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