PvE Elemental Shaman Talents, Builds & Glyphs

PvE Elemental Shaman Talents, Builds & Glyphs
  • Author: Strong
  • Date: May 22, 2024
  • Updated: May 22, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

With the arrival of Cataclysm, the talent system received a massive overhaul, changing from the 71 talent points system to a more compact 41 points system. As such, many of the old talents were either completely removed or changed, resulting in fewer possible build variations. One key aspect of the new system is that you must use at least 31 points in your main specialization to use the remaining 10 points in a secondary specialization.

Talent Builds

elemental talent tree 1
Link to Talent Build

There’s only really one clear cut path you can go through the talent tree with very little, if any at all, variation in these choices. You can’t not allocate Totemic Focus because of how effectively it increases your DPS by lengthening the period of time that Fire Elemental Totem is active, which means that you must allocate 5 points into the Restoration tree. You don’t want to pass up on max rank Elemental Weapons in the Enhancement tree, either, so you’ll put two of your last points there.

Below are some of the build-defining talents that really make the Elemental spec do what it does so well:

  • Elemental Precision – Finally a reason for Spirit if you’re a Shaman. This increases your Fire, Frost and Nature damage by 3% and adds 100% of your Spirit gained from items or effects as bonus Hit rating. This means you can also use the same Spirit gear for a Restoration off-spec.
  • Elemental Focus – Fishing for Clearcasting is just one of the RNG games you’ll play in Elemental spec. You’ll want to use the Clearcasting mana cost reduction on Lava Burst whenever you can.
  • Elemental Mastery – One of the best DPS cooldowns that you can get from talents in the game. Your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning or Lava Burst is instant and your Fire, Frost, and Nature damage is increased by 15% along with gaining a 20% spell haste buff for 15 seconds. Use this on cooldown.
  • Lava Flows – Increases critical strike damage bonus of your Lava Burst and increases the periodic damage of your Flame Shock. It also grants you 90% spell haste for 6 seconds if your Flame Shock is dispelled, but that’s more useful for PVP. This talent is a must-max for the added Lava Burst damage especially.
  • Lava Surge – With two points, this grants a 20% chance for one of your Flame Shock ticks to reset the cooldown of your Lava Burst spell. As Lava Burst is a huge portion of your damage, this is vital.
  • Totemic Wrath – Besides Demonic Pact, this is the only other raid-wide buff that increases spell power by 10%. You might be selected over another DPS spec for this very talent, so make sure you have it.
  • Rolling Thunder and Fulmination – These two in conjunction add another “damage dump counter,” where you build Lightning Shield charges up to 9 stacks before discharging 6 of them into the enemy’s face with an Earth Shock.
  • Totemic Focus – With how important Fire Elemental Totem is to your Raid boss damage, this is a must-allocate talent with its 40% increase totems’ summoned duration. It will also help reduce the number of GCDs that you spend on renewing your totems throughout a fight.


Below are the glyphs pertinent to the Elemental Shaman spec. Of the Prime Glyphs, you should run Glyph of Unleashed Lightning, Glyph of Lava Burst and Glyph of Flame Shock; these will be standard for parsing Elemental Shamans. Other glyphs throughout the Prime, Major and Minor Glyphs won’t have as much of a single-target impact as those mentioned above. It’s important to note that Glyph of Lightning Bolt may be superior to Glyph of Unleashed Lightning in certain fights.

Prime Glyphs

  • Glyph of Unleashed Lightning
    The simple prospect of being allowed to cast Lightning Bolt while moving means it’ll add significantly to your damage in high-movement fights while being fairly negligible in quick and static fights.
  • Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem
    This is a situational glyph. If you think your fight will last over 10 minutes, then you’ll be able to get two Fire Elemental Totem casts off with this glyph. Otherwise, it’s not going to increase your DPS in slower fights.
  • Glyph of Flametongue Weapon
    This will probably not be run in lieu of the other, superior Glyphs. Because critical strike chance is already baked into Intellect and Lava Burst will always critically strike a Flame Shock target, this Glyph winds up not being too useful.

Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Thunder
    As fights become easier and shorter and you find yourself needing to cast Thunderstorm fewer times to restore your mana, you’ll find less use for this glyph. However, this glyph effectively reduces Thunderstorm‘s CD by ~22-23%, which cannot be overlooked.

Minor Glyphs

  • Glyph of Thunderstorm
    This increases the amount of mana you receive from Thunderstorm by 2%, up to 10% total, and removes the knock back and movement speed reduction from Thunderstorm, which isn’t much of a downside in PVE situations.


About the Author


Thrall is the best Warcraft character; tell me I'm wrong. Long-time Blizzard fan who thinks that gnomes are the worst type of people and rogues don't tip (except into your spine). Flying mounts should never have been added to the game, and playing 12 hours of WoW a day just makes you "dedicated."
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