Why take the Shamanistic Path?

The day started out good, it really did:

The Shaman almost smiled when he thought back to how the Alliance Commander assured him this was going to be one of the easiest assignments he would ever be expected to do.

 “We need the Kalu’ak as allies and the way to do that is to take out some Kvaldir.  They’re over by the Coast of Echo’s, go over there and take them out!”  So the Draenei shaman began the trek across Borean Tundra.  As soon as the Shaman made it there, things went from good to bad.  Like usual, the Commander forgot to mention how many Kvaldir there were.  The place was swarming with them!

            Cracking his neck he set off to dispatch as many of them as he could. Calling lightning to his aid be began his assault.  As soon as the lightning left his fingertips he could tell it was a mistake.  Just before the lightning hit its target, another party of Kvaldir had just arrived.  The Shaman prayed to the Naaru that they wouldn’t notice him but today just wasn’t the Draenei’s day.  Issuing battle cries they charged.  Firing lightning bolts left and right he soon realized that if he didn’t do something fast he would be over run.  He pleaded with the spirit of the earth to aid him on his quest he put down an Earth bind totem.  The Vrykul closest to the totem were immediately snared as roots ripped themselves from the ground grabbing on to their legs and feet.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

Over at Warsong Hold:

“Sergeant Torgan Bloodspiller!” Grunt Dergu cried.

“What is it you worthless peon?” Torgan spat.

“I need to see Garrosh Hellscream,” Dergu panted as he had just run from the top of the hold.

“What possible information could a peon possess that would interest Hellscream?”

“I don’t know what I saw but it looked a lot like lightning strikes from the west side of the keep.”

“Well then you know what to do!” Bloodspiller cried as he grabbed a battle-axe from the stand and thrust it at Dergu.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

The Shaman managed to down two of the Kvaldir but there were still five left, three still rooted and two were pursuing him.  Trying to distance himself from them he started to retreat without taking his eyes off them.  Aware that he was heading for Warsong Hold he tried to turn back toward shore when his hoof hit a rock that jutted out from the ground causing him to fall.  If being spread out flat on the ground with two Vrykul nearly on top of you wasn’t bad enough of a bad day, he hear the one phrase that could only make it worse.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *                     

            “LOK’TAR OGAR!”  Dergu cried as he charged toward the fallen Draenei.  As the Draenei stood up Dergu thought, “So easy it’s almost without honor.”  Just as he reached the Shaman and swung, the battle axe hit the ground with a thud.  The Shaman had put a hex on him; he was now jumping around as a frog.

                       *                      *                      *                      *                      *                     

            He was beginning to feel the wear and tear of all this combat, praying to the spirit of water he cast a Healing Stream totem to rejuvenate himself.  Realizing he needed some help he cast down a searing totem while a mistcaller began to cast frostbolt.  Striking down a grounding totem he threw one last chain thunder to take care of the pursing Vrykul.  Spinning around to come face to face with the orc who had broken free from his hex, he cast Thunderstorm.  The Orc being knocked back the shaman had time to let loose a burst of lava.  Seeing the molten lava leave the shaman’s outstretched hands he had one last thought before unconsciousness over took him, “Garrosh will have my hide for this.” 

            Having taken care of the immediate threats the shaman quickly cast a healing wave and turned to face the rest of them.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why play an Elemental shaman?

Pro’s Con’s
Totems Totems =/= Raid wide buff
Guaranteed crit Squishy
Casting a fast heal No burst damage

 

Totems:

This is a unique ability only available to Shamans; these provide a buff for group or raid members depending on what you’re doing.  These can be life savers or these can kill your group if your reckless.  An example of how these can kill your group is last night on Festergut 25, I and a few others got Divine Intervention which meant I got to stay alive, yay!  This also meant so did my totems.  Being focused on resurrecting the dead I forgot that my totems could aggro Festergut, and needless to say the raid was not pleased.  A downside to totems is if they are directly attacked they die easy.  Now unlike some buffs that are raid wide totems are not, the raid members need to be within a set range of the totems.

Guaranteed critical strike:

            As long as you have flameshock up on the target you’re Lava Burst will automatically critically strike your target.

Squishy:

            Without mana we can’t do anything, luckily we have a few moves to prevent that from happening.  Such as Thunderstorm and water shield.

Fast healing:

            Unlike shadow priests or Moonkins we don’t have to drop a form to cast a quick heal on ourselves when the healers are otherwise occupied.  We may lose some DPS but a dead shaman has 0 DPS.

No burst damage:

           The closest we have to any form of burst damage is Elemental Mastery.

 That being said we can dominate if given the opportunity, our totems can slow enemies even root them in place.  We can summon elementals to help us in times of need.  My personal favorite is thunderstorming enemies off from Lumber mill. 

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~ by Anslym on March 6, 2010.

5 Responses to “Why take the Shamanistic Path?”

  1. While I don’t entirely disagree with your pros and cons, I’m not entirely clear on them. I don’t mean to sound impolite, but they sort of read like a general list of our class and not spec specific.

