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Posts with tag Elemental-Shaman

Blizzard's new level 90 crash-course videos

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Blizzard has released 11 instructional videos designed to give a new level 90 a quick and dirty introduction to their class. The title is perhaps a bit misleading, because these are not complete class overviews. Instead, each video focuses on a particular specialization of that class--and specifically, a DPS specialization. The specs featured are: Frost death night, Balance druid, Survival hunter, Arcane mage, Windwalker monk, Retribution paladin, Shadow priest, Combat rogue, Elemental shaman, Destruction warlock, and Arms warrior.

If you've got a brand-new 90 that you're still figuring out, or if you're looking to busy yourself learning a new aspect of your class before Warlords of Draenor, these might be of interest to you. It is nice to see a Blizzard-sponsored guide for specs such as the Balance druid, which I personally find annoyingly complicated to play, but I'm a bit puzzled by the extremely specific nature of the videos. Are there going to be further guides for tanking and healing specs? Or for the DPS specs not covered here, such as Affliction warlocks, Fury warriors, Feral druids, Subtlety rogues, and more? I think videos like this that come straight from the horse's mouth of Blizzard are a great idea, but it's strange to see a set of them that feels so incomplete. Still, if you're toying with the idea of learning one of the specs covered, the videos are a good place to start.

Filed under: News items

Blood Pact: Flow like a shaman, sting like a hunter

Blood Pact Flow like a shaman, sting like a hunter MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill wants to look into a popular counterargument to the nerfing of Kil'jaeden's Cunning.

Or not, as I'll argue we warlocks have our own style of play.

The damage dealing game isn't just about turning a mob down to 0 points at the end of the night, but about using the mob's health bar to vault over cooldown or resource barriers. Turning a warlock into a sitting duck in PvE requires either getting rid of all the mob health bars or getting rid of the warlock, which is usually accomplished by movement or threat of certain death. This struggle against being useless is what makes choices in a damage dealer's arsenal meaningful.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Surviving playing elemental in 5.0.4

Totem Talk Surviving playing elemental in 504 SAT
Look up in the sky! Is it a bird-form druid? An engineer in a flying machine? No, it's a wild Josh Myers, returned from summer adventures and bursting with knowledge about DPS shaman in his weekly Totem Talk. This week's article will focus on how to play elemental after 5.0.4.

My fellow elemental shaman: Our class is no longer complete. And no, I'm not talking about the recent changes to totems that seems to have everyone up in arms despite being a really good change for the class. I'm referring to the fact that we our class is no longer balanced around level 85. The level 85 game is effectively over. Think of this game as election, and the post 5.0.4 period is the period of time between November 5th January 20th: We're a lame duck class. We're nerfed. And that's fine, because Cataclysm content no longer matters, and exists only to help you relearn your spec before Mists of Pandaria drops.

Our beloved spec has been retooled to be balanced at level 90, where we'll have access to the incredibly powerful Ascendance and the level 90 tier of DPS talents. These will be potent additions to our arsenal, and our current spells have been balanced around the idea that we will have access to them. That doesn't mean everything at 85 is all bad -- we did receive a few nice quality of life changes that you'll notice when you log-in.
  • Lava Surge makes Lava Burst instant, which makes it a mobile DPS ability.
  • Elemental Fury makes us the only class/spec to crit for more than 200% damage.
  • Lava Burst's damage was nerfed, but Lightning Bolt's was slightly buffed to compensate.
  • Fire Elemental now lasts one minute, but also only has a five minute cooldown. (Meaning it will be up every attempt!)
  • Lightning Shield starts at one stack and stacks to seven, rather than starting at three and going to nine. You no longer lose charges from taking damage.
  • Glyphed Flame Shock now lasts 30 seconds, up from 27.
  • Stormlash Totem. Hello again, four guaranteed raid spots for shaman. We've missed you so much.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: First impressions of elemental shaman in Mists of Pandaria

Outlandish's guild screencap of their victory over heroic madness
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once a lonely tauren shaman in a bad Scarlet Crusade-themed transmog set, Josh Myers is now a female dwarf shaman with pigtails who raids as all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

"Elamism, Savior of Azeroth" has a nice ring to it. For the first time in my time raiding, I'm officially done with a tier of raiding before the next has been released, and I'm pretty psyched about that. (The fact that I picked up two heroic No'Kaleds for my enhancement spec has me grinning ear to ear.) With Dragon Soul behind me, I can start focusing on the future, which makes it very timely that my invite to the Mists of Pandaria beta came last night.

