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Posts with tag SHaman

Five must craft neutral Hearthstone cards

There are a lot of cards in Hearthstone. It can be difficult to know which ones to craft with your hard earned dust, especially in the beginning. Do you save up for a legendary or try and craft more accessible cards in order to build up decent library? I mentioned it before, but I think the best option is grabbing up the basics, specifically cards that hold value across multiple decks.

There's no ranking behind these cards, so grab them up in whatever order you see fit. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, which we'll discuss below.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Warlords of Draenor: Changes to Weapon Imbues and Unleash Elements

As part of the most recent Alpha build, shaman weapon imbues (Windfury, Flametongue, Earthliving) have been removed. CM Lore got on the forums and explained exactly what was up, and here's his rundown of the changes.

Lore - Weapon Imbues Shaman
We didn't feel that Weapon Imbues were offering much in the way of gameplay. For many players, they felt like more of an annoyance ("why can't I Unleash... oh") than a buff. They're also prime targets for reducing action bar clutter. For those reasons, we decided to convert each spec's primary imbue(s) to passive effects.

However, while the effects of Windfury and Flametongue are a core part of the Enhancement rotation, Earthliving for Restoration and Flametongue for Elemental are little more than a raw numbers increase. Not really something that we need to clutter up the spellbook with. So, for Resto and Elemental, we decided to remove those effects entirely (and compensate for that when we start numbers tuning). For Enhancement, we merged Windfury and Flametongue into one passive (Enhanced Weapons) that gives the benefits of both effects.

Please be aware that the currently active Alpha build was taken in the middle of a pretty big wave of class changes (for everyone, not just Shaman). We'll be getting a full update to the patch notes out as soon as possible once we've completed that round of changes.


The new passive, Enhanced Weapons, acts as Lore detailed - it basically gives your attacks the chance to have the effects of Windfury or Flametongue without actually having Windfury or Flametongue on them. In addition to this change, Unleash Elements now becomes one of three spec and imbue specific Unleash abilities, Unleash Life for Restoration, Unleash Flame for Elemental and Unleash Elements for Enhancement. Each unleashes as the ability does on live with the proper imbue.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Feral Spirit and Ghost Wolf changes

I was reading the various Blizzard press sites (as you do) when I came across this article from Alexandra Meurling about shaman ghost wolf form. I decided I needed to check that bad boy out, and soon discovered that yes, it's absolutely true, and it's not just limited to ghost wolf either. Also affected is the shaman ability Feral Spirit. You can see the upgraded wolves above. I'm not entirely sure why my shaman felt the need to sniff the dirt in every single screenshot I got of him, but yes, both the Ghost Wolf and Feral Spirit wolves are definitely a big upgrade.

I'm definitely interested in running around on my shaman for Warlords, I can tell you that.

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone unveils new Rebirth card

The latest card revealed from Hearthstone's upcoming Curse of Naxxramas set is a new shaman spell: Rebirth. Rebirth destroys a minion before returning it to full health, a spell that will play well with the myriad of new minions with Deathrattle. Rebirth turns any minion's Deathrattle into an on-demand ability for 2 mana -- and puts it back onto the field to be used again. Rebirth could be a terrifying spell even with pre-existing Deathrattle minions such as the Abomination or Sylvanas Windrunner. It could also be used aggressively -- for example, against someone who made the mistake of playing the previously-revealed Anub'ar Ambusher. By destroying your opponent's Ambusher, you could potentially force a far more dangerous minion back into their hand as a delay tactic.

Some of the current mechanics surrounding the way resurrections work (such as with Redemption) means this spell could even be used as a Silence effect. Buffs that have been cast on a minion do not reapply after death, meaning you can easily knock a druid's superpowered tank down to size. It should also be noted that Battlecry effects only apply when a minion is played directly from the hand -- resurrecting it with Rebirth is unlikely to allow that Battlecry to happen a second time.

