Updated PTR notes from Patch 3.3 bring some welcome changes for Shamans:
- Earth Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
- Fire Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
Obviously, it’s disappointing that Shamans still can’t use their Elementals in arena, but this should be welcome news for most players.
Viewed one way, the reduced cooldowns are tantamount to a free glyph slot, achieving the same effect by cutting the cooldown in half. Whether anyone’s even using those glyphs is another story — I’ve only come across one Shaman who did, and he was definitely on the more casual end of the spectrum.
But the real benefit here is ostensibly the ability to use Fire Elemental on every boss fight. At this point, every Enhancement Shaman worth his or her salt knows to drop Magma Totem during encounters, even if they’re strictly single-target: While Searing Totem scales with Haste, Magma still provides the largest DPS burst. On encounters featuring adds or AoE components, Magma’s value rises even higher. *
But what we’ve seen in Trial of the Crusader is a series of highly mobile fights — on the PvP Faction Champion encounter, or Anub’Arak’s burrowing phase, reliance on Magma Totem becomes a liability. There’s simply too much movement for us to get much DPS contribution from such a stationary totem. And if your guild routinely one-shots everything in the instance, you’re not going to have enough downtime in between bosses to bring out your Fire Elemental for every fight.
The 10-minute cooldown should change that — even if the cooldown is still ticking when a new boss is being pulled, the length of the encounters and the shorter cooldown should mean we get to use Fire Elemental on more of those phases where high mobility is a requirement.
* There have been indications by Theorycrafters that Searing Totem could pull ahead, but would require currently unattainable amounts of Haste and upwards of 4,000 spell power — a number Enhancement Shamans are unlikely to reach any time soon.