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#1 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:26 PM

How to Elemental



Introduction:
With Cataclysm, elemental has been changed a lot, and I'll start off by listing the changes and then we'll begin with How to Elemental - Cataclysm

Talent Changes:
Removed - Elemental Fury (Primary Skill)
Removed - Lightning Mastery (Integrated into Eye of the Storm)
Removed - Booming Echos
Removed - Astral Shift
Removed - Thunderstorm (Skill learned at level 10 when you spec elemental)
Removed - Totem of Wrath (Replaced by Totemic Wrath)
Removed - Elemental Devastation (Moved to the Enhancement tree)
Removed - Unrelenting Storm
Removed - Shamanism (Primary skill)
New - Ancestral Knowledge (Moved in from the Enhancement tree)
New - Lava Surge
New - Totemic Wrath
New - Earthquake
New - Fulmination
New - Rolling Thunder
New - Ancestral Swiftness
New - Feedback (Replaced the old Shamanism)
Change - Improved Shields (Moved up to tier 1 from tier 2 in the Enhancement tree)
Change - Elemental Mastery (No longer shares a cooldown with Nature's Swiftness and now also increases your Fire, Frost, and Nature damage by 15% for the duration of the spell.)
Change - Elemental Weapons (Enhancement talent, but certainly in an elemental build. The wording of the talent was changed.)

Primary Skills:
Thunderstorm
Eye of the Storm
Elemental Fury
Shamanism

Mastery:
Mastery is affected by the Mastery Rating on your character's gear.
Grants a 20% chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar spell on the same target at no additional cost that causes 60% of normal damage and no threat. Chance to trigger increased further by mastery rating.

Skills:
New - Spiritwalker's Grace
New - Bind Elemental
New - Unleash Elements
New - Totem of Tranquil Mind
Changed - Magma Totem now costs 18% of base mana, down from 27%.
Changed - Lava Burst damage has been increased by 25%.

Armor Specialization:
Tribal Mail Specialization - Increases your Intellect by 5% while wearing only Mail armor.

These are the different sections for How to Elemental - Cataclysm:
1) Resilience
2) Spell Power
3) Haste
4) Hit rating & Spell penetration
5) Crit & Stamina
6) Keybindings & Macros
7) Talents
8) Glyphs
9) The playstyle as elemental
10) General tips & tricks
11) Movies Worth Watching


1) Resilience:
People tend to miss out in this; you must remember that elemental shamans are a tanking class in arenas. From my Point of View, I would never advice anyone use under 1.150. It’s such a brilliant stat for survival, and it decreases the chance of you becoming a viable target. Besides, you already have roots, thunderstorm, frost shock, and peels from your other teammate. Mostly I cannot think of any situation where I would gimp myself to lower the resilience, or well – Only chance would be in some spell cleave where you will mostly never become the target, but it’s quite unusual.

2) Spell power:
Self explanatory, more spell power means more damage. On top of resilience spell power is the most important stat for an elemental shaman. More constant damage basically, you can never go wrong with it really, and the more damage you are doing, the more pressure you are applying onto the opponent healers, and they are more likely to put themselves in a bad position or eat a good interruption.

3) Haste:
This is the stat a lot of people misunderstand as an elemental shaman, it’s probably the best stat as far as spell caster goes, however how much is it you should & wish to aim for with this stat?
Haste is a confusing stat but it's best described as the stat that "makes your actions faster". The effect of haste is essentially "to do more per unit of time". For a caster that means "cast more spells per unit of time". Well if we're going to cast more spells in the same amount of time, that means each spellcast takes less time.

Sources of Haste
How to calculate haste can also be confusing because of the math involved. Different sources of haste stack multiplicatively. Here's the most common sources of haste for an elemental shaman:
  • Haste rating on gear (32.79 haste rating makes 1% of haste)
  • Bloodlust (30% haste)
  • Elemental Mastery (15%)
  • Lava Flows from dispelled Flame Shock (30%)
  • Power Infusion (20%)
  • Wrath of Air Totem (5%)
  • Improved Moonkin Aura / Swift Retribution (3%)


Calculating Effective Haste
Each source of haste from that list is multiplied to produce your total effective haste. Let's look at some examples.

