D&D 4th Edition Spirited Away: A Shaman Handbook (by GelatinousOctahedron)
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  1. #1

    Spirited Away: A Shaman Handbook (by GelatinousOctahedron)

    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:


    Spirited Away: A Shaman Handbook





    You work with the spirits of the world to lead your party through danger, calling on your spirit companion to aid your allies and hinder your foes. Unlike other leaders tied to their gods, military training, or arcane powers, you serve the wild and primal forces of the world. Your spirit companion acts almost as another member of the party, aiding your allies while letting you act on a wider range of the battle field than most other leaders. This also means that your tend to stay farther in the back lines than any other type of leader, preferring your companion stays on the front line for you. Depending on the type of spirit companion you have you may help your allies do extra damage, heal more, stop enemy movement, or grant extra attacks. Prepare well since adventure awaits.


    Rating System:


    Red: Don’t take this, there is always something better
    Purple: Might be useful sometimes, but there are almost always better options
    Black: Good enough
    Blue: Good choice and might be the best depending on different factors.
    Sky Blue: Almost always one of the best choices
    Gold: Must Have. Given out very rarely and usually for specific builds.


    I am more conservative in my ratings in this guide than a lot of other charop guides are, so many powers and paragon paths for instance that get black or blue ratings are still pretty good. Shamans are very build dependent when it comes to making choices for stats, powers, feats, and paragon paths.


    Sources: PHB: Player's Handbook; PHB2: Player's Handbook 2; DP: Divine Power; PP: Primal Power FRPG: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide; MM: Monster Manual; MM2: Monster Manual 2; AV: Adventurer's Vault; AV2: Adventurer’s Vault 2; D#: Dragon Magazine #; MOTP: Manual of the Planes; PHBH: Player's Handbook Heroes; MP: Martial Power; MP2: Martial Power 2 AP: Arcane Power; EPG: Eberron Player's Guide; DS: Dark Sun Handbook; PsP: Psionic Power


    Thanks to everyone who contributes! If you do contribute try to include sources since there are so many books and dragon magazine articles now it is tough to know where these things are from and readers (including me) may need some help.. Lastly a favor to ask, if you respond to another person's long post please just quote the relevant parts and if you post a complete build or something similar try to hide it in a spoiler box(["sblock=title] text [/"slblock] without the quote marks) since that will make the handbook less cluttered. Also if you note any minor errors/typos let me know via private message.


    So Why Play a Shaman?


    The Warlord is good at granting extra attacks and damage, the Cleric can heal like crazy, the Bard gets to multiclass a lot, and the Artificer gets to spread surges: What do Shamans offer?


    Your spirit companion: This makes the shaman the most interesting class to play as far as tactics go. If you like the challenge of controlling and using powers from your own character, your spirit companion, and possibly a second conjuration along with some zones all at once, then the shaman is probably the right class for you. It also gives you great range, with the ability to target enemies and help allies 21 squares away starting at level 1


    Well Rounded Leader: the shaman is decent at all parts of being a leader. Clerics usually lag behind other leaders in ally movement and granting attacks, warlords are often not that good at healing etc., but shamans are decent to good at every thing from granting saves to ally movement. Also their at wills, encounter powers, and paragon paths are all pretty well balanced against each other so it is easier to make up for deficiencies in your leader skills than with other leaders. That makes it easy to go for whatever theme you want without worrying much about making a character that does not contribute.


    Can Minor in Any Roll: You will always be a leader first, but you can minor in defender with protector spirit, minor in striker with stalker spirit, and minor in controller with world speaker. Watchers get to double up on leader and they are the best leader for helping ranged allies. And with 3 different secondary stats to pick from for the class, almost any race can be a good shaman.

  2. #2
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Hit points, healing surges, proficiencies, and bonuses
     
     
     
     
    Hitpoints: 12 + Con (5/level) Average for a leader, but con is a common secondary stat for shamans. 
    Surges: 7+con mod.  You should not be hurting that much for surges compared to many other leaders since con will often be one of your higher stats.
    Armor Proficiences: Cloth, leather.  Shamans have the worst armor proficiencies of any leader.  See the note in the cleric multiclass section for a fix that some DMs may allow. You need heavy armor if you are a world speaker or protector build or else your power riders won't be good. See below for more detail. Hide or light shields along are a possibility for int/dex builds if you have the stats for it and every shaman should spend some feats boosting their AC
    Weapon/Implement Proficiencies: Simple Melee and longspears. Totems.  Totems are not that good of an implement overall, but there are a few good ones out there along with some spears and maces for weapliments.  A lot of shamans MC for another implement like tome, staff or holy symbol
    Bonus: +1 Fortitude +1 Will Your will defense will be fine, as will either fortitude or reflex.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Features
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Healing Spirit: Your basic healing ability. 2/encounter from levels 1-15 and 3/encounter 16-30. You or an ally within 5 spends a surge and another ally next to your companion gets some surge free healing that gets larger as you level up. You are not that great a single target healer, but you get to heal more than one party member at a time and one of them does not have to spend a surge.  Unlike other leaders the range on this basic healing power does not increase as you level, but on the other hand you can always heal a second party member up to 20 squares away.

    Speak with Spirits: Depending on how often you face skill challenges this can be very nice. A wisdom modifier bonus to one skill check per encounter. This kind of makes up for the few skills you get and with a feat you can transfer this bonus to an ally.

    Companion Spirit: This the heart of your class and which one you pick will have a major impact on the rest of your character in several ways: secondary stats (and armor), feats, powers, paragon path and strategy. You can summon your spirit as a minor at will action within 20 squares and it does not go away until dispelled or you dismiss it. Whenever you take a move action you can move it your speed as well and there are other powers that can move it around the field as well. It uses your defenses and can be targetting by melee and ranged attacks and if it takes damage equal to 10 + 1/2 your level then it is dispelled and you take damage equal to 5 + 1/2 your level. If it take less than that it is fine and does not take any other effects like ongoing damage, which means that most of the time it will work as a damage soak if your DM decides to attack it. 

    Your spirit is the main way you make opportunity actions (sort of like OA's for your SC), at will attacks and encounter attacks, it occasionally is the focus of utiltiy and daily powers, and as it provides surge free healing through healing spirit and potentially other bonuses as well.  You generally will want it to be next to as many allies and enemies at the same time as possible, but which one to prioritize varies with each spirit.  It takes up a square and allies can move through it, while enemies can not.  Errata makes it clear you can only have 1 spirit at a time, barring special exceptions like powers that specifically summon a second spirit.  See below for a FAQ on spirit companion rules questions.

    There are five spirits to pick from at character creation and they each give you a different at will opportunity action attack power and an at will attack power.  They can benefit from riders from various encounter powers and grant you access to specific feats and paragon paths.  Each one also gives you a "spirit boon" which is an extra bonus of some type that can be triggered when an ally (or enemy in the case of watchers) is next to your spirit companion.

    The Five Spirits/Builds:

    There is broad charop consensus that you should normally go for an int build, either animist or stalker, with watcher being a good choice only if you have multiple ranged PCs in your party.  The con shaman builds have a lot of issues with stats and AC and they don't enable allies' attacks nearly as well as the other 3 builds, though you can make a good enough worldspeaker build in heroic and paragon that treats con as tertiary stat and goes with int as your secondary stat.  For hybrid shamans your best choices are animist or watcher depending on party makeup since stalker hybrid builds can't get good at will enabling.
     
    I am broadly rating them compared to other leaders based on a variant of what LordDuskBlade uses in his warlord handbook: Healing, Saving throws (condition removing), Buffing  (Temp Hitpoints, Buffing Attacks, Buffing Defenses)  Debuffing Enemies (Attacks, Debuffing Enemies Defenses) Enabling (Ally Movement, Ally Extra Attacks)  Your vast selection of powers can increase of decrease the effectiveness of any of these 5 criteria.  

    Bear/Protector: Healing/protection focus and spirit boon heals allies extra when you use a healing power or they use their second wind. Constitution second stat and it is hard to get around that, which causes AC issues.  You focus on powers that protect and heal your allies.  You generally try to keep your SC close to your allies so that they can benefit from powers that heal or give them a defensive bonus.  This is the most defenderish of the builds.  My least favorite of all the builds and the weakest of the 5 builds for most charopped parties, though it does have a handful of good powers and options.  Your encounter powers focus on healing or defense and some of them can mark enemies. Healing
    Saving throws Buffing
    Debuffing Enemies Enabling


    Panther/Stalker: Damage focus and allies do extra damage to bloodied oppenents with your spirit boon. Intelligence second stat. You focus on powers that do extra damage and help your allies to hit and do more damage.  You generally want to keep your SC close to bloodied enemies and try to isolate them or flank for allies.  This is the most strikerish of the builds since your encounter powers are sometimes multiattacks and deal relatively high damage. Healing
    Saving throws Buffing
    Debuffing Enemies
    Enabling


    Eagle/Watcher: Allied ranged attack focus and spirit boon denies enemy cover from other enemies and allies can treat enemy adjacent to your SC as if they were closest enemy.  Dexterity second stat.  You focus on powers that help ranged allies, sort of like a warlord for ranged PCs.  You generally try to keep your SC close to enemies your ranged allies want to attack.  This is in some ways the most party dependent leader build since you really need at least one ally with a ranged basic attack to be effective and it helps to have multiple allies with RBAs.  If you have a party with multiple allies with RBAs this is a good choice, but you always need at least one RBA ally.  Your encounter powers often move allies or enemies. Healing
    Saving throws Buffing
    Debuffing Enemies Enabling


    Worldspeaker: Control focus and allies get bonus to defenses against opportunity attacks through spirit boon when entering or leaving square adjacent to your SC. Constitution second stat by default which causes AC issues, but you can use Int as your secondary without much problem in heroic and paragon if you want to which solves that and potentially helps your enabling some.  You focus on powers that hinder your enemies, especially ones that control movement.  You generally want to keep your SC close to enemies to try to control what they do or close to allies trying to avoid OAs.  This is the most controllerish build with the SC also acts like a sticky companion.  Your encounter powers focus on applying conditions like immobilized or slowed and it has the only way to get a consistently large SC in paragon.  Its not that strong in charop terms as far as enabling goes, but I think its spirit is the most fun to use.   Healing
    Saving throws Buffing Debuffing Enemies
    Enabling


    Animist: This build is in Dark Sun and is one the most melee enabling focused of the builds with excellent at-will enabling.  It is an int focused build with a boon that gives a bonus to saving throws, its opportunity action targets reflex and does damage/grants CA, and its at will lets an ally attack with a bonus to hit and damage and causes your SC to vanish.  Its powers focus on ally buffing and enabling and always cause the spirit to dissappear.  It can summon the SC as a free action during its turn if, at the start of its turn, the SC is not present.  Generally this is what I would consider the strongest shaman build if you have a party with good MBAs.  Healing
    Saving throws
    Buffing
    Debuffing Enemies Enabling

     
     
     
     

    Basic Job of a Shaman
     
     
    All leaders have a set of main functions that revolve around providing direct help to their allies: Healing, buffing (providing bonuses to hit, damage, AC, resistances, temp hitpoints etc.), granting saves, granting extra attacks, and movement. What functions shamans are good at depends mostly on their spirit companion (SC) and what powers they select.  Most can be good at several of those functions depending on build, although shamans tend to be better at multitarget healing than they are at single target healing. Shamans also tend to be decent to great at ally movement because they have many powers, as well as paragon paths, that grant or enhance ally movement.  That makes Agile Opportunist a very good feat for melee allies in paragon if you take some of the ally sliding powers.
     
