General Introduction of this Build
World of Warcraft: Legion is going pretty well so far and I’m having a blast with it, but if you’re playing an Elemental Shaman (like me), you’ll know that there’s a fair amount of negativity surrounding the specialisation. And this goes for both PvE and PvP content. But today we’re going to just focus on the PvP side of things and take a look at a build or rather, a play style that seems to work, depending on the situation.
Now you may be thinking “but my spells don’t hit for much, especially Lava Burst“, in which case you could take Control of Lava, but taking that sacrifices a lot of mobility through Lava Surge and potentially more damage just from the sheer number of Lava Bursts you can churn out. But this play style we’re going through very soon doesn’t put Lava Burst in the spotlight. In this case, damage isn’t your priority, it’s what you bring in terms of area control with Earthquake.
Ok, so Earthquake alone doesn’t hit very hard. It’s the knockdown effect that you want to make as much use of as possible. What happens if you can lay out 2 Earthquakes among a group of players? What about 4? Or even 7+? That’s going to cause a lot of frustration for the enemy, right? I’ve been using this build in both Battlegrounds and Rated Battlegrounds and it works well when trying to get the enemy away from flags or capture points.
Before we head onto each talent row, here’s a short list of both the advantages and disadvantages that this play style brings with it.
Pros & Cons
+ Bring a lot of field control and area denial/anti-flag captures
+ Rapid Maelstrom generation
+ Decent mobility as Earthquake is cast instantly and you’ll be relying less on casting for Maelstrom
+ Strong sustain AoE (Area of Effect) damage
– Single target damage suffers as a result, so it’s a much better spec in BGs, RBGs and maybe…just maybe 3v3, but most likely not since there aren’t enough targets for you to cast Earthquake often enough
– If there aren’t many targets (less than 3) to Flame Shock, this build loses a lot of value
Totem Mastery is absolutely 100% needed for this build, mainly for the passive Maelstrom that you gain while it’s active. The extra Flame Shock damage, +10% Mastery: Elemental Overload proc chance for Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning and +2% haste will help with spread damage. Don’t forget to use Stormkeeper to AoE with Chain Lightning (or save it for Lightning Bolt against priority burst targets if you need to)! It does a lot of damage. Earthen Rage doesn’t add anything to this build and Path of Flame isn’t worth using in any form of play.
This row is more of a personal preference, although the only viable options are Gust of Wind and Wind Rush Totem because they provide far better uses than Ancestral Guidance. If you’re group doesn’t have a group wide movement speed increase skill and they need one, then Wind Rush Totem takes the spot. On the other hand, Gust of Wind is a decent self utility skill with a short cooldown.
Much like the level 30 row, these talents depend on the group. Too many stuns? Grab Earthgrab Totem. Need an AoE (area of effect) stun? Lightning Surge Totem fills that void. Voodoo Totem hasn’t really got as much going for it. It replaces Hex for an AoE version.
With the other two talents, you at least have Hex and another AoE utility skill. Plus, it doesn’t make much sense to use Earthquake on hexed targets, but the same can also be said for Earthgrab since damage can break the roots. Take whichever suits you and/or your group needs.
While Elemental Blast offers some pretty big damage, it doesn’t synergise with anything else in the spec, apart from Mastery: Elemental Overload. On the other end, Echo of Elements is neat but works better with Control of Lava, which we aren’t going to use. Ancestral Swiftness is almost essential, boasting a +10% haste increase at all times. This helps Flame Shock tick rate and quickens your Maelstrom generation through faster cast times. Gotta go fast right?
Just like Path of Flame, Elemental Fusion is a pretty bad talent in all cases and it’s even more so when you have Primal Elementalist and Icefury. You can pick either of these two because both are good in different situations. Icefury grants you 24 Maelstrom, double the amount Lava Burst gives, and turns the next four Frost Shocks into nukes. It’ll strengthen your single target damage, but the reason Primal Elementalist is better for this build is because we want to save all our Maelstrom (or at least most of it) for Earthquake and spreading Flame Shock. Oh and it also makes your Fire Elemental hit a lot harder.
Storm Elemental is another sub par talent and unfortunately doesn’t see much use. Elemental Mastery is a great skill for burst phases, but Aftershock is basically mandatory for this play style because you’ll be saving a lot of Maelstrom, and therefore pump out far more Earthquakes and Flame Shocks.
Ascendance is a strong burst cooldown, especially with Elemental Mastery and Control of Lava. But that’s a whole new build in itself. So sticking with the instant cast, high mobile build that we’re going for, Liquid Magma Totem fits the bill. Lightning Rod is an okay alternative and offers sustain damage, but better serves as a PvE talent.
Honor PvP Talents
This row is entirely down to you. Personally I go for Gladiator’s Medallion.
Windfury Totem doesn’t seem to get much use, even with a melee heavy team. The reason is because the other to talents are immensely superior. Skyfury Totem is a good pick to line up during burst phases with other casters on your team, or to help out healers.
Counterstrike Totem however is actually only better because it has the potential to wipe an entire team, if it isn’t dealt with. Against good teams, Counterstrike can easily be countered (pun intended!) by simply destroying it. That’s why Skyfury can be a better choice.
Purging important buffs on enemies is a strong ability. That’s why I’ve gone Purifying Waters, to give you a benefit whenever you need to use Purge. The other two talents aren’t bad alternatives and can be chosen if you prefer them.
Without a doubt, Fire and Ice is mandatory. It’s perhaps the most important talent across both talent trees, for this build. Do you know why? With this talent, every time Flame Shock deals periodic damage, you gain 3 Maelstrom. So imagine how much Maelstrom you can gain if you apply Flame Shock to 6+ targets. The +20% Frost Shock damage that comes with it is negligible, unless you take Icefury.
The other two talents you can ignore for this setup.
The final row give you the choice between Earth Shock stunning a target for 2 seconds, a shorter cooldown on Thunderstorm and allows you to use it on friendly targets and a 6 second channeled stun that deals x damage over its duration.
Lightning Lasso is very easily interruptible and will lock you out of all nature spells, so it’s too risky to use. Travelling Storms is good to use when you see a healer in trouble and need to peel for them. In battlegrounds like Eye of the Storm and Arathi Basin, Travelling Storms is a good choice, where you can knock targets off from cliffs and to their deaths.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Once again, this build only really works when you have a lot of targets, at least 3 or 4, to get your Maelstrom generating at a steady rate. When you’re generating a lot of Maelstrom, you can start to pump out Earthquakes, which is what you should be focusing on. I’d write up a priority list, but in PvP combat, it’s reactive. So there isn’t a true rotation to follow. But a general priority list would look like this:
Spread Flame Shock > Earthquake > Stormkeeper (Chain Lightning) if 3+ targets are close enough / Or if you need to burst down a single target, save it for Lightning Bolt > Lava Burst
How have you been doing as an Elemental Shaman in World of Warcraft: Legion so far, in both PvE and PvP content?