EU+US Enhancement Shaman @20

Discussion in 'Free to Play' started by Fenrok, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    Hello! My name is Fenrok, and I'm rather new here. If you read nothing else past these first few lines, all that I ask is that you read my disclaimer which will be posted right here at the top. There will be a TLDR at the bottom. Sorry for the text bomb... I got carried away. Thanks!

    Disclaimer:
    -I do not believe this is an optimal method of playing an Enhancement Shaman at level 20 in the 20-29 bracket. I tried this with no other intention than to have a bit of a laugh at trying something that I thought would be completely absurd.

    -I'm pretty new to twinking, and as such I am not entirely sure what would be considered good numbers. All that I can lay claim to is that it was pretty damned fun.



    All right, now that that's out of the way!

    Enhancement as a free to play account capped at level 20, even with gear in every slot, is a bit underwhelming in terms of damage from my experience. This is mostly due to the fact that, as a trial, you are unable to access Stormstrike which becomes available at level 26, or crash lightning which becomes available at level 28. So, for the purpose of level 20-29 twink battlegrounds/skirmishes as an Enhancement Shaman, your only damaging abilities are Rockbiter/Boulderfist(If talented), Windsong(If Talented), Lava Lash, Frostbrand, and Flametongue. Lightning Bolt is more a utility spell, best used for keeping fleeing rogues in combat to prevent a restealth and maybe plinking off an enemy totem. Outside of damage, you also have Healing Surge as a support ability.

    For those of you that are aware of how Enhancement works now with 7.0, you can probably skip this next paragraph. Enhancement Shaman are now a builder/spender spec, and rely on Maelstrom generation as a resource - much like rage for a warrior. Certain abilities generate Maelstrom, and certain abilities cost Maelstrom. A key thing to note is that Healing Surge will consume 20 Maelstrom, if available, to cause it to be an instant cast spell. This is vital for what I want to discuss! With the level 15 talent your Rockbiter ability is replaced with Boulderfist. Boulderfist has 2 charges on a 6 second cooldown (reduced by haste), and increases the Maelstrom generation to 25 per cast. It also applies a self-buff (5% increased critical strike/damage).

    Moving on, as an Enhancement shaman you generally keep up Flametongue, generate Maelstrom using Rockbiter/Boulderfist, and spend it on Healing Surge or Lava Lash. The problem that I've found for a level 20 Enhancement Shaman is Lava Lash. To explain, Lava Lash is designed as a filler spell to keep from capping Maelstrom, where as your highest priority would naturally go into Stormstrike - which is unavailable to trial twink Enhancement.

    Lava Lash costs 30 maelstrom, and with the Hothands talent it has a 10% chance while Flametongue is active to proc 100% increased damage and reduced Maelstrom cost, which I personally have seen crits as high as 1.2k from on plate classes. This makes it do considerable damage, at the cost of being entirely RNG. Sometimes it procs frequently, sometimes.. not so much, which can be a real pain in the ass.

    Without Flametongue, though, Lava Lash's damage isn't quite up to par - in my opinion. Costing 30 Maelstrom, the damage you deal using Lava Lash felt really lackluster to me. Now as a 29 shaman this is hardly a concern because of Stormstrike, but as a 20, it's sort of... meh, to play Enhancement at all. The lack of damage may be why they appear to be a less-popular choice, but I'm not sure, maybe some more experienced vets can elaborate on that.

    I'm a long time fan of Enhancement, and even if I can't do the best damage in the world, I still wanted to play it in some capacity. So, thinking back to the days of Vanilla Enhancement where 2h weapons were commonly used, I decided to screw around. This is what I found:

    Ignoring Lava Lash entirely may sound completely stupid, and I agree, but what I stumbled on is an incredibly potent support playstyle for Enhancement Shaman. With a 2h weapon Lava Lash can't be used, but it does increase the damage of Boulderfist slightly. Keep in mind that using a 2h weapon is not even remotely necessary, but it's a nice flavor and call back to Vanilla if nothing else. It doesn't matter either way. What I did find though, is that by completely ignoring Lava Lash and instead dumping all of your Maelstrom into Healing Surge when needed turns Enhancement into a surprisingly effective support class, with some added damage. Rockbiter would sometimes hit 600+ criticals back to back, and Healing Surge would frequently critical up to 1.8k. The Boulderfist self-buff applied when casting the ability also applies to your healing, and while 5% critical strike isn't a lot, it's still nice to have.

