Making the best: Enhancement pvp tips.

90 Orc Shaman
13435
Hey guys, I have been playing enhancement pvp for a while now and I have picked up a few obscure ideas that have helped me improve significantly from when I started. Enhancement burst is fantastic but as is often brought up in discussions survivability can be a huge issue for many people. Here are a few things that I have done to help me out, if you guys have anything to add let us know how you deal with certain situations.

Hunters - Stampede
This skill was a huge issue for me for the longest time. The only two ways that I had figured to deal with it was earthgrab (talent required) and capacitor (after delay) both of which are not ideal. In 2v2 even with my warrior safeguarding and fearing the pets I would still often get torn apart. After testing I found out the best way to deal with this skill is actually earth elemental totem. I used to not have this skill bound as its uses seemed rather limited to me as well as the draw backs of not having access to your fire elemental for a time. I, like most others, don't take primal elementalist so the elementals act 1/2 pets with no controlling action bar, but that doesn't mean they don't have and use certain skills. Upon being dropped the earth elemental will aoe taunt a variety of units including an entire stampede and tank them till the skill expires.

Stealth openings - Hunters, Rogues, Druids and Mages
These openings were one of the hardest thing I found to deal with. They usually involve a massive amount of burst coupled with chain cc. Early on I found myself dead before I could get off a single skill which as many others have found isn't overly fun. Even with full resilience gems and as much support as possible from my partner these sort of openings would easily destroy me. Currently Shamans are primary target #1 and until we get something to better manage being focused we will have to find ways to live. A few minor changes to my play style have improved my survivability significantly and its these few key changes that make a huge difference. The key is to survive. Use every tool at your disposal to live through the burst and the cooldowns. Get yourself and your team into a position where your godlike burst can be utilised, you are no good dead. Proper use of Rockbiter is probably one of the biggest improvements and has helped me survive especially against these huge stealth openers.

Some quick tips
- Keep rockbiter on while you are being focused, this may seem like the majority of the time but between the % dmg reduction and the unleash effect it can make a big difference

- Being quick on your fingers and getting off a grounding or capacitor totem can really help and disrupt a lot of a combo. Know the timers on mage invisibility in particular to get a good idea of how long until they will be forced to open.

- Using your trinket to get off Astral Shift, Wolves and Unleash can help a lot. You will often get hit by another stun 1/2 a second later but there is no point in saving the trinket and % damage reduction until you are 10% from dead. Until Shift can be cast while stunned/silenced this is often the only way to live through huge burst openers.

-Similar to Shift proper use of Shamanistic rage is important, you must weigh up the 30% damage reduction against the magic based cc clear. If against hunters and rogues its often best to throw it up immediately. Alternatively saving it for the Deep Freeze after the Ring of frost, Frost orb, Frost Bomb combo can get you into a good position to interrupt and start applying pressure.

- It is often overlooked that earth shock applies weakened blows, if no one on your team can provide it for you a quick earth shock on a charging in warrior can give you that little bit of an edge.

- For the majority of the pvp I have done so far I have ran ancestral guidance macro'd into Ascendance and my other major cooldowns. One issue with this though is that it often forces you to use your major burst cooldown at an inopportune time as a defensive cooldown. If any -% damage skills are used by your opponents the healing is less and even worse if major defensive skills are still available (Bubble, Block, Disperse) you often find you will get no healing and your strongest tool is wasted. If managed well Healing Tide Totem can often provide that little bit of help that you need while being focused and may be worth taking a look at.

-Being able to stick to a target is huge as it gives you the burst healing from maelstrom. If you can't get to your ideal target hitting anything in range can give you the few stacks you need. If being pillar kited taking a couple of swings at an annoying pet following you around until you can re-engage can give you a good hand.

-Depending on your play style choosing between Elemental Mastery and Echo of the Elements is often a wash. Having the extra burst from Ele Mastery can be nice and is what I chose for some time. Lately however I have found that the occasional double heal from Echo can be the difference between life and death. Remember that enhancement has a 30% chance to proc Echo which isn't too bad if you get lucky while spamming heals. While Glyph of Healing Storm will only affect the first heal and not the echo it can still give you the few seconds more you need.

