PvE Elemental Shaman Rotation, Cooldowns, & Abilities

pve lich king elemental shaman rotation, cooldowns and abilities

In this section we will be covering information on various spells and abilities that are in an Elemental Shaman’s arsenal for Wrath of the Lich King. We’ll then be covering a detailed rotation for both single-target encounters and Area-of-Effect (AoE) encounters.

The Elemental Shaman is a class that specializes in dealing high-burst damage while also having the applicability of a spammer given enough haste.

In the last patch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, however, the Elemental Shaman finds itself in a pretty tough spot, dealing significantly lower amounts of damage than the other casters in the game, unless it acquires a fair amount of gear.

After the acquisition of said gear, the Elemental Shaman starts to pick up the pace and with the right knowledge and the right rotation it can even find itself in the higher parts of the DPS charts.

The Elemental Shaman is a hybrid class that provides both utility for its allies and damage to its enemies, having the potential to buff those around him and fry up any enemy that comes in its path.

In this section of the guide we will delve a bit further into the Elemental Shamans abilities and explain how they work.

The main spells of the Elemental Shaman are Lava BurstChain Lightning, Lightning Bolt and Flame Shock. The specialization works as a “spam” caster, with its main filler spell being Lightning Bolt. Lightning Bolt gains benefit from our glyphs, having an increase of damage by 4%. Alongside the low cast time of the ability, it gains a pretty good spot as a “filler” spell in the list of the spell caster’s fillers. 

Although you will often find yourself spamming Lightning Bolt, the true damage of your kit comes from the proper use, on cooldown, of Lava Burst and Chain Lightning.

Lava Burst is an ability empowered by Flame Shock. By casting it while Flame Shock is active on the target, Lava Burst will be a guaranteed critical hit. Thus it is very important to always open up on the target with Flame Shock and keep it up on the target, not only for the Lava Burst critical hit but also for the periodic damage.

While you might be a bit confused by Chain Lightning, the ability itself actually has a higher damage on single targets than Lightning Bolt so make sure to keep it on the target at all times.

Furthermore we will now dwell into the crucial part of the Shaman Class, the trademark of the class itself, totems. The totems offer similar utility to Paladins.

While you can place each of them individually you can make three presets  which will be very useful for any situation that presents itself, this offering the Shaman extreme versatility and lots of ways to counteract the potential threats. 

You can provide effects similar to the auras such as Fire Resistance Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, Nature Resistance Totem, empowering effects such as Windfury totem, Strength of Earth Totem, Flametongue Totem or absorption effects such as Tremor Totem or Grounding totem.

Most of your utility comes from the proper use of totems, some exceptions being Heroism/Bloodlust, Hex and Wind Shear. Wind Shear is a very spammable interrupt effect so use it as often as possible. Bloodlust speaks for itself, use it in the beginning for burst and Hex is just a form of Polymorph that unlike the mage it will not regenerate the HP of the target and it will be harder to break.

With this being said, the “trademark” totem for the Elemental Shaman is the Totem of Wrath. It provides increased spell power and increased critical strike chance by 3%.

The common misconception of this ability is that it does not stack with the Moonkin Form aura, but in fact it does stack,  the specific Elemental Shaman effect that does not stack with the moonkin form aura is Elemental Oath.

One ability which is also not often used is Fire Nova. It used to be called Fire Nova Totem, but since patch 3.3, it changed to the current version. The misconception about this ability is that it requires either Searing Totem or Magma Totem in order to work, but it actually works just the same if used in conjunction with Totem of Wrath.

Elemental Mastery is one of your utmost important abilities, and this is not due to the fact that it offers you an instant cast of your main abilities but due to the fact that it offers you a buff of 15% spell haste for 15 seconds. The sweet part about this ability is the fact that its cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds each time you cast a Lightning Bolt or a Chain Lightning. With proper haste and the buff of 15% spell haste you receive, you can accomplish multiple Elemental Masteries in a very fast window.

The last bit of information you should remember is the proper weapon imbue effect which you should use, and even if it sounds like a no brainer, you can still meet to this day people who use the wrong one. We are obviously talking about Flametongue Weapon. Why this weapon effect specifically? Because of the Elemental Weapons talent.

Single Target Rotation

Alright, so now that we have gone through the detailed description of how your abilities work and can be synergised we will talk about rotations. Here is where the spam part of your gameplay comes into play.

You should always start by placing your totems before engaging the target, immediately proceeding to apply Flame Shock to the target followed by Elemental Mastery and Lava Burst. With the help of the spell haste you gain and the potential Bloodlust/Heroism buff, depending on the encounter (it is usually used in the beginning of the fight in order to catch the trinket procs) you can start spamming Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt. It is heavily implied throughout the guide that both Chain Lightning and Lava Burst should always be used on cooldown, but beware the fact that you will have to maintain Flame Shock on the target.

You will rinse and repeat this spam up until the point in which you are low on mana, but just to be careful you can use Thunderstorm on cooldown in order to maintain your mana. However, Thunderstorm is an ability that has the potential to cause a wipe due to the fact that it can launch adds in various directions to which your raid might not desire them. A simple fix for this issue that can also incorporate the damage of the ability instead of just being used as a filler mana regen spell is the Glyph of Thunderstorm. This glyph allows you to gain another 2% mana regeneration from the spell and also removes the troublesome knockback effect.

The rotation of the class is pretty straightforward and many might call it a no brainer but without the proper haste and critical strike chance, your damaging spells will not accomplish the same amount of “explosive” power as the other casters, so make sure to tweak your gear accordingly and explain to your beloved allies that you are a class which requires a bit more “grind” than the others.

Area of Effect Rotation 

Firstly, we have in our kit Chain Lightning, a spell that with proper haste has high the potential to be spammed. Alongside Chain Lightning, we can make use of Fire Nova, a highly damaging AoE fire spell which will hit all the enemies in the range of your fire totem. Just be sure to place your totem near your targets before you cast it so you do not accidentally create an “oof” moment!

Lastly, we can make use of our fire totems, having two main tools at our disposal, the first one being the Magma Totem which will hit all our enemies in a 8-yard radius, effectively ticking 10 times, and the second one being the Fire Elemental Totem. It summons forth an extremely powerful Fire Elemental that will make quick work of your stacked enemies.


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Isn’t the Elemental Weapons talent worthless because u only increase the spell damage of the enchantment proc and not overall spell power?

Reply to  Jakori
1 year ago

At 70 the enchant gives 96 spell power. Thats what gets increased by 30%. So will be around 125 Im guessing

Reply to  Jakori
1 year ago

No, flame tongue increases spell power for ele as well.

Reply to  Jakori
1 year ago

The wording is kind of odd, but Flametongue Weapon has two components. The first is “Fire Damage” which is the damage it deals per swing, and the second is “Spell Damage” which is the boost to your Spell Power. This is specifically Spell Damage as it does not give any boost to Healing.

Elemental Weapons only benefits the Spell Damage portion, not the Fire Damage portion, making it a boost for Elemental casts.

Scroll to Top