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Tier 10 Elemental Shaman Stat Breakdown

Well with the news that has been going around on the WoW news sites and blue's posts looks like we will be raiding Icecrown in the next couple weeks.  Based on the recent update about how Blizzard will be staggering the releases of wings in Icecrown Citadel we should have plenty of time to be able to farm Emblems of Frost.  The new Dungeon System will feature random instances and try to match players based on gear level.  You will receive 2 Emblems of Frost by completing a random Heroic each day.  There will also be weekly raid quests now that will award an additional 2 Emblems of Frost.  With all of the raiding coming up in the final chapter of Lich King I think now is a good time to break down the stats on our Tier 10 vs. Tier 9 sets.

The first thing to mention is the upgrade ascetically.  I mean come on the Tier 10 is awesome looking and it has a pair of shoulder that proc ghost stags.  Let's take a look at the set pieces and see stat differences between the two sets.  I will be comparing Tier 9 ilvl 232 vs. Tier 10 ilvl 251.

Tier 10 - Frost Witch Regalia

Frost Witch Gloves 
Frost Witch Hauberk

Frost Witch Helm
Frost Witch Kilt
Frost Witch Shoulderpads

When you total up the stats on the Tier 10 set it looks like this:

5741 Armor
439 Intellect
439 Stamina
223 Haste Rating
143 Hit Rating
422 Critical Strike Rating
669 Spell Power

When you compare the two armor stats here are the differences:

+355 Armor
+107 Intellect
+107 Stamina
-35 Haste Rating
-69 Hit Rating
+233 Critical Strike Rating
+120 Spell Power

The first thing that sticks out to me is the huge gain in Critical Strike Rating.  IS this a stealth buff to Elemental Shamans?  Some may say crit is the weakest stat of the bunch with which I would agree since we have the ability to force crits with Flame Shock and Lava Burst.  But when I thought about the fact I should crit more often in this set with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lightning Overload it has to be a buff to our DPS.

The second thing is the loss of Hit Rating which is a good thing in my opinion since most raiding shamans are way over hit capped.  The loss of 35 haste rating is a surprise but with the changes to Elemental Mastery I don't think that it matters.

We gain 120 spell power.  When you are able to outfit your shaman with ilvl 251 gear or higher you should have no problem hitting 3k spell power unbuffed.  After looking at some of the rings, necks, and cloaks coming in Icecrown shamans shouldn't have a problem bringing in some nice dps numbers.  There are some pretty decent upgrades in spell power coming on all of the gear. 

With a couple of weeks until Icecrown Citadel it time to really scramble to fill in those last few pieces on the gear your wearing to be ready for 3.3 raiding. 


Sunday, November 29, 2009 | posted in , , | 3 comments [ More ]

Happy Thanksgiving

The Shaman Tavern wants to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  This is a time to reflect on the past year and to be thankful for the blessings you have received.  I want to thank you the readers of my blog because without you and your comments I would not enjoy writing this blog.

Thanks again and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 26, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

The Shaman Tavern is looking for a few Guest Posters

Ever feel like you have something to contribute to the WoW community but don't have a place to do it.  Sure you can hit the official WoW forums and get flamed by fanbois and trolls.  Why not pull up a stool at the Tavern and let loose.  Everyone loves a bar story!!!

I am looking for a few guest posters to share their insights on the Shaman class.  More specific I am looking for a Resto and Enhancement Shaman to share with the Tavern members how patch 3.3 will effect their specs and what we should know about it.

If you would like to share with the Tavern members email me at shamantavern@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 | posted in | 0 comments [ More ]

Blizzard's Vision for Icecrown Citadel and Raid Progression

In a recent blue post Blizzard layed out their plans for how they want Icecrown Citadel raid progression.  When I first read the post I had mixed emotions.  On one hand I felt like Blizzard was trying to control my interaction with the game too much but after I thought about it I understood what they were trying to do.  In my opinion they are trying to keep the game fresh and exciting by staggering the release of new bosses and hard modes.  Take a look at the post to decide for yourself. 

Icecrown Citadel testing has been progressing very well over the last few weeks, and this has been a huge help to the encounter design team. We want to thank everyone who has logged onto the PTR and tried the encounters there.

