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Posts with tag enhance-shaman

Totem Talk: How to use macros to maximize your enhancement utility

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shoot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and I have no idea about the third.

When I first started playing during The Burning Crusade, I had no idea what a macro was. I'd love to pretend that this was because World of Warcraft was simpler back then and that a good player could get away with never using a macro. Unfortunately, that isn't the case; I just wasn't a very good player in my shaman's youth.

The truth is that macros are something that any serious raider or PvPer should never be without. They fulfill a variety of roles, from cast sequence shock macros saving you some bar space to using your Feral Spirits' Bash ability on a focused healer to interrupt their Tranquility cast. In a raiding game where the ability to interrupt a target you're not DPSing is a huge asset, learning to manage your abilities through macros is a huge benefit for you and for your raid group (as well as for your arena team).

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

Totem Talk: Changes for enhancement shaman in 4.0.6


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers tackles the hard questions about enhancement. Can we tank? Can we DPS with a two-hander? How does one shoot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and I have no idea about the third.

Last week, I posted a view of the first three bosses of Blackwing Descent from an enhancement perspective. My plan was to continue that trend this week and look at Chimaeron, Atramedes, and Nefarian. However, our long-anticipated patch 4.0.6 was released this week, and along with it came a slew of buffs! At least, to fury warriors.

For our part, enhancement shaman didn't receive the short end of the stick in PvE. For PvP, we saw some huge hits: Purge was removed from Mental Quickness and now only removes one buff from the target, glyphed Hex's cooldown is 5 seconds longer and its duration is 2 seconds shorter, and Tremor Totem has received an entire design overhaul. Oh, and Bloodlust was removed from the entire arena game. I don't PvP at anywhere near a competitive enough level to offer opinion on these changes, so I'm just reporting them as fact.

To move into an area I do know, we're going to take a look at the positive changes for PvE enhancement shaman that came in patch 4.0.6. More after the break!

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

Totem Talk: Make the most of enhancement's utility


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Do your likes include bladed weapons, the elements, and fights with little to no movement or target switching? So does Josh Myers, new kid on the block and now host of Totem Talk: Enhancement!

Back when Ulduar was relevant content, there was a very mean boss named General Vezax. General Vezax constantly cast an ability called Searing Flames, and the only way to prevent him from casting Searing Flames was to interrupt it with abilities that locked out his fire school for long periods of time -- Counterspell, Pummel, Mind Freeze. Back in those days of yore, when brains had tentacles and Wind Shear didn't exist, we had to drop Earth Shock from our rotation entirely. Our sole interrupt was also tied to our main DPS shock, and we had to sacrifice damage to avoid screwing up the Kick rotation of classes with better interrupts.

Thankfully, patch 3.2 saw the introduction of Wind Shear into the enhancement shaman's arsenal. No longer were we the DPS class that screwed up interrupt rotations. On fights for which we were the sole interrupter, we no longer had to hold off on DPSing in order to interrupt an important ability. This change would have been totally awesome for PvE ... had Wrath of the Lich King possessed any heroics in which not interrupting an ability would cause a wipe. As it was, a handful of encounters in the rest of the expansion had any relevant interrupting -- Lord Jaraxxus, Faction Champions, Twin Valk'yrs, and Lady Deathwhisper were the only four out of the last 17 raid bosses who actually had interruptible spells.

Thankfully, we're not in Wrath of the Lich King anymore. Cataclysm has come, and the shattering of Azeroth has brought an entirely new style of gameplay into PvE content. It's no longer any DPS player's job to care simply about DPS; interruptible spells from the lowliest of trash mobs can wipe you if you're not careful. Healer mana matters, so avoiding damage is the norm. Luckily for us, enhancement shaman have some of the best utility in the game for making sure your group doesn't wipe.

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Filed under: Shaman

Totem Talk: Enhancement post-patch theory

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shamans. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement: his main spec is enhance, his off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 04 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This patch hit me hard, harder than any patch before it, and I know I wasn't the only was one to be drastically affected by it. Other than the usual spate of patch-related addon issues, I was struggling to keep the downloader connected. After turning off all anti-virus, firewall and other sorts of computer safety monitoring programs, I finally got into game on Friday night. Mostly, though, I just lacked time to log in this week. Once in game, I was faced with just as many challenges getting Stoney in order and raid-ready as I was trying to get online. This patch was more disruptive in game than any patch before.

