Lava Burst gets a buff
Hex now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
Purge now dispels a single effect instead of two.
Spiritwalker's Grace duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 10.
Tremor Totem has been redesigned. The totem is now usable under Fear, Charm, or Sleep effects, and pulses much more rapidly, but lasts 6 seconds and has a 1-minute cooldown.
Earthquake damage has been increased by approximately 10%.
Elemental Overload (Mastery) procs of Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning can now generate Rolling Thunder charges.
Lava Burst's damage has been increased by roughly 10%.
Shaman bug fixes
Earthquake's mana cost is now correctly reduced by Elemental Focus' clearcasting proc.
Elemental Oath properly increases the damage of Earthquake.
Player movement speed cannot be reduced below 100% while in Ghost Wolf if the player is or has been in an indoor environment.
Reincarnation can now correctly be used after Soulstone Resurrection or Rebirth has already been used on the shaman during a boss encounter.
The 10% buff to Lava Burst
is a straight-up buff, as the developers increased both the base damage and the spell coefficient. As a result, Glyph of Lava Burst
is now one of our two main prime glyphs. Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem
is worth swapping in for any fight over 7 minutes, but that's nothing new and is a decision that is reliant on your ability to maximize the useage of Fire Elemental Totem
. For most fights, elemental shaman will be choosing between Glyph of Flame Shock
and Glyph of Flametongue Weapon
to fill that third prime slot.
As far as our AoE is concerned, Earthquake
has been buffed and now benefits from Elemental Oath
, so try to be sure that Clearcasting is up when you start casting to benefit. This will make fights with AoE phases such as Coreborus
easier to handle, especially for fresh raiding shaman.
Rolling Thunder and shock management
The changes to elemental are deeper than they appear, in the grand tradition of the "simple" elemental spec that actually has a great deal of intricacy in the details. The choice of third glyph is more crucial now that Rolling Thunder has a chance to proc from overloads of Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning. This change to Rolling Thunder
results in a noticeable difference to the speed at which Lightning Shield
stacks up. Waiting for a full nine-stack Fulmination
is to risk losing two charges of Lightning Shield, and as the amount of haste on our gear increases, Earth Shock
is almost ready to use again as soon as the cooldown is up.
Going back to Glyph of Flame Shock, I feel that this glyph will be even more important as the faster stacking of Lightning Shield will bring the shared shock cooldowns into conflict with increasing frequency. While a straight-up comparison between Glyph of FTW and Glyph of FS would imply that 2% crit is a more pure damage increase, the value of easing shock management cannot be underestimated. The improvement to our mana regeneration also makes Reverberation
even more attractive and devalues Convection
. Even when lacking a replenishment, I haven't felt the need to spec back into the mana cost reduction talent.
Mastery vs. haste battle continues
As ever, I really recommend simming
your own gear to figure out the the best options for you and your gear setup. That said, the change to Rolling Thunder does mean that haste and mastery are on average much closer in value once again. There will be peaks and troughs in the value of both stats due to the incremental nature of mastery and mini-haste thresholds such as an extra Flame Shock tick; however, in a live environment, these points are largely irrelevant. Crit remains relatively weak, so it is still our main target for reforging after excess spirit and hit.
Gemming in 4.0.6
If you haven't already, you should be re-gemming with Brilliant Inferno Ruby
nearly all the way, but consider your socket bonuses carefully and be prepared to use a Purified Demonseye
in blue sockets and a mixture of Reckless Ember Topaz
and Artful Ember Topaz
for yellow sockets. Bonuses worth grabbing are mastery, haste, and of course intellect bonuses. Crit bonuses can be ignored, as 40 intellect gives more crit than the bonus! It is also best to ignore spirit/hit bonuses when over the 16-17% cap. The value of intellect means that pure mastery or haste gems are never preferable to an orange gem.
Ideally, we should all be grabbing Burning Shadowspirit Diamond
, but if you would rather wait until prices come down (or a guildie gets the cut), then Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond
is an acceptable alternative, if you don't feel the 54 intellect is worth the auction house price tag.
DPSing on the move
I'm hoping the Rolling Thunder change will also alleviate our movement problems. The speed of LS charge stacking will mean that any movement is likely to coincide with a fair chunk of Fulmination damage to unload on a single target. The use of this will of course still be restricted by the shared cooldown, but Earth Shock is now a prime spell to use when on the move, with Unleash Elements as a good backup.
I'm not going to complain about the extended duration of Spiritwalker's Grace
, as we can definitely use every tool Blizzard gives us when it comes to mobile DPS. Is it enough? It remains to be seen. Unleash Elements
remains a great spot spot for small movements, but Spiritwalker's Grace is a lot more flexible and can be used for things like laying down a Healing Rain
on the Feud
spot or casting Earthquake while moving back to the ranged pile after a Pillar of Flame
. I treat this spell like a trinket -- there is little point trying to save it for some special occasion, so I use it as often and as soon as I can unless I have a definite plan. Otherwise prioritize Earth Shock, or use an Unleash Elements+Flame Shock combo when forced to move. A
asting still remains true.
Yet another keybind
Ah yes, those PvP tweaks. The result for a raiding shaman is that Tremor Totem
needs to be much more easily accessible as a quick cast as a opposed to being pre-cast and planned for. In the past, I selected it in my totem stomp when I knew a fear was involved in a fight, but now we'll need to be able to cast it quickly, so make some space for it on your bars. There is a lot of grousing about this change, but having a raidwide fear break brings us a raid utility cooldown. Not quite the same as those healing cooldowns our restoration kin are after, but I like the uniqueness and activity involved in this new totem design.
A positive result
Well, I do adore this spec, so I'm unlikely to be entirely grumpy after any patch, but 4.0.6 has left me feeling positive and intrigued for what the future holds for the spec. With so many classes being balanced, I haven't entirely had the chance to get a real comparison going, but my early tests lead me to believe that the elemental spell priority is even more active and dynamic than when the 31-point talent trees were launched. I would have liked the developers to invest a little more time in the totem AI, but despite the panic about the state of shaman in general for progression raiding; we're doing just fine for the average player.
If you've got any questions for me, don't hesitate to email me
, and if you've got a resto off-spec, check out Joe's restoration shaman 4.0.6 survival guide
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Ready to take your elemental shaman up to the new level cap? We'll help you get to level 85 with our guide to leveling an elemental shaman. Check out our Cataclysm 101 for elemental shaman, or pick up our pre-raid gearing guide.