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Posts with tag enhancement-shaman-cataclysm

Totem Talk: The ups and downs of playing enhancement in Dragon Soul

Enhancement shaman mid0Morchok fight
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've said in the past that enhancement is in a good place in 4.3, and that's the truth. Despite some really awful itemization and some as-yet-unresolved issues with the spec, enhancement is remaining a strong middle-of-the-pack contender. In non-cutting-edge raid groups that don't have multiple Dragonwrath-wielding casters, we're even better.

Dragon Soul is a great instance for enhancement in 4.3 because it offers a variety of fights. Some play to enhancement's strengths, some highlight its weaknesses, and some fights are Ultraxion and your DPS spec doesn't matter, provided you can push buttons and click a shiny purple dot on his screen every 45 seconds. For the purpose of brevity, I'm going to assume you're familiar with the normal-mode mechanics of these fights (and if you're not, some are conveniently covered by my frenemy Tyler Caraway in the Ready Check column) and just speak to how enhancement specifically fares on these fights.

Chopping Morchok

There's nothing particularly special about Morchok for enhancement, except if you're doing the fight on heroic. Shamanistic Rage and Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem make Morchok's Stomp damage negligible, but Stomps don't really hit hard enough on normal to worry about. However, if you have a healer in line of sight during a black phase (and you've done nothing in recent memory that would cause them to hate you), Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem and Shamanistic Rage will let you stay on the boss for most if not all of the phase. If you don't have a friendly healer, enhancement still fares better than most melee on this fight, as cast Lava Bursts and Lightning Bolts still hit hard.

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

Totem Talk: The enhancement shaman of 2011

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

One of the nicest things about 2011 for enhancement was that it wasn't 2010 any more. If you've been an avid reader of my column, you probably know by now that I think that 2010 will most likely (and hopefully) go down in history as the year in which Blizzard tried and was often successful at driving droves of enhancement shaman away from the class in masse. An overcomplicated rotation that still gave us the worst single-target DPS of any spec in the game, terrible mobility, lack of scaling from armor penetration (worst. stat. ever.), absolutely zero competitive AoE DPS ... The list of the bad things about the Icecrown Citadel/Ruby Sanctum era is worth an article in and of itself. In fact, I think we've done a number of those in the past.

So one of the best things about 2011 was the changes made to address a lot of those issues. Ancestral Swiftness gave us the normal bonus run speed that classes like ret paladins received, and since Ghost Wolf was changed to be usable indoors, we're much better at maximizing time on target. Armor penetration was thankfully removed from the game (coincidentally, I'm fairly certain that 4.0 saw a significant drop in headache medicines to WoW players), and the awesomely cool mastery stat was added in its place.

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

Totem Talk: Tier 12 through an enhancement shaman's eyes

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!

Enhancement is a spec that has struggled with its tier bonuses in the past. Back in The Burning Crusade, we had such gems as tier 5's Your melee attacks have a chance to reduce the cast time of your next Healing Surge by 1.5 seconds, a bonus that provided absolutely no benefit to DPS beyond allowing us to live through a sticky situation. In Wrath of the Lich King, tier 8 gave us one of our best bonuses of all time: Increases the frequency of Maelstrom Weapon being triggered by your melee attacks by 20%. A patch later, tier 9 saw us unfortunately dropping that bonus for the overly boring and terribly mediocre An additional 3% chance to proc your Static Shock talent.

Cataclysm hasn't been significantly better so far. On the one hand, our current two-piece bonus is amazing. It gives us a 10% increase to Lava Lash, our hardest-hitting and highest-priority ability, as well as slightly buffing Stormstrike. At the same time, our four-piece bonus is 10% critical strike chance to just Lightning Bolt. This bonus isn't terrible in and of itself, but it's coupled with terrible itemization on both the legs and the chestpieces and bad itemization on the gloves. Most enhancement shaman will find best in slot is heroic tier 11 helm and shoulders, Heroic Tunic of Failed Experiments, Twilight Scale Leggings, and Heroic Proto-Handler's Gauntlets. Four-piece tier 11 need not apply.

Wednesday night, set bonuses for tier 12 were discovered on the 4.2 Public Test Realm. In an awesome twist, Blizzard themed all of the set bonuses around the raid they will drop in, the Firelands. Classes like death knights that don't already have fire spells to work with receive passive bonuses like Your critical strikes with melee abilities deal 15% additional damage as Fire damage over 4 sec. Specs like elemental, which already have fiery moves to work with, get set bonuses like Your offensive spells have a chance to reset the remaining cooldown on your Fire Elemental Totem, seamlessly weaving the theme of the raid with the class' abilities. Enhancement, which uses a surprising number of fire abilities itself, falls under this second category.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk, 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: Understanding your low-level enhancement abilities

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 shot web? The answer to the first two is "no," and roll a hunter for the third!

I am an unrepentant altaholic. In Wrath of the Lich King, I had seven level-capped characters. When Cataclysm came, I had some strange idea that I would work on those level 80 characters and get them to level 85. Instead of going that practical route, I'm currently in the middle of leveling both a warrior and a hunter ... both of which I already have at level 80. Cataclysm leveling is just that cool.

One of my favorite parts about the revamped old world is that the bosses of instances have been retuned for post-4.0 DPS levels. In previous expansions, boss fights would last mere seconds. This made it a horrible gauge for DPS, as burst specs would always win out and didn't help you learn your rotation. Now that the dungeons have been retuned and fights can last up to a minute, it is worth taking the time to take a look at your priority system for leveling.

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

Totem Talk: Enhancement shaman Q&A grab bag

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 asked readers to send in whatever questions they had about enhancement to my email. The two readers I have who are still using email (the archaic form of communication that it is) gave me some pretty awesome questions. For the rest my readers who have decided that email is so two-thousand-and-late, I also asked my Twitter followers to chip in with some questions on what they're struggling to figure out about enhancement. Of the questions asked, I picked four to answer.

As always, if your question wasn't answered (or hasn't been asked yet!), shoot me an email at josh@wowinsider.com or tweet me at twitter.com/elamqt (I prefer Twitter!).

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

Totem Talk: An enhancement view of Blackwing Descent

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. On Saturdays, Josh Myers (now returned from last week's emergency vacation to Narnia) 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.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a Burning Crusade baby. This means I missed out on a lot of things: two-handed enhancement, FROST SHAWK, and both Onyxia and Nefarian as challenging raid bosses. While 40 people were beginning to come together and work out raid strategies like "Many Whelps -- handle it!," my young mind was congratulating myself on being awesome enough to beat the main storyline of Morrowind.

Cataclysm can't do anything for the first two points, which I don't mind in the least. However, Cataclysm does bring us back Nefarian and Onyxia as challenging raid content. Even better, they're together in the same fight as the climactic ending to Blackwing Descent, one of the three raid instances in tier 11 content. This week, I'll be focusing on looking at the first three bosses of Blackwing Descent from an enhancement perspective.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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