Welcome to my first Guide for Shamans! In this guide, I will be giving an in depth explanation of the Shaman route known otherwise known as "Feel the Thunder." This is one of many potential ways to kill someone as a Shaman, but we'll dedicate this guide to this on specific route for condensation sake. It's highly likely that I will be writing guides for the other methods of killing as a Shaman in the near future(tm). Lets get into this!
Shamans are one of the most balanced, and probably one of the most (if not the most) powerful classes in the game right now. Some people are convinced that huge nerfs are likely to ensue, but the truth is, there's not many people in the game that know how to deal with Shamans at the present time, because not many people understand them. Do be warned though, Shamans are just as tricky as they are powerful. This class is definitely not for someone who wishes to kill people by spamming one or two skills over and over again, expecting their opponent to die.
*Insane burst damage, when chained together correctly.
*Uhmayzing teamfight utility.
*High, simultaneous affliction and damage output.
*Pretty good sustainable damage.
*Decent baseline audit that can be increased drastically.
*Can prove to be amazing when put into a supportive role.
*Strong passive curing, and affliction resistance.
*Very good passive effects from familiars.
*Fairly decent movement controlling abilities.
*Most afflictions are hidden. Those that aren't hidden can be hidden beneath blackout.
*Shaman skills can prove to be 'tankbusters'. Those classes with high audits don't stand a chance.
*Can completely counter Teradrim Sand.
*Cannot walk into a room and hit incredibly hard without warning, unlike most classes out right now.
*Heavy Shaman damage sources (mostly lightning based attacks and omen) are reliant on attunement.
*Attunement is shut down by movement, as well as some of the other Shaman specific affs required for omen.
*Target movement in general shuts down your offense almost completely, requiring you to start over.
*The high audits you can get are only temporary. Outside of them, Shamans can be surprisingly squishy.
*INSANE willpower drains, especially if you are careless.
*No lockbreaker. If you get locked, you'd better pray to god the random curing ticks one of the important affs.
*A good portion of affliction output is uncontrolled. A good chunk of it isn't even visible to the Shaman.
*Familiars are easily killed, and to keep them alive costs the Shaman's health. Either that, or they have to be resummoned which slows down their offense.
*Spider Familiar is 100% useless if the target owns a pair of web boots.
*Can only string 3 fetishes at a time. Some are offensive, defensive, and utility based. Having too many of one will severely cut into your other stats, unless you make up for them.
*Can only realistically have 2-3 oaths running at a time. Anymore than that will have you drained of willpower in no time at all.
*Can't lay down more than 2 overgrowths, else your willpower disappears. This can be remedied by not having oaths up while using overgrowths.
*Lots of fast casting, therefore, significant drains on the mana pool.
*Overgrowths can be completely shut down by Teradrim.
*Has a secondary source (Energy) and has to be maintained, else you'll just flop really hard.
*Most of the Overgrowth skills, like most team utility/movement skills, are shut down by monoliths/icewalls.
Summary: Even though many more cons are listed than pros, I still feel like the potency of the pros counterbalances those of the cons.
Equipment and Skills needed:
Icewalls are highly recommended in most situations.
Fully Transcendant in Primality. The specific skills you'll be using out of it are as follows:
Fully Transcendant in Shamanism. The specific skills include the following:
Shaman Oaths: Primeval, Tranquility, and Elder Shaman
Mandatory Fetishes(No Relandroc, it's not what you think): Feather, Shell
Optional fetishes: Eye, Bone.
Highly recommended Miniskill:
Transcendant Philosophy. No ifs ands or buts about it. You can do without, but you'll have a rough time.
Level of Automation: I recommend full manual. Semi Automation is fine. I'm not sure if full automation is possible.
Suggested Statpack: WIse. Intelligent or Clever if you insist on PKing pre endgame. Prudent if you're trying to bash, or even Resilient.
Starting the fight: Solo Scenario.
So first and foremost, always have your target acquired, and immediately attune your quarterstaff to them, as well as setting your familiar to attack them. The only fetish that does not require attunement is the Bark fetish. All of the rest, however, require attunement and will not work if they aren't attuned to anything. Be sure to have Overgrowth set up in your room as well. The Overgrowth will allow you to use Nature Hinder, which acts as Rubble (delaying movement from any exit). Be careful though, it does hinder indiscriminately, and will hinder you as well.