Consider a shaman with 0 haste rating that has bloodlust, elemental mastery, and improved moonkin aura:
  • Base * Bloodlust * EM * ImpAura = effective haste
  • 1.0 * 1.30 * 1.15 * 1.03 = 1.53985 == 53.99% effective haste

Now consider a shaman with 600 haste rating that has bloodlust and lava flows active:
  • Haste from Gear = 600 / 32.79 = 18.30%
  • Base * Gear * Bloodlust * Lava Flows
  • 1.0 * 1.1830 * 1.30 * 1.30 = 1.99927 == 99.93% effective haste


Calculating Casting Time
Once the total effective haste number is known, the next thing we care about is "how must faster does that make me?" The "hasted cast time" of a spell is equal to the base cast time (AFTER talents) divided by your effective haste. Again, let's look at some examples:

Lightning Bolt (2.0s base cast time for elemental):
  • First example above (53.99% effective haste): 2.0 / (1.0 + 0.5399) = 1.299 second cast time
  • Second example above (99.93% effective haste): 2.0 / (1.0 + 0.9993) = 1.000 second cast time
  • 0 haste rating with bloodlust (30% effective haste): 2.0 / (1.0 + 0.30) = 1.538 second cast time
  • 500 haste rating (15.25% effective haste): 2.0 / (1.0 + 0.1525) = 1.735 second cast time
  • 500 haste rating with bloodlust (49.82% effective haste): 2.0 / (1.0 + 0.4982) = 1.335 second cast time

Lava Burst (1.5s base cast time for elemental):
  • First example above (53.99% effective haste): 1.5 / (1.0 + 0.5399) = 0.974 second cast time
  • Second example above (99.93% effective haste): 1.5 / (1.0 + 0.9993) = 0.750 second cast time
  • 0 haste rating with bloodlust (30% effective haste): 1.5 / (1.0 + 0.30) = 1.154 second cast time
  • 500 haste rating (15.25% effective haste): 1.5 / (1.0 + 0.1525) = 1.302 second cast time
  • 500 haste rating with bloodlust (49.82% effective haste): 1.5 / (1.0 + 0.4982) = 1.001 second cast time

One thing to note is that the cast time reduction of buffs is less at higher amounts of haste. Note above that bloodlust at 0 haste rating reduced the lightning bolt cast time 0.462 seconds. But with 500 haste rating already in place, bloodlust only provides an additional reduction of 0.4 seconds. This gives the appearance that "haste has diminishing returns" which is not really true. The 30% more haste from bloodlust makes you 30% faster whether you have 0 haste rating or 1000 haste rating. However it is generally accepted that the 30% haste from bloodlust is "more valuable" to someone with 0 haste than it is to someone with 1000 haste.


Haste Caps and the GCD
While there are various "soft caps" to haste, there is no absolute cap and cast times continue to reduce indefinitely. If you could achieve 10,000 haste rating, you would cast lightning bolts in 0.494 seconds. HOWEVER, there IS a cap on the GCD. The GCD cannot be reduced below 1.0 seconds. So in the example above where Lava Burst's cast time is 0.75 seconds, you would have to wait 0.25 seconds after the Lava Burst before you could cast another spell...this is because the GCD would still be 1.0 seconds. In a PVP setting, it can still be advantageous to push spells below this 1.0 threshold though since the shorter cast times are still more difficult to interrupt and you can also start moving again sooner.

As for the GCD, it is reduced by haste the same as a spells. You can calculate it just like a spell with a 1.5 second base cast time. So the cast time of your Chain Lightning or your Lava Burst is the same as the time of the GCD...just don't forget the minimum of 1.0s. If your CL is showing as 0.8, it will be 0.8 but the GCD will still be 1.0.

