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Cochice

[Enhancement] 4.2 - Someone Spilled Spells all over this Axe

63 posts in this topic

Please Note: If you notice any grammatical mistakes please PM Cochice rather than posting in the thread and cluttering it up. I welcome any comments/criticisms/bounties for my head/etc. I'll also be the first to admit that I can, and probably will, make mistakes here and there, please try to remain civil if there are any glaring mistakes that need arguing.

Reason for this thread:

This initial post is intended as a comprehensive overview for the Enhancement community. It is not a BiS list. It is not a run-down of all the entry level instances and what they drop. It is not going to reflect the newest, most experimental rotation that still needs further testing. It is meant to serve as both a jumping-off point for new enhancers and a place where players can come for information without having to read through a lengthy discussion. However, for those of us that live and die by these "lengthy discussions," the thread itself will also serve as an in-depth discussion whose information will be adapted into the OP. The information here is intended for level 85 content.

Readers should understand a few things. First of all, readers and posters are expected to read everything relevant to their question at least once before posting. EJ has a fantastic search function that will assist you in this. The mods on these boards are not fucking around, and you will be warned or infracted if the answer to your question is staring you in the face. Second, if you're new to the Shaman boards, don't be surprised if you see the phrase "Sim it first," more often than you expect. A link to the EnhSim site and thread is located at the bottom of this post. If you haven't already, I suggest you download it now.

Giving Credit where Credit is due:

Much of the information contained in this thread has come from countless hours testing from players more patient and dedicated than myself. Some of this information (and lots of other awesome information) can be found here:

Enhancement Shaman TTT

Combat Ratings at level 85

Crit Cap Analysis

Enhancement Guide by Elam

Gearing for Raids by Ashunera

Cataclysm Shaman FAQ by Slant

And pretty much every Enhancement thread on this forum.

If you haven't yet, take a look at the BiS thread.

Also thanks to: Ashunera, bestpike, dedmonwakeen, Disquette, Elam, Jessamy, Levva, Malan, Rouncer, Slant, Yo!, ziff

=Abbreviations=

[TABLE=head]Abbreviation | Meaning

Agi | Agility

AE | Area Effect

AP | Attack Power

1H | 1-Hander/Handed

BiS | Best in slot

CL | Chain Lightning

DoT | Damage over Time

DPS | Damage Per Second

DW | Dual-Wield

ED | Elemental Devastation

ES | Earth Shock

FE | Fire Elemental

FN | Fire Nova

FrS | Frost Shock

FS_UEF | Flame Shock when Unleash Flame buff is active

FS | Flame Shock

FT | Flametongue

GCD | Global Cooldown

GW | Ghost Wolf

ICD | Internal Cooldown

Int | Intellect

LB | Lightning Bolt

LL | Lava Lash

LS | Lightning Shield

LvB | Lava Burst

MH | Main Hand

MQ | Mental Quickness

MSW | Maelstrom Weapon

MT | Magma Totem

MW5_CL | Maelstrom Weapon x 5 stacks - Chain Lightning

MW5_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x 5 stacks - Lightning Bolt

OH | Off Hand

SP | Spell Power

SR | Shamanistic Rage

SS | Stormstrike

Str | Strength

SW | Spirit Wolves

TC | Theorycraft

UE | Unleash Elements

UF | Unleash Flame

UW | Unleash Wind

WF | Windfury

[/TABLE]

=Enhancement Basics=

==Primary Skills==

At level 10, when a shaman chooses to specialize in the Enhancement tree, these skills become available.

[TABLE=head] Skill | Notes

Dual Wield | Allows you to equip 1H and OH weapons in your OH, also gives you 6% melee hit and the ability to parry. Awesome, huh!?

Mental Quickness | Allows Enhancement to scale properly with AP and Agi while still dealing a significant amount of damage through spells.

Lava Lash | In Cataclysm, Enhancement's hardest hitting attack. Melee strike dealing fire damage. Does more damage when FT is on the OH.

Primal Wisdom | Allows Enhancement to not worry about mana from gear because it provides steady, passive, regen. [/TABLE]

==Mastery==

Enhanced Elements -- Mastery is learned by all classes at level 80. Each spec has a unique mastery which is supposed to bring something "fun" to each class. While our mastery is simply a passive damage modifier, it remains a very powerful stat for Enhancement Shamans.

==On Caster Weapons==

From the Ask the Devs #10:

...we’ve taken steps (and will continue to take them) to ensure that while spell power weapons might at times, with certain gear setups, remain an interesting alternative, they aren’t the strictly superior route.

This post has little mention of a Caster weapon setup because making it the "primary" setup recommended by EJ could be confusing to new enhancers. That said, testing has shown that using a caster MH can produce competitive numbers (competitive meaning "more than terrible," but assuredly not "better" than comparable Agi weapons within the same iLvl range) both EnhSim and in game. Please note: this is not the case in 4.2, [item]71777[/item] is in fact better. So for those wondering how to go about running a Caster weapon setup, here are a few guidelines:

  • Slower is still better. It's unlikely that you'll want anything that's lower than 2.0 speed. And even that will likely yield poor results. Sim your various options to see which is best.
  • The DPS differences between SP and Agi MHs can be very slight. Often, racials will play a part. If you're wielding an Axe, Fist, or Mace, make sure you're taking your racial into account in your comparisons!
  • All other gearing is the same as normal. Expertise and Spell hit caps are still important. As usual sim to see your EP values.
  • 4.2 introduced [item]71777[/item]. All testing has shown this weapon being the BiS option for Enhancement, regardless of varience in priority (hardcasting LB and/or LvB or not).

==Unleash Elements==

Unleash Elements -- new to Cataclysm. It will do something different depending on the weapon imbue(s) on the shaman's weapon(s). See imbues for their respective unleash.

