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Posts with tag totem-talk-elemental-shaman

Totem Talk: The highs and lows of Ascendance for DPS shaman

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 using all three specs on a regular basis. He kept the same transmog set, though.

Elamism didn't hit level 87 on the beta this week. It wasn't for lack of trying, but something more akin to lack of time. Despite grabbing two heroic No'kaleds from our first heroic Madness kill two weeks ago, I still had guild raiding to do this week (I ended up picking up a heroic Rathrak for my elemental spec, so I can't complain too much), and I had to make preparations for my trip to Michigan next week. Coupled with the fact that I had to dedicate a night to testing my arcane mage as well, I wasn't able to dedicate enough alone time with my shaman to hit level 87.

Thankfully, other people have had the opportunity to play more than I did (special thanks to Ashunera, who graciously allowed me to use this Ascendance video here). It's thanks to Ashunera that we've gotten our first taste of Ascendance, the new class ability coming to shaman in Mists of Pandaria. Spoiler alert: It's totally and completely awesome.

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

Totem Talk: Elemental shaman leveling from 1 to 20

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.

Last time, I talked about how elemental shaman have gradually begun to evolve from turrets into athletes. All that talking about patch 4.2 and that running around has my dwarf shaman longing to put her feet up and have a beer. So while my grouchy dwarf peers into the depths of her (pewter) tankard and ponders on the delightful looks of tier 12, I've been exploring the world of troll shaman. That's right, I'm leveling a new elemental shaman from scratch in the post-patch 4.1 game.

Meet Zuulfi, a young troll shaman on her way to level 85. Right now, she still randomly hits things with her staff and throws out the occasional Earth Shock. Eventually, the plan is to for her to match strides with the gray-haired dwarf I normally put above my columns. Why a troll? I play a dwarf -- time for a taller Horde point of view.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Totem Talk: Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff vs. mastery

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.

I have proof that The Master is an elemental shaman! This is going to keep me happy for weeks -- or at least until the premiere of the next series of Doctor Who. This week, I'd like to touch upon a long-standing pet peeve of mine involving that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff we call haste, and also have a poke at The Ma -- I mean, at mastery.

This goes back to the days when I was brand new to blogging and trying to gear up my own shaman for the first time. As I built up my store of knowledge, I frequently came across a specified amount of haste that was viewed almost like a haste cap. Get that amount of haste, and you didn't need any more? Madness. As the elemental tree was changed and tinkered with, this fixed number became less and less relevant. Based as it was in the idea of a fixed rotation and fitting in an extra Lightning Bolt between every Lava Burst, this fixed number wasn't as applicable in a live raid situation, where human error, RNG, and lag all combined to create an imperfect environment for a perfect rotation.

Cataclysm delivered mastery into the mix. Thus began the eternal question: When is mastery better than haste? This question is couched in a misunderstanding of the way haste and mastery interact and in the practice of stacking whichever is the best perceived stat.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Patch 4.1 brings the AoE 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, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, it's our chance at a preview of patch 4.1! There I was, all set to rant about mastery and haste when some datamining popped up. I for one am pretty happy about the content of the patch, although I've heard a lot of consternation on Twitter about rehashing of old content. Comparing 4.1 to the first big content patch of Wrath? Wrath doesn't come close. Two raids, three 5-mans, the story getting progressed in Mount Hyjal, new pets and new mounts ... There's an awful lot to look forward to.

On the elemental shaman front, so far there are a few direct patch notes and some tweaks to other areas of the game that we'll want to keep an eye on -- or at the very least, celebrate.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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: 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: Leveling to 85 as an 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.

It took me all of two hours. The Shattering was finally upon us, and I had a wistful couple of hours looking at the draenei version of Caenerys. In the end, I snatched up my credit card and paid for the race change. I'm glad I did so; my gray-haired dwarf lass is upbeat, but she has more memories and more connection with the shattered land that we've all been called on to defend. Dwarf shaman are delightful, and I'm very happy to see so many of them out and about as part of the pre-Cataclysm alt frenzy! I'm just looking forward to queuing for Blackrock Caverns and finally getting to hear the reactions of my guildies as they explore the new zones!

As Joe points out, there is no right or wrong way to level to 85. More than ever before, the pathway to max level is a personal game. There will probably always be efficient levelling guides out there, but that isn't how I enjoy playing the game, and the new zone and quest designs make that approach somewhat redundant, in my opinion. I only had a few problems with leveling solo as elemental; for the most part, in my raid gear I was more than equal to the content, barring a few surprises, so don't panic! It's a big world out there, so here are a few things to remember while you're exploring the new areas.

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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: 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

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