Shaman’s Double Edged Sword

9 06 2009

rmun7lWhat?! Shaman’s are going to get swords?! oh hell no.. besides most swords are not meant for shaman’s use. I wanna see titan’s grip before we can use swords.

There is something related to weapons that is in fact a “double edged sword” used in a figure of speech kinda terms. It’s called weapon speed.

To clarify this in a bit more technical terms.

Fast weapons increase the damage done by flametongue attack, also increases the proc chance of maelstrom weapon.

Slow weapons increase the damage done by Stormstrike, lava lash, and windfury.

There is also something called “proc stealing” (Not sure if that’s the correct term but yea…) this is when an off hand that is much faster steals the ‘hit’ from the main hand.  Yea, I know doesn’t make sense right? Nop, took me reading about it for a few months to actually get it, since there really isn’t any good way to explain it. I’ll take a crack at it.  Weapons will ALWAYS swing .5 sec after the other (Unless you’re a Rogue and can actually force your main hand forward. Not sure exactly how that works… never got a rogue past level 6…but Ak has drilled me).

Lets say your main hand has a 2.5 sec swing and your off hand has a 1.6 sec swing. Your off hand will hit 2 times before allowing your main hand to come thru, thus ‘delaying’ a windfury proc. If your thinking “well that’s okay I want my windfury imbued hand to hit out side of a 3sec cool-down”  that in away is good, but your main hand’s damage isn’t going to equal that of a 2-hander but be very close to it’s speed. In the end hurting your white damage, witch is a majority of our damage.

Another reason why fast weapons are bad for your enhancement shaman is broken down to simple Main Hand-Off Hand mechanics. Off Hand weapons have a 50% reduction to damage. Meaning, even if you have the same weapon equipped in both hands, your off hand weapon will do half the damage of your main hand. In many cases if you break down Stats, DPs and weapon damage of a weapon if placed in the off hand, actually does FAR less then the weapon ‘dps’ stats on the tool-tip.

The weapons that actually do a bit more or exactly the dps stated are the slower weapons. Since we don’t use our off hands like many other classes do, such as rogues, it’s better to get as much weapon damage out of your off hand as possible.

Now that I have explained that… Let’s look at all this in action? Let’s head to the good old Simulator.

Here is my current set up with just my totems, and my common consumables like fish fest and endless rage.

  • white               1102.55   27.71%
  • windfury            572.52    14.39%
  • flametongue         417.66    10.5%
  • stormstrike         200.16    5.03%
  • lava lash           165.96    4.17%
  • searing totem       213.43    5.36%
  • earth shock         388.30    9.76%
  • lightning bolt      555.30    13.96%
  • lightning shield    135.54    3.41%
  • spirit wolves       227.51    5.72%

DPS 3978.95

Now if I take the same stats and all that and just reduce my off hand speed by 1 sec (down from 2.5 to 1.5) This is what we get:

  • white               1086.65   31.13%
  • windfury            438.19    12.55%
  • flametongue         369.92    10.6%
  • stormstrike         170.87    4.89%
  • lava lash           94.39     2.7%      7.98
  • searing totem       187.03    5.36%
  • earth shock         346.84    9.94%
  • lightning bolt      450.02    12.89%
  • lightning shield    135.99    3.9%
  • spirit wolves       210.98    6.04%

DPS 3490.87

See that Drop? 500 DPS drop for just dropping a sec on your weapon speed.

You also can see a bit of proc stealing here. 2% of the slow hand’s windfury proc has disappeared when switching over to a fast off hand. However, flametongue didn’t see any increase in procs but did lose a small amount of damage,that could be to blame with the irregularity to most fights (can’t always expect to hit 100% if you only have a 99% chance to hit, if you know what I mean).  Most of the real damage was lost in White, Windfury, Lavalash, and Stormstrike.

So to this conclusion, weapon speed does matter when you get down to ‘nitty gritty’, and you have to be to compete with the BIG dogs.

I will admit it though, I was at first a bit pissed at blizzard, thought angry dread would outlast ulduar. THANK GOD it was just lack of searching and info out there..!

So here is exactly what off hands are great for us, if you don’t already know..

Pre Naxx = Pride (40 Heroism Badges)
Naxx 10 = Stray (Trash)
Naxx 25 = Angry Dread (Noth)
Ulduar 10 = Bloodcrush Cudgel (Trash)
Ulduar 25 = Vulmir, the Northern Tempest (Thorim)
(to compare them click here)

On a bit of a side note: If you are replacing a green, stats will help you out more then that, so a fast hand won’t hurt since it is still an substantial upgrade. Just don’t ride the fast off hand for too long, have intentions of upgrading it to a slow. (Slows do have less stats then fasts but the change is worth it.)




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