==Windfury Weapon==

The Windfury Weapon imbue is the Enhancement Shaman's primary MH weapon imbue. The design of the class intends for it to be used on the MH in most cases (the exception being FB in PvP, sometime's it's better to have it on your MH instead of your OH). As of Patch 4.0.6, WF now procs 3 hits instead of two, this secures it's place as the imbue of choice for Enhancement Shamans.

The instant cast nature of the Windfury proc greatly benefits from slower weapons and their higher damage range. Since there is no way to speed up the cooldown of the Windfury proc, or to proc more often by using a fast weapon, the only way to increase damage done by Windfury Weapon is to use a slow, high DPS weapon.

===Unleash Wind===

Unleash Wind -- Pretty straightforward. Great buff, and usable at range while running to a mob. Recieved a buff for 4.2, making UE that much more important.

===Windfury Proc Rate===

Analysis of the combat log shows that if you sum all hits, the proc rate while DWing is 20%, but that includes hits you make while inside the 3 second cooldown, which cannot actually proc WF. When you remove the ineligible hits the observed proc rate from the eligible hits becomes 36%.

==Flametongue Weapon==

The Flametongue Weapon imbue is the Enhancement Shaman's primary OH weapon imbue. It increases the damage of LL, and causes us to proc fire damage on every OH hit. Flametongue performs better than Windfury on the OH in all cases. Flametongue scales appropriately with weapon speed. Slower weapons cause more FT damage and fast weapons cause less damage. As of Patch 4.0.6, FT now scales from AP instead of SP.

===Unleash Flame===

Unleash Flame -- Only LvB, FS and FN will benefit from the UF buff, and as Enhancement doesn't (usually) use LvB in a normal rotation, you will want to make sure that you are consuming this buff with FS every time it is up (if possible). Even if you are casting LvB though, consuming UF with FS is still going to result in higher damage. It's also important to note that if you spam FS at the end of your LvB cast, both spells will receive the UF benefit. If you find yourself in an AoE situation, UF's use with FN will be a significant boost.

==Frostbrand Weapon==

Frostbrand Weapon -- Generally speaking, this is one of the imbues you'll use in PvP. Can proc a 50% snare on hits. Certain situations call for it on the MH and certain are better for the OH. This guide is primarily PvE focused, and I don't consider myself an authority on Enhancement PvP, but I believe the rule of thumb is: if it's heavily armored FB goes on the MH, and if it's not, the OH.

PvE boss mobs are immune to the Frostbrand Weapon debuff; Windfury is a superior PvE main hand weapon imbue.

===Unleash Frost===

Unleash Frost -- Great in PvP, especially when playing with someone also using frost based snare effects.

==Rockbiter Weapon==

Rockbiter Weapon -- No you're not seeing things, this imbue provides the shaman with both damage reduction and increased threat generation. This is not to imply that shamans are to tank in Cataclysm, however it is nice in a pinch. If you're in a 5 man and you have an extra weapon in your bag, it doesn't hurt to have it pre-imbued and have a macro to swap it into your OH if you need to save a healer.

===Unleash Earth===

Unleash Earth -- Yes, that's a taunt. As stated above, when prepared, can be utilized successfully in a pinch. Also possible implications for gimmick fights. Very likely these gimmicks will involve a ranged Elemental Shaman, instead of an Enhancement shaman, but we can dream. Please note: this unleash is a Mocking Blow effect and not a true taunt.


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=Talents=

A talent calculator can be found here.

==Talent Overview==

All talents available to an Enhancement Shaman are covered here.

[table=head]Tier|Talent|Notes

- | Enhancement | -

1 | Elemental Weapons | Increases damage from both imbues and from corresponding UE buffs.

1 | Focused Strikes | Boosts SS damage.

1 | Improved Shields | Increases the damage and regen on your shields. Unfortunately isn't a huge DPS boost. Generally a filler talent.

2 | Elemental Devastation | Caster/Melee hybrid synergy talent. Increases the value of crit and int. Me likey.

2 | Flurry | Straightforward - faster swings after crits. Again, increasing value of crit.

2 | Ancestral Swiftness | While not a DPS boost technically, since Ghost Wolf is usable indoors now, this talent is one of the strongest in the tree. A must have. Also allows us to enchant something other than run speed on boots.

2 | Totemic Reach | Increases the range on totems, including the bolt range on Searing Totem. Can be used as filler.

3 | Toughness | PvP talent, but lackluster even as that. With Earthen Power, SR, SW and GW to get out of snares, the utility on this talent is often useless.

3 | Stormstrike | One of the main strikes in the Enhancement rotation. Also applies a debuff which further helps with Caster/Melee hybrid synergy. Considerably buffed in 4.2!

3 | Static Shock | Causes passive damage procs on LL and SS, and makes use of LS.

4 | Frozen Power | PvP Talent. Gives a ranged root which is super awesome. Skip this for a PvE talent build, the damage buff portion of the talent doesn't apply as PvE bosses are immune to the Frostbrand Weapon debuff.

4 | Seasoned Winds | Intended as a PvP talent, but lackluster for both PvP and PvE. Can be used as filler.

4 | Searing Flames | Applies a stacking DoT.

5 | Earthen Power | PvP talent. Gets rid of any snares on allies in range when it pulses. Totally awesome.

5 | Shamanistic Rage | Thanks to Primal Wisdom, we can now use this a bit more freely. No actual DPS increase, but situationally incredible.

5 | Unleashed Rage | Supplies the raid with 10% AP, but also gives a huge boost in expertise. Must have.

6 | Maelstrom Weapon | Allows the use of spells that normally have a cast time. Thumbs up.

