Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shaman: Final Choices

I have two final non-pet specific abilities to choose and then some items to pick. When I first picked items I didn't know of a rule which said you can only use 1 item daily power per day. I thought it was 1 per item so I grabbed a bunch of abilities that seemed useful. In reality I won't be able to use most of them so I figured I should take a look for passive bonuses that might be more useful. (The rule does makes a lot of sense since otherwise why wouldn't I run around with dozens of 'daily' healing items and just rotate through them all.)

First up I had to keep my healer's brooch +1. It adds 1 to every power I use that lets someone regain hit points. I went looking for other passive bonuses and didn't really find any that were awesome. (Not too surprising I guess since we are talking level 3-5 items and all.) I did switch my totem for one which provides a passive 1 to perception. I want to see things! It also has a daily minor action which might do 2 damage when I use it. So, pretty bad. I kept my boots of jaunting since I only bought them the first time around for the name anyway. Getting to teleport 1 square as a minor action might even come up big at some point! Finally I also had to change my armor. (I changed item level on my weapon so to stay legal I needed to make the same swap for armor.) I found a situational daily power that seems good for a boss fight. Immediate reaction to an ally within 5 squares of me hitting an enemy with a melee attack while flanking the enemy. (Situational!) What does it do? The ally regains health equal to half the damage done. (Probably +1 from the healing brooch?) That seems like it could be a lot of extra healing for essentially no cost.

Next, I get a second at-will ability. The first one was locked in by choosing elemental (it lets Sky attack with big bonuses). The second one I took before lets me make a personal melee attack for d8+wis damage. Hit or miss an ally within 2 squares of me or my pet gets to make a saving throw. This seems situational but very good when we need a saving throw. The only concern with taking it along with the elemental one is I may end up with no actual at-will attack to use. I can never make my pet make an attack so if I don't have an ally to give an attack to I'll have to wander into melee. (Worth it to give a saving throw. Probably not worth it just to do anemic beatdown.) The other option is to pick an ability which lets my pet attack and give up the ability to grant saving throws. Probably my best such option is a pet attack for d8+wis and if he hits all adjacent allies get +1 ac. Also not great. Maybe I should just accept that I need to delay until Sky goes (or use my twin panthers encounter power as my first action every fight).

Final, my daily power. There are a lot of interesting shaman daily powers, most of which do a massive AE with an interesting side effect. I can make a wind tunnel which makes a permanent 9 square grid which I can move and I can slide anyone in the grid around. I can give out saving throws with a +5 bonus to anyone in an 121 square grid. I can do an AE blind (save ends) and make a semi-permanent 9 square grid which obscures and does 5 damage. I can give 2 allies a basic attack. I can do a slow but guaranteed 6d6 damage. I can debuff a dude with daze, slow, 5 damage (save ends those) and a permanent -5 to saving throws. I can do a 121 square grid AE which damages all enemies and gives all allies regen 2 while bloodied which they can dispel as a minor action for a 10 point heal. I can debuff a dude with 5 damage and +2 to hit him (save ends all). I can make a permanent 9 square grid which is difficult terrain for enemies and cover providing for friends. Or I can do a 25 square AE centered on me, with a 9 square centered on my pet for huge damage and knocking the enemies prone.

Some of these seem situationally interesting and good. Others seem rather mediocre (2 basic attacks? Really? Since I can't target the same guy with both attacks and there are no bonuses to the rolls this is probably worse than my at-will). I can go super utility with saving throws for all (it does ok damage to enemies too), or super healing with the hot. I can go super AE damage to blow up a bunch of dudes or the big debuff to cripple a boss.

Initially I went with the big AE and it seemed pretty good. I was able to hit 4 guys with relative ease, knocked 2 of them over, and put out a bunch of damage. It feels like often a fight is going to involve getting swarmed by some dudes and having the ability to bust them up seems strong. On the other hand, my new encounter power which does a resist shield and an AE might fill that role nicely too. The big heal seems really big. At worst it's 44 health to the party at the cost of a few minor actions. The card says the healer's brooch affects the power but it isn't clear if it affects the regen 2 or the regain 10 or both. I'm pretty sure it does impact the regain 10 but don't know about the regen. Either way it's surge free healing which seems good, and it does do d8+wis to all enemies in the close burst 5 (miss for half) so there is a little damage going on too. It's no 3d6+wis but it is something.

How important is it to be able to wreck a single guy? If (big if) I hit with the cripple it seems like it'll blow him out. Daze, slow, and -5 to saving throws are pretty brutal effects. Missing still gives the daze for a turn and the slow until save. And the -5 to saves persists regardless, but only while he stays beside my pet. Since my spec will probably often not have a pet in play and we don't have a lot of other save ends powers (I don't think) this seems weaker than it could be. I think I'm just going to go for the big heal and see how it plays out for a while.

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