Optional: Store Staticburst within the Natural Tide via Naturaltide. Naturaltide allows you to store certain abilities in primality that can be released off EQ/Bal alongside any ability that you just used. It has a minor balance cost to release, but a pretty significant one to store (which is why we store beforehand.)
The reason you want the feather fetish is because 1. This route revolves heavily around lightning damage. 2. The feather fetish (when activated) reduces their electric audit to 0. The reason you want the shell fetish is because you're going to be constantly dishing out mental afflictions. The shell fetish activates when the target focuses. While it is active, the tree tattoo becomes unusable. Not having a tree tattoo = afflictions sticking longer onto your target. The Feather Fetish is activated by the attuned target curing two afflictions from the same tree in a row. For example: The target has paralysis and heartflutter, and eats bloodroot twice to clear both afflictions. They will either gain or lose Stormtouched (the affliction that the feather delivers) depending on whether or not they were afflicted with it to begin with.
You are also using the serpent familiar because it delivers a dose of loki + either Weariness or Lethargy, or it will deal a small amount of asphxiation damage and deliver amnesia, both of which will be hidden on delivery. You will not be able to see which of the latter two it gives (because that's how its intended to function), but you will know what the loki dose was, thanks to Shaman Spiritsight, which lets you see all loki delivery from any source. You also want the Oath of the Primeval to make your familiar's attack speed increase, which means more affs per second.
Once intial startup is completed, you start your active offense. Start by vinelashing your target repeatedly to lay down some basic damage harass, and affliction harass. Vinelash delivers loki, so the affs are hidden every time. Now, as I said earlier, Shamans have a secondary resource which is energy. This can be installed on your prompt. The cap to Shaman energy is 5. Each Vinelash generates 1 energy. How many times should you vinelash before moving on to something else? That's right. No more than 5 times.
A quick side note: Almost every ability in Primality has an Energy Cost, Energy Threshold, and Energy Generation amount. I, as well as everyone else, thought that the Energy Threshold meant that you could not cast an ability at all if you did not meet the threshold. This is not the case. Your attacks will simply be slower, but they CAN be cast even if you do not meet the energy threshold/requirement.
So, moving on with the offense. The Vinelashes alone will slow your target down at a pretty negligible rate, but it will slow them down SOME regardless. What we need to do at this point now that we're at full energy is start to make them hate the day they decided to fight a Shaman. Your next move should be to hit them with Scourge. Scourge causes the target to have a chance to gain more loki afflictions each time they eat an herb/slice. Whenever it procs, it has a chance to fade, and we can't tell when it fades, so there's going to be some guess work that goes on there. Scourge generates 1 energy, and has no other costs associated with it. You will still be at 5 energy after casting this. I sometimes will Vinelash 4 times, then Scourge to generate the 5th point of energy. I personally just feel like 5 vinelashes + 1 scourge works better.
Now that the target should have maybe 1-2 afflictions stuck on them, because remember your serpent is passively afficliting them too, you'll want to cast Quicken. Quicken consumes 5 energy, but allows you to cast your next 3 abilities as if they were cast with full energy, and they will include their boosted effects. Once you quicken, your next few seconds are critical. This is what you'll want to do:
Overload. Overload will give them stupidity and paralysis normally. Because it is boosted via quicken, it also delivers blackout. Should the target remain stupid, they will be shocked for minor damage.
Optional: If you have Staticburst stored within your naturaltide, go ahead and release it the very second you hit them with the boosted overload. Staticburst will deliver two unhidden mental afflictions overtime while it is unboosted. You cannot boost any ability released by Naturaltide by any means. However, because they will be underneath blackout for the entire duration of your staticburst releasing itself, the two afflictions will be hidden.
Premonition. This is a mental affliction that sits at the very bottom of the focus tree. It can only be cured by focus, and no other means save for leaving the Shamans presence. It is normally visible, but will be hidden because of Blackout from Overload. Premonition's true purpose is to stop the other shaman specific afflictions (Infested and Blighted) from being cured. As long as the target has premonition, they cannot cure the two by any means. Because Premonition is under Shamanism and not Primality, it does not have a boosted effect, and does not adhere to the same energy laws as the other skills. This is a free cast, meaning you still have 2 more abilities you can use.