As we're now getting closer to the release of 3.3.0, we wanted to talk about our plans for access progression within Icecrown Citadel. Icecrown Citadel is going to be broken up into four distinct sections: The Lower Spire, Plagueworks, Crimson Hall, and Frostwing Halls. We plan on releasing these four sections of Icecrown Citadel over time and not all immediately when patch 3.3.0 goes live. At this point we can't give precise dates for these release dates as they are determined by when patch 3.3.0 goes live. Once dates are known with more certainty, I'll update the community so they can plan appropriately.

The first section that opens will include the Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Deathbringer Saurfang encounters. Progress beyond that point will be prevented for several weeks. Then the Plagueworks will open with Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide becoming available. After another period of time, the Crimson Hall will open and you can then fight the Blood Princes and Blood-Queen Lana'thel. The final Frostwing Halls unlock then occurs after that, making Valithria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and the Lich King available. We believe a staggered release of the content will allow players to experience Icecrown Citadel at a sustainable, measured, and ultimately more enjoyable pace.

There are other elements that gate access along the way. Players may not attempt any Heroic versions of 10 player encounters until they have defeated the Lich King in a 10 player raid. Similarly, players must defeat the Lich King in a 25 player raid before they can attempt a Heroic 25 player encounter. So players must master every normal difficulty encounter in Icecrown Citadel before attempting Heroic difficulty.

The Lich King may not be attempted until Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, and Sindragosa are defeated. Furthermore, the Heroic difficulty of The Lich King encounter may not be attempted in any week unless the three aforementioned encounters have been defeated in Heroic difficulty that week.

The Ashen Verdict provides reinforcements and material for players to assault Icecrown Citadel, but this support is not endless. Raids will have a limited number of attempts total each week to defeat the four most difficult encounters in Icecrown Citadel: Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. As these boss encounters are unlocked, the number of attempts available per week will increase. The initial number of attempts provided for defeating Professor Putricide is only five. When Blood-Queen Lana'thel unlocks, the amount of total attempts remaining will increase to 10. Then when Sindragosa and the Lich King unlock, 15 total attempts will be available to defeat all four bosses. After a raid has exhausted their attempts for the week, the Ashen Verdict must withdraw their support and the four most difficult bosses all despawn and become unavailable for the week. The limited attempt system is a feature of both Normal and Heroic difficulty.

There will be no explicit rewards for defeating the Lich King with a specific number of attempts remaining as there was with Trial of the Grand Crusader. There will also not be an achievement to complete Icecrown Citadel without being defeated by a boss encounter, or letting a raid member die. (i.e. A Tribute to Insanity).

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell's effect if they so wish.

As I reread the post for the 3rd time I still feel the same way.  With what Blizzard is calling "gating" I think they are heading in the right direction when it comes to progression raiding.  It also seems that there is going to be a decent uptick in raid difficulty since the Ashen Verdict will be helping out.  So with 3.3 getting closer and closer raiding guilds really need to get focused as Icecrown Citadel should arrive in a few weeks.  Since patch 3.2 made it really easy to gear out a new character or alt most raiders should be ready for the Lich King, if you haven't finished filling out your gear for Icecrown now is the time to get it finished. 

If anyone has a different opinion on how Blizzard is handling Icecrown Citadel and raid progression I would really like to hear about it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | posted in , | 2 comments [ More ]

Icecrown Citadel 10 Man Loot for Elemental Shamans

Here is a quick loot list on the gear you should be looking to get when your guild starts raiding Icecrown Citadel 10 man.  All gear in this instance are item level 251.  Again thanks to MMO Champion for providing the datamined information.

Midnight Sun - This dagger has some nice resto stats on it so you might want to pass on it for a Resto Shaman but it could be an upgrade depending on what you are wielding at the time.

Coldwraith Bracers - These are a possible replacement for Bejeweled Wizard's Bracers.  With 14 more spellpower, -8 haste no crit but mp5 it seems the crafted cloth bracers still win out.  If you were not able to get your hands on the crafted braces then these should be a nice upgrade for you.

Kilt of Unrelenting Blood - A nice alternative to Legwraps of the Awakening if you were not able to obtain a pair in the Crusader's Coliseum. 

Soulcleave Pendant - This is a very nice neck for Elemental Shamans.  Tool tip shows heroic but the item level makes this a 10 man neck.

Muradin's Spyglass - Not really an elemental trinket but could be an upgrade for some.

Icecrown Citadel 10 man does not have a ton of loot that will be an upgrade to many shamans but it is hard to tell what is an upgrade at this point until Blizzard release the stats on our Tier 10 gear.  Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | posted in | 4 comments [ More ]

Icecrown Citadel 25 Man Loot for Elemental Shamans

Updated 11/17.  Our friends over at www.mmo-champion.com have done their usual hard work and posted the Icecrown Citadel Loot tables.  If you are like me you probably check that site a couple times a day to keep up on everything upcoming in patch 3.3.  They do a great job!!!

