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The Shaman Changes Coming in Warlords of Draenor

New Dwarf Shaman for Warlords of DraenorWarlords of Draenor (WoD) arrived on Nov 13, 2014, and things changed, as they always do. What’s different this time is that there are very few new abilities and a number have been removed. There are the usual number of changes to lots of abilities, and some are now restricted to one or another specialization (spec.)

Your Shaman has new talents, new glyphs, and new “Perks,” along with all the other tweaks and pokes. One of the goals of the expansion is to “clean up” the ability list and smooth out the “rotation.” Do you think it worked?

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The Patch 6.1 Changes

Grounding Totem now protects both party and raid members (up from only party members). Additionally, fixed an issue where Grounding Totem was incorrectly redirecting Provoke (Monk), Growl (Hunter Pet), and Defile (Death Knight.)


  • Level 30: Frozen Power should no longer cause Frost Shock to trigger a new Mastery: Molten Earth (Elemental). Note that this does not stop Molten Earth effects that are already in progress or in the process of being triggered.
  • Level 60: Echo of the Elements has been redesigned. Echo of the Elements now causes Earthquake, Fire Nova, Lava Burst, Lava Lash, Riptide, Spirit Link Totem, Stormstrike, and Unleash Life to have 2 charges. Other abilities that reset the cooldown of these abilities will instead grant 1 charge.
  • Level 75: Ancestral Guidance now triggers from all damage or healing dealt, including Multistrikes, instead of only direct damage or healing.
  • Level 100: Storm Elemental Totem damage and healing has increased by 30%.


  • Telluric Currents (Restoration) causes Flame Shock, Lava Burst, and Lightning Bolt to cost no mana and deal 100% more damage.


  • Enhanced Chain Lightning now makes Earthquake instant cast, and increases the damage done by the next Earthquake by 300% when Chain Lightning or Lava Beam strikes 3 or more targets (instead of increasing Earthquake damage by 60% for each target struck.)


Armor Sets

  1. Tier-17 2-piece bonus for Elemental Shaman now increases multistrike damage by 1% per stack (down from 2% damage increase per stack.)
  2. Tier-17 4-piece bonus for Elemental Shaman now requires the Shaman to consume 18Lightning Shield charges to trigger (up from 15 charges.)
  3. PvP 2-piece set bonus for Restoration Shaman now grants 975 Versatility after dispelling a harmful Magic or Curse effect from an ally (up from 780 Versatility.)
  4. PvP 4-piece set bonus for Restoration Shaman now triggers when the target of Earth Shield drops below 50% health (up from 35%) and Earth Shield will immediately consume up to 4 charges (up from 3 charges.)


Shaman Stat Changes for Warlords

The big news in stat changes is that Hit & Expertise are dead. So is reforging. Bliz decided that neither was fun, so they’re dead. All abilities that modified either stat are also dead.

Once upon a time your Spell Haste %, Melee Haste %, and Ranged Haste % were different, though closely related, numbers. Now they have all been merged into a universal Haste %, which will make things easier. Ditto for crit, your Spell, Melee, and Ranged Crit % have been merged into a universal Crit %.

Previously your primary stats (Ag, Int, Str) provided attack/spell power and a minor amount of Crit. Now Agility and Intellect no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks, abilities, or spells. The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells.

There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%. It is learned by Enhancement Shaman and the other Agility based classes. Classes/specs using Int or Strength get no such modifier.

One more change is that at level 90 you will get a passive boost of 5% to one of your secondary stats. This is the stat that Blizzard feels will most boost your overall throughput (total raw damage or healing.) It will be a helpful guide to those wanting to know which stats is “the best of the rest.”

Here’s how it sorts out for your Shaman:


The Shaman Changes: Abilities

This time around Blizzard has decided (probably to major agreement among players) that there are just too many active abilities, causing “button bloat.” Too many buttons tied to too many abilities makes things harder than necessary. Naturally you don’t have a problem with that, but the other guy probably does.

To fix this little problem they are doing a bit of ability pruning…

So then there was the great (ability) hacking:

Note that most of the various “weapons” have been removed. Bliz feels that there was always one right answer for each specialization, and so they made the appropriate Weapon Imbues passive to each spec, or tuned abilities around its removal. This seems to make perfect sense.

