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Patch 3.2.2 Today

With patch 3.2.2 coming out today and some very welcomed changes for elemental shamans along with it I cannot wait for this patch to go live. There have been a few buffs and a nerf but overall I think these are the changes that should have gone in with patch 3.2. First I will recap the changes Blizzard has made to the Elemental spec and how they will effect which gear and glyphs we choose to use. Keep in mind I write this blog from the perspective of a raiding elemental shaman so my view of these changes relates to progression raiding.

The first change Blizzard has made is to our Flame Shock spell. With 3.2.2 Flame Shock will last an additional 6 secs. This will extend the uptime of our Flame Shock and dot to 18 seconds. The second change Blizzard made was to Lava Burst. In 3.2.2 Lava Burst will no longer consume the Flame Shock debuff. Before this patch elemental shamans had to use the Flame Shock glyph to mirror this change. Breaking down these changes to our class mechanics allows shamans to cast more Lightning Bolts and Lava Burst without refreshing Flame Shock constantly. In addition elemental shamans will be able to work a longer rotation of LB and LvB to increase our dps. This change to Lava Burst allowed Blizzard to change the Flame Shock glyph to match our Tier 8 two piece bonus. The new Flame Shock glyph allows your dots to be critical strikes now.

Ok now to the gear and glyph question. You may be saying can I use glyph of Lava now because LvB will not consume Flame Shock. This is a tricky question, to answer from the standpoint of maximizing your raid dps the answer is yes if you still have the Tier 8 two piece bonus. If that is the case you can drop glyph of Flame Shock and use glyph of Lava. If you have moved on to Tier 9 the glyph of Flame Shock should sill be used in your glyph set. The generally accepted time to change from Tier 8 to Tier 9 is when you can swap the 4 piece bonus from Tier 8 to Tier 9. A combination of the 2 piece bonuses from Tier's 8 and 9 will show you less dps than using the 4 piece bonus from Tier 8.

Shamanism: Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.

The third change Blizzard made in this patch was to the Elemental talent Shamanism. This is a dps buff for shamans plain and simple. Elemental shamans with this talent will get an additional 5% damage to their Lightning Bolt spell and an additional 15% damage to Chain Lightning. With the dps increase to Chain Lightning there is going to be a lot of discussion on whether CL should become a part of our dps rotation but with the steep mana cost and Blizzard's ideal boss encounter timeframe of 5 minutes or more I think we would go "OOM".

Patch 3.2.2 does show the Shaman community that Blizzard is looking into the problems of the Elemental spec lagging behind other Hybrid dps specs like Feral Driuds or Ret Paladins, but I don't think our scaling issues will be addressed until the next expansion. Overall this is a nice patch for Elemental Shamans even with the small nerf to Cleansing Totem.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

Changes to Shamanism in 3.2.2

It is starting to look like this is going to the the dps increase patch that Elemental shamans have been looking for. These are the new patch notes on Shamanism coming in 3.2.2.

Shamanism: Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells gain an additional 3/6/9/12/15% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 4/8/12/16/20% of your bonus damage effects.


Shamanism: Your Lightning Bolt gains an additional 10% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 20% of your bonus damage effects.

Not only does Shamanism effect Chain Lightning now it also provides an additional 5% dps increase to our Lightning Blot spell. This will be interesting to see if we can throw some Chain Lightning into our rotation depending on Haste levels with the new totem. Plus an extra 5% is a nice buff to elemental dps.

Sunday, September 13, 2009 | posted in , | 1 comments [ More ]

Changes to Flame Shock Coming in 3.2.2

Check out these PTR Patch Notes:

Flame Shock now deals 834 Fire damage over 18 sec at max rank. (Up from 556 fire damage over 12 sec) Lower ranks increased accordingly. Lava Burst no longer consumes Flame Shock.


Earthen Power changed to : Your Earthbind Totem's pulses have a 50/100% chance to also remove all snare effects from you and nearby friendly targets, and your Earth Shock reduces enemy attack speed by additional 5/10%.Glyphs

Glyph of Flame Shock - The periodic damage dealt by your Flame Shock can now be critical strikes. (Old - Increases the duration of your Flame Shock ability by 6 sec and it is not consumed by casting Lava Burst.)

All I can say is WOW !!!

