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WoWJan 12, 2017 3:00 pm CT

Totem Talk: Elemental and Restoration Shaman in Patch 7.1.5

Patch 7.1.5 is here and we Shaman received a rather large number of changes. All three specs got some attention, though Elemental and Enhancement moreso than Restoration.

Reactions have been varied, and I’ve seen equal amounts of hope and doomsaying. Today we’re going to take a look at what changed. We won’t cover everything, but certainly some of the more interesting changes.

elemental shaman earthquake

Elemental updates

Elemental by far got the most in the way of updates. Talents have been shifted around and a lot of tweaks have been made to some of our iconic abilities. There’s quite a bit to talk about, but we’ll start with the new talents positions.

Overall, I think the moves are good. They feel a little bit better placed in terms of their power, especially when considering how some of the abilities were updated.

Icefury now deals 900% spellpower as frost damage, up from 180%. It still increases the damage of the next 4 Frost Shocks we cast by 400%. I really like this change, particularly because the talent I feel fits in nicely with our class fantasy. It makes it far more viable as a choice in terms of talents. There’s something about it that just feels nice.

Liquid Magma Totem got a buff to 110% spellpower, up from 80%, which makes it feel better. Especially when considered as a level 90 talent. I’m not sure it beats out Echo of the Elements, but it at least feels about where it should be.

Elemental Blast also got some love and attention. The spell now does 680% spell damage, up from 525%, and the stat increase it gives is now 2400 up from 1200. That stat increase alone is huge, but coupled with higher damage makes this spell pretty amazing. Especially when you consider it is a level 75 talent.

The last big change was to our elementals. Storm Elemental, our angrier version of Fire Elemental, had some balancing. First, the cooldown was reduced from 5 minutes to 2.5 minutes. The second bit, though, is the duration went from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. On an average raid encounter is should mean you still get a full minute of the elemental being active, just not all at once. Third, there was a slight increase in to the damage the elemental does, which is welcomed. This will likely have the most impact in dungeons where we can use the elemental more frequently.

Earth Elemental received even more changes than Storm Elemental. It will now receive 400% of our armor instead of 200%, has 25% of our spellpower as attack power instead of 5%, and generates more threat in an area. The duration has also been increased from 15 seconds to 1 full minute, but the cooldown has been increased to 5 minutes from 2 minutes. These are major changes and extremely useful when out in the world questing or when in Suramar. It makes the elemental feel like a viable cooldown for survival and for helping burn down those elite mobs.

There were a lot of other smaller tweaks to some of our spells and abilities, all with the same trend of giving us some more damage. This is incredibly welcome and I hope to see that it brings us further in line with other DPS classes.


Restoration updates

Restoration didn’t get quite as many updates as Elemental, but they were definitely there. First up was an adjustment to our old friend Chain Heal. The healing has been reduced slightly, now only receiving 380% of our spellpower, down from 400%. I’m not a fan of anything that takes away any of our healing, but I’m curious if this is a balance based around one of the legendary rings.

Focuser of Jonat, the Elder increases the healing of Chain Heal by 10% every time we case Healing Wave and Healing Surge. This effect stacks up to 5 times, which is not an inconsiderable amount. If it is balanced around this item, however, I will be a little disappointed. I haven’t had a chance to heal post-change, but I’m curious how much of a difference it will make.

Healing Stream Totem got a little buff, now getting 82% of our spellpower up from 70%. Unleash Life got a bump from 325% of spellpower to 350% and Wellspring went from 375% to 450% of our spellpower. All welcome adjustments, though I’m a bit surprised that Healing Stream Totem got a bump. I didn’t expect anything that falls into automatic healing to get an increase, but there it is.

The last adjustment for Restoration specifically was to our Artifact Weapon Trait, Queen’s Decree. It received a 20% increase to the healing done, which I feel was much needed. It felt a little underwhelming when used, so anything that gives it an extra kick is welcome.

Now there were also a few tweaks so some general abilities as well. Lava Burst got a buff from 220% to 275% spellpower. Ancestral Swiftness got haste decrease to 6% from 10%. Lastly, Earthgrab Totem now roots targets for 8 seconds, up from 5 before slowing them.

Overall I think the elemental changes are very nice and I’m looking forward to getting to apply them. I’m still on the fence with the Chain Heal nerf and I’m hoping that it wasn’t just a balancing based around the legendary ring. But overall, I’m on board with most of these changes. I think we’re starting Patch 7.1.5 in a good spot. How about you?

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