While Deathwing is going to break lose and tearing Azeroth apart the coming Cataclysm will bring many improvements for us Enhancement Shamans. Patch 4.0.1 will include many class changes while the world changes – the actual cataclysm will come live with patch 4.0.3 at a later date.
In a nutshell we get to choose more utility, get some glyph and ui enhancements which make the class more fun to play. Many changes are also coming statwise, many buffs get spread to more classes and we will get many changes to our Totems.
Keep in mind that patch 4.0 is tuned at level 85 characters and not 80. Enhancement Shaman felt a bit awkward to play at the start and Unleash Weapon (Level 81) will strongly effect the class.
4.0 First Steps
When 4.0 comes life you should visit your trainer as soon as possible. We will lose some abilities, for example to cleanse poison and disease, while we also learn some new skills. For example Primal Strike (for leveling up, shares cooldown with Stormstrike), Cleanse Spirit (remove curses), Healing Surge (a new heal), Bind Elemental (cc for elementals), Totem of Tranquil Mind (30% less casting time loss on damage), Mail Specialization (+5% primary stats, while wearing mail), Ghost Wolf can be used indoors and last but not least mastery.
The next best thing to do is to fix your talents. Beginning at level 10 you will be able to choose a talent tree (is there any other choice than enhancement?). You will receive a set of basic abilities right away and the other talent trees will not unlock before you place at least 31 points in your primary tree. Here are the Talents you get right away.
A totemic warrior who strikes foes with weapons imbued with elemental power.
- Lava Lash
- Mental Quickness
- Dual Wield
- Primal Wisdom
- Mastery: Enhanced Elements
We have 35 talent points to spend at Level 80 (actually 79) and these are talents every enhancement should take.
Basic Enhancement Shaman build (0/31/0)
- Please note: this build has 2/3 improved Lightning Shields as I have to spend 1 point somewhere
you can change that point to wherever you like
- also you have 5 more talent points to spend
- but each enhancement shaman should have at least these talents
Single Target Enhancement Shaman build (5/31/0)
- I have chosen Concussion over Acuity, since we already have absurd high crit rating and because we lost the 50% extra crit bonus damge
- best single target dps
AoE Enhancement Shaman build (4/32/0)
- if you find yourself doing heroics or for fights like Halion, where AoE Damage matters you might like to check out this build
- I moved 1 point from Acuity and 1 from Improved Shields to improved Fire Nova
- also added the Fire Nova and Chain Lightning Glyph
Utility Enhancement Shaman build (0/36/0)
- if you prefer utility and are willing to sacrifice some dps
- I see this more as daily life spec for pvp realms, when you do dailies or other stuff and have to deal with occasional ganking 😀
Glyphs leave you with similar choices.
For now the best dps glyphs seem to be:
- Lava Lash
- Feral Spirit
- Fire Nova
- (Lightning Shield)
- your choice
My personal favorite Major Glyph is the new Lightning Shield one („Your Lightning Shield can no longer drop below 3 charges from dealing damage to attackers“). Using this Glyph your Lightning Shield can only expire or be dispelled, but it never runs out of charges for dealing damage and will remain at 3 orbs for Enhancement Shamans.
This and the new power aura like spell alert for Maelstrom Weapon make the class much more fluent and fun to play.
What happened to my Mana?
Our Mail Armor has no longer Attack Power, Armor Penetration or Intelligence stats. We do now get 2 Attack Power per Agility and a 5% bonus Agility if all our gear is Mail Armor. the following new abilities will help to manage our mana anyhow.
- Primal Wisdom
Your melee attacks have a 40% chance to immediately restore 5% of your base mana.
- Maelstrom Weapon
When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you have a chance (higher than rank 2) to reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Hex, or any healing spell by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.
- Mental Quickness
Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 50% of your attack power, and reduces the mana cost of your instant spells by 75%.
There is also an undocumented change. On Beta Enhancement Shamans have a lot of passive MP5, think it was around 600 mp5 in combat at level 80.
Gems & Reforging
There is a lot of discussion about proper gemming for 4.0 and reforging. Lets look at the stats.
- Shamans lost the melee haste bonus they got during Ulduar
- Static Shock no longer procs from auto attacks
- Windfury nerfed, *cough* adjusted to 10% melee/ranged haste.
- Unleash Wind (Level 81) will bring 20% additional melee haste for 6 swings.
Chance to be critically struck by the Shaman’s Nature spells increased by 25%.
- Elemental Devastation
When you deal critical damage with a non-periodic spell, increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee attacks by 9% for 10 sec.
- Lightning Shield can now critical hit! This will make it easy to keep up Elemental Devastation.
- Armor Penetration will be converted to Critical Strike Rating and provide us with even more crit on our gear.
