3.5 Shaman Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by FaceMasher, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. FaceMasher

    FaceMasher New Member

    Mar 22, 2016
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    Shaman is the raid viable melee cleric soul, it has nice burst, good sustained dps and imo doesnt suffer for frequent target swaping ( provided your targets are in melee or close proximity). The shortcommings of shaman are the verry severe lack of utility and your cleaving ability isnt that great.

    The build:

    The top dps build is 61shaman/7druid/8inquisitor

    For masteries, I use
    61: Soul collector, ekkehards grasp also applies frostbite (increased ranged dps)
    62: Blessing of Penitence (Fervent Strike range increase)
    63: Faith's Freedom (So your Sanction Heretic applies Vex too)
    64: Diversify (more deeps)
    65: Punishing strike (another hard hiting phys ability)

    Buffs and Crystal:

    As shaman you have a number of buffs . Furious Assault , 3 courages, glory of the chosen, armor of devotion are up all the time. You also have 2 situational buffs - Vengance of the Winter Storm(VWS) and Vengance of the Primal North(VPN). VWS is for single target dps and when you have to cleave up to 4 targets , VPN is for cases when there are 5 and more.

    Use eldritch crystal


    Frozen wrath(FW) - a powerful DoT ability, that causes your target to take double damage from VWS.
    This ability MUST be on the target non stop. It cannot be clipped by the cast itself, it is blocked as long as
    the target is affected by it. However, Punishing Strike mastery makes it easy here, as it will refresh
    (not apply) Frozen Wrath on cast. Keep Punishing Strike on cooldown, and you wont have to bother
    with Frozen Warth after initial application.
    Note: Strike of the Maelstrom (Physical AoE spam) causes Frozen Wrath to spread to all targets hit
    by Maelstrom.

    Jolt(JT) - a small elemental ability that can be cast on an 8 second cooldown. It is on global cooldown,
    and has a lower base value than your icy blow (elemental spam). However, if Jolt is cast after
    you land a critical strike with a weapon ability (about 90% of the shaman abilities), it will get a
    170% bonus damage amplifier. This causes the ability to overshoot the base value of icy blow.
    Therefore, you use this ability as elemental filler instead of icy blow whenever you have the proc.
    (reactive ability shows up on your HuD) Also, because you want to use this conditionally (only after crit)
    Do never macro this into any shaman macro. It will be a DPS loss.

    Glacial Strike(GS) - your hardest hiting (equal to Massive Blow) elemental ability. This can only be cast
    if the target is below 30% HP.

    Lightning Hammer(LH) - your second hardest hiting elemental ability . It is also a dot and should never be cliped under no circumstance due to the nature of the dot it leaves ( it starts from low dmg and gets progresivlly higher as it runs out)

    Icy Blow(IB) - your spam elemental ability , used as filler when nothing else is up.

    Ride the Lightning - your charge ability (also elemental). It removes roots and slows when cast but doesnt remove hard CC.Also briefly roots the target if possible.

    Ekkehard's Grasp(EG) - as cool as it sounds its your weakest elemental abillity (not a weapon attack so no Vengace procs on it, also no patter of violence procs :( ). Only used when the target is out of melee range.

    Massive Blow(MB) - your hardest hitting physical ability and with the recent changes to it it now aways crits. Aways use it when its of CD. It also applies Brutalize on the target witch does 45% of the dmg your MB. As any DoT effect Brutalize benefits from the increased dmg taken debuffs on the enemy so in a sense thanks to it MB has some double the dipping , triple the excitement effects.

    Punishing Strike(PS) - Second hardest hitting physical ability, also refreshes FW.

    Combined Effort(CE) - your third hardest hiting physical ability. Also give you a buff that makes your attacks debuffs the targets you hit with a 5% increased dmg taken debuff.

    Crushing Blow(CB) - filler physical ability. Used as filler when the other are on CD.

    Fervent Strike(FS) - Ranged physical ability. Used only on disconects.

    Sanction Heretic(SH) - Inquisitor ability , by some twist this is your highest dps per GCD ability (thx Trino).Must aways be used when its off CD with the only exception being durong CD blocks.

    Deep Freeze(DF) - Your burst CD. Stuns and debuffs the target and 5 other targets around it for 3 second causing them to take 50% more dmg. Use your hardest hiting abilities with it.

    Rage of the North(RTN) - Crit chance giving buff. Gives you 10 stacks of RTN , you gain 10% increased crit chance per stack and every critical strike consumes one stacks. MB doesnt consume stacks of RTN.

    Rush of Strength - Resets the CD on your MB

    Frostbite - A talent from the tree that gives you 30% increased dmg on physical ability after you use a elemental ability.

    How the spec works :

    The spec revolves around rotating physical and elemental hits ,using SH off CD and timing your hardest hiting abilities with your DF and raid CD-s

    There is not set rotation for shaman , its basiclly a priority list and it goes as
    Frozen Wrath(applies frostbite)
    Sanction Heretic
    Massive blow +30%
    Punishing Strike +30%
    Combined Effort +30%
    Crushing Blow +30%
    Glacial Strike (applies frostbite)
    Lightning Hammer (applies frostbite)
    Jolt (applies frostbite)
    Icy Blow (applies frostbite)

    Optimal theoretic opening : FW>SH>LH>DF>RTN>MB>JT>PS>IB>MB(ROS)>IB and so on. Note that this is the theoretic perfect world opening where raid cd-s are on at the 4th second into the fight .

    For the real world opening it usually goes like this :
    Realistic opening : FW>SH>PS>LH>CE>IB>DF>RTN>MB>JT>(ROS)MB>IB>PS>CB and so on

    For the CD block you have 2 cases as well:
    -Perfect world where raid CD-s are used on point and there is no delay : DF>RTN>MB>JT>PS>IB>(ROS)MB
    Downside to this is having to manage PS cd so you have it for your CD block. This is not easy to achieve but any delay in raid CD-s may cause your FW to fall off the target and you will spend refreshing it during your CD block and this will result in far less dps than normal. You will potentially miss buffed RWS hits , additional tick during DF , one less attack.
    -Real world where there is delay in raid CD-s : DF>RTN>MB>JT>MB
    Deals slightly less dmg that the perfect world variant due to Brutelize overwriting but ensures that your FW never falls off since you are not saving PS . I personally prefer this one since its more consistent .

    Outside of CD block just rotate physical and elemental hits coupled with refreshing SH according to the priority list


    CD Block
    #show Deep Freeze
    cast Rage of the North
    cast Deep Freeze

    Phys Macro
    #show Massive Blow
    cast Massive Blow
    cast Punishing Strike
    cast Combined Effort
    cast Crushing Blow
    cast Fervent Strike

    Non-phys Macro
    #show Frozen Wrath
    cast Frozen Wrath
    cast Icy Blow
    cast Ekkehard's Grasp

    Proc Macros
    #show Jolt
    cast Glacial Strike
    cast Jolt
    cast Glacial Shield

    Filler phys Macro
    #show Punishing Strike
    cast Punishing Strike
    cast Combined Effort
    cast Crushing Blow
    cast Fervent Strike

    Closing thoughts:
    Before the rescent changes shaman was just below the other melee dps specs in terms of performance on single target and cleaving, while the ST dps was heavily reliant on MB RNG. After the changes its single target dmg is now on par with the other melee specs , but the cleaving ability of the soul got a bit worse. Overall a solid spec but it has certain limitation imposed on it so as not to become the uber spec because Trino didnt think clerics should have more than 2 viable raid dps souls with caba coming for a whirl here and there.

    Bonus part: How to be the best DPS
    Discplaimer: This is dedicated to a friend of mine, but still a good laugh :D And btw all the things said bellow work too :p
    Stack on your crit pots and get prepared for some scumbaging, we are all friends but everything is fair when it comes to the meter.
    First and most important know your spec to perfection, no point in racing people to the top if you are draging your but on the floor.
    Second - find any excuse you can so you dont have to do mechanics - distracting things like interupting or purging may come at the cost of your deeps and that certanly wont help you top them meters.
    Third - AOE the living fk out of everything. In the shaman's case spread your FW to as many targets as possible and watch yourself climb on the meter.
    Fourth - Scumbag him with mechanics if possible . Since Naz doesn't talk on voice servers he cant employ the same tactics so you have the advantage here. Whenever there is a stop mechanic or a go place something somewhere mechanic that you get call Naz out so he stops or starts running away and potentiolly miss a few GCd-s or use weaker abilities resulting in his DPS loss. The tricky part about this is if the raid leader is calling it out you may get into trouble, here you need to weight your options - beat Naz on the meter or arouse the anger of the raid leader. Pretty easy choice , you wont be reading this if you werent prepared for at least that much to beat Naz lol. For more tips and tricks you can watch this video.