HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

What I Love and Hate about my Shaman

Xata has been level 80 for a few weeks now and I started to think about what I liked and disliked about her. I have previously played a priest (main), a rogue and have briefly dabbled with a paladin.

Love: Learning something new

Lava Burst-ing my way through dailies

Lava Burst-ing my way through dailies

I’m not an expert on Shamans. I’m certainly not an expert on restoration (my primary spec) or elemental (my secondary spec) Shamans. I love that each time I group up with people as either spec I have to focus on what I’m casting. I love that I haven’t mastered the use of all my spells and abilities yet.

Tidal Force, Tidal Waves and even Nature’s Swiftness are beyond my understanding at the moment. I still find the consumption of my water shield charges unpredictable and surprising.

Hate: How similar the talents and spells are to my priest, just with different names

50% mana regeneration while casting? Sure… wait, am I playing my priest or shaman? Hmmm and the talents are even in the same goddamn spot on the talent tree. I’m amazed they bothered with a different icon sometimes. And I can’t help but translate my shaman heals to the equivalent priest heals. Riptide is like Renew. Healing Wave is like Greater Heal. Lesser Healing Wave is like Flash Heal. Earth Shield is a bit like Power Word: Shield.

At least Chain Heal feels significantly different to Prayer of Mending and Circle of Healing. But that’s another story.

I also don’t understand why there is a cooldown on Riptide. It costs enough mana that I can’t imagine anyone spamming it anyway.

Love: Dual specs and Lava Burst

Dual speccing to a DPS build for dailies is so convenient and speeds things up considerably. When I do dailies as elemental using Flame Shock + Lava Burst it’s faster than my geared up Shadow Priest or my rogue.

Hate: Feeling like my heals hit for nothing

I’m not 100% sure but I don’t think my green healing numbers include healing from my Earth Shield. And I feel like my Riptide heals only marginally more than my Healing Stream totem – which I equate to the power of Vampiric Embrace (read – cute, but of little use). Yet the combination keeps my tank up mostly by itself so I know it’s working.

I also get sad when people post the healing meters and I’m way below some of the other classes. I don’t need to top healing meters, but I’d like to be in the same ballpark.

Love: Being exotic

I’m a draenei. And I’m not one of those pale skinned creatures with white hair, oh no. Xata is dark skinned with black hair and looks absolutely amazing in whatever gear I throw her into in Northrend.

She even sounds exotic when she scoldes me.
Not enough mana indeed.

Hate: Totem range, Horn of Winter and Strength of Earth

If you end up fighting out of range of your totems, what is the point? In my opinion there is absolutely no point in laying down totems if the tank runs forward, charges in and starts tanking out of range of your totems.

I have gotten into the habit of laying down only the caster totems before the pull and then wasting (usually 2) cooldowns immediately after the pull to run in closer and lay down totems benefiting the tank and melee.

I hate that whenever a DK is in the group (and when are they NOT in a group) with their Horn of Winter buff I end up dropping Stoneskin totem. I am not convinced this totem is even worth it. Is it worth a cooldown?

If there are no DKs and I am dropping Strength of Earth but with hunters standing 40 yards away from the tank I try and drop Strength of Earth somewhere in the middle of the hunter/s and melee and spend the whole fight unsure if either is benefiting.

Lets just say I usually prefer to take the lower MP5 from Blessing of Wisdom than dropping a Mana Spring totem. At least Blessing of Wisdom will travel around with me.

Love: Impressing people with my use of totems

Totems give amazing buffs to the party and are so often overlooked by non-shamans. I know previously to playing a shaman I never looked twice at the totems although a small part of me understood that standing near them was probably better than getting caught on the other side of the room from them.

All it takes is one tank who notices that I’m dropping Windfury at his feet and saying “wow I’m liking your totems Xata” or a group member saying “I thought I was going to fear right into those other mobs – oh right, we had tremor totem” and I’m happy I rolled this class.

2 Responses to “What I Love and Hate about my Shaman”

  1. MinitonkaNo Gravatar says

    I remember being where you are! Here’s some things that I figured out about healing shaman style.

    Riptide: It’s an ok splash heal / HoT; but it’s great for Tidal Waves! I currently heal up front for 5-6k on the splash heal, I have no clue how much the HoT really does, but I typically don’t leave it up long enough to find out. What Riptide is valuable for is that it gives you Tidal Waves, which significantly reduces the cast time of Healing Wave. For me this is the difference in a 2.1s cast time down to 1.4s. I can get a Healing Wave off in the amount of time LHW casts now that Tidal Waves effects LHW’s crit vs cast speed, but LHW’s that do more is also great especially since it’s still a fast heal without the haste effect from Tidal Waves. The other thing Riptide is useful for, is it makes your chain heal more effective if you cast Chain Heal on someone that has Riptide on them, the only difference is that it consumes Riptide, so I try to time Chain Heal to hit with just a second or two before Riptide wears off. I forget the number but I want to say it’s like 20% to 25% more effective. With glyph of chain heal hitting 4 people and my totem (range item) reducing the mana cost of Chain Heal, I use this if I’ve hit someone with Riptide even if a group heal isn’t needed because at that point it’s SUPER efficient for what you get out of it.

    Tidal Force is simply a higher crit chance for the next 3 or 4 casts. I typically macro this into my Emergency button to use Tidal Force, then Nature’s Swiftness followed by Healing Wave, thus a HUGE Instant Healing Wave for that tank that is about to bite the dust, then the next spell or two you cast will be at a higher crit percentage too. Nature’s swiftness simply makes your next nature spell I think instant cast as long as the cast time is under a certain number, I forget what it is, but all of your heal spells are covered under Nature’s Swiftness.

    With the new totem interface, dropping your totems closer to battle should be easier without consuming four GCDs. The Strength of Earth thing is a pain, I always forget when a DK is around to not use it. I hear you with the Mana Spring totem, but if you get Blessing of Wisdom from a non-Holy paladin it’s something like 50MP5, a Holy Paladin will get you up to like 95MP5 I think, but my totem is 109MP5; that’s quite a substantial difference, I just make sure mana totem is the first I drop to make sure I’m getting as much as I can from it. With the new MP5 changes we should be better off for sure.

    I too love how big Lava Burst is for elemental with it’s flame shock; but I’ve recently gotten more into enhancement especially for PvP and I have to tell you the amount of instant abilities you have at your disposal makes you pretty valuable to an arena team or BG group, especially since the shocks have been separated from Wind Shear, formerly Wind Shock. Maelstrom will also apply to heals, so I keep my healing addon up even when I’m in enhancement in case I need to dump an instant HW or CHeal on myself or someone nearby.

    Look forward to reading about your future shaman adventures!


  2. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    I haven’t really played Xata in a couple months now. I’m in a very active guild with my Priest and there’s always something going on, and I’m not drawn to the guild my Shaman has found herself in (and on a different server too).

    Definitely want to try her out again and see what’s changed in Patch 3.2. I know the Shamans in my guild are thrilled with the single GCD totem drop.

    As far as I’m concerned they needed all the buffs they got.


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