostbrand with Hailstorm in stock. Renew no earlier than 4.8 secs before the previous buff is over.
- Flametongue for maintaining the buff (no earlier than 4.8 secs before the end, because of the Pandemic) or with no buff.
- Doom Winds per CD; preferably with Stormstrike in any form in stock before activating your Artifact.
- Windsong, if you’ve got the talent.
- Crash Lightning on 6+ targets per CD regardless of the buff.
- Lightning Bolt, in case you have more than 50 Maelstrom with the talent Overcharge on you.
- Lava Lash with Hot Hand‘s proc.
- Crash Lightning for maintaining t20 burst.
- Rockbiter, if you have less than 40 Maelstrom.
- Lava Lash if you have over 40 Maelstrom, all buffs are there, and you don’t have an opportunity to utilize any of the previous one.
The key point of the game comes down to not using Rockbiter too often just to maintain your talent’s buff and when you need Maelstrom. You shouldn’t get rid of too much Maelstrom in Lava Lash, either. The main priority is Stormstrike that deals most of the damage; that’s why you need to have Maelstrom energy enough for it, and the Stormbringer‘s procs should not stay idle. Shaman has quite a bunch of various abilities which deal minor damage, but there are many of them, and altogether they make for a substantial share of your dps. A little bit of practice, a well-set interface – and you’ll follow all those priorities on a reflex level.
- Prepot Potion of Prolonged Power.
- Fury of Air, if available.
- Frostbrand, if you have Hailstorm.
- Feral Spirit.
- Crash Lightning to activate Alpha-Wolf.
- Earthen Spike, if available.
- Doom Winds + Stormstrike, instantly.
- Ascendance for a CD reset on Stormstrike, or if your Stormbringer is active with the talent Tempest at hand.
- Wind Strikes.
- After that, follow the regular algorhythm, just don’t let Wind Strikes stay idle, and in between, maintain the necessary buffs.
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Haste >= Mastery > Versatility > Crit > Agility
This is just the basic priority. But when you earn more of a characteristic, be prepared to see a picture where the stats that you have in lesser proportions are more valuable. This may slightly alter the basic proportion. That’s why is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
- Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Hidden Satyr.
- Rings: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste or Binding of Mastery.
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Agility.
- Lavish Suramar Feast, 500 Agility; or Azshari Salad for Haste; or Nightborne Delicacy Platter for Mastery.
4. Flasks and Potions
- Flask of the Seventh Demon. 1300 Agility for 1 hour.
- Potion of Prolonged Power. 2500 Agility for 1 min.
- 2 pieces: Stormstrike deals 10% more damage.
- 4 pieces: The probability of Stormbringer being activated on use of Lava Lash is extra 10% higher.
- 2 pieces: Crash Lightning increases the probability of a critical hit by 5% for the next 16 secs.
- 4 pieces: Stormstrike increases your next Crash Lightning‘s damage by 35%. The effect adds up, up to 15 times.
- 2 pieces: Upon a cast of Stormstrike, your next Rockbiter has a 30% higher chance to do 100% more damage.
- 4 pieces: Rockbiter increases the Fire, Frost and Nature damage your target receives from your attacks by 15% for 4.5 secs.
Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
/cast [mod:shift,@focus]Wind Shear