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Totem Talk: A feast of enhancement macros

Rich Maloy
October 25, 2010

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Rich Maloy lives and breathes enhancement; his main spec is enhance, and his off spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Season 2 Ep 05 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

This week, I was hoping to provide a thorough analysis of the new and questionably improved (though most definitely changed) enhancement shaman DPS in patch 4.0.1. Unfortunately, I ended up missing raid on Tuesday and so missed our 11/12 ICC hard mode power clear and have very limited data to analyze.

I know you're right there with me when I say it is quite disconcerting to have gaps in our normal frenzied button mashing activities. The long, lonely periods of two or three global cooldowns where we have nothing to do but hope for that fifth Maelstrom Weapon proc, while idly staring at our keys with the strange feeling that we're doing something wrong. Fret not, young shammy. It is the way of the enhancement right now; we will have periods of non-mashing where we can take a deep breath and enjoy the forthcoming five-stack of searing enabled Lava Lash crit.

In last week's article I alluded to a macro that combines Magma Totem and Fire Nova into one button, and there were some comments about it. I'm a big macro user; in fact, I have all my macro slots filled up on Stoney and my druid, Finn. I think it's about time I divulged the treasure trove of macros I've accumulated over the years.

There are a few macro best practices. First, in order to dive into the world of macros even at the most basic level here, you'll need an understanding of conditionals. With that under your belt, take my advice -- it's best to pick one consistent key as your modifier for everything. For me, I use Alt as my go-to modifier; your mileage may vary.

It's also worth mentioning that I start most macros with #showtooltip and almost always use the question mark for the icon. Using these two in combination makes the macro's currently displayed icon flexible to show whatever is next in the rotation and enables the tooltip for that relevant spell.

Starting out with an easy macro is a basic self-heal with a modifier.

/cast [nomodifier] Chain Heal; [modifier:alt] Greater Healing Wave
I keep it set to Chain Heal to help keep my melee brothers and sisters alive as we dodge cleaves, run from fire and duck whirlwinds. Granted, Wrath wasn't nearly as bad as BC was in terms of hate-on-melee, but an option to save yourself and your mates in a pinch isn't a bad idea.

Another simple macro I have on my bars combines Wind Shear and Lightning Shield. It was useful for a time when way, far back before patch 4.0.1, Lightning Shield would deplete over time and it was important to keep it refreshed. That macro was:
/cast [nomodifier] Wind Shear; [modifier:alt] Lightning Shield
You can use it to set up a two-for-one button for just about anything. I'm was using it for my Magma / Fire Nova macro. It's a simple, straightforward and perfect use to combine two linked spells into one button.
/cast [nomodifier] Fire Nova; [modifier:alt] Magma Totem
I considered using a cast sequence macro for this with a reset equal to 21 seconds, the duration of the Magma Totem, and the result looked like this:
/castsequence reset=combat/21 Magma Totem, Fire Nova
The downside to that macro is that if the mobs move, I move, or for some reason my totem gets destroyed ahead of time, I'm locked out of putting another one down until the old one would have expired. The way to fix this is by adding another layer of complexity.
/castsequence [nomodifier] reset=combat/21 Magma Totem, Fire Nova; [modifier:alt] Magma Totem
The key to making this work is to include the nomodifier in the beginning. Now, if I need to put down another Magma Totem, I can hold down Alt and drop a new one at any time.

I actually derived that syntax from my shocks rotation macro that has a similar syntax, but instead, the sequence resets when I change target or leave combat rather than on a set cooldown.
/castsequence [nomodifier] reset=target/combat Flame Shock, Earth Shock; [modifier:alt] Earth Shock
This makes more sense for shocks because we'll just cast one or the other and usually whichever one is up at the time. I keep Earth Shock on the modifier switch because if a mob is close to death and I don't want to cast a Flame Shock on it and lose the ticks, I just need the burst of ES for the final few seconds of that mob's pathetic existence.

Focus is an important element that will become essential as we move into Cataclysm, mostly because of our new spell, Bind Elemental. I originally adapted this focus spell from mage Polymorph macro I found on WoWWiki ages ago.
#showtooltip Bind Elemental
/clearfocus [target=focus,dead] [target=focus,noexists] [modifier:alt]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]
/cast [target=focus] Bind Elemental

Breaking that down, here is the logic tree behind that:
  • If you have no focus and something targeted, it will set your focus and cast Bind Elemental on that focus.
  • If you have a focus set and anything at all targeted, it will cast Bind Elemental on your focus.
  • If you have a focus that is dead or doesn't exist, and nothing targeted, it will clear your focus and stop.
  • If you have a focus that is dead or doesn't exist, and something targeted, it will clear your focus, set your focus to your new target, then cast Bind Elemental.
  • If you hold down Alt and have nothing targeted, it will clear your focus
  • If you hold down Alt and have something new targeted, it will clear your focus, set your focus to your current target and then cast Bind Elemental.

It's worth noting that when I say it will cast Bind Elemental, I mean that the macro will will attempt to cast but can still be unsuccessful due to normal game mechanics such as line of sight, range or invalid target or being silenced.

The same macro can work for Hex and Wind Shear, just by replacing the "Bind Elemental" with the appropriate spell at the beginning and the end of each spell.

The last macro for today is my advanced Feral Spirit usage.
/cast [nomodifier] Feral Spirit; [modifier:alt] Spiced Mammoth Treats; [mod:ctrl] Spirit Walk
My puppies do love their mammoth treats and I do take advantage of Spirit Walk. I don't use the Ctrl modifier often, but in this case there was more functionality to cram on to my bars. One possible variation here is to turn off the auto-use of Bash and then replace the treats with it. This gives an extra measure of control in arenas to interrupt your opponent's spell cast.

That's the majority of my enhancement macros. What would you add to the list? What do you use?

May all your hits be crits!

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Sarah Nichol's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition, WoW Insider's shaman experts have you covered.

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