I need a disclaimer in here I think. Well, more like an explanation. I play a shaman on Iron Rock, and for destro I always manage to queue with 3-5 other healers when pugging. It’s freakin scary sometimes how many healers we have on Destro at any given moment. Something that gives me pause for this spec however is the fact that on the same night I can run a scen with 6 healers, I can also end up being the ONLY healer. Just some weirdness in the scenario queuing that’s persistent as all hell. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up in an empty Battle for Praag or Caledor Woods. Different issue though I suppose.
Also, as a second caveat, this is a very difficult spec to play. It’s not like T1-T3 where shams are OP little unkillable bastards. In T4 everyone has tools to take you out and you’ll feel the pain if you’re sub rr50. In fact, I recommend at least rr60 before you start seriously pursuing the spec line. The extra mastery point isn’t a big deal, but access to those pieces of Invader, and the Renown Mastery points will help quite a bit. Can you lifetap at lower ranks? Yeah. Are you going to benefit your team? Not enough. Don’t be disillusioned in thinking that you’ll get much support from your realmmates either. Chances are they’re going to get all up in your face about not playing a heal bot. Be strong. Tell them to lick your GorkaMorka.
Better preservation and slightly more heals.
Ok, so this first spec link is my Whiny Bitch Mode spec. Basically, you’re not confident enough in your ability to pre-kite or survive WH burst so you waste half your mastery points dumped into the heal spec. This also doubles as a “Oh Shit” mode for getting into a scen where you’re the only healer. It sucks, I hate it, but it works fairly well. Alternatively you can drop the AoE and pick up the TGH Hot swapping out 13pt abilities. The problem I have with this spec is you’re still using your heal tree as a crutch instead of straight up relying on your deeps to keep you, or your target, alive. This is how most “Deeps” shammys spec, and ultimately it’s why they fall to an average or poor rating overall whilst accumulating the ridicule of their peers. It’s pretty much only good for practicing DPS, don’t waste your time with it too much. Once you’ve shaken off the rust from healing for the past 15RR’s or so it’s time to move onto the big boy spec.
Less avoidance and preservation with better damage and finishing capability.
The second link there is where the real meat of this post comes from. Yeah, you don’t have the luxury of Sticky Feet to save your ass, you’re not even slotting Whazat behind you?! for survivability. Nope, none of that nonsense. You’re a monster though, that’s for damn sure. It really is the equivalent to whipping out them big shammy balls and saying “Bitch, let’s party”. So besides all that I’m gonna give a run down of how to play the big-balled Shaman, and how to keep some bitches alive in the process.
Here’s a look at some of the gear you should be collecting if you really want to do things right. None of it is excessively difficult to attain although some might scoff at you wearing Bloodlord, however the 62int bonus is a necessity. The weapons, glyphs, and backpiece are going to be something to work for, but really you should have reasonable access to them if you’re in a decent guild. I went through manually and did some calculations on what you can expect for approximate DPS scores at the end under each weapon choice. Keep in mind a Sorc in our alliance wearing mostly end-game gear specced for single target rape was sitting around 320DPS. None of these are including weapon DPS factor as it doesn’t apply to casters just yet.
BASE INTELLIGENCE R40 +196
Bloodlord Greenbringas+8int +3crit (+35MP)
Bloodlord Waaaghat +29int -hate (+23int)
+62int set bonus
Conqueror Morkyfeets +16int +3crit (+23int)
Conqueror Robefings +13int +3ap (+23int)
+66int set bonus
Invader Bitskeepa +26int
Invader Sholdafings +10int -3tobecrit (+4crit)
+72int set bonus
Veil of Nehekharan Ritualists +26int +28MP
Emblem of Nehekharan Ritualists +20int +26MP
+90MP set bonus
Nehekharan Icon of Knowledge +15int +44mp
Glyph of Sahkmet: Mbizi +25int
Glyph of Sahkmet: Mume +25int +48MP
+4% reduced Disrupt set bonus
Base Equip +678int +227MP +10crit
+rr61+80int pot +893int +227MP +12crit
Nihilist’s Blasta of Tyranny +53int +4crit +6AP (+23int) 2slots (Conqueror Scenario Weapon)
239.2DPS 969int 227MP 16crit
Zaptwig of the Sandstorm +75int +65MP +5crit 2slots (+23int)
256.6DPS 991int 292MP 17crit
Hommis, the Spirit of War +52int +35MP (+49int)(+99MP)3souls
271DPS 994int 361MP 12crit
Akire, the Creator +18int +104MP (+49int)(+99MP)3souls
278DPS 960int 430MP 12crit
The last two weapons here are drops from the Tomb of the Stars and Sky, run those when you can and pray. I didn’t include the world boss weapons here because to be frank, they’re damn near impossible to acquire, and I wouldn’t waste a page on a DPS stick for my Shaman unless I already had the heal stick. Anyway, with a difference of a mere 7DPS I think taking Hommis would be preferred if only for the extra 34 INT to penetrate Disrupt further, and bringing yourself within buff range of the soft cap. Another thing to keep in mind is this gear gives -5% chance to be Disrupted, so it should negate your slightly lower INT when taking down healers with stacked WIL.
