Shaman Wish List for Warlords

This is going to seem like a very backwards Wish List, but what I talked about wanting to remove from the Shaman specs in my last post made me want to give a quick overview of what I feel the Shaman class should look like in Warlords.  Assume that class balance is somehow maintained despite these changes, and that damage and healing numbers are adjusted to compensate for removals, and that other classes are losing a similar number of abilities.

Earth Elemental TotemEnhancement and Restoration only
Fire Elemental TotemElemental only
Earth ShockElemental only
Healing RainRestoration only
Hexnow works on elementals
Spiritwalker’s GraceRestoration only
Unleash ElementsElemental and Enhancement only
Water ShieldRestoration only
Healing Stream Totem – Talent, replaces Conductivity
Totem Schoolsremoved,  You can place up to four totems, any types
Healing Tide Totemremoved
Flametongue WeaponElemental and Restoration only
Dual Wield – merged with Mental Quickness
Flurryremoved
Searing Flames – all fire damage you deal can reset the cooldown of Lava Lash, Searing Totem Lava Lash damage buff removed
Magma Totemremoved
Static Shockremoved
Lava BurstElemental only
Earthquake – damage buffed or removed
Elemental Focusremoved
Mana Tide Totemremoved
Ancestral Awakeningremoved
Purification – buff to healing done and totems removed

…………….

WELL THEN…

… that’s a lot of removals.

How does this affect each spec?

Enhancement

  • With Flametongue Weapon gone, Enhancement would use Frostbrand in the off hand, with Lava Lash maximum damage not requiring a specific imbue.
  • Frost Shock would replace Earth Shock rotationally.
  • Earth Elemental’s damage would be buffed to take Fire Elemental’s place as our major DPS cooldown.
  • With Spiritwalker’s Grace gone, Enhancement could have all damage spells castable while moving, making Elemental Blast a more attractive talent.
  • Healing totems disappearing from Enhancement’s baseline toolkit could allow for our cast time heals to be a lot more powerful, and/or allow us to cast more than two of them without running out of mana.
  • Flurry’s haste rating buff is a bandaid that should be removed and haste’s value adjusted in some other way, such as lowered global cooldowns triggered by Stormstrike and Lava Lash.  Flurry’s attack speed increase can stay or go, can’t say I care.
  • In an attempt to get haste to be more tangible for the spec, Lava Lash cooldown could reset based on fire damage ticks, with Searing Totem being changed to scale with haste.
  • Magma Totem’s shortcomings are well known, I’m not sure it has much of a place.  It’s almost never worth using.
  • I see Static Shock as pointless spellbook clutter.  You’d want to keep Lightning Shield up for its damage reflect anyway.

Elemental

  • With Ascendance now a talent, Fire Elemental attacks could have a chance to trigger Lava Surge to shake things up a bit for a period of time in combat.
  • Spiritwalker’s Grace removal would be a nerf – but I think a reduction in spell caster damage while moving across the board is necessary for melee to have a legitimate advantage in PvE content again.
  • Earthquake damage should be enough to see some casts of it in a PvE raiding environment.  It may be interesting if it lasted until you cast Earth Shock.  If something can’t be done to make it a worthwhile PvE spell, I’m not sure it should be a spell at all.
  • With Elemental Focus removed, the damage and mana cost of spells would need to be adjusted.  There is a little gameplay from it in PvP, but for the most part I consider it to be unneeded spellbook bloat.

Restoration

  • I feel Unleash Elements has been an interesting spell in the past, but its current incarnation is basically nothing other than an extension of the Healing Rain cast time.  There are a couple exceptions, but I don’t think that’s enough to save it.  If you like the gameplay it offers, however, read my talent section.
  • Healing Tide Totem is a highly powerful spell, but there isn’t a meaningful amount of gameplay there.  Healing cooldowns that are based on spell selection and being skillfully used are a lot more satisfying, in my opinion, than a magical top the raid off instantly button.  I would not be sad to see it go.
  • Mana Tide Totem has been a staple Restoration Shaman ability since the dawn of time, but the group benefit it offers contributes far too much to mana pools being ignored by healers.  I think it’s time for it (and Hymn of Hope) to go bye bye.  Personal regen or mana costs can be compensated for elsewhere.
  • Ancestral Awakening is a mindless smart heal.  Restoration Shaman has, by far, the most smart healing among all classes, and that needs to be cut back on significantly in favor of targeted spells.
  • Purification removal should be compensated for by significant buffs to healing spells themselves.  It is intended as a buff to off-spec heals, not a nerf to Restoration heals.  I don’t think there needs to be any tuning knob for Restoration heals outside Earthliving Weapon.

Talents

Tier 1 – Defensive

Nature’s Guardian – Stone Bulwark Totem – Astral Shift

No changes to this tier at all, aside from Stone Bulwark being slightly more attractive due to not conflicting with other totem uses.

Tier 2 – Crowd Control

Frozen Power – Earthgrab Totem – Capacitor Totem

Capacitor Totem replaces Windwalk Totem, which is removed entirely.  No changes to the other two talents.

Tier 3 – Totem Utility

Call of the Elements – Totemic Recovery – Totemic Projection

Call of the Elements and Totemic Projection remain as they are, Totemic Persistence replaced.  Capacitor Totem added to the new talent because it’s one of the more significant beneficiaries of the other two talents.

