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Video of Cataclysm Zones

A cool video showing the new zones in WoW's next expansion.

Thursday, August 27, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

Faction Champions

This weeks maintenance came on Tuesday and with in a new Trial of the Crusader raid boss. This new boss is called Faction Champions. The first thing I am going to comment about is finally a decent degree of difficulty from a boss in the new instance. Faction Champions is a PvP arena style fight against your opposite faction. Each week your raid will be drawing a different mix of Races, Classes and Specs. Our raid drew this combination: Warrior, DK, Enhancement Shaman, Pally(heals), Druid(heals), Priest(heals), Priest(Shadow), Warlock, Rouge, Hunter.

The fight starts out as an all out zerg fest where your raid group must work together to get the Champions under control by using your raid groups CC abilities. For the 25 man version there are 3 healers that use every trick in their bag to keep themselves or fellow Champions health topped off and dispelled. There are 2 melee classes that really started to be a problem for us. The Warrior and the DK were able to destroy and cloth member of our raid in seconds so they became the focus for our raid. While our Prot Warriors worked on taunting and trying to contain them we focus fired down the healers, at the same time anyone with CC rotated on keeping the rest of the Champions under control.

The real trick to this fight is having members of your raid group work together in small groups to manage their Champion they are responsible for. It took some getting used to and our guild was finally able to figure out we needed to move the Warrior and DK as far as possible from the rest of the raid to minimize their chance to annihilate our clothies. Unfortunately we ran out of time on Tuesday night and Wednesday we continued working our way through Ulduar 25 hard modes so we won't be finishing ToCrusader until Sunday night. I will attempt to shoot a video of our killing encounter and post it here for our readers to see. If anyone has any good tips on this raid boss please share your comments below.

Elemental Shaman's roll for Faction Champions

The main roll of an Elemental Shaman in Faction Champions is to keep sustained dps on the raid's target. The secondary roll is to provide a combination of spot heals and CC. I used my Hex spell on the Hunter's pet to keep it off our healers/casters. Remember that your CC spells will suffer from diminishing returns during this encounter so it really help if you switch Hex from the pet to any Champion that is freely damaging your raid. I keep the shadow priest or hunter under Hex as much as possible. Another this to remember it that Wind Shear is off the shock cool down now and must be used to interrupt a healer or caster whenever possible. Keep an eye on the 2 melee dps that your tanks will be trying to control and help them with earthbind totem and frost shocks to keep them off of their target. Also a spot chain heal will help your healers if they are kiting or being interrupted. As you take each Champion down the fight will become easier and easier so pop Bloodlust/Heroism right away to get the fight under control.

The best tip I can provide is make /target marcos for the different Champions so you can easily switch to help with CC and interrupts. This fight is very chaotic at the beginning and trying to click on your target is just not efficient so create some marcos to help you out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 | posted in , | 2 comments [ More ]

Trial of the Crusader Part 2 + Some Best in Slot Gear

Barb of Tarasque

Last we we covered a few of the items you should be aiming for in Trial of the Crusader 10 man. this week we will cover the 25 man version and the loot elemental shamans should be looking to acquire. This 25 man instance will drop some Best in Slot Elemental or BiS gear so if you are looking to upgrade your Ulduar gear this is the instance for you. Hopefully you guild has been able to get through Northrend Beasts and Jaraxxus and if you were lucky a few elemental items have dropped. With today's maintenace Factions Champions should be released. I am really looking forward to that fight and I was lucky enough to grab Pauldrons of the Spirit Walker off Northrend Beasts last week.YEAH!!!

This 25 man instance drops a dagger that every Elemental Shaman must try to get their hands on. The Barb of Tarasque is BiS until your guild can start working on Heroic 25 man Trial of the Crusader. With 621 spell power, 45 hit rating, 58 haste rating and no spirit at all make this the perfect dps caster weapon. Also because of the lack of spirit we should not have to fight against healers for the dagger.

OK now that we are done drooling over that dagger lets look at the rest of the 25 man loot.

Suffering's End - Alternative to the dagger if you like to use a mace. But still an awesome weapon!!!