More on this as I digest it!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | posted in , | 6 comments [ More ]

Patch 3.2 Review the Good and the Bad

Now that patch 3.2 has been out for a little while I started thinking about how this last patch has effected things. There were a lot of changes introduced this patch that should keep most of us busy right up until 3.3 like Emblem System changes, Extended raid lockouts, a new raid instance, a new battle ground, Mount changes, Class buffs and nerfs. For Shamans we have a new totem interface, seen Resto improvements and an interrupt off the GCD.

I have to admit the new Emblem System changes had me a little peeved before the patch as I felt like a lot of the hard work I put in to get my gear was being trivialized by heroic farming. After the patch had hit and I have had some time to digest a lot of the changes I feel the emblem changes were a good decision for the game as not only did it bring me back to Heroic instances of which some are really fun, I have taken advantage of bringing a few alts up to speed. Also being able to add some nice gear to my Resto set through this system has made me more apt to switch to Resto when called upon by our Raid Leader. I do like the fact that anyone can get Tier 9 base gear with emblems and that progression raiders get access to Tier 9.5+ gear by clearing the 25 man ToC and Heroic mode bosses. I feel this give balance to the game for casuals vs. hard core players.

I really like the changes to the way you chose between normal 10/25 man and heroic 10/25 raids. For progression raiding having to clear the normal version before taking on heroic versions feel like the natural way to progress through a raid. The new raid instance Trial of the Crusader is a very fun raid with some easy and some challenging fights. At this time my guild is working on Heroic Northrend Beast in 10 and 25 man mode. The heroic versions of these raids feel like the right level of difficulty they should for our guild. We are still working on finishing Hard Modes in Ulduar and ToC provides a nice break from raiding Ulduar 4 nights a week. The lock out feature is nice when you need a little extra time to finish off that hard mode kill. As for elemental shamans in 3.2 with some upgrades from ToC and emblems I feel fairly competitive with my dps and look forward to getting my 4 piece bonus on my Tier set.

I haven't tried out the new battleground to give my opinion on it yet but I can tell you the new VoA boss is a piece of cake and still continues the best way to get welfare epics if you are lucky enough to /roll high enough to win.

Patch 3.2 also bought a new totem interface that all shamans have been begging to get forever and that alone makes patch 3.2 winner in my opinion. Looking forward to 3.3 bringing some epic fight as we push forward to facing the Lich King.

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Elemental Shaman Hit Cap Gear

Recently I posted a simple and straightforward explanation about hit rating and the hit cap for elemental shamans. In that post I broke down how a raiding shaman should have 289 hit rating to be capped when you have a combination of the correct talents and raid members. To read that post, click here.

Today I am going to cover a couple of examples what items to use to cap your hit rating. Since an Elemental Shaman's best dps comes from our Tier Sets we will discuss the items you need to cap your hit rating. Lets take a look at the Tier 8.5 set since it provides a certain amount of hit rating.

Tier 8.5 Set: Conqueror's Worldbreaker Garb

For this post we are going to take 4 pieces form the list above as this is all you need for the set bonus. We will use the Helm, Kilt, Gloves, and Hauberk. When you use these four items they provide the following base hit rating 180. Now we need to fill in the rest with either gear, enchants, or gems. This is where things can get a little tricky depending on which items you have acquired. Lets try to keep it simple. First have your boots enchanted with Icewalker which will provide you with an additional 12 hit rating bringing us up to 192 total hit. Second head into Ulduar and down Auriaya for an Elemental Focus Stone. With the 108 hit rating provided by this trinket you will have a hit rating of 300. HIT CAPPED!!! it is that easy.

Ok so what if you can not get you hands on an Elemenal Focus Stone which is OK because I prefer to use a different hit rating trinket that provides much more dps. I recommend grabbing Dying Curse, this trinket provides a base hit rating of 71 which will give you a total of 263 so you will still need an item or 2 to become hit capped. The reason you will want to use Dying Curse instead of EFS is the proc. The proc from DC is an extra 765 spell power for 10 secs. verses EFS's 10 second 522 haste proc.

Ok so we are missing 26 hit rating right now what item can you use to get that last 26. There are quite a few jewelry pieces in game that can make that up like Pendant of Fiery Havoc or Emerald Signet Ring. There are tons of items you can use to get hit capped so DO NOT waste gems on hit rating, save them for spell power and haste. Another thing to remember is that is is ok to go over 289 hit rating if you have to but always have at least 289 hit.

