Shamans are one of the most versatile classes in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in both player-vs-player (PvP) and player-vs-environment (PvE) due to their potential to fulfill multiple roles as needed. While Restoration is the most preferred specialization due to a huge disparity between healer and DPS specializations, Enhancement Shamans are great to pick up because of their large array of utility.
In PvP, Enhancement Shamans have various viable setups. While Elementals will have an easier time finding arena partners due to having multiple viable compositions, Enhancement Shamans can reach a high rating by playing various melee cleaves, with Turbo Cleave (Arms Warrior/Enhancement Shaman/Holy Paladin) being the most popular setup. In PvE, Enhancement Shamans have a lot of utility and are a welcome addition for encounters where melee classes thrive.
Here are the best Enhancement Shamans talents and build for PvP and PvE.
Enhancement Shamans are in a great spot PvP-wise due to their utility and the high burst damage they bring to the table. With clearly defined offensive cooldowns, you can destroy your opponents within seconds before they realize what happened. The totems and interrupt in your kit allow you to provide great utility in both rated battlegrounds and arenas in various compositions.
Unlike other melee classes, Enhancements are quite easy to kill. Their primary defensive cooldown is Astral Shift, which is on a 90-second cooldown. On top of that, it can’t be used while crowd-controlled (CC) unlike other melee defensives and you need to predict your opponent’s kill setups to get good use out of it. Another big weakness is that you don’t have access to CC on your primary target. You have Hex, which is mostly used on focus targets to give you enough time to secure a kill. But since it gets interrupted by damage, you have to rely on your partners’ CC to set up kills.
Level 15: Elemental Blast – This an extra ability to play with, especially after the buffs that allow you to do extra damage during your burst phases.
Level 25: Stormflurry – This is the best talent in the row, increasing your burst damage by giving your Stormstrike a chance to hit again for a lower amount of damage. While other talents would be good in certain situations, they’re not worth being taken over Stormflurry due to their lower amount of damage.
Level 30: Earth Shield – This is the best talent in the row and you should never forego it. It puts a healing buff on you or your allies, providing great utility and healing throughput in a match.
Level 35: Elemental Assault – This talent works well in your gameplay. It enhances the power of Stormstrike and allows you to do more damage overall throughout the match. Other choices can be decent in RBG scenarios but are lackluster in arenas.
Level 40: Nature’s Guardian – This talent should help you cover your weaknesses a bit since it automatically activates during periods where you’re affected by CC. The low cooldown, combined with the huge maximum health percent heal, puts this talent above the rest.
Level 45: Sundering – This ability should help you cover the moments where you miss your interrupt. The low-duration incapacitate can act as a secondary interrupt in crucial moments, which should help you pick up kills with ease.
Level 50: Ascendance – This talent turns you into a ranged ascendant for 15 seconds. It allows you to connect to classes that have a lot of mobility and the overall damage increase from it makes it the best pick by default. While other talents could be great in some situations, you can never go wrong with Ascendance.
Your stat priority is Versatility > Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike.
Versatility is your core stat since it increases your damage, while also making you harder to kill. While the damage increase might not be as high as the others, the additional survivability it grants you is crucial to negate your weakness. Haste is the best secondary stat after Versatility, giving you faster attacks and globals to increase your damage throughput. Mastery and Critical Strike are lower in priority. But if you have higher item level gear with these stats, feel free to use them instead. As for the Legendary item, you want to go for Doom Winds, which is the best in slot legendary power right now. It increases your power every time you summon Windfury Totem on a small one-minute cooldown.
The optimal covenant for an Enhancement Shaman in PvP is Venthyr. The Chain Harvest ability dwarfs other covenant abilities due to how much damage and healing it does. On top of that, the Door of Shadows signature ability of the covenant allows you to quickly move around the map if you’re out of your basic cooldowns.
If you went for other choices but still want to be competitive, it’s a good idea to reroll to Venthyr since its ability is much more powerful and scales better compared to other abilities.
The three PvP talents you should use by default are Grounding Totem, Ride the Lightning, and Shamanism. While the first one is picked up to negate crucial spells from your opponents, the other two are meant to increase your burst damage potential. If you want more survivability, you can go for Swelling Waves for the additional delayed healing on Healing Surge.
Enhancement Shamans have remained a high-intensity melee spec in PvE that involves juggling a lot of different abilities and effects to deal sustained damage. But they can be fragile and rely on healing tools rather than damage mitigation.
The specialization has great sustained single-target and mid-target AoE pressure but is best used for short burst phases. Due to the impactful cooldowns you have, you’re strong during small periods after you’ve stacked up your Maelstrom resource and damage buff increases. The utility you bring to a party in the form of Windfury totem and offheals makes you a great pick-up for most encounters.
While you’re strong in terms of the damage and utility you bring, you fall short in encounters where there’s a lot of kiting involved since the less uptime you have on your target, the fewer effects you can activate, which will hurt both your damage and healing in the long run.
Level 15: Elemental Blast – This talent is single-target focused and is excellent in that regard for certain encounters. It also requires you to manage Maelstrom Weapon by making sure it’s used on cooldown. But if this is done correctly, you’ll win out on average damage compared to other talents.
Level 25: Stormflurry – This is the default talent in the row, increasing your burst damage by giving your Stormstrike a chance to hit again for a lower amount of damage. It’s versatile and hard to misplay compared to other talents that require situational awareness for additional damage.
Level 30: Earth Shield – This is the best talent in the row and you should never forego it. It puts a healing buff on you or your allies, providing great utility and healing throughput in an encounter. The other two talents have limited uses and you should avoid picking them.
Level 35: Elemental Assault – This talent works well in your gameplay. It enhances the power of Stormstrike and allows you to do more damage overall throughout the match. It synergizes great with Stormflurry, which is the level 25 talent as well.
Level 40: Nature’s Guardian – This talent should help you cover your weaknesses a bit since it automatically activates if you drop below a certain health threshold. It’s a nice effect to take some pressure off your healers.
Level 45: Sundering – This ability has a small 40-second cooldown and should fill in the cooldown gaps that you have in your kit. The additional interrupt can come in handy in some encounters, making this a great default pick.
Level 50: Ascendance – This talent turns you into a ranged ascendant for 15 seconds. It allows you to have explosive periods, while also bringing lower cooldowns to your primary abilities. Those abilities will become ranged and will allow you to do damage in encounters where you need to keep your distance from the boss.
Your stat priority is Haste > Critical Strike > Versatility> Mastery.
Unlike PvP, in PvE, you don’t need to stack up on Versatility to be tankier or deal a lot of damage. You benefit from all stats quite well, but Haste is the king in a PvE environment since it allows you to have a higher uptime and lower cooldowns. While the first three stats are interchangeable and if you have an item with them on a higher item level, you should equip it. But Mastery is a different story. The power activated mostly against AoE encounters makes it quite lackluster in single-target encounters, so you should avoid going for this stat.
The optimal covenant for an Enhancement Shaman in PvE is Venthyr. But Kyrian comes in a close second. The Chain Harvest ability from Venthyr has huge flexibility and can increase your damage and healing throughput in most encounters. Kyrian’s Vesper Totem is great as well for certain encounters where you need some additional burst damage or healing. Both Necrolord and Night Fae are lackluster and should be avoided if you want to stay competitive.