Archive for March, 2009

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What Should I Focus On?

March 23, 2009

Ive been trying to think of another good post that would help out all the upcoming elemental shamans of Azeroth. My last post was on how to spec and what talents were best and how they worked. But there is so much more than a good spec. If you dont know how to use it, it means nothing. So right now I want to explain what I believe are the most important things to focus on in a raid setting.

Disclaimer: These are my personal views having played an Elemental Shaman. This is how I went about raiding wise and it has worked fabulously. If you have alternative views, please post them in the commments section. Thank you.

Spell Hit

Lets face it, your not gonna do any damage if you cant hit the target. Spell hit increases your chance to hit the target, therefore increasing your ability to do more damage. The hit cap for casters if 17% hit, or 445.94 hit rating. Now this is not including our talents that reduce our hit cap to 14%. This reduces our hit cap to 367.24 hit rating. But in a raid, there are even more chances to lower your required hit rating.

A raid will most likely have a boomkin or shadow priest to increase your chance to hit another 3%, dropping our hit cap to 11% (288.55 hit rating). Finally, if you are Alliance, then you are a draeni with the natural talent of “Hit rating Increased by 1%” to our final hit cap of 10% (262.31 hit rating). You should have some extra hit gear available if a shadow priest or boomkin is not available to maintain your hit. This should be the first thing you gem for, even if its just 16hit gems, you need them first.

Crit Chance

I believe crit is the next thing to focus on. With more crit, you lower your mana cost of your damaging spells and increase your crit chance by an additional 5% for 15 sec. I always aimed to have at least 30% crit unbuffed. I found this to be a good aim because it will raise your crit to 35%, or just over 1/3. So every three moves, at least one should crit replenishing the 15 sec buff of extra crit, and giving the reduction of mana cost for two spells. This is next thing you should gem for as long as you stay hit capped.

Spell Power

Next in line would be spell power, the strength of a caster. I dont feel I need to explain why this is important. Its spell power. Spell power, meet caster. Caster, meet spell power. This is where most of your gems will go once you have the hit and crit to back it up.

Haste

This is the last thing you should focus on. This stat will increase your cast time, which is nice, but not nearly as important. Haste will aslo come with gear. I dont believe you should ever gem for this.

With these four stats, you should see your dps increase dramatically and more invites flying your way. Gratz on the dippis and keep hunting for those purples.

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms

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Thunderstorm: Don’t bug me about it

March 12, 2009

Ok, so I dont know about any of you other elemental shamans, but ever since Blizzard gave us Thunderstorm, tanks have been riding me about it and demanding that I dont use it. They get all pissed if their mobs fly away for 4 sec. I have even heard of instances where that move was banned from use during a raid. I am going to explain the pros and cons of Thunderstorm in a PVE setting and why it is NOT necessary to glyph it.

Pros:

  1. Instantly gives back 8% of your mana at the cost of a global cooldown.
  2. Has a knock back effect of 20 yds to any enemies within 10 yds of you (12 yds speccd)
  3. It hits every mob in range for a little less than a lightningbolt.

Cons:

  1. Massive instant damage can pull agro.
  2. Tanks dont like the knockback. Wahhhhhh Wahhhh

To the Tanks…

You need to stop complaining about the knockback from Thunderstorm. I play a tank and dont care at all about Thunderstorm. I do care if they do it too early, as in I have no threat, but thats a different argument entirely. First off, we shouldnt pull agro by doing one aoe move when your holding threat off of so many casters doing more damaging and consistent aoe moves. If the shaman waits till the tank has sufficient agro and thunderstorms everything, THEY WILL RUN BACK TO THE TANK!!! Just sit there and be patient.

The Glyph

I was originally thinking about getting this glyph when dual spec comes out, but now that I think about it, Im not sure. The Glyph of Thunderstorm is a minor glyph for PVE elemental shamans only. It increases the mana gained to 10% from 8% at the cost of removing the knockback effect. I originally saw this as an instant benefit, but after some pondering, I dont think so.

