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Posts with tag enhance

Totem Talk: Enhancement buffs and debuffs in Mists of Pandaria

A crab holding a sword with a wizard's hat and flavor text.
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.

I'm doing my best not to be excited for Mists of Pandaria yet. This is partly because we've not even seen a hint of the beta starting yet and thus have a few more months of patch 4.3 to play before MoP comes out. This is also partly due to the fact that my new guild just started heroic Spine of Deathwing attempts, and I'm not sure I'm ever going to look forward to anything ever again. Ever.

Even though I'll never be excited for anything ever again, Blizzard has released some juicy new MoP information over the past two weeks, and a good chunk of it pertains to enhancement shaman. If you still have the ability to be excited for things, this something you want to read. If you're also progressing on heroic Spine of Deathwing, you probably still want to read this ... if only to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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

Totem Talk: 3 reasons enhancement shaman should be excited for Mists of Pandaria

Pandaren kicking a fireball
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.

I'm going to be honest: I still love Cataclysm. I know that it has a lot of problems, but I think a lot of the issues people have with Cataclym are that it isn't Burning Crusade (or vanilla, for that matter), and I'm very much an enemy of nostalgia. Especially in comparison to its immediate predecessor, Cataclysm has a lot of things going for it. Class balance is in a better place across the board than it was in Wrath. Even though Firelands was a giant explosion of red and orange visual vomit, it still doesn't compare to Trial of the Crusader's single room. And, even though we've not been amazing at all during any of Cataclysm, enhancement shaman haven't actually sucked during any patch, much less the entire last year of the expansion.

That said, I'm terribly excited for Mists of Pandaria. Part of the excitement is that for once in my life I'll have a horde race to play that isn't tauren as I hate all the other choices, and The Amazing Panda Adventure was possibly my favorite movie from 1995. Another part of the excitement is that Mists of Pandaria is new and shiny and it's only human to love things that are new and shiny. I love some of the new ideas Blizzard has cooked up for level 90 players, from PVE scenarios to companion pet battles. Yes, I was young enough to play Pokemon when it was relevant, but I'm also old enough to not be ashamed of wanting to play it again.

Most importantly, though, I'm most excited for the potentials changes coming to enhancement in MoP. Enhancement has had some pretty glaring issues for a good part of this expansion, even if we regularly remained competitive. Thankfully, some of the changes that came in last week's updated talent calculator look like they'll be on the road to solving these issues when Mists drops.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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

Rediscovering Alts: A private Cataclysm

I've been playing an enhancement/resto shaman since The Burning Crusade. I like my two shaman because they're not warriors; they have a different playstyle and instead of tank/DPS hybrids, they're healer/DPS hybrids. (Admittedly, they once kind of tanked, if you squinted.) Even to this day, I read Josh and Sarah and Joe every week.

Once Cataclysm came along, I was forced to put my shaman on the back burner for a while. Raid needed tank. Me tank. Me tank hard. (Okay, so I neither write or speak like that.) I also got to enjoying messing around with the various warrior DPS specs. But with the passing of time, as my warriors got geared enough to perform the roles expected of them, I got to missing my shaman.

My orc, I may never level again (at least not until I finally break down and buy a race change to tauren -- you can thank Garrosh "Where did my neck go?" Hellscream), but my draenei, I still enjoy a great deal. I know a lot of Alliance shaman players went dwarf, but I'm fond of my big blue. So I went back and started leveling him and quickly discovered a few things.
  1. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. A lot of the essentials of the class are still there, but a lot really has changed. Fire Nova works entirely differently now. Stat weights are entirely different. We have whole new abilities, and our older abilities were either redesigned, moved around, or in some cases removed entirely.
  2. Sentry Totem is gone. I won't lie: I cried.
  3. We have two forms of CC now! Two! Holy crap, I remember when Hex was barely even viable. Now, it's pretty solid.
  4. Mages have stolen Heroism. This also made me cry.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Glyphing your leveling enhancement shaman

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 roll a hunter for the third!

For any person who is new to World of Warcraft or starting a new character on another server, glyphs are one of the worst part of the leveling experience. Why? Because they're expensive. With the redesign of inscription that came with Cataclysm, glyphs take more money make and cost way more to buy. This leaves low-level alts and new players boggled as to how they're going to afford that Glyph of Totemic Recall that just went up for 200 gold.

To that end, I'm avoiding making a list of glyphs that you should have by specific levels. Me telling you that your first prime glyph at level 25 should be Glyph of Stormstrike isn't helpful if you don't have the gold to buy it at level 25, and it doesn't take into account the fact that more utility-focused major glyphs might be more useful at that level. To that end, I've come with a list of glyphs based on usefulness, separated them into two categories: top priority and low priority. Any glyphs not in this list aren't really worth getting while leveling. That doesn't make them bad glyphs -- glyphs like Glyph of Water Walking can be very useful, just not mandatory for leveling on a budget.

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

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: A feast of enhancement macros

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement; his main spec is enhance, and his off spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 05 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week, I was hoping to provide a thorough analysis of the new and questionably improved (though most definitely changed) enhancement shaman DPS in patch 4.0.1. Unfortunately, I ended up missing raid on Tuesday and so missed our 11/12 ICC hard mode power clear and have very limited data to analyze.

I know you're right there with me when I say it is quite disconcerting to have gaps in our normal frenzied button mashing activities. The long, lonely periods of two or three global cooldowns where we have nothing to do but hope for that fifth Maelstrom Weapon proc, while idly staring at our keys with the strange feeling that we're doing something wrong. Fret not, young shammy. It is the way of the enhancement right now; we will have periods of non-mashing where we can take a deep breath and enjoy the forthcoming five-stack of searing enabled Lava Lash crit.

In last week's article I alluded to a macro that combines Magma Totem and Fire Nova into one button, and there were some comments about it. I'm a big macro user; in fact, I have all my macro slots filled up on Stoney and my druid, Finn. I think it's about time I divulged the treasure trove of macros I've accumulated over the years.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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 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: 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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