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Posts with tag elemental-shaman-dps

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: 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: 2011 in review for elemental shaman

Magmaw, the first boss of Blackwing Descent
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.)

It's hard for me to believe that Cataclysm has only been out for slightly over one year, especially given how we're already on the last raid of the expansion. It's been a turbulent year for the shaman class, and elemental as a spec is no exception. Between legendaries, highly fluctuating DPS, and more tweaks to AoE then I care to count, elemental has had more than its fair share of ups and downs this year.

Tier 11: The lows

Elemental was not a strong DPS class in the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Fights like heroic Halfus, Maloriak, and Sinestra brought our lack of competitive AoE damage into the limelight, while Cho'gall, Conclave of Wind, and Ascendant Council all highlighted how elemental's mobile DPS was terribly low. With Unleash Elements and shocks being our only mobile cast -- not to mention low levels of haste that left us with terribly slow Lightning Bolt casts -- and we really struggled to pump out respectable numbers on any fight that wasn't Patchwerk-esque.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (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: Analyzing DPS shaman tier 13 set bonuses

Orc shaman in tier 13
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.)

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past week, you're probably aware that tier 13 bonuses have been revealed. You might have read about them here on Wow Insider. You might have heard your friendly neighborhood boomkin bemoaning his bonuses on Twitter. You might even have caught guild members accusing each other of being overpowered months before 4.3 hits live servers. At any rate, regardless of how you heard about them, tier bonuses are here, and tier 13 offers some interesting bonuses for both specs of DPS shaman.


  • Elemental, 2P -- Elemental Mastery also grants you 2000 mastery rating 15 sec.
  • Elemental, 4P -- Each time Elemental Overload triggers, you gain 200 haste rating for 4 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Enhancement, 2P -- While you have any stacks of Maelstrom Weapon, your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and healing spells deal 20% more healing or damage.
  • Enhancement, 4P -- Your Feral Spirits have a 45% chance to grant you a charge of Maelstrom Weapon each time they deal damage.

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Filed under: Shaman, 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

Totem Talk: How to level your 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.)

With the introduction of Blizzard's new free trial system, the number of low-level characters playing World of Warcraft has drastically risen. Whether it is established players creating alternate characters on new accounts, past players trying to decide if they want to return to the game, or persons who have never played WoW (or any video game!) before, Blizzard has made it both easy and appealing to start a new character.

At WoW Insider, we're aware of how scary it can be to start a character in the World of Warcraft. With tons of abilities, four equipment types, 12 races, and 10 classes with three talent trees each, WoW can be a confusing and intimidating game to start out. Fortunately, I'm going to help by alleviating some of the weight on your shoulders and help make your decision for you: roll a tauren elemental shaman. You'll look awesome, and then you can follow this handy elemental shaman leveling guide! It's a win/win situation.

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

Totem Talk: Fixing the Fire Elemental problem

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

Imagine you have a friend. This isn't any normal friend, but a friend that you really, really, really want to get interested in World of Warcraft. To this end, you have the brilliant plan that if you let him raid on your character, he'll be so taken by the experience that he'll be level 85 within a week.

Naturally, this goes badly. Recount shows your character below the tanks every attempt, as your friend spends half the fight attacking the wrong target and the other half of the fight attacking nothing at all. Of course, that's only on the fights where he manages to stay alive, which is one in 10 attempts.

Now, imagine that in order to do your maximum DPS, you have to let that friend raid with you every single fight. If you choose not to allow that friend to raid, you'll lose about 3,000 potential DPS. However, if you choose to let him raid, you run the risk of his dying, attacking the wrong target, or standing in the center of the room while he mentally alt-tabs.

Welcome to playing an elemental shaman.

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

Totem Talk: A fresh take for elemental shaman in patch 4.2

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

Sarah Nichol, our most recent elemental columnist, has been kidnapped by patriarchal Daleks loyal to Lord Voldemort after losing the Game of Thrones. Due to this, I, Josh Myers, enhancement shaman extraordinaire, have agreed to take on the Defense Against the Dark Arts-esque position of elemental columnist. Please welcome me as your benign, bovine overlord.

Now for why you're really reading: Patch 4.2 hit approximately two weeks ago, and the game has changed for elemental shaman everywhere. Bringing us the Glyph of Unleashed Lightning, useful tier bonuses, and a legendary stat stick that would make Gandalf jealous, 4.2 is looking to be the best patch of the expansion for elemental. Not that that's hard, considering the competition.

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

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 consumables for choosy 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.

Please pardon me if I am a little food-obsessed this week. I've been watching The Great British Bakeoff, and they recently did a bread-making episode, so I'm getting a little fixated on the idea of some proper bread and butter. Ah, the simple things in life. Then Joe decided to cover alchemy consumables for restoration shaman this week, and my thoughts immediately turned to buff food, because quality bread and butter would considerably buff my happiness stat right now.

Consumables aren't likely to be the first thing on the minds of many adventurers, as they traverse the depths of Vashj'ir, but I think it is well worth have a look at the choices we'll have along the way and the materials that are worth holding on to. Stocking up a raid bag on the way to level 85 is an good way to ease the occasional pains of levelling and can save time and effort later on. In Wrath, my bags were well stocked with raid consumables by the time I reached 80, allowing me to get on with gearing, gemming, enchanting, and getting mixed up in that Sons of Hodir business.

Consumables make up a larger proportion of our total stats at the start of an expansion and thus have a bigger impact on the success of early raids in any expansion. If you're new to raiding and Cataclysm has drawn you in, consumables will be a big help to your initial raiding experience. Ensuring you have the right consumables can seem a bit stressful the first couple of times, but don't worry -- learn to love those snacks and light refreshments for the DPS candy they are.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental stats and reforging principles in 4.0.1


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 and founding member of TotemSpot.

The lead-up to Cataclysm represents an ideal opportunity to take the time to get re-acquainted with with the new principles around which a class revolves, without the pressures of normal progression raiding or leveling. I've always felt that the puzzle of perfecting a character can be absorbing even if you are not particularly inclined toward numbers and spreadsheets. Knowing the principles also makes it easier to adapt the common knowledge to your personal playstyle and circumstances. The new 31-point talent trees and three-tier glyph system make it much harder to go wrong with a basic spec these days, with glyphs so easy to swap in and swap out. I've found the past few weeks have been stressful, but there has been a wonderful sense of freedom in many of the discussions I've participated in.

In case you can't tell, my maudlin draenei is being supplanted by a very cheerful dwarf shaman with a much more optimistic persona! Despite my grumpiness about Panquakes of Doom, and the lack of aesthetic pay-off for Fulmination, despite the bugs with Reincarnation and the expected stealth nerf of the elemental T10 two-piece bonus, I'm really enjoying this tremor phase of the Cataclysm buildup. The more I investigate and test things, the more I grow to like them. Even Earthquake is starting to look good, albeit in a chocolate chunk kind of way.

Right, I was talking about shaman wasn't I? Ah yes. So there's a lot to cover this week, from reforging, to haste and mastery, to dots and totems and damage modifiers. It seems that the devil is in the details.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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