Elemental, Shaman, Strategy, Theorycraft, WoW

Fire DPS totems

The signature totem and 41-point talent of Elemental Shamans is Totem of Wrath, which when dropped uses our fire-school totem slot.  This totem is a powerful combination of buff/debuff which greatly benefits any raid or party; however, we also have a number of fire-school totems which can do direct damage and there are times when we want to use one of them instead.  This guide will cover when, why and how to use fire DPS totems.

Totem of Wrath

First off, let’s talk about ToW!  It provides a very powerful buff – 280 spellpower – and debuff – 3% crit taken to all enemy targets in range.  If, however, you glance at the Buffs & Debuffs list, you’ll notice that other classes and specs can supply the same debuff and the same or better buff.  Specifically:

  • the crit debuff is covered if there is a Retribution Paladin or Assassination Rogue in your party/raid
  • the spellpower buff is covered if you have a Demonology Warlock with at least 2800 spellpower in your party/raid
  • Obviously a second Elemental Shaman in your party/raid can also supply both buff and debuff.

If you have both of these bases covered, then you are under no obligation to drop Totem of Wrath and can start to think about using other fire totems.

However if one or both of these effects is not supplied by anybody else, then it’s almost certainly going to benefit your group more to drop Totem of Wrath.  Mathematically, you have to weigh up the consequences of losing spellpower and/or crit chance for the entire raid against the DPS gain you expect from using a DPS totem.  In almost all situations raid DPS will suffer more than your personal DPS will increase.

It’s also important to think about the situation you’re in for any specific encounter!  For example, if there’s nothing for a warlock’s pet to be attacking and getting crits on, your raid won’t be getting the spellpower buff even with a demo lock present.  Similarly, a ret pally won’t be applying judgements to every target in a big AoE situation.  And of course dead demo locks and ret pallies don’t buff/debuff anything.  Be prepared to drop Totem of Wrath when the situation calls for it even if in theory you have the bases covered.

The DPS totems

OK, so you know when to drop Totem of Wrath and thus lock yourself out of our beautiful, precious DPS totems… but what about when we can actually use them?  Let’s go over the 3 options.

1. Fire Elemental Totem

This guy has been buffed, tweaked and generally made a lot more useful over the course of Wrath of the Lich King.  He’s now on a 10-minute cooldown, lasts for 2 minutes, and benefits from all the normal AoE damage reductions that other “pets” get.

Duration: 2 minutes

No. of targets: AoE-wise, he has both a Fire Shield which pulses against all nearby targets every 3 seconds and a Fire Nova which affects all nearby targets and can be cast every 7 seconds or so.  Against single targets he also uses a melee attack that does fire damage (and is thus not affected by physical-type debuffs) and a Fire Blast.

Stats: The Fire Friend benefits from our Spellpower, Hit rating/Expertise (his melee attacks are subject to parries, dodges, blocks etc.), Attack Power and Intellect at time of casting only – changes in our stats after cast do not affect him.  Because he is not considered a party member, he gets none of our buffs himself, but does benefit from debuffs on a target (specifically: magical damage taken, spell crit chance and general crit chance).

Survival: Immune to all fire-school damage.  Gets a passive 90% reduction to all AoE effect damage and cannot be targeted by any RSTS effects which ignore pets.  Will NOT benefit from group heal affects which only target party members as he is not considered a member of the party/raid.  Will be destroyed if his totem is destroyed or replaced by another.

Control: The Fire Friend is not a paragon of order.  He has a mind of his own and will wander off to attack anything within his range as and when he feels like it.  This may or may not result in him standing around doing nothing (other than, well, burning) while you’re attacking something.  Generally if something aggressive wanders within his “aggro radius” he will attack it, and generally if the shaman is attacking something nearby (or something is attacking the shaman) he will come to help.

Range: Tethered to the totem that spawns him, the Fire Friend will travel up to about 40 yards to attack a target he has picked.  His actual “aggro radius” seems to be rather smaller, perhaps about 20 yards.

