wotlk pve enhancement shaman rotation cooldowns abilities
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: February 16, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

In this section we will be covering information on various spells and abilities that are in an Enhancement 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.

Make sure to read the Overview as well!

The Enhancement Shaman is a hybrid class, offering both high utility and high damage for its party. However, it has one of the hardest rotations in the current meta. In fact, due to how complicated it is, this specialization is off-putting for the majority of the players. Even so, with the proper knowledge you can turn the tide and bring forth the true wrath of the elements unto your enemies.

In this guide, we will go through several key points of the Enhancement Shaman’s gameplay and give suggestions for how you can perfect your playstyle.

As we already said, the Enhancement Shaman is a class that works as a hybrid, meaning that it can deal high-burst type of damage, while also providing utility and healing.

We will explain each of the three different aspects in turn, for you to form a good understanding. Because, after all, you don’t want to bring shame to the elements watching over you, right?

As an Enhancement Shaman, you are characterized as a fast-moving elementally-imbued warrior, striking your enemies with the force of nature itself. This is most notably demonstrated by the constant use of Stormstrike, a blow dealt with both of your weapons, which then empowers the next four sources of nature damage you deal to the target. You will find yourself spamming Stormstrike to dish out as much damage to your target as possible, but you aren’t limited to that tactic alone. You can also make use of Lava Lash, which is a strike dealt by your off-hand and is a perfect complementary ability to Stormstrike.

One of the most important aspects of our gameplay is the efficient use of Maelstrom Weapon stacks. This involves picking the right stacks and when to use them, and whatever you choose can make a major difference to your damage output, utility, or self-healing. For example, you can use it to cast an instant Hex, a powerful Chain Lightning (which is very powerful in AoE fights), or even a healing ability, such as the Healing Wave.

If you recall this from the Stat Priority section, the reason we wanted as much haste as possible is to proc Maelstrom Weapon and Windfury Weapon faster and more often. Keep in mind that our Tier 10 Set bonus gives us increased attack power for 10 seconds after we reach 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, so strive to reach that point as often as possible.

Let’s move on to the next offensive array of spells under your command. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we are just getting started.

The Shaman class comes with a sizable assortment of spells, called Shocks. These instant-cast spells provide a variety of effects that can be inflicted on your targets, most of them causing instant damage or damage over time. Flame Shock is an important spell from this set: apply it to your target and keep it up at all times. Earth Shock, on the other hand, is more of a situational instant-damage ability. It is best used against melee damage-dealers because of its reduction of attack speed. Then, there is Frost Shock – it provides some damage and inflicts a movement-slowing effect.

Now that we covered the Shock spells and your bread-and-butter Stormstrike, let’s now discuss your most powerful cooldown – the Feral Spirit. You should always try to find the right moment to unleash your wolves instead of bluntly throwing them out at the beginning of the fight. They come with a dash and can also stun your target. Most importantly, they offer a considerable amount of damage – thanks to our awesome pick of Glyph of Feral Spirit, they will also have an additional 30% from your own attack power. Try to unleash them after your trinket procs.

It’s extremely important to not forget to imbue your weapons with Shaman’s own unique effects. The Enhancement Shaman benefits the most from the Windfury Weapon effect, having the potential to trigger multiple melee attacks at once – which means more Maelstrom Weapon effects! Windfury should always be paired up with the Flametongue Weapon in your off-hand.

We will now dwell on the crucial part of the Shaman Class – indeed, the trademark of the class itself: its Totems. The Totems offer similar utility to the Auras of the paladin class, the shaman being originally considered paladin’s counterpart. Of course, there will be distinctive differences between their effects.

While you can place each of them individually, you can also make three presets which will come very handy when particular situations come up: this approach will offer the Shaman extreme versatility and lots of ways to counteract the potential threats.

If you want to use effects similar to the ones that come with Auras, you can place the Fire Resistance Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, or Nature Resistance Totem.You can also cast some empowering effects with the Windfury Totem, Strength of Earth Totem, and Flametongue Totem. Finally, some absorption effects are offered by the Tremor Totem and the Grounding totem.

Most of your utility comes from the proper use of Totems, with an exception of Heroism/Bloodlust, Hex, and Wind Shear. Wind Shear is a highly spam-able interrupt effect – use it as often as possible. Bloodlust speaks for itself: use it at the beginning for a burst. Finally, Hex is just a form of Polymorph. However, unlike with a mage, it will not regenerate the HP of the target and it will be harder to break.