6 | Improved Lava Lash | Thanks to Searing Flames, this helps LL to hit like a freight train.

7 | Feral Spirit | Our main DPS cooldown. Wolves also have great utility, they can stun, taunt, clear snares and give the shaman a sprint. Unfortuantely they don't hit very hard.

-| Elemental | -

1 | Acuity | Straight up crit.

1 | Convection | Available, but worthless to your everyday enhancer.

1 | Concussion | Increased damage on some spells. Solid.

2 | Call of Flame | Will increase Searing Flames tick damage and Fire Nova damage.

2 | Elemental Warding | No DPS increase at all, but depending on the fight, gives decent damage reduction.

2 | Reverberation | 1 sec reduction on shocks, worth a bit more with Unleash Elements in the mix. Also decreases the cooldown of Wind Shear. Makes us Lean, Mean, Interrupting Machines.

2 | Elemental Precision | Provides you with a little bit of mastery without calling it mastery.

[/table]

=Priority Queue=

Like many classes, Enhancement Shamans don't have a set rotation, and instead use a priority queue. This concept is fairly straightforward - the higher a ability is in the queue, the higher priority it has. This means that if it's off cooldown and available, use it, if not, go to the next ability, if it's unavailable, go to the next, etc.

Here is what a level 85 priority queue might look like. Sim your setup to find an optimal list. Don't be afraid to mess with MW5/4/3_LB! Please note that when using the sim, if you use sub 5 Maelstrom LB casts, it will automatically check for all stack numbers above that which you entered. So, for example, if you want to include MW4_LB, MW3_LB, and MW2_LB, it's only necessary to include MW2_LB, unless you want them to occur at different places in the list.

[table=head]Priority | Abbreviation | Meaning

1 | ST_0 | Searing Totem with 0 ticks remaining

2 | SS | Stormstrike

3 | LL | Lava Lash

4 | MW5_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x5 stacks + Lightning Bolt

5 | FS_UEF | Flame Shock if the Unleash Flame buff is present

6 | UE | Unleash Elements

7 | ES | Earth Shock

8 | SW | Spirit Wolves

9 | ST | Searing Totem (with x ticks remaining, set in sim)

[/table]

==Current Priority from BiS Thread==

This is what Ashunera has listed in the current BiS thread for the optimal priority queue. Since there are two setups in the thread currently, and both have different priorities, I will list them both here. Please take a look at the thread for specifics on the gear setups.

===When using double Agi weapons===

[table=head]Priority | Abbreviation | Meaning

1 | ST_0 | Searing Totem with 0 ticks remaining

2 | SS | Stormstrike

3 | LL | Lava Lash

4 | MW5_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x5 stacks + Lightning Bolt

5 | FS_UEF | Flame Shock if the Unleash Flame buff is present

6 | UE | Unleash Elements

7 | ES | Earth Shock

8 | SW | Spirit Wolves

9 | ST | Searing Totem (with x ticks remaining, set in sim)

10 | MW2_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x2+ stacks + Lightning Bolt

[/table]

===When using a Caster MH===

[table=head]Priority | Abbreviation | Meaning

1 | ST_0 | Searing Totem with 0 ticks remaining

2 | SS | Stormstrike

3 | LL | Lava Lash

4 | MW5_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x5 stacks + Lightning Bolt

5 | FS_UEF | Flame Shock if the Unleash Flame buff is present

6 | UE | Unleash Elements

7 | ES | Earth Shock

8 | SW | Spirit Wolves

9 | ST | Searing Totem (with x ticks remaining, set in sim)

10 | MW2_LB | Maelstrom Weapon x2+ stacks + Lightning Bolt

11 | LvB | Lava Burst

[/table]


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=AoE=

OH GOD MAKE IT STOP IT BURNS

Honestly, if you're in a situation where there is AoE to be done, you should probably just let someone else do it, and stick to your single target. However I will do my best to go over how to optimally AoE as an Enhancement shaman since 4.1.

First and foremost, you should swap to a Caster Weapon in your MH when AoEing. Imbue this weapon with Flametongue.

Now that Fire Nova has been decoupled from Magma Totem and tied to Flame Shock, Shaman AoE is a bit more mobile. In order to AoE optimally, the player must keep FS on as many mobs as possible. In order to effectively do this, while still maintaining a single target rotation, I suggest the use of a mouse-over macro for applying Flame Shock. Here are two options for you:

This will simply apply Flame Shock to your mouseover, provided it is alive, and an enemy.

#showtooltip Flame Shock

/cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead] Flame Shock
In addition to the functionality of the previous macro, this will start your swing timer, and Flame Shock your primary target if you do not have a valid mouseover target.
#showtooltip Flame Shock

/startattack

/cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead][] Flame Shock

So, that's the first step in the AoE. After that, it's just a matter of using UE with FN instead of FS, and using CL whenever possible. The player has the option of running either MT or ST. MT will obviously increase your AoE damage, and ST will help your Single Target a bit. However since ST's AI is based partly on FS debuffs, it's unlikely that your ST will stay on your primary target.

With 4.2 comes another change to Fire Nova. Call of Flame now causes any Flame Shocks on targets damaged by Fire Nova to be extended. This means that, throughout the life of your AoE pull, you will continue to Flame Shock until every mob has a shock on it. It also means that, if you are in a situation with, for example, a boss and an add on top of it, you should be able to keep FS rolling on both though only casting FN, leaving your shock cooldown usable on ES.


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=Stats and Gearing=

==Hit and Expertise Caps==

Before focusing on anything else, an Enhancement Shaman should work on being spell-hit capped and expertise capped.