When to use

The Fire Friend is our most powerful single-target fire DPS totem, and is also very strong in AoE situations.  However, his AoE is unreliable and if the targets are spread out at all, he may end up attacking the wrong ones.

It’s best to drop the Fire Elemental at times when a target is going to be in range for the full 2 minute duration and when it doesn’t matter what target he attacks.  Sooner is always better because of his long cooldown, but if there is an important burn phase it can be wise to save him until then.

Why to use

The Fire Elemental totem is our single biggest DPS cooldown after Heroism/Bloodlust.  Against a single target in Icecrown gear, it will normally do between 1.2 and 1.6k DPS for the 2 minutes it’s active, which for a five minute fight works out as 5-600 extra DPS for the shaman who uses it.  And his long duration means that we lose less personal DPS to drop him than we do using other fire totems.

How to use

  • It’s important to drop the totem in range of the target you want the Elemental to attack – preferably close enough for a Fire Nova to hit – but also with sufficient room that the tethered elemental can follow the target wherever it might move to.
  • Do NOT drop it too soon, or it may pull aggro before the tank gets a hit in and die, costing you a 10-minute cooldown for nothing.
  • Do NOT delay using it unnecessarily.  If it’s off cooldown, use it as soon as possible unless there’s a reason not to.  The sooner you use it, the sooner you can use it again.
  • If you’re relying on a second Elemental Shaman to supply Totem of Wrath, consider tag-teaming your Fire Elementals; when one expires, have the shaman who dropped it switch to ToW while you use your Elemental.  Two Fire Friends one after the other are more DPS than a Fire Friend followed by a searing totem.
  • Consider using a /focus Greater Fire Elemental macro to focus-target your buddy when he comes out so that you can heal him if he gets into trouble.  He won’t be affected by any of your raid’s heals whatsoever so can be quite vulnerable if he ends up standing in purple fire for too long.
  • Make absolutely sure you have more than 2 minutes left on your Glyph of Totem of Wrath buff before you send this guy out, or you’ll be prevented from refreshing the buff without killing him prematurely.

Glyph of Fire Elemental

The glyph reduces the cooldown of the totem by 5 minutes.  There are two situations in which this is useful: firstly, if a fight lasts long enough for you to drop the totem a second time with the glyph but only once without it; secondly, if you are burning through boss attempts so fast that you can otherwise only use your FE every second or third attempt.  In all other situations the glyph is a waste of space.

2. Searing Totem

The first DPS totem we get back at level 10, and seemingly rather unexciting while levelling – but at level 80 and in a raid situation, this dude is a DPS powerhouse.  A very small house, and rather low power… but still.

Duration: 60 seconds

No. of targets: The Searing Totem is limited to a single target, and it spends all its time casting a spell called “Attack” which takes 2.2 seconds to cast.  However in reality its casts occur more like every 2.5 seconds.

Stats: Searing Totem benefits from our full Spellpower, Hit rating, Crit chance and damage buffs and also benefits from all applicable target debuffs.  Our only primary stat which doesn’t affect it is Haste.  It also benefits from our Call of Flame talent (which the Fire Elemental doesn’t).  Unlike Fire Elemental Totem, Searing’s benefit from our stats updates in real-time.

Survival: A regular 5-health totem, immune to almost all AoE and RSTS.  However, nearby mobs will still sometimes turn around and whack it dead, and some bosses are (wrongly?) tuned to target totems with their various touch-of-nastiness type spells.  As the totem has no cooldown, losing it is merely an annoyance rather than a serious problem.

Control: Like the Fire Friend, this guy has his own AI and will attack anything he decides to.  Usually that decision is based on the same sort of factors as the Fire Friend’s – is a target in range, is it hostile, is it in combat with the shaman? – but not always.

Range: It can hit targets up to 20 yards away and no more.

When to use

If there’s a single target to hit or if you can’t get close enough to multiple targets to use Magma Totem, Searing is your guy (and I mean that in a strictly non-Prison Movie sense).