Before my raid tonight, I got to spend some time playing elemental on the beta, and I have some good news and some bad news to report. The bad news? Not much has changed from live for beta elemental shaman. The good news? Not much has changed from live for beta elemental shaman.

Part of this is a level cap issue. Pandaria is only open for leveling up to level 86 at the moment, which means that you don't yet have access to any of the real game-changers being introduced in Mists of Pandaria. Ascendence, our new DPS cooldown and all-around coolest spell in the game, will be our prize for hitting level 87, and the tier of talents that includes Elemental Blast, Unleashed Fury, and Primal Elementalist isn't available until level 90. Since those talents are all complex and will all drastically effect your DPS, there's a lot to look forward to.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Loot to maximize your elemental shaman's mastery

Elam, the recently-dwarvenized shaman.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once just the expert on enhancement shaman, Josh Myers has spent most of Dragon Soul as elemental, and he's not quite sure how he got there. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Mastery is my favorite stat in World of Warcraft because it's the only stat that actually changes function from class to class. Haste might speed up rune regeneration for death knights, or fire mages might view a huge critical strike chance more happily than an affliction warlock, but those stats do largely the same thing across classes. On the other hand, the mastery of an elemental shaman is incredibly different than a holy paladin, which is a big change from a protection warrior.

Lucky for me, this patch gave rise to mastery as elemental's key secondary stat after hitting the spell hit cap. It's been a good stat all expansion but sat solidly behind haste through all of Firelands and much of tier 11. With Dragon Soul out and most ele shaman who have been playing the past few months now wearing their tier 13 sets, it's mastery's turn to shine.

The reason for mastery's newfound glory is the Spiritwalker's Regalia four-piece bonus, which gives you 250 haste rating every time your Elemental Overload procs, stacking up to three times and lasting four seconds. At a full stack, this is effectively 750 free haste rating that you get just for gearing for mastery. However, this stack falls off quickly, and chances are you'll only get one or two spellcasts off before it drops. As a result, you want a lot of mastery, to give the two casts you do get a fair chance at keeping the buff up.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: What MoP talent updates mean for DPS shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once just the expert on enhancement shaman, Josh Myers has spent most of Dragon Soul as elemental, and he's not quite sure how he got there. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When the Mists of Pandaria talent trees first debuted, I wasn't the most pleased DPS shaman on the block. I wasn't exactly displeased, either; my emotional involvement was most summed up by the word "meh." Stone Bulwark Totem looked interesting; Healing Tide Totem had me super psyched; and Echo of the Elements looked insanely powerful, stacked with elemental's mastery. On the flipside, the entire third tier of talents looked super boring, and the top tier of level 90 talents was so underwhelming that I almost wrote off the new talent system as a lost cause.

Thankfully, we're not in even the closed friends-and-family beta yet, and so I knew changes would definitely be implemented in time. I've been looking forward to Wednesday's talent calculator update for nearly three months now, and I'm glad to see that I wasn't terribly let down. While there still are some definite issues with the tree as it stands, Blizzard's already said that we were one of the two classes that it's currently focusing on, which is why our level 90 tier of talents is still empty. As long as the original talents don't come back, I can only get happier. To top it all off, the new talent tree reveal also showed us our level 87 spell, which is looking to be one of the coolest in our arsenal.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Mists of Pandaria

Totem Talk: Maximize your fire elemental DPS on Ultraxion

Ultraxion flying in Dragon Soul
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once just the expert on enhancement shaman, Josh Myers has spent most of Dragon Soul as elemental, and he's not quite sure how he got there. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Of all the fights in Dragon Soul, Ultraxion on heroic mode is the ultimate DPS check. Heroic Spine of Deathwing definitely tests your raid group's ability to do a large amount of damage in a miniscule amount of time, but Ultraxion forces your group to maximize its sustained DPS. As a result, it's very commonly the first real wall most heroic progression guilds hit, at least until they can get the gear to make it a cakewalk. If you're working on heroic-mode Ultraxion or are having trouble killing him on normal, there are a few things you can do to maximize your elemental shaman's DPS on this specific fight.