First off, the extra mana is nice at first glance, but keep in mind all the classes that can refund mana to the raid, through damage or buffs (pally, shaman, hunter, shadow priest) so mana truly isnt as big of an issue as it once was. 8% is plenty to run off of for 45 sec.

Second, the knockback, when used wisely, can help save lives in a raid:

  • DPS: If a dps pulls agro, you can use Thunderstorm to knock it back towards the tank, thus making it easier to retake agro.
  • Healer: Healers may pull agro from pre-healing before the tank has any agro. Thunderstorming can bounce the mob off the path of the healer and give you agro. Now you can start healing yourself while the tanks reestablish agro and another healer is saved. You superhero you.
  • Tank: If the tank is taking way too much damage very quickly, pop those baddies away giving the healers a chance to catch back up with the heals.
  • Yourself: I have pulled agro on trash (I know, shame on me) and Thunderstorm has saved my life numerous times. If you pull agro, use Thunderstorm to bounce the mob away and start lesser healing yourself. Spam that button until the tank picks it back up or dps finishes killing it while you heal tank it. Feel free to try wind shock, but dont expect a miracle.

Lastly, Thunderstorm can be used as a decent aoe in addition to Magma Totem and Chain Lightning. If you decide to do this, follow these simple rules:

  1. Wait for tanks to have agro, best used as an aoe finisher because dead bodies dont fly away.
  2. If they wont die, know where they will land. It is best to aim them toward a wall. Just make sure blowing them up will not pull an additional group.

I hope this post has helped shamans know how to use Thunderstorm appropriately and effectively. I also hope that any other dps or tanks that have read this understand why we like to use Thunderstorm and that it is useful and that there is a reason not to glyph it and keep the knock back.

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms

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How to Spec Elemental

March 7, 2009

Now alot has changed since BC for the elemental shaman. The raiding spec in that time was 41/0/20, and there were even some that went 40/0/21 trading totem of wrath or natures swiftness, which in my humble opinion is BLASPHEMY!! But becasue Blizzard has reworked how crit and hit work in addition to spell power, it is no longer favorable to go into the resto tree at all.

Elemental Tree

Tier 1:

Put 5 points into both Convection and Concussion. Convection reduces the mana cost of your best damagaing abilities by 5% and Concussion ups the damage of those abilities by 5%. Both are instant winners when it comes to raiding.

Tier2:

Put 3 points into Call of Flame. This talent helps up the damage of our newest move and my personal friend, Lava Burst. We no longer only hurl balls of shocktastic goodness, we now have a hug damaging move. Also kinda looks like a Pyroblast, but our is guaranteed to crit. SCREW YOU MAGES!! (unless your arcane and give me Focus Magic)

Tier 3:

Elemental Focuse is a must to be a proper elemental shaman. This talent gives you the ablity to enter a clearcasting state which will reduce your next  to damage or healing spells after landing a spell crit, be it heal or damage. This a great ability already, but it gets even better later in the tree. You also want to get Elemental Fury which ups our crit damage bonus by 100% for any move we cast.

Tier 4:

This tier was hard for me to choose originally, neither of the two talents seemed very beneficial in a raidning environment. But after some time spent in Naxx and time actually reading the tool tip to fully understand it, I went with Eye of the Storm. This talent used to give a 70% chance to resist the pushback effect from damage while casting. Now, it reduces the pushback effect from damage while casting. This is a big helper now that most raid encounter do have some sort of raid damage, like Thaddius or Kel’ Thuzad.

Tier 5:

Every talent in this tier is important: Elemental Reach, Call of Thuder, and Unrelenting Storm. Elemental reach will raise the distance of your Lightningbolt, Chain Lightning, and Lava Burst by 6 yards. Very effective and useful for raiding in case you pull and wind shock decides to be crappy once again. Even funnier is it also increase the radius of Thunderstorm by 20% or 2 yards. Even easier to kill the horde. Call of Thunder is your next choice and it better be in there. This talent will up your Lightningbolt and Chain Lightning crit chance by 5% with1 FRIGGIN TALENT POINT!!! Used to be 5 now its 1, ohhh happpyyyy dayy!! Final move is Unrelenting Storm. Now most mana problems have been solved in WOTLK with the addition of mana regen for raid by alot of damage classes, but it never hurts to add more regen, after all more mana is more lightning.

