Saturday, October 29, 2011

Preliminary Talent Builds for Mists of Pandaria

There are some preview versions of the revised talents system for Mists of Pandaria at Wowhead. I've taken the liberty of putting together some preliminary builds for my current max level characters.

Guardian Druid (aka, the new 4th Druid spec for Bears)

Bears are getting their own specialization now, making the druid the only class with four. I'm really looking forward to what new abilities this will afford us since we won't be sharing with cats anymore. There are, of course, some holes in the descriptions for these abilities, so I'm excitedly waiting to see how those turn out.
  1. Displacer Beast - because as a tank if I'm turning into a cat, I need to do it after I'm put distance between me and what's attacking me. Good for getting out of effects that are happening right on top of you.
  2. Renewal - You can't argue with 30% of your health being restored.
  3. Typhoon - something about the idea of opening my mouth and knocking away all the enemies with a wave of water is very appealing to me. 
  4. Incarnation - You become a better bear. I'm mostly waiting to see how this one pans out. I'm also very interested in the new Force of Nature. Typhoons and Treants and Bears oh my!
  5. Ursol's Vortex - This is for more NPC control. We bears have trouble with that. :-(
  6. Disentanglement - There are spare moments in boss battles where you can shape shift (especially combined with Displacer Beast) that should make this a very interesting choice.
The theme here is mobility and mob control. I'm really looking forward to playing a new bear. RAWR!

Atonement is probably going to become baseline for discipline, which is something that I'm particularly looking forward to. Many of my choices here are about increasing discipline's AOE healing potential.
  1. Psyfiend - This was a tough call, as none of them particularly appealed to me. This seemed better than Psychic Scream, because it seems less chaotic.
  2. Body and Soul - I use shields often, so this seems like a no-brainer. Although it can often be disorienting for the affected person to be suddenly running very fast, if you have a dedicated group, they'll get used to it. This will also call for more situational awareness on my part, which will be an enjoyable challenge.
  3. Divine Star - An AOE heal? Sure, let's see how it goes. I'm also a big fan of From Darkness, Comes Light.
  4. Angelic Bulwark - I'll take stronger shields on my self to prevent me from needing a 30% heal or an auto-shield.
  5. Serendipity - Combine this with From Darkness, Comes Light to make your spells have this great positive feedback loop.
  6. This is a tough tier. I'd pick Vampiric Dominance but there's no way that's going to come through exactly the way it is. If it doesn't get nerfed, then it's definitely the one I'm picking. I'm also interested in Vow of Unity, but I'll have to see how it works out in a practical setting.

I love playing an enhancement shaman. I also love playing a restoration shaman. One of my favorite things about being an enhancement shaman is being able to contribute heals when they're really needed, so I'm putting some effort into that.
  1. Earthgrab Totem - I'm honestly not a fan of any of these. When I tank I hate it when the DPS manipulate the mobs like this, because it makes it hard to build threat/rage. If called for as part of the strategy, these things can be very helpful. Any choice here is good. Frozen Power would be my second choice.
  2. Stone Bulwark Totem - I like to defend myself from incoming damage,don't you? Astral Shift also seems like a good choice. It will come down to how each one of them plays.
  3. Improved Ghost Wolf - I had to go with the selfish choice on this one.
  4. Ancestral Guidance - I also really like Healing Tide Totem. However, I'm kinda expecting this one to scale better for enhancement shaman. I also think it will be a good way to save one particular person who is taking too much damage, whereas Healing Tide Totem is more of a helper, not meant to save anyone in an immediate fashion.
  5. Nature's Swiftness - I'm hoping the haste will make up for the damage loss from not taking Echo of the Elements. Throwing down an instant Chain Heal or Healing Rain is a favorite pastime of mine. Will Enhancement Shaman even have Healing Rain in Mists of Pandaria, though? Who knows? Echo of the Elements may very well end up being the better choice.
  6. Totemic Restoration - I don't often end up moving my totems. If I PVP'd more, I probably would. I don't know how valuable being able to have multiple totems of the same type will be, but being able to cut down the cooldown of my totems seems very valuable.
One thing I noticed is that the various shield spell aren't mentioned here. Will they go on the chopping block in Mists? It seems like they will since they aren't very interesting, just fire-and-forget.

Overall I'm very excited for these talent changes. They've also stated that they want talent changing to be relatively easy, like glyphs. We might be able to alter our talent builds between boss battles easily, which would be wonderful for me, since I love to min-max for each circumstance that way.