Shaman Class Changes in Dragonflight

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A new WoW expansion is getting closer and closer to its release on November 28. Each build makes it easier to speak about various class changes and suggest firm predictions on Dragonflight meta. This text will cover crucial Shaman abilities changes.

Shaman Class Tree

The revamp of the talent system in the new expansion leads to the emergence of two separate trees for class and specialization. One tree contains basic class talents which are accessible in every spec. And another one — those that belong only to a particular specialization.

Players have 31 points to spend in the class tree and 30 points in a spec one. These restrictions will make players choose a limited number of skills and traits by holding more or less to the right, middle, or left branches. One more feature to remember is that talents placed in octagons must always be chosen out of two options.

Since the preview of Shaman talents, it was easy to notice a few new ones. The Focused Insight at the upper part of the right branch is a trait that makes it easier to put damaging spells in your healing rotation or vice versa. Because with this passive, your Flame Shock will make your next healing spell more powerful and cost less mana. However, the healing increase will depend on your current spec.

The Mana Spring Totem is another skill in the updated Shaman tree, which effect depends on the spec in which you currently are. The difference is not very big again. It’s only about what abilities will trigger the totem to restore you and your allies’ 200 mana. For the Restoration spec, it’s Lava Burst and Riptide; for Elemetal — Lava Burst; and for Enhancement — Lava Burst and Stormstrike.

A few other totems will appear in the Shaman class tree in Dragonflight due to the talent system changes. Like the Poison Cleansing Totem, which returns after its removal in WotLK to cure your party members from a few poisons for 6 seconds with a cooldown of 45 seconds. Or the Tranquil Air Totem. It will be essential in PVP when you need extra measures against the enemy’s pushbacks and interruptions.
But apart from the totems, the Shaman talent tree receives a few Totemic spells. They’re the Totemic Projection, Totemic Focus, and Totemic Recall. The first skill is rather old and got removed in Legion. Its effect is quite specific as it serves as a way to relocate your totems to some other place. But sometimes, its importance is difficult to overestimate, especially in the case of totems whose effects have a small range. The Totemic Focus is a simple burst skill for some of your totems and heavily depends on specialization. And the Totemic Recall is a new spell named after the one removed in Legion expansion. This Recall’s function is to reset the CD of the latest totem you used, but only if its CD is less than 3 minutes. Most of the listed Totem and Totemic abilities are at the bottom of the middle and left branches.

Elemental Changes

Dragonflight brought back a few Legion Elemental Shaman spells. For instance, the Lightning Rod. It was removed in BfA when players got rid of their Artifact weapons. In the new expansion, you can see it at the end of the left branch. But if the old version of this trait only granted a chance to turn your enemy into a rod that will attract 30% of your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning damage, the new one guarantees that. However, the damage was reduced to 20%, and the duration of effect is not 10 seconds but 8.

Besides, Elemental Shaman can empower the Icefury ability with one of the new talents. They’re the Electrified Shocks and Flux Melting. As they’re in an octagon, you have to choose only one, but you can change the choice depending on your current needs. With the first trait, Icefury will not only increase the damage of the next Frost Shocks but also turn them into AoE. They will hit three extra enemies, make them receive more Natural damage and become more attractive for the upcoming Chain Lightnings. The second trait just makes the Frost Shock fit better in a rotation with the Lava Burst.

And there’s no need to forget about Maldraxxus Covenant Primordial Wave spell at the bottom of middle branch in the new Elemental Shaman talent tree. However, other specs will also receive their versions of this skill.

Restoration Changes

Restoration Shaman gets more memorable traits from the nearest past in Dragonflight. There’s even one talent that was planned to be added in BfA as an Azerite trait but has never been implemented into the game. It’s the Ancestral Reach, a passive with a very primitive but effective function: it adds extra bounce to the Chain Heal and improves its healing. Another Azerite trait is the Overflowing Shores that significantly buffs the Healing Rain spell.

Primal Tide Core, the former Runecarving Power, is at the bottom of the left branch. Its effect remains the same: casting additional Riptide to the ally closest to your target every fourth cast of this spell. But this passive is chosen only instead of the familiar High Tide, and it’s very debatable which AoE effect is more effective and in which situation.

Of course, changes in the talent system brought a bunch of simple but valuable traits to the Restoration Shaman tree. For instance, the Living Stream at the middle of the right branch. It buffs the Healing Stream Totem so that it produces more and more healing with each new tick. But here is another choice: this passive or the Cloudburst Totem? Even though this skill seems too good to pass by, sometimes a buffed Healing Stream Totem can be more effective. After all, you will have more than enough effective AoE healings in the new expansion.

Enhancement Changes

Enhancement Shaman receives a long-awaited update in Dragonflight: the former Artifact trait called Alpha Wolf is once again in the game. It’s in the octagon at the end of the middle branch. Another talent in that octagon is the Elemental Spirits that was added exactly when the Alpha Wolf was removed, with the start of BfA. It’s a beautiful option to realize your Feral Spirits skill as an AoE, triggering your wolves to attack groups of enemies with casts of the Chain Lightning and Crash Lightning.

The Ascendance is another Enhancement Shaman burst that can be empowered now. At the end of the right branch, there are the Static Accumulation and Thorim’s Invocation. Most importantly, the second talent follows the first, so you don’t have to make hard choices. Both are connected with the Maelstrom Weapon mechanic. The Accumulation gives you two stacks of Maelstrom Weapon every second that Ascendance is active. And the Invocation grants a possibility to cast one of your lightning spells with the Windstrike at the cost of five stacks.

Finally, there’s no need to forget the connections between the spec and class trees, especially the simplest ones. Dragonflight doesn’t change the Shaman talent tree with many former tier bonuses but suggests you take some of the Shadowlands Conduits, like the Vital Accretion. It was not added in the tree directly, but the effect of that trait is implemented in the Earth Elemental spell in the generic talent tree. Now, this cast automatically increases the maximum HP of Shaman by 15%, which is good news for an Enhancement player, especially in PVP.

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