Thanks to Vyrolan from Garona (us server)

4) Hit rating and spell penetration:
This one is a bit tricky; it’s probably the most important stats as far as meeting top teams goes.
When you’re playing a top team you really don’t want any shocks to be resisted, nor do you want spells to be missed totally, since they may very well lose the game for you.

Before I go in depth I just wish to remind you that we’re playing this game World of Warcraft, the king of RNG.

Hit:
In general the different 2% racials are total ass and that can any top player agree on, but the stats you want to aim for is 4% hit as for any caster. It’s the hit cap in PvP without the 2% racials which you can’t really do much about.

Spell penetration:
This stat is as important as hit, I would say anything above 125. Yes, I obviously know people claim they are doing fine without this high number, and I respect others having a different opinion, this is just our conclusion:

Why is it, you take elemental shamans into arena, since it’s not only our good damage, but purges and shocks as well. However, the most important ability is purge, which scales with spell penetration. You just don’t want it to be resisted against anything, again against top teams you just don’t have time to depend on stuff like that. Overkill or not you decide, but I would recommend least 125 spell penetration to be on the safe side.

5) Crit and stamina:
I won’t go with a lot of facts and stuff here, as long as you remain 30%+ in crit & 25k unbuffed in health, you will do just fine. If you just gear proper you don’t have to think about these stats at all, it comes natural with the best gear setup you will be running as a competitive elemental shaman.

Now that I’ve walked through the most important stats let’s look on how you want to gear, when people ask me in-game I tend to just tell them to check my armory. I’ll be listing the best gear you’ll be able to get in s8. Both PvE oriented and PvP, just remember that elemental shaman isn’t a class which you want to abuse PvE gear with too much. It’s pretty straight forward really.

With that being said, let’s go on checking how you can gear.
http://chardev.org/?profile=387561 Fully PvP, nothing more to add to it really
http://chardev.org/?profile=429031 Best PvE gear abused, if you got access to this you should use it without a doubt. Rotface trinket is beyond op at the moment.

6) Keybinds and macros:
Keybinding:
Please don’t start a discussion whether someone is doing fine by clicking or not. We all know Dril, and it’s fine if he’s doing good by clicking, but overall we still prefer to make you keybind!
If you are not binding mostly everything you are using in an arena match, you will most likely face a disadvantage to your opponent if he’s faster than you all the time, especially if it’s same class.

What I think most people are doing wrong is making their keybindings too difficult sometimes, if you are wasting too much time reaching a spell you use a lot, for an example if I was to use Lightning Bolt a lot, but had it on “K” it’s quite stupid, since it’s a very important spell for elemental, and if I need to use a lot of time to reach back from it all the time, or reach to – It’s simply a waste of time and your precious energy!
Jík and I, linked our keybindings, so if you wish to have some inspiration if you feel stuck with yours, please just take a look – We hope it will help:

http://img197.images...1610143807.jpg/ - Blowi

Macros:

/startattack
/cast Flame Shock

/focus target

/cast [target=focus] Hex

/stopcasting
/cast [target=focus] Wind Shear

/run if IsMounted() then Dismount() return end local m if not IsFlyableArea() or (GetWintergraspWaitTime()==nil and GetZoneText()=="Wintergrasp") or IsSwimming() then m=(1) else m=(12) end CallCompanion("MOUNT",m)

/cast [harm] [target=targettarget] Purge

/cast [target=focus] purge

/cast [target=Arena1, exists] Wind Shear; Wind Shear;

/cast [target=Arena2, exists] Wind Shear; Wind Shear;

/cast [target=Arena3, exists] Wind Shear; Wind Shear;

/cast [target=focus] Frost Shock


7) Talents:
I’ve experimented a lot and tried what felt best; I found by far the best spec for me. I’d recommend you to try it out before you say anything.

http://www.wowhead.c...qcd0tGfuAoMGg0o - This spec is less focused on mana, so if you don't lack mana, I'd suggest this one, and can focus on locking down more etc.

http://www.wowhead.c...qcdhtGfuAoMGg0o - This spec focus more on mana regeneration than the other one, and I've left one point over so you can choose where you wish to put that yourself :)


Unrelenting storms:
This by far one of the best things you should pick when you are going elemental, it gives so much more mana, and allows you to remain consistent in your pressure, and you won’t be using too much time trying to recover in mana. Against 2xhealer or some other outlasting comp, this is simply Godlike; it’s almost as good as Moonies himself in keeping mana up!

