The Battle for Azeroth Alpha is now in full swing, but there still aren’t many changes for Restoration Shaman. Let us look at what got changed nonetheless and what potential impact those changes could have on our playstyle.
This post will be updated with every Alpha Patch – currently up to date for Build 26530 – May 02nd
Changes from the latest Build
If you’re interested in analyzing BFA Alpha logs, i updated https://bfa.wowanalyzer.com/
Wowhead recently added a new relevant piece: Community Opinions Regarding the Restoration Shaman Class Changes on Alpha
- Lightning Surge Totem was renamed to Capacitor Totem and is now baseline, stun duration changed from 5 to 3 seconds.
- Tremor Totem is back, removing Fear, Charm and Sleep effects from party and raid members.
- Skeletal Hex for all your hexing needs
- Downpour added. It replaces Bottomless Depths as a talent and is basically Gift of the Queen on a variable up to 35 second cooldown.
- Graceful Spirit lost the 10% Ghost Wolf movement speed bonus.
- Cloudburst Totem now replaces Healing Stream Totem.
- Healing Wave got rebalanced to be stronger than Healing Surge.
Ratings per 1% at 120
- Critical Strike – 72
- Haste – 68
- Mastery – 24
- Versatility – 85
- Leech – 41.4
- Speed – 14.4
- Avoidance – 19.8
The new allied races of the expansion also bring new totem designs, here are some of them!
- Row 30
- This row was moved to Row 75
- Gust of Wind is replaced by Nature’s Guardian, giving you a defensive instead of mobility.
- Nature’s Guardian appears to be stronger than initially thought, with it being able to save you from oneshots. If you get hit for 50% of your HP at 40%, it will actually proc and save you.
- It appears to not proc if you fall below 35% health, but only after you receive a hit being below 35% which probably is not intended like that.
- Row 45
- Replacing Lightning Surge Totem is Static Charge reducing the CD of the totem depending on how many targets you hit with it, so it can potentially go down to a 40 second cooldown. Stun duration got reduced from 5 to 3 seconds.
- Voodoo Totem removed, replaced by Spirit Wolf
- This is essentially Ghost in the Mist from the artifact weapon and likely will be the go-to in this row for raids, as damage reduction and movement speed are always very useful. The effect stacks up to 20% movement speed and damage reduction, and lasts until you leave the Ghost Wolf form.
- Row 60
- This Row was moved to Row 30
- Crashing Waves now increases the effects of Tidal waves by 10% instead of granting extra charges
- Ancestral Guidance is removed, replaced by Earth Shield
- Ancestral Guidance was always a way stronger option than the other 2, being able to combine it with Cloudburst was a great interaction, and it buffed the weak point of the Ascendance cooldown -> the range. Seeing this gone is odd as it felt like an integral part of the toolkit, working well with just about everything and in any situation. I would have rather seen a balance of the row power wise than a straight up removal, as this combined with the Cloudburst changes it feels like a lot of depth of the class is gone.
- Earth Shield, an old shaman ability that many welcome back with open arms. However in its current Alpha form its nothing more than another, weaker, Riptide with a minimum duration of 27 seconds (3 seconds internal cooldown on the heal) and limited to 1 target at a time. The 19th April Alpha build gave it a 10% healing bonus for you on its target, if thats enough to make it good is hard to say.
- Row 75
- Row 90
- Bottomless Depths removed
- Cloudburst Totem now
only collects effective healing instead of all healing, alsoreplaces HST when talented
- Row 100
- While this spell didn’t get any changes, it will get hit hard by the removal of Ancestral Guidance. What makes this spell strong in raids is especially the combination with Ancestral Guidance taking Ascendances healing and overhealing, and distributing it over 40 yards – not to mention what both those spells provide towards Cloudburst. However it will still have a great spot in dungeons.
The Heart of Azeroth
Replacing the artifact weapon with traits, Netherlight Crucible and also tier sets is a new system, called the Heart of Azeroth. There is not a lot of information on it yet, and a lof of the information we do have is based on speculation. However it looks like that if you pick a trait, you can not change it.
How an azerite piece looks like:
However some of the traits for Shaman have shown up in the alpha builds, keep in mind that all of the numbers are placeholders:
- Restoration Shaman
Overall the changes feel unbalanced, taking away a lot of power and depth but not adding anything in as replacements. Keep in mind that a lot of our current interesting stuff is in the artifact, which haven’t made it into the alpha (yet?), such as
Gift of the Queen– Got added as a talent under the name of Downpour on April 19th
- Cumulative Upkeep
- Queen Ascendant
- Sense of Urgency