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Posts with tag elemental-shaman

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

Patch 4.0.6 PTR: Shaman patch notes

I'm sure many of you thought that shaman were not getting much attention in patch 4.0.6 -- I know I was among those who thought we dodged a bullet. The absence of any shaman notes on the first official patch notes list would have seemed to reinforce this. Late last night, however, community manager Zarhym posted a list of shaman changes that are making their way into the latest PTR build by this evening.

Since this is still the PTR, these changes may or may not actually make it to the live game. Still, it is interesting to note exactly the type of things that Blizzard is looking at and the steps it is taking to try and balance the game. Cataclysm really did reshape the world -- not just the aesthetics but the mechanics for pretty much everyone and almost everything. With that big of an upheaval, it is expected that there is going to be a period of balancing relatively early in the expansion's cycle, and at just barely a month in, we're already starting to see some significant changes.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

Totem Talk: Pre-raid gearing tips 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.

This holiday period has been a mixed one for me. Power-leveling my shaman's inscription was a rousing success, and I put it down to all the mince pies consumed at the time. A delectable roast turkey lunch was followed by opening my Winter's Veil presents. There was snow on the ground, there was an open fire in the hearth. There was a Queen's Speech that should have inspired me to yammer on about how important team spirit and cooperation are to the shaman class.

Instead, I borrowed my mother's laptop to have a poke at pre-raid gear. Then I went to put the laptop away and, after a week of moving house, managed to do something rather nasty to my back. Ouch. Not to worry, there's nothing like a bit of Cataclysm to take your mind off the pain.

In Cataclysm, the process of gearing is much more intuitive than ever before. We no longer have to nab cloth or leather items to fill in the holes in our gearing. Look for as much intellect as possible, spirit or hit as appropriate, and then lean slightly toward all the haste gear you can find, filling in as necessary with mastery items. Don't worry about crit; it happens.

Blizzard has done a good job of allowing players to obtain decent gear through a variety of avenues, and as a result, a lot of the RNG has been removed from the gearing process. I did not make this to be a best-in-slot list, as I prefer to look at items available in terms of practicalities. Finally, you'll note an absence of PvP items from this list. There is a lovely amount of intellect on PvP gear, so in the short term, it can be worth using some PvP items. However, resilience represents a lot of wasted item budget and is not the best choice in the long term.

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

Totem Talk: Cataclysm 101 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.

We've had a week or so to absorb Cataclysm. I am finding it hard to focus purely on the details of preparing for raiding after such a short flirtation with the XP bar, because I'm having too much fun questing. The joys of using Thunderstorm to knock back an ettin or mercilessly delivering Lava Bursts to the faces of the Twilight Hammer are too good for me to ignore completely, so I am frequently distracted from practical preraid matters. However, weighty matters such as Tol Barad dailies and reputation grinds await me over the holiday season, so like a typical dwarf, I'll be taking my dailies with a half-pint of Thundermar Ale.

Experienced elemental shaman are already hammering along the path to raids, but one of the great things about Cataclysm has been the number of new shaman appearing, attracted by the new short-stature shaman races, dwarves and goblins. I don't think I know many people who haven't rolled a shaman sometime in the last three weeks. Even I've rolled another shaman! Now it's time to take a look at the basics for a max-level elemental shaman. Have you just changed spec from something else or just finished leveling to 85? Then this is the post for you, and it has been updated to patch 4.0.6!

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

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: Totem tweaks keep elemental shaman on course for Cataclysm


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.

This has been an authenticatorless week. I do not recommend weeks like this. Now that I have access to Azeroth again, however, I am reminded that the lack of substantial updates to the elemental spec implies that the developers are mostly finished with us and have been for some time. For the majority of elemental shaman, we are watching and waiting for the final Cataclysm itemization and profession details, although we certainly aren't the only class in this situation. Luckily, this latest beta build has given us a few minor details to mull over. My enforced break from the game has also coincided with my first reader emails and questions, so after I've covered the consequences of the tweaks, I'll be answering some questions.

