Home > Cataclysm > Shaman Changes for Cataclysm

Shaman Changes for Cataclysm

After spending the day hitting F5 on the blue tracker page of MMO-Champion, the promised shaman changes for Cataclysm have been released. Please note that we’re still a long way off Cataclysm’s release and these will all be subject to change. You can find the original blue post here.

New Shaman Spells

Primal Strike

  • Available at level 3

This is a new weapon based attack designed to make levelling as enhancement more appealing (tackling the complaint that many of the key enhancement talents come very late in the tree)

Healing Wave

  • Available at level 4

This is an entirely new healing spell being added to the restoration shaman’s arsenal. The intention is for this spell to become our core, single target healing spell. Due to this change, our current healing wave will be renamed to greater healing wave. As such, we will have Lesser Healing Wave, Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave. The lesser and greater varieties are deemed to be more situational.

Unleash Weapon

  • Available at level 81
  • Instant cast
  • 30 yard range
  • 15 second cooldown
  • Undispellable

“Unleashes the power of your weapon enchants for additional effects.” A dual-wielding enhancement shaman will activate the effects of both their weapon enchants.

A few of the effects under consideration for this spell are as follows:-

  • Flametongue Weapon – Deals instant fire damage and buffs the shaman’s next fire attack by 20%
  • Windfury Weapon – Hurls a spectral version of your weapon at the target, dealing 50% weapon damage and increasing the shaman’s haste for the next 5 swings
  • Earthliving Weapon – Heals the target slightly and buffs the shaman’s next heal by 20%

Healing Rain

  • Available at level 83
  • Two second cast time
  • 30 yard range
  • 10 second duration
  • 10 second cool down

An area of effect, heal over time spell that calls down rain, healing all players within the selected area. There is no limit to the number of players that can be effected by this heal but you can expect a diminishing returns mechanic like with many AoEs.

Spiritwalker’s Grace

  • Available at level 85
  • 10 second duration
  • 2 minute cooldown

When this self-targeted buff is active, your spells are no longer interrupted by movement and possibly even by your own attacks. This will give shaman of all three specs another way to heal or do damage when it’s necessary to move in both PvE and PvP.

Changes to Existing Abilities, Spells, Mechanics and Totems

General Changes

  • Shaman’s will no longer be able to remove poison effects
  • Totem of Wrath will replace Flametongue totem for all shaman specs
  • The newly designed Totem of Wrath will now buff spell power by 4%
  • Cleanse Spirit will be available to all shaman specs but only remove curse effects
  • Cleansing Totem will be removed as part of the changes being made to the dispelling system

Restoration Shaman

  • Mana usage will require more attention in Cataclysm than it has in Wrath of the Lich King. This will apply to all healers and not just the restoration shamans.
  • Spirit will be the restoration shaman’s mana regeneration stat
  • Cleanse Spirit will become a baseline spell for all shamans, however, it will only remove curses. Restoration shaman’s will have the option of taking an improved cleanse spirit that will also remove magic effects

Elemental Shaman

  • Elemental shaman will have a talent that lets all fire totems provide +10% spell power, allowing them to drop searing, magma, or fire elemental totems without losing their spell-damage buff.

  • The 4% and 10% buffs will be exclusive with each other and with the warlock’s demonic pact, so you can’t benefit from all of them at once.
  • There may be the ability to drop searing totem at range*

*Note:- By this I presume they are considering drastically increasing the range on searing totem to stop us having to move so close for it to be effective.

Enhancement Shaman

  • We want to free up enhancement global cooldowns to make the spec more dynamic to play. We’re considering, for example, increasing the cooldown of lava lash so shaman have time to work other interesting abilities into their rotation.

Shaman Talents and Talent Changes

  • Elemental Reach will be simplified so shaman have a more consistent spell range.
  • We plan to add Earthquake as a deep Elemental talent for targeted and persistent AoE.
  • Spirit Link will likely be worked back into deep Restoration in some form. The idea is that you will be able to link targets together so they share damage. When we had previously tried to implement Spirit Link, it was hard to balance and a little confusing. However, we really liked the concept — and so did players — so we are trying to bring it back.

  • Elemental will have a deep talent that allows Spirit (which will appear on the gear they share with Restoration shaman) to boost their Hit rating.
  • Ancestral Knowledge will boost mana pool size, not Intellect.
  • Enhancing Totems will be replaced with Focused Strikes, which will improve the damage of the new spell Primal Strike and Stormstrike.
  • With the Mastery system, we’re also considering removing a number of talents that grant passive bonuses, such as Mental Quickness, Improved Windfury Totem, Mental Dexterity, Call of Thunder, Tidal Mastery, Purification, Nature’s Blessing, and others, to allow players more freedom to choose more interesting talents.

Mastery Bonuses


  • Spell damage
  • Spell Crit
  • Elemental Overload*


Elemental Overload: Your direct-damage spells have a chance to proc a less powerful ‘bonus” version of the spell. This will work much like the current lightning overload talent, but would also apply to lava burst.


  • Melee damage
  • Melee Haste
  • Nature Damage*

*Nature Damage: This will provide a passive bonus to the nature damage dealt by the enhancement shaman.


