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Totems and you: A comprehensive list on totem usage and abilities Empty Totems and you: A comprehensive list on totem usage and abilities

Post  Myre on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:51 pm

Totems and you: A comprehensive list on totem usage and abilities Fire-totem-300x266

Welcome, Shamans and totem lovers of all kinds! This list will be used to give you information on all the Shaman's totems and some good suggestions on how to use them! Let's not waste time and get right into it!

What is a totem?
The most common thing you can learn about totems is what they are. Totems are 5-minute buff abilities that Shamans gain as they level. Most totems have a 30-yard range, and will be placed at the caster's feet when summoned. These can have various effects, ranging from giving your allies and yourself more strength and agility, to periodically breaking all fears, sleeps, and charms on your party, to summoning a mighty fire elemental or earth elemental to your aid! Totems are what make a shaman a shaman!

The four elements
Any Shaman can only have four totems out at one time, and only one totem per element. As the Shaman grows, more elements will be unlocked until they have all four. Each generally has a few totems that are vital to that slot, with some more that are flavor to that element.
The four elements are:
Earth: Provides basic stat buff totems, as well as survival totems such as Tremor, Earthbind, or Stoneclaw totem.
Fire: Has totems that will actively attack your enemies, as well as the Flametongue totem that will increase spellpower
Water: Is a recovery element, with the Mana and Healing restoration totems as well as the cleansing totem to remove status ailments.
Wind: Provides the two haste totems; Windfury and Wrath of Air totem, as well as the Grounding totem which is vital to protecting Shamans from spells.
When you gain the ability to use an element, you're given a totem item that you must have in your backpack to use that element totem. Carry these with you at all times until you gain a totem for your relic slot. Totems in your relic slot will count for all four elemental totems, and allow you to use them all without your totem items in your backpack.

Calling and Recalling totems, and the Totem bar
As a Shaman levels, he also gains the ability to create a totem bar. The Totem bar will have six spaces, the first being a calling spell, the second to fifth being element totems, and the sixth being a recall spell. A Calling spell will allow you to instantly summon any totems you have in the second to fifth spaces, with one global cooldown and combining the mana cost of all the totems at once. Your Recall spell will desummon your totems and refund you a percentage of mana. The Recall spell is more or less useful for when you need to remove totems so you don't pull enemies, but it also allows you to keep your mana up a bit when moving your totems.
For a visual reference, this is the Totem bar:
[1: Call] [2: Earth] [3: Fire] [4: Water] [5: Wind] [6: Recall]

Some Totems (Such as Tremor totem or Earthbind totem) emit a 'pulse', a wave-like aura from them, to apply their effect. The pulse will happen every few seconds, but it is important to understand the pulses for some fights. Cleansing totem, for example, will only remove one poison per pulse. if you need 3 poisons removed immediately, Cleansing totem will only remove one every few seconds.

These totems are primarily defensive and provide basic stat buffs. These are the first totems that Shamans will have access to.

Stoneskin totem: This totem will provide your party and raid with extra armor. This is very useful for when you need to survive more physical hits, but less so when spells are the problem. Stoneskin also has a much bigger effect for enemies who attack fast and weak, as they rely on the stacking damage of their small hits to kill you. If you reduce the damage those weak attacks do, they will hardly do anything to you.

Strength of Earth totem: This totem will provide both Strength and Agility buffs to your party and raid. This is a very valuable totem for any physical damage class, such as Warriors, Rogues, Hunters, or Paladins. The only fallback is that if you have a Death Knight with you, their Horn of Winter has the same effect, and will not stack with your Strength of Earth totem. It is better to use Stoneskin or another totem when grouping with a Death Knight.

Tremor Totem: A very valuable totem in groups, Tremor Totem will pulse periodically, and every time it pulses, it will remove any Fear, Charm, or Sleep effects from party members (Raid members not affected). This should always be placed when fear or sleep is an issue, as it almost instantly remedies the issue. The only fault to Tremor Totem is that it pulses and has a 30-yard range. If you're feared out of the range, or it's too late to save you when the totem pulses, you can't do anything.

Earthbind Totem: Earthbind Totem will slow all enemies caught in it's 10-yard range, and if you're elemental, allow you to root everyone caught in the initial pulse when you place a totem. Earthbind Totem is useful for escaping or slowing enemies, but otherwise has little use in combat.

Stoneclaw Totem: Stoneclaw Totem will emit a pulse of small aggro to all enemies within it's 8-yard range. This Aggro is minimal, but if any enemy attacks it, there's a 50% chance to stun the enemy for 3 seconds (Subject to diminishing returns, meaning each subsequent stun will last for less until they become immune to it). This effect is largely unusable even for soloing, and this totem is not too effective. However, it will also apply a shield to all your other totems that absorbs damage dealt to them. If you need to protect a precious totem from enemies, Stoneclaw totem will do the job.

Earth Elemental Totem: This totem will last for only 2 minutes, but will summon a mighty Earth Elemental with a lot of health and an AoE-taunt that it does constantly. This is not too effective in combat, but when aggro is a problem, you can summon the elemental and use it as a makeshift tank.

These totems are primarily offensive in nature, and most all of them will attack your enemies rather than provide you with buffs. These are the second totems Shamans will get.

Searing Totem: Searing Totem will last for 1 minute, and repeatedly cast a small damage fireball at the nearest enemy within 20 yards. It's fragile, but will add extra DPS and deal a good amount of damage over time if you have it increased with elemental talents.

