So far I havn't seen this heavily discussed in this forum, and while it is a subtopic of one of the shaman threads in class mechanics, I feel that 2.1 has a large enough PvP impact that it needs a seperate, dedicated thread here.
In case some, for some strange reason, someone doesn't already know, shaman clearcasting is being nerfed from 100% to 60% off the next spell cast after a spell crit in 2.1. So, what does this mean to us in PvP?
Before I go on, I'll briefly describe my relevent stats and spec. My spec can be found here: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=GEczVcMoAsZZVcbt0Ls
It is basically a high elem damage, low cost heals, low damage taken build. I feel that currently, this is the "best" build for an elemental shaman. As far as gear goes, I've got 2pcs of Gladiators, and I'm currently running around with 30% crit and only about 122 mana regen.
With these stats, I still run oom fairly fast currently in any arenas that last past 2-3 minutes. My main concern, and I know others have expressed this, is that without mana, we are 100% useless in arenas. When you combine that with the nerf of clearcasting, it seems like we'll have a much harder time in arenas, especially with resilience cutting down our chance to crit as it is. On top of that, unlike every other caster (besides paladin) we have no way to actively regen our mana when we need to, which has always been an issue.
Now, I personally havn't thought of any solutions I like, especially considering that the majority of the time a shaman is the first main focus of any pvp group. I see two options: change of gear, and change of talents.
You can stack mp5 enchants and gems in your gear, but that will just drop your HP from the lost stamina gems and enchants. Stacking PvE longevity gear won't work either, since as the focused target, you need all the stam and res you can get your hands on.
You could adjust your talents, perhaps taking the 5 points from the -1sec to lightning spells talent in exchange for unrelenting storm. Or, perhaps take the 3 points from the silence resist in the resto tree and the two from storm's reach and put them into unrelenting storm. Both of these options really hurt in my opinion. The first severely hurts your short term output and burst, while the second hurts your overall ability to cast spells.
Neither of the solution paths I see currently, gear or spec changes, seems to be a good answer to this nerf. Hopefully someone else has thought out a better option. I really feel like Elemental Shaman are pretty perfect in arenas at the moment. We can stretch out a fight when we have to, but we can also turn on the heat and burst. Unfortunately this is going to change, and hopefully we can discuss this and figure out some decent options to deal with the future.
Im not specifically talking 5v5s or a specific team. On a 4 dps team sure that should be over quick enough to not feel the effects. On an outlast team the effects are felt even more.
What I'm trying to say is that this clearcasting nerf in 2.1 is going to hit Elemental Shaman in arenas pretty hard. My idea for this thread was to discuss ways to make up for the 40% nerf, which tends to hit especially hard in arenas, where you normally don't have longevity talents or mp5 gear on. This wasn't meant as such a narrow question as you're taking it. And although I mentioned my own personal setup, it was merely for reference, as this thread is about elemental shaman arena pvp, and not my own personal arena pvp.
Edit: Also, I guess it could be relevant to discuss both burn down and longevity teams, but I feel like this patch will impact the both the burst team shaman and the longevity shaman.