     
    Your SC is what makes you unique among leaders since it acts as your primary source of attacks and buffs and works as a tactical control option forcing enemies to react to its presence, punishing them in some way if they to move away from it without shifting. Your SC also gives you far greater range than any other leader since you can consistently effect enemies/allies 21 squares away starting at level 1, while most leaders are limited to melee range to 5-10 sqaures for most of their powers. Some bow builds can compete, but even then they generally don't start out with your buffing/healing range.  Your SC also acts as damage soak, taking attacks that otherwise would have damaged/hindered you or an ally. Even if your SC is damaged enough to be destroyed, you take less damage than if you had taken the hit directly. Your other job is to damage and hinder enemies, which like your other abilities, varies to a wide extent on your SC choice and power selection.

    Shamans are a tricky class to play because of the spirit companion.  You and your allies will have to function as a team for them to get the full benefit of what you have to offer them.  They will need to be aware of where your spirit companion is and try to use it as both a shield from enemies when they need it and as a source of boosts from your spirit boon and other class features.  And you will need to position it where it can be as much benefit to your party as possible.  This is harder to do than with leaders like a lazer cleric or taclord where positioning is not usually as important, but when you pull it off correctly it also provides benefits that other leaders are unable to provide.  You can lead from a great distance (your barbarian decides to charge the enemy 20 squares away from you, but you can still heal him and grant him an attack that round, etc.) and the DM is forced to deal not only with PCs, but with the SC as well (the DM is forced to waste his attack on your SC instead of the barbarian because you put the SC in between the two of them).

    Related to this, you might see the term "Lazy" in reference to many shaman powers and builds.  Lazy means that the power lets an ally attack in place of the shaman.  Powers like claws of the eagle and spirit infusion are good examples of this.  It is now possible to make a shaman that never makes any attacks on its own if you want to, which instead lets your allies make a lot more attacks.  Every shaman wants at least some of these since enabling is a key part of a leader job.
     
     

    Ability Scores

    The basics for a shaman are that you need to shoot for these stats post racial adjustments: at least 18 wisdom, at least 16 in your secondary stat (con, dex, or int), and a 13 in strength if you are a con shaman who wants chain mail.  Only some lazy shaman builds (animist or eagle) can afford a starting 16 wisdom post racials.  Stat recommendations below are pre racial adjustments.

    Strength: Contributes to one skill and you do not make melee weapon attacks yourself. Alas you need a 13 str to get chain proficiency so Bear and Worldspeakers can't dump it if they want chian mail. Con should be equal or preferably higher. (protector/world speaker 11-13, others 8-13)

    Constitution: You need this for better armor proficiency and Protectors and World Speakers have their riders based on this and Bear shamans for sure need it to be at all worth playing. It also boosts HP and Surges. (protector/world speaker 14-16, others 11-13)

    Dexterity: Watcher builds need this for AC and riders. Does not contribute to any class skills, but does effect initiative. Non watchers should probably dump dex unless they get a racial boost to it and boost int since int effects some utilty power riders and your enabling damage.  (watchers 14-16, others 8-12)

    Intelligence: Stalker spirits and Animists need this high since it helps both AC and various riders. World speakers can use this as a secondary stat as well.   It also helps with a couple of class skills and powers that anyone can take.  Generally con shamans should take int over dex because of skills and if they want the at will Spirit Infusion, but this is not an absolute (stalkers/animist/sometimes worldspeakers 14-16, others 10-13)

    Wisdom: Always needs to be high since you need to hit for your riders to go off most of the time. I think 18 post racial is the sweetspot since that still lets almost any race have at least a 16 in their secondary stat.  Lazy shamans can get away with a 16 post racial if they must, but worldspeakers, protectors, and stalkers need a post racial wisdom of at least 18. If you have racial boosts to wis and int/dex, then you should consider a postracial 20 (16-18 for any build).

    Charisma: Does not contribute to skills and wisdom buffs your will defense. Only make this 11 if you have a racial boost since you then qualify for some feats you might want. (8-11)

    Suggested Point Buys:

    My preferred basic point buy for a con shaman or a dex/int shaman that wants better AC and NADs (especially if you are using a race with a wisdom bonus) is 16 16 13 11 10 8, with the 16s going into wisdom and your secondary stat.  The 13 can go into strength if you need it for armor, or you can use the 11 for that if you have a strength bump.  The 13 or 11 not used for strength should go to con for dex/int shamans or dex/int for con shamans.   Int/dex shamans can go with a 16 16 12 12 10 8 and put the 12s in con and something else depending on the desire for better AC eventually or other feat prereqs.   Worldspeakers have con as a their default secondary stat, but it isn't that important pre-epic since it only effects a handful of powers and your spirit boon and they can use int as a secondary stat if they want to.

    The other good stat array is mainly for those without a wisdom bonus: 18 14 11 10 10 8.  The 18 goes to wisdom, the 14 to your secondary stat (which hopefully has a racial boost since your wisdom did not) and the 11 for strength if you are a con shaman (and hopefully if you are a con shaman you at least got a racial strength boost) or con if you are playing a dex/int shaman.  If you are playing a con shaman without a wisdom or a strength bump then 18 13 13 10 10 8 is your best bet since you need your spirit to hit. 

    Stalkers can go with a starting 20 wisdom easier than most other builds if they also get an int bonus since they tend to not have many lazy powers so they will get the most out of a 20 and don't need strength for armor.  Bear and Worldspeakers can also get away with a 20 wis 13 str and 15 con if you are playing a race like dwarf or starting in paragon/epic and can lower you strength to a 13 in paragon/epic.  Worldspeakers can also go starting 20 wis 16 int 13 con and be fine.  In epic that might be frustrating if you want the buffs from the epic tier worldspeaker powers, but before then it will be fine and most PCs never make it that far.  Bear shamans need a good con to be at all interesting, which is one reason I don't really like them.

    Animists with an int bonus, but no wisdom bonus can get away with a starting 18 int/16 wis post racial bumps depending on power choices.  Shamans have enough "lazy" powers and powers where hitting is not essential that this can work fine and the int bonus has a lot of good benefits.  You can even probably push it to starting 20 int, but the lower your wisdom the less of a threat your spirit will be off turn and the more restrictive your power choices.

    Shaman's and AC:

    See the note about a major fix for this in the cleric MC section and ask you DM if he allows mc clerics to get battle clerics lore.  I personally don't think this works RAI, but many other do so ask your DM.  Also hybrid cleric works great for this without losing that much if you go watcher or animist.  You can't get at will enabling if you go stalker/bear/worldspeaker hybrid however.

    A long note about Shamans, Abilities Scores, and AC
    Spoiler:

    By default many shamans have some of the lowest AC in the game for a leader and your spirit companion has the same AC as you so all shamans should at least spend one feat on improving their AC.  Shamans are the only leader that does not get hide or chain proficiency.  If you are playing a shaman with int/dex as your secondary stat then your main question is whether or not you want to spend a feat and stat points on hide armor or light shield proficiency and then hide armor or shield specialization later on. Shield specialization is probably out of reach for stalkers/animists who most likely won't have the dex for it and if you have any other feats that give you a feat bonus to reflex shield specialization will only boost your AC.  World speakers should seriously consider going int secondary to address this issue.

    Shield proficiency requires str of 13 just like hide/chain and shields also mean you can not wield a second totem. You can still hold an implement in your off hand while using a light shield and gain its properties according to the official FAQ. If you have a decent strength then light shield proficieny is not a bad choice if you really want to buff your defenses and have a free hand and free feat.   Another option is to spend a feat for weapon proficiency parrying dagger (AV1) or cutting wheel (EPG) which will boost your AC by 1.  Getting a Rythm blade enchantment (AV2 and if your dm allows it) will up that by another 1.  This option does not have any stat prereqs, but you also can not hold a second totem in that hand and there are several great offhand totems like the totemic spear.  Hafted Defense from PHB3 works if you use a longspear for your totem or mc for a staff implement.  Small PCs should consider multiclassing fighter to pick up Small Warrior's Defense if they are going to use a versatile totemic spear.

    If you are playing a shaman with Con as your second stat then you have a problem since your AC will lag behind with only leather armor, leaving you and your SC vulnerable to more damage. So you have two basic choices: You can do nothing and accept that you and your SC will have low AC or poor riders or you can start with a 13 strength and spend 1 feat to get chain proficiency.  For scale it takes 2 feats and you will probably not be able to get the specialization feats since your dex will probably be too low.

    If you hybrid with a class that lets you pick up a shield or heavy armor proficiency you should consider taking that hybrid talent feat since you do not need to have the strength to qualify for the feat.

    Lots of stat arrays can qualify for a 13 str without too much trouble, but my favorite for most shaman builds is a 16 16 13 11 10 8, with the 13 in strength if you are not from a str boosting race or the 11 in str if you are from a str boosting race. Aside from armor/shield proficiencies the shaman does not need more than 13 post racials in strength. For watcher/stalkers a starting array of 12/12 for strength and con lets you qualify for hide/shield at paragon and if you start your campaign in paragon or epic dump your strength so that you only have a 13 when you start. 
     
     
     
    I used to have a big chart and paragraph here about the value of hide armor expertise and second skin.  But post errata con shamans should just get heavy armor.


      
     
     
     
    Spirit Companion FAQ
     
     

    Is it a conjuration?  Is it an ally?  Does it have to be a bear or can I make mine a giant otter?  There is disagreement and some people get  confused about just how the spirit companion works so this will be a compiled list of common questions, with my answers and reasoning.  There is now a rules Q&A thread based on this FAQ here and I tend to keep it a bit more up to date than what follows.

    Q & A
    Spoiler:


    Here is a link to a dragon article 387about shamans for DDI subscribers which has statements on spirit companion rules that I mention below several times.

    SC=Spirit companion, PHB=Players Handbook, PP=primal power DS=Dark Sun OA=opportunity attack RAW=rules as written RAI=Rules as intended

    Q; Where are the rules about conjurations?

    A: Page 120 of the PHB2 has the SC companion rules.  Page 219 and 220 in PHB2 have updated conjuration rules and they slightly expand on the rules in PHB1 page 59.

    Q: What does the spirit keyword mean?

    A: From Page 220 of PHB2: "You can use a spirit power only if your spirit companion is present in the encounter. If a spirit power includes “spirit” in its range, you determine line of sight and line of effect from your spirit companion’s space, which is the power’s origin square."

    Q: Does my SC occupy a square?  Who can move through it?

    A: Yes it does occupy a square, unlike most conjurations.  Your allies can move through it, but can not end their turn in the same square.  You enemies can not move through it.  See PHB2 p 120.

    Q: Does my SC provoke OA? 

    A: No.  The PHB2 FAQsays it does not provoke OA.  The reasoning is that only creatures provoke OA and your SC is not a creature.

    Q: When does my SC get to make an OA?

    A: Technically your SC never makes an OA.  He has an attack that functions as an opportunity action.  He gets to make that attack only when an enemy moves away from it without shifting.  Note that "Forced movement does not provoke opportunity attacks or other opportunity actions" according to page 285 of the PHB.   The updated rules say teleportation does not provoke.  Ranged powers also do not provoke attacks from SCs.  Remember that it is always you making the attack and that the SC is a proxy or a puppet that you are attacking through, so if you are stunned, dazed etc. you don't get to take the opportunity action.

    Q: How fast does my SC move?  Can it Shift?  What happens when I am slowed?  What happens if I am immobilized?  What about difficult terrain?

    A: It moves up to your move speed when you take a move action.  It can not shift, but for the most part that does not matter since it does not provoke OA.  If you are slowed, you movement drops to 2 and therefore your SC can only move 2.   Immobilization does not cause you to loose your move actions and technically does not reduce your speed, so you should be able to move it, but ask your DM.  Page 220 of PHB2 says conjurations are not effected by difficult terrain.

    Q: Can my SC be pushed, pulled, slid, slowed, stunned, dazed, blinded, deafened, petrified, or take ongoing damage?

    A; No.  It can only be damaged and only you can move it according to the rules on page 120
    of PHB2.  If it takes 10 + 1/2 your level in damage then it is dismissed and you take damage equal to 5 +1/2 your level 

    Q: Is my spirit an ally?

    A: No.  Conjurations are not allies, but some powers and feats may let it do things normally only allies can do like flank or provide cover.

    Q: If I have combat advantage against an enemy does the +2 bonus apply to attacks I make through my spirit companion?

    A: Yes.  For instance if the shaman is flanking an enemy he gets a +2 bonus to all attacks against that enemy.  That includes attacks from conjurations since the rules provide for no exception to this.  See pages 279 and 285 in the PHB for the relevant rules: "You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll when you have combat advantage against a target". 

    Q: If I am being flanked or if someone has combat advantage against me for another reason does the bonus also apply to the companion?

    A: No.  The bonus applies to attack rolls against that particular target.  It does not lower your defenses and the spirit companion is a different target.
      
     
    Q: I know my SC can’t be effected by conditions but what happens to my SC if my shaman is effected by one of these conditions?
     
     

    conditions
    Spoiler:

      
     
    Blind: This does effect the spirit like blinded normally does, because the SC has no senses of its own. So if the shaman is blind and enemies succeed with stealth checks against his passive perception (-10) and that effects his spirit attacks equally.  The attacks still have -5 for total concealment, because the shaman actually makes the attack.  The rules say nothing about the SC being able to make perception checks on its own.

     Dazed: Works as normal. You can take only one action. Though if it is a move action, you both can move.   This is why sudden call/nimble spirit are such good feats.
     Immobilized: You can't move, but you can still take move actions, which means you can move your SC.
     Marked: Works as normal. Even if you attack through your SC, it would still be -2 to hit a target other than the one that marked you.  And since the PC is one marked if the PC attacks a target other than the one that marked it any mark punishment will be directed against the PC.
     Dying/Petrified/Unconscious: Your SC is dismissed since you must be conscious for it to remain summoned
     Prone: While prone you get a -2 to all attacks, including spirit attacks.  The shaman grants CA to melee attacks, but the spirit can’t grant CA.  The SC gets a +2 bonus to defenses against all ranged attacks from enemies not adjacent to the shaman since the shaman gets that bonus.  Some DMs may rule otherwise on that last point, since that sounds a bit weird, but I think the SC gets all conditional defensive bonuses that the shaman gets.
     Restrained: Same as immobilized, but you get a -2 to attack through your spirit too.
     Slowed: Your SC has your movement speed, so you both can only move 2.

    Stunned: Nothing happens to the SC, but you can’t move it or attack with it.

    Weakened: Your SC attacks do half damage.




    Q: How many SCs can I have active at a time?

    A: One, unless you have a specific power or ability that lets you summon a second one.  The October 2010 errata confirmed this.

    Q: Can I dismiss my SC and then bring it back the same round in some other location?

    A: Yes.  Normally that requires 2 minor actions unless you have one of the feats mentioned below that let you summon it as a free action or you are an animist. (The march 2010 Errata makes it so that you can dismiss and then recall the SC as one action.  Then they undid the march 2010 errata in the October 2010 errata so it is back to 2 minor actions)

    Q: So what's the deal with the feats Sudden Call (PP) and Nimble Spirit (PHB2)?

    A: They used to be pretty much the same, but they issued errata to make sudden call work only 1/encounter, so you should retrain it to nimble spirit in paragon.  See page 267 of the PHBs for a full explanation of free actions.   And you can only summon your SC during your turn with or without these feats.  The other main difference is that mc shamans can't take nimble spirit, while hybrid and pure shamans can take both nimble spirit or sudden call.

    Q: When can I summon my SC?

    A: Only during your turn.  Either it takes a minor action which has to be on your turn or it if you have a feats like sudden call or nimble spirit, it is a free action on your turn.  Animists can summon it as a free action during their turn if it was not present at the beginning of the turn.  You can also ready an action to summon it on a trigger, but that will be the only action you can do since readying an action only grants you one action.  MC shamans always need a standard action to summon the spirit unless they take sudden call.

    Q: When does my SC disappear with powers like Spirit Infusion (DS)?  Can I bring it back in the middle of the attack with a free action if I have a feat like Nimble Spirit?

    This is up to your DM (free actions can always be limited by the DM) and it depends on the power.  For most them it looks like the first thing that happens with the power is the the spirit disappears right away since it is the first line in the effect.  That means that your boosts to allies do not apply if they require your SC to be adjacent to them, so allies would not get any additional boosts when making a Spirit Infusion triggered basic attack.   The rules do not say you can't use a free action in the middle of an attack, but again some DMs may not allow it and in general the answer to this question is ask your DM.

    Q; Can my SC fly?

    A: Maybe.  It can float and does not need to be supported by a solid surface.  But no rules say it can fly and customer service has been pretty consistent in saying it can't.  However, Dragon 387 article on shamans states:  "[SIZE=x-small][SIZE=x-small][SIZE=x-small]This means when it moves, it ignores difficult terrain and can move vertically and horizontally."  [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

    Q; How far away can my SC go and still be sustained?

    A: It needs to be within 20 squares of you at the end of your turn for you to sustain it.  There has been a lot of debate about this, but the new rules compendium clarified it with this comment on page 120: "A close power's range rarely matters. If it is ever relevant, the number given for the size also functions as the range"  This used to be the biggest rules argument about shamans before the rules compendium came out.

    Q: Do I need line of sight or line of effect when using spirit powers?

    A: Normally with conjurations you need line of sight to use a power, but with SCs it is different and you use your SC to determine line of sight.  You determine also line of effect from your SC.  See page 220 of PHB2

    Q: Can my SC be damaged by area/close attacks or zones?

    A: No.  According to page 120 in PHB2 it can only be damaged by ranged or melee attacks.  And you only have to worry about damage from one attack at a time.

    Q: Can my SC flank?

    A: Not normally.  Some powers like stalker's strike let it flank, which implies that it normally can't flank.

    Q: Can the spirit companion be flanked?

    A: No.  This is a bit of complicated reasoning, but to be flanked the target needs to be a creature as defined by the PHB 57.  Your SC is not a creature and therefore can not be flanked.

    Q: If I use healing spirit on two allies who are both next to my bear spirit companion, do both get the additional hp from my spirit boon or does only one get it?

    A: Yes.  WOTC has not answered the question with a FAQ, but customer servicesays yes pretty consistently.  The players stragtegy guide says yes as well (I believe in chapter 3, but I don't own the book myself).

    Q: What if I have the feat Vigorous Spirit (PP) and heal 1 ally and a second ally adjacent to my SC?  Do both get the extra healing from my wisdom modifier?

    A: No.  That feat says "the target regains additional hitpoints".  The only target of healing spirit is "you or one ally in burst", the second character adjacent to your SC who gets the extra d6s of healing is not a target.

    Q: Can my spirit companion make skill checks?  Can it be stealthy or notice things with perception?

    A: Ask your DM, but the rules are pretty silent on this from what I can tell.  My first RAW answer is no since it does not have any ability scores and is not a creature.  It uses your ability scores for determining the outcome of attacks, but it does not mention on page 59 of the PHB or 220 in the PHB2 that it uses your scores for skill checks.  But for things like stealth and passive perception checks you can argue that RAI it is reasonable for it to make some checks using your skills since you can get line of site from it.

    Q: Does it have to be a bear or can I make mine a giant otter?

    A: Make it whatever animal you want. 
     

    [/sblock]
     

  3. #3
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Skills

    You get Nature (Wis) automatically and can pick from 3 more from a good list (most importantly perception). If you do not have a ritual caster in your group you might consider the ritual caster feat or one of the multiclass feats that gives you ritual casting since you can pick arcana and religion as skills and already have nature and int is a secondary stat for 2 out of the 5  builds.

    Arcana (Int) Useful skill and you may have a high int. Rituals
    Athletics (Str) A good skill, but strength generally is not a priority for you
    Endurance (Con) Decent skill and you have a decent to good con.
    Heal (Wis) Useful
    Insight (Wis) Useful
    Perception (Wis) Probably most useful skill in the game and it is wisdom based
    Religion (Int) Decent skill and helps with rituals

    Implements

    Shamans get totems as their only implement and while there are a few good ones, they are generally considered one of the less useful implements.  Totem expertise lets you ignore partial cover an concealment at least. There are good totems and totem/weapons, but not that many of them when compared to most of ther implements partly because they were introduced later and only 2 classes use them.  For instance, there are about 55 different totems and weapons/other implements that double as totems, while for holy symbols there are around 105 as of when I am writing this.  So many shamans who multiclass should take advantage of the updated implement rules and take a staff, holy symbol, tome, or other implement.

    Staff, holy symbol, and tome all have very good expertise feats for you.   Tome expertise causes enemies next to your spirit companion (along with other summons and conjurations) to automatically grant CA.  Holy symbol expertise means you won't grant CA that often and staff expertise lets you make ranged attacks without provoking.