  • Ancestral Awakening has been removed.
  • Ancestral Vigor has been removed.
  • Bind Elemental has been removed.
  • Burning Wrath has been removed.
  • Elemental Focus has been removed.
  • Elemental Fury has been removed. Elemental Shaman now naturally have critical strike damage increased to 250% of normal damage.
  • Elemental Oath has been removed.
  • Earthliving Weapon has been removed.
  • Flametongue Weapon and Windfury Weapon have been removed.
  • Frostbrand Weapon has been removed.
  • Rockbiter Weapon has been removed.
  • Glyph of Healing Storm has been removed and its effects are now baseline for Maelstrom Weapon. (Maelstrom Weapon looks to be the only survivor of the great weapon purge.)
  • Stormlash Totem has been removed.
  • Mana Tide Totem has been removed. Restoration Shaman Mana costs have been adjusted to compensate.
  • Primal Wisdom has been removed. Enhancement Shaman mana regeneration has been increased by 100% to compensate.
  • Rolling Thunder has been removed. Elemental Shaman Mana regeneration has been increased by 50% to compensate.
  • Static Shock has been removed.
  • Searing Flames has been removed. Lava Lash damage has been increased to 280% weapon damage (up from 140%) to compensate.
  • Unleashed Rage has been removed.
  • Elemental Precision has been removed, as have all similar abilities for any class.

Restricted Shaman Abilities.

In addition to removing a number of abilities they are restricting various abilities to one or another spec.

Shaman Changes for Crowd Control (CC) and “Diminishing Returns”

  • Earthgrab Totem now shares Diminishing Returns with all other root effects.
  • Hex’s cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds.
  • Maelstrom Weapon can no longer reduce the cast time of Hex.
  • Tremor Totem is no longer usable while under the effects of Fear, Charm, or Sleep, but its duration has been increased to 10 seconds (up from 6 seconds.)
  • Water Shield is now available only to Restoration Shaman, and replaces Lightning Shield.
  • Bug Fix: Glyph of Shamanistic Rage should no longer cause Shamanistic Rage to incorrectly dispel Unstable Affliction or Vampiric Touch that has been modified by the PvP 4-piece set bonus.

And some Tweaks

Shaman had a number of extra abilities that were consolidated to provide a smoother rotation flow. Mana regeneration and mana costs for Elemental and Enhancement were made compensate for abilities removed via Ability Pruning.

  • Ancestral Spirit’s mana cost has been reduced by 95%.
  • Chain Lightning’s damage has been increased by 50%.
  • Grace of Air now also provides 5% Haste to all party and raid members.
  • Frost Shock no longer generates additional threat.
  • Lightning Bolt can no longer be cast while moving by default. Effects like Spiritwalker’s Grace can still make the spell able to the cast while moving.
  • Lightning Shield now persists through death.
  • Totems will no longer cause hostile creatures to enter combat with the Shaman based on proximity.
  • Searing Totem‘s Searing Bolt now has a 2-second cast time (up from 1.5 seconds), but casts faster with Haste, and its damage has been increased by 120% 65%.
  • Wind Shear no longer affects threat.
  • Unleash Elements (now Enhancement only) has been split into different versions based on specialization.
    • Enhancement: Unleash Elements is now available only to Enhancement Shaman, and now increases attack speed by 60% (up from 50%), and increases the damage of the Shaman’s next Fire spell by 40% (up from 30%), but no longer deals direct damage or requires an enemy target.
    • Elemental: Unleash Flame has been made into a separate ability available only to Elemental Shaman, and now increases the damage of the Shaman’s next Fire spell by 40% (up from 30%), but no longer deals direct damage or requires an enemy target.
    • Restoration: Unleash Life has been made into a separate ability available only to Restoration Shaman, and now heals an ally and increases the effect of the Shaman’s next direct heal by 30%.
    • Unleashed Fury now provides similar benefits, but applied as buffs to the Shaman instead of debuffing an enemy.

Elemental Spec Changes

Elemental and Enhancement both suffer from having their damage split among so many damage sources that none of it feels impressive. So with a little whacking and trimming and consolidating they hope to make it feel better while keeping overall damage about the same.

They’re also tweaking the ability to cast while moving and how Haste works.