Some players have voiced concern regarding this card's potential synergy with legendary Leeroy Jenkins. Leeroy is an extremely powerful card right now, particularly in decks that find ways to play it multiple times in a row. A rogue with a pair of Shadowsteps in their hand can attack with Leeroy three times in one turn -- 18 direct damage. More if they have Cold Blood in their hand. A shaman with Rebirth, if Leeroy's Charge ability triggers after resurrection, could now perform the same tactic.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Totem Talk: For the Love of Healing set bonuses in Siege of Orgrimmar

Mecha Lodur
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for the shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

When it was first announced, the tier 16 set bonuses were something that I was initially pretty excited about. Both the tier 16 2-piece and 4-piece bonus seemed to be things that would fit well into our repertoire and gives us a little bit of a boost. Some healers weren't too convinced that these would ultimately be any good for us. It's a debate that happens pretty much every time we get a new tier of content and gear.

So, we've been in Siege of Orgrimmar for a bit now, and a fair number of healing shaman have either obtained their pieces of tier gear from the various raid difficulties, or are starting to now. So then the question of the quantum second is ultimately whether or not they are any good. I figured I would share my own observations on the matter.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Warlords of Draenor and the absence of Aggra

Let me tell you a little about my sister. My sister is married, in her thirties, and has four children -- all boys -- ranging from four to sixteen. Her house is a wild cacophony of boys being boys and the calls of various animals that she's acquired. It's a mini-farm, if you will, full of chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, a couple of snakes, and possibly a species or two that I've missed. In addition to raising four boys with her husband, she also owns her own business. She runs her own grooming company here in town, and is both the sole employee and owner, successful enough that she's usually booked for at least a month out, if not more.

In addition to that, she runs two Renaissance festivals a year, hauls her family to regular camp-outs with the faire crew, regularly plays D&D with the gang, and knows how to shoot a longbow and a black powder rifle (and is a pretty good shot with both of them), along with cannons and trebuchets. She's a dab hand at cooking at home and over a campfire out in the wild, knows how to kill, gut and butcher just about anything, and how to tan and stretch a hide. On top of all that, I've heard she's a marvel at breaking up fights, reading bedtime stories, wiping tears from faces, kissing boo-boo's away, and snuggling in the mornings when little ones are sleepy and grumpy about getting up for school.

And god help anyone that comes between her and her family.

I'm telling you this story not to brag about my sister, although I love her very dearly, but to make a point that seems to have been sorely missed somewhere in the story of Warcraft. My sister isn't just a wife and mother. She's a warrior. She's a fighter. She's a spark of ferocity that will not be quenched. Where is her counterpart in Warcraft? That's a really good question.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

Totem Talk: Healing Deeper Under the Veil

Totem Talk Healing Deeper Under the Veil tuesday
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Between taking down bosses and pushing ever further into the Siege of Orgrimmar, I've been taking a tour of all the horde side places that I haven't been too in almost 10 years. This past week I went through and explored Undercity again. Man has that place changed since the first time I set foot there. That said, the familiar halls still feel almost the same, almost like a home coming. I mean, you never forget your first bat ride do you?

That feeling really does translate well in the new raid tier. After all, to me at least, it is all about saving the once and glorious horde. Once you make the puddle clean again, and you're ready to start making your way deeper into the Siege, your next stop is going to see you facing down some old friends. It's an interesting story point, to emerge from the vault beneath the well only to be greeted by what were once among your most valued allies in the war against the Mogu.

This is not a comprehensive boss guide, but is instead tips and tricks I have learned through my own personal experiences.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Hearthstone: Know when to fold 'em

Hearthstone Know when to fold 'em
Hearthstone matches can be won or lost depending on the cards in your opening hand. Thankfully, you have the option to mulligan specific cards out. I used to be an avid poker player years ago. There's this old catchy song where the main verse goes something "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em"! That logic also applies here. Each class has it's own unique strengths and cards and you need to know which cards will help you against them early or late. You also need to know your own deck.