    The results of playing Enhancement like this has lead me to being MUCH tankier, and much more valuable to my team. For the sake of an example, I asked a rogue to stay and defend the flag room with me at the start of a Warsong Gulch, and we successfully held off a 4v2 with them primarily focusing me. Naturally I didn't just stand there and facetank it all, but using ghostwolf to LoS, using Boulderfist to pool Maelstrom to keep me and my rogue homie alive, we prevented anyone from leaving the FR. Eventually, we capped and the rogue left to chase down kills, but I decided to stay. Both teams were sort of screwing around in mid at that point, and I waited for a while in the flag room. In the few minutes I was there, I found myself in several 1v1's! I won't say I was invincible, I certainly wasn't, but anyone that dared step into melee range had a VERY difficult time dealing with me. I did this for some time, killing a few warriors, a feral, a rogue, and having a near-death experience with a survival hunter. I was surprised at the 1v1 potential, and then the BG ended.

    The second BG I tried had one healer on each team. I can't say anything for the teams, but this time I decided to play the BG as intended - using Lava Lash. I found myself, even pooling 50+ Maelstrom and only using Lava Lash to prevent capping, much squishier and the damage was really just not worth what could have been extra healing to me. Even the contrast approach, pooling Maelstrom and spending it all on Lava Lash didn't seem to pack enough punch to warrant the survivability loss.

    The Third BG, I reequipped my 2h axe, and removed Lava Lash from my bar. I can't post links yet due to the new-account rule, but I uploaded the results of the third BG to Imgur. I ended the BG with 89k healing done (the only "healer" on my team), and 44.9k damage dealt @ 7-2 k/d. Kills and deaths don't mean anything to me, I'd rather win than go 40-0 or what have you, so that's just a personal preference. Playing Enhancement like this in the level 20 bracket seems to be considerably more effective than the usual route, but I can understand why people would find it underwhelming going into a BG.

    So, why am I sharing this? Because since I started playing this a few days ago, I have only ever seen one or two other Enhancement Shaman that weren't just levelers. Yes, you most assuredly COULD just go restoration! You definitely could, and there's no real reason not to. However, if you're looking for a fun little thing to try out, give it a shot! You might like it, and maybe even give Enhancement a second look afterwards. It is not the traditional DPS role, and as such I can understand if people that queued as a dps, would want to play primarily as a dps, and focus on damage and dps-related responsibilities/gameplay. For me, and if there's any likeminded folks out there, I really enjoy capitalizing on the hybrid aspect of Shaman and Enhancement most assuredly provides that feel!

    And so, that's my post. Now, for the TLDR!

    TLDR:
    Enhancement Shaman in the trial twink bracket (level 20) seem to be rare. If you love the idea of Enhancement, and are okay with playing more of a tanky/support role, try Boulderfist and focusing on Healing Surge as opposed to Lava Lash. It's a slower paced playstyle, but if it seems to work really well! You can even equip a 2h weapon if you're like me and hang onto the fond memories of shaman from Vanilla, sans having Windfury (which was sort of the point, but hey, at least you can look the part!) I figured I'd share here, in the XPOff community.

    I know you could just go Restoration, but as I said - this was just a fun little experiment I decided to try, and it ended up being fairly effective.

    Has anyone out there tried some alternative playstyles to Enhancement? Either way, I'd love to discuss some 20-29 Enhancement Shaman gameplay with you folks if possible. Thanks for reading, I hope someone found it interesting. :)

    ~Fenrok

    Edit: Spellcheck
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
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  2. Caldalt

    Caldalt Hi

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    Haven't played my 29 enhancement too much as of late but it seems to be performing well, more of a support than it ever used to be as I typically have equal or even higher healing than damage on it by using my mael only to heal or for stormstrike to get the kills, I don't like lava lash that much it just seems weak so I'd rather instant cast surge on a teammate or myself than deal the measly damage of lava lash. I like the new way it plays more, not sure if it'd be all to different at 20 as you lose stormstrike as your big hitter but you don't seem to use it as often as it used to be. Enhancement is pretty fun right now if you don't like playing the most insand classes and it is pretty rare like you said.
     