Guardian Totems:
A lot of shamans choose to rule this out, and this is a bad thing in my opinion. It’s so great with your shocking and grounding usage against a wizard cleave or simply any team. Against druid teams, I’m often using hex as an extra interruption, in between the cooldowns of wind shear and grounding totem. Get this talent, if you don’t.

Thunderstorm:
Most likely the spell with the highest skillcap of an elemental shaman, at least in my opinion!

This spell isn't just a way of getting mana back, but on maps such as BEM or Dalaran Arena the spell is amazing! You can choose to stand one on each ledge, and do the previous trick with fire nova, but also a really good way of getting melees off your teammates, or your own back.

You can also use it, as I did earlier the other day, we fought this 2x healer where they both positioned themselves around stairs close to their starting room, and the warrior charged in without any second thoughts, where we got him a little (80%) and I managed to knock him far away from them, close to our starting room and this was on the bridge itself. It scored a kill very fast :)

You can also easily use the spell to either split up an entire team on a map, such as dalaran arena, if you use the spell close to pillars and one gets blown to the left of the pillar, and the other to the right of the pillar.

It's also great against healers with long casts, if you are using thunderstorm in such an arena as nagrand where they are standing and turreting those big heals. The targets gets a little low in health, and you knock them out of line of sight, by dragging them a little close to another pillar, which is an excellent way of getting a lot of cooldowns used, or even a kill scored.

I'd love to try fraps some of these things so it makes more sense to some people :)

8) Glyphs
With Cataclysm, Blizzard remade the glyph system and divided it into 3 sections, Prime, Major and Minor. I'll be listing some of those I'd recommend people to use as elemental.

Prime

• Flame Shock - Increases duration by 50%
• Lava Burst - 10% more damage
• Lightning Bolt - 4% more damage

Major

• Hex - Reduces cooldown by 15s
• Lightning Shield - Can no longer lose charges to attackers when at 3 or less
• Stoneclaw Totem - Grants an absorb shield equal to 4x the totem shield
• Thunder - Reduces Thunderstorm cooldown by 10s

Minor

• Water Breathing - No longer requires a reagent
• Water Walking - No longer requires a reagent

In the minor section it doesn't really matter as long as you have one of those to cast as much as you want to quickly put yourself in combat.


9) The play style as an elemental:
Heh, I’m not quite sure if I’m the appropriate person to talk about play style considering all the hate I received from my clips, but I take a chance – We only live once!

I’ve played restoration and elemental, both at high experience and I’d like to mention: If you are doing great at one of these specs, you will most likely do great with the other one as well.
I’m completely aware of the damage output from an elemental can be quite retarded at times, but even an elemental shaman can easily do mistakes and make his team lose the match.

I’d like to talk about the usage of wind shear and grounding totems, as these two spells are incredibly important for our class, they are basically the keystones. You should be aware as elemental what’s best to shock, not just make a person the focus target, and shock him through the entire fight. You are only limiting yourself and your team of reaching higher ratings.

It’s often nice to swap a lot between who you shock depending on the situation, if you are taking too much damage or need to interrupt a healer quickly, also since most players become arrogant after a few times of fake casting. They simply think you won’t touch them, but if the healer is acting like that when things get a little hotter, he will end up getting burned!

Purges is also one of our really important spells, and remember; sometimes it’s better to move around, place your totems, position yourself properly according to your team and the person you wish to shock, than just stand and turret a PvE rotation. As I’ve always said: It’s better to win the arena points, than the damage meter.

Of course spam purging whenever you are about to swap of if you are up against a druid, it’s lovely to purge his hots off so he cannot use swiftmend.
When you can you must play aggressively, for most time play it safe as far as peeling and purges goes. But at the same time you can’t wait for a great burst opportunity, if we take spell cleave as an example again you will drop something if you time your burst perfectly.

