Home World of Warcraft Classes Enhancement Shaman 9.0.5 Guide

Enhancement Shaman in Shadowlands

“Enhancement” Shaman (or Enhance) is a unique chainmail melee fighter who combines physical damage with elemental magic.
In this guide you’ll learn what talent builds to pick and why, what gear to collect, which covenant to join, which soulbinds to use, which legendary effects to hunt for, and most importantly, how to properly use your arsenal of abilities. You’ll learn about all of this and more below.

In Shadowlands, Maelstrom resource has been removed for Enhancement Shaman, making it the only DPS-oriented spec in the game that has no additional resources like Energy, Combo Points, Runes, etc. However, Maelstrom took the form of a buff — Maelstrom Weapon. Now gameplay boils down to using abilities on cooldown according to basic priorities.

Pros:

  • Good consistent damage
  • Good burst damage once every 3 min with the Ascendance talent
  • Good cleave with most of the damage on the main target
  • A wide array of utility abilities, most useful in M+ and PvP
  • Windfury Totem buffs melee fighters in your raid/party
  • Good mobility

Cons:

  • Due to random procs has an unstable total damage output
  • Low survivability

About the author

Raider of the “Exorsus” guild — nurseos. I’ve been playing WoW since 2009. Since 2014 I regularly compete for top spots in raids, and took part in two WF in Legion. Multiclasser, played Shaman since 3.3.5 WotLK. Was 2nd in the world to close epic Antorus with a Shaman in Legion, also took part in other epic raids in BfA. You can always find me on twitch.tv, where I stream regularly and share my experience.

Main Abilities

Talents

General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Still Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.

Tier 1 — 15 lvl. DPS talents
t1

  • Lashing Flames. Increases the damage of Flame Shock on its target by 100% for 20 sec. Potentially a good talent, but currently it is not used.
  • Forceful Winds. Each successive Windfury attack within 15 sec deals 35% more damage, stacking up to 5 times. Best talent in this tier.
  • Elemental Blast. Harnesses the raw power of the elements, dealing Elemental damage and increasing your Critical Strike or Haste by 3% or Mastery by 6% for 10 sec.

Tier 2 — 25 lvl. DPS talents
t2

  • Stormflurry. Stormstrike has a 25% chance to strike the target an additional time for 40% of normal damage. Best talent in this tier.
  • Hot Hand. Melee auto-attacks with Flametongue Weapon active have a 5% chance to reduce the cooldown of Lava Lash by 75% and increase the damage of Lava Lash by 100% for 8 sec. Potentially useful, but is not used.
  • Ice Strike. Debuffs the target, slowing its movement by 50% for 6 sec. Successful Ice Strikes reset the cooldown of your “Shock” spells. CD 15 sec. Not used.

Tier 3 — 30 lvl. Survivability and control
t3

  • Spirit Wolf (passive). While transformed into a Ghost Wolf, you gain 5% increased movement speed and 5% damage reduction every 1 sec, stacking up to 4 times.
  • Earth Shield. Protects an ally with an earthen shield, increasing your healing on them by 20% and healing them when they take damage. This heal can only occur once every few seconds. Maximum 9 charges. Earth Shield can only be placed on one target at a time. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at a time.
  • Static Charge (passive). Reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem by 5 sec for each enemy it stuns, up to a maximum reduction of 20 sec.

* This tier doesn’t increase DPS, so the choice is yours. Spirit Wolf is picked by default, but some situations might require you to take other talents in this tier.

Tier 4 — 35 lvl. DPS talents
t4

  • Elemental Assault. Stormstrike damage is increased by 15%, and now it generates 1 stack of Maelstrom Weapon. Best choice in this tier. Good against any amount of enemies.
  • Hailstorm. Each stack of Maelstrom Weapon consumed increases the damage of your next Frost Shock by 15%, and causes it to hit 1 additional target. Great in AoE, should be picked in M+ Fortified affix.
  • Fire Nova. An additional spell that summons a fiery wave from all targets affected by your Flame Shock, dealing damage to up to 6 targets. Not used currently.

Tier 5 — 40 lvl. Survivability and mobility
t5

  • Nature’s Guardian. When your health is brought below 35%, you instantly heal for 20% of your max health. May only occur once every 45 sec.
  • Feral Lunge. Lunge at the enemy within 8-25 yds. CD 30 sec.
  • Wind Rush Totem. Summons a totem at the target location for 15 sec, continually granting all allies who pass within 10 yards 60% increased movement speed for 5 sec. This effect is reapplied to anyone re-entering the area. 40 yd range, CD 2 min.