We'll go over a few example matches against assorted classes. Today, I'll be using a shaman control deck and I've included a quick video at the bottom narrating a match against a priest. But first, a few concepts to go over!

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Should you play a shaman in WoW?

Should you play a shaman in WoW
If you're just getting started in World of Warcraft, the class and race options can present a dizzying variety of options. How do you know if the class you're considering today is going to still be interesting next week -- or in the next ten levels? Being informed can help: so our new player class guides try to give you an idea of what you're getting into before you burn time playing through a class that you don't really enjoy.

Today we're talking about the shaman, a class that channels the raw power of the elements to heal or harm. Shamans are a bit like priests in that they're spiritual leaders -- though they have nothing to do with the holy light that fuels most priestly abilities -- and a bit like druids in their use of nature magic -- though the shaman's channeling of the elements themselves is unlike anything a druid can do. Shaman is a hybrid class: they can serve as healers as well as doing magical or melee damage to their enemies. Unique to the class are totems, which a shaman can summon to boost their group's abilities or harm their foes. It's a class that gives you the flexibility to play the way you want while also providing a lot of utility for both you and your group. But is shaman the right class for you?

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Filed under: Shaman, WoW Rookie

Are passive buffs a bad thing?

Are passive buffs a bad thing
Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an interesting tweet today, in response to a question about warrior and DK buffs:

The original question was asking why Warrior and DK buffs are only five minutes in duration, referring to spells such as Horn of Winter. His original response was that these buffs also provide resources, and therefore ought to be refreshed more regularly than things like Blessing of Kings. For example, Horn of Winter grants 10 runic power on use.

So the question is whether buffs like these should be given a longer duration, or whether they should be passive altogether, like Ghostcrawler's Trueshot Aura example, or the shaman Grace of Air. While these are certainly convenient and, obviously, extremely easy to use, they do lack some flavor, some skill, and certainly some interest. Particularly as a shaman, where in the space of an expansion, we went from being able to replace just about any buff with an admittedly often slightly lesser version of our own, attached to a totem, to having just a passive buff. The old system was ridiculously complicated, but fun, and part of me misses it.

What's your take? Do you prefer active, interesting buffs that have the inconvenience of complication or a regular need to re-cast, or do you think passive buffs are the way to go? And if we all have passive buffs, why bother with buffs at all?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Archivist: When Blizzard "hated" the Horde

A night elf visits the Barrens
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Which faction does Blizzard love more?

For several years it's been all the rage to claim that Blizzard loves the Horde and hates the Alliance. Players trot out the "green Jesus" theory. They show how the past two expansions have focused far more on Horde characters and storylines than on Alliance intrigues.

It's true that Blizzard placed Thrall and now Garrosh and Vol'jin in the spotlight over the past few years. Players also look at the shiny new Orgrimmar that the Horde got when the old one burned down, and how Stormwind also took a beating and still hasn't recovered.

You can make the case that Blizzard has somewhat favored the Horde in WoW's recent history. But this is so very, very strange to vanilla players like me. Back then, players were convinced of the exact opposite. Players were so convinced, in fact, that some actually wanted a CM to die. In vanilla, Blizzard "loved" the Alliance and "hated" the Horde.

Don't believe me?

This quote is from a 2005 editorial called "Why the Horde is worse, and how Blizzard could fix it":

In the end, I am just a jealous Horde player... It is up to Blizzard to fix this game; I have done all that I can. Either World of Warcraft can be remembered as a great MMORPG, or it can go down as a horribly imbalanced one, like many before it. That's for Blizzard to decide.

