In short, I love my shammy. I currently have 6 F2P twinks that I rotate between. They all have their allure and I like having a variety of classes to choose from. Generally on a somewhat bi-weekly basis I tend to have 1 that I gravitate more towards. Recently, this has been Revpock.
Revpock was twinked out as an enhancement shammy in Cata. Back then he was a whole pile of fun. His damage output was great and he was a very utilitous (not an actual word as far as I know) class. When MoP went live though, the damage component suffered a lack of the buff that many other classes received. This coupled with the added base resilience of 40% across the board made competitive pvp difficult for Pock. As a comparison, before MoP Plazlo the rogue was doing around 150 – 170 ish dps on boss fights. Revpock before MoP was doing 155 – 185 ish dps on boss fights. After MoP Plazlo is hitting anywhere from 220 – 300 ish on bosses whereas Revpock is around 200. This isn’t even mentioning the 350 – 400 ish dps that Tims the boomkin is able to achieve. Granted pvp generally doesn’t deal in rotations, but rather in burst abilities. Well, Pock’s hardest hitting ability, Lava Lash, only crits for maybe 200 in pvp now. Compare that to an 800 or so Ambush or a 750 ish Starsurge. So, in the end it’s hard to be really competitive with that lack of damage. Oh, and also no more Earthbind Totem.
The Great (Revpock the Priest Hunter)
The absolutely great thing about shammies at this level is their utility. Probably the biggest, most unique utility spell they have at this level is Purge. Purge is outstanding for instantly removing priest shields, buffs, HoTs, AGM bubbles, etc. Wind Shear is great for interrupting and locking out a particular school of magic. Cleanse Spirit is also useful for removing curse debuffs, DoTs, and the like. Pair these with heals and instant Ghost Wolf and you have a very unique, fun-to-play class. All these abilities are great for blitzing healers, especially priests. Being able to take out a PW: Shield immediately after it is cast is invaluable. Then interrupting a Flash Heal, locking them out of holy school for 3 seconds while you and your team rip them down during their Weakened Soul debuff is great. Pock used to be more of a one man show for doing this, especially if his trinket was off cooldown. Now with his weak enh damage and added priest cc talents, he really needs a teammate or two to quickly kill a good priest.
So, the other day someone suggested to me that I should just re-spec Pock as Ele or Resto. Initially I thought he’d suffer a huge stat loss with some of the agi quest rewards he would have chosen for enh over some potential Ele/Resto int gear. When spreadsheeting some options for him though, the bottom line was quite encouraging. In getting him as close as possible to the standard pvp all around BiS gear for Ele and Resto, he really will either suffer a 4 stamina deficit or a 3 stamina/1 int deficit. To me, that’s not too bad, at least able to be competitive. So, I’ve been spending some time gearing him up for Ele/Resto. I’ve pretty much gotten him to pre BoA BiS for all around pvp, but he really needs a BoA weapon’s spell power to be effective. However…… in the little bit of play time I’ve done in Ele and Resto I’ve discovered that I really like Enh even more. Ele has Thunderstorm, which is awesome. I can imagine the grins I would have blowing people off the LM cliff or off of the FR roofs. Also, breaking out of stuns with it sounds great. But…. I felt like apart from that, Ele was really lacking. Lightning Bolt hits nicely and so does Earth Shock, but the largely casting aspect of the spec wasn’t as alluring to me as I thought it might be. Maybe it’s because I have that with some other classes and don’t want it with another one, I’m not sure. Resto puts out nice healing, an interesting hp buff with it, and also adds a magic removal component to Cleanse Spirit (Purify Spirit), which is incredible. Being able to remove a warlock fear, or a pally stun off of a teammate is awesome. But…. their damage output is horrible. They’re not like disc priests, or holy pallies that can dish out nice damage as well as heal everything. They’ve got massive utility and a very high skill cap, but you really have to give up reasonable dps. Their unique utility in the end may well make up for the damage loss though. Looking forward to playing with it.
So, what is it about enhancement that I am still drawn to when it has such weak damage. Maybe it’s the melee play style with pretty much all instant attacks. When attacking/pressuring I do find I like a constant output as opposed to long cast times with explosions. Though in Pock’s case it’s kind of like a pebble shower than a load of bricks being dumped on you (like it used to be :() Maybe it’s the challenge of mana management. Ideally, for damage Pock would use Lightning Shield for the added damage output, but if he uses Water Shield he can pretty much infini-heal while he’s taking a beating. Without Water Shield he gets 3 Healing Surges before going oom. Maybe it’s the challenge that it brings with the low damage output. In the end I’m not exactly sure why I like enhancement so much, I just do.
The Other Things
During all this re-gearing/testing I’ve also been able to knock off a couple of old goals that I had back in Cata that I never got around to achieving. One was solo-ing Lord Godfrey and the other was solo-ing Yetimus. This last weekend I had great fun checking both of these off of my list with Pock. Both were with him as enhancement. Godfrey was pretty straightforward, standing in his Pistol Barrage while spamming healing surge in order to get him to kill his minions off. Also good to interrupt Cursed Bullets or Cleanse it away if he landed it. Yetimus was quite a bit tougher though. I had to find a good place to fight him so he wasn’t launching me into other mobs that would attack me and so he wouldn’t launch me too far down hill that I wouldn’t die from the impact. One attempt he even eventually sent me over one of the peaks up into Alterac Mountains (see photo in first paragraph). As enh Pock also needed more damage reduction, so he did forgo Lava Lash and equipped a shield for an extra 13% damage reduction from the armor. I also had to throw on some stamina gear, equip a 2nd AGM, and use some buffs, but in the end the challenge was fun and Pock finally killed him. Great times.
I really can’t say what the future for Pock holds other than… options. He’s got enough DMF artifacts and mats saved up that he’ll be able to score the Devout Aurastone Hammer during the next faire. From there on he’ll need to get BoA shoulders, chest, and shield (once 5.2 goes live) to be as maxed out as he can be for Ele/Resto. I’m holding off judgment on specs until he’s able to compare them all fully geared. The great thing is he’ll have the ability to run as any of the three. Right now though, I obviously still like enhancement and moreover, shammying. We’ll see though, in a week I’ll probably be loving a different class.