Sporulation: This ability normally gives unhidden Impatience and Confusion. While boosted, which it will be because of Quicken, it will also deliver hidden hallucinations. Because of the blackout, all three will be hidden.
Staticburst: This will be your third and final ability to use during quicken. By now, the blackout will have worn off. Normally, Staticburst delivers two random mental afflictions that are not hidden, as well as diminishing electrical damage. However, because it is boosted, it will strike three times over time(once every 2 seconds) and the mental afflictions will be hidden. It also delivers heavier electric damage on each tick. The reason we end the quicken combo on this note because the Blackout serves the purpose of hiding the otherwise viewable affs. There is no need to hide affs that are already hidden.
So here we are at the end of the Quicken Chain. What next? Immediately tag them with infest and blight. You have to pay attention to see if they happened to acquire Stormtouched during your combo. If you did, then you're one lucky son of a gun. If not, keep alternating between a vinelash (to generate 1 energy) and then boost a staticburst to maintain the mental afflictions on your opponent. Do keep in mind that it is completely possible for your opponent to simply cure through them all, so HOPE that you don't get bad RNG on those mental affs. The downside to staticburst is that the mental afflictions are completely random. You can, and will, have staticburst repeat the same aff twice, or even worse, three times in a row. This often causes stormtouched to rapidly turn itself on and off like a child playing with a light switch, without you really having time to take advantage of it.
If I haven't said it already, I'll say it now: All focusable afflictions are what we call 'mental afflictions'. Focus is a skill that is found at the end of survival, and lets you cure yourself of a mental affliction every so often (when you can use it). Impatience will stop the target from being able to focus, if they leave it uncured. The reason that stacking mental afflictions on your target is important is to maintain Premonition on your target. As long as you keep loading them up with them, they will be unable to focus off premonition as it is the last thing on the list to be cured via focusing.
So, now that we are at our post-quicken combo, and hopefully have stuck infest and blight on them while maintaining premonition, it's time to rain hell down on your opponent. IF they are Stormtouched already, go ahead and jangle that staff and punish them with an Omen. If they are NOT Stormtouched during that time, Sporulation back to back, or Overload back to back often does the trick.
The way Omen works is like this: There are four Omen specific afflictions, being Infested, Blighted, Stormtouched, and Spiritbane. The Spiritbane affliction is not, and will not be listed in this guide, but will be listed in a different one which will include alternative killing routes. Once you cast Omen, the target will be afflicted by your Omen. After 6 seconds, the Omen will come to pass, removing itself from your target. Upon the Omen being removed, it will either do nothing at all, or it will completely decimate your opponent. For each one of the 4 Omen Specific afflictions that your target has during the time Omen is removed, they will take 13.5% of their maximum Health as Unblockable damage, and be stunned for 1.25 seconds. Since we're going for 3 aff omens, they're looking at 3.75 seconds of Stun, and 40.5% of their Maximum health gone in a single instant.
What I personally like to do is tag them with Effusion JUST before the Omen lands. Your timing has to be flawless, else it might flop. If the target is allied, Effusion will simply heal your target. Boosting it will dramatically increase the heal. However, if your target is at neutral status (neither allied nor enemied) or enemied, Effusion will strip their blindness, deafness, deliver sensitivity, and briefly stun. Boosting it will increase the duration of the stun. Effusion does cost a fairly good chunk of YOUR health when you cast it, so try to use it sparingly.
If you have met the proper conditions up until now, well then, your fight is practically won. They have 3.75 seconds of not being able to do anything. This includes sipping, mossing, active healing, etc. Almost half of their life is gone at this point, leaving them open for bursting down into nothing. While they are stunned (and hopefully stuck with sensitivity and stormtouched), cast Staticburst again for the lightning damage over time that it delivers. After that, tag them with Vitiate. Vitiate reduces the amount they sip for by a pretty significant amount. By the time the stun wears off, they're going to, and I -mean- going to sip. They're screwed by this time (because of vitiate) and will not heal for nearly as much as they need to so that they can stay alive. An unboosted Stormbolt (or two) will often kill them dead at this point.
Congratulations! You've probably just won a fight!
Defensive Options: Why are we using these oaths?