* The choice is yours. Nature’s Guardian for more survivability. Feral Lunge — personal mobility and chance to avoid knockback. Pick Wind Rush Totem to raise raid/party mobility.

Tier 6 — 45 lvl. DPS talents
t6

  • Crashing Storm. Crash Lightning leaves an electrical field behind which deals Nature damage to enemies within it for 6 sec. Not used currently.
  • Stormkeeper. Causes 2 of your next Chain Lightning to be instant cast and deal 300% more damage. A pretty weak talent.
  • Sundering. Damages enemies in front of you, causing Flamestrike damage and Incapacitating any enemy hit for 2 sec. The default choice in this tier.

Tier 7 — 50 lvl. DPS talents
t7

  • Elemental Spirits. Reduces the cooldown of Feral Spirit by 30 sec and imbues your Feral Spirits with elements. Fire wolf increases all fire damage dealt and causes Lava Lash to apply a DoT for 4 sec. This talent is too weak at the moment.
  • Earthen Spike. Deals moderate Physical damage and increases Physical and Nature damage you deal to the target by 20% for 10 sec. CD 20 sec. This talent was barely used since its inception, nothing changed in Shadowlands.
  • Ascendance. Transform into an Air Ascendant for 15 sec, reducing the cooldown and cost of Stormstrike by 66%, and transforming your auto attacks and Stormstrike into Windstrike which bypass armor and have a 30 yd range. CD 3 min. Best talent, grants a very powerful burst to the Enhancement Shaman.

Here are your common builds

Currently, Enhance Shaman has no concrete builds. The same talents are picked for any encounter, since there are no alternatives with the Doom Winds legendary.

  1. Forceful Winds
  2. Stormflurry
  3. Elemental Assault / Hailstorm (can be picked for M+, no difference)
  4. Sundering
  5. Ascendance

Covenants

Upon reaching level 60 in Shadowlands, you will have to choose one of 4 Covenants: Kyrian, Night Fae, Venthyr, and Necrolord. Each Covenant has a signature and a class ability to offer, as well as 3 unique Soulbinds, with whom you can lick your soul and thereby unlock additional talents. To progress you need to increase your renown with the chosen Covenant.

You can easily switch Covenants in Oribos and quickly gain your renown level back. Problems can only arise if you want to return to a Covenant that was once abandoned. In this case, the Covenant will give you a quest that cannot be completed in one week.

Covenant rating

All covenants are roughly equal, but Venthyr stand out due to their versatility on a variety of targets.

Best choice — Venthyr.

Venthyr

Class ability — Chain Harvest: Sends a wave of anima at the target, which then jumps to additional nearby targets. Deals Shadow damage to enemies, and restores health to allies. For each target critically struck, the cooldown of Chain Harvest is reduced by 5 sec.

Door of Shadows — signature ability. Blink with a 35 yd range and 1.5 sec cast. CD 1 min.

Night Fae

Class ability — Fae Transfusion: Transfer the life force of up to 8 enemies in the targeted area, dealing Nature damage every 0.5 sec over 3 sec. Pressing Fae Transfusion again within 20 sec will release 25% of all damage from it, healing up to 8 nearby allies.

Soulshape — signature ability. Teleport 15 yds forward, increasing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec. During this time you can reactivate the ability to blink every 4 sec. Any other ability will cancel the effect. CD 1.5 min.

Kyrian

Class ability — Vesper Totem: Summons a totem at the target location for 30 sec. Your next 3 damage spells or abilities will cause a burst of Arcane damage to up to 6 enemies near the totem, and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies. Casting this ability again while the totem is active will relocate the totem.

Signature ability: Summon Steward — summons a minion to bring you 3 Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 20% hp and remove all curse, disease, poison, and bleed effects. These phials have a separate cooldown. The ability to remove any debuff in a dangerous situation can be useful in any type of content.

Necrolord

Class ability — Primordial Wave: Blast the target with a Primordial Wave, dealing Shadow damage and apply Flame Shock to an enemy, or heal an ally. Your next Lightning Bolt will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock for 100% of normal damage.

Fleshcraft — signature ability, 4 sec cast. Once every 2 min grants a shield with pretty decent damage absorption — 20% of max hp. The shield grows when cast near a dead enemy. The stronger the enemy (lvl, elite), the stronger the shield. Limit — 50% of your max health.

Soulbinds

Soulbinds are heroes of your Covenant, with whom you can link your soul. This unlocks a special tree with multiple bonuses. Each Soulbind has their own bonuses and they are different in each Covenant.

Soulbind rating

By default, choose the path with the maximum number of Potency slots. There are a couple of exceptions, but they will be described below.