10) General tips & tricks as an elemental
- Whenever you are facing an enemy team where there is a chance of either of your teammates to be sapped, place your fire totem near them and be in range of fira nova, so you can get them out of stealth as they sap your partner.

- Using grounding totem 15 seconds before the match begins in RoV, will give you a slight advantage against any team with a caster, in the beginning.

- If you notice you are getting feared and cannot prevent it, but tremor is not going to be destroyed and you are in range of it, sometimes it's better to not place down a tremor totem as a reaction to being feared. This is mostly warlocks just spam fearing people, not priests.

- Whenever you are getting tunnel'd is a great thing to swap a lot between your water shield, and lightning shield depending on the situation. If you are in no need of mana, it's mostly best to keep up lightning shield to generate more pressure while being tunnel'd. The opposite applies if you are lacking mana, you will find yourself getting mana back quite fast with someone hitting you all the time!

- It's a good idea to have Lightning Bolt R1 bound, even though you sometimes use wind shear to eat a warrior's spell reflect, it's not always good - Let's say the warrior is really low in health, and you're using wind shear to remove his spell reflect, but the warrior's healer is casting a strong heal you else would had been capable of interrupting.

- When you are against teams with a restoration shaman, it's really great to purge off his Tidal Waves, since it gives him a lot of extra haste and makes it almost impossible to kill the target he is healing with those immense healing waves, and myself have not seen that many people who off purge it off, so surprise them and score the points!

- Hitting another shamans stoneclaw to get the astral shift effect when you are getting nuked, but please remember this can only happen against another shaman team, and it's very situational if stoneclaw is down etc, but it's worth they try if possible. - fredsavage

11) Movies Worth Watching
If anyone knows of any skilled (skills, yes I said skilled) elemental shamans who released a good movie or something, please let me know and I'll add!

I heard Novoz should had released something, but not watched it, if anyone can get a hold of it I'd appreciate it!


If you are having any questions, please write it in this thread, and a huge credit to Jík who has been helping with most of the guide! Remember to rep him if you like what he did :)

I'll most likely add more if I feel it's needed or something, might try fraps some clips to display some things.

Please don't hate, if this is common knowledge to you who understand everything and plays his class perfect (Lucky you, I wish I could :() but just accept not everyone is the same.

Also, forgive me if some typos are made or some errors, I'll most likely correct it myself if I should notice this, else you are free to write to me :)

#1 :shaman:




TL;DR -

blow shit up


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#2 Jikz

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:26 PM

First of all big shoutouts to Blowi that made this possible, ive been speaking alot with him and discussed how and what this guide was going to be all about. Couldnt have posted this without Blowi's thoughts and big support. Thankes again Blowi mate, xoxo! :)
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#3 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:28 PM

Sticky. :)


Thanks a lot :)
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#4 Mogias

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:33 PM

love posts like this good job!
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#5 ph10m

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:40 PM

You should make a space between each macro (everything is one text without any spaces) so the people who doesn't really know how macros work or won't bother to take a look at the text before they copypaste it into their macros won't have troubles with it.

Most of us would understand it, but just saying, as some might not.


Edit: you already did:p
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#6 Moonies

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

yay :)
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#7 Hertzog

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:00 PM

Hail Blowi, father of the shaman tribe
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#8 Toriklol

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:02 PM

I like how the PvE gear abuse chardev link is just the heroic version of my gear :rolleyes:

I'd rather run valanar's signet ring for the additional hit rating though, not to mention it has better itemisation with more focus on haste.

All I need now is for the heroic versions to actually drop so I can be a real pve hero

nice guide btw
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#9 EMCL

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:08 PM

no mention of t storm use!
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#10 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:09 PM

no mention of t storm use!


Well, I was thinking of recording how to use it instead, but thanks for blowing it :(
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#11 Eissi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:10 PM

One thing I'd like to add to your spellpen point is that if you play a setup like mine (pala/ele/warrior) you don't really need more spellpen than what mark of the wild gives in resist. Reason being that mages can't afford (or have any reason to, apart from hex&hoj duration) to play in mage armor.