Tier 6:

Only two moves in this tier, but both essential: Elemental Precision and Lightning Mastery. First, Precision raises your chance to hit with fire, frost and nature spells (what a coincidence, thats all I use) by 3%. But thats not all, also reducing the threat caused by fire, frost, and nature by 30%. How could this not be in anyones PVE build. The other talent, Lightning Mastery, reduces the casting time for Lightningbolt, Chain Lightning, and Lava burst; these are essential to up the dps to pretty numbers we all love to see.

Tier 7:

Elemental Mastery and Storm, Earth and Fire, they just sound like moves you would want. AND THEY ARE!! Elemental Mastery has been reworked from Guaranteeing a crit for your next move to upping your crit chance by 20% and reducing mana cost by 20% for 30 seconds. Big upgrade in my book. Storm, Earth and Fire does three different things: lowers cooldown on chain lightning so that it can be more useful in a rotation, increases the range of Earth and Wind Shcok by 5 yards making ti easier to interupt casting, and increases the dot tick of Flame Shock by 60%, and since Flame Shock should never leave your target, this is pure win.

Tier 8:

Here is another one of the new talents put out by Blizzard, Elemental Oath. This move used to just give everyone a 5% spell crit bonus for 15 sec whenever you landed a crit. But now it even adds a little something perosnal for you: “In addition, while Clearcasting from Elemental Focus is active, you deal 10% more damage.” OMG *feint*. QUICKY, QUICKLY, UP YOUR CRIT, IT UPS DAMAGE BY MORE AND REDUCES MANA COSTS UP YOUR CRIT UP YOUR CRIT. (Thats what went through my mind when this first was announced) But then there is also an oldy, good ol’ Lightning Overload. You’ll never get old. 20% chance to throw an additional lightning bold or chain lightning for no extra mana, cast time, or threat. Oh it deals half damage? Who cares, free damage for nothing. <( ‘_'<) (>’_’)> Kirby approves.

Tier 9: (boy this is long, hang in there almost done)

Totem of Wrath (obvious choice) and Lava Flows. Quickly, Totem of Wrath increases spell power of anyone in range by 280 at max lvl and increases enemies chance to be crit by 3% for all damage, melee and spell. Lava Flows is another new one that is great for our new baby, Lava Burst. This talent raises the range of Flame Shock by 15 yards, to a grand total of 35 yd, far enoguh so you shouldnt have to move to reapply it, YOU GO BLIZZARD. But thats not all. Also increase the crit damage bonus of Lava Burst by 24%. Little random number for my taste, but you know what, YOU GO AGAIN BLIZZARD.

Tier 10:

Shamanism. New Talent. Uber win. Get it get it get it. “Your Lightning Bolt spell gains an additional 10% and your Lava Burst gains an additional 20% of your bonus damaging effects.” GET IT GET IT GET IT!!!!!

Tier 11:

Ahhh the bane of irritating tanks, Thunderstorm. PVP wise, awseome. PVE wise, still good, if only it could be spammed like an aoe. But what it will do is hit everything in a 10 yd radius for about half a lightningbolt and knock them back 20 yds. Quit whining tanks and build threat more better.

Finally, we move onto the next tree, Enhancement. (/cringe)

Tier 1:

Ancestral Knowledge is the only logical choice here since its the only talent that would truly benefit you; it raises your intellect by 10%. Useful.

Tier 2:

Once again, only one thing is useful, but oooohhhhh how useful: Thundering Strikes (sounds like its in he wrong tree). Thanks to the new crit change where all crit affects all crit, what used to be melee crit only is now yours. WOOHOO 5% more crit.