Gear, glyphs, and talents

First off, the easiest way to help your DPS on Ultraxion is to check your glyphs. Most elemental shaman nowadays run with Glyph of Unleashed Lightning as one of their prime glyphs. This makes sense for nearly every other fight in Dragon Soul, as they all require some amount of movement. Ultraxion, however, is a straight up stand-there-and-shoot-lightning-and-lava-until-your-fingers-fall-off-or-he-dies fight, and Glyph of Unleashed Lightning gives absolutely zero DPS if you're not moving. Switching this out for Glyph of Lightning Bolt will give you a slight boost in numbers. Your three glyph choices should be Lightning Bolt, Flame Shock, and Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem; more on the FET glyph choice in a second.

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

Totem Talk: 4 ways to increase your shaman DPS

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

DPS is an art. It's not art in the sense that the Mona Lisa or Friday by Rebecca Black are art, but it's art. It requires practice, knowledge, and dedication to make work, and judging by the Battle.net forums, Twitter, and various other social media outlets, it's an art form that a lot of people still have trouble getting right. As a DPS shaman (really, as any class), there are a few basic rules every player should follow to enhance their DPS.

1. Use addons that make up for what the default UI lacks. I know that there's a set of players out there who totally swear by using the default UI. In reality, I can understand that sentiment. I didn't realize it until I found myself with a sprained hamstring and only able to raid my borrowing my boyfriend's laptop and downloading an addon-less WoW onto it this week, but I actually thought the default UI looked really cool.

Unfortunately, despite how cool it looks, default isn't optimal. Doing the Raid Finder as elemental, I realized a couple of things -- that of my 30-plus-addon suite, I really only missed six or seven of them, and those six or seven I missed were ridiculously important. I was lacking OmniCC for watching my cooldown timers, and I didn't have Power Auras to watch Fulmination stacks or ForteXorcist for tracking my DoT timers (important for both ele and enhance). I know that I played sloppily as a result. I missed Lava Surge procs like crazy, I Fulminationed as Flame Shock ran off, and I made other small mistakes that I would normally not make because I have addons to help me keep track of the fight.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Choosing an elemental shaman weapon in Dragon Soul

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)
One of my favorite things about Dragon Soul are the weapons off Deathwing, as proc weapons have a long but tenuous history with WoW players. Some fondly remember the Fireball proc from Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, while enhancement shaman look back on Onyxia's Empowered Deathbringer and wonder what Blizzard was thinking. Seriously, the lower-ilevel Calamity's Grasp off the end boss from two patches prior was a better choice.

Losing stats in favor of a weapon's proc effect is always a gamble, especially given how incredibly loaded weapons are with stats. Going from a Lightning Rod to a Ti'tahk, the Steps of Time involves giving up a tremendous 300 hit rating and even more haste rating with the hope of the haste proc's paying off in times of great need. Because of this, I was curious about how the weapons in Dragon Soul would stand up when compared to one another, especially since there are multiple non-proc weapons in the instance to compete with the proc ones. So, I took to every elemental shaman's best friend -- Simulation Craft -- and did some simulations with a variety of weapon combinations. The shocking results: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is still the best weapon in the game. Surprise?

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

Totem Talk: Leveling a shaman in the Cataclysm era

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. This week, Josh Myers, the dean of DPS shaman, and Joe Perez, the Robespierre of restoration, do a Dragonball-Z style fusion dance and combine their class knowledge to bring you a concise shaman leveling guide.

So, young padawan, you want to play a shaman. You're following in the footsteps of some of the greatest characters in World of Warcraft lore -- Nobundo Farseer, Thrall, and yours truly. Just know that you have the full support of myself and Mr. Joe Perez, and we'll only judge you a very small amount for not choosing shaman sooner.

The shaman class has three distinct specs that each fulfill very different roles. Enhancement, which we'll talk about first, is a melee DPS class, which means standing very close to bosses and whacking them repeatedly with blades or maces imbued with flame and wind. Elemental is a ranged caster DPS class, preferring to stand at a safe distance while hurling balls of lava and electrocuting enemies. Restoration, the last spec we'll talk about, is a healing spec, revitalizing friends by creating super-soothing puddles for them to stand in. Seriously.

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

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman in patch 4.3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

This is it, guys: This is officially the last Totem Talk for elemental shaman I will write before patch 4.3 hits live servers. It might be this Tuesday, or it might be the sixth of December. Whichever it is, it's pretty definite we'll be seeing Dragon Soul within the next 10 days, barring a natural disaster, an alien invasion, or Mike Morhaime's changing his mind, of course.

