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Enhancement shaman itemization and the end boss effect

Matthew Rossi

As you may or may not be aware, I've started gearing up my enhancement shaman and have been having a really good time playing him. I enjoy enhancement for a lot of reasons, including how different it feels from playing a warrior or feral druid, the other two melee classes I'm familiar with.

However, finding weapons can be a bit of a pain. The best weapons for me outside of a raid are the two fist weapons in ZG, which drop from a randomly summoned boss. So you may not even get the boss who drops them, and the off-hand doesn't even drop from the same boss as the main-hand -- and in either case, it means I'm leveling archaeology on a fourth toon because half the time, no one can summon any of them.

As annoying as this is, for raiding, it can get even worse. Getting a 2.6 speed agility main-hand weapon from raiding means killing Nefarian and praying that this week he drops your axe. (You can get an off-hand from trash, but you can't use it in your main hand, meaning you need at least one Neffy axe). Blizzard has come out and said it's fine with this for now.

Takralus - Enhancement Shaman Itemization and Loot Drops
In general, we don't set out to provide perfect itemization for every spec in every tier of items, however we try to not neglect anyone either. This sometimes results in situations where, say for example the mainhand slot, is easier to obtain for one spec over another. We have seen some comments from Enhancement Shaman about Nefarian's axe (Crul'korak, the Lightning's Arc) being a harder item to obtain for raiders than different spec counterparts.

While we don't go out of our way to make these differences, we are fine with them happening from time to time. In the above example with Nefarian's axe, we chose to go that route because historically, Nefarian also dropped a similar type axe in Blackwing Lair. We also like the idea of weapons being on an "end boss", as they generally are quite sought after items.

That said, Firelands will be dropping two weapons suitable for Enhancement Shaman that do not involve killing Ragnaros. One of these will even be able to drop from multiple bosses.

Now, I'm not going to go the "hilariously outraged" route here. It's annoying to have almost all of your loot hopes tied to one boss, and it's annoying to end up using a strength weapon on a shaman because your agility options won't drop. It's even more annoying once you start doing heroic raid content that there's exactly one weapon for you.

I'm glad to read that Firelands will have more options for shaman, but I think the experiment of the Claws of Agony/Torment was a mistake; we ended up with a weapon set no one really wanted. Making them both agility weapons would have at least meant that enhancement shamans would have wanted them.

As for the two weapons suitable for enhancement in Firelands, I'd guess Gatecrasher and Shatterskull Bonecrusher will be your new huckleberries. The Shatterskull reminds me of the Syphon of the Nathrezim in looks. Hopefully, one of these two weapons will be fairly easily available. Sadly, I'm not seeing any fists yet, but if we're not going to get what I want at least we'll get what we need.

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

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