(Note: This post deals with talent points. For a detailed post on Patch 3.3 rotations for Enhancement, go here.)

Patch 3.3 saw one major change for Enhancement Shamans — the reworking of Fire Nova Totem into an AoE spell.

The new Fire Nova requires an active Fire Totem to cast, and it has a 10-second cooldown, which can be reduced to six seconds with talents, and three seconds with the Glyph of Fire Nova.

Investing two talent points in Improved Fire Nova not only reduces the spell’s cooldown, it also increases its damage by 20%, stacking with a 15% increase from Call of Flame — for a total of 35% more damage.


What does all this mean? With the above-mentioned talents, plus Elemental Fury (a staple in any correctly-specced Enhancement Shaman’s talent tree), Enhancement Shaman can now stack Magma Totem (an immobile, weak AoE), with Fire Nova — a more powerful, mobile AoE.

The result is a dramatic improvement in single-target and AoE DPS, putting Enhancement back in line with the pure classes in terms of damage potential. Not only does it give the spec more utility, it’s also satisfying to literally burn down AoE packs with Magma ticks for 2k and Fire Nova crits for 5k — all at the same time, while we continue to melee and rake Chain Lightning across the mobs.

Is talenting — and glyphing — into Fire Nova worth it in Patch 3.3? And is the spell worth including in an Enhancement player’s DPS rotation?

The short answer to both questions is yes.

The long answer requires a disclaimer — always run simulations and tests on target dummies to find out for yourself how spells and talents benefit your own toon. The information in this post is based on simulations, target dummy tests and Recount analysis for a Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader-geared Enhancement Shaman with an in-game GearScore of 5127. Some readers of this blog will have higher GearScores, and some will have lower — as always, the best way to find out if a spell or talent is good for YOUR toon is to run the aforementioned tests by inputting your own statistics.

Enhancement: Patch 3.3 Maximum DPS Spec

18/53/0: This spec provides maximum DPS for Enhancement Shamans in Patch 3.3.

18/53/0: This spec provides maximum DPS for Enhancement Shamans in Patch 3.3.

This spec uses every talent point for damage increases, and spares nothing for luxuries like Improved Ghost Wolf. Since Icecrown Citadel is an indoor raid instance, the decision to drop auto-cast Ghost Wolf from a raiding spec is much easier to justify. You might miss it, but that’s what dual specs are for. This spec maxes out talents effecting Static Shock and Fire spells without sacrificing DPS potential elsewhere. For well-geared, raiding Enhancement Shaman, this is the way to go. (Note: This spec assumes your character is at beneficial Haste levels, or your raid is receiving additional Haste from Improved Icy Talons. Simulations will determine whether it’s more beneficial to your personal DPS to keep three points in Static Shock, or to move them over to Improved Windfury Totem.)

Enhancement: WotLK Classic Spec

Use this if you’re still rocking relevant set bonuses from old tier sets, but only temporarily — current gear is easier than ever to get, and any boost to abilities like Static Shock will undoubtedly be eclipsed by the DPS potential of Fire Nova.

Enhancement Shaman WotLK Classic (pre-Patch 3.3) Spec

WotLK Classic Spec: A pre-3.3 spec used by Enhancement Shamans.

Enhancement: Patch 3.3 Ghost Wolf Spec

If you absolutely must have your insta-cast Ghost Wolf, and your off-spec is not Enhancement, your best bet is to steal two points from Improved Shields. You’ll lose some DPS, but it won’t be catastrophic. If you raid in a guild of bleeding-edge min-maxers, this isn’t the spec for you.

Enhancement Shaman Patch 3.3: Ghost Wolf/Fire Nova Spec

The preferred choice of casuals and Warsong Gulch enthusiasts. Maybe.

Related posts from Stormstrike:

Patch 3.3: Enhancement Shaman rotations

Lord Marrowgar down! The fight, from a melee perspective

The Frozen Halls: Enhancement Shaman Gear

More than just Gear(Score): An interview with Gear Score’s developer

  1. Ateve says:

    You say that its worth glyphing, what else do you keep for glyphs? Stormstrike/Feral Spirit?

  2. stormstrike says:

    Hey Ateve – That’s a good question.

    As always, it depends on which glyphs you’re already using and your particular mix of stats from the gear you’re currently wearing.

    Before Patch 3.3, I used Glyph of Stormstrike, Glyph of Flametongue Weapon, and Glyph of Lightning Shield. I decided to drop Lightning Shield.

    Stormstrike is essential for boosts to LB, CL, ES and LS, so that Glyph is really non-negotiable — we need it.

    Flametongue is a personal choice — not only do I like the numbers I’m seeing by keeping that Glyph, I think it has a nice synergy with Fire Nova and with most of our abilities.

    Raid-buffed, my *spell* crit rate is upwards of 40%, and logs show certain spells crit more than 50% of the time in optimal conditions.

    That’s just me, though. I’ve put an emphasis on across-the-board crit and my unbuffed crit rate is as much as 7% or 8% more than similarly-geared Enhancement Shamans.

    As always, the sim (and test dummies) will show you what’s best for your Shaman, but those are my thoughts. Good luck!

  3. […] a comment » After two in-depth posts on talent spec options for Enhancement Shamans in Patch 3.3, it’s time to take a look at […]

  4. mike says:

    The first spec that you say is the maximum dps spec is actually not. u say that all points are into dmg increases. u have 2 points into imp storm strike when you could place them to reduce the cd of shocks.

  5. stormstrike says:

    Well, as always, this post comes with the same disclaimer I put on all my posts — each player should do their own sims and DPS tests to figure out how talent and gear changes affect their character.

    First, .4 of a second reduction in Shock cooldown isn’t going to make any difference in DPS — we are already working with a crammed priority system with no room in the GCD, and shocks are just a small part of our DPS.

    The two points in Improved Stormstrike are valuable because if you reduce the cooldown on Fire Nova, you’re burning mana at a rate of almost 10k a minute just for that spell. If you additionally glyph into it, the cooldown is down to 3 seconds and the mana cost could be doubled depending on how often you use it.

    As we all know, time on the boss is rarely predictable — you could activate Shamanistic Rage and have to run from an AoE ability, which means you miss the mana regen entirely for that cooldown. And in hard modes, the incoming damage is so great that we’re often forced to use Shamanistic Rage for damage mitigation rather than its optimal use for mana regen. After all, we (Enhancement Shamans) run with 3-4k less health than Rogues, 4k-6k less health than Ret Paladins, and up to 7k less health than DKs and Warriors.

    We are the only melee class with health pools that low, and our HP is more in line with ranged classes than melee. So, yeah — in hard modes, SR is for damage mitigation, and Stormstrike is for mana and Maelstrom procs.

    When it comes to hard modes, I like to have my SR ready for periods of high incoming damage. As one Warrior on my server put it in a raid where there was much e-peen stroking over the damage meters: “DPS is the damage per second you do while you’re ALIVE.”

  6. SpikieLee says:

    My Question to you is: If you remove Imp windfury totem, why keep in IMP STR totems?? Wouldn’t you be getting the same buff in raid? Coulnd’t you take those 3 points and put them somewhere else?

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