The shaman is back with some new and Improved tools in Cataclysm, but the overall feel will be familiar to veteran players. The mechanics and roles of the class have not changed dramatically, and players will still be able to specialize in melee DPS, ranged DPS, or healing, depending on their choice of talents.
NEW SHAMAN SPELLS
Primal Strike: A weapon-based attack designed to give Enhancement shamans an early leveling tool.
Healing Wave: The old Healing Wave spell has been renamed Greater Healing Wave. The new Healing Wave is an efficient medium heal, in between Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave.
Unleash Elements: A spell that unleashes the power in the shaman’s weapons, depending on which weapon buff the player has active.
Healing Rain: An AoE heal-over-time ability that affects all players within range.
Spiritwalker’s Grace: A self-buff that allows shamans to cast non-instant spells while on the move.
Cleanse Spirit: A defensive dispel, to compensate for the loss of Cleansing Totem. Can be improved via the Restoration tree.
Elemental shamans will continue to deal out heavy burst ranged damage, while simultaneously buffing the spell damage of their party. Totem of Wrath is now a baseline spell for all shamans; Elemental shamans gain access to the Totemic Wrath talent, which provides an additional spell power bonus to the raid. Lightning Shield has an additional use; it can now be used to power up Earth Shock, increasing its damage through the Fulmination talent Mastery (Elemental Overload): Grants a 16% chance for Elemental Overload to occur. Elemental Overload causes a Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, or Lava Burst spell you cast to trigger a second, similar, spell on the same target at no additional cost that causes 75% of normal damage and no threat. Each point of mastery increases the chance of Elemental Overload by 2%.
The Enhancement shaman is a totemic warrior who strikes foes with weapons imbued with elemental power. This tree will continue to improve melee DPS, though Blizzard is adding in additional uses for spell power. Enhancement shamans are compensated for their need to focus on multiple attack stats by receiving spell power equal to 50% of their attack power, and a 75% reduction in the mana cost of instant spells.
Mastery (Enhanced Elements): Increases all Fire, Frost, and Nature damage done by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2%.
The Restoration shaman is currently the dominant AoE healer; only Holy priests provide any real competition. The Focused Insight talent encourages shamans to mix Shock spells into their rotation, by increasing the potency of the next heal and reducing its mans cost. Ancestral Healing improves single-target healing by reducing your target’s damage taken after a critical heal.
Mastery (Deep Healing): Increases the potency of your direct healing spells by up to 20%, based on the current health level of your target (lower health targets are healed for more).
Restoration shamans will continue to be raid healers. Elemental and Enhancement shamans will continue’their roles as caster and melee DPS classes, respectively, though the Enhancement shaman will take on a stronger casting role than in previous expansions.
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