Bastion of Resolve - Another BiS item until you can run the Heroic mode.

Sabatons of Tremoring Earth - BiS boot for you elemental shaman.

Shroud of Displacement - BiS cloak again until Heroic mode.

Drape of the Refreshing Winds - A nice cloak but not as good as the Shroud of displacement beacuse of the spirit on it.

Circle of the Darkmender - Not exactly an elemental ring but still worth mentioning.

Lurid Manifestation - Very nice ring with some Crit Rating on it.

Cry of the Valkyr - An awesome necklace with great itemization for elementals shamans.

Reign of the Dead - Trinket with 150 spell power and a proc like the Lightning Capacitor. I am going to do some research on this trinket to really see how much dps it can provide, but i am sure is has some limitations.

Well that wraps up with week's review of the 25 man Trial of Champions loot. With all the Best in Slot loot and 4 additional pieces of mail armor to throw in the mix this raid should be keeping everyone very busy for a while. Next week I will review Trail of the Champions 10 man Heroic raid and discuss the loot upgrades you should be really looking to get and the ones not to waste DKP or a roll on.

If I missed an item that you think should be on the list please leave a comment below and I will update the list.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | posted in , | 1 comments [ More ]

A Dwarf Shaman???

With more information about WoW's next expansion Cataclysm coming out from MMO Champion data miners we have learned Alliance faction players will probably be able to roll a dwarf shaman. This is good news for Alliance players who do not like the looks of spacegoat shamans. Now this has not been confirmed yet so it may change but I like the idea of a dwarf shaman. It seems to make sense the the dwarfs would have shamans as a class.

Currently shaman players are limited to a few Races. You can be a Tauren, Troll, Orc or Draenei. It would be pretty cool with the supposed Faction changes being introduced to take you Horde Tauren Shaman and convert him into an Alliance Dwarf Shaman.

The list of new playable classes/races for MMO follows:

Dwarf Shaman

Dwarf Mage

Orc Mage

Night Elf Mage

Human Hunter

Undead Hunter

Blood Elf Warrior

Tauren Paladin

Tauren Priest

Gnome Priest

Troll Druid

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | posted in | 1 comments [ More ]

Congrats to Method

I just wanted to take a quick moment to congratulate my guild Method of Hakkar(US) on their first Yogg-Saron Heroic kill. Even tho the patch has come with a little nerf to Yogg the fight still retains the majority of the elements that make the fight a challenge for raiding guilds.

As an elemental shaman this fight does allow us to show off some dps. The movement factor of this encounter is not as bad as some of the others in Ulduar. Phase 1 requires very little movement depending on the startegy you use. Phase 2 can be tough unless you get Crushers spawning on top of each other. But Phase 3 is where we can really shine. If you set up right behind you MT and drop your fire elemental followed up by a heavy dose of Magma Totems you can really do some strong dps in phase 3. I pulled 5.8k for the entire encounter which is respectable for Yogg.

Again congrats to Method!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009 | posted in , | 0 comments [ More ]

Trial of the Crusader

This will be a 4 part posting on the new raid instance Trial of the Crusader. This new raid comes in 4 flavors. Normal 10 and 25 man versions and 10 and 25 man heroic versions. I will breaking down the loot Elemental Shamans should be looking to acquire. This week we will start with the normal 10 man version.

Trial of the Crusader 10 Man Normal

All of the loot dropped in this 10 man raid is ilvl 232 which will be an upgrade to the gear from Ulduar 25. Both Alliance and Horde factions will have the same items drop but each faction will a different name for items. The following items should be the loot you are aiming to get when your guild starts raiding the Coliseum.

Sunreaver Disciple's Blade

Pauldrons of the Spirit Walker

Darkbane Amulet

Fetish of Volatile Power

Helm of the Crypt Lord

Firestorm Band

Good luck on your raids in the new Coliseum and remember when you are fitting loot into your new raiding set to watch how you effect your stats. Do not sacrifice your hit rating or haste rating to show off your new gear.

