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Totem Talk: Gear for elemental shaman in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast podcast and founding member of TotemSpot.

Dragons and spiders and flaming cats, oh my! It is officially summer time here in the UK, so by all rights I should be either talking about the weather or inundating you with extremely bad puns involving heat. Instead, lets talk about the latest in mail-based fashions as we prepare for the Firelands.

As with the previous tier, the gear for tier 12 is obtained through a mixture of justice points, crafting and vendors unlocked by daily quests. The snazziest headgear, weapons and trinkets still require the bravery necessary to take on the later bosses of the Firelands. Tier 12 has a great, if occasionally frustrating, two-piece bonus and the four-piece bonus is nothing to shake a stick at. Our tier itemization is lacking in spirit, so non-tier items in a haste/spirit or mastery/spirit combo will be in demand.

This list does not include gear from heroic modes, but for the most part the heroic versions of the better items are even better. And by "the most part," I mean all. As there is still a week or so to go until patch day, this list is subject to change. If you've just dinged 85, then I suggest checking out the troll gear guide and the pre-raid gear guide to augment items picked up from rep and crafting in patch 4.2. Ready for fire-themed upgrades? Read on.

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Trolling for elemental shaman gear in patch 4.1 and beyond

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast podcast and founding member of TotemSpot.

The proliferation of troll-themed gear is giving me bear run flashbacks. Are they giving you flashbacks, too? I must admit that eying up the new Voodoo Hexblade is filling me with the ghosts of gear-longing pasts, for once upon a time I was obsessed with Wub's Cursed Hexblade. I never got the damn thing, but the memory of The Burning Crusade makes me smile. That can only be a good thing, when studying the next generation of epics for my totem-toting class.

Thanks to crafting, rep gear, and the new troll dungeons, it is possible to get yourself fully kitted out in purples without setting foot in a raid. Of course, this gearing requires a little bit of luck, a lot of pugging, and a consistent time investment upon hitting level 85. However, we have covered getting an elemental shaman raid-ready a few months back, so while we look forward to patch 4.2, it is time to pick out some troll fashions and start saving for some new accessories.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman leveling from 1 to 20

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast podcast and founding member of TotemSpot.

Last time, I talked about how elemental shaman have gradually begun to evolve from turrets into athletes. All that talking about patch 4.2 and that running around has my dwarf shaman longing to put her feet up and have a beer. So while my grouchy dwarf peers into the depths of her (pewter) tankard and ponders on the delightful looks of tier 12, I've been exploring the world of troll shaman. That's right, I'm leveling a new elemental shaman from scratch in the post-patch 4.1 game.

Meet Zuulfi, a young troll shaman on her way to level 85. Right now, she still randomly hits things with her staff and throws out the occasional Earth Shock. Eventually, the plan is to for her to match strides with the gray-haired dwarf I normally put above my columns. Why a troll? I play a dwarf -- time for a taller Horde point of view.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: The evolution of elemental shaman in patch 4.2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

I'm sure some of you have noticed my lengthy absence from these hallowed pages -- but fear not, for the druid columnists have not succeeded in hunting me down yet! Since my last post, my guild has celebrated its second birthday, I've moved house, moved offices and started studying part-time. Now I am back and ready to ruminate some more.

Last time I posted, I covered some of my favorite addons, and I did promise some Power Auras, but with some of the rather out-there changes appearing in patch 4.2, I want to talk about the direction that Cataclysm is taking the elemental spec. Let's start by taking a look at the relevant patch 4.2 notes after the jump.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Addons for elemental shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

How do I play WoW? With a few addons I've grown very fond of over the past few years. A UI is a highly personal thing, and I'm sure a few folks are going to raise an eyebrow at my choices. Addons and custom UIs are one of the reasons that Warcraft is so successful. For those of us who spend a lot of time interacting with the game, having control over the way information is presented and how we play is paramount.

I base my UI around a few simple principles:
  • Redundancy of information
  • Clarity
  • Accessibility
  • Flexibility
My machine is fairly old, so my UI is not as elegant and pretty as those of some others, but I do what works for me. I've not included convenience addons or BossMods because I wanted to focus on combat addons. A good elemental UI is all about tracking our fire totems, our buffs, and our various procs and cooldowns. The best method for this, in my opinion, is choosing appropriate addons for each bit of information. This means that various functions should be handled by different addons and even in some cases duplicated.

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Filed under: Shaman, Add-Ons, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff vs. mastery

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

I have proof that The Master is an elemental shaman! This is going to keep me happy for weeks -- or at least until the premiere of the next series of Doctor Who. This week, I'd like to touch upon a long-standing pet peeve of mine involving that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff we call haste, and also have a poke at The Ma -- I mean, at mastery.