Tier 3:

Two things here, Elemental weapons and Shamanistic Focus. Elemental weapons increases the damage of your weapon enhancements (oh now I get it) to do more damage. But it also raises the spell power given by your enhancement, Flame Tongue, by 30%. And the last talent is pretty nice for us since we now have to add a shock into our rotation, like mana wasnt scarce enough (tehe). Shamanisitc Focus lowers the mana costs of your shock spells by 45%. The cool thing is this also stacks with our clearcasting over in the elemental tree, thus lowering your mana costs of shocks to a number I can even fathom.

Well there you have it, Elemental Shamana build broken down and explained. I hope you enjoyed reading it and can now go rest your eyes. Till next time…

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms

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Utter Bull Crap

March 7, 2009

wowscrnshot_030709_033447Now I know this is supposed to be an elemental shaman blog, where we discuss stratagies and tactics to optomize that ranged dps, but I have to rant about my poor Adiana who was screwed out of loot that should have been hers. (Please excuse if it sounds like whining, but im pissed)

So I join this pug Naxx 25 as the MT hoping to get nothing more than badges and maybe 1 loot. Alot of my gear is already 25 man content and I have very few upgrades available to me. So this run is going fairly smooth for a pug; we downed spider with no difficulties and the same went with plague.

A few hours in, we begin Military quarter and the same is felt: still going smoothly. Resuvious is a one shot like the rest. But now we come to Gothik and are having trouble. The encounter keeps bugging out where someone on the other side of the gate will agro the other side and mobs would just be running everywhere. The same thing happens with the next two attempts.

So we bring in another tank, which happens to be in the same guild as the raid leader and master looter (coincidence) to help keep mobs from moving so much. Its another warrior, but when I inspect his gear, its horrible; blues and greens with a few scattered purps. This is not the gear to be doing Naxx 25. But to be sure before i say anything, I armory him. This fool had 22k hp unbuffed, 520 def, no parry talents from arms tree, but my favorite thing about his spec was the fact that he had bloodcraze, a talent that heals you for 6% of ur health AFTER BEING CRIT. Now anyone that knows anything about tanking or the game of WOW in general, first rule of a raid: tank be def capped and therefor UNCRITABLE. I bring this up with the raid and  the raid leader said hell be fine, hes not really tanking anything. “So hes just taking up a possible dps spot?”

Now despite his overall bad, he is able to hold agro on the non elites so I can pick up the real priorities (I still say we didnt need another tank, but whatever). We finally down Gothik and receive epics. THANK GOD!!! On to 4 horseman where something I could use might actually drop, Broken Promise. After some trash and more multi-pulls we get to that big ol’ room with horsies.

So we decide to stick 4 healers in the back, Im MTing thane and the bear OT is on Baron, and this, for lack of many better words, pathetic warrior is told to sit aside and help if needed. Basically, sit around with your thumb up your poopchute and let us do the work. After two attempts, the four go down (not together, sigh achievement) and we open the chest.

OMG ITS BROKEN PROMISE!!! THIS RUN MIGHT NOT BE A WASTE OF TIME ANYWAY!!!! I roll a 31 and sigh a little inside, but hey Im the only true warrior tank, I should get this for being here the entire time and putting up with repair bills and bad moves by the rest in this raid?? NOPE.

The other warrior rolls higher than me. I try to explain the whole he shouldnt even be here, hes only here to soak up epics I dont need, just give me the one thing I can use. No, they stick to that classic guildy getting loot over you motto: he rolled higher.

This is why no one wants to do pugs anymore, loot rules were set and not adhered to, they were giving away epics same people on same boss, and then they save the best stuff for their own. The whole reason for a pug is to try to go somwhere becasue your not able to go at the same time as your guild.

If you are ever the leader of a pug anything, please do three things:

  • Establish loot rules
  • Adhere to loot rules
  • DONT NINJA

Thank you for listening to my rant and once again I am sorry if it sounds a little whiny. Just pissed me off and this helped let off steam. Afterall, he cant tank by hiding behind his shiny sword.