I am going to pull out the Elemental Shaman gear we should be looking to upgrade to when they release the patch.  As always I will attempt to update this post as newer items are discovered.  All gear in this 25 man will be item level 264.  If you have not read my post on all of the upcoming changes in patch 3.3 make sure you check it out.

25 Man Loot

Frozen Bonespike - With 59 crit and no haste kinda of a iffy upgrade but the 741 spellpower is really nice.

Bulwark of Smouldering Steel  - Awesome stats, Awesome graphic, just plain Awesome shield.

Horrific Flesh Epaulets - Some really nice shoulders with the correct elemental itemization.

Crushing Coldwraith Belt - This may be a cloth belt so getting your hands on one might be a challenge depending on your raiding guild loot rules, but the stats on this belt make it perfect.

Plague Scientist's Boots - Another cloth item but great itemization.

Ring of Rapid Ascent - This ring might be a BiS item.

Loop of the Endless Labyrinth - A very nice ring if you need hit rating.

Marrowgar's Frigid Eye - 106 spellpower, 60 haste and 30 mp5.

Bone Sentinel's Amulet - Again 106 spellpower and 60 haste.

Great Cloak of the Turned Champion - Starting to look like 106 spellpower and 60 Haste is this iLvL's standard stats.

Dislodged Foreign Object - I am really excited about this trinket.  155 haste and a stacking spellpower buff.  I know it will need some testing but it just looks like another Elemental BiS.

As MMO Champion continues to update their loot lists I will pull out the items we should be looking to get our hands on.  Stay tuned for updates.  This patch is showing some promise for Elemental Shamans with the best looking Tier set, decent set bonuses and some new utility it should be a nice ride into Cataclysm. 

Friday, November 13, 2009 | posted in | 2 comments [ More ]

Raiding as an Elemental Shaman 101

If you have read this blog for any amount of time I try to keep things simple as far as the math and theory crafting.  I leave it up to the guys I consider the experts over at Elitist Jerks.  I try to break down game mechanics into real world applications.  I know we wold all love to be running around in BiS and snapping off the perfect rotations leaving zero time between our next Lava Burst.  In reality progression raiding can make things a little difficult sometimes as many shamans know.  Wether it's tossing in an extra heal to save a raider that has strayed out of the healers range or stood in the fire too long (LOL) or  moving every 2 seconds in a encounter that even starting your rotation seems like a futile effort.  Yes raiding as a Elemental shamam can be difficult.

This post is going to cover Elemental Shaman Raiding 101.  I am going to cover the basics for masters of the lightning and lava.  I will assume you are specced correctly before we begin.  The first thing you must understand is how your rotation of spells effects the dps you put out.  There are four spells you will use in your rotation Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lava Burst and Flame Shock.  On any boss encounter you should open up with Flame Shock followed by a Lava Burst.  The reason is the Flame Shock debuff will make your Lava Burst automatically critical strike.  This is trigger your Elemental Focus talent causing Clearcasting your next 2 spells will have their mana cost reduced by 40%.  Which is great since the next spell is Chain Lightning.  The critical strike will also trigger the Elemental Oath talent causing you to gain 5% for crit and 10% more spell damage.

Ok so you open with FS followed by LvB the next spell should be Chain Lightning due to it scaling with Shamanism now and the reduced mana cost from Elemental Focus.  This should be followed by as many Lightning Bolts as you can fit in before LvB comes off cooldown.(Tip: Do not clip your LvB cooldown by adding in an extra Lightning Bolt)  Rinse and repeat as this is your rotation playing an Elemental Shaman.  Remember to refresh Flame Shock when needed.

Now we know how we should pew pew but what about our cooldown abilities.  Heroism/Bloodlust, Elemental Mastery, and trinkets.  To keep it simple wait for your Raid Leader to call out for Heroism or Bloodlust.  You don't want to get the raid the sated debuff at the wrong time.  One of the most important things to know when raiding is when to use Elemental Mastery.  This is kinda of a trick question since there are really to different way to use this talent depending on the type of encounter you are facing.  If it is a straight stand there and blow up the boss like say Patchwerk in Naxx you should open with EM and pop it everytime it comes off cooldown.  But since pretty much every fight in Ulduar and Trial of the Grand Crusader requires a ton of movement it is best to save it to fire off a LvB while moving from place to place before starting your rotation again.  Trinkets that are usable should be used during burn phases of boss fights to get the maximum effect.

