Cataclysm for the Shaman

19 12 2010

It has been 2 weeks since Cataclysm came out. I hit 85 on the Wednesday after launch. Got up at 3, played until work, got home at 3:30, played for 12 hours, did the same thing until 11:54 on Wednesday night when I hit 85 and then logged off for bed. Not really worth it. The rest of the guild is just now hitting 85, so now we can start doing normal/heroic farming to one day raid again. But, enough about me. Let’s talk about the state of Resto Shamans right now.

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Resto Shaman, circa 4.0.1

25 10 2010

We’re about a week or so into this new patch and the dust is starting to settle. Bugs are being hammered out for other classes, but I guess Shamans are in a decent place. So, let’s begin. Well, there really is nothing new… actually, meet me after the break.

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3.3.3 Elemental Glyph Choices

23 03 2010

A while back I wrote up an Elemental Shaman guide and it has gone to pieces with all the changes since then. Back then, T7 was in full swing, Ulduar was sitting out in front like a fresh apple. Things were so stagnate for the Elemental Shaman world.¬†3.3.3 is here today and it looks like there are no Shaman changes… oh wait, what does that line say right there?

  • Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.

Oh really? So… now there is no need to have the Flame Shock glyph. Well, maybe if you want 60% increased damage upon critical ticks from Flame Shock. I think now would be a good time to evaluate these glyph options that are at stake.

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Restoration Shaman Guide, 3.3 style

2 03 2010

I was browsing recent things and saw that I really haven’t written an updated Resto Shaman guide for new patches (not too much has changed, though). So, you want to go Resto? Or perhaps you are already Resto and want to spruce things up a bit? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pulled an old guide out and decided to spruce it up as well. Stumbled across a guide the other day and saw the writer opening a can of Eldritch Worms when making certain suggestions. Let’s get down to business…

I have so many X chromosomes it'll blow your mind...

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Sleep Now in the Fire (Elemental Shaman, eh?)

3 07 2009

So, healing just isn’t cutting it for you? No. You purchased Dual Specs because you love healing so much, but want to DPS every once in a while. Melee is dumb, so go ranged. Seriously. Let’s take a trip down the lane of learning and figure out this spec that was once absolutely stupid and never specced in to. Also, we can celebrate the Midsummer Festival since, thanks to WotLK, Shamans got an awesome Fire spell.

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Oh noes! Someone put me out!

Gyration… I mean, Rotation

As a DPS class, you are gonna have to use a rotation of sorts to have consistent DPS. Unless you are a faceroller.¬† The Elemental rotation is more priority based. It is “How many spells can I fit between Lava Burst CDs?” Lava Burst is a nifty spell, as it requires a Flame Shock DoT to be up on the Target at all times for maximum effectiveness. I use the addon Power Auras to track it, but I am sure there are many others that do a fine job. Flame Shock gives Lava Burst a 100% crit chance, but consumes the Flame Shock. So, the first thing you are going to need for this spec to work is the Glyph of Flame Shock. It’ll extend the duration by 6 seconds and make it so Lava Burst doesn’t consume the Flame Shock, allowing for 2 Lava Bursts per Flame Shock application.

Lava Burst = LvB, Flame Shock = FS, Chain Lightning = CL, Lightning Bolt = LB

Standard Rotation is: FS, LvB, CL, LB until LvB comes off of CD right as you finish casting LB, then LvB, CL, LB until 1 GCD before LvB comes off of CD, FS, rinse and repeat.

Now, it is really dependant on Haste. The butter zone for Haste is around 500-550 and at that point, you can easily fit 5 LBs into 1 span, which stops you from using CL (unless there are adds around the boss), and helps with mana consumption. Also, it helps to get the Minor Glyph of Thunderstorm for the mana regen in a PvE setting and work that in every once in a while. It is all about keeping the Flame Shock DoT up and you should be golden.

Statisticians wet dream… well, not really.

Hit Rating: If you’re a smart Shaman, you rolled Horde. If that is the case, check around to see if you have a Boomkin or Shadow Priest. If not, you are gonna need lots of Hit Rating, 368 to be specific. If you do have either of the two aforementioned classes, you will only need 289 if they keep their debuffs up. If you’re a Space Goat, you’re gonna need 342 to hard cap, 263 to soft cap. Anything more than that, you are hurting yourself. Extra Hit Rating won’t aide you and you are missing out on stats that you could stack instead… such as…

Spellpower: Spellpower is where your spells get power from… yeah, I’m a numbnut. Lightning Bolt scales the best with SP and it is the most cast spell in your little spellbook. Lava Burst does well from spellpower, but it is an odd spell. One cast for me can hit for 7k and the next can hit for 11k with no buffs changing on myself or the boss.

Haste Rating: Haste Rating is something that will general come from gear and you may need to hybrid gem it to get it to the butter zone (500-550, depending on latency). Anything under you are going to have to put in Chain Lightning to seal the spell rotation. Anything over you are gonna end up with the same as being under, that being a sloppy rotation.

Crit Rating: This is gonna come from Intellect on gear, as well as crit strike rating from gear. I wouldn’t implicitly stack it through gems. It helps with mana consumption, as having a good Clearcasting uptime will keep you from going OOM quickly.

Specialization, or as the cool kids call it, “Talent Build.”

This is what I roll with: Elemental DPS. To aide the healers, it might be a bit more beneficial to drop 3 points off of Convection and place them into Elemental Warding. If you are having mana issues and they haven’t been resolved from cooling it on the CL throws, it might be more useful to keep those points in Convection, thought it shouldn’t be an issue.

Glyphs, or how I learned to get Glyphs (I got nothing)

Major Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flame Shock: Mandatory. Saves you a GCD and is made of win.
  • Glyph of Totem of Wrath: Gives you a nice 5 minute buff for a decent amount of SP. Some people swap out this one for Glyph of Lava and I believe you need around 4k SP for Lava to be the better Glyph.
  • Glyph of Lightning Bolt: Lightning Bolt is the best scaling spell of the Elemental Spec. This glyph used to be better, but it is still decent.

Minor Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Renewed Life: Die in a fight? Don’t make the Druid Battle Res you, res yourself… with no reagents.
  • Glyph of Thunderstorm: Increases the mana gain to 10% and removes the knockback. Bad for PvP, but your tanks will love you in PvE.
  • Whatever you want.

And that is it. Maybe. Might add more.

Under My Voodoo (Glyphage)

21 06 2009

Subtitle: What are all these circles in my Talents window in the tab called “Glyphs”?

So, you decided to roll a shaman, eh? Think you got what it takes? Well, Shamans do what… Nintendon’t. That doesn’t make sense, but you should probably reroll. We used to be a very overpowered class. We could do it all, tank, heal, DPS, make small things pop out of the ground, etc. Just kidding, we couldn’t tank effectively. Yet, we still have a shield. I call it a Stat Platter, holds some nice stats, an intellect enchant, it slices, dices, and blocks 5% of the time. I guess we are in a good position (an even better position in 3.2, resto-wise). Any good Shaman will take up the mantle of healing¬† because it is an enjoyable experience. Stressful, yes. But mildly enjoyable. Frantic, yes, but not really enjoyable. Ah well, let’s get you Glyphed. That came out of no where.

So, as a Shaman, your Minor Glyphs are gonna be a complete crapshoot. I enjoy bagspace, I really do. I want there to be an updated backpack, but Blizzard hates me (RE: Southfury River).

  • I take the Glyph of Renewed Life, screw Ankhs.
  • I need to get somewhere quickly, not really, but I like to feel that I am important. Next, I use the Glyph of Astral Recall. Then in the extremely rare event where everyone is in KT’s room, no Mage, all their hearths are down (extremely rare), you can /point /laugh that you have a 7.5 minute Hearth.
  • Finally, the only one that is absolutely awesome for Restoration Shamans, the Glyph of Water Shield. This one won’t really matter in 3.2, as Improved Water Shield isn’t gonna take our precious Water Shield charges, but for now, it is balls.

As for other options, if you like to walk on water, take that one. If you like to breathe under water, take that one. If you PvP, which I don’t, take the Ghost Wolf one. For any sort of Shaman, except Elemental with the Thunderstorm glyph for PvE, minor Glyphs are gar-bahge.

Now, there is much to little debate of what Major Glyphs to choose. I roll with a whole lot of awesome, so I come prepared.

  • Glyph of Earth Shield: Our most mana-efficient heal deserves to heal a little bit better. As my favourite Informercial use to have as a catchphrase, “Set it and forget it.” At least until it drops down to below 3 charges, then reset it and forget. Rinse repeat.
  • This next one is debated, but I tend to enjoy an extra 30mp5. It won’t really matter that much in 3.2, what with an over 25% increase to all items that give mp5, but if you are having mana issues, take the Glyph of Water Mastery.
  • Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave: 20% extra healing on targets that have your Earth Shield. Pretty nifty. Since this is your primary heal and Shamans have shifted to a more tank healing role, might as well grab it up.

Possible replacements for the last 2:

  • Glyph of Chain Heal: Meh, it is okay. By the end of the Chain Heal whip, you are only going to be healing for 1k, possibly an Earthliving proc, no proc of Ancestral Awakening. If you run really melee heavy, it might be a nice investment.
  • Glyph of Riptide: I guess an extra 6 seconds is nice, accounts for an extra 1200-2400 on our only castable HoT. Also is nice for fights like Loatheb. Scenario: Riptide a target prior to Necrotic Aura lifting, chain heal quick to land right as it lifts, riptide another target, Nature’s Swiftness another Chain heal to get a nice bit of healing done. Can be done without Glyph, though.

As for the rest, I don’t find any of them useful. Healing Wave is one of the least casted spells by any good Shaman. Too high of a mana cost, too long of a cast time. In 3.2, we are getting a talented 25% boost to its effectiveness, but until then and even after, it won’t be cast enough to make the Glyph beneficial. Earthliving is garbage. It is already in a good place to not need a 5% increase to proccing. Mana Tide is more geared towards PvP, unless you aren’t being mana efficient. Healing Stream is rather nice for AoE heavy fights or random AoE crud that a boss does (I am looking at you, Hodir and XT-002), and a 20% increase might be nice, but since it is little used (unless you are running with multiple resto Shamans) I wouldn’t recommend it.

Speaking of Glyphs, open letter to Blizzard: “Please adjust the Auction House to display Major and Minor glyphs in their own dropdowns under their respective class. Come on, we know you have the time.”

Warning: I may be wrong at any time. In fact, it happens a lot. If you disagree, let me know. Boom, headshot.