===Hit Cap===

All raid bosses are treated as +3 mobs (or 88, in the case of Cataclysm). While dual-wielding against a mob that is +3 levels, players have a 27% chance to miss with white attacks. In addition, players have a 17% chance to miss with spells against +3 mobs. Finally, special attacks (Stormtrike, Lava Lash, etc) have a 8% chance to miss against +3 mobs. Generally speaking, Enhancement Shamans only need to worry about the spell-hit cap. The exception to this is when approaching the crit cap, which, discussed later.

[table=head] Cap type | rating needed (Draenei)

Spells (17%) | 1742 (1639)

White hits (27%) | 2523 (2404)

[/table]

===Expertise Cap===

Expertise mitigates both Dodges and Parries, however since parries can only happen when attacking from the front, and melee should always be behind their target, mitigating Dodge is our only concern. +3 mobs have a 6.5% chance to dodge, which translates into 26 expertise. However, Unleashed Rage grants the shaman 8 expertise, meaning that in order to cap, we only need 18. Dwarves wielding Maces and Orcs wielding Axes or Fist weapons only need 15. It is also important to note that, for Orcs and Dwarves, sometimes it might be only worth it to Expertise cap one of your weapons (if, for example, you're a Axe/Mace combo). As always, sim it!

[table=head] Cap Type | rating needed (Orc/Dwarf)

Dodge (26 expertise/6.5% to cap) | 541 (451)

Parry (56 expertise/14% to cap) | 1442 (1352)

[/table]Just in case you wanted to know parry values.

===Crit Cap===

For all melee classes, being over the Critical Cap is the situation where a portion of the player’s critical strike chance does not benefit a part or the whole of their DPS.

Melee attack types

There are 2 kinds of melee DPS: white auto-attacks and yellow special attacks. When talking about the Crit Cap only white auto-attacks are relevant.

White auto-attacks are affected by the following factors:

  • Glancing blows: This happens due to the level difference between the player and the Boss. As a Boss is always considered a minimum of 3 levels above the player, all of the player’s white melee attacks will have a 24% chance of being a Glancing Blow. Which is a reduced damage white attack that is unable to crit.
  • Dodge: When a melee attack happens on a Boss, there is a default 6.5% chance it will get dodged, and obviously a dodge cannot be a critical strike. This can be lowered and be completely negated with the use of Expertise rating and talents.
  • Parry: Attacking from the front of the Boss causes this and results in parries, failed attacks that cannot crit. Eliminated by attacking from behind.
  • Chance to miss: The white attack’s chance to miss for a dual-wielding Enhancement shaman is 27%, which goes to 21% when choosing Enhancement spec, thanks to Dual-wield Specialization. The remaining 21% can be reduced and totally nullified by the use of Hit Rating. Misses can’t crit either. Really!
  • Crit Depression: On a Boss-type mob, the ratio of white critical strikes will always be 4.8% lower than what is presented on the Character Sheet . What does this mean for the player? Just that they need 4.8% more crit in their char sheet in order to be doing the desired Critical strikes on the Boss. Earlier tests have claimed there is also a limit to the white-attacks that can be converted to Crits. This is not the case, there is no such limit, all normal white-attacks (not glancing blows) can be converted into critical strikes.

These factors can be unified into a single formula, like this:

Maximum Critical Chance (MCC) = 100% - (Glancing blows chance) – (Chance to be Dodged) - (Chance to be Parried) – (Chance to Miss)

This MCC number is the point where all white melee hits have been been removed from the table. Meaning that all melee attacks will be either glancing blows, dodges, parries, misses or critical strikes. At that point one can only increase their ratio of critical strikes by either adding more Expertise or more Hit rating and only if those are not capped already.

However there is still Crit Depression to take into account when attacking a Boss. So in order to reach the true MCC level on a Boss, one would need 4.8% more crit then is shown on their character sheet. For example, if your current MCC value is 70%, you could only remove all white hits from the table by having 74.8% on your character sheet. That point is also referred to as being Crit Capped as any additional Crit Rating past that point will have no effect on the ratio of critical strikes.

Crit Cap= MCC + 4.8%

==Stat Weights==

While introductory stat weights can be dangerous, it does help to have general guidelines when it comes to prioritizing one stat over another. If you're looking for a quick rule of thumb for Cataclysm, it's safe to go with:

Agility > Hit (under spell cap) > Expertise (under cap) > Mastery >> Crit = Strength > Hit >= Intellect = Spell Power >> Haste

Don't let this priority fool you, you should only ever have Int, Str or SP coming from weapons.

As always, this comes with the disclaimer that you should Sim your current gear setup to get actual numbers. The graphing function in Rawr is really awesome for seeing trends.

Agility is the primary stat for Enhancement. It provides 2 AP and .00307805% crit per point of agility. Also thanks to Mental Quickness, it provides a whole lot of spell power. Gem for it as much as possible.

Hit, as usual, is the most important stat for Enhancement until the spell hit cap (17%, 1742 rating, 1639 for Draenei). Even after cap, though, hit still has some value. Even though interrupts can no longer miss (making hit unimportant for utility), you should be getting hit caps from reforging and not gemming, and you can only stack Agi with gems. So, there's no reason that you shouldn't be hit capped.

Expertise, like hit, is extremely valuable until cap (541 rating). Unlike hit, though, it has zero value after the cap, which means any point over is completely wasted, so try to hit it right on the money. It is likely better to be slightly under expertise cap than over. Check the sim for optimal results.

Mastery great for Enhancement. After Hit/Expertise caps, mastery is THE stat to reforge to.

Crit edges out haste in value, but not by much. Still important though.

Haste is no longer amazing for Enhancement. Long gone are the days of sub 1.0 speed 2.6 weapons. Since the 30% haste buff to DK/Pal/Druid/Shamans was reverted with 4.0, it lost a lot of it's luster. Also, other classes have a much more exciting interaction with haste (increased energy regen, etc). Since there's nothing like that in Enhancement, haste remains pretty "meh."