I have found that some key macros can give you a big hand, a few that I use are:

Frostbrand / Rockbiter switching
#showtooltip
/castsequence [@none] Frostbrand Weapon, Rockbiter Weapon
/use 17
/click StaticPopup1Button1

I have found that if you bind this to mouse wheel down it can give great ease of use to switch back and forth.

Mouseover casting, particularly Hex/Wind Shear/Frost Shock
#showtooltip Wind Shear
/stopcasting
/use [@mouseover,harm][]Wind Shear

How this works is if you have your mouse over a target the spell will be cast on mouse over, otherwise it will be cast on your current target. Just substitute the spell name for any you want to use. This is great to inturupt without losing your current target, to frost shock someone to keep them off you or to land a capacitor and to throw off a quick hex before popping major burst cooldowns.

I hope this has been of some use to the people who are having a hard time in enhance pvp at the moment. I don't think we are in a perfect situation balance wise at the moment but some minor improvement have certainly helped me quite a bit. I'm still not sure what we really need to put us in a better place, some minor quality of life changes, passive -% damage reduction, being able to use our tools while stunned and silenced, something to punish those who focus the shaman straight through their cooldowns or something to use against heavy cooldown usage. Any one of these would put us in a great place, we don't need much. Our survival has a high skill cap, we have to put in a lot more effort than almost any other spec but that, in essence, is half the fun... ish...
Edited by Shøcks on 2/17/2013 7:31 AM PST
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90 Dwarf Shaman
11630
These are good tips, particularly the ones about stampede and rockbiter. I cant wait to get to 90 and try those macros with RB out.

If you have anymore tips for certain classes, please share.
Edited by Roangut on 2/17/2013 1:37 AM PST
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13 Goblin Shaman
Eon
0
Good tips! in 2s i use the primal elementist talent. I find that the games are so short that the earth elemental with his buffed abilities becomes way more handy then unleashed fury. You get way more on demand defenses and a stun. Unless your queing into a healer dps comp that is then i take unleashed fury and of course in 3s the cool down on the elemental's is to long to be worthwhile
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13 Goblin Shaman
Eon
0
I wouldn't ever use rock bitter tho its kinda garbage and that 5% doesn't really do a whole considering the burst from other classes.
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90 Orc Shaman
13435
I can understand the thought that the 5% isn't much and its not really but often its better than nothing and might save you from time to time. We loose a fair bit of utility and damage when in rockbiter as opposed to when in frostbrand, loosing the sprint/slow in particular is punishing as our gap closing is rather poor without it. Compared to the 25% from warrior defensive stance and the limited consequence they take for hard camping in it rockbiter stance dancing is, overall, lack lustre. It should be used on those occasions where you would die in cc before being able to do much either way, this will particularly occur on the stealth opener comps. I just chuck it on because I might as well hope to live a little longer between the 5% and the chance of getting the unleash off. If I manage to survive the burst ill keep it on for the sustained reduction until we have forced out some major defensive cooldowns. Once we have made a good opener ill switch over to frostbrand and line up Ascendance with any cc we can get off in the hope of bursting someone. We often manage to burst from full to zero once they are out of cooldowns, surviving till then is the main issue. I did just have a fairly rough night mucking around in 2's, getting torn to shreds by hunters before I could get any skills off is very bleh when they can just tunnel through every defensive cooldown under the sun with a macro and still have 2 x Deterence. The earth elemental is a nice counter to some of stampedes damage but not being able to use most of your skills while stunned/silenced, which is usually a lot, doesn't allow for much counter-play.
Edited by Shøcks on 2/17/2013 9:06 AM PST
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90 Dwarf Shaman
6715
You just blew my mind with earth elemental countering stampede.
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90 Dwarf Shaman
8650
Nice tips. Something you should always look before you duel or do some arenas (2's mainly) are your glyphs.
Most Enh shamans usually go with
-Healing Storm
-Shamanistic Rage
-Purge

This is good, butt if you are facing for example a Warrior in a duel or a Rogue/Warrior comp consider changing your glyphs before you fight because 2 out of the 3 glyphs you've got are gonna be useless, and you could be using glyph of feral spirit, capacitor, hex or maybe even ghost wolf.
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90 Orc Shaman
13435
02/18/2013 08:32 PMPosted by Lightninglol
You just blew my mind with earth elemental countering stampede.


