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Rift Shaman Soul Guide

Ferrel from RiftLately I’ve been writing on how much I love Rift’s soul system. I truly am stoked by the fact that I can change my character to suit the needs of my play style at any given time. I’ve also mentioned that I like this particular Ferrel more than any other. For that reason I thought I would talk about my solo/dps soul build a bit and explain how it works so that anyone else who might enjoy beating people in the face with a two-handed hammer can experience the same joy that I do! For this particular build I’ve invested heavily into the shaman soul and complimented it with the justicar for extra survivability.

Rift Shaman TreeUpdated 15 August 2011 – With patch 1.4 Trion has made substantial changes to the shaman soul. The first build is still valid but may omit a few new abilities for the time being..

The goal behind my shaman build is simple: smash the enemy with Massive Blow as much as possible while racking up as many critical hits as I can in the process. You’ll note that I’ve populated the first tier of abilities completely. Unyielding increases my critical chance by 5% and Dauntless Courage increases physical damage by 5%. These two abilities were on my immediate buy list. The third, Thick Skinned, reduces damage you take by 3% but is not really needed until the upper 30s. I like to feel less squishy than most and to get to 44 points I purchased this late in the level curve.

On the second tier of abilities I recommend grabbing Glacial Shield as soon as you can. It will ward incoming damage and throw some of it right back onto your enemy. It won’t keep you alive long but it works well when you get two or three monsters on you. I’ve also fully populated Overwhelming. This is pretty much a must have as it increases your critical hit damage and healing bonus by 20%! You need this to properly thrash people! The final ability, Favor of the Valnir, increases incoming healing by 5% per point. The ability can certainly wait until later but it is useful and gets you to that magic 44th point.

The third tier is where your combo starts to open up. You simply must buy Long Memory. The ability gives you a 30% chance to reset your Massive Blow timer with Crushing Blow. Buy this ability! The more you can smash someone with Massive Blow the better. Vengeance of the Frozen Earth is not a buy for me. It adds a snare to your abilities which I’m certain is all the rage in PvP. In PvE it is largely useless.

When I look at the forth tier of the shaman soul I can see where people are going to start to disagree on the proper path. You’ll note that I’ve almost fully populated it. I purchased Endless Winter and it is critical to this build. Thanks to this ability any critical hit will return 4% of your damage back as mana. That keeps you in the game smashing things longer! I have purchased Storm Born as it increases air damage by 50%. This isn’t an ideal ability as most of my damage is physical but it helps Jolt and is used to get me to 44 points. I recommend it as your last purchase. I also purchased Jolt. This is an instant cast nuke that can only be used after a critical hit. It doesn’t reset the global cool down and adds quite a bit of extra damage. Just toss it into your macro to ensure you get the most out of it that you can.

Rift Justicar TreeTier five is exciting and ties back in with the major purpose of the build again. I grabbed Brutalize immediately since it adds a DoT to Massive Blow. 40% more damage over four seconds sounds right to me! I also snagged the real money maker: Lust for Blood. Lust for Blood is awesome because after a critical hit your next attack will do 30% more damage! I’ve not yet purchased Strike of the Maelstrom but it isn’t a bad buy. I had it in an earlier build and may pick it up again. It is a cheap AE that can hit up to six enemies. I used it but I honestly feel like Avalanche Strike is good enough.

Moving on to tier six I didn’t spend a lot of points. Your must buy here is Frozen Embrace since it increases the critical chance of Massive Blow by 30%. The other abilities just aren’t doing it for me. Eye of the Strom grants Strike of the Maelstrom a DoT that deals an additional 60% over four seconds. Clearly a great ability but not very useful unless you’re engaging more than three monsters or players. Battle Charge is another ability geared towards PvP. It removes root and snare while letting you charge and snare an opponent. Great PvP ability but has limited uses in PvE!

The last of the shaman tree is the final ability Rage of the North and it is a must buy. When you use this puppy your character gets larger, which is a huge plus for me, and everything you do critically hits for seven seconds. That means everything also triggers Lust for Blood so not only are you critically hitting with every ability you’re also doing 30% more damage. When I pop this thing I normally lay waste to whatever I’m fighting. It is a must have! I should also note that once you have 36 points into the shaman tree you unlock Call of Ice. This is a passive ability that increases your Massive Blow damage initially by 5% and then an additional 4% for every point in the shaman soul after 36. It also increases the attack power bonus of Massive Blow by 5% and an additional 1% per point after 36.

Rift Sentinel TreeI’ve found that for this build the justicar really compliments the shaman nicely. In the first tier you really want to grab Hammer of Virtue. This increases melee ability damage by 5%. I put two points in Armor of Virtue (slight bonus to armor) to give me more staying power in a fight and make up for the missing points in tier two.

On the second tier Life’s Devotion is pretty much a must buy. It increases the chance of your Salvation healing you by 60% while increasing the healing amount of justicar abilities by 15% and other abilities by 6%. 6% from all your shaman melee isn’t a bad thing.

The last ability I grabbed was Reparation in tier three. This takes your self healing and spreads it out to up to ten raid or group members. The justicar abilities heal for 25% while the others heal for 10%. This is just a nice bonus to keep your random rift group or raid happy and at least understanding when they see their cleric is meleeing. After all, this build doesn’t really heal any other way! With 12 points in justicar you’ll unlock Purpose which is an instant cast ability that returns mana with each hit. Between Purpose and Ageless Ice you’ll never run out of mana.