This goes back to the days when I was brand new to blogging and trying to gear up my own shaman for the first time. As I built up my store of knowledge, I frequently came across a specified amount of haste that was viewed almost like a haste cap. Get that amount of haste, and you didn't need any more? Madness. As the elemental tree was changed and tinkered with, this fixed number became less and less relevant. Based as it was in the idea of a fixed rotation and fitting in an extra Lightning Bolt between every Lava Burst, this fixed number wasn't as applicable in a live raid situation, where human error, RNG, and lag all combined to create an imperfect environment for a perfect rotation.

Cataclysm delivered mastery into the mix. Thus began the eternal question: When is mastery better than haste? This question is couched in a misunderstanding of the way haste and mastery interact and in the practice of stacking whichever is the best perceived stat.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 4.1 PTR: Old Ironforge open for public viewing

As a fan of Moira, the Wildhammers and the overall dwarf story arc, I was rather put out that Magni was simply gone. In game, we didn't get to see the events of The Shattering that led to the current state of dwarven politics. But now on the patch 4.1 PTR, it appears that Old Ironforge has been opened for public viewing.

Magni Bronzebeard stands, still petrified, next to several extremely large tomes, attended by Advisor Belgrum and Honor Guard Dunstan. Advisor Belgrum used to be located in the Halls of Explorers, and his dialogue indicates that he feels he is to blame for Magni's current predicament. Belgrum was involved in the events of the Shattering, helping to translate the tablet that led to Magni's eventual petrification and heading up the interim goverment prior to the Council of the Three Hammers. Honor Guard Dunstan appears to be a new NPC (unless he is related to a certain mountaineer).

Gallery: Old Ironforge

Door way to Old IronforgePatterns laid outGiant tomesHall of powerAdvisor Belgrum

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Filed under: Lore, Cataclysm

Patch 4.1 brings the AoE for elemental shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, it's our chance at a preview of patch 4.1! There I was, all set to rant about mastery and haste when some datamining popped up. I for one am pretty happy about the content of the patch, although I've heard a lot of consternation on Twitter about rehashing of old content. Comparing 4.1 to the first big content patch of Wrath? Wrath doesn't come close. Two raids, three 5-mans, the story getting progressed in Mount Hyjal, new pets and new mounts ... There's an awful lot to look forward to.

On the elemental shaman front, so far there are a few direct patch notes and some tweaks to other areas of the game that we'll want to keep an eye on -- or at the very least, celebrate.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman buffs in patch 4.0.6

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

As ever, when I logged in to patch 4.0.6 (on the EU servers, of course), I spent a good amount of time cooing over the little changes. Even with the PTR, there is a lot that goes unremarked or unnoticed simply because I'm so focused on the theory changes. I bid farewell to a large pot of archaeology grays and was uncommonly happy about the appearance of the Elementium Stormshield graphic and the ability to mount up next to the Stormwind flight master. I am ecstatic about the graphic changes to healing spells. The watery hands effect on Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge and Healing Wave has turned me into a smug shaman. The spell effect is a small change, but it adds a great deal to the flavor of the shaman class -- even if many people on my Twitter don't like the sound effects.

A couple of weeks ago, I was not impressed by the changes to our spells as they were on the PTR at that time. In the end, the changes have been a little more substantial and subtle, but the overall fragility of our DPS in heavy movement fights will remain an issue for those of us that raid. What has this patch wrought for us? Stronger AoE, a more powerful flame nuke, increased efficiency and a change that will have us shocking our socks off. Let's talk about some of the changes, after the jump.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Cataclysm spell DPS trinket gear guide for elemental shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman and the Obscurecast podcast and founding member of TotemSpot.

A couple of weeks ago, I covered pre-raid gearing for elemental shaman. After a brief sojourn to look at what to look out for on the patch 4.0.6 PTR, I think think it is time we delved a little deeper into the ins and outs of selecting trinkets. This time, I'm going to cover both entry-level and raid trinkets, as well as covering the basic principles by which I personally make my trinket selection.

However, there have been a few patch 4.0.6 developments, and I'd like to take a quick look at them now. One undocumented change, in which Earthquake now consumes a charge of Clearcasting, results in the spell now benefiting both from the mana reduction of Elemental Focus and the increased damage from Elemental Oath. Benefiting from this change will require us to pay more attention to detail when using Earthquake, but I'm very happy with it alongside the 10% increase in base damage previously noted in past patch notes. We also get to look forward to an increase in the value of mastery, as Rolling Thunder can now proc from an Elemental Overload of Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning. Our final cause for rejoicing is an increase in the spell coefficients of Lava Burst, on top of the 10% increase to base damage reported previously.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk