Ice Crown Citadel

•December 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As expected with a new patch, WoW servers was playing up for most of the night. The instance server keeps locking people out and took a long time before it let you in and playing without any working mobs can be a nightmare for some people if you rely heavily on them.
Here’s my first impression on the new patch.

We did the new Heroics dungeons and finished the quest chain within. the dungeons itself were quite short and the Bosses, while not a walkover, it offered nothing new except the last fight in Halls of Reflection. The chase from Arthas was pretty epic because I went in there using the Dungeon Finder feature. I must give praise to the players in there with me, most PuGs would have given up after a couple of wipes, but they stuck in there and we finally got the first 2 bosses down after about 6 or 7 wipes. The drops seemed pretty good if you don’t have the latest raiding gear, it’s a really good starting point for new level 80s to gear themselves up in the new normal dungeons within Ice Crown.
Flame Leviathan was the weekly raid, and we knocked that out with no problem, 5 easy Frost emblems right there, I see the potential for the non hardcore raiders to get some quick Frost emblems there. the good thing about using the Dungeon finder is you won’t even need to fly to the place yourself, it’ll instantly port you inside the dungeon once the group is formed and if after a few wipe and you need to repair, you just have to walk out the instance and it’ll port you back to your Hearth Point, then you can use the dungeon finder button on your minimap to port right back into the dungeon once you are done with repair, very handy indeed.

We also went into the new 10 man ICC and downed the first couple of Bosses. Seems to me Blizzard went way over the top with trash in there. I lost count of the amount of trash we had to take down before we got to the first boss. Now a word about our new Fire Totem. It’s GREAT!!!! The only change I have to make to my playstyle is you’ll need to run near the pack of mobs to drop your totems so they’ll be in range of your fire nova spell. Each mob takes around 4k damage when it crits, and when you have a bunch of trash around, your dps gets a nice little boost and it can also stun some mobs on occasions. All I can say to my fellow Elemental Shammies out there is watch you don’t go use your Fire Nova before your tank have some aggro on all the mobs, once you crit with that, you’ll have a bunch of angry mobs heading your way.

It’s kind of hard to judge the new contents right now without having the benefit to test them all out, but my first impression is pretty positive with the new changes. Our AoE got a bit of a boost, the Dungeon Finder seems to have sorted out the problem of finding a group. The new dungeons are quite fun, (although I can’t guarantee it won’t become a chore to run those once you have better gear and can just blow through them). Emblems are easy to get so it’ll be much easier to gear up your off spec or your alts without needing to raid every week. And most of all, there’s our new tier 10 to look forward to. 60 emblems of Frost for shoulders and hands and 90 for the other piece do seem a little expensive, but seeing how I got 17 emblems of Frost on my first day, it shouldn’t take too long to get my hands on them. Tomorrow we’ll be trying the 25man ICC, I’ll report back on how we get on in there.

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Patch 3.3

•December 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been widely rumoured the patch will be going live on the 8th this month. Are you looking forward to the new patch with the IceCrown contents?

What’s new out there for us Elemental Shamans? Besides the new tier gear and the reskin of the totems for Orcs and Trolls, there really isn’t that much we hav to look forward to. At first, the new Fire totems seems like a dps bump, but having read through that a little bit more, no, I haven’t been on the PTR to check it out, so I don’t have any first hand knowledge of how the mechanic works, so correct me if I’m wrong. From what I can gather, you still have to activate the Fire Nova spell on the totem for it to go off. I was under the impression the Fire Nova will pulse as long as your fire totem is dropped, but the more I read, it’s more likely you will need to hit the Fire Nova button to set it off, the only difference is you won’t need to drop a fresh Fire Nova Totem everytime and lose your Totem of Wrath buff. Unless it’s off a seperate cooldown, I really don’t see much boost to our dps as it’ll just interfere with our rotation. As every Elemental Shaman knows, the way to gain your max dps is to keep our rotation as tight as possible in between each cast, having to waste another cooldown on fire nova will definitely eat into our cast time. We’ll see how that goes when the patch comes live.

Personally, I been bored with the patch 3.2 content for a while now, ToC while it’s a convenient place to farm for some good gear, it just doesn’t have that epic feel of a full blown raid. We blow through that place in less then an hour, go do Onyxia in a hope the mount will drop, btw, I think there’s only 2 Onyxia mount on our server as we speak right now and none on the Horde side, which to me, is ridiculously low droprate, then there’s not much else to do. People don’t want to raid Ulduar because the amount of time you spend in there don’t equate to the rewards you can get.

What are you looking forward to the most and do you think [atch 3.3 have enough content to last us through till the next expansion?

Quick glance guide to Elemental Shaman

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hit rating:

  • 368 Hits with just Elemental Precision
  • 289 Hits with either a Moonkin with Improved Faerie Fire or with a Priest with Misery

Major Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flame Shock
  • Glyph of Lightning Bolt
  • Glyph of Lava
  • Glyph of Totem of Wrath
  • Glyph of Flametongue Weapon

Minor Glyphs:

  • Glyph of Water Walking
  • Glyph of Water Shield
  • Glyph of Renewed Life
  • Glyph of Astral Recall

Talent Build:
57/14 build.

Spell Rotation: Lava Burst is our most powerful spell, your rotation should be built around that with Lightning bolt and Chain Lightning between the cooldown on Lava Burst. Depending on your haste, you shouldn’t need to cast more than 1 Chain Lightning in between to conserve your mana, below is a typical rotation if your haste is above 520

  • Flame Shock > Lava burst > Chain Lightning > Lightning Bolt > Lightning Bolt > Lightning Bolt > Lightning Bolt > Flame shock    (don’t forget to refresh your Flame Shock just before your Lava Burst on your 3rd rotation)

Stats on Gear:

  • Hit is everything, so cap your hit first
  • Spellpower
  • Haste (haste will be a priority over Spellpower once you reach over 3k SP unbuffed)
  • Crit
  • Int

Enchants:

  • Cloak:  Greater Speed
  • Chest:  Powerful Stats
  • Bracers:  Superior Spellpower
  • Gloves:  Exceptional Spellpower
  • Boots:  Icewalker   (if you don’t need the hit rating from your boots enchants, go for Tuskarr’s Vitality instead)
  • Weapons:  Mighty Spellpower
  • Shields:  Greater Intellect
  • Head:  Arcanum of Burning Mysteries. Revered with Kirin Tor
  • Shoulders:  Greater Inscription of the Storm. Exalted with Sons of Hodir
  • Legs:  Sapphire Spellthread. Made by Tailors

Gems:

  • Meta: Chaotic Skyflare Diamond (only meta of choice)
  • Red Gem slots: Runed Cardinal Ruby (you should fill in as many of these as you can unless the socket bonus of your gear has at least +7 Spellpower as a bonus, otherwise, ignore the socket bonus on the gear)
  • Blue Gem slots: Glowing Dreadstone (You need to have at least 2 blue gems to activate your Meta, this one is one of your choice)
  • Yellow Gem slots: Vivid Eye of Zul if you are not hit capped. Alternatively, you can use Reckless Ametrine to fill in the yellow slots.

Addons: This part is really up to your preference and how much you can tolerate screen clutter. But the main ones you will need if you raid are Omen Threat Meter, Deadly Boss Mod/BigWigs.

Personally, I use the default UI along with Recount, Quartz, QuickHeals. I try to keep my mods to a minimal so I’m not too reliant on them.

Useful Macros:

#showtooltip Wind Shear
/stopcasting
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead][target=focus,noexists]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus] Wind Shear

This macro is especially useful in the Faction Champions fight in ToC, it will stop whatever you’re casting and cast Windshear on your focused target instead if you need to do interrupts, if you don’t have a focus target selected, you’ll just use Windshear on your current target.

#showtooltip Hex
/stopcasting
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead][target=focus,noexists]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus] Hex

Same as Windshear, but uses Hex instead.

#showtooltip Elemental Mastery
/cast Elemental Mastery
/stopcasting
/use 13/14

Use your Elemental Mastery along with your Trinkets, 13 is your first trinket slot, 14 is your second trinket slot



What’s coming for us Elemental Shamans

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Having read what our tier 10 stats are like, I have to say, it’s not all that impressive. The 2 set bonus will lower your Elemental Mastery by 2 seconds with a cast of Chain lightning or Lightning Bolt. Really?? There really isn’t that many fights that last long enough to use Elemental Mastery twice and we usually reserve that for the burn phase of a boss, so lowering it by 2 seconds isn’t going to make any difference at all imo. However, the 4 piece set bonus is rather nice. Our big numbers comes from our Lava Burst crits, so lowering the cooldown of LvB is going to fill our screen with big numbers more often, just wonder how many emblems are needed for each piece of tier. With only 2 pieces of the Tier that contains hit, there’ll be a lot of head scratching on how to cap our hit with other pieces of gear. Hit rating is always a pain for any dps class and we are lucky our T9 have so much hits that you really don’t need to find many off pieces to fill them out. But with other new gear in the game that all lacks hit ratings, I can see us using our old gear with hits to fill out the slots for a while before we get to see other pieces that we can actually use and not lose our hit cap.

Our tier 9 totem is the envy of every other class for what it gives. Shamans loves haste, because of the proc rate of our Tier 9 totem, it’s literally a flat 200 boost to our haste when equipped. I’m not sure how the new tier 10 totem works and whether the stacks will last long enough between proc to be a viable alternative to our Tier 9 totem, but I’ll be sure to hold on to my tier 9 totem until proved otherwise.

Fire Totems: When it comes to AoEing packs of mobs, we’ve always been behind in that department. Hunters have their Volley, Mages have their Blizzard, Warlocks have their Rain of Fire, Fan of Knives from Rogues, even Boomkins have Starfall and what do we have? Chain Lightning that only hit up to 4 mobs if you have the Glyph, and our Magma Totem or Fire Nova Totem either takes too long to pulse or takes too long to explode plus you have to give up your Totem of Wrath to cast that totem. With the changes to our Fire Totems in patch 3.3, we’ll now have an AoE spell that’s literally free to cast and there really much change you have to make in order to benefit from it. It’s a welcoming addition that’ll probably up our DPS by a couple of hundreds, but it’ll make you think twice about where you drop your totems if the new contents bring back CCing though.

Take advantage, now!

•November 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

With the Pilgrim event, the best thing to come out of that isn’t the title or the pet you get for finishing the meta achievement. If you’ve been slacking off your cooking skill, this is a great time to get your cooking up on the cheap, the recipes you can buy from the NPC will get your cooking to lvl 355 in no time at all with little cost too. But if you already have your cooking up, there’s another piece of good news for you from this event.

The reputation boost buff for eating all the food on the feast table. The 10% boost to your reputation gain is a godsent if you’re trying to get your exalted rep with a faction, not only will you gain the boost from killing mobs, but also from the item turn ins if that particular faction have them. I been trying to farm the timbermaw rep and with only 2 hours of grinding in Felwood, I got over 10k. With the real Thanksgiving in America and not raids scheduled for a few days, this is the perfect time to get your rep up. DO IT!!!!

Trial of the Crusader

•November 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There isn’t a lot of difference between the 10 and 25 man ToC except the Bosses have a lot more health, so here’s a run down of all the bosses in ToC in the point of view of an Elemental Shaman. This is how my guild do this and may vary from guild to guild, but it’s a basic guideline as what you should be doing on each boss.

The Northern Beasts:

Totems used: Totem of Wrath, Strength of Earth, Wrath of Air and Healing Stream Totem.

Since you’re a ranged dps, you should try to position yourself near the middle of the Gormak so you’ll have easy access to all the players around you should they get a Snobold on them, it’s normally a ranged dps’ job to take down the Snobolds. You should pay extra attention to the healers when they get a snobold on them as their heals will be interrupted by the snobolds. Dps on Gormak until the Snobolds are out then switch to them while avoiding the fire on the ground.