New Talent: Totemic Recovery
Reduces the cooldown of Tremor, Capacitor and Grounding Totems by 25%.

Tier 4 – Throughput

Ascendance – Ancestral Swiftness – Echo of the Elements

Ascendance takes the place of Elemental Mastery with tuning adjustments to balance the tier.  Ascendance would currently be a lot more powerful than the other two, so it would need to be nerfed or the other two would need to be buffed to balance them.

Tier 5 – Healing

Unleash Life – Ancestral Guidance – Healing Stream Totem

Rushing Streams and Conductivity removed, significant changes to Ancestral Guidance for DPS specs.

New Talent: Unleash Life
Restoration – Heals your target for a small amount and increases the healing of your next direct healing spell with a cast time by 50%.  15 second cooldown.
Elemental and Enhancement – All heals with a base cast time are 15% more effective.

Ancestral Guidance changes
Restoration – unchanged
Elemental and Enhancement – Increases all healing done by 150%, but reduces all damage done by 50% for 15 seconds.  Healing spells cost no mana while active.

Tier 6 – Elemental Ties

Unleashed Fury – Primal Elementalist – Elemental Blast

Talents stay the same, but each one has some adjustments.

Unleashed Fury changes
Restoration – Your single target heals have a 100% chance to apply the Earthliving heal-over-time effect and refresh your Riptide on the target.
Elemental and Enhancement – No changes.

Primal Elementalist changes
Restoration – Reinforce now increases healing done by 15%
Elemental and Enhancement – No changes

Elemental Blast changes
Restoration – Triggers Tidal Waves and reduces the mana cost of your next direct healing spell by 50%
Enhancement – Can now be cast while moving
Elemental – No changes

Tier 7 – Elemental Rage

Reach of the Elements – Storm Elemental Totem – Rainstorm

Reach of the Elements
Restoration – Your Chain Heal bounces to all targets with Riptide.
Elemental and Enhancement – Your fire totem blasts your current target and all enemies within 5 yards with lava every second for the next 15 seconds.

Storm Elemental Totem
Summons an Air Totem, calling forth a Greater Storm Elemental to hurl gusts of wind on the target.  It’s wind also carries your healing waters to nearby allies, causing all healing done to affect another nearby ally for 10% of the healing done.  Lasts 1 minute, 5 minute cooldown.

Rainstorm
Elemental and Enhancement – When Lightning Shield is active, your current enemy target is struck by lightning every 3 seconds.  Target must be in combat with you.
Restoration – Summons a water totem at the feet of the caster that collects 20% of all effective healing done, and grants it to the Shaman as spell power for their next cast-time heal.

Glyphs

Capacitor Totemremoved
Chainingremoved
Fire Elemental Totem – renamed Elemental Totems and applies its effect to Earth Elemental
Totemic Recall – Totemic Recall is now off the global cooldown, mana restore removed
*New* Earthen Power – Grounding, Tremor, Earthbind and Spirit Link totems last 25% longer
*New* Melting Ice – Frostbrand Weapon, Unleash Frost and Frost Shock apply Weakened Blows, but no longer snare your target.
*New* Living Lightning – Earthliving Weapon increases the damage of Lightning Bolt by 30%

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5 responses to “Shaman Wish List for Warlords

  1. Turning an elemental into a frog might be odd. I could see Hex being merged with Bind Ele and the resulting ability doing whichever is appropriate, similar to how Turn Evil and Repentance don’t really need to be separate spells.

    I love you for suggesting the removal of AoE Freedom Totem and moving Ascendance to a talent. I’d also delete Resto’s magic dispel. I don’t mean to be a downer on the shaman class – I’d nerf everyone in a similar manner. >:) In regard to glyphs, I’d remove that minor that creates useless totems and clogs up everyone’s screen. Too much screen clutter was added in Cata/MoP.

    Other suggestions either sound good or went a bit over my head as someone who doesn’t alt a shaman. I’d have to think more on your new totem restriction (four of any element). What would you think of having Heroism back in arena and RBG’s, except in these cases at half the duration? And deleting Time Warp from those pesky, homogenizing mages?

    • I suppose the Hex/Bind Elemental thing could be reversed. The totem restriction change probably wouldn’t have a meaningful impact on anything… the only collisions that really happen are Tremor and Earthbind while Earth Elemental is out, or occasionally for water totems for Resto… but these are currently taken care of by the Totemic Persistence talent.

      I support removing the screen cluttering minor myself, I always recommend people don’t use it for that reason, but it’s something a lot of Shaman are irrationally attached to.

      I’d be cool with Heroism being the Shaman class’ main unique thing again, and I think there’s room for that in WoD.

  2. Static Shock – removed; Flametongue Weapon – Elemental and Restoration only; With Flametongue Weapon gone, Enhancement would use Frostbrand in the off hand, with Lava Lash maximum damage not requiring a specific imbue.; Please tell me how do you expect Unleashed Fury to remain functional for Enh with these suggestions and 0 modifications done to it.

    • There are plenty of ways they could do it. Lightning shield is still there so windfury unleash could still trigger that, and frostbrand could just get a higher proc chance. Or they could opt for something else. Simple enough.

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