The Future of Alliance Shamans
Edit: Even more info added after the break!
The first round of changes for Shaman in Cataclysm has been revealed! There is a lot of information in this post, so let’s first take a look at the changes that affect all three specs of Shamans, primarily the new spells.
Two new spells will be available to low level Shamans, the first of which will make leveling a little easier, and the second is likely more aimed at end-game healing. Primal Strike will be a melee ability that all shamans have access to, and as stated by Blizzard, the goal of the ability is to make Enhancement a more viable leveling spec.
Healing Wave, a new spell with an old name, is being added so that Shamans have Blizzard’s desired “one fast, one efficient, and one big heal” toolkit. The current Healing Wave is being renamed to Greater Healing Wave and the new one will fit between the Lesser and Greater versions. The addition of just this one spell should make healing as a totem-dropper more compelling, as it allows for more options in spell selection.
Leveling through the five new levels in Cataclysm, Shamans will run into three new spells from their trainers. The first new spell, Unleash Weapon, could be a very interesting ability for all shamans. It’s essentially an extra ability that will help every spec do its job. Giving Elemental and Restoration a new instant spell for their respective roles should help with their currently low mobility. Another instant attack for Enhancement, not so much.
At level 83, all Shamans will be getting Healing Rain, a spell that some people may recognize from Severed Essences on their way through Icecrown Citadel. This spell will give every Shaman a way to help out with raid heals for a two second cast. Dropping HoTs on all of the melee during a particularly intense fight should make me the apple of my healers’ eyes. Otherwise, another great addition for Restoration Shamans to expand their toolkit.
The final new spell for Cataclysm, Spiritwalker’s Grace, sounds extremely interesting. It will give shamans the ability to cast non instant spells while moving, allowing for some amazing healing or dpsing on the run. I’m still skeptical of its utility for Enhancement, since casting a spell could interrupt other abilities that are already available while moving, but these things are still up in the air. These new spells are a nice glimpse of what’s in store for Cataclysm. These new spells are just the beginning, and I’ll take a look at each spec’s specifics in future posts.
Check out the full Blizzard Announcement after the jump.