Why to use

Searing Totem’s big advantages over Magma Totem are duration and range: his longer duration means that you spend less time casting him instead of DPSing, and his longer range means that you spend less time travelling or in range of Nasty Stuff to set him down.  A well-used Searing Totem can grant upwards of 500 DPS to a well-geared Elemental Shaman.

How to use

  • Any time you’re free to drop a fire DPS totem and there’s a target that’s going to live for more than 30 seconds or so, set this fella down.  You won’t regret it.
  • There’s no benefit to re-casting Searing Totem during high spellpower/crit procs because its damage updates based on our stats in real-time.  It’ll benefit from any procs you gain while they’re active, then go back to normal afterwards, without you doing anything.
  • The range on this totem’s attacks is only 20 yards.  Ideally you want to be standing no more than 20 yards away from what you want it to hit so that you don’t waste time moving into position every 60 seconds.  However, if you absolutely have to stand more than 20 yards away, consider timing your totem redrops with Flame Shock refreshes or Glyph of Totem of Wrath rebuffs while you move – that way you’re losing as little DPS as possible while you run around.
  • Similarly, if you have to move anyway, it’s a great time to re-drop Searing Totem so long as you are moving within 20 yards of the target.  For example, Sindragosa‘s Icy Grip is a perfect opportunity to land a Searing Totem in a great position without costing yourself any DPS to do so.

3. Magma Totem

Magma Totem was seriously buffed as a part of our overall AoE tweaking a while back, and is now a pretty amazing AoE DPS tool – we can drop it and forget it while it does its thing and we do ours.  However its short duration mitigates its usefulness.

Duration: 20 seconds

No. of targets: Magma pulses every 2 seconds to hit all targets within 8 yards.  Pure AoE baby!

Stats: Like Searing Totem, Magma benefits from our full Spellpower, Hit rating, Crit chance and damage buffs and also benefits from all applicable target debuffs.  Our only primary stat which doesn’t affect it is Haste.  It also benefits from our Call of Flame talent.

Survival: Same as Searing Totem: a regular 5-health totem, immune to almost all AoE and RSTS.  Somewhat more vulnerable to random mobs attacking it as it has to be almost in melee range to be effective and is more likely to aggro freshly-spawned creatures because of its constant pulsing.

Control: Unlike searing and fire elemental totems, this thing just sits where it’s placed and pulses a constant stream of AoE.  Anything in 8 yards will get hit, and anything further away won’t.

Range: 8 yards, still.

When to use

Although its DPS against a single target is actually higher than Searing’s for most gear levels, the extra time we have to spend dropping it combined with its vastly smaller range make it a bad choice for a single target.  That is to say, because we have to drop it 3 times (and potentially run back and forth into and out of range at the same time) when we’d only be dropping Searing Totem once, it actually does less extra DPS than Searing would against most single target situations.

However where this totem shines is in AoE situations.  It does better and more consistent AoE damage than the Fire Elemental (though less overall damage), and benefits from our ability to place it precisely where the mobs we want to hit are.  Combined with our own Fire Nova and Chain Lighting Spells, the Magma Totem allows us to do pretty insane amounts of AoE damage.

Why to use

Maxx AoE damages, pure and simple.  It does about 700 DPS per target present, not counting the time taken to drop it.

How to use

  • Magma Totem’s main restrictions are its short duration and short range.  Therefore we want to minimise the impact of these limitations when we use it, picking our timing carefully and making sure to position as efficiently as possible.
  • If mobs are moving around constantly, forget using this.  Just drop a Searing totem or Fire Elemental instead, as the time you spend running around dropping new Magma Totems will cost you too much DPS.
  • Similarly, if DPS on a single target is more important than DPS on adds, or if the adds are short lived, don’t bother with this totem.  Sure it may pad your damage meter performance, but it will actually hinder the group by reducing your damage on targets that actually matter.

Summary

So let’s review what we’ve talked about, as well as some things we haven’t.

Stats: our fire totems all benefit from our spellpower, hit and intellect; searing and magma also benefit from our crit.  Haste does not have any effect on our fire totems; however, it’s still generally worth far more than crit even when using fire totems to DPS because the amount of our total DPS which comes from fire totems is so small.

Control: the only totem we can really control is Magma Totem.  Learning how to control the other two can take a bit of practice.

Placement: every single one of our fire DPS totems takes a full second out of our cast time to drop, and possibly more for moving to where we want them dropped.  Learning to minimize the time we “waste” on dropping fire totems is key to using them effectively.

Theorycraft: presently both SimulationCraft and ZAP! model fire totems to various extents, and can tell you more about their effect on your stat weightings and DPS – especially its effect on the relationship between crit and haste.

Glyph of Totem of Wrath: ironically, because it boosts our spellpower, this benefits us even more than usual if we use fire DPS totems.  All we have to do is make sure that at some point every 5 minutes we drop Totem of Wrath.  Naturally the best time to do this is while moving, but remember that after dropping ToW we have to re-drop whatever fire DPS totem we were using.  (Remember that the buff persists no matter what fire totem we swap to after dropping ToW!)

Advantages

Using fire totems when we can is a simple and generally reliable way to generate valuable extra DPS that’s quite forgiving on learners and yet offers a lot of room for min/maxing for the hardcore.  (Also as Jeeru points out in the comments, fire totem damage doesn’t contribute to our threat.)

Disadvantages

Bear in mind that theorycraft will usually present a “best-case” scenario for fire totem use, whereas in reality some fights simply don’t entirely suit our fire totems’ mechanics.  For example, a fire elemental can end up gathering and killing the important shadowy orb things on Blood Prince Council, and a searing totem won’t help DPS oozes or slimes on Professor Putricide.

Comments

If you’re a long-time user of fire DPS totems yourself and have any tips or tricks to share, please do!  Similarly if you want to know more about fire DPS totems or have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

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Discussion

31 thoughts on “Fire DPS totems

  1. Have you had any experience on Valithria yet? I’m wondering how much others have been able to use magma on the fight. It often seems that the suppressors don’t group up close enough to hit 4 at a time with a magma. In addition there is enough movement that I am not often close to melee on the suppressors even when I stick to one side.

    It seems to me that while there are plenty of targets in the fight, before the adds get super crazy at 90% magma is of limited use for me.

    Posted by Luq | February 10, 2010, 7:27 pm
    • I gave up trying to use magma totem on Valithria, and just plonked a searing totem in the middle of the floor whenever I had a free moment. The adds died way too fast and I had to move far too much to reach them.

      And I actually ended up healing in the end anyway :]

      Posted by Charles | February 10, 2010, 8:17 pm
    • You can stand inside of Dreamwalker’s model. Be careful, though; her model will hide void zones.

      Dreamwalker isn’t a great fight for totems, but luckily, it’s not a fight that calls for DPS over long periods of time. It’s all about burst DPS. Personally, I hook Searing Totem up to my totem set, and I just reapply my totems wherever the most dangerous target is.

      For Suppressors, don’t forget that you can Earthbind them before they reach Dreamwalker, and then you can Magma and Fire Nova them. Magma/FN the Blood Beasts, too; those little worms are surprisingly dangerous.

      Posted by Bergg | February 11, 2010, 6:15 am
  2. Out of personal curiousity, you mention that the fire elemental gets some benefits that “pets” get. Does it go so far as to benefit from an Orc’s Command? I haven’t been able to find someone to test this out with.

    Posted by Maker | February 10, 2010, 9:05 pm
    • Uh, I don’t think so, though I’ll check what the EnhSim guys have done (my fire totem model comes mostly from their data). My understanding is that none of our fire totems benefit from Command; I’m fairly certain that at least the Elemental doesn’t*.

      It’s important to note that the Fire Elemental isn’t really considered a player “pet” in any true sense of the word – it just has some pet-like mechanics which were mostly added after it was felt to be too weak in PvE. Technically it behaves more like what are usually called “guardians”.

      *Edit: Yeah, I checked through the EnhSim code and none of the fire totems are coded to benefit from Command (though Spirit Wolves are). Those guys are usually pretty thorough about their testing!