Having a nice spec and appropriate gear makes not a DPS, I can point you to any number of terribadtarded players in the world that are wearing gear that far outweighs their skill level. As a shaman you need to rely on your kiting skill, which is especially difficult due to melee range being slightly extended to make up for Client–Server communications. The melee fudge factor WILL get you killed, and probably a lot, regardless of how well you pre-kite. If you’re lucky, not knocked down, and have AP by not spamming all your skills constantly, you can usually avoid 80% of melee fudge. This will be the hardest thing to master, especially when you get serious about damage and forgo the majority of your oh-shit buttons. Let’s move on to your bread and butter skills!
Brain Bursta for when you’re not healing. Basically, when you first get into a skirmish this ability will have slightly higher base damage than I’ll Take That!, initially when people are still good on HP, and only being halfway up the Gork tree, Brain Bursta will be serviceable. Once you get into the shit however, your lifetap takes over.
I’ll Take That! for when you are healing (most of the time). Whether you’re assisting off a main DPS, or just trying to keep someone alive I’ll Take That! is your bread and butter nuke. Healing for 150% of the damage it deals means that you’ll be critting in the 1300 range and healing every 2s for ~1950 on a single target. Not too shabby compared to heal spec single target burst with Bigger Better an’ Greener. Less setback from being hit too.
Fury of Da Green for great AoE heal nukes if you think you’ll hit more than 2 people with it. This is your Fiery Blast/Shattered Shadows skill. Specced this high and heavy in DPS, you can expect this one to crit for 1000-1200 as well, but the burst heals will be more than any single player has in HP. If you know someone is going down, dropping him a Fury will save his ass fast. Also keep in mind it’s only a 5s cooldown, so you can half spam this if you’re targeting into a fray for serious single target healing action.
Bunch o’ Waaagh for when you want to draw some attention to yourself and burn some AP. I refer to this as the Ghostbusters beam, and it can pack a pretty hefty punch. Expect to see 1200 ticks coming off this green beam of doom. It’s particularly handy for calling targets, or tracking people down past 100′ range, it tends to extend for an extra tick. ALSO, a tricky thing about it, you can use the green beam as an instant cast on the run. For kiting, one good pop of 1200 in their face might slow down your aggressor a little bit.
Big Waaagh! is a kiting tool almost exclusively in my book. If you’re pretty used to kiting, then you might have gotten used to the stop-and-go casting of Gork’ll Fix It. Basically, since it’s a 1s cast, you only have to stop for half a second to get the cast off. This is handy on the run if you can stop for half a second as Big Waaagh! is another ability that’ll pop someone chasing you right in the mouth for a decent amount. Not something to use in longer range combat though as your 2s casts are much more efficient, mix it up with your initial Brain Bursta flurry, but aside from that just leave it alone.
You Got Nuthin! is a fairly beefy 5s Silence that packs something of a punch. Application is tricky because of it’s long cooldown timer, but if you get it on right away, do one good nuke, Gork’s Barbs’, Yer Not So Bad, then a Bunch of Waaagh! as they come out of the Silence it’ll usually make a healer (or caster DPS) crap their pants and/or die. Use this situationally, and when you know you’ll have enough to take a healer/caster down. No one likes wasted opportunities when it comes to 5s CC.
