I'm looking for some advice from experienced shaman that have done extensive pvp with their char at 70. I know that most serious shaman mains will say that the way to go for pvp, be it solo bg or arena is of course restoration. Unfortunately, my main is a holy paladin and I'm not keen on gearing up another identical healbot character.
Unfortunately the pvp sets force us to choose our spec at the very beginning of the gearing up process, and I obviously don't have the 10k+ hp gear to go test out different builds myself.
I know for sure that all top arena teams that run with a shaman run with either a 40/0/21 elemental shaman or a 0/5/56 restoration shaman. Enhancement shaman seem to be the minority. And yet most fellow shaman that I've spoken to say that the spec to go for is enhancement, for bg's of course. They claim that it is "more fun". Now this is of course a subjective opinion, but I would like to hear some points of pros and cons, to help push me in the direction right for me. I of course don't plan to do any serious arena play with my shaman, just the casual bg's for killing time and sometimes gold farming (not doing that with a holy paladin... no way)
Currently I play an elemental shaman and to me the thought of having to run into the thick of battle to dps in bg's, without a shield for that matter, is something along the lines of suicide. I may be wrong, I don't know my shaman very well. But I'm sure some of you do.
Actually arena play at the moment favors elemental shaman over restoration. Earth shield is easily purged and mana tide totem is easily destroyed by a good team, but nothing can make up for the ability to absolutely fry someone with a garunteed crit 3k or so chain lightning. This ability is really the "execute" per-say on my 5v5 and 3v3 teams as well as the same on other teams that I have seen running shaman.
You are right that enhancement isnt a great spec, but I think the reason behind that is that as enhancement you become extremely vulnerable to exploitation in terms of your dps. Theres a reason why rogues are allready considered bottom of the barrel in 5v5, and thats that you can lock them down so easily with a simple snare or kiting strategy. The same is true for shaman and the only way warriors avoid this is their avid use of intercept. The other thing about enhancement is that it requires you to tank damage in order to deal damage, whereas an elemental shaman can, and will, kite their opponents around WHILE providing their damage and utility.
Some very strong points there, and I think I will be correct in applying what you stated to bg scenarios as well. Last time I checked we were still playing World of Rangecraft, and thus it is in everyone's interest to kite, rather than to be kited.
Wish I could, but rocking my 5.5k gear and getting flattened by any class in two shots isn't going to give me enough material to make a good judgement. What may seem like a weak build in my gear, might actually be a top notch spec once you hit certain stamina/resillience levels.
It depends on your desired level of play, really. If you're pretty casual and can live with being inferior to a comparably geared warrior, you can be enhance and have fun. I don't think anyone will argue that it's fun to basically insta-gib someone once in a while. You just need to be prepared for very frustrating fights with the odd very satisfying fight. At higher levels of play you need to be prepared to die quickly and before you can really do anything to help your team.
If you want to be more successful, resto or elemental is really what you want. If you think you'll ever be soloing BGs, you probably should give elemental a serious try. The decision between resto and elemental for arena play will probably depend on the composition of your teams, but both have proven to be quite successful in different ways (different ways that still have bloodlust and windfury totem, mind you).
Elemental can still insta-gib very well. I seem to be one of the few elemental shaman that love Lightning Overload for pvp. EM chain lightning, NS lightning bolt, earth shock can easily kill most people regardless of how much armor they have. In my current gear that's 6k with no crits but EM, no lightning overload, and no lightning capacitor charge. With a 30% crit rate so easy to streak and a proc or two from LO and trinket even those with 11k+ hp in plate aren't safe from dropping in 2 seconds.
For arenas I agree elemental or restoration are the specs of choice. You want the most counters to other team's abilities while maximizing your counters to their abilities. In this regard the enhancement shaman is very vulnerable to high armor targets or being kited. If you have to use frost shock to try and keep people in melee range you lose your spell interruption from earth shock which is one of the class defining abilities in arenas. There's a fairly long list of other reasons why enhancement are also lacking which are fairly obvious or already mentioned. If you want to heal or your arena team needs you to heal restoration shamans do well and there seems to be a good amount represented on high ranked teams. It's my personal opinion though (biased I'm sure) that elemental shaman are the most effective. Paladins and priests I feel are better primary healers in pvp and that for offspec healers shaman are the most versatile while offering very high dps and utility. In 2v2 and 3v3 resto shamans are often forced to toss heals over interrupts and I've found earth shock to be critical in killing the healer ASAP.
I found my resto shaman, good at first, but now and my rogue buddy have hit a brick wall... There's simply often nothing I can do with an absolute lack of any sort of CC.
There are simply just so many ways to completely shut me down, and I simply don't have many ways to deal with it. Grounding totem and Tremor totem don't work reliably as anti-CC. Priests Mana buring me works way too well.
Sometimes my healing output (~1500+heal) is good enough that I can outlast most groups, but Paladins are just so much better than me in everyway I can imagine. (when I asked my guild they told me that also I should note that the sky is blue and that rain is wet).
Any tips? What can we do that isn't so obviously stopped.
Since earthshield is so rarely any good, should resign to go elemental (31/30 or something)? If so I'd be a shitty mage that can heal. And even *more* succeptible to be shut down.
I can't really find a good spec for my shaman at all either, playing elemental feels like playing a destruction warlock (great until someone decides to start punching you in the face and then you can do nothing), and resto is shit compared to a paladin. I haven't tried enhancement yet but I don't really see it being much better
I mean, I feel that I still have things that I can do better, (like make sure to drop the right totems, timing my spells to offset possible counterspells) but often it just feels like, Oh wait, you can't do shit... You're going to lose this game because your opponents realize that you're the threat, not the rogue.
And didn't earthshock used to be a 6 second lock out of the opponent's school? I only realized that it had changed when I started playing arenas but was it really that broken?
I am 38 elemental, 23 restoration for Arena PvP and solo content. The spec allows me to do anything in pvE short of solo heal a heroic instance, and in BGs and Arenas it is extremely fun to gib people.
However, be warned now. If anything ever starts to attack you and cause spell pushback, you immediately suck at dealing burst damage. Elemental Shamans have a very small window where they are effective at destroying an opponent, and it always involves a crit chain lightning from EM.
Once you are physically engaged, 2 seconds to cast LB is too slow, you can't blink, you can't fear. When Hamstrung or kidney shotted, kiting is hard to impossible. You pretty much have to nail that warrior to 35% or less in the first few seconds in order to survive the beating you are about to take. You CAN push out higher damage, but it involves a staggering amount of mana use: Fire Nova totem, a quick frost shock or earthbind totem kite into a Chainlightning.... these provide moderate burst.... but usually not comparable to what a desperate fire mage can throw in close quarters.
Oh. And never forget lightning shield. Every three seconds they eat 460 damage. That is alot.