      Posted by Charles | February 10, 2010, 9:30 pm
      • Fire Elemental was not affected by Blood Queen’s Bite on Week 1, but Searing Totem was affected by Blood Queen’s Bite on Week 1. Ever since then I’ve always used Fire Elemental on the pull, and then I reapply Searing Totem when I’m bitten. I haven’t tried putting Fire Elemental down after being bitten in recent weeks.

        Just putting that out there.

        Posted by Bergg | February 11, 2010, 6:17 am
  3. The Magma Totem also does not contribute to your threat and has a low “aggro priority” for mobs. Basically if an enemy is free to move it will hit anything but your Magma Totem. However if an enemy is rooted next to your Magma Totem it will wack it freely.

    As for compliments…

    I like how you’ve emphasized Searing’s positive aspects, all too often people latch onto Magma’s higher potential DPS and won’t let it go. There are several fights that searing shines, and I’d argue the majority of fights that is true.

    Posted by Jeeru | February 11, 2010, 12:33 am
    • As for Valithria I’ve come to the same, keeping a ToW down might actually be more benefit for the raid as the 3% Crit Debuff can hit multiple mobs, but that’d take an awful lot of math to figure out where that break point is.

      Posted by Jeeru | February 11, 2010, 12:36 am
  4. Do any of your Fire Damage Totems (specifically Magma and Searing) sometimes instantly despawn when you summon them? There is no totem destruction listed in the combat log–you just summon the totem, it appears, and then it is instantly destroyed by nothing, wasting a global cooldown.

    I’ve been wondering what that is about. It only happens on raids. On some fights, like Heroic Anub’arak, where I refresh Magma Totem often, it has happened to me 3+ times in a row! It’s definitely not me somehow desummoning the totem, because it is both summoned and desummoned in the exact same global cooldown. Any ideas?

    Posted by Bergg | February 11, 2010, 6:23 am
  5. One “trick” I’m fond of is setting one of my “Call” spells to just drop Magma and Earthbind at the same time. So long as the mobs are aggroed onto something else already, you use a single GCD to root them in place and begin AoE with them all gathered in the right place.

    @Jeeru: Well pointed out, and of course all of our fire totems have their own threat tables which are independent of the shaman. As for Magma, although its active DPS is technically higher than Searing’s, the extra cast time it costs does in theory make it considerably worse on a single target for elemental shamans (for whom every GCD spent is potentially thousands of DPS lost). While it’s not actually going to stop us mid-9k DPS flow every time we drop Magma, the TC does show quite conclusively that searing is a better choice for most single target scenarios.

    @Bergg: The problem you describe is well documented by the Enhancement community, who I think have come to believe it’s caused by lag – the server saying “OK, your magma totem expires now” just as you drop it and thus nixxing your new totem.

    However, I also do find that mobs are annoyingly eager to kill fire totems. My fire elemental totem (not the elemental itself, but its tether totem) pretty much always got killed by spawning adds on Freya, for example. And I often had a searing totem down when Icehowl became active, and despite our tanks spamming attacks he’d frequently knock the totem down if it was in his range. DPS totems are more susceptible to this because they actually have their own aggro tables (which makes placement and timing even more important), but I’ve even had no-threat totems like ToW get randomly destroyed by adds/bosses. Sometimes, though, that’s been due to RSTS or TAOE abilities wrongly targeting totems.

    Re: totems and Lana’thel’s bite: Yeah, FE not getting benefit from the duff is consistent with its usual mechanics, and ditto for Searing benefiting from it. FE is basically a totally separate entity unconnected to the shaman (“guardian”), whereas Searing seems to be considered more of a true “pet” and shares a lot more of its casters’ stats etc.

    Posted by Charles | February 11, 2010, 11:40 am
  6. I think this is a really great topic to address, because there still seems to be a global opinion (some of it even belonging to beginning ele shamans) that we are nothing but the “Wrath bitch” and when we find out that others can provide the same or better buff – we don’t really know what to do with ourselves after the fact.