The reason you are using the Oath of Tranquility is because it randomly cures an aff every 12 seconds when you are standing inside of your Overgrowth or forested room. Oath of the Elder Shaman gives you a 10% chance to resist any mental affliction bestowed upon you. The reason Shamans have these two things is because:
1. Their offense is slow and requires a buildup.
2. Because a good portion of their skills deliver random afflictions, they only have a few reliable, though not powerful, ways of slowing their opponents down.
Q. What happens if my target shields repeatedly?
A. Leafstorm is wicked fast for shield shredding. It randomly strips 1 defense, prioritizing Shield first and foremost. When boosted, it is slightly faster, and causes the target to bleed. The bone fetish will be your best friend vs shield spammers. It activates every other time they shield (when you are attuned). Upon activation, it automatically destroys their shield, and delivers a hidden mental affliction in the process. Sadly, you won't know what the affliction is. Also, there's always the good old hammer tattoo.
Q. How do I stop my target from leaving?
A. That depends. Nature Hinder not only slows the movement of anyone trying to leave, but it will show you if/when they're trying. You can COMMUNE SLAM on the target, which prones and does a minor balance knock. This will stop them from leaving entirely. There's also the Stone Fetish...but honestly, it's a piece of crap. I wouldn't recommend it under any circumstances, at all. There's also good ole Icewalls and Flooding. Definitely helpful.
Q. What happens if my target manages to get away?
A. My friends, that's where overgrowths come in. You can be a sly devil and set up Overgrowths in adjacent rooms, though you will definitely want to limit how many you set up, and where you set them up. MOST targets run away one room out. This is when Nature Pulling becomes your best friend, provided you haven't used icewalls, or they melted yours. Nature pull requires overgrowth, first and foremost. If your target is massed, and not standing in overgrowth while in an adjacent room, they will be immovable. However, if they are standing in your overgrowth, and you are in one as well, it will pull them in regardless. This can only be stopped by icewalls, or double block.
A2. This is why it's also important to collaborate with other combatants, as they can very will give you great ideas. Thanks to @Serrice
, I can gladly share this with the public. When your targets runs away from you, they will either 1. Be too heavily afflicted, or 2. Taking too much damage. What you want is the latter. If the latter is the case, I recommend consuming your overgrowth. Consuming it will destroy the Overgrowth itself, but it will grant you 3 energy. Consumption also costs no EQ/Bal. Commune boost, and then Discharge your staff at your opponent. Discharge fires a beam at your target in LoS (or in room). It deals more damage, prones, and sets them on fire if its boosted. You will potentially be able to finish them off if you can land the discharge, and they are low enough.
A3. Nature Thornwall is also a strong help in keeping your target steady, else they'll get heavily punished. Should your target pass through a Thornwall, they will get hit by Loki, a moderate amount of damage, and a fair chunk of bleeding. In the words of Ernest: Nobody Moves. Nobody Dies.
Q. What if the combo doesn't work the first time around?
A. Start it over from the beginning, and try again. There will be a different result each time for better or for worse, depending on the RNG you get during that round.
Q. What should I string up as a third fetish for this route?
A. The third fetish is entirely dependent upon who you're fighting. The Tooth fetish is a MUST against Lycans, Monks, and Teradrim. It allows you to cast with both your arms broken. However, stringing up this fetish will cut into your slots for using others (like the bone). In other words, If you're using Shell and Feather + Tooth vs Limb classes, they will be able to freely shield without needing to worry about the Bone fetish auto shattering. The Bark Fetish should be used if you're going against someone like a Carnifex who will put out insane damage. The eye fetish will grant you 1 energy each time the target diagnoses. Since Shaman affs are largely hidden, they will be otherwise forced to diagnose, which will let your momentum start snowballing even harder. It all depends on your opponent, really.
Q. This route just isn't working for me. Aren't there any other ways I can kill someone as a Shaman?
A. Yes, there are! And I will be writing up guides for them as well.
Allies and Synergy: Who are Shamans good with, and who aren't they good with?
Shamans are STUPID good with any class that uses Venomlocks as their main source of killing, these classes being Templars, Luminaries, Sentinels, and Syssin.
