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WoWApr 9, 2020 11:19 am CT

Shaman class changes in WoW Shadowlands

legion shaman casting a lightning spell

Shadowlands is on the horizon, and big changes are coming for Shaman of all specs. Over the years we have lost a lot of little things, such as some abilities and totems. In truth, the pursuit of the class fantasy has been more about pruning abilities than anything else. We got our first look at the new class-design philosophy, and it looks like the developers will be bringing more thematic abilities back and modifying others to make us feel truly like the champion of the elements we are.

Let’s take a look at what is in store for our future as Shaman in the World of Warcraft.

All Specializations

  • Spells that are once again shared by all three specs:
    • Chain Heal, the original smart AoE heal is baseline for all specs
    • Chain Lightning, available for all specs for AoE damage.
    • Healing Stream Totem, no longer restoration only, all specs can summon this to heal themselves and friends.
    • Flametongue Weapon, Enhancement shares it’s weapon enchant for a little extra fire damage
    • Flame Shock, Enhancement once again gains access to this classic DoT
    • Frost Shock, returning to the hands of all Shaman, this will be absolutely crucial for leveling and kiting as any spec.
    • Lightning Shield, currently only available as a talent for Enhancement, this is another win for all shaman attempting solo content.
    • Searing Totem makes a triumphant return to help deal damage at the nearest enemy

Also I keep hoping that some day I'll remember to take more screenshots. I am bad about that.

Elemental Shaman

  • Major Change:
    • Maelstrom as a resource has been removed, returning Shaman to a cooldown management style of gameplay!
  • New Talent:
    • Echoing Shock – Blasts a target for significant damage and makes the next healing or damage-dealing spell cast echo and cast a second time without costing additional resources.

Enhancement Shaman

  • Major Change:
    • As with Elemental, Maelstrom as a resource is gone, returning the spec to focusing on casts of Stormstrike and managing cooldowns.
    • Maelstrom Weapon returns giving each attack a chance to generate a stacking buff that can be used to make the next damage or healing spell cast instant.
  • Updated Talents:
    • Hailstorm has been re-designed to reset the cooldown of Flame Shock and Frost Shock whenever a shaman uses Stormstrike.
    • Searing Assault now has been turned into a massive fire based attack that also super-charges the speed at which Flame Shock and Searing Totem deal damage.
    • Overcharge now generates five stacks of Maelstrom Weapon instantly and another stack every second for a short duration.
    • Stormkeeper makes the next two Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightning instant, deal bonus damage, and benefits from Maelstrom Weapon lowering Stormkeepers cast time.
  • Returning Abilities:
    • Windfury Weapon is back and can again be applied to Enhancement Shaman Weapons.

Restoration Shaman

  • Major Changes
    • Earth Shield is no longer a talent and returns as an ability available to Restoration Shaman.
  • New Talent
    • Surge of the Earth consumes a few charges of Earth Shield on a target to heal them for a significant amount, and also heal several nearby enemies giving shaman a single target healing cooldown for the first time.

Shaman Covenant abilities in Shadowlands

The abilities from each Covenant feel unique, and are poised to help both damage and healing output from Shaman.

  • Kyrian: Vesper Totem – Summon a totem at the target location for 30 seconds. Your next 3 damage spells or abilities will cause the totem to radiate Arcane damage to enemies near the totem and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies near the totem. Cast the ability again to move the totem.
  • Venthyr: Chain Harvest – Send a wave of anima at the target, which then jumps to additional nearby targets. Deals Shadow damage to enemies and restores health to allies. For each target critically struck, the cooldown of Chain Harvest is reduced.

Overall the changes are exciting. It is a steady combination of heavy rework and balancing for a class that may have felt like it was losing a bit of class identity that really made it feel shamanistic. Keep in mind that there is still more to come as the Shadowlands Alpha is just beginning, and things will likely change and evolve as we move closer to the release of the next expansion. I for one am excited to see what other spells and abilities might make a return — I’m looking at you Sentry Totem.

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