Let's take a trip back to 2005. On a bus, perhaps. A bus made out of elemental electrical energy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Know Your Lore: The color of magic

Know Your Lore The color of magic
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Earlier this week, Blizzard Historian Sean Copeland was answering questions on Twitter when the above answer came up. People were upset about it because the answer, while seemingly pretty simplistic, seemed to devalue the importance of Elune and the unique nature of night elf philosophy and religion. Magic, in all its forms and function in Warcraft, is one of those tricky subjects to understand -- almost as tricky as trying to wrap one's brain around the cosmos of the Warcraft universe.

These types of questions get asked a lot, however. And while not everything regarding magic in Warcraft has been fully defined, we can definitely take a look at these different schools of magic and how they relate to one another on Azeroth.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Tier 16 Armor Set videos: Shaman, Monk

Adriacraft is at it again with more tier set videos. The latest addition to the videos is the monk set shown above. I'm not so sure about the sleeveless robe, but I quite like the look of the helm -- a red bandana similar to the Shado-Pan helmet, minus the helmet of course! Still, it seems a little less flashy than other tier 16 contributions. What do you think?

After the break you'll find the video for the tier 16 shaman set. I'm actually really fond of this set, largely for the shoulder graphics. They remind me of Ulduar and Algalon, although I'm sure that wasn't the intended purpose. I'm not sure what the spinning discs really have to do with the elements, but the lighting effects on the shoulder graphics are really pretty. If you're wondering how they hold up to the rest of the tier, be sure to take a look at the Warrior, Priest and Hunter, and the Paladin Druid, Rogue and Death Knight as well. And as always, keep an eye on Adriacraft on YouTube for all the latest patch videos.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Upcoming resto shaman changes


Vaneras posted recently about several upcoming patch 5.4 resto shaman changes, which should be a welcomed nod to the entire class, given chief amongst these changes is the Healing Tide Totem going baseline. Further, it will now heal up to 12 targets in a 25-man raid (and 5 in all others).

As to what Healing Tide will be replaced with, there's no answer yet. Stay tuned to the next build on the PTR, some options should be coming up then.

Vanearas' full post is as follows:
Vaneras
We do have more changes coming for Resto Shaman in 5.4, which you should be seeing on the PTR soon (though possibly not in the next build). However, we wanted to let you know about a couple changes we're going to try out for Healing Tide Totem.

First, it's no longer a talent. Healing Tide Totem is now baseline, available to all three Shaman specs. As you're all aware, it's an extremely useful ability, which makes it difficult for us to provide alternative options in that talent tier. Giving Healing Tide to everyone not only lets us work on making that tier more interesting, but it also makes sure no one is missing out on one of Resto's more powerful tools by selecting the "wrong" talent.

Second, now that Healing Tide is a baseline ability, we feel it's acceptable to give it a similar treatment to Tranquility or Divine Hymn in 25-man raids. It will now heal up to 12 targets when in a 25-player raid instance (and remains at 5 targets in other content).

There are several other changes still in discussion (such as what we'll be replacing Healing Tide with in the talent tree, just as one example), but we wanted to at least share what we could before the weekend. We're hoping to get at least some of them onto the PTR in one of the next builds. Please keep up the constructive feedback – it's extremely useful!



Filed under: Shaman

Know Your Lore: The rise of the Dark Shaman

Know Your Lore The rise of the dark shaman
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

We had warning that this was coming. When Ragefire Chasm was given an overhaul in Mists of Pandaria, the changes didn't escape the notice of players -- but nobody really knew the extent of what was going on. Remnants of the Twilight Cult from Cataclysm could be found in the depths of Ragefire, carrying insignias that noted they were part of a new order -- not Twilight Cult, but something quite possibly far darker, called the Dark Shaman.

These shaman were highlighted briefly in the novel Tides of War, as part of Garrosh's assault forces on Northwatch Hold. While the question of how they came to be seems to be fairly self-explanatory, there's a little more to the story than previously thought. It stretches all the way back to the days of Wrath of the Lich King, and the discovery of a different, new, hardy race of warriors and shaman that were far more used to doing what was necessary to survive, than what may or may not have been right.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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