    As for myself, I chose to play an elemental shaman for the following reasons:
    1) Lack of elementals on the server. Especially good ones. (Both of which is still the case on my server.)
    2) Flood of mail caster gear being sharded by the guild every week. Yeah, it was a selfish reason, but I geared up really quickly in the beginning.
    3) Casters love the extra sp. (Assuming no demo lock.)
    4) Who doesn’t want to throw lightning bolts around? Besides, we got William Shatner as our celebrity representative in the WoW commercials. (I’m still secretly jealous of warlocks getting Ozzy.)
    5) With the recent buffs, we have become very solid dps.

    The cons I’ve come to realize and accept over my time as an elemental are:
    1) All of our buffs can be easily replaced by other classes.
    – Totem of Wrath is inferior to a demo lock with more than 2800sp.
    2) The hybrid tax. We suffer a penalty to our dps because we are a hybrid. We suffer an additional penalty to our dps because we can heal without dropping form. (This statement from Blizzard has always irked me. While I don’t accept this one, I have no choice but to live with it.)
    3) If we want to increase our dps by dropping our fire elemental, searing totem, or magma totem, we force the raid to forgo the additional spellpower granted by totem of wrath.
    4) In the same vein with the above, a significant portion of our dps can come from the other fire totems, but at the price of being tethered to a 20yrd radius (Elemental / Searing), or requiring us to frequently refresh magma while standing in melee range. If we want to use Fire Nova, we’re required to stand in melee range.
    5) Lack of decent threat dumps. If we’re riding high, our only hope is to lay off. I’ve yet to be saved by windshear if I pull aggro. (I’m only high on threat in heroics with new tanks, or in really bad raid pugs.)

    A year later, I’m still loving it. (Sorry if the beginning of the post comes off badly. Thought I’d share my thoughts.)

  2. You brought up some very good points but give me a chance to redeem myself. By that I mean let me have a chance to explain.

    Pro’s

    1) A lack of elemental shamans on your server doesn’t constitue an elemental pro. On my server we don’t have an abundance of elemental shamans but everytime I run a VoA more and more elementals keep popping up to roll on my gear. 😛

    2) Again that is a “You” thing, other guilds may not shard the items and in ICC im finding most of the caster mail has MP5 on it.

    3) This was mention a little bit in the “totem” portion of the post but I should have been more specific in what exactly the totem buffs are / do.

    4) I can’t disagree with this one.

    5) This may be true but we are not pulling as much dps as a non-hybrid class such as a Rogue or a Hunter.

    Con’s

    1) This is true I should have mentioned this when I was discussing that totems are not the equivalent to raid buffs.

    2) I mentioned this a little bit in my point 5 for pro’s. “We suffer an additional penalty to our dps because we can heal without dropping form” I don’t understand what you are trying to say here could you please explain this.

    3) I meant to write a post about this but you beat me to the punch. I do agree with this statement by the way.

    4) Pretty much summed this up in #3

    5) This has bothered me quite a bit and I do find myself running in to the same situation whist doing randoms. You and I also forgot to mention that Thunderstorm is an AoE ability that requires you to be in melee range but only if its glyphed because if it still has the knock-back then you might be running into trouble.

    Don’t apologize for writing this comment I was actually thrilled when I read this. This is a great way for me to get better at my blogging skills and it helps get out any information I missed to the readers. Thanks for the comment. 😛

    -Anslym

    • Glad you didn’t take my comments the wrong way. I couldn’t figure out how to soften the intro. I’m not always the best at sounding polite.

      Pros
      1) To me the lack of elementals was a pro since I like not being one of the pack. There has been a steady increase in elementals over time in VoA, but fortunately for me they’re more interested in the PvP gear. If there’s another, we’ll usually go with the gentlemen’s agreement of not rolling on the gear the other specifically wants. (So far it’s worked out to date.)

      2) At the time when I started my shaman, Naxx was the only thing going and while the mail wasn’t the best, it was certainly better than most blues, so it was a decent way of gearing up quickly. To be fair, there are some very good pieces of ICC mail now. Too bad cloth is still better in some slots.

      3-4) Skipped.

      5) This comes down to the individual and how well they know the class and spec. I have seen several players of all classes and specs put up abysmal figures. Elementals more than certainly hold their own even against the “pures”. Then again, anyone can look like a star if they know their stuff very well.

      Cons
      1) Skipped.

      2) I may be wrong, but I seem to recall a blue post about a year ago mentioning that elementals were penalized a bit more than boomkins and spriests because of our ability to heal without shifting forms. We can heal on the fly with minimal penalty to our damage, whereas a boomkin and spriest would have to switch back into their native forms in order to bring their damage back up. I could be wrong, so you can disregard this point. It was back when Naxx was hot…

      3-4) Skipped.

      5) I’ve pretty much given up on joining the aoe fun. If I’m early to the party so I can try to top the meter, I’m usually dead. If I’m late to the party, I’m low on the meter and even lower on mana. I just stick with our more mana efficient spells and wait for the boss to go all out.

  3. For your last point Im in the same boat. Hopefully this changes come Cataclysm.

    -Anslym

  4. I liked the fan-fic here, by the way.

    The post was good as well. I know most times that people new or inexperienced with a particular class just want to know quickly what to expect. I also liked how its specific to a build, too.

    One of the things I think keeps WoW going is the replay factor of being able to ‘re-roll’ or change specs and totally change the game and your approach to it.

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