You mastery is being changed. The new Multistrike stat is redundant with the old Mastery.  Your new Mastery, Molten Earth (below,) adds a “Damage over Time” effect. if you liked Mastery before, favor Multistrike instead if your new Mastery for the same effect.

Chain Lightning and Earthquake were also improved significantly to offset the fact that Elemental Overload was a massive buff to it, but Molten Earth is not.

  • Elemental Overload is now a regular passive ability and is no longer increased by Mastery. It grants 35% increased Multistrike damage and healing, and an additional 20% to Multistrike chance. It also increases the amount of the Multistrike stat gains from all sources by 5%, serving as Elemental’s Secondary Stat attunement.
  • Molten Earth is a new Mastery for Elemental Shaman. Molten Earth causes the Shaman’s damaging spells to incite the earth around to come to their aid for 6 seconds, repeatedly dealing Fire damage to their most recently attacked target.
  • Earthquake’s damage has been increased by 33%.

 And the other changes:

  • Elemental Shaman Mana regeneration has been increased by 50% to compensate for the removal of Rolling Thunder.
  • Fulmination now causes Elemental Blast, Lightning Bolt, and Chain Lightning damage and multistrike damage to always generate an additional Lightning Shield charge, up to a maximum of 15. Earth Shock will consume any charges beyond 1, dealing their total damage to the enemy target.
  • Shamanistic Rage no longer reduces Mana costs while active.
  • Thunderstorm no longer regenerates Mana.
  • Shamanism no longer reduces the cast time of Chain Lightning, but instead now increases the damage of Chain Lightning by 100% (up from 70%.)


Enhancement Spec Changes

Troll enhancement shaman in Battlegear of Celestial HarmonyBlizzard feels that Enhancement also suffers, along with Elemental, from having damage split among too many abilities, none of which feel mighty. They’re fairly happy with the overall damage so want to trim and tweak abilities such that there are fewer, more effective, abilities doing about the same overall damage.

You’re note that there are a lot more tweaks for Enhancement than for Elemental.

  • Enhanced Weapons is a new passive ability available to Enhancement Shaman, causing main-hand weapon attacks to have a chance to trigger 3 extra attacks, and off-hand weapon attacks to deal additional fire damage.
  • Lava Lash’s damage done is no longer increased by Flametongue Weapon (which has been removed,) and its damage has been increased to compensate. Lava Lash also now spreads Flame Shock to up to 6 nearby enemies (up from 4 enemies.)
  • Lava Lash damage has been increased to 280% weapon damage (up from 140%) to compensate for the removal of Searing Flames.
  • Flurry’s duration has been increased to 30 seconds.
  • Shamanistic Rage no longer reduces Mana costs while active.
  • Maelstrom Weapon now also increases the direct healing of affected spells by 20% per application.
  • Feral Spirit‘s Spirit Wolves no longer have the Spirit Bite ability and their damage has been increased by 300%.
  • For Enhancement Shaman Unleashed Fury now grants 5% increase Multistrike chance instead of causing auto-attacks to trigger Static Shock.
  • Ascendance for Enhancement now changes the Shaman’s auto attacks and Stormstrike to deal Wind-based physical damage that bypasses armor.
  • Earth Elemental deals 90% less Auto Attack damage but generates 1000% more threat.
  • Fire Nova now has a cooldown of 4.5 second (up from 4.0 seconds.)
  • Flurry has been redesigned. Melee haste effects now reduce the global cooldown and cooldowns of Earth Shock, Fire Nova, Flame Shock, Frost Shock, Lava Lash, Static Shock, Stormstrike, and Unleash Elements.
  • Lava Lash now has a cooldown of 10.5 seconds (up from 10 seconds.)
  • Magma Totem’s damage has been increased by 100%, and now ticks faster with Haste.
  • Maelstrom Weapon’s chance to trigger has been reduced by 20%.
  • Primal Earth Elemental’s Pulverize ability no longer deals damage.
  • Stormstrike now has a cooldown of 7.5 seconds (down from 8 seconds.)



Restoration Changes

Restoration Shaman had the most passive and smart healing of any healer, and so received some reductions in that area, along with buffs elsewhere to keep them competitive.

