WoW Legion Shaman class preview
The Legion Shaman class preview is up and the class is once again all about its iconic totems. Many restrictions laid upon totems in expansion after expansion are being lifted. More than one type can be summoned, they don’t have to be summoned at your feet, and they now have a percentage of your max health. Their use is being focused on short term and powerful effects and Elementals aren’t tied to them any more. In addition, Enhancement and Elemental Shaman are going to use a new resource called Maelstrom instead of Mana which will remain with Restoration Shaman. Let’s dive in.
Elemental Shaman will build Maelstrom through their Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, and Chain Lightning, and spend it on abilities like Shocks and Earthquake.
That quote sums it up for the magic ranged damage spec of the class. Shocks will no longer have cooldowns since you’ll have to spend Maelstrom on them giving you more flexibility in casting and recasting them. Elemental Overload is back as the Mastery, granting up to a 40% chance for your key spells to proc a second time on the same target for 75% damage and Maelstrom generation as well as no threat.
Many spell descriptions in the preview state that the damage done by certain abilities will be based on the amount of Maelstrom spent, but don’t indicate how you determine how much you pour into it. I would have to assume at this point they mean all your current Maelstrom will go into the spell when you cast it and you’ll have to start building it again.
We want this spec to be more than a melee-range Elemental Shaman, while having a distinct “Battle Mage” feel.
Many of the same spells Enhancement Shaman are familiar with are still here, Windfury, Stormstrike, Lava Lash, etc. This time autoattacks and certain buffs will generate Maelstrom that can be spent on bigger attacks like Stormstrike. Your Mastery will increase damage up to 40% and proc Stormstrike more often. It’s not really clear how the weapon buffs stack between Flametongue, Rockbiter, and Windfury, but it feels like they would have to.
One talent spotlighted is identical to the one Thrall has in Heroes of the Storm, Sundering: Shatter a line of earth before you, causing strong Physical damage and knocking enemies to the side. It’s annoying in Heroes as it knocks enemies out of melee range for your teammates. I doubt it’s going to be any more welcome in WoW.
What has changed has primarily been in terms of tweaking their gameplay in more fun directions.
The devs are aiming for less Chain Heal spam and more targeted healing, but mostly you have the same line up you’re already familiar with. You have a slow, but efficient single target heal, a quick, but expensive heal, Chain Heal, a heal with a HOT, an AE heal and, of course, your Healing Stream Totem. A passive can trigger to decrease the casting time of your slow, but efficient heal or increase the critical chance of your fast and expensive heal. The Mastery can increase healing by up to 60%. The talent spotlighted describes a cone-shaped heal.
While all this looks solid, it also looks unexciting. Admittedly this is not the whole picture for the spec, but I was hoping for a more than the same old basic kit. If they are aiming for fun, they need to aim higher.
- 5am PT: Warrior
- 11am PT: Monk
- 5pm PT: Druid
Finally, Rogues will get their Legion class preview sometime on Thursday. We’ll see you back here tomorrow for three more previews!
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