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Totem Talk: Glyphing for Fire Elemental

Rich Maloy

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk, and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

After writing last week's article and then this week diving headfirst into some 10s and 25s I felt like the Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem needed some love. I felt even more so after looking at my combat parses for Lich King fights and noticing Fire Nova was my second highest damage ability. The fight is a long one -- a very long one -- and it got me wondering if I could step up my output by glyphing into fire ele. After all, who doesn't want more minions running around doing damage for them?

Fire ele has the potential to be a great glyph: the elemental is another pet doing good damage and we can still cast Fire Nova off the totem. Of course the downsides are deal breakers for the glyph in most cases:

  • The pet is leashed to the totem
  • Fire Nova's damage is lost if the boss or mobs move away from the totem
  • The 5 minute cooldown is still longer than most boss fights

Read more to see when and where it's appropriate to glyph into this.

With the glyph in one of our major slots, the totem will have a 5 minute cooldown. This means that a boss fight at 300 seconds or less then the glyph is a total waste. At 360 seconds you only get an additional 60 seconds (half the totem's total uptime). Then at 420 seconds the glyph allows for two Fire Elementals to run their full duration.

Even on a single target fight having two ele's up will beat out the Glyph of Windfury Weapon-- at least in my sims at Stoney's gear level which includes Black Bruise and Cudgel of Furious Justice, two weapons with high damage numbers that should increase the benefit of glyph of WF. After running a few sims it became clear that even with those weapons and just a single target fight, the fire ele was over the top on longer fights. Add in some adds and it's well worth it.

The next question was, on which fights will the glyph be worth it? I went to World of Logs to find the median boss fight length to decide if we should be glyphing for Fire Ele in these fights. Here's what I found:

ICC Normal Fight 10s (secs) Glyph 10s? 25s (secs) Glyph 25s?
Lord Marrowgar 229 No 243 No
Lady Deathwhisper 263 No 324 (1)
Gunship Battle n/a No n/a No
Deathbringer Saurfang 266 No 269 No
Festergut 227 No 280 No
Rotface 219 No 304 No
Prof. Putricide 362 No 495 (2)
Blood Prince Council 300 No 317 No
Blood Queen Lana'thel 283 No 318 No
Valithria Dreamwalker 315 No 352 (3)
Sindragosa 512 Yes 510 Yes
The Lich King 982 Yes 968 Yes

And for Trial of the Grand Crusader

ToGC Fight 10s (secs) Glyph 10s? 25s (secs) Glyph 25s?
Northrend Beasts 400 (4) 459 (4)
Lord Jaraxxus 204 No 263 No
Faction Champions 210 No 504 (5)
Twin Val'kyr 173 No 230 No
Anub'arak 247 No 462 Yes

There are a few judgment calls in there, which I'll go into greater detail here:

(1) - Ldy Deathwhisper on normal isn't exactly a hard fight. The ele could have a good time attacking the boss but for the most part on normal mode I'd suggest passing on this glyph, unless your guild pushes up towards the 6 minute mark on this fight.

(2) - Professor Putricide in phases 1 & 2 can be done as a high movement fight or as a mostly stationary fight if you follow the strat to tank him directly under the green slime spawn -- something we executed successfully in Big Crits. Phase 3 however is very high movement and it's likely the Ele will get left behind. For this reason I do not recommend glyphing into it for 10s; in 25s it is likely to get used in phases 1 & 2 then be on cooldown for phase 3. Your call.

(3) - Dreamwalker is a high adds fight. Actually as far as tanks & dps are concerned it's an adds-only fight. I really don't recommend the FE glyph unless your guild pushes the upper boundaries of 5-6 minutes in there. Definitely guild dependent decision.

(4) - Northrend Beasts is a long fight and you'll definitely get use of the totem twice, but the odds are high that Icehowl will not be where you want him to be for Fire Novas and you'll lose that damage. I'd say you're better off not using it here.

(5) - Faction Champs have an AoE damage reduction ability so that high DPS guilds can't round them up and AoE 'em down. The Fire Ele does ~25% of its damage as AoE so the output is gimped a bit, plus there's a chance the opponents will target and kill it. Again, I'd say no to this in most circumstances

There are clear cases where this glyph will bring the maximum benefit. Namely, some of the hardest fights: Anub'arak in 25s heroic, plus Sindragosa and The Lich King on 10s and 25s. For this reason I highly recommend having a few stacks of the Glyph of Fire Elemental and Glyph of Windfury Weapon made for switch out on these fights. Use every advantage you can.

May all your hits be crits!

StormstrikeShow your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk, whether reading Mike Sacco's Elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of Restoration or Rich Maloy's Enhancement edition, we have you covered.

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