Once Gormak goes down, the twin Jormungar will appear. Acidmaw on the left if you’re facing the gate where  the Bosses enters, and Dreadmaw will be on the right and will be stationary. Now position yourself so you’re just in range of Acidmaw and drop your Totems and this is when you should Bloodlust/Heroism. If you keep to your max distance from Acidmaw, you should avoid it’s acid spew, but if you do get the the Paralytic Toxic on you, you should immediately run towards the person who has the Burning Bile and burn off the Toxic then run back into position. If your raid have enough dps, Acidmaw should go down before they burrow themselves underground. Now move onto Dreadmaw and if it’s too far from your totems, drop them near it again and continue dpsing. When Dreadmaw submerge into the ground, make sure you run to the side of the room and pay attention to where it pops up, hold off dps until the Tank re-establish threat before you cast again.

Icehowl will follow after the fall of the Jormungars. Drop your totems near him and try to stay at max dps range. Once in a while, Icehowl will cast Massive Crash, this will knock everyone in the raid back against the wall then he will aim at one person then proceeds to charge at that person. Unlike in hardmode, you will get a speed boost before he actually charges at you, make sure you run to your side and avoid his big hit box, if he’s not running your way, hang back a bit and don’t run into his charge path by mistake. If he misses with the charge, he’ll be stunned for a few seconds, and this is when you should unleash all you have as you’ll be dealing 100% more damage to him while he’s stunned. Just remember not to get too close to his Whirl. If your raid have a solid tank and heals, this is quite an easy fight even if your dps isn’t as high as it should be. The Icehowl Bindings is a good belt to have if your other Clothies Dps don’t need them. Since you’re a mail wearer, you should always give up Cloth and Leather gear for others first before you loot on them.

Lord Jaraxxus:

Totems used: Same as The Northern Beasts.

Drop your Totems in the middle of the room just before your raid call on Jaraxxus. Position yourself to the outter circle and preferably not too close to other players. The main debuff you have to look out for in this fight is called Legion Flame. When Jaraxxus cast this spell on you, you should start to back off and continue to move back towards the back of the room while you drop a trail of flame, don’t run across other players and leave the flame in their path. If you’re too far from a healer, you should throw yourself a heal once Legion Flame wears off and you’re not standing in the fire. After a while, a nether portal will appear and spawn a Mistress of Pain, Change your target and dps down the Mistress, when she’s down to about 20% health, pop your Bloodlust/Heroism then get back on Jaraxxus. Your Bloodlust should last you through till the volcanos appear and spawn 3 Fel Flame Infernals. They’ll sometimes turn into a ball and land randomly across the room, if they’re close to you, run away from them as their AoE hellfire will do a lot of damage to you. Dps them all down then back to Jaraxxus, rinse and repeat.

Faction Champions:

Totems used: Tremor Totem, Totem of Wrath, Cleansing Totem, Wrath of Air. Also have your Earthbind totem ready!

This fight’s success is mostly down to who you get. But you can be sure there’ll be a couple of healers in there. Your job in this fight will be mainly purging the target your group is trying to zerg down first. Usually, a Resto Druid will be your first target as their HoTs are a pain if it’s allowed to land on other targets. Purge your target constantly, and Windshear when the Tree is trying to cast Nourish. The trick to survival in this fight is to know when to drop your Earthbind totem and when to use your Thunderstorm. If you see your healers are getting whacked by a bunch of champions, run towards the healer and pop your Thunderstorm to get rid of the bosses that’s on your healer. When you’re being chased by a boss, drop your Earthbind Totem and run away. You should treat this fight as if you’re playing in an Arena match and be on your toes constantly. You will not be doing a lot of dps at the beginning of the fight while the Champions still have healers standing because of your Purge and Windshear duty. Also remember not to use your Chain Lightning if your raid decides to employ CC into the strategy, you don’t want to break CC on what’s already a short CC duration.