Sunday, August 9, 2009 | posted in , | 0 comments [ More ]

Shaman 3.2 Early Review

Not that the patch is a few days old I took a couple on minutes to reflect on some of the changes to the emblem system. It looks like farming for emblems has truly brought the player base back to running heroics like Blizzard intended. It will be very easy to gear out your shaman with this new system. I read that you could farm 53 emblems in a single day farming all of the heroics. Those emblems will allow you to grab 2 pieces of Tier 8.5 gear and fill some needed slots.

Keep in mind you can change out Emblems of Conquest for the other emblems since these are the only emblems that drop now. Also the daily heroic quest rewards is 2 emblems of triumph which can be used to get your hands on the new Tier 9 gear. I will cover this new set and when you should start using to maximize dps in a later post.

Some of the items you should grab are:

Breastplate of the Wayward Protector

Crown of the Wayward Protector

Evoker's Charm

Band of Channeled Magic

Totem of Hex

Sundial of the Exiled

Of course there are many more useful items on the vendors and with a little effort you can start building your elemental set pretty easy this way. One of the best things about playing a hybrid is it will be easy to get into a heroic farming group with our ability to fulfill 2 roles, dps or heals so start farming.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

3.2 Patch Day and You

So Patch day is here and I want to know what will be the first things you do when the servers come up? Obviously we will all set up our new totem bars, but then what? Head to the new Crusader's Coliseum instance, run the dailys to get your first Triumph Badges, start working on the profession changes, get epic flying on every alt you have, or just stand in Daralan not knowing where to start???

It really doesn't matter what your cup of tea is, with so many changes to Azeroth this patch there will be plenty to keep us busy. It also got me thinking do you like that the patch are coming out more frequently now? I personally love the fact the Blizzard is keeping the game fresh with the release of new content and for Elemental Shamans we actually have a few pieces of loot with the correct itemization this patch.

This patch does not make any major changes to elementals but I am happy for the resto changes and I think it will make off spec healing more appealing to some who just love to blow stuff up. Remember one of the best things about being a hybrid class is you can fill 2 rolls for heroics so getting a group for the dailys shouldn't be a problem. EASY BADGES!!!

I know our guild will still be raiding Ulduar each week until we bring down yogg 25, currently stuck in phase 3 over and over :( I think we should get him this week and then start working on the new instance I hope. Well g'luck to my fellow shamans as we head out into 3.2 and hopefully we will see a few buffs for 3.3 in the future.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | posted in | 1 comments [ More ]

Shaman Raiding AddOns

I have to admit I do like to try out new addons to see which ones can enhance game play and which ones are really fluff. The are a few essential addons every raider should be running like Omen and Recount and there are some that may be personal choice. I like raiding with a clean looking ui and prefer to have the bottom of my screen contain all of my actions bars, recount, chat frames, omen etc.

Some shaman tips I have may be helpful. Keep a single action bar button containing the Lava Burst spell with some sort of timer ticking down until the next time you are going to fire off the next one. Now if you are following the correct dps rotation you should know when to Lava Burst but it does help if you are new to the dps rotation. This will also let you keep your focus on the fight and not looking down to your action bars to see when your spells are coming off cool down.

Here are some of the addons I would consider are essential to raiding and suggest you are using them:

Deadly Boss Mods - Pretty much a must have since it will let you know when you need to move in fights like Hodir or if you take a debuff.

Omen - This threat meter will make sure you are not pulling aggro off the MT with huge Lava Burst Crits.

Quartz - This casting bar mod will help you with your dps rotation and will account for latency so you know when to cast the next spell. It also will save fatigue on you wrist and fingers as you will not have to spam a key constantly to make sure you are getting your spells off.

Shaman Friend - This is a great addon for shamans. It will tell you when your are missing your main hand enchant. I know there have been several times when my dps starts dropping and at the end of the fight I see I am missing flametounge. This will make sure you remember to refresh it. This add also show each time your lightning overload procs, announce to the raid when you bloodlust/heroism. Works for every spec as well.

There are so many more choices of addons you can use and unit frames to pick from. I actually use a ton more than the listed ones but those are the essential ones. I will place a pic of the ui I use and another labeled with each addon. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009 | posted in , | 5 comments [ More ]

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