Purge is another utility spell that is important to mention – it removes two beneficial effects from the target, making it a very good spell to use with enemies that try to buff themselves. You can use it in a boss fight like King Ymiron, for example, when Bane is active. Also, it comes handy in fights such as Lord Jaraxxus, when there are no mages in your group.

Healing comes easy as an Enhancement Shaman since you have the Maelstrom Weapon – it can be triggered to proc a very powerful heal, which is cast instantly. Aside from that, you have massive mobility, so you can just kite the target; as you reposition yourself, you can fully recuperate by using the Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave. Although proccing Chain Heal might seem like a good idea, do remember that its effectiveness is reduced by 40% for every target healed.

Finally, we will talk about Shamanistic Rage. It is one of the few defensive cooldowns at your disposal, but it also brings in a new flavor with the Tier 10 2-Piece Set bonus. Once you acquire two pieces of Tier 10, Shamanistic Rage turns into an offensive cooldown as well, now offering a 12% damage increase for 15 seconds. Make sure to integrate this into your burst.

Single-Target Rotation

Now that we have explained the Enhancement Shaman’s abilities in-depth, we will move forward with the Single-Target Rotation. As we mentioned previously, the Enhancement Shaman has a rather difficult rotation to pull off, often annoying or outright demoralizing players who are trying to master it. Remember this and try not to give up.

First of all, we are using the Lightning Shield build, which means that we will have to upkeep Lightning Shield at all times. Now, due to Static Shock, we will have an on-hit chance to expend one of the orbs from the Lightning Shield. Furthermore, before the fight begins you’ll want to make sure you’ve enchanted your main hand weapon with Windfury Weapon and your off-hand weapon with Flametongue Weapon.

Make sure to open up with Flame Shock on the target – keep it up at all times. Your default Shock to follow with after Flame Shock should always be Earth Shock.

While your Stormstrike is still on cooldown, and you have just used your Earth Shock, you will want to make sure that your Magma Totem is placed in the proximity of the target. Considering the way we spent our talents, you will want to use Magma Totem at all times and maintain it.

Then, use Fire Nova. Remember to use Fire Nova on cooldown, just like with Stormstrike or your Shocks.

With testing during the beta, we have confirmed that Lava Lash is one of the lowest damage-dealing abilities in the whole rotation, meaning that you will want to use it as the last ability in your rotation, prioritizing every one ability.

Enhancement Shaman benefits from 2 massive DPS-boosting cooldowns, the first one is Feral Spirit and the second one is Fire Elemental Totem. Fire Elemental Totem can only be used once per fight, meaning that you will ideally want it up at the beginning of the encounter, of course, depending on the encounter itself. In some fights, you will want to pop it right at the beginning, for example, in fights such as Patchwerk or XT-002 Deconstructor, and keep it for later phases in fights such as Jarraxus, Deathbringer Saurfang, and Sindragosa.

When it comes to Feral Spirit, you will want to use it as soon as possible, paired with all of your other DPS-boosting effects, such as trinkets and potions. Use it every time it’s available, or during crucial moments when something needs to die ASAP.

Finally, Maelstrom Weapon, just like we mentioned above, is a very important mechanic that allows us to weave Lightning Bolt casts between our melee attacks. Depending on your cooldowns, you can choose to spend either 2-3 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon between your attacks or wait until you gain 5 stacks and instantly cast a Lightning Bolt. Depending on your weapon speed, you will either have fast access to 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, meaning consistent Lightning Bolt casts, or a slower build-up that will provide lower damage but will preserve your mana pool.

The daunting part of this rotation is the simultaneous upkeep of both your Flame Shock and Lightning Shield, at all times. But, do not fret – with proper practice, it will become second nature to you.

Now that we have explained the rotation, we will also offer a summary to help you visualize it.

Rotation Example

With proper practice, you will master this rotation and become a true Enhancement Shaman.

Totem Setup

When it comes to totem setup, it will depend on how many shamans you have in your raid! Generally speaking, you will find more than one shaman in a raid composition, meaning that each of you will have a different totem setup.

Example for an Enhancement Shaman:

Weapon Sync

There is a special mechanic for Enhancement Shamans that revolves around their Flurry talent. Just like in TBC, you can sync both your Main-Hand and Off-Hand weapons, making them hit the target at the same time. By accomplishing this, you end up consuming just one of the Flurry charges, the game effectively treating both hits from your weapons as a single hit, thus consuming a single Flurry charge.

This can be done by weaving spells in between your auto-attacks or by using “Startattack” macros on your spells. However, you will require an addon that tracks your swing timer in order to pull it off.