  • Greater Healing Wave has been renamed to Healing Wave.
  • Healing Tide Totem now heals all party or raid members, but amount healed per target has been reduced to compensate.
  • Water Shield now only triggers from melee attacks. Mana costs for Restoration Shaman have been adjusted to compensate.
  • Resurgence no longer requires Water Shield to be active.
  • Chain Heal now heals each chain target for 10% less than the previous target.
  • Conductivity is no longer triggered by damaging spells for Restoration Shaman, or by healing spells for non-Restoration Shaman.
  • Elemental Blast now also grants increased Spirit for Restoration Shaman, in addition to the random secondary stat. Spirit amount granted is equal to double the random secondary stat amount.
  • Multiple Earth Shields can now be applied to the same target.
  • Healing Stream Totem’s mana cost has been reduced to 10% of base mana (down from 23.5%), and its healing has been reduced by 50%.
  • Riptide’s healing has been adjusted to put significantly more of it into the initial heal. The initial heal amount has been increased by 70%, while the periodic healing amount has been reduced by 20%.
  • Tidal Waves now reduces the cast time of Healing Wave by 20% (down from 30%.)
  • Unleash Life no longer increases the healing from Healing Rain but its direct healing has been increased by 100%.
  • Glyph of Chaining no longer causes Chain Heal to have a 2-second cooldown.
  • Glyph of Totemic Recall now only increases the mana returned from recalling your totems by 25% (down from 75%.)
  • Spiritual Insight (Resto) no longer increases the chance to hit with Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, Hex, or Flame Shock. (See also: Hit and Expertise Removal.)
  • Water Shield now persists through death.


Shaman Talents and Changes

Naturally there will be a few talent changes,

  • Level 60: Ancestral Swiftness can no longer turn Hex into an instant-cast spell.
  • Level 60: Echo of the Elements has been redesigned. The Shaman’s spells and abilities have a chance to trigger Echo of the Elements, causing their next short-cooldown spell or ability to not trigger a cooldown.
    • Elemental: It may be used on Frost Shock, Earthquake, or Lava Burst.
    • Enhancement: It may be used on Fire Nova, Lava Lash, or Stormstrike.
    • Restoration: It may be used on Unleash Life, Purify Spirit, or Riptide.
  • Level 75: Ancestral Guidance now causes 20% of damage or healing to be copied as healing to nearby injured allies (down from 40% of damage or 60% of healing.)

As with some of the above, different effects depending on your spec. All of the 15-90 talents are pretty much the same as they were in Mists of Pandaria, other than a few details.

1st Talent

  • Elemental and Enhancement: Elemental Fusion: Your own Lava Burst and Lava Lash abilities increase the damage of your next Shock effect by 75%, stacking twice.
  • RestorationCloudburst Totem: Summon a Water Totem that will collects and stores power from all healing spells and Multistrikes over 15 seconds. When the totem is done the stored power is released, healing all injured allies, within 40 yards, for a total of 20% of the amount stored, split evenly among them.

2nd Talent: Storm Elemental Totem, All specs.

  • All: Summons an Air Totem (with over 23k health) that calls forth a Storm Elemental which hurls gusts of wind at your enemies for damage. The damage done is returned to all allies within 15 yds, as healing, split evenly among them. Lasts one minute, 5 min. cooldown.

3rd Talent

  • Elemental and Enhancement: Liquid Magma: Your Fire Totem now spits globs of lava at random targets within 40 yds. every 1 second for 10 seconds. Each glob deals damage to the target and all enemies within 4 yds of the target.
  • Restoration: “High Tide.”  Chain Heal now bounces to all targets affected by your Riptide and no longer diminishes with each bounce.

New Shaman Glyphs for WoD

As you might expect there are a few new glyphs.

