A bit of History
Back in the day, when AAs came slowly, release by release, there was probably nothing more hotly debated (re: Shaman development) than which AAs were more important than others.
However, with the people at max level mostly having what they need (having earned them over the years and decades), and new Shamans seeking the top of the game mostly using the Autogrant feature, there is little discussion nowadays about what to get when.
Note that AA Autogrant is only available to paid subscriptions; but then the higest levels and the last two expansions are also only available to paid subscriptions.
Below are my recommendations for those not on Autogrant, and they're what I'll be doing.
- At level 51 you can spend points on General abilities. Six are requred to open up Archetype abilities. The default used to be Run3 (Innate Run Speed now goes to 7) and either Regen3 (-eration now goes to 55) or Metab3 (-olism now goes to 5).
- At level 55 you can spend points on Archetype abilities. MC3 is required for AA Canni, so there you go. The MC max is now 45.
- At level 59 you can spend points on Class abilities. What we used to call Canni IV is now one of 27 levels of the Cannibalization AA. This is what you want.
We'll see how this goes, but I fondly remember getting great use out of VP (Virulent Paralysis), the root AA (located under Archetype - do other classes get this?) and SC (Spirit Call), the swarm pets.
I'll probably get some of both and one rank of RC, and then put all the XP toward leveling, getting autogrant when I sub at ~75. At least that's the plan.
I've not researched further yet, but I'll document my experiences here.
I found Trollout's guide and so here it is for posterity. It was written to bring new players with Heroic L85 Shamans up to speed, and while I have to digest it, much of it makes good sense. I'll add comments as needed.
Read through your AAs, learn them, live them. There's quite a few they don't give you that are pretty awesome. But I thoroughly suggest getting to 115 and having auto grant on(this is why I suggested All Access, auto grant stops at level 100) then getting at least to 10-20% into 115 before grinding AAs.
Your preloaded AA's:
- Ancestral Aid - increases your parties healing and melee statistics. Click this every 12 minutes. Especially if in a group. This is non-negotiable in becoming a badass Shaman, just do it. (at higher levels I save this for named mobs)
- Ancestral Guard - Absorbs a portion of damage you'd take for a short time. Helps you be able to tank a little bit. (Mostly played on the tank, but is a good OH SHIT AA, if you're getting clobbered on.)
- Cannibalization - This is your life line, your never ending MP. Learn to love this AA. it's your bread and butter to continue on. Especially later on(level 110), when this is maxed.
- Forceful Rejuvenation - Refreshes most spells in your spell book instantly. This is an oh sh*t! AA. I've used it in order to get my heals back when one wasn't available to help save myself from dying. It's sorta situational, and I don't use it much at 105 anymore, but it will save you before then.
- Malosinete - Lowers resistances by 66 for 2 minutes. You'll be using this a lot so that your DoTs do more damage.
- Radiant Cure - Pretty much removes debuffs from enemy mobs, I use this more in EoK areas than I did first starting out. It is super useful. (Pretty useless in Ring of Scale from as far as I can tell, but up to 105 mobs it's great.)
- Silent Casting - reduces hatred by 85% by your spells for 1 minute. This is basically if you're stealing aggro from a tank, you click this and it will help quell your aggro. If you're melee attacking along with your DoTs in a group, or if you're using your pet to tank, this will keep the situation under control if you time it properly. (With the recent Shaman nerf to the DoTs, it's almost impossible to steal aggro now, which is good. Also kind of made me never use this also.)
- Spirit Call - Pet spam the mob. If you send your regular pet in to attack a mob and then click this, make sure you use your Tailsman of the Lynx so that there is a greater chance for crits by all the pets. Also when you get higher leveled, Tailsman of the Lynx will be replaced by Roar of the Lion.(Just so no one in comments asks why I didn't mention this, there's always one)
- Spiritual Channeling - use HP for MP for 3 minutes. Okay so some might be wondering what the use for this is. When I am in a group sometimes I lose sight of my mana and it drops to 20-30%, I pop this bad boy, and and cannibalize to get my mana back up. Soloing you probably won't use this much.
- Union of Spirits - Instantly heals target, Heals over Time(HoT), and increased melee statistics. I used to use this on myself when soloing, but now I'm mostly in groups, so I add the tank/pet in Extended Target Window 1, and made a macro for this which is below:
- /timer 7200,/xtarget1
- /alt act 662
- Virulent Paralysis - Knocks back enemy and roots them for 2.9 minutes. Learn to love this AA if you're planning on soloing. You will use this a lot in that case, in groups it's mainly to knock back an add if you don't have crowd control from per say an Enchanter.
- Tranquil Blessing - Next beneficial spell you cast is cast on all within a radius of you at double mana cost. You can do Mass Group Buffs(MGB's) with this. Pretty useful. I do this while wondering around and see groups of players. Just to be known as a generous Shaman. I will touch on the buff spell book later in the guide.
- Focus of Arcanum - Helps your level 95 and lower spells not be resisted. Until higher levels you will NEED this, especially if you get lucky enough to be carried or Power leveled(PL'd) through some tough areas by higher level characters.
- Rabid Bear - Boosts offensive capabilities for 5 minutes. Use this if you are attacking the mob melee style. Higher ranks make this even better. Best if used for burning named or as a "HOLY CRAP" if getting melee pounded to allow an escape or if you can take the mob yourself.
- Inconspicuous Totem - Basically the Shaman's FD. Makes you an immobile totem that makes level 89 and lowers NPCS forget about you.At higher ranks this becomes super awesome. I can't even tell you how many times I have been able to IT, when my party was going to wipe and then invis, drag corpses, and rez everyone; saving a whole lot of hassle. Sometimes I even use this real quick if I'm attracting too much aggro, then remove the buff from my buff list and it will allow you to move freely again and GTFO or go back to beating on mobs. Very rarely do I do the latter.
- Shrink - This shrinks you allowing to move around easily in tight quarters. If you end up raiding you'll be using this A LOT. It's just good to have.
- Call of the Ancients - Summons a stationary ward that heals everyone around it. Use this mostly during named mobs.
- Dampen Resistance - Improves resist mod by 25-75 for 30 seconds. Another named mob AA.
- Turgur's Swarm - slows target's melee attack speed for 8 minutes. THIS is needed to be cast on every mob, EVERY mob.SERIOUSLY EVERY-FUCKING-MOB. It's never acceptable to not play this on a mob. If you're ever gonna play in groups, this is your main objective. Slowing mobs.
Other AAs I use at 110
- Spirit of Urgency - a giant cat appears for 15 seconds and has a chance to stun the mobs you are fighting. It also drops all aggro from whoever is getting beat on. I use this if the tank dies some how and starts attacking me.
- Spiritual Rebuke - Pushes back and roots up to 8 enemies for 2 minutes. I use this if multiple mobs are coming at me. Then I usually have enough time to Inconspicuous Totem or gate out. Sometimes I use it also to have fun in DHHA's and test my tank/healing abilities. Just don't use this in cities...