|Ten Ton Hammer's Class Guides - Shaman|
The air totems are the direct counter to the earth totems. While earth totems exist to debuff the enemy, the air totems exist to buff you and your allies. Each totem has a different buff that is beneficial to you and everyone in your group. For instance the Windfury Totem allows allies to have a 20% chance on hit to do a double attack with additional attack power. Understanding how to best use the various Air Totems will assist both you and your group.
As a primer to Air Totems I would like to say that when in a group it's generally best to be vocal about what totem you should use. For instance a party full of melee characters will want to have Windfury up while a party full of casters would want to have Wrath of Air or Tranquil Air up. The Grounding Totem is helpful during some instance encounters and when fighting things that use a lot of debuffs while the Tranquil Air Totem is useful when clustered around a group of casters. You can combo Wrath of Air Totem along with Earth Shield or downtime healing to make the spells more beneficial. In a group with nothing but Hunters doing ranged damage you'll find the Grace of Air Totem to really help. It all depends on what classes are in your group and what your group prefers to have and what encounter you're doing (if doing an instance encounter).
Remember that even with multiple Air Totems down only one Air Totem will work. Only one Air Totem buff will work on one player so you can't have Grace of Air along with Windfury or Tranquil Air and Wrath of Air going at the same time even if you have multiple Shamans.
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The following is a list of totems with helpful tips and tactics to get the most out of them. It's really good reading for any Shaman!
Grace of Air Totem: The Grace of Air totem applies a buff to your party that gives them 43/67/77 additional agility. This totem is very useful for Hunters and Feral Druids but doesn't compare as much to Wrath of Air/Totem of Wrath for casters or Windfury for melee.
Windfury Totem: The Windfury Totem applies a buff to your party that gives them a 20% chance to do an additional attack with 122/229/315/375/445 additional attack power. Warriors and Rogues benefit most from this totem along with anyone else engaging in melee combat. It's generally better to use Windfury over Grace of Air for Warriors and Rogues since the additional chance to do double damage will always be better than the extra agility unless the Warriors in the party REALLY need that extra dodge.
Grounding Totem: The Grounding Totem will absorb one offensive spell cast on a party member every ten seconds. It's immune to most spell effects so things like Polymorph or Silence will do nothing to harm the totem. However, you'll find that since the totem has only five health that it will not stand up to any damage spells. It's still a very useful totem since it's immune to lots of magic like DoTs (that do not do any kind of initial damage). In instances there are a lot of encounters like Nazan's Fireball or Lady Vashj's Shock burst that the totem will absorb massive amounts of damage even if it can only take one hit. In PvP it can be used to shutdown Warlocks (it'll absorb any of their DoTs that do not do any damage when they are cast), Mages (Earth Shock first spell, Grounding Totem second spell, Earth Shock should be back up so you can take out their third spell), Priest's Fear Effect/DoT's, and Paladin Judgments.
Windwall Totem: The Windwall Totem will reduce ranged damage taken by 32/50/64/102. Useful when fighting Hunters or anything that does ranged damage. However, since the damage is removed before your armor is applied you'll often find it reduces the damage by a lot less then what is listed. Still useful when trying to close in on a Hunter in PvP or fighting any kind of mob that shoots at you with a gun or throws knives at you.
Sentry Totem: The Sentry Totem skill will summon a "Sentry Totem" that has 100 health for five minutes that warns you when it's under attack and allows you to see through its eyes whenever you right click on the buff that it applies to you (you can right click to return to your character). Useful in PvP in world PvP to monitor an area or useful in PvE to check for mob repops while you go elsewhere. Outside of that it's more of a gimmick skill than anything.
Nature Resistance Totem: Increases the Nature resistance of your party by 30/45/60. Useful in instance battles that require a ton of Nature Resistance. Usually though unless the fight requires tons of Nature Resist (and your party is low on it) you'll find the other Air Totems to be more helpful.
Tranquil Air Totem: The Tranquil Air Totem reduces the threat caused by your party members by 20%. This is useful in instances when you want your casters to have as little threat as possible. Make sure the tanks (people who should have aggro) are out of range. In a raid this totem is useful in any of the groups that are not with a main tank.
Wrath of Air Totem: Increases damage and healing of your party members by 101. Useful in a caster based party that can't benefit from Windfury/Grace of Air and Tranquil Air isn't needed. Not a really good totem, but you can place it down before you cast Earth Shield to give it a little bit more healing.
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