The last soul of this build is the sentinel and it was brought to my attention by commentary on Epic Slant. There is a lot of value and versatility to be added by using this with your build. In the first tier you have two choices Benediction which increases how much you heal or Watchful Gaze which increase your spell power. If you want to be slightly more group friendly take Benediction. If you prefer to squeeze out all the DPS you can take Watchful Gaze.

In the second tier I had no question. Grab Walk in the Light and increase your critical healing and damage bonus by 20%! This whole build is dependent on critical hits and Walk in the Light just makes them a lot bigger. It also helps you keep your group alive.

Check it out on ZAM: Ferrel’s Build

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11 Responses to Rift Shaman Soul Guide

  1. My thoughts:
    – Jolt is worth the one point because it’s not on the global cooldown – it’s basically free DPS because it does not require you to lose a single Massive Blow. Jolt and Fated Blow (root 4) as reactives are one of the big things that distinguishes Shaman melee from Druid melee.
    – I tend to pull with the justicar instant ranged nuke (you can then charge while the mob is inbound), which gets you a conviction for healing use. If things look like they’re going to go south, I can work that attack into my regular rotation to have more heals available.
    – Before I had the points to go 12 Justicar, I tried to find room for the 2 points in T2 Justicar for the doctrine cost reduction so I could use my AOE heal more in rifts. Now that I have the Justicar 12 pt mana regen to go with the Shaman version, mana is less of an issue, so I might drop those points in favor of armor.

    I’m curious – what’s your third soul? Do you plan to spend any points in it, or are you planning on continuing down the Justicar tree (which doesn’t have that much useful stuff below the 12 pt root IMO)?

    • Ferrel says:

      I generally pull with Bolt of Radiance as well. That is a good way to have the conviction like you mentioned. I also agree about mana regen. Once you have Ageless Ice and Purpose you really don’t have to worry any more. I had my points in there just like you did. Dropped that on the respec. I’ll probably end up with Jolt simply because I’m going to carry the tree to 44 and that pretty much means I’ll run out of things I planned to get first!

      I’ll go deeper into Justicar. Shield of Faith reduces incoming damage by 15%. That is a lot of staying power. Especially if it is additive with the shaman version. That puts me at 44 in Shaman with 20 in Justicar. My third soul is druid so for those last 2 points I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’ll have to check out a few different things. I might also see how it feels going 51 into shaman!

  2. Stabs says:

    I agree with GA about Jolt. It’s effectively passive damage once you macro it.

    Try this macro if you haven’t made macros yet:
    Cast Jolt
    Cast Massive Blow
    Cast Crushing Blow

    I ended up on my low level shaman putting just about everything on the macro including the shield so it really became a 2 button class – single target macro or aoe macro?

    • Mr. Meh says:

      Bad Simple Shaman, bad. ::Slaps on nose::

      #show Crushing Blow
      suppressmacrofailures
      Cast Rage of the North
      Cast Jolt
      Cast Fated Blow
      Cast Lightning Hammer
      Cast Massive Blow
      Cast Crushing Blow

      That’s the proper macro rotation. Enjoy :D

  3. Killington says:

    I also play a Shaman and I love it! The build I am working on is a full 51 points into Shaman, 5 points into Justicar for the +5% damage in the first tier, and 10 points into Sentinel because it has a talent in the first tier that increases your spell power(attack power for us) and a talent in the second tier that adds +20% critical hit damage. Early on in the sentinel tree you also get an instant cast heal that I find I use a lot more than I did with the justicar heals, the cool-down timer is longer but you don’t have to switch to your Justicar attacks to build Conviction.

    I have to agree with Stabs and GA, Jolt is actually really useful and adds a lot of dps to your class. With a decent amount of crit stat your Jolt will be up most of the time, and Jolt itself also seems to crit a lot which lets you bash in skulls even faster! Stormborn pretty much just increases the dps that Jolt does, I’m pretty sure that is the only air based attack we get.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten a chance to take my Shaman through a whole lot of dungeons yet… Do you find that the Shaman is a desirable class for groups looking to pick up a dpser?

    • Ferrel says:

      You’ve all sold me on Jolt. I’ll pick it up soon. Killington, that is a great thought about buying Walk in the Light out of the sentinel tree. Another 20% critical damage would be pretty awesome. I’d have to consider what I’d give up out of the justicar tree. Probably just some survivability stuff that might not maximize the benefit. Great idea!

      As far as groups I feel like I do a lot of DPS. We haven’t got a parse that is reliable yet but it won’t take too long. ACT leaves some things out. Just from “feel” though I say I do okay. I can’t say whether or not I have trouble finding groups though. Being the guild leader has perks and one of them is always having groupmates!

      • My main melee build is Druid/12 pt Justicar/Sentinel, with plans to give the surplus points beyond 12 in Justicar to the Sentinel side. (Possibly 44 Dru/12 Jus/10 Sen at 50.) The Sentinel is already a pretty good soul with 0 points, and the root abilities have some nice ranged and utility if you go further in. This is why I have a tough time justifying going beyond 12 points in Justicar when I’m already tough enough for solo and I’m just not going to get tough enough to actually tank anything in group content.

  4. Killington says:

    At lower levels I used stuff from Justicar a lot, but as I leveled and got more of the nice things from the shaman tree I found that I didn’t really use it all that much anymore so I just adjusted the points into more dps talents.

    Hmmm, maybe I should start a guild so I can get a group whenever I want too. :D

    • Ferrel says:

      I did the same. I started out with the justicar. It is great for survival early on. I quickly switched into shaman.

      And hey… if you’re going to form a guild I know a GREAT book to help you with that! /shameless

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