Elemental is going through a few significant changes in 4.3. Our AoE will be totally revamped; we'll be dropping Fire Nova from our AoE rotation entirely. Instead, we'll be falling back on spamming the now cooldown-less Chain Lightning. Also, we'll possibly drop Earthquake, but only if we can guarantee the mobs don't move for 10 seconds. Ground-based AoEs are still very unreliable AoE damage.

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

Totem Talk: Elemental tier 12 nerfed on the PTR

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

As I sit writing this, there's a huge storm raging outside my house. Thunderstorm's customary 45-second cooldown isn't in effect, and there's so much lightning flashing it's sort of like Pikachus are having a Pokemon battle in the sky. Oh, and there's rain, too. Not the nice, healing kind that you like to stand in, either. I'm thinking this storm might be the response of elemental shaman everywhere to today's latest 4.3 changes, when this gem was found on the PTR. (Please note: This isn't reflected in Blizzard's official patch notes yet, but the change is up on test realms.)

Your damaging spells have a 30% chance to reduce the remaining cooldown on your Fire Elemental Totem by 4 sec.

Yeah, that happened. We kind of had a feeling it would, since the T12 set bonus is so ridiculously good -- like, it's so good that if it were a cake or any other form of dessert, it would give you diabetes just from looking at it. My earliest estimates of the set bonus said it was something like a 3,000 DPS increase. By BIS heroic gear, it's more like a 6,000 DPS increase from a single set bonus. For gear balance issues, that bonus was too good. Blizzard generally intends set bonuses to be within the ballpark of 5% DPS increases. This was more like 15% to 20%.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Choosing to play an elemental shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post on why new shaman should choose enhancement. Enhancement was my first love in this game and the reason I was finally able to break my streak of level 20 to 40 alts and level to 70 in The Burning Crusade. First loves aren't everything, though. (There's a reason the American divorce rate is something around 40%). This post is for my second love and the other option for leveling shaman. This is why you should choose an elemental shaman.

Elemental shaman are ranged casters. Lightning Bolt will be your primary damage spell, particularly at low levels. Earth Shock is a very good burst damage ability when you're very low-level but doesn't scale as well as Lightning Bolt. You'll want to use it for the first 15 to 20 levels, and then forego using it in lieu of another Lightning Bolt until you reach the Fulmination talent. Thunderstorm is also incredible damage at low levels and possibly more useful as a damage spell than a knockback spell until you level up and mobs start to be an actual threat. Lava Burst becomes available at level 34. Lava Burst is the lynchpin of the elemental rotation, and you should get used to keeping Flame Shock up on a target, Lava Bursting whenever it is available and Lightning Bolting in between.

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

Totem Talk: Soloing old raids as a DPS shaman

Enhancement shaman soloing Magtheridon
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

With the introduction of transmogrification in patch 4.3, collecting old armor styles has become one of the most productive ways to spend your free time in World of Warcraft. As an added bonus, soloing old content (or going in very small groups) can be very lucrative. I made 2,400 gold tonight from soloing Karazhan, Gruul's Lair, and Magtheridon's Lair and grouping for Sunwell Plateau, Tempest Keep, Serpentshrine Cavern, and Caverns of Time: Mount Hyjal.

Both specs of DPS shaman bring some excellent soloing utility to the table. As mail wearers, we have some solid physical damage mitigation. Wind Shear is an incredible utility ability that will be used on bosses in nearly every tier of raiding. Earth and Fire Elemental Totems provide a second target and work especially well for pulling council fights, so that you can pick off one target and kill it while the rest attack your elemental. Tremor Totem is useful on fights like Lady Vashj. Grounding Totem can be used to absorb direct damage spells your interrupt is down for or catch boss CCs that are headed your way. Bloodlust is great for burst DPS, and especially helpful on fights that have a soft enrage. And, of course, being a hybrid class means that both of our DPS specs have some amount of self healing to bring to the table.

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

Totem Talk: Horde races for elemental shaman

Tauren shaman on flying carpet
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

I really like Tauren. If I had my way, the Horde would be comprised of six different tribes of Tauren who spent most of their days participating in competitive flower picking and saying "Walk with the Earthmother." Unfortunately, the Herd is not a real faction, and most people aren't Tauren.

While some players make racial choices for game immersion or fun, there are players who choose their character's race for the best performance. A tank might choose Tauren for the 5% base health bonus, a PVPer might choose human for the extra trinket slot, and a healer might choose Blood Elf for the 2-minute cooldown mana return. For Horde elemental shaman, there's a reason to play any of the four available options, but the choice is largely up to your playstyle.

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

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