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Farsight: Looking at Patch 5.2

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You’ve probably seen the patch notes for the 5.2 PTR that were released prior to Christmas. If not, you can read them here. The Shaman notes are as follows:
  • Elemental Mastery now has a 1-minute cooldown (was 2 minutes).
  • Shamanistic Rage is now available to Elemental Shaman as well as Enhancement Shaman.
  • Conductivity no longer requires that the target be within the area of effect of Healing Rain.
  • Ancestral Swiftness now increases spell haste by 5% and melee haste by 10% (was 5%/5%).
  • Glyph of Purge now adds a 6-second cooldown to Purge.
  • Stone Bulwark Totem now absorbs 25% more damage.
  • Unleashed Fury Flametongue now increases Lightning Bolt damage by 20% (was 30%), and Lava Burst damage by 10% (was 0%).
  • Primal Earth Elemental and Primal Fire Elemental now deal 20% more damage.
  • Elemental Blast now has a chance to increase the caster's Agility for Enhancement Shaman.
  • Glyph of Flame has been redesigned. This glyph now causes the Shaman to heal for 50% of the damage dealt by Flame Shock.
  • Flame Shock's duration has been increased by 25%.

This patch is primarily about talent changes, with a few tweaks to spells & glyphs. Of the non-talent changes, the one I like the most is the pairing of Flame Shock getting a 25% duration increase along with changing the glyph to be self healing bonus from the spell. What this means is that the initial hit will hit for 100% rather than 75% that we have now, so the spell will get a minor damage gain and free up a glyph slot (more on what it will be replaced with later).

Glyph of Purge lets you make a choice between spending a lot of time purging freely, or being more efficient with your purges but reducing the frequency with which you can purge. It’s the sort of trade off that I like seeing in glyphs.

Meanwhile, Elemental dips into the spellbook for Enhancement and borrows Shamanistic Rage for a defensive cooldown (don’t worry, Enhancement Shaman can still use the spell).

Talents

Now for the talent changes (I told you it was primarily about talents). Stone Bulwark Totem receives a 25% boost, which when combined with gaining Shamanistic Rage, may make it the best talent to take in Tier One, by default at least.

Conductivity receives a function boost, where the target no longer needs to be standing in your Healing Rain. This may make a difference for Restoration, but for Elemental it won’t change much. Ancestral Guidance is still the better of the three talents here.

Two Tier Four talents received changes. For Ancestral Swiftness, the change from 5% to 10% melee haste does have a small impact for Elemental, as the two elemental pets use melee haste, not spell haste, to work out their swing timers. That said, it’s still not going to be quite enough to make the talent preferable for Elemental, as with Elemental Mastery going to a 1 minute cooldown, down from 2, it makes more sense to pick this talent to sync with every other multi-minute ability we have, eg: Ascendance & Fire Elemental.

It’s for this reason that I think the new commonly used glyph will be Fire Elemental, as it means you can get 100 seconds of 30% haste with your Fire Elemental up, vs 60 seconds without it. Accounting for this means that 54% of the time there’s more “effective uptime” without the glyph, vs 43% with it, but as to what the actual DPS changes are we’ll have to wait for an updated SimCraft to do more testing.

Lastly, Primal Elementalist and Unleashed Fury have received buffs, with PE getting 20% stronger pets, while UF swaps to 20% Lightning Bolt, 10% Lava Burst. I suspect there will be a much smaller difference in Tier Six talents, but I suspect that the “best” combination will be Elemental Mastery, Fire Elemental Totem glyph, and Primal Elementalist. Again, this will need some further simming to confirm, but it’s a decent bet.

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  1. Haarne's Avatar
    I was personally hoping that Elemental Blast would keep a slight edge for the level 90 talents, mostly because I feel like the spec is more fun with the extra spell to deal with. Hopefully, the difference ends up still being small enough that it is just a matter of personal preference or fight mechanics. On the other hand, maybe getting Elemental Mastery back on a short cooldown will help with keeping the rotation interesting.
  2. Houndstooth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Haarne
    I was personally hoping that Elemental Blast would keep a slight edge for the level 90 talents, mostly because I feel like the spec is more fun with the extra spell to deal with. Hopefully, the difference ends up still being small enough that it is just a matter of personal preference or fight mechanics. On the other hand, maybe getting Elemental Mastery back on a short cooldown will help with keeping the rotation interesting.
    Agreed on all counts. I have learned to love EB and if it turns out not to be the most I will miss it. On the other hand, if Bink is correct, I will enjoy seeing those super sexy new elementals and the 1min CD mastery.
  3. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Haarne
    I was personally hoping that Elemental Blast would keep a slight edge for the level 90 talents, mostly because I feel like the spec is more fun with the extra spell to deal with. Hopefully, the difference ends up still being small enough that it is just a matter of personal preference or fight mechanics. On the other hand, maybe getting Elemental Mastery back on a short cooldown will help with keeping the rotation interesting.
    I suspect that the difference between T6 talents will be very small, so it comes down to personal preference.
  4. Sepha's Avatar
    I suspect that the difference between T6 talents will be very small, so it comes down to personal preference.
    I hope so that the EM + PE combo wont be too overpowered

    I ran PE last night in scholomance challenge mode for the voss burn specifically and my rotation felt empty without EB!!

    Sepha
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