  • Necrolord: Emeni from lvl 5 renown. Bonesmith Heirmir becomes the best choice after lvl 31 since just a basic Forgeborne Reveries won’t be better than a buff from Emeni with 4 allies. Heirmir’s Marrowed Gemstone is better than the path to a second potency conduit. As a result, the combination of two Heirmir bonuses and one potency conduit yields the best results in all types of content.
  • Kyrian: Pelagos for raids, Mikanikos for M+, if his Hammer of Genesis is available.
  • Night Fae: Niya with Burrs for raids. Korayn with First Strike only for M+
  • Venthyr: Nadjia in any content. With Exacting Preparation for AoE and Dauntless Duelist for ST.

Conduits

Conduits are improvements to your Soulbinds that can be installed in a specific slot. Their ilvl affects their power. Each Soulbind has 2 slots for every type of Conduit. They come in 3 types:

  1. Potency — affect DPS
  2. Finesse — grant extra utility
  3. Endurance — boost your defensive abilities

Potency

Two of the best potency conduits:

  1. Forceful Winds should be your first potency conduit. Used in any scenario.
  2. Focused Lightning — second highest priority conduit. Keep in mind that many of your last Soulbind talents will give you more than this conduit. So you probably won’t use it often, or never activate it at all, especially if you play Venthyr.

Other conduits are significantly worse. Use whatever is available on a fresh character, but try replacing with Forceful Winds as soon as possible.

Finesse

4 in total. The choice is purely individual.

  1. Thunderous Paws — usually a default choice.
  2. Spiritual Resonance
  3. Totemic Surge
  4. Crippling Hex

Endurance

3 in total.

  1. Vital Accretion — best choice, since it gives you an additional save
  2. Astral Protection
  3. Refreshing Waters

Legendaries

A total of 16 legendaries are available to Shamans — 8 class ones with 3 for Enhancement specifically.

In Shadowlands you can get legendaries from various sources and then apply them to base items via Runecarver in Torghast. Each legendary effect can be applied to only two equipment slots (for example, only cloak and pants). Each legendary item has 4 levels. The level only affects its ilvl, the effect itself is not enhanced.

To craft a legendary item you need:

  • Soul Ash (obtainable in Torghast)
  • A base item. Craft or buy at the auction.
  • 2 Missives which will define the secondary stats that the legendary will have. Be careful — you can’t’ change them later
  • A legendary recipe. Press Shift+J and open the “Powers” tab. There you can see which effects you already have, as well as the sources for the ones you don’t.

Legendary items can be crafted at any level, as long as you have enough Soul Ash. Already created legendary items can be enhanced by infusing additional ash.

  • Rank 1 — 190 ilvl (1250 ash)
  • Rank 2 — 210 ilvl (2000 ash when crafted immediately)
  • Rank 3 — 225 ilvl (3200 ash when crafted immediately)
  • Rank 4 — 235 ilvl (5150 ash when crafted immediately)

When upgrading a legendary, simply subtract the amount of ash already spent on previous ranks. Example: you have a tier 2 legendary and want to upgrade it to tier 4. 5150-2000=3150 — that’s how much ash you’ll need to spend.

If you added a socket to your legendary, it won’t be lost after an upgrade.

Best legendaries:

Only one Enhance Shaman legendary stands out. On one hand it’s good to have a single universal legendary. On the other — you have no means of diversifying your game and effectiveness in different types of content.

Doom Winds — gives you an additional burst, synergizes perfectly with your other bursts.

Other legendaries are too weak in comparison.

Rotation

The basic principle is to just follow the priorities. This means that the closer the spell to being off cooldown, the higher its priority will be.

Base priorities

  1. Windfury Totem, if not active
  2. Flame Shock, on a target without it
  3. Feral Spirit on cd to generate as many Maelstrom Weapon stacks as possible
  4. Ascendance on cd
  5. Lightning Bolt, if you have 8+ Maelstrom Weapon stacks
  6. Sundering on cd
  7. Stormstrike
  8. Lava Lash
  9. Crash Lightning even on one target as filler
  10. Flame Shock, if the duration on the target is less than 5.4 sec
  11. Frost Shock
  12. Lightning Bolt when you gave 5-8 Maelstrom Weapon stacks
  13. If everything above is on cooldown — replace Windfury Totem

AoE

In AoE priorities change with the use of Hailstorm talent.