Intellect will provide you with some spell power and spell crit. Do not gear for Int.

Strength gives Enhancement 1 AP per point. Not worth gearing for.

Spell Power, even though we cast a lot of spells, is not worth gearing for. We get enough SP from our AP thanks to MQ.

==Enhancement Points - EP==

Extensive modeling, simulation, and empirical testing (Original testing and theories done by Disquette, Pater, Tornhoof, and Yo!) have led to the development of a system for determining the items which produce the highest DPS in a raid environment. The Enhancement Points (EP) system assigns weights, or scores, to each stat point. These EP weights can then be plugged into mods like Pawn or web tools like LootRank to score items.

So, how do you go about getting ahold of these EP values? If you go to the bottom of this post, or just click here, you will see a link to the download site for EnhSim. Go click on that and get it downloaded. You can manually plug in all your character stats in the GUI, or if you use ShockAndAwe, it has a great function that will export all that stuff for you. You'll just need to double check/enter in the set bonuses, weapon imbues, and priorities. After everything is setup correctly, you can click the "Calculate EP Values" button, and go from there. This is also the same as going through the normal Sim process, except you hit the "Simulate" button instead.

If you need some more explanation on how to go through this process, Elam has a fantastic write up on on his blog, which you can find here.

===EP Ranges And Why They Matter===

Before using EP values successfully, you must first understand how they are calculated. First, the sim calculates your dps based on the numbers used. The sim then increases the value of a stat by a certain amount, and then calculates your dps again. The amount added is called the EP range. The dps difference is then divided by the amount that the stat was increased by. This gives us our eventual EP values. The sim does this individually for every stat.

This is very important: EP values only represent a snapshot of the player's stat values at that specific gear level. They do not, in any way, indicate how those stats will be valued with different gear.

Changing your EP Ranges can greatly affect your results. A good rule of thumb is to set your ranges equal to the value of about two gems. Your EP Range values of Hit and Expertise can tell you more than just your current values of those stat. If the EP range on either stat is set to a negative value, the sim will tell you how much the stats are worth on your current gear, even if you are capped. Just because you're spell-hit capped, does not mean that hit is now worthless. Maximizing the use of hit on your gear through reforging is key, and negative EP ranges will help you do this.

===How To Use EP Values===

The dynamics of Shaman DPS are dynamic enough that we will not offer sample EP values. All Shamans are encouraged to use a simulator to determine their own EP values. At the most basic level, EP values are simply a way for you to weigh your stats against each-other. Since all stats have a specific value in game that accounts for a percentage of the item budget, knowing which stats to value over others is important. For example, Agi/Int/Str/Crit/Haste/Mast/Spi/Hit/Exp are all worth the same amount on the item budget. This can easily be seen by looking at gems. All solid gems with these stats contain the same amount of said stat. However, other stats, like AP, SP, Spell Pen, Stam, etc have different budget values, so EP values are a way for us to normalize everything based on a single stat. For Enhancement Shamans, that stat is (usually) Attack Power.

After calculating your EP values in the sim, you'll get a bunch of values based on your current gear set, all normalized to 1 AP. So, to use an outlandish example (so as not to falsely give sample EP values that could lead someone in the wrong direction), if the sim told you that Spirit = 4.5 and Agi = 1.5, you would know that the Spirit on your gear is worth three times as much as the agi, and you should gem for it primarily (or your would look at your config, because you clearly did something wrong). This is obviously not going to be the case for any Enhancement Shaman, but it gives you an idea of how they work.

===How To NOT Use EP Values===

Do not use EP values to value a trinket, unless it's a static stat on said trinket. Most trinkets have varying uptime, or weird mechanics. Valid Enhancement trinkets are coded into the sim, and you can check how your DPS changes by swapping them out.

Do not use EP values to see what gear you'll want in the next tier. It might be good as a vague guideline, but you can only know how that gear will perform by simming the whole setup, not just checking the EP values. Our ability interactions will change greatly with different stats. Like I said earlier, EP values are only a snapshot of your current gear, and nothing more.

Do not use your personal EP values as an End All for the spec. They will fluctuate a lot.

==Set Bonuses==

===Teir 11===

These are the Enhancement Tier 11 pieces:

[item]65251[/item]

[item]65253[/item]

[item]65249[/item]

[item]65250[/item]

[item]65252[/item]

For most, it's a close margin between running 2 piece and 4 piece. The only way to tell for yourself is to sim it. The 2 piece bonus is fantastic, and the 4 piece is mediocre at best. Shoulders and Helm are the best itemized pieces, so that would be a good place to start.

===Tier 12===

These are the Enhancement Tier 12 pieces:

[item]71549[/item]

[item]71551[/item]

[item]71547[/item]

[item]71548[/item]

[item]71550[/item]

The 2 and 4 piece bonuses are both incredible. Get them asap!


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=Glyphs=

Enhancement Shamans are lucky enough to have a large number of Prime and Major glyphs that are useful. Figuring out which is best for you will require some individual simulation.

Prime - You're going to want LL, and 2 of the 3 others listed. Sim to know which ones.

[item]41540[/item]

[item]41539[/item]

[item]45771[/item]

[item]41542[/item]

Major -- The most interesting glyphs we have. CL, LS (and FN, a bit) potentially provide the only actual DPS increase, however, the utility brought by the other Majors is hard to beat.

[item]41518[/item] -- DPS boost, but only in AE situations.

[item]45778[/item] -- Currently doesn't scale, probably won't be worth much after the first tier. Still useful as a very minor damage reduction.

[item]41537[/item] -- Will save you a global now and then, very useful.

