I thought it wise to pull together a lot of the different points being asked again and again into a simple FAQ. Most of this information is pulled together from various articles at elitistjerks.com I would thoroughly recommend reading the Enh Shaman stuff over there if you want more detailed info. See http://elitistjerks.com/f79/
What "rotation" do I use now?
In Wrath we have a priority queue now instead of a repeating rotation. The reason is quite simple we have Maelstrom Weapon randomly hitting 5 stacks and since a Lightning Bolt instant cast is our highest dmg ability then we want to use that as soon as its available so we start building MW stacks again. Also we have different cooldowns from our other abilities so its very difficult to have a rotation that times this right.
However the major reason is that if you always use your highest dps ability as soon as its ready you are doing max dps. If you are using a lower damage ability when a higher one is available simply because the lower dmg one is next in the rotation then you are doing lower dps. Sticking to a fixed rotation will therefore give you lower dps.
The priority list for Enhancement Shaman
MW5_LB - Cast a Lightning Bolt when you have 5 Maelstrom weapon stacks - Chain Lightning does less dmg against a single target as it doesn't scale as well. For multiple target fights then naturally using Chain Lightning will be higher dps.
LS_0 - Cast Lightning Shield if there are no orbs left on you.
SW - Cast Feral Spirit if the ability is off CD. (Use your own judgement for timing with Bloodlust/Heroism)
SR - Cast Shamanistic Rage if the ability is off CD. (with 2p T10 should be used immediately)
SS_0 - Cast a Stormstrike if there are no charges left on the target.
FE - Cast your Fire Elemental if it is off CD (This will also free up GCDs for other abilities making it very useful during Bloodlust/Heroism).
MT_0 - Refresh your Magma Totem if it has expired.
FS - Cast a Flame Shock if there is no Flame Shock debuff on target.
ES - Cast an Earth shock whenever its off cooldown and the above are not available.
SS - Cast a Stormstrike whenever its off cooldown and MW hasn't got 5 stacks - this does a fair amount of damage but more importantly refreshes the SS debuff on the target giving 28% extra nature damage (20% base + 8% glyph).
LL - Cast a lava lash whenever its off cooldown and none of the above abilities are available.
FN - Cast Fire Nova regardless of single target or AOE targets.
MT - Refresh your Magma Totem if there are 2 secs or less left.
LS - Refresh your Lightning Shield if low number of orbs remaining (2 or less).
Totem refresh - if all else is on cooldown take the opportunity, if required, to refresh your totems.
Lava Burst will always have a cast time, it will reset your swing timer, that means no white damage, no windfury procs, no maelstrom stacks ie: no dps whilst casting, this is just bad and other than situations where you are rooted, trapped or otherwise unable to be in melee range it shouldn't be used by an Enhancement Shaman.
You may wonder how on earth you can track all these different cooldowns, well of course there are plenty of cooldown tracking addons out there including the one written for Enhancement Shamans (by myself) called ShockAndAwe - you can download it from here.
What Glyphs should I use?
Rank 1: Glyph of Stormstrike, Glyph of Feral Spirits (These are a must)
Rank 2: Glyph of Windfury Weapon, Glyph of Lightning Shield, Glyph of Flame Shock (Choose based on gear, fight, etc.)
Rank 3: Glyph of Flametongue, Glyph of Lightning Bolt, Glyph of Lava Lash, Glyph of Shocking, Fire Nova
Glyph of Lightning Shield - This glyph is very good however its use will largely depend on if there is a lot of incidental/environmental damage that you are taking. In fights light ToGC25 Anub'arak with lots of environmental damage its really good.
Glyph of Flame Shock - This glyph allows the Flame Shock to crit (both initial and DoT components) however the total this adds is highly dependant on things like T9 set bonus. It MAY be a better glyph for your gear set use the sims to check.
Glyph of Shocking - This glyph only reduces the GCD to 1 sec not 0.5 sec as before and so is really quite poor.
Glyph of Fire Nova - This glyph is very good for a pure AOE build, however, it proves a dps loss for use on single targets.
What Weapons should I use/What weapon imbues should I use?
Use SLOW weapons in BOTH hands, almost all of our abilities benefit from slow weapons and do more dps with slow weapons. Two handers have been dead for two years and will always give lower dps in PvE. We have abilities that favour faster weapons but they do a far smaller portion of our overall dps and use of a fast weapon to boost low dps abilities at the expense of high dps abilities is just plain daft. You do more dps with two slow weapons. Slow means at least 2.5 speed preferably slower ie: 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 speed. Late in patch 3.0.8 it was found that fast off-hands gave higher dps, with patch 3.1 changes to flametongue weapon the balance is firmly back with slow/slow weapons. DO NOT USE DAGGERS.
