I Dinged Level 80: Now What? Preparing for Raiding: Heroics, Enchants, and more for the Shaman
The shaman can fill the role of ranged dps, melee dps, or raid healer. Level 80 shamans need to prepare for raiding. Enhancement, Restoration, Elemental and dual-specialization members of this class should gear up for raids.
Resto, Elemental, and Enhancement Shamans
Level 80 may be the pinnacle of level achievement in World of Warcraft, but turning 80 does not mean the end of the challenges until the next expansion comes out. There is plenty to do even after a character reaches the pinnacle of level advancement. It is time for him to take on new challenges and gear up for raiding. Shamans have two basic roles they can fill in raids: damage per second characters and healers.
Shamans can wear mail, but typically only enhancement shamans will focus on mail pieces exclusively for their main set. Elemental and Restoration shamans will focus more on the casting stats of the gear they wear and worry less about armor classes as they often go for the gear that has the better casting stats. The thing is, some things will be important to all shaman specializations and that is intellect, crit, and mana regeneration. Some stats are specific to each shaman.
The needed Stats for Each Shaman Specialization
Elemental shamans – elemental shamans do not need mana regeneration as much as restoration shamans do and they should focus less on spirit and more on spell power, intellect, hit rating and crit rating. Mail pieces with spell power, intellect, and mana per 5 second rating should make up most of the elemental shaman's equipment.
Restoration shamans – Even though the Restoration shamans gain talents in their tree that increase the effectiveness of the healing stream and mana spring totems, they do not have the same mana regeneration abilities that their ranged DPS casting counterparts do. Mana per 5, intellect and spell power are what restoration shamans should focus on when gearing up.
Enhancement shamans – These shamans should focus on armor class, agility, hit, and attack power. Tsunami, a member of the Outcast guild on Doomhammer recommends a hit rating of over 400.
Gearing Your Level 80 WoW Shaman for Raids
The purpose of raids may be to get gear so that guilds can face bigger and better challenges, but as odd as it may seem, you cannot just come in with the loot off your back so to speak once you hit level 80. Most raid leaders require that you have the appropriate level of gear for the instance, although this opinion is highly variable. There are several ways to get “geared up" so you're ready to take on Naxx.
PvP can help you get gear that can be okay for your entry into raiding, although some PvP gear pieces work better than loot drops for certain group roles that the shaman may be expected to perform, but to help you gain this gear, a shaman should consider switching to a dual specialization so he can get the purple gear that drops in heroic instances. A shaman who switches to elemental/restoration specialization needs to worry about switching between equipment sets far less than the enhancement/restoration or enhancement/elemental shaman. (Few people will choose the last combination on this list.)
Factions for WoW Shamans to Work ON
One of the things a shaman should do immediately after he hits 80 is figure out which factions have the best gear for him to pick up. Elemental and restoration shamans, the Kirin Tor quartermaster sells better caster gear, although some better pieces can be find in the Alliance Vanguard and the Argent Crusade. Enhancement shamans should consider the Explorer's League pieces and Knights of the Ebon Blade. Gaining faction with these groups can be a time-consuming activity. The grind does not end even for level 80 characters.
There is one piece of equipment that casting shamans should have, and that is the War Mace of Unrequited Love that drops in the Heroic version of the Nexus instance. (Thanks to Beerkeg, also of Outcast, for providing this information.)
Getting Enchantments, Glyphs, and Daily Quests for Your Saman
Enchantments can help increase a characters crit rating, his spell power, and and intelligence. The glyphs increase the effectiveness of his spells, but the glyphs should be separate for each specialization. Enhancement shamans should focus more on 80 glyphs. Dual spec players should be careful to put the glyphs on the right talent page, as dps glyphs do a healing shaman little good.
The opposite is also true. In general, enhancement shamans will go for spells that increase their melee abilities and the spells that trigger or boost melee attacks, elemental shamans will focus on the ranged spell abilities such as lightning bolt, magma burst, chain lightning, and the shock spells, while restoration shamans will look for the spells the boost earth shield, chain heal, and reduce the casting time of their healing spells.