I will cover our Tier 9 set later this week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | posted in | 2 comments [ More ]

Shaman Addons Follow Up

Recently one of our readers asked me to go over the UI and addons I use so I am going to break down the adons I use and why. Personally there are only a few necessary addons a raiding shaman must have but depending on how you prefer your UI to look there are some addons to make your UI crisp and sharp.
I posted a pic of the UI I am currently using so lets review the addons I use and why. The first thing you should do before building your UI is visit http://www.wow.curse.com/ and download the Curse Client. This program makes managing your addons a breeze. Not only will it install the addons for you it also lets you know when a newer version is available to update your current addons. You can even search for addons directly inside the client without visiting the website.
Essential Raiding Addons:
Deadly Boss Mods - Messages and alerts letting you know when something important is happening during a boss fight. Also alerts class specific actions needed color coded by class. Must have if you are even thinking about raiding. This is very helpful for shamans on fights like Lord Jaraxxus when you have to purge Nether Power or Abun'arak when he is chasing you a nice little broadcast message on your screen tells you to run like hell.
Omen - This is a threat meter addon that will let you know when you are pulling to much threat. Its pretty simple pull to much threat on the boss, tanks lose aggro and someone dies or its a wipe.
SatrinaBuffFrame - A replacement for the Blizzard buff frames. This mod is completely customizable and the reason I prefer this over elkano buff bars is buffs and debuffs do not take over the entire right side of your screen during boss fights.
Quartz - Customizable cast bars for yourself and your target. The best part of this addon is the fact it takes your latency measures it and shows you on the cast bar when you should be queing up your next spell. Might save a couple cases of carpel tunnel down the road.
Recount - A graphical damage and healing meter. This addon is helpful for so many things such as testing new gear to find out what mix provides the highest dps/heals. Also raid leaders can use it to find out who is pulling their weight and who needs to step it up.
Class Timers - This addon will place a countdown timer on your action bars to let you know when they are coming off cooldown. Very useful for rocking the perfect rotation.
Look and Feel Addons
Sexy Map - This addon Customizes your mini map.
Titan Panel - A control panel bar at the top or bottom of your UI to easily access all of your plugins. There are a ton of additional Titan plugins you can use depending on what you want to see in real time.
Sunn - Viewport Art - This addons lets you change the size of the rendered world area on your screen. This is the addon I use to create the blocked out area at the bottom of my UI that holds my actions bars, chat window, recount, mini map and more. Help to keep a clean look and feel to your UI.
WIM(WoW Instant Messenger) - I love this addon it places all of your whispers into their own separate chat windows. This makes it so much easier to keep track of your conversations.
Action Bars and Unit Frames
Bartender - I prefer these action bars as they are the easiest to set up and are totally customizable. You can see I use a single action bar in my UI to contain Lava Burst. I place this single bar near the center of my screen to make it easy to watch when LvB is coming off cool down.
Xpearl - These are the unit frames I use for player, party, target, focus etc. Easy setup and very customizable.
Grid - This addon take some time to setup but is very helpful for keeping your raid frames from taking up your entire screen. Also when combined with the Clique addon when you need to heal will make things like keeping track off debuffs and aggro much easier. In addition to click healing which is much more efficient.
Shaman Addons
Yata - I love this addon to keep track of my totems. Yata includes totem up time and cooldowns and a customizable totem interface that allows you to keep your action bars and key binding free from all of our totems.
Shaman Friend - Similar to DBM as it alerts you to missing weapon enchants and shows you overload procs. Also announces to raid when you use bloodlust /Heroism.
Other addons I use are MikScrollingBattletext, Xloot, Atlasloot, Auctioneer, Cartographer, Postal, Questhelper. If you have any questions about my UI leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Friday, September 4, 2009 | posted in | 1 comments [ More ]

Totem of Electrifying Wind

I have been reading some of the theorycrafting boards lately and came across some ideas about Totem of Electrifying Wind. From all of the testing it looks like this Totem is BiS instead of Totem of Hex. I decided to spend the badges and grab one to see for myself and I do believe the tests. With a 6 sec ICD and a 70% proc rate the extra 200 haste proc is up all the time. This allowed me to cast Lightning Bolts at 1.5 secs and using a haste trinket like Spider's Embrace 1.3 secs. The new Totem is definitely worth the badges I spent.

There has also been a lot of discussion about how important haste is to Elemental Shamans. I personally still like stack SP over haste but I realize how important Haste is to our dps a little better now. I am going to replace all of my epic SP gems with SP/Haste to see what type of dps I put out and will update this post after testing.

To wrap up Totem of Electrifying Wind is now Best in Slot for Elemental Shamans and should be on everyone's shopping list.

To read the theorycrafting, click here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 | posted in | 3 comments [ More ]

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