Weapon imbues - as you level you will have dual windfury weapon imbues, after you get 5/5 in Elemental Fury, the benefits of Flametongue on your offhand weapon start to match and then outweigh windfury. The exact point at which Flametongue becomes better depends on gear and is around 1000 spellpower, at 80 with decent gear and 5/5 Elemental Fury, Flametongue on offhand wins. Thus the recomendation is WF/WF slow/slow before level 80 and when you have decent gear with 1000 spellpower raid buffed swap to WF/FT slow/slow. (Remember that Flametongue gives 274 spellpower as does the Flametongue totem so these two alone put you well on the way to 1000 spellpower).
Please note the new Frozen Power talents for Frostbrand weapon sounds good however it is useless of PvE as bosses are immune to the slowing effect and thus don't take the extra damage from Frostbrand. ie: Frostbrand weapon is a PvP only weapon imbue.
This was recently specifically confirmed by Blizzard it is for PvP only.
What talents should I take?
With the addition of Fire Nova added to our arsenal there are situations in which heavy usage will deplete our mana pool rather quickly. Based on testing with EnhSim a generalized talent set that still allows for high use of Fire Nova on trash or single target results in minimum mana talents.
Other options involve swapping around the remaining mana talents into Imp. Shields or Reverb. Depending on your own personal raid composition you may also be able to drop some totem enhancing talents for others. Building your secondary spec as an AOE trash spec is also a valid option and quite popular.
Dual Wield Specialization - This should never be dropped from your talents in regards to "capping spell hit" without it. The amount of additional damage this talent provides through pure white damage on top of increasing that contributed by our other abilities can not be made up anywhere else using 3 talent points.
What stats on gear should I be going after?
Gear choices have changed a lot with Wrath mainly due to the fact we only get 1AP from 1 STR, down from 2, and now get 1 AP from Agi and also 1 AP from Int with talents. Also because we do a lot more of our damage from instant cast spells its a lot more important that these don't miss.
Gear stats priorities:
First you must cap your specials (Stormstrike & Windfury Weapon) : 8% hit required. We get 6% from Dual Wield specialisation so you need 2% from gear. At level 80 that's just 66 hit rating to cap specials.
Secondly you want to make sure none of your attacks are dodged or worse parried. NB you can avoid parries and blocks if you stand behind the boss when attacking, standing in front results in far more attacks that are avoided thus dramatically lowering your dps. To make sure your attacks aren't dodged when standing behind a boss you need Expertise, 26 Expertise on character sheet is 6.50% dodge reduction this means your attacks cannot be dodged. At level 80, that means you need 140 Expertise rating assuming you have taken then 3/3 points in Unleashed Rage talent. A lot of the expertise available comes from rings, neck pieces & trinkets as well as buff food, gems and enchants.
Third once you have capped your specials and your Expertise, you need to make sure that all those instant cast spells actually hit the target a missed spell is zero dps. To do this you need to cap your spell hit which is 17%. Note you get NO spell hit % from dual wield specialisation talent as that is Melee Hit only. However stacking hit rating is great because it helps your white damage too (due to merged spell hit and melee hit rating) which means that the 35% of your damage that is from regular swings of your weapons hit more often too.
In a raid you can expect to get a 3% hit buff from moonkin druids or shadow priests, this leaves 14% from gear. This means you need 368 hit rating or 342 if you are a Draenei. Remember that you don't need all that from gear you can get it from food buffs, gems and enchants. If you don't have a moonkin druid or a shadow priest in the raid you need the extra 3% hit from gear/food this means an extra 79 hit rating bringing the caps to 446 hit rating horde, 420 if you are a Draenei.
Ok so having capped all your specials, expertise and spell hit (which is not something immediately obvious to most players) what now can I now look at the "normal" stats. The answer is yes once you have capped all three elements above go for : AP, Haste, Crit, Agi, Armour Penetration. More hit isn't a bad thing either but a lot less important once you have capped spell hit. After that AP or Haste tends to be best with Crit/AGI/ArP somewhat lesser stats. What you go with will very much depend on your overall gear balance. For best results use the Simulator EnhSim available from here. NB. Enhancement is a hybrid spec stacking any one stat will tend to be bad.
For heroics the expertise cap drops to 24 expertise and as you get 9 from unleashed rage that leaves 15 required which is 123 expertise rating. The spell hit cap drops to just 6% required, therefore you only need 158 hit rating to be capped for Heroics, or 132 if you are Draenei.
What is the Melee crit cap and should I worry about it?
The melee crit cap is 100% -glancing - dodge - parry - miss
Typically this is 100% - 24% - 0% (expertise capped and standing behind boss) - 0% (standing behind boss) - your white miss rate.
