Patch 3.3.3 will bring some interesting changes to shamans.
- Flame Shock: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes and is affected by spell haste.
- Elemental Oath: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
- Unleashed Rage: This ability is now always on as a passive aura.
Combine these new always-on auras with the raid buff range changes and these talents will provide a nice opening boost in battlegrounds and arenas. At this time it hasn't been said if Elemental Oath and Unleashed Rage will be included in the range changes; we'll have to see how they develop on the PTR.
The most significant change for shamans in this patch is to Flame Shock which will crit and be affected by spell haste.
Glyph of Flame Shock will be the first casualty. I suspect the glyph will be redesigned and come out as something new -- total speculation at this point because changes to the glyph were not listed in the patch notes.
As for the DoT portion being affected by spell haste, this has major implications for both elemental and enhancement shamans. It will most likely turn haste into the go-to stat for enhancement shamans and cement FS as a staple in the rotation. On the elemental side of the house this opens up a big question about the 4-piece tier 10 set bonus which is currently: Your Lava Burst spell increases the duration of your Flame Shock effect on the target by 6 sec.
Let's wait and see how the glyph and tier bonus change on PTR over the coming weeks.
What do you think of the changes for shamans? Haste + DoT FTW or just more math FTL?
Patch 3.3.3 is up on the PTR and as with every new patch there's a flurry of new information. Check out the official patch notes, changes to battlegrounds, new achievements that hint at future content, new models (and more new models) in the game files, things to do with those pesky frozen orbs, UI updates, and perhaps more to come before it hits the live realms.