  3. OP
    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    I didn't think I was the only one in believing Lava Lash was a bit underwhelming. I wasn't sure how it played at 29 since I'm not there, but at 20 that principle seems to apply - focus on supporting. I don't have nearly as much killing potential, but with a slow 2h weapon Boulderfist hits enough to hold its own as it is.

    It's not a lot of damage at 20, but with the healing I can survive a really long time! The mobility of Ghostwolf and added slow through Frostbrand makes for an okay gap closer, since ranged classes seem to be what gives me the most trouble. Survival usually tears me up pretty bad, and occasionally an outlaw rogue, but other classes seem to have a hard time dealing with the heals. I'll have to try it out more and see for sure what I have the most trouble with, but I find that it excels in being in the middle of combat and throwing crazy amounts of off-healing. Most of the enemies seem to focus on the healers, meanwhile I'm just lobbing out Surges completely unnoticed. xD

    Edit: Spellcheck
     
  4. Caldalt

    Caldalt Hi

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    Yep thats pretty much the same for me, I prefer to support people on it and I haven't had much trouble in 1v1s, I just keep up my heals and slowly dps them or kite them eith the 10 yd range on most of the abilities while healing, seems to work quite well. I personally use windsong I just feel it works the best, does good dmg and the buff is really nice.

    I use 2 1h btw
     
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    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    I haven't actually played too much with Windsong, since I was usually basing most of my damage on Boulderfist and being able to generate Maelstrom in big bursts. Does the auto attack damage add up? I can't see the white hits as well as I could before with the default scrolling battletext now so I have a hard time trying to ballpark how much Enhancement's white hits are contributing.
     
  6. Caldalt

    Caldalt Hi

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    I feel like it adds it up well, and works well with frostbrand when you wanna get than slow on druids and such asap.
     
  7. OP
    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    I just tried it in a bg - the initial damage often hit for over 1k as well, which was pretty nice. Looks like I'll have to decide whether I want to roll Windsong or Boulderfist, ha. Hothand Lava Lash procs do quite a bit of damage but it's so random. I got 3-4 procs in a row once, then 2-3 minutes without a single one.
     
  8. Zenjie

    Zenjie Member

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    Could you perhaps post your armory so i can look for what gear to shoot for i might want to try it out. (^_^)
     
  9. Gingerbred

    Gingerbred Grandfathered

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    Nice post, an interesting read :)
    I play in the 19 bracket and came to the same conclusion that healing surge is a much better maelstrom dump. I wouldn't however say to play with a 2h . There are times when the burst is needed over the heals (when you get lucky enough to have a competent healer on your team) and also times that you will run oom. Also applying frostbrand with no melee attacks besides auto attack on a 3.8 second swing speed will become difficult for sure
     
  10. Dragpz

    Dragpz Veteran

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    This is a very awesome thread. When I played Enh, I immediately dismissed it as low damage, and a bottom tier class because it cannot remotely compare to the DPS output of any other class. But, reading this thread made me reconsider playing Enh as a support rather than a hardcore wreck-em-all DPS. Thank you for this post
     
  11. AlisterCrow

    AlisterCrow Veteran

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    I was leveling an enhancement shaman the other day and stopped to play in the 19s bracket a few times. Windsong is probably your best talent choice. Pop windsong followed by flametongue rockbiter spam and spend your maelstrom on the instant healing surge.....it's okay dps, but it feels like a weak ww monk when you dps, run away, heal, run back and dps, rinse and repeat.
     
  12. Naxxramaskid

    Naxxramaskid Everybody Hates Naxxkid

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    i think it's awesome how you stick with the spec through good and bad. that is very rare nowadays.
     
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  13. Zenjie

    Zenjie Member

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    Ive stuck with combat on my rogue until its death a month ago. I now main outlaw but im trying to expand towards other classes.
     
  14. OP
    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    Wow, I have a number of things to reply to! Sorry for the delay, I've been busy!