A far an enhancement goes, there's so much that still needs to be tested and refined. The greater enhancement community is working hard at the theorycrafting, but even the simulations are not fully refined for level 80 testing; the latest alpha of EnhSim is tuned to level 85 right now. The decisions I made in game are based on the best available data as well as some things I want to test out for myself. There was a lot to accomplish in-game including, respeccing, retraining, regemming, reforging, readjusting and refining.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement's path to victory in patch 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shamans. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement -- his main spec is enhance, his off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance, and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 03 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Are you ready? Charge up your Maelstrom Weapons and dust off your Searing Totems -- Patch 4.0.1 is nearly upon us! Not sure what to do on your enhancement shaman? The quick-hit guide to enhancement in the cataclysmic world is below.

What's not changing

Let's start with some things that are not changing. Slow/slow is the way to go (for your weapons, I mean). Your weapons shouldn't be faster than 2.00 and ideally should be between 2.50 to 2.70 speed. Be wary of any weapon with a speed below 2.00; most likely it's been touched by a rogue and still has some residual poison on it meant to cripple your Windfuries and Flametongues.

We're also staying with the same imbues: Windfury on the main hand and Flametongue on the off hand. With this patch (as with every patch, it seems), there was a little bit of banter about going full spellpower, with fast/fast and a caster weapon main hand along with FT/FT, reforging spirit, and otherwise doing crazy things like looking for the next Torch of Holy Fire. Don't do it. Stay slow/slow, with WF/FT. We're meant to be melee doing primarily melee damage.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement shaman changes for patch 4.0.1

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. 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 and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2, Episode 1 now out!) as enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

I can't wait for the new talent trees to kick in with patch 4.0.1. The game designers truly streamlined talent trees, including Enhancement. They've even gone so far as to make Primal Wisdom, our mana regen talent, into a base ability, and they've taken one point out of Unleashed Rage. This frees up two talent points right away and gave us some very viable specs to use right out of the gate of 4.0.1 for our last hurrah at level 80.

I see two different possibilities for level 80 specs for enhancement: Fire Nova or Improved Shields. First, an Improved Fire Nova spec of 5/31/0. Not only did this talent get moved to the enhancement tree, but it got dropped down deep, out of reach for elemental. The unfortunate part is that come Cataclysm, Fire Nova will require a Magma, Fire Elemental or Flametongue Totem and will not work off our new and improved Searing Totem. To further confound matters, the improved nova is right beside Searing Flames, the Searing Totem special kicker.

The improved novas make a big difference in fights requiring both boss and AoE damage, such as heroic Halion-25. Outside of that fight (or any future fights like it), Improved Fire Nova is a waste; better to put the points in Improved Shields. My main spec at 80 will be 5/31/0. Just moving those points isn't going to push your DPS up significantly, but with the changes to Lightning Shield, making it effectively a 10-minute, non-depletable buff (when glyphed), those two points are well spent there at 80.

Dipping into the elemental tree, after our requisite 31 points in enhancement, three points in Acuity are a must-have, especially as we start to level again. The last two points going into Concussion will pack an extra punch.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement beta update

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. 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, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 13 now live!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

It's been a few weeks since my last beta post. I feel like I'm back in grammar school at good ol' St. Louise de Marillac, "forgive me readers, it's been four weeks since my last beta post. Since then I've been mean to my guild, and I tried to kill my own priest." In game priest, in game! I can't wait to read the letters to the editor about that slip up. Oh well, at least I didn't use the word "casual."

Moving right along to important topics that everyone cares about: beta changes for enhancement shamans! Well, I suppose "everyone" excludes people that are not interested in beta spoilers. Great, two paragraphs in and I've already offended Catholics, priests, and people not interested in beta spoilers. Look on the bright side: at least I didn't use an offensive font this week!

If you are interested in the latest beta changes as they relate to enhancement shamans then please read on. Please note that beyond this point, this post will not further offend your good, wholesome middle Azerothian sensibilities.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancing your gear in only four dungeons

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. 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, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 12 now out!)as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Holy Stormstrikes! I'm going to refrain from using the term casual in a post ever again. Wait, I just used it there. Ah well, rack that promise up with "I'll never drink again" and "I'll never die to cutters again." Lies, all of them, lies.

We all have different definitions of the term and judging by the comments in the last post, others' definition of casual is more severe than mine. I'll get into casual vs. hardcore and the ridiculousness of those classifications in another post. For now, I hear you loud and clear, so let's refrain from diving into that now.