    I’m very fortunate to be able to raid with my GM, who is a well geared demonology lock and that I have the luxury of dropping other totems during the raid. I have noticed my damage, without dropping Wrath is much better and I cracked the 6k mark overall last night in ICC. I was quite pleased!

    In terms of Valithria, I usually drop my totems near the middle landing strip towards the front of the room and everyone isn’t usually too far from those. I have been dropping Wrath for this encounter, just because adds tend to die fast and the other crit effects may not have time to be placed on them or may expire quickly.

    I’m also a huge fan of the points put into Earthbind, btw. That talent has gotten me out of so many crappy spots – lol

    Posted by Ushapti | February 11, 2010, 2:04 pm
  7. Assassination rogues, ret pallys, and resto shamen are common in my raids, but I’ve never raided with a demo lock.

    So the big question for me is 136 (280-144) raid spellpower vs an extra personal 500dps. It’s hard not be selfish when people use dps charts to judge you so much.

    Posted by Naqada | February 11, 2010, 3:03 pm
    • @Naqada

      The easy answer is that ToW is a bigger raid DPS increase.

      The not easy answer will always be, it depends. It depends on the number of casters you are buffing, on whether your healers are truly benefiting from the buff or are they extremely skilled/overgearing the encounters. I’ve been in 10 man runs where it made no sense to drop ToW.

      The whole judging individual DPS is a whole different can of worms. And relying on discussing the issue with your raid leader or appropriate officer would probably be best. You’ll never fully squash the “top the meter” mentality. You can however get people to think more in a group benefit vs. selfish benefit.

      Posted by Jeeru | February 11, 2010, 4:55 pm
  8. That’s kind of a problem that I’m facing right now in my raid situation. Our GM is a demonology specced warlock and he loves it. He enjoys playing it, he does as well as he can with it and he realizes the great buff it gives the raid.

    Sadly, his Demonic Pact gives more than what my totem can give. So it’s a no brainer to us and the casters that him staying that way is huge. Unfortunately, most of our melee or more self-serving folks scoff at his DPS and don’t understand why he won’t go affliction or destruction.

    They see me coming to raids and presume that I should be dropping Wrath, and I agree that I would like to be and should be. But it’s obvious that we gain much more from his ability than mine. Not everyone is still willing to accept that.

    So yes, he could be better if he weren’t demo and I could be better if I didn’t drop Wrath. But it does help the raid and we are a support class. Not to get all “Barney” about it, but we’re there to help and enhance others.

    Just sayin’ :)

    Posted by Ushapti | February 11, 2010, 8:15 pm
    • It’s all about raid DPS, Ushapti, and a Demonology Warlock is going to produce way more raid DPS (spellpower) than an Elemental Shaman.

      Even with a Demo Warlock, an Elemental Shaman won’t be on the top of the DPS charts, but they provide:

      - Above average DPS.
      - A ranged interrupt on a very short cooldown.
      - An AOE root, an AOE snare, and a targetted snare.
      - A “pet” that does not generate threat, and is unaffected by boss tactics; excellent on a fight like Sindragosa or Saurfang, for example.
      - The totem buffs; Tremor, Nature Resist, Frost Resist, Fire Resist, Stoneskin, Healing Stream, Cleansing, all of these can be amazing given the niche.
      - Elementals will NEVER go OOM.
      - If you die, you can self-rez, and you won’t need an innervate to continue to be effective; you can continue to put out max single target DPS just fine.
      - Elementals excel in 10-mans, even without a Demo Warlock; sometimes they can do more DPS than pures in a 10-man.
      - Another Heroism for anyone who happens to die and get battle rezzed (including yourself).
      - Flame Shock is excellent for fights like Sindragosa, or fights with a lot of adds.
      - We have extremely good AOE now.
      - Thunderstorm’s knockback is extremely useful in some situations.
      - The best PVE burst DPS in the game.

      The list goes on and on. Elementals are amazing; they take a lot of skill to play, but a good Elemental can be one of the most useful members in any raid.

