Table of Contents
These suggestions are for Battle for Azeroth at level 120! Many more talent combinations may work. We’re listing the most robust ones (for example less affected by movement).
|Questing / Solo Content||15: Echo of the Elements
30: Master of the Elements
45: Earth Shield
60: High Voltage
75: Nature’s Guardian
90: Earthen Rage
100: Unlimited Power
|Mythic+||15: Echo of the Elements
30: Aftershock OR Totem Mastery
45: Spirit Wolf OR Static Charge
60: Liquid Magma Totem
75: Nature’s Guardian OR Ancestral Guidance
90: Primal Elementalist
100: Unlimited Power OR Stormkeeper
|Raid / Single Target||15: Echo of the Elements
30: Totem Mastery
45: Spirit Wolf
60: Liquid Magma Totem
75: Nature’s Guardian
90: Primal Elementalist
While a combination of Exposed Elements, Totem Mastery, High Voltage / Storm Elemental, Primal Elementalist, Unlimited Power simulates fine and can work out well in fights too, this talent combination struggles a lot with movement.
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.
Exposed Elements (EE)
Adds an interaction between Earth Shock and Lightning Bolt for added burst. Note that this talent applies a debuff to the target you cast Earth Shock on, so you’ll want to ensure the target will survive long enough for Lightning Bolt and its Mastery: Elemental Overload proc to deal their damage.
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 the other two.
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: Echo of the Elements should be taken for most situations and synergises better with Master of the Elements (if taken). Exposed Elements should only be considered if you are able to benefit from the debuff on every cast. The recent Lightning Bolt buff made this talent better than Echo of the Elements in simulations. But don’t forget that Exposed Elements is quite weak versus movement. Elemental Blast can be taken for AOE if you don’t want to worry about the Lava Burst charges or the Exposed Elements debuff.
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.
Master of the Elements (MotE)
Adds an interaction between Lava Burst and Earth Shock / Frost Shock / Lightning Bolt / Chain Lightning. Note that Master of the Elements’s buff is applied immedately on a successful 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. It’s not worth to add Lava Burst to your AoE priority list. This talent is a trap for AoE.
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.
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.
High Voltage (HV)
Causes your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning to ‘roll’ an additional Mastery: Elemental Overload hit at a 50% reduced rate. This means if you cast Lightning Bolt with a 50% mastery chance, you will have a 50% chance to proc one hit of Mastery: Elemental Overload and then a 25% chance to proc an additional hit. This is quite strong for sustained single target and AOE, but lacks the reliable burst of the other two choices in this tier.
Storm Elemental (SE)
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: Liquid Magma Totem for single target and burst AOE; High Voltage for sustained AOE. High Voltage was indirectly buffed by the Lightning Bolt buff to surpass Liquid Magma Totem for some players. However High Voltage is affected stronger by any kind of personal movement than Liquid Magma Totem, which reduces its worth quite significantly.
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 requires a bit of experience to place properly. The movement speed buff radius is unclear, but with some practise and proper raid positioning it should not be an issue. (Rejoice! Wind Rush Totem got an effect radius animation on 8.1 PTR. Soon…!)
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.
Earthen Rage (ER)
A passive talent which requires no thought or change in gameplay.
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. The Maelstrom cost removal from Frost Shock gives you a bit 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 in all cases.
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 with High Voltage, where you can regularly get in excess of 15 stacks for a total of 30%+ haste for a few seconds.
A copy of the artifact ability from Legion with a few major changes. The first is that it no longer increases the damage done by the Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning casts it empowers. The second difference is the reduction from three stacks of the Stormkeeper buff to two. This is primarily useful for burst AOE, such as in Mythic+ dungeons, but is a far cry from its original state in Legion.
A potent cooldown with a few requirements for its use. First, you must ensure you refresh Flame Shock before casting Ascendance as the reduced duration of Flame Shock in BFA would likely require you to refresh it during Ascendance. 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:Ascendance for single target raid encounters, otherwise Unlimited Power for sustained single target and AOE; Stormkeeper if you require burst AOE. Unlimited Power got some boost out of the Lightning Bolt buff. It’s still weaker to movement than Ascendance.
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 and Echo [of the Elements]
The first talent synergy we’ll discuss is that of Master of the Elements and Echo of the Elements. The connection here is easy to understand; an increased frequency of Lava Burst from Echo of the Elements’s second charge would naturally lead to an increased number of Master of the Elements buffs. The added benefit here is from the nature of the charge system’s design. While one charge is cooling down, you are free to cast Lava Burst when you wish. This enables better handling of the Master of the Elements buff without losing DPS to holding Lava Burst. Casting Lava Burst into Earth Shock or an Icefury-empowered Frost Shock is much more fluid and easily achieved with this talent combination.
High Voltage and Unlimited Power
Due to the nature of Unlimited Power’s buff stacking on Mastery: Elemental Overload procs, it is clear to see that a talent which increases the number of Mastery: Elemental Overload procs (High Voltage) will greatly benefit the buff stacks. Although at the mercy of “RNG”, this combination allows for very high stacks of Unlimited Power which in turn has a slight positive feedback effect; the more stacks you have the higher your haste, thus the more stacks you can potentially get from more Mastery: Elemental Overload procs.
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.
Exposed Elements and Aftershock
The last talent synergy we’ll look at is that of Exposed Elements and Aftershock. A combination of factors enable an interaction between these talents. Firstly, the 60 Maelstrom cost of Earth Shock creates an important buffer between when the spell is castable and capped (100) Maelstrom, which aids in casting multiple Earth Shocks close together without risk of Maelstrom overflow. This part is particularly important for Exposed Elements, as you will want to maintain a cast chain of Earth Shock -> Lightning Bolt -> Earth Shock -> Lightning Bolt so as to not overwrite the Exposed Elements debuff on the target.