Twin Val’Kyrs:

Totems used: Totem of Wrath, Strength of Earth, Wrath of Air and Healing Stream Totem.

This is a really fun fight once you are familiar with your strategy. Before your group engage the Bosses, you will be assigned either the Light or Dark Aura to click on. If you have the Dark Aura, you shold be dpsing on Fjola Lightbane, if you’re assigned with the Light Aura, you should dps on Edyis Darkbane. After your tanks run in to engage the boss, go up to the middle between the 2 Bosses and drop your totems there so both Bosses will be in range from your Totem of Wrath. Dps your boss and wait till they do their special abilities. Each boss have 4 special abilities they can use. 2 main ones you have to look out for are Vortex and Twin’s Pact. Whenever Vortex is being cast, you will need to have the same colour aura as the boss that’s casting it, so if Fjola Lightbane is casting Vortex, you’ll have to quickly run to a Light portal and click on it so you have the Light Aura to mitigate the Light damage from Vortex being cast by Fjola, and you need to click on the Dark portal is Edyis is casting. When they’re casting Twin’s Pact, one of the boss will have a shield around them, the trick is to get the opposite aura first and start dps down the shield before they can complete the cast. During all that chaos, there will be these orbs flying around the room, if you have the Dark Aura on you, you want to let as many dark orbs to land on you as possible to boost your dps while trying to avoid letting the Light Orbs as they’ll do damage to you. It’s not uncommon to get your dps to over 10k in this fight if you are lucky with the Orbs dropping on you. 50k + Lava Burst tastes so sweet. You should use your Bloodlust/Heroism after the first Special ability.

Anub’arak:

Totems used: Totem of Wrath, Strength of Earth, Wrath of Air and Healing Stream Totem.

If you’ve not been assigned to shoot down the ice orbs, then your job is to just dps Anub’arak. If you are assigned to shoot down the ice orbs, make sure you shoot plenty of them down right after your raid engage the boss before going off to dps. Drop your totems near Anub’arak, dps him until the adds spawns. take down the first add and go back to Anub while leaving the second add up. After about 90 seconds, Anub will burrow himself underground, once he’s submerged, quickly change target on the second add and dps it down quickly then take down all the scarabs while keeping your distance, each hit you receive from the scarab will stack a debuff on you and will have a DoT on you, if you have too many stacks, your healers won’t be able to keep you up, so don’t stand toe to toe with them, kite them over the ice to slow them down to give you time to get away. While Anub’arak is submerged, he’ll chase after a random player with it’s spikes sticking out above ground, you need to pay attention to the spikes even if it’s not targetting you. Someone else that’s being targetted might run across your path and bring the spikes along with them and kill you. if you’re the one being chased by the spikes, kite it towards the ice patch on the ground and it’ll blow itself up and start a fresh target. Anub will surface again after about 60 seconds, kill off any scarabs still alive then go back to Anub, repeat until he’s down to 30% health then he won’t submerge again. This is the time to pop your Bloodlust/Heroism. If your healers knows how to heal this fight, (that’s keeping everyone just above 50% health except the tank) Anub is one of the easiest boss in ToC.

Good Luck in ToC, I’ll talk about the hardmode ToC next time.

Elemental Shaman build

•November 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My armoury

If you’ve been in a raid with an Elemental Shaman, you’ll know your dps isn’t going to be as great as the pure dps spell class such as Mages and Warlocks. This is the norm for hybrid class because they bring so much more then just their own dps. You’ll be loved by other spell casters in the raid because your Totem of Wrath is the best thing since sliced bread, if you can persuade a mage to cast Focus Magic on you, not only will you up your own dps but you can swap out your Flametongue glyph if you don’t have enough crit to begin with.

I’m not going to bore you with all the theory crafting stuff here, basically because I’m not a theory crafter myself and I’d hate to plagiarize what you can find on sites such as ElitistJerks. Instead, from now on, I’m going to post my own experiences through encounters I’ve done myself. I welcome any inputs from other Elemental shamans out there and we can discuss in more details about the intricacies on the mechanics.