    I mostly just rock white items if I'm honest. I used jewelcrafting to make myself a couple of rings and a necklace to fill the slot, grabbed the 2 honor mark trinkets from the vendors and was working towards the engineering goggles @100 engi before the Legion pre-patch event rewarded me with a helmet. One thing to note is that, as far as I know, the gear you wear doesn't mean a whole lot at this bracket - it's all about filling slots. That said, I am working on a full set of invasion gear! Note: My armory doesn't appear to have updated with my helmet yet, but overall my gear is nothing special, really. It's just filling the slots, like I mentioned.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/earthen-ring/Fenrok/simple

    I definitely agree. After some more testing I did find a few situations where I switched back to my dual wield weapons mid-fight. It was fun to see it again if nothing else, but I did get my hopes up a little bit. x3

    You're very welcome, and this was absolutely the intention of the post! Enhancement may not be in the realm of Hunters or Priests, but they CAN certainly be played to a valuable level! Thank you for your comment!

    I'm starting to feel like Windsong is the best choice overall. I still go back to Boulderfist every now and again, but Windsong + Bloodfury is a nice little bursty combo to fall back on when you need some on-demand damage. It does have a niche playstyle, what with a lot of hit and run, but I've found myself to be incredibly tanky - sometimes even holding off as many as 3 people while I stall a node. Of course, those three people are entirely class dependent.. Survival usually shreds me but I last longer than most other dps, the downside is as you said, damage of course. If I had a wish for my birthday, it'd be Stormstrike at level 10 or 15.

    If I had to pick my two favorite classes in Wow, #1 would be a shaman, and #2 would be a warrior. I could have rerolled a long time ago, but after a while you just stop caring about the numbers and get into the vibe of the class. Rolling through Alterac Valley as an orc and coming out of ghostwolf on some unsuspecting soul with a flurry of elements just feels good. I don't get those kinds of feels on any other class, so I will always be a shaman. :) Thank you for your comment!
     
  15. OP
    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    Just as a bit of an update:

    I've nearly finished an entire invasion event set, but man, today's been pretty discouraging as far as PvP as enhancement has gone. At least it has for me. Maybe one of the worst days I can think of, looking back in years passed. As I said, I'm fairly new to twinking but I've been PvP'ing very actively since I started playing the better part of a decade ago, and today has just been.. woah. Ha.

    Anyway, with nearly finishing the set I decided to try out the Hot Hand talent again and see if having filled every slot makes the RNG worth it. I can say that when it procs, the damage is pretty unreal compared to without it. 800-1k+ crits with Blood Fury up with chain procs is practically a death sentence, and then you get situations where it doesn't proc the whole game. I'm not a big fan of having my damage be so wishy washy and uncontrollable, so I'm not sure that I'll use the talent much more, but it certainly does play well with a supportish role of off-healing and being tanky while still having some RNG damage to throw in without having to dump your maelstrom. I've barely touched Boulderfist, which used to be my go-to, in favor of Windsong. Opening with a nice big heavy hit from Windsong seems to send people reeling back, I think its because you don't see many Enhancement Shaman in this bracket so a lot of people aren't too sure what they can do.

    Overall, though, I did find myself doing more damage and getting more kills while using Surge as a Maelstrom spender and mostly just using Lava Lash on procs. Figured I'd share, I've talked to a few people in-game who have expressed distaste with Hot Hands.
     
  16. Leek

    Leek Veteran

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    I have a lvl 20 Enh shaman with hothand as talent and it seems to work pretty well. Since you get a free lava lash with 100% more damage, you can just spend the maelstrom instead to heal yourself instantly. And just keep frostbrand on and no one can run away for long.
     
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    Fenrok

    Fenrok New Member

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    That's the way I've been using it, like I stated in my post. I've used it tonight after my post and I'm starting to like it more. I prefer controlled damage as opposed to RNG nowadays, but Hot Hand is a little more interactive than Windsong which I was enjoying. It helps too that the last time I really checked out Hot Hand I was missing both rings slots, a trinket, helmet, and necklace. The added stat slots have made it much more appealing, since it bumps up the Lava Lash damage by a pretty significant margin - way higher than I expected.
     
  18. Freetwink

    Freetwink Member

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    Anyone playing 29 ench shammy today and what is stat priority ? If there is alredy a post can You post link please ? Thanks you
     
  19. Leek

    Leek Veteran

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    Id say vers then crit then haste as haste cant really be meaningfully stacked at this level with limited usage
     
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