Table of Contents
Many more talent combinations may work. We’re listing the most robust ones (for example less affected by movement). If multiple talents are shown the first one is the recommendation and the later ones are solid alternatives.
Special Mention Primal Elementalist Is fairly close to Icefury on single target, and is generally more powerful when multiple targets are present. We recommend inexperienced shamans use Primal Elementalist regardless, as Icefury is significantly more complex. With active T28: Fireheart 4p, Icefury becomes a dps loss and no longer sees play at that point, however some players may wish to stop using it when T28: Fireheart 2p is active because it makes Icefury even harder to use.
There are other talent combinations that perform 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. In scenarios where you are not hardcasting Lava Burst and therefore Echo of the Elements provides no value, Earthen Rage becomes better than it. Due to the change to Wind Gust stacks, this is never the case and Lava Burst should always be hardcasted in Single Target
Echo of the Elements (EotE / Echo)
Quite a simple talent to understand, EotE / Echo 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. For Echo of the Elements to provide its value, it requires hardcasted Lava Burst to feature in the rotation.
Static Discharge (SD)
Static Discharge adds a spell to our toolkit that you can only use while you have Lightning Shield active. It deals damage to a nearby target with Flame Shock. Because different types of self-casted shield don't stack, you will not be able to benefit from your own Earth Shield.
Recommendation: Echo of the Elements should be taken in all scenarios because we will be hardcasting Lava Burst. Earthen Rage’s only use is for raid fights where you are entirely planning around your AoE use of Storm Elemental, but it will be a significant loss of damage in all other parts of those fights. Static Discharge barely does any damage and is too limited in its use to ever be worth considering.
When you cast Earthquake or Earth Shock, you have a chance to immediately refund all the Maelstrom spent. This allows for increased burst but with the caveat that at a 25% chance, it is quite random and can't be reliably used for burst damage.
Echoing Shock (EcS)
Duplicates the next offensive spell used, after 1 second. The duplicate behaves like a normal cast. It is best to use this on Earth Shock on single target *without* 4-Tier, Lava Burst *with* 4-Tier, and Earthquake on AoE. The echoed spell does not benefit from any buffs present when the triggering spell is cast, but will consume and benefit from them if a relevant buff is present when the echoed spell itself triggers. This spell has good flexibility between Single Target and AoE.
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: Elemental Blast for single target with standard build. Aftershock is usually the clear winner for 3+ targets. Echoing Shock despite offering greater control of your damage across more than just one damage profile, it is undertuned relative to the other options in their preferred scenarios and is not chosen unless you’ve also chosen to use Elemental Equilibrium.
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)
For the small amount of GCDs required throughout an encounter, depending on the type of damage present and movement requirements, can provide solid amounts of passive healing. Avoid refreshing it early unless there are breaks in combat/intermission phases. For Kyrian shamans it also triggers the healing charges of Vesper Totem.
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.
Recommendation: Spirit Wolf should be your default for almost every raid encounter. Static Charge is quite nice in Mythic+. Earth Shield is sometimes useful for raid encounters with consistent incoming damage.
Master of the Elements (MotE)
Adds an interaction between Lava Burst and Earth Shock / Earthquake / Frost Shock / Lightning Bolt / Chain Lightning / Elemental Blast / Icefury. Note that Master of the Elements’s buff is applied immediately 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.
Storm Elemental (SE)
Subsequent casts of Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning reduce *both the cast time and the GCD incurred* by 3% (up to 30%) during the Elementals uptime. Therefore if you have to move instead of casting your usual spells you lose some value of this CD. This does not make Lightning Bolt stronger than Lava Burst
Liquid Magma Totem (LMT)
Offers some nice AOE on a moderate cooldown, especially when encounter timing allows you to get high-value casts on or near cooldown. Its long duration and static location make it hard to use.
Recommendation: Master of the Elements is the Standard choice in raiding and is viable for M+ use. Storm Elemental is still the default choice for M+ despite the Wind Gust change, and has specific uses in raid content where externals or burst aoe are required. When taking Storm Elemental you should also take Primal Elementalist to make use of Eye of the Storm. Liquid Magma Totem has reasonable base power however the buffs to our base AoE spells (Chain Lightning and Earthquake in 9.0.5 means the alternatives have increased value relative to Liquid Magma Totem making it less appealing.
Nature's Guardian (NG)
Serves as an additional HP buffer, but does not prevent you from being one-shotted by big hits or massive damage.
Ancestral Guidance (AG)
An excellent source of utility for the spec in M+ content on large pulls, 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.
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 an additional target within 8yards (prefers targets with no before the target with the lowest duration remaining in range).
- 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 - root the target in place for 6 seconds. Damage doesn't break the root.
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. This will not cause the elemental to get aggro on bosses, but it will generally work on trash or enemies summoned by bosses. While this can be incredibly useful at times, beware of accidentally misplacing enemies during an encounter.
- Storm Elemental - gains Eye of the Storm a long CD AoE burst cooldown and will retain Call Lightning from its non primal form. Call Lightning does empower Eye of the Storm, dealing significant damage.
This is to be used on cooldown assuming you can cast all four empowered Frost Shocks. Icefury empowered Frost Shock generate Maelstrom. 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: Icefury in combination with Master of the Elements and Echo of the Elements is the Standard choice versus one target. Alternatively Primal Elementalist can be used as an easier version of the Standard build or if AoE is expected. Surge of Power has found a use in 9.2, with an active T28: Fireheart 2p you may find it sims equal to or higher than the alternatives with Windspeaker’s Lava Resurgence equipped, this is because the T28: Fireheart 2p increases the value of Fire Elemental uptime significantly due to the increased Lava Burst damage and procs. Using the Surge of Power buff on Lava Burst is very straightforward with Windspeaker’s Lava Resurgence equipped, however buffing Lightning Bolt with Stormkeeper buff active is also good. Note: Surge of Power is no longer good when T28: Fireheart 4p or Double Legendary are equipped.
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. Regardless of its obvious dependency on our Mastery: Elemental Overload, this talent works better with a lot of Haste in addition to providing more of its potential value when you aren’t forced to move often.
This ability buffs your next two Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. If you decide to use Lightning Bolt, its damage is buffed. Stormkeeper forces Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning to trigger their baseline Overloads. This means, that Lightning Bolt will be forced to overload once and Chain Lightning overloads on each target hit.
An additional cooldown that refreshes all active Flame Shock to 18 seconds, immediately fires Lava Burst at all targets with Flame Shock, removes the cooldown on Lava Burst, and increases Lava Burst damage by your Critical Strike chance. Additionally your Chain Lightning gets replaced by Lava Beam. You should adjust your casts during Ascendance as per the priority list page.
Recommendation: Stormkeeper for the majority of situations. Ascendance offers some strong 15 second burst but can’t compete in terms of mobility and versatility. Unlimited Power is typically considered weak. Stormkeeper will still remain the safe default option, but there is definite potential for Ascendance to be considered depending on Single Target fight timers.
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.
Echo of the Elements and Master of the Elements
Storm Elemental and Primal Elementalist
These two talents have a direct “synergy” in that taking them together gets you access to an additional ability for Storm Elemental that synergizes very well with it’s default abilities. As per the talent rows above: Storm Elemental gains Eye of the Storm a long CD AoE burst cooldown. When used with the buff from Call Lightning this will deal significant damage.