Time for another Blog Azeroth Community Post! This time – What are the things that you wish everyone you grouped with knew about your class?
As one of the few Alliance Shaman (it seems), I have rather a few…
First, totems are like tastebuds. Each one has a specific flavor for which it is responsible. There are four flavors (or elements) of totems – Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. At any given time, a Shaman can have one – and only one – totem of each element deployed. This means that you can not have Windfury AND Grace of Air unless you have TWO shaman, because they are both Air Element Totems. On the same token, you can not have Fire Resistance and Mana Spring, as they are both Water Element Totems. If you are not sure which totems your Shaman has or should be dropping… please trust the Shaman. (Shamans, know your totems, please!)
Also like tastebuds, totems only work if they’re close enough to their target. For any Shaman not 11 points deep in the Restoration tree, that means 20 yards on most totems. If you are pulling for your group, please try to keep an eye on where the totems are. Particularly if the mob you’re fighting fears. Tremor totem only works if you’re within range of the pulses.
Resto Shaman and Elemental Shaman each get a specific spec-related totem – Mana Tide (water) and Totem of Wrath (fire), respectively. Enhancement shaman get buffs to their Windfury/Grace of Air and Strength of Earth totems. This means that enhancement shamans have better versions… but ALL shamans can (and should in some circumstances) cast Windfury/Grace of Air and Strength of Earth.
Second, all Shaman have a resurrection spell. They can cast resurrection on any target (that is dead) when not in combat, as many times as they want, just like a Priest or a Paladin. Reincarnation, or “self-rez”, has a one hour cooldown (40 minutes if talented) and requires a reagent – an ankh. Sometimes the process of reincarnation is called “ankh-ing” – as in “I’m far enough away, do you guys want me to ankh?”. Note that this ability is not consumed by being resurrected by another player or releasing and running back (like a soulstone), so sometimes it is more profitable for the group to run back and let the shaman save his or her “second wind” for a boss fight.
If your group wipes, do not immediately release – especially if you are in the back corner of some out of the way instance, particularly Tempest Keep. Wait 10 seconds and ask the Shaman if he or she can reincarnate and whether they think it’s a good idea.
This is particularly applicable if you are the ONLY person that released, after a wipe on Skyriss, and the group has to wait 10 minutes for you to haul your non-epic-flying-mounted tail back up there.
For (amusing) further reading about rezzing that should be required for any raid healer, see Phae’s discussion over at Resto4Life.
Third – like Druids and Paladins, Shaman come standard with healing spells. However, like Druids and Paladins, if they do not have the gear for healing, they don’t heal very well and go out of mana VERY fast. Shaman heals (untalented) tend to be very mana inefficient. So if you are grouped with a Shaman, and she says that she is elemental or enhancement spec and does not have healing gear or feel comfortable healing… do not expect her to do well as a main healer unless you are running Deadmines (or some other lower level instance). Do expect that she will be able to toss a few heals if the main healer gets eaten by an add, there is a bad pull, or some other random catastrophe occurs. Also realize that Shaman have no heal over time spells, but are excellent in situations where mutliple targets are taking damage.
This is, in my opinion, common courtesy to any hybrid. Yes, we have heal spells. No, not all of us rolled the class to be healers, even if most of us will be willing to toss a few in a pinch. Forcing people to heal is the fastest way to get them to not group with you and/or reroll. And being a hybrid is about flexibility!
So be flexible with your Shamans, listen to what they have to say, and enjoy grouping with what has become my favorite class in this World of Warcraft.
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