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WoW - Updated: Shaman PvP Basics

Updated Sun, Jul 26, 2009 by Bluto







Let’s get ready to ruuummmmble!!!!  Well folks, over the past three months, we’ve discussed many facets of the Shaman lifestyle. Hopefully some folks have made it to eighty and have been getting some gear and experience playing their Shaman.  You’ve logged countless hours (well, unless you type /played) of game time getting to this point.  Most likely you’ve only battled in PvE environment which has a certain challenge. But like in “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Edward Connell, there is no greater opponent than man.  It’s time to take that training and practice and dish out some punishment against your fellow gamers.  There are few things in gaming as satisfying in gaming as squaring off against your opponent, engaging them in combat and emerging victorious. Upon your well earned victory, feel free to add your favorite emote to add to their humiliation. If you’ve been defeated, release as soon as possible as not to suffer their indignation.

Perhaps the single greatest and hence most time consuming transition from PvE to PvP is the gear that is required. Well, “required” is a bit of strong word. As with the rest of Warcraft, PvP is a bit gear oriented. The better and more appropriate your gear, the more successful you will be.  Players can hide many of their gear short comings in the Battlegrounds where many times it’s more of a chaotic free for all; not so in the more polished and demanding Arena teams.

The current PvP gear that is available to Players is the Savage, Hateful, Deadly, and Furious Gladiator set.

Savage Gladiator Armor - This gear is the lesser of the current PvP armor but still serves as a powerful tool to keep yourself alive during PvP combat.  Currently this armor can be purchase with Honor Points or with Emblems of Heroism.

Hateful Gladiator - This gear can currently be purchased with Honor Points or with Emblems of Valor. Allowing players to head to any Battleground of their choice. Players are guaranteed to obtain this armor, how well your faction succeeds in battle will determine how quickly you can obtain it.

Deadly Gladiator - This gear can currently be purchased with Honor Points or with Emblems of Conquest, which currently you can only receive by doing 25 player PvE content.

Furious Gladiator - This is the current top PvP armor set and only be purchase with Arena Points. As such, it comes with significant effort.  Not only does the purchase of this armor require honor points, you must have the required personal and team ratings from Arena PvP  This armor in the reward for the truly PvP focused.

The stats to focus on these days are Resilience, Stamina, and Critical Strike.  These traits work in direct opposition of each other
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Universal Shaman Abilities

Make use of those totems folks.  Just use some common sense; you aren’t locked into one set of totems.   Keep in mind that PvP is very dynamic and that you may need to reset your totems accordingly.  Don’t be shy with those Earth and Fire Elementals. Letting those bad boys loose adds a few more targets into the mix. This will allow for some additional damage while the Shaman can focus on either offensive or defensive spell casting. The following are the most widely agreed upon useful PvP tools of a Shaman:

Grounding Totem - Totem that will redirect one harmful spell cast on a nearby party member to itself, destroying the totem. Will not redirect area of effect spells. This totem is an outstanding PvP totem since its main purpose is to "eat" one single-target spell. Of course if you are in combat with all exclusive melee combatants, its usage becomes a bit limited.

Tremor Totem - This totem is useful for its ability to remove Fear, Charm and Sleep effects.

Earth Shock - Instantly shocks a target with concussive force, causing 849 to 895 Nature damage.  It also interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 2 seconds. This is especially useful against those casters. It can be a little tricky with the timing, but the best way to avoid being hit by an enemy spell is to make sure they can’t even cast it.

Earthbind Totem - Summons an Earthbind Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster for 45 sec that slows the movement speed of enemies within 10 yards.  This is a great tool to keep those melee from beating the crap out of you by creating space between you and your enemy.

Bloodlust or Heroism - Increases melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members.  Lasts 40 sec.  This ability gives the Shaman a great tool for burst DPS, although it can only be used every 10 minutes because the player or players will be sated.

Purge - An instant cast spell, purges the enemy target, removing 2 beneficial magic effects.  This ability is a great tool for Shaman in PvP you can instantly remove buffs, abilities, and healing spells from the enemy.

Hex - Transforms the enemy into a frog. While hexed, the target cannot attack or cast spells. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Lasts 30 sec. Only one target can be hexed at a time.  Only works on Humanoids and Beasts.  Another great, but sometimes forgotten, tool for Shamans in PvP.  Just like a Mage's sheep ability, a Shaman can use this to CC one target in order to keep a comfortable distance from the Shaman and the enemy.

Ghost Wolf - Turns the Shaman into a Ghost Wolf, increasing speed by 40%.  If the Shaman specs into Improved Ghost Wolf they will be able to instantly transform themselves to a ghost wolf which gives the Shaman another great tool in order to keep a comfortable distance between you and the enemy.

Cleansing Totem - Summons a totem that attempts to remove one disease and one poison effect from the party members within 30 yards.  This is a great tool for Shamans when going toe to toe with a Rogue, Death Knight, Feral Druid, or a Hunter.

Restoration Shaman

Healing is generally a much overlooked element of PvP. You can make yourself out to be a shining star by tossing around some often much needed heals.  There is a better than average chance that you may be in the minority of folks committed to healing, which will assist you in being the leader on the healing boards.  This may give you that little extra honor per Battleground to head you towards your PvP gear. Do yourself a favor and try to stay at your maximum casting range for combat. You may be able to avoid a number of those AoEs out there. If at all possible, lose yourself in the environment; no need to make a bigger target out of yourself then necessary.