Now, as for the small changes, I am happy to see Searing Totem finally get some love. I suspect many elemental shaman will be grinding their teeth in annoyance as I mention the shaman sweet spot on the Blood Queen Lana'thel encounter, or the frustrating positioning for Blood Prince Council, or even the erratic totem behavior on Sindragosa! The totem's low range has caused many shaman to question the value of the current Elemental Reach talent. Why pick up a talent that increases your max range to 40 yards, if you have to continually refresh a Searing Totem at a mere 20 yards? The full change and a Ghostcrawler post on the topic is after the jump.

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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

Totem Talk: Elemental mana management for Cataclysm


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.
Before I get stuck in this week, I'd like to take a moment to share some sad news -- Zamir has taken the decision to discontinue his elemental DPS spreadsheed, ZAP!, which has been invaluable for many of us for the past year. Zamir has been something of a catalyst for the elemental theorycrafting and blogging community, so please send him some good vibes. You can still find Zamir at his Planet of the Hats blog, and he is also involved in running TotemSpot. We salute you, Zamir! (No need to panic, though, there are several projects in the works to fill the void.)

Last time, I discussed what the impending patch 4.0.1 meant for my beloved class. The original plan for this week involved heroics, sims and walls of numbers, but the issues with EU premades have rendered that hope a distant dream. Eleven-day queue, I bite my thumb at thee.

As for changes to the class, well, every time I see a changelog, I scan for shaman blue and feel a faint twinge of disappointment. Our totems have had some minor edits, such as a reduced cooldown from 30 seconds to 20 seconds for Stoneclaw Totem and a needed mana cost change from 7 percent base mana to 5 percent base mana for Searing Totem. Does this mean elemental is largely finished, or are we in store for some focused attention in future builds? A lot can change in two months, but with patch 4.0.1 on the horizon, I think our spec is likely to remain static for now. So this week, I'm taking a quick look at mana management, something that many of us have not worried about since Naxxramas.

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

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman changes for patch 4.0.1

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. She can also be seen pottering around TotemSpot, trailing a pet dalek behind her.

My name is Sarah, and I have a problem. The diagnosis is farsightedness, a result of focusing on Cataclysm to the exclusion of all else. The quests, the new casting priorities, the shiny surroundings, and the fact that I get to be a dwarf instead of a draenei ... So much to think over, so much to explore! There is nothing cuter that a dwarf shaman, except maybe those new armadillos. Where was I, again?

Now, patch 4.0.1 is on the PTR, dragging in new talent trees and new hit numbers to consider and the removal of Sentry Totem. Time to start paying attention. We must not let the sacrifice of Sentry Totem be in vain! There should be no expectations of balance at this point, as all these new level 80 shiny things are developed with level 85 in mind. There are still questions pending on some of the details, so whether our flames are bright or storm clouds are on the horizon for elemental is up for debate. From hit caps to casting priorities, we've got a bit to get through in my inaugural Totem Talk, so sit tight, make sure you know where your towel is and everything will be just fine. I hope.

Now, where to start? Oh, yes. Hit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: The myth of the well-itemized elemental shaman shield

Guest hosting is serious business. Not everyone can live up to the challenge the way Alf did. Still, as part of a mission of mercy, shadow-priest-turned-elemental-shaman Fox Van Allen is rolling the dice and taking the helm of Totem Talk this week. How does mercy fit in, exactly? Well, have you seen what happens when rabid elementals invade the comment sections of Joe's resto version and Rich's enhancement version? Not pretty.

To get our children through their early days of life, we tell them little fictions to make things more magical and more fun.

Hurry up and get to sleep so Santa will bring you lots of presents!

You should take that tooth and put it under your pillow; the Tooth Fairy pays big money for those!

There are plenty of well-itemized spellpower shields out there for elemental shaman!
As you grow up, you learn the sad truth behind it all. That obese man coming sneaking into your house on Christmas Eve is actually trying to perpetrate a home invasion. Those who collect the teeth of others are most likely in need of serious psychiatric help. And for the longest time, we elemental shaman used to suffer the quiet indignation of carrying around gobs of useless MP5 on our shields, just because Blizzard didn't see it necessary to design shields around our specific needs.

