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Enhancement Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we list your Enhancement Shaman (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing an Enhancement Shaman will face you with. The other articles of our Enhancement Shaman guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Basic Single Target Rotation↑top

The rotation of an Enhancement Shaman revolves around the following priority list:

  1. Put down and refresh Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem
    • try to refresh with less than 3 seconds remaining on Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames (the DoT left by the totem).
  2. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  3. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.
  4. Apply and refresh Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock
    • try to always use Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements just before casting Flame Shock.
    • refresh when there are between 0 and 3 seconds left on Flame Shock.
  5. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, only if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  6. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock.

2. Basic Multiple Target Rotation↑top

Use your normal rotation on one target with the following changes:

3. Cooldowns↑top

Besides the iconic Heroism Icon Heroism (Alliance) and Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust (Horde), your only real DPS cooldown is Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit. You should use this ability on cooldown or keep it for burst damage.

If you intend to keep Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit for Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust, Heroism Icon Heroism, or Time Warp Icon Time Warp, make sure the wolves are out before the raid cooldown is cast. Otherwise, your wolves will not gain extra haste.

Furthermore, the wolves benefit from your Attack Power, so it is beneficial to cast Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit during times when your Attack Power is increased (Enchant Weapon - Landslide proc, for example).

4. Self Buffs and Totems↑top

There are three self-buffs that you should always have up:

As a Shaman, you can provide your raid with various buffs from your totems. As other classes can provide buffs equivalent to those of your totems, you should discuss with your fellow raid members and your raid leader before deciding on which totems you will use. By default, use the following:

5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Enhancement Shaman↑top

While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, the single-target and multiple-target rotations of an Enhancement Shamans have many subtleties. Understanding them will help you play your character to its full potential.

5.1. Procs

As an Enhancement Shaman, you have the following procs: Flurry Icon Flurry, Elemental Devastation Icon Elemental Devastation, Windfury Weapon Icon Windfury Weapon, and Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon. Flurry, Elemental Devastation, and Windfury Weapon are largely out of your control and they happen so often that you should not try to time your abilities to benefit from them.

Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon, however, needs to be watched out for, as it enables you to perform an instant, mana-free cast of one of your spells. Usually, you will use it with Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, but you can sometimes need to use it with Greater Healing Wave Icon Greater Healing Wave, Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain, or Hex Icon Hex.

5.2. Single Target Rotation Subtleties

As we will see in this section, many of your abilities work together in ways that you need to understand.

5.2.1. Searing Flames and Lava Lash

Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem is your offensive totem. It applies a stacking DoT (Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames) on one of your targets, preferentially one that is affected by your Flame Shock and/or Stormstrike spells. The DoT stacks a maximum of 5 times, lasts 15 seconds and is refreshed every 2 seconds by your totem. This is important because it means that you do not need to refresh Searing Totem as soon as it expires. You can indeed wait for the DoT to have 3 seconds remaining before putting down Searing Totem once again.

The reason why Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash is your strongest spell is because each stack of Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames on the target increases its damage by 20% (thanks to the Improved Lava Lash Icon Improved Lava Lash talent).

5.2.2. Stormstrike and Nature spells

Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike is a special melee attack that applies a debuff on your target, increasing your chance to critically hit with Nature spells (Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock, Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, and Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield) on that target by 25% (35% with Glyph of Stormstrike).

5.2.3. Unleash Elements and Flame Shock

Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements and Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock are two complementary abilities. You will always cast Unleash Elements before applying Flame Shock on the target, in order to benefit from Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame (a 7-second buff granted by Unleash Elements).

The cooldown on Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements is shorter than the DoT duration of Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock, which enables you to always have Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame up when you refresh Flame Shock.

Do not hesitate to weave in other abilities between your cast of Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements and your cast of Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock. You can do so thanks to the 7-second duration of Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame.

For example, Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock can be on cooldown because of a recent cast of Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock (remember that Shock spells share a common cooldown) so you can cast Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements first, followed by some other ability that would be off cooldown before finally casting Flame Shock.

Another example is when Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements comes of cooldown first, followed by Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash and Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock; in that case, cast the spells in that order: Unleash Elements, Lava Lash, Flame Shock.

5.2.4. Maelstrom Weapon and Lightning Bolt

Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon is a stacking self-buff that each of your melee attacks has a chance to apply. Each stack of Maelstrom Weapon decreases the cast time and mana cost of some of your spells, most notably Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt.

At 5 stacks, your Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt costs no mana and has an instant cast. This is why you should, in most cases, wait until you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon before using Lightning Bolt.

As we will see in the next section, there are times when you can use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt with fewer than 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.

5.2.5. Free Global Cooldowns

When all your spells from the priority list are on cooldown or unavailable, you can:

  • refresh your Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem if it is going to expire soon or;
  • cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt with 3 or 4 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon if a few abilities are going to come off cooldown shortly (this prevents delaying the cast of Lightning Bolt because of having to cast higher priority abilities).

You can of course do nothing if neither of these two condition is met.

5.2.6. Opening

On the pull, before you have any stacks of Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames on your target, you can open with Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements, Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock, dropping your totems, and Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.

The idea is that Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash only becomes your most damaging spell when your target has stacks of Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames.

In multiple-target fights, it is important to cast Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock before dropping your totems, so that your Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem attacks the proper target right away.

5.3. Multiple Target Rotation Subtleties

If you perform your normal single-target rotation on a boss or a priority target (an add from the pack you are trying to kill, for example), any nearby enemy will already take a decent amount of collateral damage from Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock being spread by Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash (thanks to Improved Lava Lash Icon Improved Lava Lash).

When fighting a boss surrounded with adds, you can control how much single-target DPS you deal to your main target and how much AoE damage you deal to nearby enemies. To do so, use your normal single-target rotation on one target, with only 1 or 2 of the 3 changes we suggested for the AoE rotation.

Note that putting down Magma Totem Icon Magma Totem will cause you to eventually lose your stacks of Searing Flames Icon Searing Flames on the boss or whatever priority target you had been previously attacking. It usually happens anyway, when switching from the boss to adds, because Searing Totem will preferentially attack your current targets, as they are afflicted with your Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock DoT or your Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike debuff.

5.4. Kiting

As an Enhancement Shaman, you will make a great kiter, thanks to Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf and Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem, which allow you to safely run away from the enemies you are assigned to kite. You can also use Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to slow down specific enemies.

One advantage that you have over other kiter classes, such as Frost Mages, is your ability to taunt by using Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements when one of your weapons is imbued with Rockbiter Weapon Icon Rockbiter Weapon. Stoneclaw Totem Icon Stoneclaw Totem can also be a great way to taunt enemies.

When kiting, you should try to move in a circular manner. To achieve that, you should always be moving sideways (left or right) and use the camera control (by default, the mouse right button) to try and rotate around a fixed point. The idea is that it enables you to target the enemies you are kiting and it makes it easier to group them together.

Your main problem will be to get initial aggro on a pack of enemies because of your lack of repeatable, instant cast time AoE damage ability. Your best choice is to use Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock followed by a Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova but you have very little room for error, due to the cooldowns on these abilities. Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning (with Glyph of Chain Lightning preferably) can work for small groups of enemies. Later on, you can easily maintain your aggro with Unleash Elements and Rockbiter Weapon.

5.5. Tier 13 4-piece Restoration Bonus

If you have 4 pieces of the Restoration Tier 13 set, you can equip them before a fight begins and cast Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace. You will benefit from the +30% haste that the Tier 13 4-piece Restoration bonus gives you while Spiritwalker's Grace is active. Do not forget to equip back your Enhancement gear.




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