Boredom + OCD + No life= Why I am writing another post.
I've been putsing around the last couple days, getting my ass kicked by work and various other odd named people, and I decided that I needed to do a write up on the state of shamans as a class, and more specifically, as a healer.
Now, a few notes to make before you read this and call your friends to talk about the crazy blogger that apparently notices everything that goes on on his screen without losing his mind. Well, if you make that call, you'd be a dirty little liar, because I was never right in the head in the first place. Moving on...
As a class, I think shamans are one of the most interesting, and fun to play. We have totems, a mechanic that no other class has anything even remotely close too, and we have, in my opinion, the most buffs to bring to a raid. Totems aren't buffs, I don't care, go shove it up your butthole.
As a healer however, shamans are in a seemingly awkward place. When assigned to tank healing, we will usually get beat by our paladin or disc priest counterparts, and the same is true for raid healing, though our competition is now druids and holy priests. What people don't notice, and what even many shaman healers don't realize, is the depth a shaman healer has.
Take one of our most useful, and one of my favorite spells: Earth Shield. Earth shield is like a priest bubble having babies with a druid HoT that was really, really ugly. It doesn't absorb damage, but rather heals on a melee or spell hit. But it also decreases spell pushback, something most healers don't consider when using Earth Shield. In fights like Faction Champs in ToC, I will usually put ES on the other healer to help him out. As I am often running 25's with more that 2 other resto shamans, my ES is better served on another healer.
Near or before the release of WotLK, shamans were given a new weapon enhancement called Earthliving. Earth Shield, Earthliving, Earth shock, apparently shamans are geologists or some crazy earth sexing up freak, IDK. Most shamans view Earthliving as just a spell power boost, which it is, but it is so much more than that. You have a near 100% chance to apply EL when a target is low on health, applying a decent HoT. Most shamans think, "Oh, my EL is always over heal, its so useless", well then your a dip, because it isn't. The way my healing done is displayed, all of my EL hits are grouped up. Is 5000 healing done for a HoT I don't actively apply useless? Sure El won't count for a huge portion of your healing, but it's a nice little buffer on people that were low, or on the tank you're focused on.
On to a shamans role in a raid. I've heard people say we are strictly tank healers, and strictly raid healers. People that say we are "strictly" anything don't honestly understand shamans at all. Glyphed correctly, a shaman can compete aggressively with paladins on tank healing, and druids on raid healing. But more importantly that talents or glyphs to be effective on those two fronts, shamans need to gear slightly differently for those two tasks. Many people will say haste is more important for raid healing, and even tank healing, well I whole-heartidly disagree with that. With 4pc t9 and raid buffs, my CH has nearly a 50% chance to crit. That counts to all of the jumps, not just the initial heal. With TW, my LHW has nearly a 70%, if not higher chance to crit. All of your crits heal an additional 30% of the effective/overheal. If I crit with CH for lets say 22k, my AA proc will hit for 6600. Sure I could make that up if I had a ridiculous amount of haste, but I don't target anyone for AA, and it's another on of those nifty smart heals that shamans are known for. And on the note of tank healing, shamans are extremely effective. Some people think, "no, we r teh needin pally for teh tankz!". Well, learn to speak english, and then look at a shaman without any bias. A HW, will usually hit for ~13k, and crit for nearly 20k. A crit will then proc AA which will hit for ~6k, and when the tank is taking most of the damage, it will go to him. Let's not forget AH procs on crit. 10% damage reduction on a tank, and a large portion of the raid is amazing.
Throughout writing this, I keep thinking that I haven't really talked about CH as much as people expect shamans too. CH is an amazing spell, but Shamans are flexible even with our limited spell pool. So what is the state of the shaman? In my opinion, the state of the shaman is right where it should be. Do we top healing charts? No, but if that really makes you sad you shouldn't be a healer. The state of the shaman is an amazing healer, with more depth than most people give us credit, and the ability to excel at any task given to us as a healer.
This wall o text brought to you by-Trade Chat Spammers: If you would only buy of wares we could feed our families and then piss the shit out of you in raids instead of trade chat.