Magma Totem: Magma Totem is essentially the AoE version of Searing Totem. Rather than pick one target to shoot with fireballs, it just pulses out waves of fire to every enemy within 8 yards, every 2 seconds. It only lasts for 20 seconds however, and would need to be replaced often for long fights. It's also pretty expensive in terms of mana and AoE threat, so use caution.

Fire Nova: Although not technically a totem, the Fire Nova spell relies on a fire totem for it's effect. Whenever you have a Fire totem out, if you hit this mana-expensive ability, it will shoot out a wave of fire from your fire totem, hitting anyone within 10 yards for a considerable amount of damage. Take mana and threat into account when using this, but it is an effective AoE ability, especially when coupled with Magma Totem.

Flametongue Totem: This Totem will provide a static buff of spellpower to your party and raid members. it is a good totem and used much more often than the Fire element's other totems, due to it's supportive nature rather than active damage dealing. It's a useful buff, and is more often than not a default Fire totem for many Shamans.

Frost Resistance Totem: It speaks for itself, providing a large boost of frost resistance to party and raid members within 30 yards of it.

Fire Elemental Totem: This is similar to the Earth Elemental Totem, however the Fire Elemental will deal much more damage, and use a Fire Nova-like effect. He is much more effective in combat and should be used as a DPS-booster.

Totem of Wrath: an ELEMENTAL-ONLY Totem, this is basically a super-powered version of Flametongue totem, providing dramatically more spellpower and more crit against enemies. Vastly useful for Elementals and other casters in the group.

These totems are all defensive in nature, and restorative. They are very valuable for groups, but require little organization or knowledge to use.

Healing Stream Totem: This totem will restore some health to group members within the 30-yard range every 2 seconds. This amount of healing is forgettable unless used by a Restoration Shaman or in bulk. This Totem is vastly under-appreciated, as it provides fast and constant cumulative healing to a group. It stacks with other Healing Stream totems for a greater effect, and scales with spellpower. If you have no other use for your water totem, healing stream fills the void nicely.

Mana Spring Totem: This totem provides a set amount of mana every 5 seconds to party and raid members. This does NOT stack with the Paladin's Blessing of wisdom, so be careful when you use this. If there's no paladin though, and a lot of mana users, this is a very useful totem to have out.

Cleansing Totem: Cleansing totem will remove 1 Disease and 1 Poison from party and raid members within it's range. This totem is useful for poison/disease-heavy fights, but realize that it acts with a pulse, so that it if there are many many poisons or diseases out, Cleansing totem may not remove them all in time.

Fire Resistance Totem: Provides Fire Resistance to all party and raid members within it's range.

Mana Tide Totem: A RESTORATION-ONLY Totem, this will provide a LARGE amount of mana to your group in a small amount of time. Each time this totem pulses, it restores a set % of maximum mana to your group members within range. It has a 5 minute cooldown, but is very useful when you or your party members are in a pinch concerning mana.

The last totem shamans get, this element focuses on haste and supplementary abilities for groups.

Windfury Totem: Windfury Totem will provide a large Melee-only haste buff to your party and raid members. This is very, very valuable to Melee, and should always be used if there is a heavy amount of Melee in the group. Take note though, that a Frost-specced Death Knight will more than likely have a talent that will provide an even stronger effect, and Windfury totem will be overwritten by this effect. If you're with a frost-specced Death Knight, make sure you ask if they have the windfury-esque talent.

Wrath of Air Totem: This totem works similarly to Windfury, but provides a Spells-only 5% haste. Use this for caster-heavy groups, as this not only provides your spellcasters with more damage, it also speeds your healers up too.

Grounding Totem: Grounding totem is a famous totem for Shamans, as it will redirect any harmful spell cast at a group member within it's range, and the totem instead will be destroyed by it. This is a one-use totem, and after it's destroyed you'll need to re-apply it after it's cooldown is up, but it's very valuable in PvP and certain fights where integral spells can be grounded (Such as the Maiden of Virtue fight in Karazhan). Use it on casters when you need to avoid getting hit by a spell.

Sentry Totem: This is a gimmick totem, but useful in it's ways. When you place the Sentry Totem, you gain a 5 minute buff. Any time you right click the buff, you'll change camera views between your character and your totem. There's no combat usage in this totem, however you can find other ways to make use of it.

Nature Resistance Totem: Provides Nature resistance for party and raid members within it's range.

Here are some examples of suggested default totems for Shamans who don't quite know what totems they should use and shouldn't use.

Elemental Shaman
Earth: Stoneskin
Fire: Wrath
Water: Mana Spring
Wind: Wrath of Air

Enhancement Shaman
Earth: Strength of Earth
Fire: Searing
Water: Healing Stream
Wind: Windfury

Restoration Shaman
Earth: Stoneskin
Fire: Flametongue
Water: Healing Stream
Wind: Wrath of Air

Melee-heavy Group
Earth: Strength of Earth
Fire: Flametongue or Wrath
Water: Healing Stream
Wind: Windfury

Caster-heavy Group
Earth: Stoneskin
Fire: Flametongue or Wrath
Water: Mana Spring
Wind: Wrath of Air

Elemental enemies
Earth: Stoneskin
Fire: Ice Resistance
Water: Fire Resistance
Wind: Nature Resistance

Status Ailment Enemies
Earth: Tremor
Fire: Magma or Searing
Water: Cleansing
Wind: Grounding

A crumpled piece of paper lays strewn and forgotten on the floor. Written with excellent handwriting in deep black ink. It starts:

"Those who can speak, are blind. and those who aren't blind, can't speak. It's a sad truth, one you should do well to remember."

Posts : 62
Join date : 2010-01-17
Age : 25
Location : Bel Air, Maryland

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