[item]43725[/item] -- Provides that much more mobility!

[item]41533[/item] -- Provides the same buff as Elemental Resistance Totem

[item]45776[/item] -- Very situational in PvE. Awesome in PvP.

[item]41538[/item] -- Very situational.

Minor

Choose your own adventure!


1

=Gemming, Enchanting and Reforging=

==Gemming Guidelines==

===Meta===

[item]68778[/item] is the best meta to use, by a long shot.

===Matching Socket Color===

Socket bonuses in Cataclysm are huge compared to those in WotLK. As such, you will want to match more socket bonuses than before. Since mastery is very good for Enhancement, matching a yellow socket with an orange gem (or even yellow) is almost always a good idea. For bonuses that are 20+ Agi or Mastery, match blue sockets (match them regardless if under hit cap). Other than that, go straight Agi. So far, there isn't a new version of [item]Nightmare Tear[/item], but if one crops up, we'll probably want to use it.

[table=head] Color | Gem

Red | [item]52212[/item]

Yellow | [item]52204[/item]

Blue | [item]52220[/item] [item]52235[/item]

[/table]

==Enchanting Guidelines==

[table=head] Slot | Enchant

Head | [item]68766[/item]

Shoulders | [item]62346[/item]

Cloak | Enchant Cloak - Greater Critical Strike, Enchant Cloak - Major Agility

Chest | Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats

Bracer | Enchant Bracer - Agility, Enchant Bracer - Precision or Enchant Bracer - Greater Expertise if under cap.

Gloves | Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery

Belt | [item]55054[/item]

Legs | Dragonscale Leg Armor

Boots | Enchant Boots - Mastery or Enchant Boots - Major Agility

MH | Enchant Weapon - Landslide

OH | Enchant Weapon - Landslide

[/table]

Note: The sim is now modeling all weapon enchants correctly. Generally speaking:

landslide > avalanche > berserker > mongoose > hurricane

==Reforging Guidelines==

Since Agility is not a stat that can be reforged to, you want to free up as many sockets for Agi gems as possible. As such, reforging for Expertise and Hit caps is ideal, rather than gemming for them.

After achieving caps, reforge to as much mastery as you can. Depending on the values of Agi and Mastery, this is very much subject to change.


1

=Consumables=

Consumables are pretty similar to WotLK, in Cata; you'll need a Potion, Flask/elixirs and food for every fight.

Flask:

[item]58087[/item]

Also found in: [item]62288[/item] and [item]65460[/item]

Potion:

[item]58145[/item]

Food:

[item]62669[/item]

[item]62649[/item]

[item]62290[/item]


1

=Professions=

For those players interested in the stat increases (and other bonuses) that the various professions provide, here is a quick run-down.

[table=head] Profession | Source of Bonus | Stat Bonus | Additional Bonus

Alchemy | [item]58149[/item] or Mixology | +80 Agility | Extra Benefit from [item]57099[/item]. [item]68776[/item]

Blacksmithing | 2 Extra Prismatic Gem Sockets | +80 Stat Points |

Enchanting | 2 Ring Enchants | +80 Agility. |

Herbalism | Lifeblood | 480 Haste Rating for 20 sec. Usable every 2 minutes. Stat equivalent to +80 Haste. Also heals the caster. |

Inscription | Swiftsteel Inscription. | +80 Agility |

Jewelcrafting | 3 Jewelcrafting gems | +81 Stat Points | [item]52199[/item]

Leatherworking | Draconic Embossment - Agility. | +80 Agility. | Cheap Leg Enchants: Dragonbone Leg Reinforcements

Mining | Toughness. | +120 Stamina |

Skinning | Master of Anatomy. | +80 Crit Rating.

Tailoring | Swordguard Embroidery. | A proc granting +1000 attack power for 15 seconds. |

Engineering | Glove Tinkers:| -- | [item]59456[/item]. Provides a customizable iLvl 359 piece of gear. Customizable with Cogwheel sockets ([item]59480[/item], [item]59493[/item], [item]59489[/item]).

-- | Synapse Springs | 480 Agility for 10 seconds every 1 minute, or 80 Agility equivalent | Belt Tinkers: Cardboard Assassin, Grounded Plasma Shield, Invisibility Field - Spell - World of Warcraft, Mind Amplification Dish, Nitro Boosts, Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator, Frag Belt.

-- | Tazik Shocker | deals 4320 to 5280 Nature damage every 2 minutes, scales with mastery | Bombs/Consumables: [item]60223[/item] (On GCD), [item]41119[/item], [item]42641[/item] (Goblin Only). Note: All three bomb types can be used.

-- | -- | -- | Cloak Tinker: Flexweave Underlay.

[/table]


1

=Simulation=

==EnhSim==

http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t82621-enhsim_updated_thread/ -- EnhSim is the preferred tool when it comes to detailed simulations. Any new testing is usually accompanied by a config file for EnhSim in addition to in-game parses/logs.

EnhSim Download

==Rawr.Enhance==

http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t45421-enhancement_rawr_enhance_thread/

Rawr Download

==SimulationCraft==

http://elitistjerks.com/f79/t81455-simulationcraft_shamans/

SimCraft Download

=Useful Addons=

ShockAndAwe - Download

This incredibly useful mod helps Shamans track pretty much everything they need, and displays it in one handy little mess of moving bars. Will also track uptimes of important buffs, and export things to EnhSim.

Totem Timers - Download

Solid mod for tracking totems and imbues. Has "Enhance" functionality, but SAA will cover that stuff better.

Utopia - Download

Not shaman specific, but very useful for keeping track of buffs/debuffs in a raid setting. "Hey put CoE back up." etc


1

=To Do=

--Fix Links on T12


1

=Change Log=

--12/06/10 -- Initial Post

--12/16/10 -- Clarified some Mastery vs Agi statements.