The reason for this is because they deliver hidden afflictions at an alarming rate, and because of Scourge. Since they'll be abusing their herb balances for venomlocks, Scourge afflicting them even more whenever they eat one just makes it that much easier. It's also great for allies with affliction trackers, because it is easy to setup a venom caller over the web to say "Target is afflicted with: Insert what you just gave them here." Maximum synergy with Shaman afflictions includes Luminary Overwhelm (which does more damage based on how many affs the target has), Templar Retribution (a 3 affliction instakill), Sentinel Spinecut (another 3 aff instakill), and Syssin Truelocks.
Shamans are also fairly good with Monks, due to COMMUNE SLAM instantly proning the target, and knocking them off bal. This creates a window for easy BBTs. Aside from this one aspect, Shamans don't really fit well with Monks.
Shamans synergize extremely poorly with lycanthropes as well, as they have no way to help them capitalize on limb breaks reliably. There is the bear familiar, that randomly breaks limbs or delivers heavy bleeding, but as I said, its unreliable. That's the extent of any help they could offer a lycanthrope.
Shamans also synergize well with Transfix users via Effusion. Since Effusion strips blindness, and Transfix requires the target to not be blind, hi there instant transfix! Ascendril, Luminaries, and Sentinels will be your friends in this scenario.
Stormtouched. Holy Damariel, Stormtouched. Since this ability completely negates lightning audit, ALL electrical attacks from any source (including allies) just jumps through the roof. This includes Luminary Lightning (Sup @Daskalos)
, Templar Lightning Blade releases, and Ascendril lightning staffcasts. Pikachu won't have unicorns on you.
Suggested Artifacts For Shamans to use: Which ones and why?
Stack the flying fart out of defensive artifacts, as they can be used regardless of any class you want to pick up. The theory in Aetolia is that your class' offense that is already in their kit is supposed to be good enough to kill anyone, artifacted or not. If this is the case, then why burn credits on artifacts that will boost your already amazing offense? Why not become an indestructible monster that already obliterates everything via the skills that come naturally in your kit?
Intelligence: For the extra mana pool, and the bonus damage on all primality attacks. Its a small one, but still a bonus none the less.
Enhancement: Because who doesn't need extra health and mana?
Robes of the Magi: Expensive, but well worth it. Shamans have fairly high mana costs, and Robes of the Magi will cut your costs by 1/3d. Its also a good one to have in general.
Heal_Bonus and Mana_bonus: Again, both good artifacts to get across the board. Your health/mana pools will be back to full in no time thanks to these bad boys.
Constitution: Again, who doesn't need more health?
Willpower_Regen: Shaman willpower drain is ridiculous. Absolute MUST buy if you can afford it at all. Owl tattoo also highly recommended.
Resolve: Stun reduction is always nice. It'll help you muscle through any attempts to disrupt your casting combos.
Clarity: Probably the most underrated artifact in the game. Definitely worth buying, because nobody likes dealing with blackout.
Eq Recovery Crown: This will shave an extra 7% casting time off your eq casts. Since you're a Shaman, EVERYTHING costs eq. This combined with the Wise stapack 7x3 = 21% eq reduction. Very nice indeed.
Shamans OP. Buy these artifacts to counter:
Clarity: Shamans are blackout mongers. Depending on the level of clarity you have, you will severely restrict how many abilities they can use on you while you're under blackout. If you have level 3, they will literally only have time to get 1 ability off while you're blacked out. Even so, you will instantly recover from the blackout before they even regain balance from just the 1 ability.
Resolve: The stun from Omen is nasty. Resolve does reduce the duration of the stun from Omen.
Sip_Bonus: Since they are a primarily damaging class, heal_bonus for your sipping will help you manage the damage a LOT better.
Countering Shamans in General: Abuse their Weaknesses
When a Shaman is using this style of fighting, their willpower pool is going to have a time limit set on it, more or less. The reason for this is because:
1. The more oaths a Shaman has active, the faster their WP Drains. Having all 7 oaths up alone will take a Shaman from full WP to nothing within a minute. This is because the class is designed to only have 2-3 oaths up at any given time.
2. The more overgrowths the Shaman has active will also increase the willpower decay rate. I THINK that the rate at which willpower drains increases multiplicatively based on how many OG's you have. The same goes for oaths.
