PvP Elemental Shaman Rotations, Cooldowns & Abilities

earth elementals for pvp elemental shaman guide

The Elemental Shaman is a high-burst caster class that fills in the role of a hybrid, it provides extreme amounts of damage while also supporting the role of an “off-healer”  if the need arises. As an Elemental Shaman, you are characterized as a static caster that offers high damage who can also create distance between you and your enemies through various means.

This spec can also debuff targets by purging their effects, it can slow the target through the use of totems, displace the target, or simply run away from the target through the use of your ghost wolf form. With practice, you can become a true master of the elements and bring down true nature’s wrath upon any enemies that dare come near you.

In this guide, we’ll first go over all the important spells and abilities, and then discuss how to utilize these spells in the strategy section.


You can’t utilize your spells effectively if you don’t understand them! In this section, you can learn everything you need to know about the Elemental Shaman’s spells.

Click a section to expand it!

Firstly as a high damage dealer, your main damaging spells are  Lava Burst, Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, and Flame Shock. Flame Shock is the first damaging spell you will want to apply to your target as it provides a debuff that not only damages your target over time but also empowers your lava burst, ensuring that it will critically strike. When paired up with lava burst, chain lightning is an extremely powerful spell.

To create a powerful burst, the Elemental Shaman has access to Elemental Mastery, which is a spell you can macro to make your other spells an instant cast, for example, you can cast a  Lava Burst followed by Elemental Mastery and an instant Chain Lightning.

The Shaman class possesses a vast variety of spells called shocks, they are instant cast and provide a variety of effects upon the targets, most of them providing instant damage or damage over time. Flame Shock is a spell that we mentioned earlier and you must keep it up at all times. Earth Shock is a situational instant damage ability best used against melee damage dealers because of the reduction of attack speed. Frost Shock provides damage and a movement slowing effect.

One of the most interesting and satisfying spells that the Elemental specialization provides you is Thunderstorm. This spell can be used to displace your enemies creating distance between you and them, it can also be used to throw people off cliffs or down into ravines in battlegrounds or the open world. This spell also regenerates 8% of your mana, so feel free to use it anytime your mana pool starts being chipped away.

Now we’ll cover the trademark of the Shaman class: totems. While you can place each of them individually, you can also make three presets which will be very useful for any situation that presents itself, thus offering the shaman extreme versatility and lots of ways to counteract potential threats. 

You can provide effects similar to auras via 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. Use Bloodlust at the beginning of the fight for burst. Hex is just a form of polymorph that — unlike the mage spell — will not regenerate the HP of the target; it’s also harder to break.

The special totem that the Elemental Shaman provides is the Totem of Wrath, this totem should be up at all times because of the very powerful buff that it provides: this totem increases the spell power and critical chance of each party or raid member. When it comes to the gameplay of the Elemental Shaman, you will want to make sure that most of the spells you cast are going to be critical hits, this totem alongside your gear and talents will make sure that this happens.  

Ever been jealous of the dispel effect of the Priest class? Well, fret not, now you can do it as well! The Purge spell removes two beneficial effects from the target and is highly spammable — the best thing about Purge is the fact that you can cast it instantly.

The Elemental Shaman is also a very strong healer. Being a hybrid class, its purpose during any type of PvP scenario is to deal damage as well as also provide healing. Due to the fact that it has high spell power and a lot of haste, it can provide a significant amount of healing in a very short time, either through the use of Lesser Healing Wave, Healing Wave, or Chain Heal.

However, you must be aware of the fact that by doing so (spamming your abilities) you can quickly run out of mana. MP5 gear and the proper (and constant) use of Water Shield will mitigate this problem somewhat — even so, you must always be aware of your mana pool, especially when fighting against classes that drain it.


Now that we have explained the abilities, we will summarize typical strategies that you will want to adopt into any kind of PvP scenario, especially during arenas and battlegrounds.


Your job is to disrupt as many enemies as you can and provide high burst damage or off-healing. Therefore, you should place yourself on the backline amongst the other casters or in between your team and the enemies to maximize your potential.

However, there is one more important aspect that we ought to talk about, namely, Line-of-Sight.

Line-of-Sight, generally mentioned in the game throughout the community simply as LoS, involves a mechanic in which you utilize your surrounding environment to cancel the abilities of your enemies. You can do so by hiding behind pillars, rock, walls, ramparts, and many more environmental objects! To properly use this mechanic, you should always hide behind a pillar right before an enemy spell caster manages to finish his ability, or even early on during his casting time. Furthermore, you can use this mechanic in conjunction with your Ghost Wolf ability to kite your enemies and create a gap between you!

Spell Priority

You can open up with Heroism/Bloodlust and then place your totem presets, followed by applying Flame Shock to the target you are focusing and then instantly cast Lava Burst followed by a Chain Lightning

Thunderstorm is a very powerful ability that should never be forgotten. If the caster line is being rushed by any melee class, you should immediately use this ability to displace them and create distance between your allies and your foes.

In case you are trying to burst down a healer, using  Purge, Wind Shear and Hex will be the difference between success and failure. In case you are being targeted by a potential crowd control or a high-threat damaging ability such as Chaos Bolt, you can use your Grounding totem in order to mitigate it. Rinse and repeat.


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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1 year ago

amazing writeup, i find myself using this site more and more every day since skyfury server launched lol, great site.

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