  1. Windfury Totem, if not active
  2. Frost Shock with Hailstorm stacks
  3. Crash Lightning, if cleave is not active
  4. Ascendance on cd
  5. Feral Spirit on cd to generate as many Maelstrom Weapon stacks as possible
  6. Sundering on cd
  7. Chain Lightning with 5+ Maelstrom Weapon stacks. Buffs your Crash Lightning up to 60%
  8. Crash Lightning to generate Gathering Storms and as many Maelstrom Weapon stacks as possible
  9. Stormstrike to use Gathering Storms stacks and generate Maelstrom Weapon
  10. Lava Lash if everything above is unavailable

Openers

With the legendary Doom Winds

  1. If you’re Kyrian, then place Vesper Totem 1-2 sec before the pull, then reposition it in the right spot at the start of the fight
  2. Flame Shock. If you chose Necrolord — Primordial Wave
  3. Feral Spirit
  4. Stormstrike
  5. If you chose Night Fae — Fae Transfusion
  6. Ascendance + pot, trinkets and racials
  7. Stormstrike
  8. Windfury Totem to activate the bonus from Doom Winds
  9. If you’re Venthyr, spend first 5 Maelstrom Weapon stacks on Chain Lightning
  10. Next follow base priorities. After doing all of the above, don’t forget to squeeze Sundering between Stormstrikes.

Use of cooldowns

Feral Spirit is the only Enhance Shaman’s base cooldown with a CD of 2 min. In a recommended build we use Ascendance with a CD of 3 min.

Use both abilities on cd by default, since they don’t synergize.

In Mythic+ try to always have Ascendance on bosses, since it’s not as profitable in AoE.

Choosing a race
race

The difference between the worst and best race for an Enhancement Shaman is no more than 1%. That’s why you should pick whatever suits you best. The more you’ll be pleased with your character’s appearance, the more you’ll enjoy playing it.

If that’s not your style, then choose a race based on utility. For example, Goblin’s Rocket Jump boosts mobility, Fireblood/Stoneform  of both dwarfs removes various debuffs. 

And if you’re after max DPS bonuses, then:

  • Horde: Orc and Troll. Their racials synergize with Enhance Shaman’s bursts.
  • Alliance: Dark Iron Dwarf and Draenei. Dwarfs increase burst potential, Draenei grant a passive main stat.

Stats

Basic stat priority looks like this:

Agility > Haste > Crit = Versatility > Mastery

Mastery increases your elemental damage (fire, ice, nature) and increases Stormbringer proc chance.

Haste reduces GCD, shortens the interval between auto attacks, reduces the CD of many shaman abilities — Stormbringer, Lava Lash, Crash Lightning, shock spells, and some talents. Additionally, frequent auto attacks will trigger Windfury Weapon more often.

Crit affects the chance of dealing double damage with your abilities and auto attacks. 

Versatility increases your damage, and half of this bonus reduces incoming damage.

Haste takes top priority after agility in any type of combat. Being able to use strong abilities more often is the key to dealing good damage as an Enhance Shaman.
In ST combat, Mastery should be at the bottom of your priorities, but with additional targets it climbs into second spot, just after haste. Crit and Versatility are more or less on par.

For a more accurate stat calculation for your character, visit the Stat Weights section on Raidbots.com. This way you’ll understand your current position in terms of stats. After a while you’ll start to feel the stat dynamics and become more familiar with your spec.

Gems

Enchants

Food

Flasks, pots, and oils

BiS Gear & Trinkets

The return of BiS lists (BiS = Best in Slot) became possible after the removal of certain game mechanics like war/titan forging. Note that the game has weekly chests — great vault. You can get Mythic+ items from it equal to 226 ilvl. Some of them can be better than their raid counterparts in terms of stats. But nevertheless, the raids have fixed loot.

Head — Helm of Insatiable Appetite (Hungering Destroyer, Castle Nathria)

Neck — Charm of Eternal Winter (Huntsman Altimor, Castle Nathria)

Shoulder — Legendaries or Pauldrons of Fatal Finality (Sire Denathrius, Castle Nathria)

Back — Crest of the Legionnaire General (Commander of the Stone Legion, Castle Nathria)

Chest — Consumptive Chainmail Carapace (Hungering Destroyer, Castle Nathria)

Wrist — Bangles of Errant Pride (Sun King’s Salvation, Castle Nathria)

Hands — Oathsworn Soldier’s Gauntlets (Commander of the Stone Legion, Castle Nathria)

Belt — Load-Bearing Belt (Sludgefist, Castle Nathria)

Legs — Memento-Laden Cuisses (Lady Inerva Darkvein, Castle Nathria)

Feet — Stoneclas Stompers (Sludgefist, Castle Nathria)

Rings — Most Regal Signet of Sire Denathrius and Ritualist’s Treasured Ring (Sire Denathrius and Lady Inerva Darkvein, Castle Nathria)

Weapon. ilvl is the most important weapon stat. The highest ilvl can be obtained either through epic Denathrius or from PvP, if you can reach 2400. 226 ilvl is easier: epic Hungering Destroyer, 2100 PvP rating, weekly Mythic+ chest, if you complete +14 key (to increase the amount of loot you need to complete ten +14 keys, not necessarily on a timer). Always equip a higher ilvl weapon into your main hand.

Trinkets
trin

Let’s highlight the strongest trinkets for the Enhance:

  • Sinful Gladiator’s Badge of Ferocity. Synergizes well with Shaman’s bursts. It’s a great trinket and it can be obtained easily.
  • Inscrutable Quantum Device — the strongest burst trinket at the moment with a 3 min cooldown. Boosts one of your two highest secondary stats. But during a raid, especially at the last minute of a fight, can instead heal someone, replenish mana, or just execute a boss, which is not that helpful. With this WA you can keep track of what this trinket will do.
  • Stone Legion Heraldry. A very powerful passive trinket for raids. Especially good if you have a lot of allies with it in your group.
  • Memory of Past Sins. Another active raid trinket. In raids, DPS increases with each trinket in a raid.
  • Hateful Chain. Obtained from Sludgefist
  • Phial of Putrefaction. Good passive damage.
  • Sinful Gladiator’s Insignia of Alacrity. Has an uptime closer to 50% per battle.
  • Dreadfire Vessel is pretty good as well, especially if you have access to Mythic Denathrius.

A complete ranking of trinkets can be found here.

Macros

Interrupt with modifiers. Hold Alt to cast it on the focused target

#showtooltip

/cast [mod:alt,@focus][]Wind Shear

Many spells are more convenient and faster to use on cursor:

#showtooltip Cleanse Spirit

/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Cleanse Spirit; Cleanse Spirit

#showtooltip Healing Surge

/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Healing Surge; Healing Surge

I recommend setting up macros for all main offensive abilities based on this template:

#showtooltip

/startattack

/cast Stormstrike

This will avoid downtime when your target dies.

Addons

Having a good, clean, and functional interface can greatly improve your game in many ways:

  • You’ll receive more useful information in a convenient format, which the vanilla UI lacks
  • You’ll be able to track your cooldowns and buffs
  • See timers with boss abilities

There are 2 main ways of enhancing your interface: using ElvUI — a massive addon that contains a huge number of functions and outputs it all in a uniform style, or via a bunch of separate addons that are responsible for their specific task. It’s easy to use and share profiles. If you’re too lazy to customize, you can always find a suitable profile on wago.io.

If you prefer ElvUI, you still need a couple of key addons to go along with it:

Deja Character stats — Adds more information about the character’s stats, which were hidden in BfA for some reason.

WeakAuras — probably the most important addon in modern WoW. With its help, you can set up almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec.

BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods — addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately. 

Details! Damage Meter — the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment. 

World Quest List — Groups your world quests to the left of the map, filtering them by zone.

Pawn — helps you find gear upgrades, requires SimCraft.

SimulationCraft — simplifies your char’s simulation by creating an in-game line for quick import to Raidbots or SimCraft.

Exorsus Raid Tools — addon for raids with a lot of useful features.

If you’d like to change the UI without ElvUI, then besides the above addons you need to add:

Bartender4 — highly customizable panel addon.

Chatter — chat customization

Sexy map — makes your minimap sexy!

Shadowed unit frames — an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.

Plater Nameplates — addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io — what else do you need?

Move Anything — allows you to move and resize any part of your interface.

PRO Tips

A shaman of any spec has a wide range of utility abilities that can come in handy all of a sudden. So the first piece of advice is to bind absolutely all abilities to hotkeys. Clicking on spells takes away your attention and slows down your gameplay. So if you’re still clicking on something with your mouse, that’s the first thing you should fix.

Don’t forget about the Vital Accretion and Earth Elemental synergy. This makes you more resilient, but keep in mind that in M+ your elemental will try to tank mobs in the pack. Like any other pet, it won’t be able to taunt bosses.

Tremor Totem will come in handy on the first boss in Mists of Tirna Scithe and on the first Halls of Atonement boss, if someone happens to be outside the boss’s circle.

When fighting the third boss in Plaguefall — Domina Venomblade, you can knock out the lurking spiders with Earthbind Totem and Capacitor Totem. If you find yourself near any of the zones, Sundering will help. 

Feral Lunge on Denathrius might help you avoid knockback. Although in a raid you are more likely to be asked to place a sprint totem.

This concludes our guide. We hope you got answers to all your questions about the Enhancement Shaman. Now get to practice! If you still have any questions, feel free to contact the author on twitch. Good luck in Shadowlands.

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