Enchantment/Melee Slot Recommendations
- Head – Arcanum of Dominance/Arcanum of Savage Gladiator
- Shoulder – Greater Inscription of Storm/Greater Inscription of the Gladiator
- Back – Enchant Cloak: Spell Penetration/Enchant Cloak: Speed
- Chest: Enchant Chest: Major Mana/Enchant Chest: Major Health
- Wrist: Enchant Bracer: Major Intellect/Enchant Bracer: Major Stamina
- Hands: Enchant Gloves: Exceptional Spell power/Enchant Gloves: Precision
- Legs -- Borean Armor Kit (from the leatherworking skill)
PvP and Daily Quests -- Daily Gridning for Level 80 Shamans
PvP can help players who enjoy this type of play gear up for raiding with their guild. Proponents of player versus player combat say that PvP poses a greater challenges because players are unpredictable and adapt their strategies while mobs always behave in exactly the same way in player versus environment combat.
The honor points can be used for achievements as well as getting epic items to fill gaps in a player's gear. The savage gladiator equipment line is most beneficial for enhancement shamans, while elemental and restoration shamans need to mix and match from different sets of gear for maximum effectiveness.
There are items in the World of Warcraft, such as the epic flying mounts, that do not increase your effectiveness in the game, but make it far easier to get around. The epic flying mounts introduced in the Burning Crusade are one of these. Because the shaman travel form is ground base and grants only a 40% ground increase, the flying mounts help all character classes get through dangerous territory quickly. Flying mounts cost up to 5,000 gold.
Players also need a way to pay for glyphs, gem cutting and enchantments that may be necessary to boost their group effectiveness. Daily quests give the player a chance to earn the cash he needs for these items and to keep up on his repair bills.
Raiding: the Most Fun Part of Being a Level 80 Shaman
While some people consider Wintergrasp to be the end game, most mmorpg players consider Naxx, Ulduar, and the high level raid instances to be the true pinnacle of achievement in World of Warcraft. (Raids are also where the best player versus environment loot drops.)
Once you have been geared up enough for Naxx, a shaman, particularly elemental and restoration shamans, can usually find a spot in raid instances. Elemental shamans get the totem of wrath and wrath of air which boosts casting speed, while restoration shamans perform well as back-up healers. Enhancement shamans are not unwelcome, but their spots are more likely to be filled up by rogues or hunters.
The important thing to remember about being a level 80 shaman is that the class maybe called on to fill in a role outside of their current spec from time to time, although this is not usually the case for the restoration shaman. When a healer goes down, that extra heal from the restoration shaman can keep the raid group alive long enough. Enhancement shamans can distract attention away from a healer using frost shock and earth shock, although this tactic is not recommended.
Basically, once the level grind for a shaman stops, he or she must be prepared to gain the equipment needed to increase his DPS rating or his effectiveness as a healer. Players that need a break from the faction or gear grind can work on achievements.
Do Acheievements Help My Shaman?
Achievements give a player few in-game benefits. Most of them do nothing more than add to your achievement point total. Certain combinations of achievements do give you titles that can are displayed as part of your character name. The daily grind often becomes something of a chore. Working on the sillier achievements such as "To All the Squirrels I have Loved Before" gives the player a break and allows a brief "vacation" before he returns to more serious matters.
I Dinged 85 -- Now What? The Shamans Role in Cataclysm.
Shamans, like other casting classes received a telent that let them convert hit into spirit. Mp5 is gone. The stat mattered little for enhanchement and elemental shamans in Wrath of the Lich King. It matters not at all know. As with other classes, the healing spells have had their costs reduced. A character who finds himself hitting the highest level in the new expansion may wonder what he needs to do to get ready for raids.
For enhancement shamans, the stats he needs to focus on are stamina, strength and hit. Agility is helpful but not necessary. Strength has always affected the damage a character does and now adds to the character's attack power. Melee characters need a hit rating of approximately 8% participate in high level raids effectively. Expertise still exists but has been folding into a passive talent. You will not find expertise on many items any more.
Elemental and Restoration Shamans
Although the Elemental and restoration shaman trees serve different purposes, both trees still rely on casting stats. A restoration shaman will rely more on spirit for mana regeneration and less about whether or not his spells will hit the target. Healing spells are not usually resisted and will hit friendly targets. A restoration shaman needs to select gear that allows him to do his job for as long as possible and recover as quickly as possible. In Cataclysm, the shaman class is better off than druids, the shaman's nearest competitor.
Elemenetal shamans need to focus on intellect and hit. Stamina helps keep the elemental shaman alive through large area effect spells. The talents allow the elemental shaman to manage mana more effectively than he could before the Cataclysm expansion.
Should I Focus on Mastery?
Mastery enhances a character's ability to maintain his key role. Shamans benefit from their mastery talents more than druids do because the talents are "always on." Current thinking suggests that hit and int are more important than mastery for casting shamans.
Screenshots: World of Warcraft
WoW Level 80 Raiding Guide
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