There is one more important aspect that should be mentioned, you will always want to have your Main-Hand weapon attack first rather than your Off-Hand weapon, to ensure that your Windfury procs more efficiently.

By managing to synchronize your weapons, you can achieve up to a 5% damage increase, however, it will mean more intensive micro of your rotation. It is entirely up to you if you wish to min-max your rotation in such a way.

Weapon Speed

Weapon speed plays a big role in how an Enhancement Shaman works. Depending on your weapon speed, you can achieve two different things. With slower weapons, you will have more time to weave in Lightning Bolt casts but you will have a lower frequency of Maelstrom Weapon. With fast weapons, you will consistently gain Maelstrom Weapon stacks but you will be forced to cast Lightning Bolt more often, leading to a potential mana-management issue.

The idea is that depending on your weapon of choice, you will either benefit from more consistent damage or from higher burst damage. It is all up to you.

Area-of-Effect Rotation 

The AoE rotation of an Enhancement Shaman is very similar to our single target rotation, with a couple of key differences.

The first one is the Magma Totem, which we have mentioned previously. Great thing is, this ability synergizes well with the second ability of the Enhancement Shaman – the Fire Nova.

Furthermore, when you get 5 Maelstrom Weapon stacks, you’ll want to use Chain Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt, as it deals incredibly high AoE damage.

Finally, if it is available, you’ll want to use Fire Elemental Totem instead of Magma Totem. Bear in mind that it doesn’t benefit from the raid cooldown reset system that Blizzard implemented in WotLK Classic, and it has a pretty lengthy 10 minute cooldown, so you’ll want to save it for those fights with a LOT of adds for it to attack.

Our AoE as an Enhancement Shaman is unfortunately not the best, but it can be a lot of fun to see big Chain Lightning and Fire Nova crits all over your screen!


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.
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5 months ago

You arent mentioning chain lightning or lightning bolt in the rotation at all?

Reply to  asdMan69
2 months ago

Hey, thank you for your comment! It was mentioned in the Overview section but not in the rotation summary, so thank you for pointing it out — the guide has been updated!

6 months ago

Does weapon speed effect dps as much as it does now? Also, if it does, do we need to make sure our weapons are hitting at the same time again in wrath? (maybe I was doing it wrong but getting both weapons to hit at the exact same time to both proc windfury wasnt super easy to me.)

Reply to  Sved
3 months ago

Weapon sync is still important so you can double dip flurry procs, but stagger no longer matters because you’ll be using Flametongue on your offhand in all cases.

Slower weapons are also preferred because they give you a larger window to LB weave (use lightning bolt with one or more MSW stacks provided you can squeeze it in between autos). Having at least 1 stack of MSW causes LB/CL (and actually also Lava Burst) to not reset your swing timer, whether or not the spell is instant. So basically you can “weave” more hard-casted spells in between your auto attacks with slower weapons.

8 months ago

With such a totem/shock heavy rotation why wouldn’t we want 100% chance for storm strike to give us 20% of our mana? Is mana not an issue as enhance? I know shamanistic rage gives us mana back but it just feels like I’d oom without that imp storm strike maxed in talents..I’ve only played ele shaman currently in tbc so I wouldn’t know about enhance at all; sorry if this is a stupid question

Reply to  Arvon-benediction
7 months ago

I played a private server, I would say early expac if you really struggle go for all the talent points in it but if you find mana management easy just use 2/3

Reply to  Canisus
7 months ago

Sorry I meant 1/2

1 month ago

Never have I seen more inaccurate information in one guide before. Anyone who wants to follow this setup, prepare to be mocked by everyone in your guild for your poor performance.

7 months ago

which totem are you supposed to use

Reply to  Dazepo
7 months ago

Strength of earth, windfury if you have party members who can benefit of not use the agi totem, healing or mana stream totem depending on what you wanna do and magma totem for dps

Reply to  Canisus
5 months ago

Incorrect. The effects of Strength of Earth and Grace of Air are combined into a single earth totem, Strength of Earth. Totems are party/raid wide so as an enhancement shaman, you will be using Strength of Earth, Windfury, Healing Stream/Mana Spring totem and Magma Totem.

7 months ago

But what would you use for weapon effect? Windfury/Rockbiter/Flametongue?
Did I miss anything?

Reply to  Mikalia
5 months ago

Windfury on your main hand, Flametongue on your off hand.

4 months ago

is synciing your weapons also a deal in wotlk?

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