Well, my totem-flinging friends, I have some good news -- not regarding Santa or the Tooth Fairy (sorry), but regarding that spellpower shield. You do have options. And there's more good news: With Cataclysm coming right around the corner, we're about to become proverbial kids in a candy store.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Glyphing for Fire Elemental


Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

After writing last week's article and then this week diving headfirst into some 10s and 25s I felt like the Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem needed some love. I felt even more so after looking at my combat parses for Lich King fights and noticing Fire Nova was my second highest damage ability. The fight is a long one -- a very long one -- and it got me wondering if I could step up my output by glyphing into fire ele. After all, who doesn't want more minions running around doing damage for them?

Fire ele has the potential to be a great glyph: the elemental is another pet doing good damage and we can still cast Fire Nova off the totem. Of course the downsides are deal breakers for the glyph in most cases:

  • The pet is leashed to the totem
  • Fire Nova's damage is lost if the boss or mobs move away from the totem
  • The 5 minute cooldown is still longer than most boss fights

Read more to see when and where it's appropriate to glyph into this.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Elemental scaling and how Cataclysm can fix it


Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Bought to you this week by Tyler Caraway; for being far more fabulous than Mike Sacco.

Greetings and salutations my elemental brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, your normal guide to taming the raging storms is feeling a bit under the weather himself at current, so instead you'll have to listen to my yammering. I promise to make it as painful and mind numbing as possible. Wait, scratch that and reverse it. This is totally going to rock!

For those of you whom are not familiar with me, and I doubt that many of you are, allow me to very quickly introduce myself. I am Tyler, but most folks around these parts simply call me Murmurs. No, not that annoying Thunderaan wanna-be in Shadow Labyrinth. The equally annoying balance druid that haunts the World of Warcraft Damage Dealing forums with tediously long posts no one bothers to read. I know that we had some issues during the Naxxramas portion of Wrath of the Lich King, but I promise to make it up to you. Just please don't hurl massive boulders of molten lava at me this time.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Shaman changes

Patch 3.3.3 will bring some interesting changes to shamans.

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.
  • Talents:
    • Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
    • Unleashed Rage: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
Turning the talents Elemental Oath and Unleashed Rage into passive auras is a bonus for leveling, soloing, and PvP. Instead of waiting a few GCDs or strikes for that first crit, the aura is up for you (and your team in PvP) immediately. In a raid environment these talents tend to be up continuously so the change for raiders is less significant.

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Filed under: Shaman, News items

Totem Talk: Thunder! Thunder! Thunderstorm, ho!


Melee combat? Barbaric. Healing? How pedestrian. Let the elements do the talking. Totem Talk: Elemental. Brought to you by Mike Sacco.

Elemental is one of those specs. The kind of spec whose 51-point talent is more of a fun, situational ability than one you stick in your regular rotation. The kind that you'll love and everyone in your party will hate.

That's right. We're talkin' about Thunderstorm today.

In terms of the normal WoW ability "kit," Thunderstorm is a pretty unique snowflake. What makes it so special?
  • It's free. Unlike nearly every damaging spell in the game, all Thunderstorm costs you is a global cooldown.
  • It gives you mana for nothing. Not mp5, not lowering the mana costs of spells -- this is a straight 8% mana return every 45 seconds if you so desire.
  • It's got knockback. Twenty yards of it, in fact. Wrath added the knockback ability into the gestalt WoW experience, but it's still fairly unique, shared only with a few other spells like Typhoon and Blast Wave. And twenty yards is a long way to go.
While one or two of these qualities might not be so strange to see together, all three of them makes it in a class of its own. Thunderstorm is incredibly appealing as an emergency mana reserve and as an "oh-shit" button, but the knockback tends to make fellow players really angry when used inappropriately (or even appropriately, depending). They say "glyph it!"

Well, I disagree. I think Thunderstorm is one of the best spells in the game, and it's because of the knockback, not in spite of it. Today we're going to take a brief look into making Thunderstorm work for you.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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