As a Restoration Shaman in Battlegrounds and Arenas the best thing to do is keep your distance from the enemy. The use of Earthbind Totem and Instant Ghost Wolf are a Restoration Shaman's best friend, followed by a Frost Shock to widen the distance between you and a opponent.  Keep your Grounding Totem down everytime that cooldown is up and keep moving at all times while using Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave.  If you're good enough and able to keep a comfortable distance from your opponent, Chain Heal is a excellent choice but one problem is the longer cast time and when you are up close and personal with your opponent it can easily be interrupted.

Earth Shield - Protects the target with an earthen shield, reducing casting or channeling time lost when damaged by 30%  and causing attacks to heal the shielded target for 337.  In the raiding world this spell is generally reserved for the tank. In PvP, feel free to use it on yourself. If you are in a premade Battleground you may want to target another player, but to be honest as a rule save those extra heals for yourself.

Nature’s Swiftness - Allows your next spell with a cast duration to become an instant cast spell. This ability is gianed through talent points and has an extended cooldown, so knowing when and where to use it is key.

Riptide - Heals a friendly target for 1604 to 1736 and another 1670 over 15 sec.  Your next Chain Heal cast on that primary target within 15 sec will consume the healing over time effect and increase the amount of the Chain Heal by 25%.  A quick instant cast heal with some heal over time.  Used in conjuncture with Chain Heal will yield some great results.

Chain Heal - Heals the friendly target for 1055 to 1205, then jumps to heal additional nearby targets.  If cast on a party member, the heal will only jump to other party members.  Each jump reduces the effectiveness of the heal by 50%.  Heals 3 total targets.  This spell really has the potential to shine in PvP. Just target a friendly in the heat of battle, and let your Chain Heal do the rest.  Follow the advice given to me when I started my first Resto Shammy, hotkey most of buttons to Chain Heal, and roll yourself around the keyboard.  That was some sound advice from my guild-mates; of course I censored the exact phrasing for the public.

Lesser Healing Wave - Heals friendly targets for 1606 to 1834.  This ability, in my opinion, is most useful for a Restoration Shaman in PvP.  It is the quickest heal a Shaman has and when used after casting Riptide the next two Lesser Healing Waves cast will be half the cast speed.  The quicker the casting of heals, the less likely you will be interrupted and survive.

Cleanse Spirit - Cleanse the spirit of a friendly target, removing one poison effect, one disease effect, and one curse effect.  This ability of a Restoration Shaman is a key element when battling most classes.  The instant cast/cleanse that Cleanse Spirit gives the Shaman a powerful tool in PvP, for example, when going up against a Rogue, you can instantly cleanse yourself or others from mind numbing poisons which slows your movement and cast times.  Another example is when you go toe to toe against a Warlock, being able to cleanse yourself or others from those powerful and annoying dots is a key ability of survivability.

Elemental Shaman

All casting goodness all the time. As with your Restoration counterpart, do your best to stay at your maximum casting range.  The use of Earthbind Totem and Instant Ghost Wolf along with a Frost Shock will widen the distance between you and your opponent.  Let's face it; as an Elemental Shaman if you can cast, you will own, period!!  Keep those Grounding Totems down at all times when the cooldown is up and the use of Thunderstorm to help keep those melee opponents off of you is the best bet for success for a Elemental Shaman.

Chain Lightning - Hurls a lightning bolt at the enemy, dealing 973 to 1111 Nature damage and then jumping to additional nearby enemies.  Each jump reduces the damage by 30%. Get the most bang for your buck with this one. Aim one of these into the mix and go go go.

Totem of Wrath - The totem increases spell power by 280 for all party and raid members, and increases the critical strike chance of all attacks by 3%.  The extra 3%to critical strikes can help compensate against opponents resilience.

Thunderstorm - Energizing and damaging nearby enemies within 10 yards.  Restores 8% mana to you and deals 1450 to 1656 Nature damage to all nearby enemies, knocking them back 20 yards. A player really can never go wrong with an AoE spell. It’s especially useful around Battleground objectives.

Enhancement Shaman


In strict opposition to the other two Shaman builds, the Enhancement Shaman will be right in the heart of melee combat. Charge those Lightning Shields to full and wade into battle. The best thing for a Enhancement Shaman to do is jump on the enemy hard and fast, burst DPS is your best friend and keep those Tremor and Grounding Totems down at all times.  When fighting casters, save that Earth Shock for interrupts and you can use Maelstrom Weapon to either deal damage by a instant Lightning Bolt or save it for a instant Healing Wave if you feel your health is too low.

Stormstrike - Instantly attack with both weapons.  In addition, the next 4 sources of Nature damage dealt to the target from the Shaman are increased by 20%.  Spam as necessary followed up with any shock of choice.

Unleashed Rage - Causes your critical hits with melee attacks to increase all party and raid members' attack power by 10%, that extra damage will you burn down your opponents

Feral Spirit -  PvP party of three. Shout “Release the Hounds” and you and your doggies can tear into the opposition.

Maelstrom Weapon  - When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you have a chance to reduce the cast time of you next spell cast by 20%.  Rank 5 stacks up to 5 times so that will reduce your cast time by 100% = instant cast.

Lightning Shield - When struck, causes 380 Nature damage to the attacker.  Based on talent selection the shield has 3 to 9 charges.  Since a Enhancement Shaman is up close and personal with the melee, this is a great tool to induce extra damage upon your opponent.

These are just a few ideas to get you moving along into the realm of PvP. I have been PvPing with my Shaman since the game started out but I do not have all the answers, that’s where you, the reader, come into play. Hop into those Ten Ton Hammer Forums and share your thoughts and tricks with your fellow players. 

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