It is certainly not the first thing I thought of using when I was getting rocked by pets but it seems to be the best way to deal with it. It will also taunt a variety of other pets as well and it properly timed may even eat fears from psyfiends for you.
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Great tips , its nice to see some people still playing their enhance :). I just lost my passion for him :( this almost makes me want to get on and runs some 3s. Nice work.
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90 Goblin Shaman
14780
Awesome stuff! already put the earth elemental tip to good use.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5615
These are really good tips. I am struggling with my Enhance,
I am currently leveling him, so it seems so slow, because most of the better enhanve skills dont come in until 60 now, so leveling him has been a little clunky and slow, I know the rotation is pretty intricate, so I am still learning enhance.

These are great tips so far, I already had macros for enchants, but I am not sure which to leave up, or when to switch? for pvp sake, I know frost brand is good for mobility reasons, windfury is added dps, and flametongue gets the bonus on FS. so I am just unsure of which to use/combinations. any suggestions to those?

-Leveling currently I use frost/windfury

-Edit- The Earth Elemental on the stampede is brilliant, kudos to you.
Edited by Summerflame on 2/21/2013 7:57 AM PST
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90 Tauren Shaman
7590
02/17/2013 05:04 AMPosted by Okep
I wouldn't ever use rock bitter tho its kinda garbage and that 5% doesn't really do a whole considering the burst from other classes.


Unleashed Fury makes rockbiter give you 40% damage reduction from the target. That's pretty huge.
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90 Orc Shaman
13435
02/21/2013 07:55 AMPosted by Summerflame
These are great tips so far, I already had macros for enchants, but I am not sure which to leave up, or when to switch? for pvp sake, I know frost brand is good for mobility reasons, windfury is added dps, and flametongue gets the bonus on FS. so I am just unsure of which to use/combinations. any suggestions to those?


I wouldn't worry too much about micro managing your weapon enchants for now. Lava lash scales well with ft and until you get the pvp set bonus is better than fb outside mobility situations. Once you get unleash and the end teir talents managing your enchants is a little more important and can make a big difference. I seem to remember lvling with double windfury for the occasional 1 shot on mobs which can be nice.
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100 Draenei Shaman
5615

I wouldn't worry too much about micro managing your weapon enchants for now. Lava lash scales well with ft and until you get the pvp set bonus is better than fb outside mobility situations. Once you get unleash and the end teir talents managing your enchants is a little more important and can make a big difference. I seem to remember lvling with double windfury for the occasional 1 shot on mobs which can be nice.


I ended up getting above 60 yesterday on my enhance, got spirit walk and wolves, but pve wise I have been using double WF (Mind you Im full BOA) so it helps blast through in PVE, and then I just started some pvp and used one WF one FB, so I understand what youre saying, but then at level 90, I will need to "enchant dance" like a warrior a bit? for unleash elements right?
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90 Orc Shaman
13435
02/22/2013 08:57 AMPosted by Summerflame
I ended up getting above 60 yesterday on my enhance, got spirit walk and wolves, but pve wise I have been using double WF (Mind you Im full BOA) so it helps blast through in PVE, and then I just started some pvp and used one WF one FB, so I understand what youre saying, but then at level 90, I will need to "enchant dance" like a warrior a bit? for unleash elements right?


Not too many Shamans do in pvp but it can give you a bit of a leg up if you are being focused. The main tool you will use is switching to rockbiter for the unleash benefit and then switching back when you are in a good position to apply pressure or attempt to force a kill. When compared to warrior stance dancing is a bit meh, the 5% reduction isn't overly noticeable as opposed to the 25% from defensive stance but having it on and ready to unleash can be a big help. You wont often pop your cooldowns right off the bat so I often leave rockbiter on against double dps comps until we have forced out some cooldowns. Once you have them on the defensive and out of cooldowns switch to frostbrand pop cooldowns and throw out your burst. I usually use the global to switch to a more ideal enchant when I have nothing else to spend it on, so when ideal totems are down and in good positions, no shocks ready or cc needed to be put up. I run in 2s with a dragons roar warrior and its great being able to take someone from full in a single global once they have nothing left. If you blow your cooldowns too early they can get soaked up by major cooldowns which can be a bummer. The imbue dancing will help you survive till you can blow someone up.
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90 Draenei Shaman
5435
The only thing I have found different is that when you need to go defensive you biggest defense is usually opening up space or LoSing the target. In this case losing your sprint (along with extra slow) it a horrid choice over losing a few seconds of increased dps.
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94 Draenei Shaman
7440
Hunters - Stampede
This skill was a huge issue for me for the longest time. The only two ways that I had figured to deal with it was earthgrab (talent required) and capacitor (after delay) both of which are not ideal. In 2v2 even with my warrior safeguarding and fearing the pets I would still often get torn apart. After testing I found out the best way to deal with this skill is actually earth elemental totem. I used to not have this skill bound as its uses seemed rather limited to me as well as the draw backs of not having access to your fire elemental for a time. I, like most others, don't take primal elementalist so the elementals act 1/2 pets with no controlling action bar, but that doesn't mean they don't have and use certain skills. Upon being dropped the earth elemental will aoe taunt a variety of units including an entire stampede and tank them till the skill expires.


You sir are my hero!
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100 Troll Shaman
15170
02/17/2013 12:59 AMPosted by Shøcks
Stealth openings - Hunters, Rogues, Druids and Mages


Using Magma + totemic projection you can sometimes get them out of stealth. Preemptively dropping grounding against mages/boomkins can also be useful to absorb that first spell when they drop out of stealth.

I found these macros useful in, "OH SH!T" situations where you need to pop every cooldown or you lose. Putting everything in a macro helps save fractions of a second which can be significant.

Dont get too dependent on them though or against good players you will find yourself without cooldowns and pretty much useless. I pretty much use them only in 2v2 when its double dps vs double dps.

Enhancement "1 shot" macro:
#showtooltip
/cast Stormlash Totem
/cast Ascendance
/cast Elemental Mastery
/cast Berserking (or bloodfury if you are orc)
/use Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Conquest (or whatever on use trinket you have)

On the flip side, a "1 shot" defensive macro:
#showtooltip
/cast Astral Shift
/cast Shamanistic rage
/cast Healing Tide Totem
/use Healthstone
/cast Gift of the Naaru (or stoneform. Not sure if these are off the GCD)
/cast Reinforce (the talented earth elemental channel. Provides 20% extra damage reduction)
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90 Troll Shaman
11390
Something I started doing which seems to help a bit is when I see a melee coming my way, I drop the stun totem (forgot name, sorry) and when they get on me and do their things, it goes off soon after giving me a bit of breathing room. It doesn't always work, but it seems to help some.
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90 Orc Shaman
13435
Pre dropping capacitor before being engaged upon can be a great strategy, against players who mass pop cds as soon as they are on top of someone it can easily waste a lot of their burst. Skilled players will avoid or kill the totem with ease but relocation can help reposition if you are a little off. The totem is a bit unreliable and if you are a little too slow on relocation the animation will go off at the location but the stun will not so take care when using the global to change its position. Switching to rockbiter to unleash is also particularly effective against engaging mele, especially warriors with juggernaut, and might be worth a try. I would love being able to drop capacitor while cc'd against rogues who have engaged on me to break up the chain if they don't step off me.
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