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Patch 3.2.2 Today

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments

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.

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