This will be the first of a few posts about those totems that seem to get left in the totem-box in favor of other, shinier, buffy-er totems. These are either totems that have very specific and oft overlooked uses, or totems that just seem to get forgotten last minute.
This guy is your tank! He has an AOE taunt called Twisted Earth and can generate a fair amount of aggro – especially if he gets healed. In an emergency situation in a 5 man instance, he can tank for a few minutes, if the rest of the group lets him grab some aggro and throws some heals his way (he’s got great mitigation but fairly low HP).
He’s also quite good at tanking things while soloing. If you run into a nasty elite that you could kill if only you had some more hit points… Try throwing your Earth Elemental totem down (and make sure you throw him some heals, just like any tank). Twisted Earth is a proper taunt, so you can even toss your Elemental totem once a fight has started, and use him to round something off you or your group mates. Anything you would normally give to a tank can be cast on the elemental – including Earth Shield.
- Any time you need a pinch-hit tank (I’ve heard stories of the final phase of High Astromancer Solarian, and of Durn the Hungerer being tanked by these guys – with heals of course)
- Any boss that does nasty damage when there isn’t someone in melee range – like Murmur! Earth elementals are immune to Sonic Boom, and will be in Melee Range, preventing Murmur’s AOE damage. (However, Murmur hits pretty hard, so heal the elemental!)
- Any time there is an AOE taunt and your group lacks an AOE tank – Restless Skellies in Nightbane. Drop your Earth Elemental, let him snag aggro, and then nuke down the skellies.
- Can tank one of Aran’s elemental summons (but only one, unless you drag the others into his totem radius.
Favorite Attack: Fire Nova – does fire damage to anything within about 20 yards
Fire Blast – fire damage, single target (high mana cost)
Melee for – fire damage (ignores armor)
Passive Fire Shield that does 150-200 damage to anyone that hits him
This guy is your portable AOE DPS. He’s got fairly good HP, enough mana to do decent damage, and a melee ability that allows him to continue doing DPS even when OOM. He also scales with your spelldamage when cast, so it’s a good idea to drop a Wrath of Air totem just before you summon him, even if you immediately go back to Windfury or Grace of Air afterwards.
Also, this guy’s melee attacks crit pretty substantially, and he recharges mana while meleeing. He also causes quite a bit of threat, due to his damage output, and can tank – though he’s not as good as the Earth Elemental with taking hits.
- Any time you need more DPS, quickly.
- Curator during the Evocation phase – BOOM BOOM! Make sure you run into range of Curator, and that you drop your totem a few seconds before the actual Evocate.
- Illhoof’s summoned imps – two fire elemental totems can do a LOT for reducing imp -healer aggro and knockback issues, particularly in the absence of a Warlock
- Any last phase, to the wall, burn it down, DPS are dead, 15%, KILL IT NOW situation. Vashj comes to mind, as does Tidewalker (just remember the 20 minute cooldown)
Note: These totems do not share a cooldown, but activating one will put the other on a shorter 2 minute cooldown. Basically, you can’t have both elementals out at the same time.
Also Note: Unlike Hunter and Warlock pets, Shamans can not direct or control their totems – which is, in my opinion, their biggest disadvantage. Though both have numerous uses, if the totem elemental decides he wants to go attack that thing *over there* instead of what you’re wanting him to take out, it can be a bit of a pain. They are also tied to the totem.
Also Also Note: Just like Hunter and Warlock pets, and all other totems – if the Elemental kills the target without you having done any damage to it, you will not get XP/quest credit/loot.
* And for you hunters wondering where today’s Huntard Cliffnotes are, they’re coming, just probably not today The Al’ar fight is still pretty new to most of TRI.
*images courtesy of www.wowwiki.com (I wish I could get modelviewer to work!)
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