I digress. As I was writing last week's article I had this sneaking suspicion that I already wrote several articles on gearing your non-end game enhancement shaman. In fact I had written articles many moons ago, and they are all on my neglected blog, Big Hit Box. Time for a revisit.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhanced moves with Halion

enhanced moves with halion
Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. 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 and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 10 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

The last patch of an expansion feels like the last gift of Christmas; you want it to be the most epic and the most incredible gift of them all, the one gift by which you'll remember this time forever. But instead, you're at your in-laws' doing the family gag gift exchange with a price limit of 20 bucks and a penchant for As Seen on TV products. In some ways, Ruby Sanctum is like that; it's not huge, it's not epic, it's not expensive, but it does have some potential. Maybe Ruby Sanctum is the Slap Chop of this expansion. None of this has anything to do with the article today. Except that I'm talking about Halion.

Halion, the Twilight Destroyer. Three phases, good loot and a huge scale-up in difficulty on heroic mode. It's a good fight that requires paying attention throughout the entire 8-minute enrage timer, in which one death can mean a wipe, especially on heroic. There's no 30 percent buff incoming, so you either learn it and beat it, or you don't and fail. For our part, as enhancement shaman, there are a few tricks we have up our sleeves.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhancement Cataclysm update


Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. 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, and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 9 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

With such a lame title, you'd never guess we have so much to talk about this week! Mastery bonus is all elemental damage, not just nature! Smarter Searing Totems! Four Ghostcrawler replies (11 paragraphs!) about Shamans, with four paragraphs solely about Enhancement! Longer Hex! New crit-increasing talents! Increased totem ranges! Well, okay, maybe that last one isn't as exciting as the first few. But there's so much news out there for us enhancers, I don't even know where to begin.

The logical place to start is with the biggest news: Enhancement Mastery bonus "increases all elemental damage done by 20%. Damage increased further by mastery rating." This is a change from the first Cataclysm build that included mastery; previously our bonus was only increasing our nature damage. The nature-only mastery was great for our core spell, Lightning Bolt (LB), but with Maelstrom Weapon (MW) now including Lava Burst (LvB) we would not benefit from our Mastery bonus with LvB. This was a problem for two reasons: first LvB does more damage than LB, and second, LvB could be used to keep Elemental Devastation up. Lava Burst will automatically crit when Flame Shock (FS) is on a target, making it a smart choice to used to keep Elemental Devastation active.

That choice changed. Mastery now affects all elemental damage, which includes Lava Burst. Hence, Lava Burst plus Flame Shock plus mastery equals happy enhancer. This is a great buff for us. Because LvB has an 8 second cooldown and LB has none, we'll still keep LB handy for when LvB is on cooldown.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Enhance me

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. 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 and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 8 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Two weeks ago a fellow enhancement shaman contacted me on Twitter asking how to improve his damage output. He was kind enough to let me use his email as the topic for the weekly enhancement shaman column here on WoW.com. Because he was brave (crazy?) enough to face the public scrutiny that comes from being in the spotlight here, show him the high level of respect our fellow enhancement brother deserves. Here's his email:

I just switched to enhance for raiding a couple of weeks ago and I still feel like my DPS is lower than what it could be. I'm using Shock and Awe and still depending more or less on the priority frame, which I hope to ween off of soon. I'm still not 100% sure if I have the priorities set up correctly at this point. They are set at:
  • SR
  • MT
  • LS
  • MW5 LB
  • SS
  • ES if SS
  • FS
  • LL
  • FN
I also use Wolves every time they are up and also Fire Elemental when off CD. With just my buffs at the heroic dummy I seem to be maxing out around 6-6.5k. Again, seems a little low to me. If you would like to look at my armory, the name is Alyssian on Durotan. We use WoL, too, and my guild is Chi Cerca Trova.

PS - Any tips for helping me get off of the SAA priority window? I'm mainly concerned with keeping the shock rotation going, I think I can handle the rest.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Dual-wielding topics

Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. 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 and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week I'm dual wielding topics. Neither one was enough to keep you entertained, my lovely and intelligent readers, for a full week's worth of enhancement, but combined together I think we can accomplish something. Consider a Stormstrike post with fire elemental mechanics in one hand and Cataclysm changes in the other.

If you're firmly in the "don't tell me anything about Cataclysm" camp, then just read the first section and skip the rest, though all I'm talking about are the recent changes to the shaman talent trees. If you don't mind a sneak peek at enhancement 4.0 as it stands now, then enjoy!

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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