So lets say you're hit rating is such that you are spell hit capped, this usually means with dual wield talents that your white miss rate will be around 10% and so your crit cap is 100-24-0-0-10 = 66% if you are relying on druid/priest buff and only have the bare minimum 14% spell hit (ie: 340 alliance, 368 horde) then your white miss rate will be proportionally lower say around 12% and so your crit cap is 100-24-0-0-12 = 64%.
Note that the crit cap included the effects of trinket procs and Elemental Devastation. So if you are, for instance, around 60% raid buffed and a trinket procs that gives you an extra 10% crit for 20 seconds then you would be over the crit cap and so a big part of the trinket proc is going to waste.
With T10 level of gear its easy to go over the melee crit cap in which case getting more hit rating will reduce your white miss rate and convert more of your hits directly to crits. The "Combat Table (White)" graph in Rawr v2.3.8 shows this in detail so you can see how your gear is affected or not by the melee crit cap.
You can use this script in game to see your crit cap with and without ED procs.
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Crit cap :"..100-(27-(GetCombatRatingBonus(6)+6))-24)
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Crit cap with ED :"..100-(27-(GetCombatRatingBonus(6)+6))-24-9)
What Enchants should I use?
At the launch of patch 3.3 there was speculation that the revised Black Magic enchant would prove to be BiS offhand enchant in higher tiers of gear. However, after further testing it has been shown that double Berserking still proves to provide the highest dps in all tiers of raid.
Head - Arcanum of Torment (Ebon Blade rep)
Shoulder - Greater Inscription of the Axe (Sons of Hodir Rep) or the Inscription only Master's Inscription of the Axe
Cloak - Greater Speed
Chest - Powerful Stats
Wrists - Greater Assault or expertise if you need it or Leatherworker fur
Gloves - Crusher or expertise/hit if you need it or Engineers Hyperspeed accelerator
Belt - make sure you have blacksmithing socket "Eternal Belt Buckle" and put a gem in it
Legs - Icescale Leg Armour or Leatherworking equivalent
Feet - Icewalker - or possibly Tuskar's Vitality or Cat's Swiftness for the extra speed boost
Rings (if enchanter) - Assault
What Gems should I use?
Generally follow the principal that you need to be expertise & spell hit capped first then typically gem for AP or haste (use the sims to test what is best for your gear). Do not use more than blue gems than you need to fill the meta gem requirement ie: only 1 blue for Relentless Earthseige Diamond and 2 blues for Chaotic Skyflare Diamond. These blues are best achieved by using a Nightmare Tear as that counts as a blue, and possibly a Enchanted Tear that also counts as a blue. NEVER socket these gems in anything but a blue socket.
Belt Buckle : This can hold any colour of gem. So don't waste a blue or prismatic gem (such as Nightmare tear) in it. The reason is simple blue gems and the prismatics are not as good as red gems or yellow haste gems. You can't get a socket bonus putting a blue or prismatic in a belt buckle so you are wasting a gem that could go in a blue socket and get a bonus.
Don't worry about socket bonuses unless it's 12 AP or above, 4-8 Agi is simply NOT worth bothering about for a socket bonus. Always try to use either a 40 AP gem or a 20 haste gem depending on if you are going for AP or haste. You could also use a 20 AP/10 Haste gem if you are balancing your gear.
What Trinkets should I use?
There is an excellent thread at EJ comparing trinkets at Trinket Discussion. The ICC/Frost trinkets are still currently in discussion as well as determining the appropriate simulation of each for adding to EnhSim.
In the end the sim will STILL be the only way to answer what trinket for your current gear set.
What Relic (totem slot) should I use?
We are offered two choices depending on how your build your set. The Totem of Avalanche will offer an AP boost, whereas the Bizuri's Totem of Shattered Ice will offer a haste boost. There are many fights where one may be more situational than the next (tank/spank vs. movement, low HP mobs, etc.) so the best option is to eventually have both and swap accordingly.
What Addons should I use?
ShockAndAwe addon comes highly recommended by the rest of the Shaman community, and I will continue to try to make it support everything that an Enh Shaman needs in PvE. You can also export your stats from ShockAndAwe for use in the simulator to get your personal Enhancement Points values (EP values).
When you have your personal EP values (which stats benefit your talents and gear setup most) you can plug those values back into EquivalencePoints addon this will show the total value of the item to you on the tooltip. ie: something has 40 Str, 20 Agi, 30 hit rating vs another piece with 40 Agi, 10 crit, 40 Expertise - which is better? Equivalance points can show you by a single figure weighted using your personal EP values from the simulator.
If you also use EquipCompare addon you can see the tooltip for the item you are looking at (a drop, a quest reward or a badge item for instance) and the tooltip for the equivalent item you are wearing side by side. Both tooltips will have the total EP score on them so you can at a glance compare the two items.