  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Deep Healing*

*Deep Healing: Your direct heals will do more healing when the target’s health is lower. This will scale to damage (e.g. someone at 29% health would receive more healing than someone at 30%) rather than have arbitrary break points.

Shaman Changes Q&A

Q: Will Maelstrom Weapon include lava burst?

  • A: That’s the plan currently.

Q: How can elemental overload proc lava burst when lava burst already hits so hard in PvP?

    A: We’re going to change almost every number in Cataclysm to adjust for everything from single ranks of spells to larger health pools to new combat ratings. With much higher health pools, hopefully burst damage will go back to being a tool and not the only way to win matches.

    Q: What happens to the lightning overload talent?

    • A: It provides a bonus to elemental overload.

    Q: Elemental doesn’t want to drop searing totem at range. We want to drop magma totem.

    • A: Searing totem needs to so more single-target damage than magma. That said, if we’re happy with the ability to occasionally place totems at range there is no reason it couldn’t apply to any totem. Imagine, “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”

    Q: Will elemental have to spend talent points just to get the spirit to hit conversion?

    • A: It will be bundled with another attractive talent, such as elemental precision.

    Q: Will unleash weapon work with frostbrand?

    • A: Yes. We just provided some examples.

    Q: Is Healing Rain channelled?

    • A: No, it’s not a channeled spell.

    Q: Is earthquake channelled?

    • A: Probably, but we’ll see.

    Q: Will unleashed weapon consume your enchants?

    • A: No.

    Q: Does the 10% spell power buff from elemental scale with the shaman or the target’s spell power?

    • A: It will scale with the target the same as demonic pact and other buffs that bring the same benefit.

    Q: Are you supporting two-handed weapons for enhancement?

    • A: Once you start to get into the dual-wield talents, then enhancement is a dual-wield tree.

    Q: You didn’t address enhancement survivability or mobility or X and Y!

    • A: This was just a preview and is not a comprehensive list of every change. Much more will be revealed in beta and much will change during beta.

    Q: You didn’t answer the most important shaman question! What about sentry totem?

    • A: The Cataclysm is a time of great upheaval. Deathwing’s return to Azeroth tore a hole in the fabric of the universe that tragically resulted in the ultimate and irrevocable destruction of all sentry totems. Level designers are contemplating a shrine for the sentry totem near that of Uther the Lightbringer. We know shaman players will greet this news with grief, but as with all class changes we’ll have to get into beta before anything is final.
Categories: Cataclysm
  1. Vurbs
    April 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I’m guilty of mashing F5 too : /
    From what they’ve released I’m pretty excited, the fact that totem of wrath will be based off a % instead of a set amount is pretty awesome. I’m going to say that Spiritwalker’s Grace looks to be the coolest new spell.

    • April 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      It’s about time totem of wrath scaled in the same way that demonic pact did in all honesty. But the fact that the elemental shamans will still be able to use their fire dps totems without sacrificing the raid wide buffs is great news 😀

  2. Talius
    April 7, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    As most of us are, I’m excited, but now have more questions!

    Points that stand out are: Will Earthquake be a channeled spell like Blizzard, or an instant/persisting effect like Flamestrike? And will the new ToW percentages be a flat 10% for everyone, or be based on the shaman’s spellpower, similar to how Demonic Pact is now, not to mention if it will retain it’s 3%crit debuff aura.

    With Spiritwalker’s Grace I expect it to work similar to riding the discs in Maly p2, minus the whole height thing.

    Nethera has already answered a few questions on the forums, and I think we can expect some more as the day progresses.

    Talius of Lightninghoof

    • April 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      I’m sure you probably noticed, but a couple of your questions were (kinda) answered.

      Earthquake will probably be channelled. The new ToW will scale with the shaman’s spell power exactly as demonic pact does now. 🙂

  3. Jim
    April 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    My theory on the searing totem is not that it will have its range increased, but rather we can “throw it” into the area we want it to be (sort of like hunter traps, at least I think they can do that).

    • April 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Taken from the q&a:-

      Q: Elemental doesn’t want to drop Searing Totem at range. We want to drop Magma Totem.

      A: Searing Totem needs to so more single-target damage than Magma. That said, if we’re happy with the ability to occasionally place totems at range there is no reason it couldn’t apply to any totem. Imagine, “After using this spell, the next totem you drop will appear at the feet of your target.”

      The idea of using some kind of ability that then places your totem at the feet of the boss is awesome! And yes, “throwing” a totem is an interesting idea also.

      Personally, I still believe that engineers should be able to tinker our magma totems to the back of the tanks :>

      • April 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

        Best. Idea. *Ever*.

        We’d have to have kobolds as a playable race. They could wear our magma totems on their heads and when they aggro bosses it’d be all “You no take magma totem!”

  4. April 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Hahahahaha 😀 That’s awesome 😀

    It comes from sooo many heroic runs with our two pally tanks who like to chain pull. While it gets the run over faster, I get so frustrated that every time I drop a magma totem, they move. Every – single – time 😀

    Being able to strap it to their backs would just be amazing 😀

  1. June 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: