Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shaman Versus Druid

This is a post talking about my next alt to 80. My highest Horde is level 51. I've never seen Outland or Northrend from the Horde perspective, and I'd like to see the other side before Cataclysm comes out.

This is not a post asking what I should level up. I've taken my own advice and leveled up both of these classes to the 30s. Now I need to decide which one I take up next.

Basically, I've made a list of Pros and Cons about each class. What I'd like to see if you have anything you think I should add to the list.

I've taken some of the comments and added them to my list.


Versitale (Ranged DPS, Melee DPS, Heal)
Dual Weild (apparently only melee)
Interupt - 25 yards and off the global cooldown, 6 sec cd
Can use Shields, and shields look cool

Lost 4 bag spaces to Totems (apparently goes away at 30)
Limited instant casts Heals
not much mobility for resto/elemental
totems can be great or annoying depending (did the new totem changes, dropping all 4 at once help?)


Can basically do everything (Tank, Heal, Melee, Ranged)
Flight Form
Better for PVP

Limited interrupt (long cooldown or requires combo points)
Forms - you get one look per spec and it doesn't change based on gear
You rarely see your gear - Is this because they are limited to Leather?
too "spammy." My mangle finger literally hurts after an hour or so on my feral! I hated that on my Warrior with Cleave/Heroic Strike


Blue said...

Shaman have Riptide, which is a very nice instant cast heal. No where near the fun instant "HoT" style healing though. I would still consider the "limited" instants to be a con, however.

Another "pro," aspect of the Shaman would be Heroism/Bloodlust. It is just too good to leave unmentioned.

Nuff said...

Your pro/cons list isn't very thorough and is pretty spec dependant. For example the Shaman using DW is only if you are enhancement. Resto spec'd shamans *do* get one instant cast heal.

Here's my brief list:
-Can heal or ranged* dps
-best interrupt in game, 25 yards and off the global cooldown, 6 sec cd.

-not much mobility for resto/elemental
-totems can be great or annoying depending

-can do everything, melee dps, ranged dps, tank, heal.

-forms, you get one look per spec and it doesn't change based on gear...very very boring

Honestly you need to narrow down what you are looking for are you asking for leveling pro/cons or end game pro/cons?

Don't overlook ranged dps vs melee dps, there is *NO* fight in game where melee dps is better than ranged. There are several fights where ranged get benefits or even can be required.

Anonymous said...

Shamans have riptide, instant heal with a hot. 6 sec cooldown.

Ironhorn said...

Healy shammies get riptide, which is an instant heal with an added HoT afaik.

I just hit 80 on my shaman last night and can say that levelling as elemental, while quick with basically no downtime tends to get very repetitive. Its basically just lightningbolt spam and flameshock on CD until you get Lavaburst at 75. After 75 though the fun starts. DPS tests last night after I dinged, bought some BOE blues off the AH and made the epic caster dagger on my warrior put me at 2400 single target dps on the level 80 dummy and 1600 on the boss dummy. Pretty nice since im nowhere near hit capped and have yet to set foot in a heroic.

Cant speak for enhancement levelling really. It was fine up to about 40 and then I got bored and switched since the rest of my characters are melee and its alweays "LF more ranged dps for x" in trade.

Wendy said...



- It's four in one: caster, melee, tank, and healer.
- With slight tweaking of the feral spec, it can shift between melee and tank easily (obviously not optimally but actually very doable with a decent healer on your back for instances)
- Regardless of form, there is cheetah form (if outside) or the kitty form w/ Dash to escape a bad pull doing quests.
- Ignoring any set bonuses, boomkin and resto gear can also be shared.


- You rarely see your gear.
- Pretty easy to get melee gear while leveling but becomes a bit more difficult at endgame, especially as a tank.



- You're limited by the range of your totems. The totems have to be set down repeatedly as you run around.

Sygor said...

I believe you had something wrong about Shamans. They do have Riptide which is instant cast I believe. And they also have Nature's Swiftness as a CD that makes your next cast instant.

As for comparing both classes, I will share with you what I thought about it when I did considered level one of those(just to say, I chose Shaman, part cause I prefered it, and that my guild have none as healer.)

- You get to be great group support healer as a Shaman, being able to heal multiple target with Chain Heal, and providing totems and Heroism / Bloodlust to your group.

- Gear is easier to manage as a Shaman. (no need for 3+ sets of gear, all which have very different stats)

- Being able to tank didn`t matter to me since I have a pally that can do it.

- Flight form does put a heavy weight on the druid`s side of the balance.

- Shamans can resurect themselves(that is awesome as a healer)

-Both have low level traveling form

Hope that provided you with some thoughts

Elleiras said...

Enhancement leveling is a blast! I've never had more fun leveling than I did as an enhancement shaman -- and I've leveled a ret paladin, an affliction warlock, a feral druid and a blood DK through level 70.

Enhancement actually *does* have an instant cast heal in the form of a five stack of Maelstrom Weapons. In a raid situation, a shaman will spend Maelstrom procs on Lightning Bolts and Chain Lightning... but while leveling, the combination of instant cast Healing Waves and the mana return from Shamanistic Rage means NO downtime. At all.

Feral druids are fun, efficient levelers as well -- but I personally find them too "spammy." My mangle finger literally hurts after an hour or so on my feral! Enhancement flows more like retribution, with the added bonus of benefiting from (and providing) both melee and caster buffs. In this respect, enhancement shamans are unique. No other class or spec is equal parts caster and melee in one (if you go Tauren) fluffy package.

(I know you said you're not asking for advice on which class to level up -- but you kind of are, by asking us to comment on your list. :p)

Ooke said...

I consider Earth Shield to be a hot, one that only ticks when the tank takes damage.

I'm biased towards Shamans (main) but both are fun to play and offer some interesting challenges.

Lodur said...

later talents like maelstrom weapon do allow for instant heals. Talents like Guardian totems which increases your armor gained by stone skin totem, Toughness which increases your stamina and reduces the effect of movement impairing effects on you,instant cast ghost wolf to get out of combat fast, Frozen power which grants a root effect to your frost shock, Shamanistic rage which replenishes your mana and Feral Spirits which allow you two very nasty hitting mobs to help you out make it very easy to level as a shaman.

On the other side druids have many of the same tools and level just as well.

A shamans abilities are spec dependent for things like instant cast heals and such. A druid being a true hybrid has all these tools available regardless of spec. Some of the more role specific ones are deep in the trees but for the most part they can do whatever they need to do decently enough to level or survive and get out of dodge.

It boils down to preference. A shaman is a very in your face beat the mob down with brute force leveling. There is no stealth or subtlety and they have about as much grace as a charging rhino going downhill. Druids give you a chance to finesse fights if you choose before ripping someones face off. So I guess it is what is your preference for leveling? do you like to just beat things down and power train to max level or do you want to have a varied and skilled leveling experience?


Icarus said...

I am definately biased here but both classes are hard to arge against. Coming from a druid point of view I will say that a feral druid has to be the easiest class to level. Doing great dps and being able to heal yourself in caster form and regen mana while in dps form means that you have great surviability and zero down time. also Im not sure if you have had any stealth toons but if you havent I would say definately go for the druid becuase stealth is A LOT of fun.. the first time you stealth gank someone you will have a grin from ear to ear I can promise you that.

druids do have interupts though they just arent as readily available as something like a kick or a shock. Bash is an interupt but it is on a one min cooldown. Maim in kitty form is also an interrupt but you need to have combo points to use it. Also feral charge does interrupt mostcasting.

I find the best part about a druid however is the diversity. If someone needs one more for a heroic or a raid I know can fill that role and fill it very well. I use a hybrid spec for feral which has been more than sufficient for tanking and dps (I would really only gain a few % more dps or survivability if I changed my spec) and on my second spec I can go resto to heal. This makes getting groups for anything super easy.

Shammies will usually get into groups quite easily as well though. Everyone loves heroism/bloodlust and the totems are always awesome.

Anonymous said...

Enhancement shamans have an even better instant heal than druids, Maelstrom weapon: When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you have a chance to reduce the cast time of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lesser Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Chain Heal, or Hex spell by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 seconds. Druids have to shift out of their form ;)

Erik said...

The endgame pros/cons can be debated forever, but I think that the druid is my favorite class yet to level. While soloing or picking up random pugs on your way to 80 the flexibility is amazing. Also, I can't say enough about how cool instant cast flight form almost feels like cheating while leveling.

Hana said...

Being a druid and loving it I'm rather biased towards my own class, but there are some things I'd like to bring up.

Regarding being better at PvP, it really depends on spec. If you like being a healer, you will be pretty good at PvP as a druid. Balance and feral specs are so-so. On the shaman end of things, all three specs seem to be viable (enhance seems particularly popular this arena season). If you want to dps in PvP I wouldn't advise it as a druid. I've yet to lose a match this season to a team with druid dps, but I can't say the same for a team with dps shaman. Don't forget that shaman have bloodlust/heroism.

Druids definitely have better options while leveling though. You could tank, dps, and heal for just about anything even if you're not specced for it (as long as you have the right gear) at least through middle of Outland, maybe further. My balance druid healed up until level 80 heroics, and even my lower level resto druid has proved capable of tanking in RFK (she's only 27 so I haven't gone farther with her).

Josh said...

Quick note about the totems. When you hit 30 and get your fourth totem you can also find a shaman NPC who will give a single totem to put in your relic slot in exchange for the four separate totems. All relic slot totems count as all four totems. And speaking from experience the changes they made to dropping all four at once are wonderful.

Another note is that once you have Recall (lvl 30 spell) you'll have another bag spot opened up by no longer needing a hearthstone.

Thromean said...

The totem management aspect has been greatly improved. The ability to define sets to drop is a great thing. and you can keep single totems (Grounding, Mana Tide etc) on a keybind/click for emergencies.

Thorned said...

Well I won't repeat things that have been said before.. I just wanted to say:
Play the Shaman! ^^
Seriously, what would you play when you level your druid? Feral because tanking is just a part of your playstyle?

Old habits are hard to kill so I would recommend a shaman where you cannot really tank (at least not without overgearing the content or in low level instances like scarlet).

Whatever you choose, have a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

druid. all 3 roles in one char = win

Anonymous said...

One of your cons for druids is that its too spammy of stuff like mangle over and over. Its the total opposite at 80, and most say its one of the more complex dps specs to actually be good at.

I point you to

A hilarious diagram of how to dps as a cat that even blizzard acknowledged (the john madden part) at Blizzcon.

Lakini said...

If better at pvp is a pro for druid you must be planning on being resto.