I also recommend YATA as a totem management addon. You can get Yata from here.
How can I work out what gear is best for me?
Over the last month I've been working hard on getting the Rawr.Enhance model updated. With Rawr you can load your character from the armory and see dps breakdowns of what each ability should do with that gear. You can also look at upgrades, swap out items on your character to see how that changes your dps, all in an easy to use graphical interface designed to look like the in game character sheet. Rawr also has an optimiser feature so you can tell Rawr what items you have equipped or in your bags and it will swap pieces around to find the best in slot items from those you have available. This includes swapping around gems & enchants to get your best setup.
Another feature of Rawr for those who want more advanced statistics is the Export to EnhSim feature, with this you can change your gear in Rawr then click to export to EnhSim, and in EnhSimGUI click to import the Rawr data, then click to simulate, ie: you are only ever 3 clicks away from a detailed analysis of your gear in EnhSim with Rawr.Enhance.
You can get Rawr from the main Rawr website
Other Common Questions
Should I consider using two handers - even for PvP
Two handed weapons for Enhancement shaman are just plain bad. You are far too reliant on the random number generator, a missed swing is a huge dps loss and your stacks of Maelstrom weapon are dramatically slower. All in all you will do a lot less dps with a two-hander. Sure you get the occasional lucky streak but you have to display a particular brand of self deluded cluelessness to think that this equates to anything other than luck. Your dps will always be higher dual wielding.
In PvP you spend far too much time doing really low damage just trying to get in melee range that two handers rare and lucky big proc streaks are just not worth it. Resilience will mitigate the vast majority of the burst of two handers anyway. Instead of trying to base your PvP failings on random procs, learn to play and do solid dps with a dual wield build. For further discussion please visit this thread 2Hers and Tanking.
Does Dual Wield Specialization Affect Spell Hit
No. It doesn't now, it hasn't in the past, it would be nice if it did, but it doesn't. Dual Wield Specialisation is melee hit % only. This is because it grants hit % not hit rating.
Rule of thumb for Mana Regen Talents :
From a full mana bar dps for 1 minute and see what your mana left is with your current spec :
If you have < 20% left or went oom then you need more mana regen talents
If you have around 20% left you are optimally balanced
If you have > 20% mana left you have too many mana regen talents.
Note the more you are above or below 20% the worse the situation is. I've seen some people after 1 min of dps have over 50% mana left so clearly they could be doing higher dps if they drop some mana regen talents for dps ones.
BTW 20% is chosen as a guide mana figure to give you a buffer in the event of having to move around alot or being stunned etc.
Which mana talents to drop and in what order?
Imp.Stormstrike, Elemental Focus, Imp.Stormstrike (remaining point), Shamanistic Focus.
Try dropping one at a time depending on how far from the 20% you were.
How do our Feral Spirits work? How is their damage calculated and what buffs do they benefit from?
Wolves have 331 base strength and get 2 x AP from their strength + 31% of the AP of the Shaman rising to 61% with the Glyph of Feral Sprits. They do 206.17 dps modified by AP at usual rate of 14 AP = 1dps. They have a base attack rate of 1.5 speed which is boosted by any haste auras or haste buffs placed on them after they are summoned. THEY DO NOT BENEFIT FROM YOUR HASTE RATING.
Woves get any buffs cast on them once summoned, this includes auras/totems. So they typically get haste boost from WF totem and Str boost = 2 x AP from SoE totem.
Wolves do NOT benefit from the Shaman's crit or haste ratings. They don't have hit and expertise per se instead their chance to hit is based on the Shaman's hit and expertise. If you are yellow hit capped then they won't miss (this is my experience further detailed testing is required to PROVE this is the case).
The key thing is that once summoned they benefit from any change in the Shammy's AP and any buffs on them. So if you get an AP proc from a trinket say then they get 31% (61% glyphed) of that bonus AP immediately. If they are in range of a totem or pally aura they get a buff. If something is cast on them directly they get that buff. Note it needs to be cast on each wolf separately.
Take special note that if you summon wolves and after they are out you Bloodlust/Heroism then they benefit. If you summon them AFTER Bloodlust/Heroism they DO NOT GET THE BUFF. Therefore always summon first Bloodlust/Heroism second. Note a trick if you have more than one shaman in the raid is to have them Bloodlust/Heroism first once your wolves are summoned, then 3 mins later when you summon your wolves the next time you can use your Bloodlust/Heroism once they are summoned. Note this second Bloodlust/Heroism will not buff you or the raid as you have the Sated/Exhausted debuff, however it WILL buff your wolves as they are freshly summoned and have no debuff.
ShockAndAwe has built in pet tab activation so you can verify the above by simply looking at the tab and summoning them then checking out the tooltips.