Summons a Searing Totem with 5 health at your feet for 1 min that repeatedly attacks an enemy within 25 yards for X Fire damage.
"The wood whispered to me as I conjured it. It said that it did not fear flame." —Grennan Stormspeaker
Searing Totem is a core shaman ability learned at level 16. It is a reliable source of extra damage, and is useful in situations where the other damage totem ([Magma Totem]) isn't and/or when the [Fire Elemental Totem] is unfeasible.
When dropped, the totem randomly selects an enemy within range and continuously attacks until A.) the totem expires, B.) the target leaves range or C.) the target dies. If B or C occur, the totem randomly chooses another target in range and begins attacking it. If there are no targets within range, it does nothing until an enemy comes in range. Also note that the totem only engages hostile targets on its own; it ignores neutral targets, unless you engage them first.
It is useful primarily in single-target, prolonged fights (EG: Boss Fights). You should avoid using it in situations where it could accidentally hit a target that shouldn't otherwise be hit (such as something that has been CC'd).
The totem has only 5 health; it is easily destroyed by mobs and players.
In certain situations, the totem might draw unwanted aggro from mobs who are not engaged in combat.
Dangerous to use when it can break a CC effect; it can also aggro unengaged creatures.
Very useful in PvP for an extra bit of consistent damage. Most players ignore the totem, knowing it will go away when you die.
Always useful in a boss fight, assuming the boss doesn't have adds which get CCed and the boss is not immune to fire.
Most of the time if you drop the totem while in melee, it will start attacking the target you have selected. This may be a function of closeness or may be a function of who you have selected at the time. It may simply pick the closest target when it doesn't have one.
It can be used to effectively disrupt spellcasting, especially in conjunction with melee attacks and a fast weapon. When combined with [Wind Shear], it can be difficult for an enemy caster to get out a spell.
Useful in PVP against another shaman. Searing Totem will often target and destroy the other shaman's totems.
Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): Searing Totem (Rank 4) now does the proper damage for its rank.