Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Building a Better Shaman: Enhancement Spec Part 2

Alright so last time we did this I only worked on the first part of the Enhancement tree.

(Note: A reader let me know that what I called the ‘Grounding Totem’ is really the “Earthbind Totem”. Thank you for the correction, I forget that they have actual names and not just what I call them)

This time I’m going to try and finish up this tree so that I can make way for the other two builds. I’m going through the tree to give you an idea of what each talent is going to give you. I’m mostly familiar with Enhancement and Restoration; however I have some Elemental Shaman friends that have been willing to give their input on that build as well.

So we’re going down to the third section of the Enhancement tree, from left to right, the first one we’re going to talk about it Enhancing Totems. Keep in mind that several of the talents that you can find in this tree are Totem focused. This talent gives more effectiveness to your Strength of Earth and Grace of Air totems. Strength of Earth is another one that’s good for when you want to put more muscle behind your hits, this is especially good to put down for a tank if the need arises. Grace of Air is the love of a lot of dps classes out there. It grants an additional amount of agility to the party radius. When you look at these two totems they’re more suitable for when you’re in a five man group than when you are alone. These are built for battles that may last a while, like the 4 and 5 mob pulls from Shadow Labs.

The next Talent is Shamanistic Focus, a newer talent that was put in place of the two handed weapon specialty that had lived in this tree for so long before. This is an awesome talent to take up if you do a lot of melee, which you will if you’re enhancement; this is almost a free hit…almost. This spell is dependent on a Critical strike, so once you have a critical strike this will automatically appear on your shaman. The basis of the spell is that after a critical strike this will lower the price of a shock spell by 60% (so, Flame Shock, Earth Shock and Frost Shock). So it’s basically rewarding you for having a good strike in against your opponent by not forcing you to pay full price for an additional attack, very nice. I took this up the moment it became available after 2.3 and never once regretted it.

Anticipation is great for mitigating damage being dealt to you. It’s really just a fancy word for ‘better dodge’ and for someone who does a lot of melee it’s almost a must. At the end of you stacking five points it gives you an extra five percent to dodge. I know that some might giggle at this but keep in mind that most tanks have at least 10 percent dodge rating and you’ll realize that it’s something that you don’t have to go out looking for gear to try and get. You’re getting a good basis for dodging right there. I know that long ago Shaman were also used to tanking, that’s no longer the case, however this would be one of the reasons that they did back in the day. Five points into this talent without a second thought.

Flurry is another Critical Strike reward. This one works well with Windfury and basically stacks with Shamanistic Focus, so that they both go off during a critical strike. That gives you additional speed to your attacks (Up to 30% if you put in five points) and you get a low cost shock to cause more damage. This is a GREAT talent, it went off for me more than you realize. Be forewarned that you must have put in five points to Thundering Strikes before you’re able to take on this talent. They work in combination.

Toughness is good as it adds more armor to you without you having to do anything except exist. If you’re this far into the tree and don’t pick it up, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

The next three talents: Improved Weapon Totems, Spirit Weapons and Elemental Weapons are bigger buffs to the spells that you have to make your melee weapons better. It needs to be pointed out that you can do all three, just one or just two. It all depends on which spells and totems you rely on more in your game. As you’re reaching this you’ve put in twenty points, so you should be level thirty and have an idea which ones help you find your groove better. The two that are the start to a more advanced talent are Spirit Weapons and Elemental Weapons. So if you want a talent that’s connected to one of those, then you need to max these out first.

Mental Quickness is good to try and bring down the cost of an instant spell (Like a shock) and bring up the effectiveness of your other spells (Healing and otherwise). So if you’re keeping track, you can put a point in Shamanistic Focus, get it to produce (Bringing down your shock value by 60%) and max out this talent, that would make it a 66% reduction for a shock spell at any given time. That’s great mana conservation right there.

Weapon Master helps you deal more damage. Straight up, there’s nothing more to this. Max it out and you’ve got an additional 10% damage done with each strike that you land on a mob.

If you maxed out Spirit Weapons then congratulations, you now have the choice to Dual Wield. Some people laugh at the thought but it’s not a bad thing to have. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, even if the off hand weapon doesn’t strike as often as you might like, most weapons come with great stats that would work nicely. Add to that the fact that you’re also going to be getting some great weapons from Outlands that are one handed and not main handed and you’ve got yourself some dual hand goodness.

Dual Wield Specialization tries to circumvent some of those off hand misses by giving you the ability to have a percentage of how well you can dual wield, leaving that solely on your shoulders.

Put points in Elemental Weapons? Stormstrike is your present. It’s a free strike at any given time (Please take the GCD into equation). This has no type of rule to it, so this free strike may be critical and set off all of the other talents that you’ve thrown points into.

I had all of these maxed out. It made for some great grinding.

The last two that you have are Unleashed Rage and Shamanistic Rage. The first is more for your group than for you. It’s a reason for them to keep you around, if the totem buffs weren’t enough that is. If you get a critical hit, this talent increases the percentage of the groups attack power, within twenty yards of your character. So if you look at this tree, many of the aspects and talents at your disposal are incumbent on you getting a Critical Strike, something that I did quiet often with this build.

Shamanistic Rage, in theory, sounds really good. It’s a spell that you initiate. It reduces all damage taken by 30% and also gives you the chance to generate mana back to you equal to 15% of your attack power. Honestly though, this talent pretty much sucks. How much attack power do you really think you’re going to have? If you have 300 attack power, that’s not much mana back if your pool is about 6k. The damage reduction is nice but it only lasts thirty seconds and then it’s on a two minute cool down so you can only really use it once every three or four mobs. It’s a point that could very well be used in someplace better like Restoration or Elemental with the points that you’re going to have left over. (Keep in mind that the trees were built for a character that would only reach sixty.)

So there you have it. The Enhancement tree in all of its glory: I will say this again, this is a melee tree. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty and would rather have ranged attacks, this really isn’t for you.

Questions? Comments? What was your favorite talent in this tree?

Next time we’ll go Elemental and peek at what that tree holds.


Sellia said...

Nice ... I've started playing my shaman again and i really love Shamanistic Focus. =) Thanks for the good read.

Chihiro said...

When I was leveling my shammy i was enhancement, then respec'd to elemental at lvl 67.

I actually found shamanistic fury handy when i was offhealing bosses. I would burn my mana healing then run in and rechage using fury before stepping back with some more heals.

Combined with water shield it gave decent mana regen.

For grining though it would be lightning shield and burn them down fast, that was where the %30 reduction really came into play - and the essence of infused mushroom trinket from spor - chance of returning 125 - 170 mana per spell cast


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