- the new spell hit cap for Enhancement Shaman is 446 hit rating (420 for Draenei)
- Unleashed Rage
Increases your expertise by 8, and increases all party and raid members‘ attack power by 10% while within 100 yards of the Shaman.
- 139 expertise rating cap, 116 Orcs (using Axes), 116 Dwarves (using Maces)
- Each 83.19 agility = 1 % melee crit (324.88 @ Level 85)
- 1 point of agility = 2 attack power
- 1 point of agility = 1,28 spell power (raidbuffed, mail spec, unleashed rage,kings,flame totem)
- Mail Armor Specialization, +5% Agility if you are in full mail gear
- Enhanced Elements
Increases all Fire, Frost, and Nature damage done by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%
Attack Power gems will be turned into Agility, Spell Power gems into Intellect, Armor Penetration to Critical Strike Rating. Hit rating will become a blue gem.
Haste will no longer become our most important stat, since less abilities benefit from it. Haste will be in line with critical strike rating which also seems to be less important than pre 4.0. Our new abilities (especially Stormstrike) provide a good base crit and we are already struggling with the crit cap.
However Agility seems to become a very good stat for us, since all our damage abilities increase by it.
It is not really known how effective Elemental Mastery will turn out. Guessing from the tests I have done on Beta it looks quite promising, basically replacing the spell crit damage bonus, that we can no longer get.
This is how I will reforge, gem
- Agility is a primary stat, also our best and you cannot reforge to. This means, it is probably best to reforge gear for expertise cap first, so we can use red sockets for Agility.
- Reforge the rest of the gear for Mastery (there are no Mastery gems at level 80), remember the (+hit cap).
- Use the 21 Agility Meta, (Relentless Earthsiege Diamond) and one Blue Gem Socket for +Hit Rating.
- For good Socket Boni, you can use Agi/Haste (Yellow Socket) or even Agi/Hit (Blue Socket).
The loss of 100% spellcrit bonus damage reduced the importance of our spells until we reach high level of mastery rating. I am not sure if Lava Lash or Stormstrike win the priority queue. They both proc Lightning Shield while Stormstrike also places the +25% spell crit debuff on our target.
This debuff will help to get spell crits and thus Elemental Devastation, which again keeps our melee crit up. Fortunately due to the long cooldown on both abilities it doesn’t really make a big difference.
Delaying Lava Lash 1-2 seconds can also help making sure that we will have enough Searing Totem stacks on our target to make it our biggest nuke.
The Stormstrike debuff reads: „granting you an additional 25% chance to critically strike that enemy with your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lightning Shield, and Earth Shock spells for 15 sec.“
Lightning Shield will keep itself up so we only have Shocks and Lightning Bolt to assign a priority to. The outcome should be quite obvious 😀
- Feral Spirit
- Lava Lash
- Storm Strike
- MSW 5
- Flame Shock x1, Earth Shock x2 Rotation
This will make the class much less tedious to play than it feels at time on live.
- Strength of Earth Totem
- Stone Skin Totem
- Healing Stream (will also provide resistance to fire, nature and frost spells glyphed)
- Totem of Tranquil Mind
- Searing Totem (single target), Fire Nova can not be used
- Magma Totem (multi target)
The changes to the UI in 4.0 include a Power Aura like Icon that pops up for a few seconds once you got 5 Stacks of Maelstrom Weapon and looks like this. Pew Pew Lazerbeams!!
Other things to note
Bizuri’s Totem of Shattered Ice, like all other totems, has been changed to provide primary stat/stamina/haste/crit and should be replaced with Totem of the Avalanche.
Totem of the Avalanche
Binds when picked up
Requires Level 80
Item Level 264
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 34 (0.74% @ L80).
Equip: Improves haste rating by 34 (1.04% @ L80).
Feral Spirit’s cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes, instead of 3 and its duration has been reduced to 30 seconds. While this hampers our solo abilities quite a bit, it might even improve our raid dps on short fights.
12% of base mana 30 yd range
Instant cast 2 min cooldown
Summons two Spirit Wolves under the command of the Shaman, lasting 30 sec.
I have put sample video together, showing some of the talent ui, glyph ui, new spells (up to 85), and power aura in action. If you are curious take a look at it. The video is in 1080p, so you can choose fullscreen and higher quality and read the tooltips.
[youtube width=“640″ height=“385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aycx7b_aWuY[/embed]
In case I forgot something, you have questions or want to express your gratitude, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.
On a sidenote, something that keeps me baffled on Beta is that one one side we can unleash wind and fire, even get a fire damage debuff on the target, but have no ability that will actually consume it. It would be awesome if Lava Lash would make use of this, which it doesn’t at the moment.