I will be getting back to more important matters soon enough involving blue space goat ladies and lightning. Till then, just be careful in pugs.

Lightnignrod, Master of Mechanisms

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Im Not Perfect

March 7, 2009

Im not perfect and I never think I will be, but I do believe that I am a very good elemental shaman. I have done some research and would like you to post any question about the shaman that spits lightning. Just leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms

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Elemental Shaman: the underrated

March 6, 2009

Back when I was lvling, it was very hard for me to get into any groups as an elemental shaman. I was also advised to lvl enhance becasue its easier, but im not afraid of a challenge, plus i really wanted to do elemental. When I played my druid, Treehippy, all I ever saw and heard about were resto and enhance shamans. This is what peaked my curiosity into the elemental tree. Plus, FOR GOD SAKES I SHOOT LIGHTNING, FRIGGIN LIGHTNING!!!!!!!

The only hard thing I can say about lvling elemental was the lack of mana, and I mean EXTREME lack of mana. I would have to drink every two pulls like a mage, but unlike a mage I can’t conjure my own water. I was waiting for water shield, ohhh how I wanted water shield. I figured once I got that, my mana problems would be over. But no, apparently it doesn’t come until 64!!!! What kind of bull crap is that. And now you new shamans get it at, what, 20. UTTER SHENANIGANS!! But I digress.

Even though I did have mana problems up until 64, elemental was a great spec to lvl with. And now it’s like a joke.

Now that my beloved Lightningrod is 80, she is quite geared and capable of pulling off some impressive numbers. But more importantly, elemental shamans are becoming more popular due to the buffs they can bring the raid.

  • Talent #1: Elemental Oath

This is the SH!T. Whenever you crit, be it a heal or damage spell, everyone in the RAID gets plus 5% to spell crit for 15 sec. Now this includes you naturally, so you increase your crit chance…. to increase your crit chance. Pretty much once thats up, it will be up for the remainder of the fight. If you can’t get anothe crit in 15 sec casting spells no longer than 2 sec, you either need hit or are facing the wrong way.

And yes I know that boomkins have an aura that can do this and overides our buff. Oh well. They dont have an increased damage by 20% for your next 2 attacks after you crit. Muahahahaha. They also dont have talent number 2.

  • Talent #2: Totem of Wrath

Yes this has been out for a while, but its had some retooling to it. Now it did lose the hit bonus :(, but it did gain some benefits. Now it ups spell power instead of damage, so drink up and be merry all you healers out there. It also doesn’t give you crit directly, now it ups enemies within 40 yd to be crit by 3%. And due to WOTLK removal of spell and melee distinction, it now works for melee as well.

  • Talent #3: Thunderstorm

For which this blog is named for. I personally love thunderstorm. Tanks however dont like me for it. Dont know why. I play a tank and I dont care about that knockback, it can save lives. But Ill talk about that in more detail later. Basicall its like hitting every mob in range with a mini lightning bolt, and yes, it can crit. Try not to smile when you see round 30 5k crits on your screen. But maybe PVE isnt your thing. Take that move to EOTS or lumber mill of AB. I promise all the other horde will hate you and you will probably get some LOLs from your team mates as 3 horde fly away off the flag into oblivion. Bye Bye silly DK, Warrior, Rogue, other Shaman (tehe), …..

All these moves could be yours with the elemental shaman, a being of proud majestic qualities. Always remeber to respect the lightning and keep my motto in mind if your still on the fence: Captain Planet – Heart = Shaman.

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms

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The Beginning

March 6, 2009

Here is something I never thought I’d try: blogging. But a good friend of mine does it alot and writes some interesting stories on his. I suddenly was struck to try it out when I was reading his and I was mentioned (indirectly mind you) in one of his earlier posts. Now I usually hate the idea of writing, but there have been instances where I became IMMERSED in it and couldn’t stop. I am hoping that this will become one of those times. Looking forward to posting new things and possibly keeping this going for a while. To the future. Cheers!!

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms