Table of Contents
Many more talent combinations may work. We’re listing the most robust ones (for example less affected by movement).
|Questing / Solo Content||15: Earthen Rage
30: Totem Mastery
45: Earth Shield
60: Storm Elemental
75: Nature’s Guardian
90: Surge of Power
|Mythic+||15: Earthen Rage
30: Totem Mastery
45: Spirit Wolf OR Static Charge
60: Storm Elemental OR Liquid Magma Totem
75: Nature’s Guardian OR Ancestral Guidance
90: Primal Elementalist OR Icefury
|Raid / Single Target||15: Earthen Rage
30: Totem Mastery
45: Spirit Wolf
60: Storm Elemental
75: Nature’s Guardian
90: Primal Elementalist
Special Mention Surge of Power can depending on fight length surpass Primal Elementalist by a lot. Especially when combined with the Azerite Trait Echo of the Elementals and Storm Elemental. The downside is: you need to figure out on the fly which effect of Surge of Power you actually need. Check out logs!
There are other talent combinations that peform close to these or sometimes even better. So please make sure to sim your character if you suspect that something else is a better general choice.
In depth discussion
The sections below are geared towards those looking to understand the essence of a talent and any interactions it may add to the spec. If you are just looking for a quick suggestion with no explanation, see the above TL;DR recommendations.
Click the talent row text to expand.
Earthen Rage (ER)
A passive talent which requires no thought or change in gameplay.
Echo of the Elements (EotE / Echo)
Quite a simple talent to understand, EotE just adds a charge to Lava Burst. At face value this may not seem impactful, but once you consider that effects which reset the cooldown on Lava Burst will now instead grant a charge, the benefits are clear. Echo adds value by allowing extra time for you to cast instead of needing to cast it immediately when it comes off cooldown. This is because you’ll lose no DPS by choosing to cast another spell while Lava Burst has less than 2 charges, as the second charge “cooling down” does not translate to wasted DPS. This makes this talent helpful for any kind of movement compared to Elemental Blast.
Elemental Blast (EB)
This is a relatively short CD (12 sec) that grants a random secondary stat buff (Critical Strike, Haste, or Mastery) for 10 seconds. It should be used on cooldown, and you should not behave differently based on which buff you get – just treat it as a passive increase.
Recommendation: Earthen Rage should be taken for virtually all situations. Echo of the Elements synergises well with Master of the Elements (if taken) but due to the buff to Lightning Bolt this talent lost a lot of its value. Elemental Blast is too weak in all regards unless you stack Natural Harmony at least twice.
This functions like Legion’s legendary boots, The Deceiver’s Blood Pact. When you cast Earthquake or Earth Shock, you have a chance to immediately refund all the Maelstrom spent. This allows for increased burst AoE/ST but with the caveat that at a 25% chance, it is quite random and can’t be reliably used for burst damage.
Call the Thunder (CtT)
Reduces the required Maelstrom for Earth Shock and Earthquake. This talent smoothes out our playstyle via increasing the frequency at which our spenders are available. Additionaly the increase maximum Maelstrom prevents Stormkeeper from overcaping versus 5 targets.
Totem Mastery (TM)
A set of stationary buffing totems which provide small but effective bonuses while within their 40 yard range. Ideally you want to use this every 2 minutes, or whenever you’re forced to move out of the buff radius.
Recommendation: Totem Mastery for most content. Aftershock is competitive with Totem Mastery for 2+ targets , but is only strictly superior in AoE situations once you have 5 or more targets. Call the Thunder is currently under-tuned & is effectively a substantially weaker form of Aftershock. It is not recommended in any situation.
Spirit Wolf (SW)
A fairly powerful talent that should be considered mostly for its defensive value, not the movement increase it provides. Spirit Wolf is quite potent for predictable damage intake when you have the freedom to spend a few seconds in Ghost Wolf, and when Astral Shift is on cooldown.
Earth Shield (ESh)
An underwhelming talent that offers little value and requires additional GCDs throughout the fight. We do not recommend using this talent, but if you do decide to, ensure you do not refresh the stacks early. It is not important to stay at high stacks, and is a waste of a GCD to refresh.
Static Charge (SC)
Very easy to understand and use. Simply put, if you stun 4+ targets with a use of Capacitor Totem, its cooldown will instead be 40 seconds.
Master of the Elements (MotE)
Adds an interaction between Lava Burst and Earth Shock / Earthquake / Frost Shock / Lightning Bolt / Chain Lightning. Note that Master of the Elements’s buff is applied immedately on a successful Lava Burst cast, not when the Lava Burst projectile hits the target. This is distinct from every other interaction with Lava Burst in the past (and present). The benefit here is that, on bosses with very large hitboxes, you won’t need to cast a filler spell between Lava Burst and the spell you wish to empower with Master of the Elements. For more than 3 targets you still should ideally not cast Lava Burst. This talent is a trap when 4 or more targets are present.
Storm Elemental (SE)
Subsequent casts of Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning reduce both the cast time and the GCD incurred by 3% (up to 60%) during the Elementals uptime. Therefore if you have to move instead of casting your usual spells you lose some value of this CD.
Liquid Magma Totem (LMT)
Offers some nice burst AOE on a moderate cooldown, especially when encounter timing allows you to get high-value casts on or near cooldown.
Recommendation: Storm Elemental is the default choice, this talent is extremely strong and versatile. It offers the highest single-target throughput when used in combination with either Primal Elementalist or Surge of Power as well as extremely potent AoE burst damage especially when used in conjunction with Primal Elementalist. The other talents on this row are more situational; Master of the Elements when used in combination with Icefury offers a viable alternative to the Storm Elemental based talent combinations. This may be useful on raid bosses where there are frequent high priority targets swaps or for bosses where it may not be possible to consistently utilize Storm Elemental due to a large amount of movement being required. Liquid Magma Totem is a multi-target talent that may occasionally pull ahead of Storm Elemental. It is generally strong when either the fight or instance timings are unfavorable for Storm Elemental but optimal for Liquid Magma Totem and additionally Liquid Magma Totem tends to pull ahead for 2/3 target sustained cleave.
Nature's Guardian (NG)
Acts similarly to the Shamanistic Healing artifact weapon trait in Legion. Serves as an additional HP buffer, but does not prevent you from being one-shotted by big hits or massive damage.
Ancestral Guidance (AG)
A decent emergency heal when used in AoE, but quite underwhelming for ST. This should only be considered for use when dealing damage, not when casting Healing Surge.
Wind Rush Totem (WRT)
Raid utility that can occasionally help counter mechanics. Has an actual effect range indication since 8.1.
Recommendation: Nature’s Guardian as a default, but consider Ancestral Guidance for Mythic+ dungeons where you might need an AOE healing cooldown, and Wind Rush Totem for raid encounters as necessary.
Surge of Power (SoP)
- Flame Shock - spreads Flame Shock to a target within 8yards.
- Lightning Bolt - overloads an additional 1-3 times. The chances are: 80% to get 1, 18% to get 2, and 2% to get 3 additional Overloads. These Overloads happen in addition to the baseline Overload chance, allowing this Lightning Bolt to overload up to 4 times if you're very lucky.
- Lava Burst - reduces the remaining cooldown of Fire Elemental / Storm Elemental by 6 seconds.
- Frost Shock - freeze the target in place for 6 seconds. Damage doesn't break the freeze
Primal Elementalist (PE)
This changes your Fire Elemental, Earth Elemental, and Storm Elemental into pets you can control instead of simple fire-and-forget guardians. The effects of Primal Elementalist are listed for each elemental below:
- Fire Elemental - gains Immolate and Meteor; a DoT and AOE attack with short cooldowns.
- Earth Elemental - gains Harden Skin, a damage reduction cooldown that grants *both the Shaman and the Earth Elemental a 40% damage reduction buff for 10 seconds. Despite this being on a one minute cooldown, it is effectively a 5 minute cooldown as the Earth Elemental can only cast it once in its lifetime. Also gains Pulverize, a decent single target stun on a long CD -- usable twice in the Earth Elemental's lifetime. Lastly, gains Angered Earth, a toggleable AOE taunt. We recommend turning this off auto-cast unless you are looking to use Earth Elemental for its aggro purposes.
- Storm Elemental - gains Eye of the Storm a long CD AoE burst cooldown and Call Lightning to buff its own damage.
Since the removal of the Maelstrom cost from Frost Shock in Patch 8.0, Icefury has become much less complex to manage. This is to be used on cooldown assuming you can cast all four empowered Frost Shocks. Icefury empowered Frost Shock generate Maelstrom now. This gives you more liberty in when you can use Icefury charges, potentially for brief moments in the 15 second buff window where you will move for a few GCDs.
Recommendation: Primal Elementalist is the default choice. Surge of Power is very powerful on single target encounters but is significantly more complex to utilize than Primal Elementalist and is only a gain under specific circumstances. Icefury offers much improved mobility, but is very slightly weaker than the other two options if no movement is involved. Icefury may perform better than the other alternatives on 1 or 2 target encounters when used with Master of the Elements(single target) or Liquid Magma Totem (2 target cleave).
Unlimited Power (UP)
An interesting buff that creates some swing in the spec, a tangible speeding up and slowing down of casts provided you’re lucky with Mastery: Elemental Overload procs. This is especially noticeable in AOE, where you can regularly get in excess of 10 stacks for a total of 20%+ haste for a few seconds.
A different version of the artifact ability from Legion. This ability buffs your next two Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. If you decide to use Lightning Bolt, its dmg is buffed. In case of both possible usages all possible baseline Overloads are enforced. This means, that Lightning Bolt will be forced to overload once and Chain Lightning overloads on each target hit. This is primarily useful for burst single target damage and AOE, such as in Mythic+ dungeons.
An additional cooldown with a few requirements for its use. First, you must ensure you’ll have Flame Shock active for Ascendance’ full duration. Second, you want to get high value out of Ascendance with high (optimally 100%) uptime of casts during the buff. You should adjust your casts during Ascendance as per the priority list page.
Recommendation:Stormkeeper for all situations. Ascendance took a big hit from the damage reshuffle between Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock and is no longer an option under any circumstances. Unlimited Power is just weak and even if it were possible to sim identically to Stormkeeper it requires constant casting and no movement to provide its dps. Because this isn’t possible this talent can be considered non-existant too.
Notable talent synergies
Please note that this list will only include talent synergies with easy to explain, intuitive reasoning behind them. There may exist some mild synergies not in this list, but we have chosen to not write about them here. Many factors affect which talents benefit others, so we have narrowed it down to synergies with direct impacts on gameplay.
Master of the Elements and Icefury
The first talent synergy we’ll discuss is that of Master of the Elements and Icefury. The connection here is easy to understand; an increased frequency of heavy hitters like the Icefury empowered Frost Shocks allows more worth from Master of the Elements buffs.
Storm Elemental and Primal Elementalist
These two talents have a direct ‘synergy’ in that taking them together gets you access to additional abilities for Storm Elemental. As per the talent rows above: Storm Elemental gains Eye of the Storm a long CD AoE burst cooldown and Call Lightning to buff its own damage.