Chain Lightning
Spell nature chainlightning.png
  • Chain Lightning
  • Level 24 shaman ability
  • 40 yd range
  • 2 sec cast
  • Hurls a lightning bolt at the enemy, dealing (47% of Spell power) Nature damage and then jumping to additional nearby enemies. Affects 3 total targets.

    Elemental Generates 4 Maelstrom per target hit.

    Enhancement If Chain Lightning hits more than 1 target, each target hit by your Chain Lightning increases the damage of your next Crash Lightning by 20%.
  • Elemental Rank 2: Chain Lightning jumps to 2 additional targets.
    Enhancement Rank 2: Each target hit by Chain Lightning reduces the cooldown of Crash Lightning by 1.0 sec.
Usable by
Class Shaman
School Nature
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Other information
Level learned 24
Rank levels Elemental42 / Enhancement52 (rank 2)
Improvements [Maelstrom Weapon], [Storm Elemental], [Stormkeeper]

Chain Lightning is a level 24 shaman abiilty that deals direct damage to up to 3 targets, or up to 5 targets as elemental.





  • All three hits are calculated individually. As such, it possible (and fairly common) that only one or two hits critically hit.
  • Unlike [Lightning Bolt], which has a travel time, Chain Lightning instantly hits all targets.
  • The spell first appeared in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos as one of the hero spells of orcish Far Seers.

Tips and tactics

  • If fighting a single target, use Lightning Bolt instead.
  • Be careful when using this spell if more mobs are nearby. While Chain Lightning may be more tempting to use for its higher damage output, it can easily cause unintended additional pulls.
  • Do not use this ability if there are nearby CC'ed targets.


Patch changes

  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Available to all Shaman as a baseline ability. Elemental and enhancement shaman have received an additional unique rank.
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-09-08): Restoration and Elemental Shaman's Chain Lightning spells should now use a consistent casting animation.
  • Legion Hotfix (2016-09-23):
    • Chain Lightning Maelstrom generation increased to 6.
    • Chain Lightning (Elemental) damage increased by 23%.
    • Chain Lightning (Restoration) damage increased by 23%.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): No longer available to Enhancement. Damage increased by 106% for Elemental and 185% for Restoration.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.3 (2015-11-17): Damage has been increased by 4%.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.3 (2014-10-28): Now costs 50% less mana.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Damage has been increased by 50%.
    No longer has any cooldown.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-09-17): Glyph of Chain Lightning should now be properly reducing the damage of Chain Lightning.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): Will now deal the same damage to subsequent targets as it does to the first.
    This was initially not reflected in the tooltip.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Cooldown reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Cast time was reduced to 2.0 (from 2.5), mana costs reduced, benefit from spell damage reduced appropriately.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-19): No longer chains onto nearby targets that are stealthed or invisible to the caster.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Chain spells cast on PvP targets by an unflagged Shaman will now properly bounce to other PvP targets.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.9 (2004-08-17): Cast time slightly reduced, damage increased, now deals less damage to each target after the first.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Moved to level 32.

See also

External links

Base spell Elemental Rank 2 Enhancement Rank 2