--12/31/10 -- Added FT/FT section. Clarified a bunch of stuff.

--01/01/11 -- Added profession section

--01/02/11 -- Spelling is hard.

--01/12/11 -- Add FT glyph for FT/FT setup. Fixed link error for gems.

--01/26/11 -- Added weapon enchants and some formatting stuff.

--02/12/11 -- JC trinket drops correctly now.

--02/18/11 -- Added EP sections

--03/10/11 -- Updated professions, updated stat weights and t11 stuff

--03/17/11 -- No really, spelling is hard.

--05/03/11 -- Updated for 4.1. Clarified Caster Weapon Section. Added Seasoned Winds. Added AoE section. Spoilers: still sucks.

--05/06/11 -- (Jessamy edit) Added notes explaining why Frostbrand and Frozen Power are not used in PvE.

--05/09/11 -- Made FS mouseover macro prettier

----------------------------------------------------------------

--06/26/11 -- New Thread, updated for 4.2. Fixed some broken links and added a whole bunch of patch stuff.

--07/02/11 -- Added tier links

--07/03/11 -- Changed the stat priorities around. Man, haste is SO GOOD. Also changed the sample priority list.

--07/03/11 -- Typos, jeez, why are there still typos in here

--08/14/11 -- Added EoP to the caster weapon section. Added LvB clarification to the Unleash Flame Section. Added new section for the priority from the BiS thread

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I think it would be nice, if you include "Spark of Life" into your description of valuable talents, because it is more beneficial than "Elemental Warding" in certain circumstances and worth to be picked up.

Especially for encounter where you are using Healing Rain several times.

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Hey.

I've just playing with a dummy and got some note. If it's ok - then tell me that's continues long time ago and so it have to be: our fire abilities have tiny crit chance. I'm talking about FS, FS DoT, FT, UF and SF - crit between 6-9%. Ain't that decrease our dps significally? Should it works different way and now it's bugged one?

Ps: i can pick some screenshots, but you can check it by yourself.

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To get back to theorycrafting outside of simulated numbers.

If you cast a flame shock with the UE buff and then add duration with call of flame fire nova the damage bonus goes away.

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I'd like to post a request for anybody who has obtained the [item]71776[/item] to provide some WoL parses of you using it in a raid setting. We need to start getting some numbers for it. I'd like to get a good swath of gear levels. Please also note the priority you were using.

Edit: Also, we could use people using any 378 (or higher) weapons in their main hands. Also please note what tier bonuses you are using.

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Not sure if this belongs here, but on Alysrazor-10, two major glyphs to consider using are grounding totem and shamanistic rage. I was assigned to killing Blazing Talon Initiates and found that some times they cast Fieroblast more often than i could interrupt with 2/2 reverberation. The grounding totem glyph does reflect that spell which is nice in a pinch and since our healers were having range issues on this fight, I found shamanistic rage glyph good to dispell the dot that comes from fieroblast if I got hit by one. As a note, I was only using grounding totem defensively, as I did not want to intentionally increase their haste and damage buff.

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Not sure if this belongs here, but on Alysrazor-10, two major glyphs to consider using are grounding totem and shamanistic rage. I was assigned to killing Blazing Talon Initiates and found that some times they cast Fieroblast more often than i could interrupt with 2/2 reverberation. The grounding totem glyph does reflect that spell which is nice in a pinch and since our healers were having range issues on this fight, I found shamanistic rage glyph good to dispell the dot that comes from fieroblast if I got hit by one. As a note, I was only using grounding totem defensively, as I did not want to intentionally increase their haste and damage buff.

Actually what i found out to be the most effective way of killing the talons is not interrupting right away, wait until the cast is about 75% done and then interrupting. This prevents them from casting fieroblast sequentially during the encounter and i am able to solo one side during the encounter.

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I believe that Fieroblast is solo interruptable as long as you don't miss any. When they get a cast off, they will cast more often and faster.

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I believe that Fieroblast is solo interruptable as long as you don't miss any. When they get a cast off, they will cast more often and faster.

Is 2/2 Reverb needed for that? Guessing "no" since both of you are running 3/3 ele p but just want to be sure.

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Is 2/2 Reverb needed for that? Guessing "no" since both of you are running 3/3 ele p but just want to be sure.

I was running reverb when we did it, but it didn't "feel" like I needed it. However just from a raid comp perspective, it's probably just best to have another melee on them with you anyway, since melee don't have much to do at that point. I was asking for people to help with the first in case I wasn't in range, just to ensure we got them all.

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I was running reverb when we did it, but it didn't "feel" like I needed it. However just from a raid comp perspective, it's probably just best to have another melee on them with you anyway, since melee don't have much to do at that point. I was asking for people to help with the first in case I wasn't in range, just to ensure we got them all.

What I found to be the most effective is having a melee partner help until the second add dies on your side. After that I could solo dps and interrupt the last two, this allowed us to set up for the "Cyclone" phase and get into positions before it began. Also note if you interrupt the way i explained in my previous post and dodge the brushfires I take zero damage for the whole first phase (except the beginning where the whole raid takes damage) which alleviated stress from healers needing to be in range of me.

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What I found to be the most effective is having a melee partner help until the second add dies on your side. After that I could solo dps and interrupt the last two, this allowed us to set up for the "Cyclone" phase and get into positions before it began. Also note if you interrupt the way i explained in my previous post and dodge the brushfires I take zero damage for the whole first phase (except the beginning where the whole raid takes damage) which alleviated stress from healers needing to be in range of me.

Second add on your side? I guess if adds are dying slowly enough that you have two up on each side, it would be an issue. Either way you do it, you shouldn't be taking damage during that phase.