3. The offensive abilities they use require willpower usage as well, which just adds into the pool burning.
If you haven't put two and two together by now, I'll just say it plainly: If a Shaman can't kill you within a certain amount of time, they're likely going to burn themselves out of willpower within 10 minutes or so, depending on how well they manage their willpower. They're going to hate you for it, but you need to waste their time.
Counter 2. Shamans also burn through mana pretty quickly. If you are a class that abuses an opponent's lack of mana (Vampire, Luminary) then Shamans are going to have to be exceptionally careful around you. They CAN use the Horn fetish to help counter act this problem. The Horn fetish restores some mana, and willpower each time you break the threshold of 3 energy. Not only does this take up a fetish slot, and cut into their offensive or defensive power via other fetishes, but it also requires them to use their energy and skills with more restrictions. If it wasn't obvious, that restriction is keeping their energy around 3 when they run low on mana.
Counter 3. Limb damage classes fighting Shamans using this route can almost be sure that their opponent will be using the Tooth Fetish, which we went over in FAQ. In theory, they will have Feather, Shell, and Tooth strung up, which means that you will be able to shield fairly frequently without worrying about the punishment of the Bone Fetish. The best they will be able to do to you is Leafstorm, which only gives 120 bleeding and strips your shield. Disruption, Confusion, and Idiocy roars (for lycans) are also a great help for such an EQ reliant class.
Counter 4. If the target is using the Bone Fetish against a frequent shielder, there's a trick to avoiding it. There's a third person message for when the bone fetish rattles against the Shaman's staff. Once you see that, it means that the next time you shield, your shield will break. To remedy this, simply leave the room (or change elevation) to break attunement. When you re-enter the room, attunement will be reset, and your shield will not break when you touch it again.
Counter 5. Leaving the room/Changing elevation. Shamans are reliant on the attunement of their staves, and leaving them breaks it. This essentially requires them to start all over again. Also, should you leave the room, do your very best to not get caught in LoS, else you may be punished by Discharge.
Counter 6. Syssin/Sentinels/Templars or anyone else with a heavy, straightforward affliction route. It is very possible to lock a Shaman even with the best of curing, if they don't do anything to slow you down and are intent on killing you. Shamans do not have a lock breaker, and therefore, once they are locked, they have to rely on random curing to get out of it. Random curing may, or may not help them break out. But the odds will be heavily stacked in your favor pending on how many affs you have loaded on them.
Counter 7. Teradrim. There's no way for a Shaman to stop a Teradrim from destroying their Overgrowths, but also, there's no way for a Teradrim to stop a Shaman from getting rid of their Sand. This may result in an endless game of cat and mouse. The kicker is that Teradrim are not reliant on their Sand, as they have their Sandstorm as an alternative. Shamans on the other hand are more heavily reliant on the Overgrowths when a forest environment is not present, or readily available.
Counter 8. Kill. That. Familiar. Dead. There are many benefits to getting rid of the familiar, and will drive the Shaman insane.
1. The familiar provides bonus Audit to the Shaman, making them tankier. You kill the Familiar, the audit goes along with it.
2. You can flat out damage kill the familiar, which requires the shaman to summon another at a heavy EQ cost. The Shaman can heal the familiar, but it costs their own life, and several seconds of EQ to do so. You can react to this by dealing heavy damage to them (if they decide to heal the familiar).
3. Orb sigils will instantly destroy the familiar, if it is not tethered. Tethering requires willpower, which jumps back up to the counter #1.
4. Necromancers can use Chaos Storm (or whatever it's called) to destroy familiars as well. It will strip the tethering defense if it is there, and then destroy them outright if they aren't tethered.
Kill it with fire.
Counter 9. Try your best to stick Colocasia if you're a venom user. Even spamming it repeatedly will work well, as it makes most Shaman attacks develop a 100% chance to miss.
Counter 10. Yes, the afflictions that Shamans produce can appear to be overbearing, but some classes with active/passive curing abilities (Like Luminaries) can prove to be a complete and utter pain in the unicorn horn. This, combined with pimptight curing is turly a Shaman's worst nightmare.
This is the end of this Guide! Thanks for reading! If you have anymore questions regarding Shamans, how to counter them, what works for them and what doesn't, feel free to ask/post your questions or comments in this thread.