Elemental Shaman Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Elemental Shaman. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Elemental Shaman community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Elemental Shaman Guide
Storm Earth & Lava is the online community for shaman.
In Battle for Azeroth, the Elemental Shaman’s core gameplay remains the same from its highly regarded state during Legion. The base concept of the specialisation remains; a caster that builds a resource (Maelstrom) through a flurry of spells and spends it in an explosive single target burst (
) or an iconic area-of-effect spell (
). The changes in Patch 8.0 help cement this fantasy of lightning- and lava-spewing elementalist quite nicely, but at the cost of simplification of the spec.
Back to Basics
In its current 8.0 state, Elemental suffers from a lack of depth in its gameplay. The Legion design had a low skill floor, but allowed for a great deal of “min-maxing”, a term used to describe a high skill ceiling. In other words this means the specialisation is easy to pick up but has the room for excellent play to bring a player’s damage up. The changes over to Battle for Azeroth have lowered the skill ceiling quite considerably, removing a lot of nuance in the specialisation that could separate the good from the great players. A lot of this is tied to the removal of passives like Elemental Focus and the Maelstrom cost removal from
The specialization's interactivity in Battle for Azeroth is propped up a bit by talent choices, but these interactions and synergies are entirely at the mercy of talent balancing. Certain combinations like Echo of the Elements and
create engaging gameplay that would be better served as a baseline function of the specialisation, rather than hoping the two talents are balanced well and the best options for an encounter. Additional discussion can be found in our “Open Letter to the Developers” on Storm, Earth & Lava:
Elemental’s Place in the Ranged DPS Lineup
When considering what class and specialisation you’re looking to play in Battle for Azeroth, it’s important to consider how a specialisation compares to its peers, and not just individual strengths and weaknesses. A closer look at the meta-level strengths of each ranged specialisation makes one thing very clear; there are two main strengths that ranged DPS bring -- immunity cooldowns (Hunters, Mages) and multi-DoT capabilities (Warlocks, Shadow, Balance). Elemental does not fit into either of these camps due to its lack of an
-like ability, and the cooldown on
making it very impractical and often ineffective to apply the DoT to multiple targets. Beyond these two ranged archetypes, Elemental provides some raid utility in the form of
. Movement ability is another point of difference, with Elemental being one of two specialisations (the other being Shadow) that do not boast burst mobility (sometimes referred to as blinks). Gust of Wind was a staple of Elemental’s toolkit in Legion, and its absence is sorely felt. As far as damage mode goes, Elemental’s has historically been focused on five target stacked area-of-effect damage, with relatively weak two-three target cleave and average single target output. This is all at the mercy of tuning, but the concept of specialisations’ damage modes helps when considering what class you want to level for certain content (Mythic+ vs. Mythic Raids). With all of this said -- Elemental, along with every specialisation in the game, will remain an option for any content the game has to offer.
Talents not mentioned in this section are simply carried over from Legion, or do not have any special interactions/depth to them that needs explanation.
- Adds an interaction between
for added burst. Note that this talent applies a debuff to the target you cast
on, requiring that the target survives for at least the time it takes to
(and for the
proc to occur after
- Adds an interaction between
’ buff is applied immediately on a successful cast, not when the
projectile hits the target, which is distinct from every other interaction with
in the past (and present). The benefit here is that you won’t need to cast a filler spell between
and the spell you wish to empower with
- A fairly powerful talent that should be considered mostly for its defensive value, not the movement increase it provides.
is quite potent for predictable damage intake when you have the freedom to spend a few seconds in
, and when
is on cooldown.
- Causes your
to ‘roll’ an additional
hit at a 50% reduced rate. This means if you cast
with a 50% mastery chance, you will have a 50% chance to proc one hit of
and then a 25% chance to proc an additional hit granted by
. This is quite strong for sustained single target and area-of-effect damage, but lacks the reliable burst of
- this talent has seen some interesting changes from Legion, particularly with its empowerment of
. In addition to a beefier tank to help alleviate some damage from your tank(s), the Primal Earth Elemental now also provides you with an additional defensive cooldown in the form of Harden Skin. This is essentially a second
, but usable on a 5 minute cooldown. The Primal Fire Elemental’s area-of-effect spell has changed to Meteor, a single hit nuke usable once in the elemental’s lifetime.
- named after every Elemental’s favourite scene from Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, this talent provides some tangible swing to your haste rating, and has a synergistic effect with increased mastery. You can get quite lucky with
casts and end up with
stacks in the 15-20 range. However, this talent just serves as a more interesting version of Ancestral Swiftness from Legion in that it provides ‘effective’ passive haste.
Elemental in Battle for Azeroth is best suited for players most interested in the identity of their character, as the 8.0 changes help consolidate this identity of chaotic, turret-based spell caster. The lack of interactivity in the specialisation hurts its gameplay beyond a base level of understanding, eliminating some of the freedom of minor gameplay optimisations. With Ion Hazzikostas’ explanation that additional changes to Shaman DPS (and Shadow Priest) coming at a later stage (Patch 8.1 or beyond), we can only recommend Elemental to players that are content with an easy-to-play, easy-to-master ranged DPS. We will continue to provide feedback and hope for the best later in the expansion.
获取 Wowhead 高级会员
[As little as
less than $1 a month
to enjoy an ad-free experience, unlock premium features, and support the site!]
[Show 0 Comments]
[Hide 0 Comments]
[Sign In to Post a Comment]