At this point, I feel the need to point out that you should be putting at least 40 points into the talent tree of your choice. Trying to be a hybrid shaman is BAD. Rather than being good at casting, melee, or healing, you're going to suck at all 3, and then you're worthless. Unfortunately, there are still some talents that make it look like you CAN be a hybrid, but don't be fooled.
- Improved Fire Totems Reduces the delay before your Fire Nova Totem activates by 1/2 sec. and decreases the threat generated by your Magma Totem by 25/50%.
This is another lackluster talent. First, let's look at the Fire Nova element.
Fire Nova takes 5 seconds to activate, so this talent brings that down to 3 seconds. That's still quite a long time to wait for an AOE. It's kinda nice in PvP, though these days the only people bothering to kill totems in the heat of battle are ones who have specific totems (like Grounding and Earthbind) macroed into their spell rotation. I don't think this part of the bonus is worth it, so already this talent is looking bad.
The second half of this talent is probably even worse. For starters, it affects aggro, so it's worthless in PvP. While soloing or doing dungeons, Magma totem usually doesn't do enough damage to pull any aggro anyway, as long as somebody has caused some aggro on the mobs being attacked. If a mob hasn't been attacked, no amount of aggro reduction is going to prevent it from attacking what's attacking them.
It's basically just a lousy talent. Skip it.
- Eye of the Storm Gives you a 33/66/100% chance to gain the Focused Casting effect that lasts for 6 sec after being the victim of a melee or ranged critical strike. The Focused Casting effect prevents you from losing casting time on Shaman spells when taking damage.
This is our anti-pushback talent in the Elemental tree, and it leaves a bit to be desired. I'd rather have this be a flat 70% chance to ignore pushback when taking damage (like the 4-piece Gladiator gear bonus). As it is, it's almost worthless for dungeoning, though it's a little bit useful when soloing.
Its real strength is in PvP, when you're getting crit all the time. As Elemental, if you don't have this talent, expect to be ineffective if you're being attacked.
Once you have 4 pieces of Gladiator's Mail (Season 1, 2, and 3 are interchangeable for the bonus now) you may want to drop this talent, since the 4-piece bonus makes your LB 70% uninterruptible.
- Elemental Devastation Your offensive spell crits will increase your chance to get a critical strike with melee attacks by 3/6/9% for 10 sec.
This is another Enhancement talent in the wrong tree, like Nature's Guidance. Let's make this clear: if you're going full Elemental, YOU SHOULD NOT MELEE. Unless you're out of mana. This talent is there for Enhance shamans looking for more spell synergy. That's all. If you're going Elemental, ignore it.
I would recommend it to Enhance shamans, but I honestly don't think it's going to provide you with much of a bonus. Your spell crit isn't very high, and the bonus is only 9%, and only for 10 seconds. It helps to proc Shamanistic Focus, Flurry, and Unleashed Rage more often, though. I guess I wouldn't even recommend this to Enhancement shamans unless you have over 10% spell crit.
- Flurry Increases your attack speed by 10/15/20/25/30% for your next 3 swings after dealing a critical strike.
Get it. This talent is one of the reasons why crit is so important to an Enhance shaman. With a lot of crit, this talent will proc all the time. And the more often you attack, the more often you crit. The more often you crit, the more often you proc Flurry. And Shamanistic Focus. And Unleashed Rage. It's the circle of life (well, circle of death maybe). Flurry is so much more than what it looks like on its own.
- Toughness Increases your armor value from items by 2/4/6/8/10%.
This is another talent left over from the early "shamans can kinda tank" days like Shield Spec. However, unlike Shield Spec, this talent is useful. Though it IS far too expensive.
First, 10% more armor when you're wearing mail isn't nearly as good as if you're wearing Plate. Prot Paladins and Prot Warriors both have the exact same talent, and it's definitely worthwhile to them. Shamans can get a lot more out of this talent by wearing a shield, but most of the time you'll be dual-wielding or two-handing.
If this talent was 5 points for a 20% bonus instead of 10%, I would definitely recommend it. But at 5 points, I just don't know.
- Restorative Totems Increases the effect of your Mana Spring and Healing Stream Totems by 5/10/15/20/25%.
Not a bad talent to have for dungeoning/raiding Resto shamans (though pretty worthless if you're only PvPing). And it's required if you want Mana Tide, which many shamans think is pretty stupid.
The effect on Mana Spring is mediocre, though any boost is welcome in most caster groups. Max rank MS gives 20 mana every 2 secs, which is 50 MP5. With this talent, it bumps it up to 62mp5. Not too bad.
Then of course, there's the bonus to Healing Stream. Resto shamans have pretty powerful HS totems (thanks to scaling with +heal gear, which we didn't have for a long time) and giving them 25% more power is pretty nice.
If you're a dungeoner/raider, go for it. If not, it's probably not worth it.
- Tidal Mastery Increases the critical effect chance of your healing and lightning spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
This is a pretty decent talent for Resto shamans. The extra 5% healing crit works nicely with Ancestral Healing. Many healers underestimate the power of healing crit normally, but it's a nice thing to have at times.
However, notice that it also affects Lightning spells. Yes, it gives Resto shamans some much-needed effectiveness for soloing, but it's even better for Elemental shamans. If you need to know why +crit is so important for an Elemental build, read what I said about Call of Thunder (Tier 3 Elem).
In fact, I consider this talent to be ESSENTIAL to a proper Elemental build. So, anyone going Elemental should plan to put at least 20 points into Resto so they can get Tidal Mastery.
Well, that was a short one this time. Which is nice, because usually once I get to the Resto tree I'm thinking "god I wish this were done". Must be my poor attention sp