Dots! (Kiting fuel!)
Bleed Fer’ Me keeps you alive while on the run for a very hefty 24 seconds straight. BFM will tend to tick your aggressor for a good 300-400 in turn healing you for 450-600 every 3 seconds. Now, if you have RUN AWAY! popping like it should, this will net you a few good chunks of HP so you can pop them with a couple other abilities on the move.
Yer Not So Bad is a very powerful ability when used on the right targets. Warriors Priests don’t care much, but hit an AM or RP and they’ll be feeling the squeeze. Also it’s great for slowing down an aggressor that’s going to town on your face. They’ll get tired out as you keep on ticking. I also tend to throw it on Witch Hunters if I see them running around as it cuts their burst capabilities significantly when they try to tear into someone at half their normal AP.
Life Leaka is your other simple dot. Doesn’t last too long at a mere 15 seconds, and it doesn’t do a ton of damage ticking for 250-300 every 3s, but it’s something to wear down on your enemies. Make sure your kiting target has it applied. Don’t overdo it.
Gork Sez Stop Ok, Ok, this is a Morale ability. However, it’s probably the best morale ability you have and will certainly make an aggressor reevaluate his position. GSS ticks for 150 unmitigateable damage every HALF second. That’s a solid 300 DPS as long as your target keeps chasing you around. Unless they stop anyway. Oh, and the kicker? It will refresh itself for up to a full minute. That’s a solid 18000 damage if they manage to get healed through it the entire time (I’ve seen it happen).
Eeeek! is your classic area denial, and that particular area would be your face. It won’t save you for long, but it’ll give you some breathing room if you missed your pre-kiting train. There’s a long cooldown, so if you can make a quick mental check to see if they’re immune to punts. A lifesaving ability like this being wasted will most likely cost you big.
Greener ‘n Cleaner is another kiting tool believe it or not. There’s a handful of classes if you plan on figuring them out, that have a snare you can clean right off. I believe Slayers are on that list. Good ability if only for that right there. I don’t really employ this on anyone but myself. Greedy greedy.
‘Ere We Go! doesn’t add a ton of damage on your own, but get within 100 feet of your group and it starts to add up. Depending on the makeup of your group should make or break this ability. Are you running 3 healers? Are you running 5 tanks/dps? Basically, if 4 people are going to get use of it, then fire it at will. Less than that and I’d leave it alone.
Yer A Weaklin’ pops a 20′ AoE DPS reduction. This is another very situational ability that’s fairly weak, dropping 120 from a stat isn’t going to make a huge difference in DPS (about 24), but it might make it a bit easier to dodge/block/parry/disrupt (~5%). If you can hit 6 enemies it’s probably worth it, but don’t get used to tossing it around a whole lot.
You’z Squishy pops a 20′ AoE 120 Toughness debuff. The issue I have with this is that Toughness is a static amount so it has the same effect across the board, straight increase in damage deal to your target. Treat it much the same as Yer A Weaklin’ unless you’re calling targets. Then you can lead off with it.
Don’ Feel Nuthin is your absorb bubble, and unlike other classes that get it as a career ability, the Shaman gets his in a mastery path. That means Da Greener the better. Use this frequently when you pre-kite. If you even think something has a chance of hitting you go ahead and toss it on. It’s saved my life plenty of times.
A word on Heals and Detaunts
Look, I don’t put a lot of stock into either of these when playing a DPS Shaman. Heals are fine out
of combat, but you’ll be regenerating anyway. A HoT or two in combat isn’t outside of the question either but the effectiveness is highly diminished. Also, Detaunting a target that you’re trying to kill or kite really won’t work here. Sure, you can detaunt a Bright Wizard and target something else but why not just kill him instead! I’m not saying you should avoid these abilities, just forewarning that they’re going to have serious differences in potency than what you’re probably used to. One thing that you will be great at however, and you should probably pick up this responsibility, is the instant-rez capability. All the DPS abilities from Da Green count towards your balance mechanic. This means at any given time you should be able to insta-rez. This keeps the pure healers healing instead of wasting precious moments trying to pick up that Magus who decided to go melee spec. (Different post entirely… hehe).