If you are reading this article, then you probably fall into one of four categories:
The player interested in playing the best class in the game (Spiritmaster),
The player interested in beating a Spiritmaster in PvP,
The Spiritmaster checking in to see if you are doing the DPS thing right, or
The theorycrafter who can’t wait to poke holes in the article.
Whichever camp you fall into is fine by me, even those in the last category. I consider myself a lifelong learner and I enjoy hearing of new ways to crush our opponents. Regardless of why you are here, I hope you enjoy the following blend of math and artistry as you learn a little more about the Spiritmaster.
Never do your own dirty work.
The Spiritmaster is a pet class which means that we are really more of a nobleman ordering around the help than a down-in-the-trenches worker like say a silly Gladiator. As such, the key to keeping your hands clean is letting your pet keep the guests entertained while you stand at a distance (looking down your nose at the prey). This is a delicate dance between keeping the pet alive, killing the enemy and saving some mana in case of an Add (or to avoid downtime). The rotation of choice involves heavy use of pet skills and summoning Energy Spirits as well as using Replenish Element to keep them in the game.
Stop, Drop and Roll
The basic rotation is centered on our pet maintaining aggro, conserving mana and being ready for the next fight. With this in mind, my typical mono y mono fight goes like this:
Send the Pet
Have the pet cast Thunderclaw for some extra damage.
Summon Fire Energy to enjoy the light show as the glowing balls of DPS do their work.
Cast Spirit Threat to drive the pet’s aggro up a little higher, and then hit them in the chips.
Cast Ice Chain and the chain spell Frozen Shock.
Cast Erosion – Always good to have an extra DOT on the enemy for some ticking damage.
Optional – Cast Chain of Earth – this does two things: causes some minor damage, and more importantly slows the enemy if it decides to come after you. If it is slow, the pet can keep beating on it while it crawls its way to you. It does take a good amount of mana to cast this one so sometimes I'll opt to save the mana and manage the aggro more closely.
If I am not backing up due to pulling Aggro, I cast Flame Bolt and the chain spell Blaze for some extra damage.
At this point in the sequence it’s time to check in on how we’re doing. If the mob is on its way to turning into a glowing loot ball, then we finish it off. If however we find our pet element is hurting (at or below half health is a good barometer) then I top it off with Replenish Element. It’s also a good time to check your own stats. Casting Absorb Energy every time it is available is a good habit to be in, so be sure to tap that one any time you can.
OH NOES, it’s coming right for me!
As a Spiritmaster we have a couple of decent evasion techniques. If my pet dies I Root the enemy and gauge if I have time to conjure another element, or I just nuke the bad guy until he gives me loot. If I haven’t lost the pet, then I cast Stoneform (Root will break from pet damage) just go toe to toe with the foe and hope for the best. If all else fails, keep Spirit Threat rolling and run for the hills! Your next pet won’t even know about how you treated the last one. Trust me.
Hey, you weren’t invited to the party.
Always remember that Root is your friend. When attacking multiple mobs or having that odd pathing enemy cross your route, one simple Root will take them out of commission long enough to get a handle on the first enemy. Even if the first mob isn’t dead, you can have your pet start attacking the other mob to start building aggro. Pets won’t last long doing that so be sure you can handle either one or both of the enemies if you can’t keep your pet healed.
Many ingredients to this recipe.
There are literally thousands of variables that can go into a fight (how many enemies are you fighting and of what level). There is no hard and fast rule you should get locked into, this is just one version of a recipe. Use this as a starting point and experiment with your own timing and sequencing. There are definitely higher damage rotations available, but I find that resting, using potions or bandaging doesn’t fit my goal of zero downtime. I try and keep my mana topped off and my pet healthy, everything else can be fixed in an emergency with potions or treatments. Using this formula you can cruise through the first 25 levels and be ready to tackle the Abyss. Of course the Abyss rotations are a completely different topic for next time.