Monday, December 24, 2007

Building a Better Shaman: Down the Elemental Tree

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve continued on this series. I’ve been so focused on getting my tank up and running that I’ve put this on the back burner and for people that are actually reading this, I’m sorry.

Today we get back on track and we’re going to focus on the Elemental Tree. Now if Enhancement was the melee build then Elemental is the Caster build. It’s built for high output dps through casting. With ranged weapons being the main focus for this build, the talents that are available to you will reflect that.

Please keep in mind that I’m breaking this down with the assistance of some Elemental Shamans and have very little interaction with this tree in my Shaman playing days. So, take what I say as you will.

Convection and Concussion are the first two talents that are available to you on this tree. Both give an advantage to you with your ranged spells, just in different manners. Convection is the talent that reduces the cost of your spells (Shock spells and Lightning spells). So the mana pool that you have will not suffer as much as it could. Concussion is just like it sounds; it’s about increasing the damage of those same spells. Now it can be said that you can go ahead and spend ten points on these two talents right away as they are pretty much useful both ways but I urge you to look at the rest of the tree before you make that determination. Keep in mind that these trees are built for characters that were only going to reach sixty and we now have a level 70 cap. So you will have more points to put in other places later on.

Let’s move on.

Earth’s Grasp is the next talent and what it does is that it gives more health to you Earth totems, more precisely your Stoneclaw and Earthbind totems. Stoneclaw is useful to get a mob off of you, it distracts a mob off of you but is only good for that as long as its health. So if you’re going to become dependent on this totem then giving it more health is probably a good idea. I do know there’s a cooldown for Stoneclaw but I can’t recall what that is at the time. Earthbind is great because it slows down your mob. You can use it to slow the mob down coming toward you, giving you more time to range attack or keep the mob from running away and getting more mobs to pay attention to you.

Elemental Warding reduces the damage taken from Frost, Fire and Nature effects. So those mages that blast you with a frost spell will not slow you down as long. While this is good, I don’t really consider it something that’s incredibly important. However, that’s just me.

Call of Thunder, this is something that I consider important. It’s a five point talent but it increases the chance for a critical strike with your lightning spells. Since lightning is your bread and butter, it’s a must to have this talent filled. This also leads to a later talent that you’re going to want to fill up as well but that would be jumping ahead.

Improved Fire Nova Totem, I’m going to be honest and say that I used Fire Nova A LOT when I was in about level 50 to 59. It’s a cheap and easy little totem that gives a concentrated blast of damage to a mob. It’s on a delay, so there’s a chance to have a mob destroy it before it has the chance to go off, so there’s a bit of a set back to it. This talent will shorten that delay by a second per point put into it. So instead of a five second wait, it can go down to a three second wait. While that sound great, you have to read the rest of the talent, it increases the threat of your Magma totem. Magma is also handy as it ticks off damage for a certain amount of time. However, it’s already libel to get attacked and what this talent will do is increase that possibility, which will really just set you back. So you have to consider the good and bad of it and then decide if you want to sacrifice one totem for another.

Eye of the Storm is an incredible little talent. It’s a defensive bonus, so if you get attacked and receive a critical strike, it produces giving you Focused Casting. That means that no matter how many attacks you have on you, it will not lengthen your casting time. So you get a critical strike on you, you can cast a healing spell without having to worry about it getting lengthened because of another attack.

Elemental Devastation is weird. I say that in the sense that it gives you a higher percentage range to get a critical strike on a melee strike, after you get a critical strike with a spell. So it could be any spell, Shock or lightning, as long as it’s offensive. I don’t really know that an Elemental Shaman would really benefit from this…. It’s like they ran out of space on the Enhancement spec and just stuffed it where they could.

Storm Reach is a great talent. It gives more range to your lightning spells. They can increase as far as six yards. That’s a good clip longer.

Elemental Fury increases the critical strike possibilities for your Shock spells and Fire totems. This could work well with Elemental Devastation. It’s a 100% increase, that’s disgustingly good. This also leads into another talent later on in the tree.

Unrelenting Storm is a good way to keep your mana pool up and heavy. It’s five talent points deep. It will regenerate Mana, but it looks at your Intellect total. So depending on your intellect total, it will give you back 10% of that. Good way to keep a flush pool.

Elemental Precision gives you the better chance to hit a target with a shock spell and it brings down the threat level as well. This is something that you want if you’re running an instance and you’re dps. The last thing that you want is to pass the threat level of the tank, bringing the mob right to your doorstep.

Lightning Mastery is the talent that Call of Thunder leads into. This talent helps bring down the cast time of your lightning spells. Remember that I already explained to you that this spell was going to be your bread and butter, bringing down the casting time is something that you should really look into.

Elemental Mastery, if you took Elemental Fury, then you have the ability to take this talent. This is a spell that you activate and it has a 3 minute cooldown attached to it. If you use it, it’s a free attack basically and the attack has a 100% increase chance to become a critical strike. This far into the tree you can see that things are beginning to stack up. It’s all about getting a critical strike at the right moment for everything else to fall into place. This is a spell that can make everything else that you’ve given points to come together.

Elemental Shields gives you a bit of a break by bringing down the possibility of an attack against you being a critical one. Of course if you put points into Elemental Devastation then it’s counterproductive to even put a point on this one as you’re wasting your points on the other.

Lightning Overload is a free attack. It gives you up to a 20% chance to get a second attack that will not give you any additional threat but only causes half the damage of your original spell. So if you crit for 3000 on a lightning spell, then this talent will give you a second attack against the same mob for 1500.

That talent leads into Totem of Wrath and let me first say that Warlock and Mages will LOVE you if you have this totem and drop it for them when you’re in group. It increases the chance to have a critical hit by 3% and the casters love this totem for that.

This takes you through the entire tree but only up to level 60. The rest of the point available to you, those are up to you where to put them.

This concludes the Elemental Tree. I’m taking a couple of days off, spending time with the Hooved Missus and the little hoovies in my house. I hope you guys have a happy holiday and I’ll see you later this week!

3 comments:

Sellia said...

Happy Holidays ! =)

Good post. Just a suggestion ... could you put a picture of the trees somewhere on your blog ? It would help me to follow you ! (Since i'm reading this from work. =P )

/salute

Harlequinn said...

Just a suggestion. The 41st point in the Elemental tree can many times be better spent as a 21st point in the Restoration tree for Nature's Swiftness. Instant cast heal or Chain Lightning pick your pleasure.

Granted this is from a PvP perspective, not PvE.

- Harlequinn

Knoble said...

Improved Fire Nova Totem should actually decrease the threat generated by the Magma Totem.

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