    PHB3 has added superior totems at the cost of a feat.  If you have the feat you can use these in place of regular totems.  Shaman powers target reflex, fortititude, and will in that order.  Most common damage type is psychic, followed by lightning, fire, cold, and thunder.  Both defense targeted and damage type can vary a lot by build.  There are few orbs, tomes, and staffs and other implements to look at if you multiclass or hybrid.

    superior implements
    Spoiler:

    Accurate Boring, but your job as a leader makes any permanent bonus to hit very important.  Lazy builds might not need it, but for most it is a nice boost.

    Farseeing
    +2 to range and extra damage.  If you focus more on range/area powers this is a solid blue, but if you use more melee powers than it drops down to black.  Generally panther shamans have the most ranged encounter powers and don't need the accuracy boost as much as other builds and I used one with my panther shaman and liked it.  Bear shamans have several ranged powers, but watchers only have one and worldspeakers don't have any.

    Icicle
    In heroic this is a bit better if you focus on cold powers, but you are probably better off with a farseeing one, especially since as you hit late paragon you will not have many cold powers left.

    Storm
    Like icicle this is build dependent, but better at paragon.  If you take a lot of thunder powers than it is blue, but otherwise pick something else.

    Other Implements
    If you multiclass or hybrid take a look at these

    Crystal Orb Mostly for Worldspeakers since both at wills target will and psychic is their common damage type. 

    Echo tome distant and bonus vs reflex.

    Forbidden Tome bonus damage and bonus vs fort.

    Unspeakable Mostly for worldspeakers.  Bonus vs will and extra crit damage.

    Warding Symbol Shield bonus and boost against fortitude

    Wrathful Symbol High crit and bonus against will

    Incindiary Dagger For Fire Builds

    Lancing Dagger For lightning Builds

    Ashen Rod For Fire Builds

    Mindwarp Staff Distant and Psychic Damage

    Quickbeam Staff Thunder/pushing builds.

    Cinder Wand For Fire Builds

    Dragontooth Wand Extra Damage and help against reflex.  Some stalkers might want this.

    Rowan wand For lightning builds


    Weapons

    You generally do not need to worry about atacking with these much unless you do some sort of hybrid or mutliclassing since shamans do not have any melee weapon powers.  Weapons can still be good for shamans to have, but want to pick your weapon for its properties and defensive boosts.  Strength is your third highest ability score at best and can be a dump stat for some builds.  If you are in a race that gets a free weapon proficiency like elf or eladrin, you might want to keep one for opportunity attacks at low levels and watcher elves are the rare exception in shamans that have a stat that can be used for weapon attacks and that know how to use a nonspear martial weapon, but you can not easily wield both a bow and a totem or get a bow-implement unless you hybrid or spend a bunch of resources needlessly.  Melee training wisdom is an option if you really want to make melee attacks, but for the vast majority of shamans this is not a good idea.  If you get a dual purpose implement/weapon than melee training gets a bit more useful.

    You can have an at will ranged attack if you want it and your spirit companion will do most of the attacking anyways.  You might want a dagger or something similar for potential low level OA attacks and a singing stick, parrying dagger, or cutting wheel, which take a feat to wield, will boost your AC by 1.  Singing sticks have good healing encantments too.  There are some totems that work as weapons that so far all start out at level 2 or 3: alfsair spear, totemic spear, and totemic warclub (mace).  The totemic spear in particular is worth using even if do not plan to make many weapon attacks and you can get its benefits (increasing the range of your spirit melee attacks by 1) while holding it offhand or you can get one as a longspear and take hafted defense for the ac/reflex boost.   Small shamans can also get a versatile totemic spear if they are interestested in going mc fighter for the small warrior's defense feat.  There are a few weapons like the weapon of healing (mace) and the chieftain's weapon (spear) that have passive properties that help your leader abilities just by holding them.  Many shamans at higher levels will want their main implement for attacking in their main hand and a second totem or weapon with a property in their off hand.


    Races

    Generally wisdom and secondary stat boosting races get sky blue, wisdom boosting races get blue, and secondary stat boosting races get black. Because secondary stats are very important for shamans and since shamans have 3 different stats that can act as a secondary stat, almost every race is a decent choice for at least one build.

    The best races for each build.

    Bear/worldspeaker: Dwarf, mul, wilden, half-elf, Snerfneblin

    Panther/Animist: Deva, Shardmind, Githzerai, Hamadryad. Honorable mention to tiefling for fire builds and pixie for lazy animists.

    Eagle: Elf, Wilden, Drow, Githzerai, ThriKreen, Goblin

    Human is always a good choice.

    races
    Spoiler:

    PHBs

    Deva
    Bonuses to both int and wis, with decent racial abilities as well. Amazing ED.  Best stalkers/animists overall.

    Dragonborn
    If you go dragonborn, you can invest in con and make your breath weapon key off that stat. Or you can do dragonfear instaed.  Either way you will need to put a starting 13, but you can now have a starting 13 15 10 8 18 10 or 13 18 11 8 16 10 and go a more lazy route.  One of the few good races that really doesn't work that well for shamans.

    Dwarf Bonuses to wisdom and con. Only drawbacks are that you and your companion are slow and lots of your racial abilites revolve around heavy armor and melee weapons.  Best default World Speakers and protectors.  Shield dwarf can help with your AC problems.

    Eladrin Bonus to int and dex and decent racial abilities. Can make decent stalkers or watchers.  Sun elf option gives you staffs as implements.