  • Glyph of Ephemeral Spirits: Reduces the cooldown on Feral Spirit by 60 and reduces the duration by 15 sec.
  • Glyph of Frostbrand Weapon: While your weapon is imbued with Flametongue Weapon, your attacks also slow the target’s movement speed by 50% for 3 sec.  Note that while Flametongue wpn has been removed, this glyph takes the name and keeps some of the ability’s effect.
  • Glyph of Ghostly Speed: Ghost Wolf grants an additional 60% movement speed, but can no longer be used while in combat.This effect is disabled in battlegrounds and arenas and cannot be combined with other temporary speed bonuses.
  • Glyph of Grounding: Reduces the cooldown on Grounding Totem by 3 sec.
  • Glyph of Lava Spread: Increases the radius at which Lava Lash spreads Flame Shock by 8 yards.
  • Glyph of Reactive Shielding: Your Lightning Shield can now trigger once every 1.5 sec.
  • Glyph of Shamanistic Resolve: Shamanistic Rage reduces damage taken by an additional 30% but the cooldown on Shamanistic Rage is increased by 60 sec.
  • Glyph of Shocks: Increases the range on Earth Shock, Flame Shock, Frost Shock, and Wind Shear by 5 yards.
  • Glyph of Purify Spirit: Purify Spirit now has a maximum of 2 charges, but its cooldown is increased by 4 sec.
  • Glyph of Spiritwalker’s Focus: Reduces the cooldown of Spiritwalker’s Grace by 60 sec, but reduces its duration by 7 sec.
  • Glyph of Spiritwalker’s Aegis: When you cast Spiritwalker’s Grace, you become immune to Silence and Interrupt effects for 5 sec.

There are various glyphs changes in the works, in addition the new ones. I assume that there will be addition changes as time goes on.

  • Now Resto only: Glyph of Chaining and Glyph of Deluge
  • Elemental and Enhancement Only: Glyph of Lightning Shield
  • Elemental and Restoration Only: Glyph of Spiritwalker’s Grace
  • Glyph of Cleansing Waters: When you dispel a harmful Magic or Curse effect from an ally, you also heal the target for 4% (down from 5%) of your maximum health
  • Glyph of Flame Shock: When your Flame Shock deals damage, it heals you for 45% of the damage dealt (up from 30%.)
  • Glyph of Totemic Recall: Causes your Totemic Recall ability to return 25% additional mana when recalling a totem. (It used to: “Causes your Totemic Recall ability to return the full mana cost of any recalled totems.“)
  • Glyph of Totemic Vigor: Increases the health of your totems by 2% of your maximum health, down from 5%.

So far it look like only one glyph has died: Glyph of Healing Storm

Another glyph change, affecting everyone, is that certain glyphs will be automatically learned as you level. Just like your abilities. This will be a nice change. All of the rest of the glyphs will be available, as usual, from the Auction House or your friendly neighborhood scribe.

  • At level 25, the following Glyphs are automatically learned by all Shaman: Flame Shock, Thunder, Frost Shock, Healing Wave, Spiritwalker’s Grace
  • At level 50, the following Glyphs are automatically learned: Recuperate, Totemic Recall
  • At level 75, the following Glyphs are learned: Lightning Shield, Eternal Earth


Shaman Perks

At 90+ there are no new abilities to be head, instead you will get “Perks.” Each of the perks enhances an existing ability, such as for +20% damage. The perks are awarded randomly from the list of possible perks, so two characters with two perks each might well have completely different perks. By level 100 you will have them all. Note that the perk list may well change by the time WoD is released.

Here’s what you’ll get:

Elemental Enhancement Restoration
  • Improved Reincarnation: Increases the health that you Reincarnate with by an additional 50%.
  • Enhanced Chain Lightning: Each target struck by your Chain Lightning or Lava Beam increases the damage done by your next Earthquake by 40%.
  • Improved Lightning Shield: Lightning Shield gains 5 additional maximum charges, and Lava Burst and its multistrikes can now generate additional Lightning Shield charges though Fulmination.
  • Enhanced Unleash: Your Unleash Elements ability also causes you to gain 30% increased movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Improved Flame Shock: When your Flame Shock deals damage over time, you have a 15% chance to reset the cooldown of Lava Lash.
  • Improved Maelstrom Weapon: Maelstrom Weapon now also causes your spells to deal 10% additional damage per stack of Maelstrom Weapon.
  • Enhanced Unleash: Your Unleash Elements ability also causes you to gain 30% increased movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Improved Reincarnation: Increases the health that you Reincarnate with by an additional 50%.



Misc Notes

Racial changes – both for the purposes of updating things and the removal of Hit & Expertise there will be some racial changes. For example, the Draenei will be losing their +1 Hit, but gaining an boost to Str, Int, and Agility.

In PvP the Resilience stat is gone. Taking its place will be damage modification and larger health pools. Crowd Control has also taken a big whack, which is fine by me.

You can see all of the official patch notes here.

Anything you’d like to add? Comment below.

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