A few Words about 3.2.2. And Shaman!

Mmo-champion has been working overtime of late to get us some fancy 3.2.2 patchnotes. (Honestly, with all the hype around this patch+the length it’s been since 3.2 itself was launched, does anyone else feel like 3.2.2 is Blizzard’s way of saying “Here’s a new patch to tide you over until icecrown but without any real new content or anything?”) At any rate, cheap shots at Blizzard aside (at the end of the day, I think they’re a hardworking group of gents {this is a cool word} who have the impossible job of balancing a game while trying to keep their playerbase happy, and I’m quite thankful they’re damn good at it) the Shaman forums have gone their usual route of screaming without spending any time trying to form a coherent or logical thought.  But hey, why should this patch be any different than 3.2 3.1 3.0 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1every patch in the history of video games. (Also, I use parentheses a lot.) So, here is my unbiased, semi-logical, I try-not-to-think-of-myself-as-a-shaman-and-look-at-the-game-as-a-whole take on patch notes.

1. Earthen Power: No longer causes Earthbind to pulse a persistent snare immunity aura. It does still remove snares from allies as an instant pulse, but there is no lingering immunity. Earthen Power now also brings Earth Shock’s melee attack speed reduction up to -15%/-20% (with 1 or 2 points in it, respectively).

I can’t pretend this is anything but a nerf to Enhancement pvp. I’m also not sure I can pretend this change is anything but needed. The way it works on live, every time Earthbind totem pulses it provides a (5?) second buff that makes everyone in your party immune to snaring. Given that Earth bind pulses as soon as it is dropped, and is on a short 15 second cooldown, this means your party is immune to snares 1/3 of the time. If you’re good at dropping totems out of LoS, or your opponent is bad at totem stopping, you can keep that immunity to snares to your entire party up for a long while. This change removes the 5 second immunity after pulse, but still removes snares on pulse. It’s a reasonably balanced change, provided you’re good at hiding your totems. Also, Ghostcrawler brought up a good point: “We think Earthen Power and the Ghost Wolf change were trying to solve the same problem. Together they felt like overkill to us, and we thought the Ghost Wolf change was more interesting so we kept that one. Your mileage may vary and I would be surprised if many shaman agreed since they were the target of the nerf.” (Source.)


  • Flame Shock: The duration of all ranks has been increased by 6 seconds.
  • Lava Burst: This ability no longer ever consumes a Flame Shock debuff off of the target.
  • Glyph of Flame Shock: Redesigned. This glyph now makes Flame Shock periodic damage able to be critical strikes.

To explain how this changes things: The current Flame Shock glyph makes flame shock not be consumed by Lava Burst, and increases it’s duration by 6 seconds (allowing more time for lightning bolt/cl between flameshock renews.) This glyph is considered mandatory for elemental dps. These changes are awesome for elemental dps, as it A) Allows anyone with 2Pc elemental t8 to use a different glyph, such as 10% more lava burst damage, in their glyph slot, or B) allows anyone in any other tier set to use their flame shock glyph and get a higher dps increase than pre-patch.

But anyway, less about Smellemental, and more about a real spec: The first buff we get from this is a minor buff to our dps on any fight that requires us being out of melee range for any length of time. (Think burning bile on Northrend Beasts, for example.) With stormstrike doomed to fall off, we can throw up a flameshock on the baddie boss, and then enjoy two free instant crit lava bursts+elemental devastation while we wait to run back in. It’s not amazing, and very situational, but it’s nice.

The last fun thing about this change is what it might due to Enhancement’s rotation, as we might end up dropping glyph of windfury for glyph of flame shock. The numbers are still being crunched, but Elitist Jerks is hinting at the return of Flame shock to the enhancement rotation-especially with 4pc t9. Bacially, we’d use a 1:2 rotation- throw Flame Shock up first, six second laters ES, six second laters ES again, and then back to Flame shock. This is a pretty awesome idea, as it adds a new dynamic to a system that hasn’t changed since 3.0. (We also need to see if Flame Shock tick crits proc Elemental Devastation. It would be amazing.) I’m also wondering what effect this will have on speccing into reverberation- 1 second off shocks won’t matter since you’ll want to wait for the FS dot to tick all 18 seconds anyway.

3. Cleansing Totem: It’s overpowered. Long-term we need some kind of overhaul to the dispel system so that you can free allies who get debuffed or CC’d but you aren’t constantly losing important class abilities because of cheap, fast and sometimes pulsing dispels.

I’m being vague because we haven’t announced any 3.2.2 or 3.3 changes yet. Those won’t be the overhaul I described, but we hope to do something.-Ghostcrawler.

I’ll preface this by saying: I’d hate to see Cleansing Totem nerfed, especially on fights like Maexxna/Faerlina, where it excels. Even never stepping foot in the arena, I’d hate a nerf to my beloved cleansing totem. That said, much like Earthen Power, a nerf might be needed. Cleansing Totem is a spammable, fire-and-forget totem that takes the thought out of removing diseases/poisons. It also servers to render a Death Knight terribly impotent, which might be something us as shaman players don’t mind, but is severely in our favor.

That said, I’m not even positive we’ll see a nerf. Ghostcrawler called the totem overpowered, but rather than saying straight up that it would be nerfed he suggested an entire overhaul of the dispel system. Do I doubt Cleansing Totem will be as powerful as it’s current incarnation? Yes, I do- but Blizzard hasn’t said anything permanent yet, and allowing ourselves to become overly concerned with what might be is stupid.

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