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I'd had fieroblasts start casting again before my shear is back up again, but I'm not sure if that's due to them possibly getting stunned during the cast before my interrupt hits. It happens pretty rarely, though.

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About Lava Burst: What requirements must be met before using it as part of the rotation? The 4p Tier bonus? The Eye of Purification?

Also, about FS, FS DoT, FT, UF and SF crit'ing between 6-9% of the time: I believe this is because they are based on Spell Crit, not Melee Crit.

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I'd had fieroblasts start casting again before my shear is back up again, but I'm not sure if that's due to them possibly getting stunned during the cast before my interrupt hits. It happens pretty rarely, though.

This is exactly how I saw the fight too, however, I know they were not being stunned and I can also say that they did not have the haste buff when this happened in the 10 man version. It was that rare occurence where it would happen that I started dropping grounding totem which led me to that glyph choice. Just food for thought, its a nice little use for that glyph.

Edit:

I will try to delay my interrupt until it is almost done casting to see if that helps as was suggested above. I usually have a very quick response time when it comes to interrupting a cast.

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Regarding the interrupts Alysrazor-10.

Did it without points in reverb. hte best way its to try interrupt near the end.

Dmg wise we can solo them but its best if you have a caster help you at least in the first spawn. I had a lock the dotting the first one so I could get to the second faster and never have 2 up at the same time.

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I'm pretty sure the interrupts work the same way in 25 as they do 10 as well, I haven't been able to test it yet but it seemed the casters were working in the same way you guys are describing.

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Did this fight last night (10man) with 2/2 reverberation, and interrupting the spell early I still found myself not being able to interrupt *every* cast, this happened like twice when the add decided to cast Fieroblast again straight after the previous one despite me interrupting him, instead of Bushfire(?). That wasn't really an issue - dropping grounding totem on the rare cases when that happened solved it. This fight seems doable without 2/2 reverberation if you do the interrupts late and use your grounding totem as needed, damage wise we can was solo one side as mentioned previously in this thread.

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This is exactly how I saw the fight too, however, I know they were not being stunned and I can also say that they did not have the haste buff when this happened in the 10 man version. It was that rare occurence where it would happen that I started dropping grounding totem which led me to that glyph choice. Just food for thought, its a nice little use for that glyph.

Edit:

I will try to delay my interrupt until it is almost done casting to see if that helps as was suggested above. I usually have a very quick response time when it comes to interrupting a cast.

I can confirm this behaviour on 25man as well (You can't stun them by the way).

Sometimes they seem to double cast it as in the second you interrupt with WS they start a new one.

I did notice that it only seems to happen if you instantly interrupt as they start their cast. I'd go as far and say that it's a bug.

What we did to counter this was that I had a back up interrupter. Normally you can take each cast even without 2/2 Reverb - if it started to cast after I interrupted a warrior took over.

Also for Phase 2 when she's on the ground: If you interrupt the channeling adds and let them come closer to the boss, you can position yourself and interrupt one all the time while still dpsing Alysrazor. Though you do need 2/2 reverb for it I'd say as they start channeling really fast again.

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I've been running many sims on different gear and priority lists recently and I am finding SS > LL in all of my cases. I show this for 4pT11, 2pT11 + 2pT12, and 4pT12. I presume this is the case since if you have LL > SS you can wind up losing a lot of SS compared to SS > LL you don't lose as many LL.

For my current gear, my SS ppm will increase by 4.7% while LL ppm decreases by 2.2% with SS > LL. The dps from these abilities alone don't justify the change to SS > LL. I think that what is driving this is the increased ppm of a lot of our passive damage abilities like WF, FT and trinket procs plus the buff that SS has received. I am also seeing a ppm increase in ES (no reverberation) and UE. I presume this is due to having more free gcd space to execute lower priority abilities.

Edit:

With LL > SS, often times the cd of these abilities will synchronize SS to LL with latency modeled since they are only 2 seconds apart and the gcd is 1.5 seconds without haste effects so that by the time SS is coming off of cd so is LL. By making SS > LL you effectively reduce the frequency that these two abilities are coupled together thus freeing up space for the lower priority abilities (UE, ES).

As an example, this is the list I am currently using for max dps:

ST_0

SS

LL

FS_UEF

MW5_LB

UE

SW

MW4_LB

ES

MW3_LB

ST (<=5 ticks)

MW2_LB

200-400ms Reaction Time

EDIT: Didn't realize this was already changed in the OP. I never saw a discussion of this though so perhaps this post still has merit. (Doh!)

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The eye of purification just dropped for me, and i didn't realize its dps and damage had been nerfed from what was last posted on MMO-Champion. Were the previous theorycrafting numbers based on its actual dps/damage of 275.9/463-861, or the reported dps equivalent to agi weapons?

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The eye of purification just dropped for me, and i didn't realize its dps and damage had been nerfed from what was last posted on MMO-Champion. Were the previous theorycrafting numbers based on its actual dps/damage of 275.9/463-861, or the reported dps equivalent to agi weapons?

db.mmo-champion gets a lot of weapon damage ranges wrong. Wowhead is a lot closer (it's only off by 1 on the upper damage range).

SimulationCraft's damage ranges match what the Armory and in-game says. So yes, our theorycrafting uses the lower damage range.

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Yes it can, I've been using a spare weapon with RB to call them down.

Shouldn't switching the weapon enchant on your mainhand weapon be the better way? Switching to a spare weapon and back costs you two full length melee global cooldowns and interrupts your swing timer, while switching only the weapon enchant to RB and back should only use up two reduced length caster global cooldowns and shouldn't interrupt your swing timer. I for example use a castsequence macro for that taunt: RB -> UE -> WF

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