This is Part 3 in my 9-part series detailing the ins and outs of the shaman talent trees.
- Elemental Focus After landing a critical strike with a Fire, Frost, or Nature damage spell, you enter a Clearcasting state. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana cost of your next 2 damage spells by 40%.
Let me make this simple: IF YOU'RE ELEMENTAL, YOU NEED THIS TALENT.
Elemental shamans are all about crits, and once you have about 30% crit chance, you're going to have Clearcasting up almost constantly. This will be a huge help, since our mana efficiency isn't very good otherwise.
Elemental Focus can proc from any jump of a Chain Lightning, all shocks, LB (of course), and I think it can even proc from a Lightning Overload (Tier 8 Elem talent).
There are a couple other classes that have Clearcasting talents, but the shaman version is very different. For one, the bonus lasts for TWO casts, not just one, though the bonus is much less than the Mage and Druid versions. Second, it procs on spell crits; it's not just a 10% chance, so it gets more useful as your spell crit rate increases. Third, it only costs ONE TALENT POINT.
If you're going Elemental, you'd be a fool not to get this talent.
- Reverberation Reduces the cooldown of your Shock spells by .2/.4/.6/.8/1 sec.
Not a bad talent, especially in PvP. This will allow you to cast your shocks more often, which can be useful (though not very mana-efficient). Flame Shock doesn't need a shorter cooldown, but it can be handy in PvP to slow people (like flag runners) more often, and it's most useful with Earth Shock, so you can interrupt a casting opponent more often.
It's also quite good for Enhance players. Probably more than Elemental players, in fact. Being able to Earthshock more quickly while Stormstrike is up is handy.
I don't ever get this talent though. A full Elemental shaman is only rarely going to be using his shock spells, since LB and CL do so much more damage, and are more mana-efficient. In fact, I think this talent should be in the Enhance tree. Maybe it can replace Shield Spec.
- Call of Thunder Increases the critical strike chance of your Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning spells by an additional 1/2/3/4/6%.
Going Elemental? Get it. Crit is key to your success as an Elemental shaman. It helps you proc Clearcasting more often, thus increasing your mana efficiency. And of course it increases your damage output.
And no, that's not a typo. It DOES go 1-2-3-4-6.
- Enhancing Totems Increases the effect of your Strength of Earth and Grace of Air Totems by 8/15%.
Definitely get it if you're going Enhance. SOE and GOA are two of the most useful totems you have, since Strength and Agility are useful to all the melee classes (and hunters). And it's only two talent points. The extra 15% may not seem like much, but remember that's an extra 13 strength or agility for your whole group.
- Shamanistic Focus After landing a melee critical strike, you enter a Focused state. The Focused state reduces the mana cost of your next Shock spell by 60%.
Basically, this is Elemental Focus for Enhance shamans. Once you get Dual Wield, this will be incredibly useful, since you'll be critting so much more often. It also greatly benefits from Thundering Strikes (higher chance to crit) and Flurry (faster attacks, so you crit more often).
This also helps a lot in the mana-efficiency department. Enhance shamans have even worse efficiency than Elementals, and their mana pools are usually quite small.
In fact, you'll be critting so often that you'll probably always have this ability ready for your next shock. Look at it as a flat 60% decrease in the cost of your shocks, for ONE talent point.
It's basically worthless for Elemental and Resto shamans, since they shouldn't be meleeing at all.
- Anticipation Increases your chance to dodge by an additional 1/2/3/4/5%.
5% extra chance to avoid melee attacks. It's simple, it's effective. Not a whole lot to say about it.
I recommend it, since we shamans tend to take a lot of damage, and you forgo a lot of protection when using a 2-hander or dual-wielding.
- Nature's Guidance Increases your chance to hit with melee attacks and spells by 3%.
This is a weird talent, because it doesn't help your healing at all. It's basically there to give Resto shamans a better chance at doing some damage.
Enhance and Elem shamans may find it useful (especially Elem, since they should be going into the Resto tree anyway) but 3 talent points for just 3% extra hit chance is kinda...crummy. If you're really hurting for +hit, you should grab it. Don't be afraid to grab it now and ditch it later; that's what respeccing is for.
If you're a PvPer, I think there's also a cap on +hit versus other players. I don't know what that is, but I think Elemental PvPers will want to skip this talent if they already have 3 points in Elemental Precision (Tier 6 Elem talent). I'll update this when I've learned more.
- Healing Focus Gives you a 14/28/42/56/70% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting any Shaman healing spell.
Helps you heal yourself quicker while taking damage. Very nice for any spec, especially in PvP, where you're usually on your own for healing.
I think it's essential to Resto shamans, and also very good for Elem and Enhance. As Elemental, I usually put 4 points into this talent, and one into Totemic Mastery.
Combining this talent with Earth Shield (Tier 9 Resto talent) or the Concentration paladin buff basically ensures that your heals will be free from pushback.
- Totemic Mastery The radius of your totems that affect friendly targets is increased to 30 yards.
If you ask me, totems should have a 30 yard radius by default. Paladin and Hunter auras cover 30 yards, AND they're mobile. But until Blizzard fixes that issue, we've gotta put up with it.
This talent can be pretty handy, since the stationary nature of totems makes it harder to position your groups.
Hey, it's not fabulous, but it's only one talent point, and it actually helps more than you'd think.
- Healing Grace Reduces the threat generated by your healing spells by 5/10/15%.
For a full Resto shaman doing dungeons & raiding, this is very useful. If you haven't figured it out by now, pulling aggro is bad. And if you're Main Healer (MH) on the Main Tank (MT), you're going to be causing a LOT of threat. This talent will be very helpful for keeping the baddies off your ass.
For a full Resto shaman doing nothing but PvP, this is worthless. Your human opponents don't care how much threat you cause, because they work it out for themselves, and usually focus-fire you dead before everyone else.
Elemental and Enhancement shamans don't do enough healing, so don't bother.
Well, that's all for this round. Tune in next time, when I tackle Tier 4! Things are really starting to get interesting.