      Posted by Bergg | February 11, 2010, 10:41 pm
      • Oh I agree with you completely sir, hands down. It would just be nice if more people would clue into this – lol

        Posted by Ushapti | February 12, 2010, 1:15 pm
  9. First off, this is by far one of the best shaman blogs around. it’s what i’ve been looking for. Both for help on spreadsheet dps and some cultural knowledge.
    It’s nice to see a blogger that puts in value concepts like “fun” “movement” “latency” or whatever variavle that comes into account when we’re playing other than just “BiS loot table and fixed rotation”
    Great work

    When it comes to fire totems, ToW is insane. specially with the fire nova change, a little movement on the fight can really matter the totem positioning strat now. wich is, like it or not, one of the shaman designs.

    But i trully wanted to see some offensive buffs regarding searing totem with the ToW talent, or at least some scaling, for it to be interesting even if we have another shaman, etc

    Posted by Hexlol | February 12, 2010, 7:40 pm
  10. I’ve been trying to find out if you can tell your Fire Elemental to attack a particular target. I’m guessing the answer is no, but I haven’t found anything that says so.
    So, can you tell your Fire Elemental attack a chosen target?

    Posted by lob | March 4, 2010, 8:03 am
  11. I’ve found that if you can manage to drop a searing totem within 20 yards of putricide’s table it can dps with the mages and rogues during tear gas

    Posted by Vurbs | March 8, 2010, 8:12 am
  12. Can you clarify your section on Searing Totem mechanics with regards to trinket/ring spellpower procs?

    Early on you say:
    “Unlike Fire Elemental Totem, Searing’s benefit from our stats updates in real-time.”

    Later, you say:
    “Like Fire Elementals, Searing Totems benefit from a “snapshot” of your stats at time of casting, so casting it while you have a trinket or damage buff active will result in him doing more damage.”

    (I’m trying to figure out if there are times it’s worth re-casting Searing Totem since I have a DFO.)

    Posted by Zachary Hartley | May 28, 2010, 6:58 am
    • Oh, that’s a mistake, I’m not sure how that got in there. The first statement is definitely the true one. I must’ve been away with the fairies when I wrote the second one! I’ll update the post now, well noticed.

      Posted by Charles | May 28, 2010, 1:15 pm
  13. In my mind, I seem to keep coming back to this topic. Specifically, I wonder if many of us are using our fire elementals (FE) to their full potential.

    I say this because I recently applied to a new guild and went into significant detail on my rotation and totem use. Their core elemental came back with a very detailed post regarding my FE usage.

    As we both happen to be Orcs, he explained that I’ve been using my FE too early. He explained that I should delay dropping it for the first few seconds of the fight. Essentially, I should be monitoring my DFO and Spyglass procs. When DFO is close to maxxing out, I should pop spell power cooldowns. At this point, we would be dropping a supercharged FE which would result in a significant improvement in dps.

    I don’t doubt what he has to say. There’s a reason why he’s core and I’m a recruit. Have you come across anymore information relating to this? I’d like to give this a shot and get some practice in better timing my cooldowns.

    I’d like to find a mob which I can reset, won’t nuke my FE before it expires, and won’t die in two minutes to the FE. Any suggestions in this regard? I’d like to try to avoid asking healer friends to stand there and take a two minute beating. (I’ll settle for one that meets the 2nd and 3rd requirements.)

    Posted by Maker | July 26, 2010, 5:25 pm
    • It’s definitely best to drop the FE during a spellpower proc because he scales with stats at time of casting – but at the same time, waiting for a proc has to be balanced against the optimal time to use the FE in the first place, and also the damage you may be losing if, say, your searing totem has expired, you want to drop FE but also want to wait for your DFO/ring/etc line up.

      I always drop my FE after Muradin’s has stacked and preferably either during a ring proc or a trinket proc, but the latter is subject to the conditions at the time.

      Posted by Charles | July 26, 2010, 7:27 pm
      • He just lines up DFO/Spyglass/Wild Magic/Blood Fury. Guess I got some practice to go.

        Posted by Maker | July 27, 2010, 2:11 am

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