Wow. It’s really been 2 months! I don’t have many followers but I do like writing so I feel as though I’ve cheated myself a bit. I’ve got a few topics I want to go over over the next week or so, which means I’ll finally have some junk on my blog. Hell, I haven’t even taken the time to READ my favorite blogs lately. Thing is…I’ve been back to raiding 5 days a week (sometimes 6, depending on what we’ve got going on). My Tankadin (primary alt) is 6/7 normal and 1/7 heroic already and has 4 set. My main is only 2 bosses ahead really. Is that sad? I’m actually having more fun on my Paladin lately to be honest. Perhaps that’s due to the more laid back atmosphere of the “alt run.” It seems the stressors of this tier keep me sort of agitated on my Shaman most of the time. Not that the tier itself is hard…it’s just things have/are changing within the guild and my personal life which cause me to stay a bit more stressed than I like. Oh well.
So what do I think of T12? I think it’s far too “CD Rotation” heavy to be honest. Too much single target healing to feel like Shaman are competitive. Sure the burn phases really allow us to shine since we’re all stacked up nice and pretty. But then that even changes depending on difficulty. Let’s take Majordomo Staghelm for instance. On normal mode, we take 10 slashes in Scorpion 1, 7 in 2nd, and 5 in 3rd. During those times, we can really pump out some HPS. On cat phases, the spread is generally too great to take full advantage of how we’re built. By contrast, heroic difficulty strategies put the raid in Cat phase for the vast majority of the encounter. This completely changes a Resto Shaman’s approach to the fight.
I do want to talk a little about Shaman healing in general here and how it relates to the “spread out” phases of the tier. Sure, we arguably have the absolute best single target burst potential, but we’re really not designed that way are we. One ould argue that we’re all healing rain and chain heal in 25 mans and I’d agree with that to some extent, but if you really get down to it, those are not are best true healing spells, regardless of how they show on the meters. They’re our best stabilizing spells. They don’t hit for much at all (maybe when hitting a riptide/ES target or both, things change) but they keep everything nice and level. What those spells REALLY do for us is provide that Earthliving tick and buy us a little time for single targets. That, in my opinion, is what Shaman healing boils down to. Stabilization and Earthliving HoT’s.
So where does this tier fail? The 4 set. The Shaman 4 set is wrapped around not losing a GCD really. We all know that Riptide target is going to greatly increase the overall throughput of the chain heal we cast. That’s fantastic for Beth’tilac burn phase (longest time advantage of the tier), it CAN be great on Rhyolith depending on the heroic strat your raid adopts, it has short spurts of greatness on Domo on scorpion stacks, has no value at all on either Shannox or Baleroc, and can be valuable exactly 3 brief moments in time on Ragnaros (normal) if you get 3 seed phases. There certainly exists the argument out there that one can “train the raid” to be a little more grouped but I’ve found that to be a futile endeavor.
I think the fights are fun and provide unique challenges to the raid as a whole. I actually enjoy the tier. I do think Shaman were a bit shafted witht he tier bonus though. That’s not necessarily a QQ moment for me. I still get raid spots and deal with it. I would just like to see some changes on the next tier.