Nice guide m8s :)
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#12 Saracens

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:11 PM

Blowi just saying, your haste calcs are off. Haste is added multiplicatively not additively.

13% passive in combat
Flame shock dispelled 30%
Bloodlust 30%
Elemental mastery 15%
Wrath of air 5% 36.2355

30+21+7.35+5.4145+1.811775 =/= 65.576275%

Max haste you can get with the mock setup you said was about 66%.

It is not possible to get 93% unless you have higher base bonuses.
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#13 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:12 PM

One thing I'd like to add to your spellpen point is that if you play a setup like mine (pala/ele/warrior) you don't really need more spellpen than what mark of the wild gives in resist. Reason being that mages can't afford (or have any reason to, apart from hex&hoj duration) to play in mage armor.

Nice guide m8s :)


Yea, I wrote it depends a lot of some things which spell penetration you wish to use, but let's take shatterplay with your comp, ele/war/hpala. I've played that as well, and we'd sit mostly on priest to lock down his damage than going on mage, and since this is becoming a really popular comp, you don't want to miss out against that comp due to your spell penetration.

But I get what you mean :)
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#14 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:13 PM

Blowi just saying, your haste calcs are off. Haste is added multiplicatively not additively.

13% passive in combat
Flame shock dispelled 30%
Bloodlust 30%
Elemental mastery 15%
Wrath of air 5% 36.2355

30+21+7.35+5.4145+1.811775 =/= 65.576275%

Max haste you can get with the mock setup you said was about 66%.

It is not possible to get 93% unless you have higher base bonuses.


Ugh, not mine, but Jík's! But thanks, I'll correct that :)


EDIT: Should be corrected :)
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#15 Kakaoflickan

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:30 PM

Great guide, mad props!
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#16 Parabolyc

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:32 PM

I agree that talking about thunderstorm not only as an offensive advantage in BEM or Dalaran Arena but defensively to either split up a group without knocking off a ledge or as an interrupt would be worth mentioning without even a video.

Not immensely important, but watching your water shield and maybe mod options for those that aren't the best at it.

Totem timers and how to be aware of tremor being destroyed. This might help cut down on excessive posts.. I know I made some back in the day.

Totem preferences-- frost badge totem gogo.

You do mention wrath of air totem but you might want to mention the situations where you do have that laid down. And how you might not have grounding (i assume you dont) totem in your totem set and drop it individually. Another thing I like to do is drop a grounding 5 sec until a match on RoV starts so the CD is up when the fight begins because I know the first spell will get grounded anyways... just something small I do, dont know if anyone else does it.
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#17 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 02:36 PM

Yea, some of those things I wish to add.

Thunderstorm is something I'd love to try fraps if possible as I've already said, it's easy to understand after watching.

I think all shamans know, but yea I'll try add it a little later, so if someone doesn't know, they will soon enough :)
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#18 Myowndk

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:00 PM

How to Elemental




So to sum it up:
13% passive in combat
Flame shock dispelled 30%
Bloodlust 30%
Elemental mastery 15%
Wrath of air 5% 36.2355

30+21+7.35+5.4145+1.811775 =/= 65.576275%

Max haste you can get with the mock setup you said was about 66%.

#1 :shaman:


Haste stacks multiplicatively, so you actually have ALOT more haste than that 65%.

According to my information, you'd actually have like 130%, or even more.

Haste stacks like this:

Passive% haste x Haste buff 1 % x Haste buff 2 % x .... Haste buff n %.

This means you'd be multiplying those effects you listed in a way like this:

1,13*1,3*1,3*1,15*1,05=2,3

This equals to 130% haste.

Great job further :)

Edit: Wups, sorry, just saw someone already pointed this out.
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#19 Blowi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:03 PM

Well, I took the changes he pointed out, but you are saying his changes are wrong?

So I should add yours instead, or what :)
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#20 Eissi

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 03:11 PM

just type haste ruwlz
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