One mistake a lot of new raiders make is on movement fights.  Nothing hurts you raid more that not moving when you are supposed to.  Never ever try to land one more spell before moving.  If you are trying to finish that last Lightning Bolt cast right as a black or white orb is about to crash into you during Twin Val'kyrs you will only make it harder on your raid since you are taking away the healers focus to keep you alive.(Tip: Smart dps is always better than dead dps)

You have this awesome Fire Elemental at your disposal as well, but when should you use him when raiding.  Simple wait until your raid is in a burn phase and then pop your Fire Elemental Totem to push out as much dps as possible to get through the dps check encounters.

Another thing to remember when you start raiding is many boss encounters require you to focus on adds that join fights periodically.  It is a good idea to take advantage of your Focus Frame.  Set the boss as your focus frame at the beginning of the encounter so you can easily switch back to the boss when your raid takes down the adds.

A few last tips, come to raids prepared.  Show up early with your flasks, potions, and food.  Check out some of the awesome blogs and websites available to read up and watch videos on boss encounters so you know what is coming in the next phase.  One last thing Stay out of the fire.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | posted in | 12 comments [ More ]

Shaman Tier 10 Images

All I can say is WoW.  This set has been worth the wait.   I know a lot of the community has been dying to see what the Tier 10 Armor Set will look like and Blizzard did not disappoint.  The Stag theme is a welcome change from the Lava sets we have seen through out Wrath.  This set should be epic looking when placed on an Orc or Tauren since those races have exaggerated shoulder pieces.

From the looks of the set the shoulders seem to have ghost stags that come out of them similar to a past warlock set that periodically sprouted wings.  If this is really the case Shamans will have the best Tier 10 set bar none.  We will start seeing more shaman alts finished just to get their hands on this awesome set.  I hope that the blue glow seen all around the set is very pronounced and really shines.

Tier 10 Frost Witch Regalia

Tier 10 Two Piece Bonus - Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells reduce the remaining cooldown on your Elemental Mastery talent by 2 sec.

Tier 10 Four Piece Bonus - The cooldown on your Lava Burst ability is reduced by 1.5 sec.

Monday, November 9, 2009 | posted in , | 3 comments [ More ]

How to Gem your Elemental Shaman

So you have started to fill out your gear with nice shinny epics with a bunch of gem slots all over them.  Now you need to have your local jewel crafter make some gems to fill them in but what gems do you use?  No problem the Tavern is going to break down how to gem your Elemental Shaman to help you climb up those dps charts. 

The first thing you should pay attention to is what stats you need to work on first.  Remember for Elementals if goes Hit-->SP-->Haste-->Crit.  If you are not hit capped you will need to use is Rigid King's Amber or Veiled Ametrine.  If you need a refresher on Hit Cap you can read my post

Once you are hit capped which should be really easy with the Tier sets you can concentrate on Spell Power.  Due to some of the recent changes to our mechanics and the levels of haste we are able to achieve spell power and haste have gotten really close in terms of dps.  What I recommend is a mixture of Runed Cardinal Rubies and Reckless Amertines to fill out the rest of the gem slots.

It is important to remember your Meta Gem Slot needs to be filled out with a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond and this gem requires you to use at least 2 blue gems.  I use Glowing Dreadstones since a little extra stamina never hurts.  The best way to use the blue gems is to find pieces that will give you set bonuses by placing them along a red gem for example.  An item like Nobundo's Hauberk of Triumph  would be a good place to use a blue gem.

While gemming your gear you should try to complete as many socket bonuses as you can but do not use another gem than the ones listed above if you are trying to maximize your dps and they provide just that.  As always I try to keep these posts short and sweet without a ton of theorycrafting behind them, we can do that through the comment system.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 | posted in | 6 comments [ More ]

Shaman Tier 10

Updated: Here they are!!!!! Well we still don't have the images of our new Tier 10 Armor but do do have the name and set bonuses.  As soon as our friends at MMO-Champion data mine them I will get them up.  Well here are the set names and bonuses:

Frost Witch's Regalia

2 piece - Your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells reduce your remaining cooldown on your Elemental Mastery talent by 2.0 sec.

4 piece - The cool down on your Lava Burst ability is reduced by 1.5 sec.

| posted in | 1 comments [ More ]

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