Nazgum’s Guide to Shaman Stats and Gear

I made a post earlier about how I spec my shaman, so I figure I should make a post about how I stat and gear my shaman to go along with it 😉  So ‘ere we go!

Which stats are important?

Shamans, being a hybrid, need quite a few stats.  Willpower for healing, intelligence for damage, and toughness, wounds and initiative to survive.  All 5 of those can can be useful.  If you’re going the pure healbot role you can likely skip intelligence, though it is very nice to have when solo or in a small group.

How high should each stat be?
Ideally, as high as you can get them 😉  But I like to aim for the following:

  • Toughness – 350:  toughness is my favorite defensive stat, it lets you take more damage and therefore makes your healing more powerful. Having toughness below 300 and you definitely die faster, I find up around 350 is usually nice.
  • Initiative – 250:  initiative’s main purpose is to reduce your chance of being crit and help you evade.  In reality the crit reduction doesn’t help much due to the +crit tactics and huge crit %’s dps classes can pull off; but when you start getting over about 220 you get the benefit of spotting stealthers more easily; and at 250 you can often spot them a fair distance off, which can be fun =)
  • Wounds – 600: wounds is the most over-rated stat in my opinion.  You definitely need some wounds to survive burst, I like to run with about 600, but focusing too much on it makes your character weaker, as you can always heal yourself as a shaman.
  • Intelligence – 500: I like having some offensive capabilities, so after I’ve gotten my defensive stats up to a survivable enough level I try and raise intellligence as high as I can.  I find having at least 500 is nice, as your damage output is respectable then and don’t have to sacrifice much to reach that level.
  • Willpower – 400:  Willpower is the stat I worry about the least; it just doesn’t make much of a difference, especially due to all the healing debuffs that exist in the game; and when you really need to play a more healbot role you can equip the +160 willpower tactic, so I never try to raise willpower beyond what bonsues the gear I’m wearing offers.

Where to get the stats from?
I look at it purely from an economics point of view; here’s two screenshots from the auction house on Phoenix Throne:

Wounds Talisman Prices

Wounds Talisman Prices

Intelligence Talisman Prices

Intelligence Talisman Prices

As you can see, wounds and toughness talismans are extremely expensive, far more expensive then intelligence/willpower talismans.  So we want to get wounds and toughness for free where we can.  Wounds cost more then other stats when buying with renown points, so wounds we want from gear.  The 4-piece bonus from the Sentinal set offers +66 wounds, so that is a must in my opinion.  I get the rest of my wounds mostly from jewelry and that gets me up to about 600.

What about toughness and initiative?  That brings me to my current staff, Zaptwig of Light.  It’s the oRvR influence reward from the elven front.  With the 2 talisman slots (i got +19 int talismans in each), it makes for a nice staff with some good defensive stats.  To further boost toughness and initiative I use my renown points; with the first 40 renown points I buy +60 toughness, +30 initiative and +30 intelligence.

That just leaves intelligence.  Along with the 4 Sentinal pieces it would be nice to wear 2 pieces of conqueror (though I personally can’t yet as I have neither the sentinal or conqueror shirt) for the +66 intelligence bonus.  Besides that, I use all of my talisman slots for intelligence.  As you can see in the screenshot, intelligence talismans are nice and cheap.  You can often find the +18 permanent ones for less than 40 gold on the AH.

Don’t forget your liniments!

Along with all your gear, talismans and renown points, don’t forget about potions either!   The liniments line of potions are amazing, +100 to a stat with an extra effect as well, and usually lots in the AH at a decent price.  I like the Liniment of War: Genius (+100 wounds, +3% magic crit chance), but I have 4 different types of them in my backpack and alternate depending on my situation; the short story is they rock – use them! =)

That about sums up my guide, I hope you find it useful!