Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Patch 5.3 Primer for Enhancement

Patch 5.3 is upon us! With this patch we will see several buffs to our damage and a couple of quality of life changes to boot. While these changes may not address things such as the long ramp up time for our AoE damage, they should bring our overall damage up enough to make us more competitive with other classes/specs in Throne of Thunder.

Lightning Bolt can now be cast while moving.
The effects of the Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (a glyph that has been revamped; we'll get to that) has been baked into the shaman toolkit, minus the increase in Lightning Bolt's cast time. What does this mean to Enhance? Not a whole lot really. This will be handy in those situations where we're on the move and may not have a full Maelstrom stack available. For high movement encounters, this change may yield a minor DPS increase for us.

* Glyph of Lightning Shield (previously Glyph of Unleashed Lightning) will reduce damage taken by 10% for 6 seconds after Lightning Shield is triggered. 
At first glance it seems like this glyph could potentially become a "must have" item for both PvP and progression raiding alike. However as it stands now, it is not triggered by Static Shock, which means that in order to receive the damage reduction effects, we must receive some sort of damage (spell, melee, or ranged attack, according to Lightning Shield's tooltip) before we receive the 10% damage reduction. This pretty much means that Glyph of Lightning Shield is reactive, versus proactive.

Bottom line, unless you're receiving some sort of semi-consistent direct damage, this glyph may not be worth a slot. Of course this glyph can have its uses, but it'll be very dependent upon the situations you find yourself in. Personally, I think I'll love this one for soloing.

* Feral Spirit: The summoned Spirit Wolves are now immune to movement impairing (root and snare) effects.
This change seems to be more of a quality of life change for PvP, though there are some situations in PvE where roots/snares occur. Though we may get stuck to the floor, our pups will still be able to chase down whatever it is that we're attacking, keeping up the damage pressure and giving us some passive healing in the process.

*Lava Lash now deals 300% weapon damage, up from 250%.
Single target damage buff? I'll take it!

*Stormstrike now deals 450% weapon damage, up from 375%.
Another nice buff to our single target damage. No complaints here.

*Mental Quickness now coverts 65% of the shaman's attack power to spell power, up from 55%.
This is a little buff that will effect a number of different aspects of both our damage and utility toolkits. Without going into heavy details, this change should slightly boost our AoE damage output, increase shock damage just a touch, and will also bring up healing throughput just a smidge.

That about covers it, barring any hotfixes. Now get on out there, swing those weapons, and enjoy the buffs!

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