    Elf Wisdom and dex bonus and fast and nice racial powers. Probably edge out razorclaw shifters for best watchers.  Both wood elf and wild elf are good options, especially if you go a lazy build.

    Githzerai
    (PHB3)
    Wisdom and dex/int bonus and nice racial feats.

    Gnome Bonus to int or dex and decent racial abilities, but slow.  There is a specialized rogue hybrid that kills from a distance that needs gnome for the race.

    Goliath Bonus to wisdom and decent racial abilities. Strength bonus helps with armor proficiencies.

    Half-Elf Bonus to wisdom/constitution now.  Competes with dwarf for best con shaman race.  For dilletante direct the strike is your best option if you don't have one of the shaman equivalents.  Storm pillar is another option to force some more control.  Other wisdom implement options: grasping tide, magic stones, grasping shards, thorn whip.  If you have a weapliment: dynamic assault or tending strike for worldspeakers.  For con shamans: dire radiance or hellish rebuke works.   With adept dilletente or for int shamans: magic weapon, hypnotism, or staggering note.

    Half-Orc
    Dex and con bonus and racial features are ok. 
    Strength bonus helps with armor/shield proficiencies if you want that instead of con, but I would go with con/dex.

    Halfling Dex and con bonus and ok racial abilities.

    Human That third at will is nice since shamans are usually pretty limited in this regard and have plenty of varied at wills. And the extra skill and feat help make up for other deficiencies in the class.

    Minotaur
    Wis bonus, but feats and racial abilities are built around charging/melee. Strength bonus helps with armor proficiencies at least.

    Shardmind
    Wis/int bonus.  Not that much support though.

    Shifter, Longtooth Wis bonus and regeneration. Strength bonus helps with armor proficiencies so they are a good choice for worldspeakers and bear.

    Shifter, Razorclaw
    Wis and dex bonuses. Make good watchers.

    Tiefling Bonus to int or con. Shamans have some fire powers and paragon paths that make up for the lack of a wisdom bonus.  Animists is the best, but stalker is right behind and if you want to do a damage focused build this is one of the best choices.

    Wilden (PHB3) Bonus to con/dex and wisdom.

    Non PHB

    Bladeling (MOTP) Wis and dex/str bonuses, but no good feat support and the racial power is blah and not very good for shamans.  Out of all the many wis/dex player races this is the worst one for shamans.

    Changling (EBPH) Dex or Int bonus.  Not much else.

    Drow (FRPH) Wisdom and Dex bonus, with good racial abilities.

    Genasi (FRPH) Int/con bonus and useful racial abilities.  I would go stormsoul since you have a lot of thunder and lightning powers to pick from, with watersoul or cindersoul as the next best choices.  Many of other the racial abilities require you to boost str, con, or dex to hit with them, so only consider those if you are going with a con build.

    Gnoll (D374) Con and Dex bonuses

    Goblin (DHS) Wis/dex.  Very good at will interrupt racial power for shamans who get stuck in melee and can mc fighter to boost your defenses with totemic spear or mace/small warriors defense.  No other racial support thouugh.

    Hamadryad
    (HOF) Wis/int with solid racial abilities.

    Hobgoblin (D419) Con/Int.  Very good racial abilities.  If you want a lazy animist build this is a good choice and its not bad for a con shaman since you can at least boost your defenses easier than most shamans.

    Kalashtar (EBPH) Wisdom bonus and nice racial abilities

    Kenku
    (D411) Dex bonus and some decent racial utitities are about it.  Racial features don't really help shamans, though the stealth bonus is ok.

    Kobold (DSH) Con/dex boost and decent racial features.  No longer quite as shifty as they were, but even an encounter minor action group shift is a good addition.

    Mul (DS) Rivals the dwarf.  Good for worldspeaker/bear builds.

    Pixie (HOF) Dex or int bonus with very good racial abilities.  If I was going for a lazy animist build this would be a top choice because the race is so unique and works with a starting 16 wisdom.  Otherwise pass since they don't get a wisdom bonus and your spirit will have a speed of 3 or 4.

    Revenant (HOS) Con and dex bonuses. Lots of feat choices.

    Satyr (HOF) Con or dex bonus.  Racial power is very good for shamans since it gives your spirit a lot more control with a free slide each encounter.   I can see it being a very solid worldspeaker, with sliding and immobilizing at later levels with your OA.

    Shade
    (HOS) Stat boost animist/stalker/watchers.  The stat bonus is about it though at this is a poor race in general.

    Shadar-kai
    (HOS) Dex/wis bonus (or dex/int).  Decent teleport power, but not much for feats.

    Snerfneblin
    (DHS) Wis/con.  Decent racial abilities and can mc fighter to boost your defenses with totemic spear or mace/small warriors defense.

    Thrikreen (DS) The racial abilities are not great for a ranged implement user, but if you want to do an eagle shaman on the front lines this is a good choice.  The stats are good for any eagle shaman.

    Vryloka (HOS) Ok for watchers.  Good skill boosts at least.

    Warforged (EBPH) Con/str or con/int bonus and interesting racial feats. Strength bonus helps with proficiencies if you go 11 14 10 10 18 8 for your stats.

    MM/MM2 Races (There is not usually feat support for these races)

    Bugbear (MM) Dex bonus, but more of a melee race.

    Bullywug (MM2) Con and dex bonus

    Doppleganger (MM) Int bonus, changlings have more potential.

    Duergar (MM2) Stats like a dwarf, but without all the nice feat support or racial abilities.  Play a Mul or dwarf instead if you can.

    Githyanki (MM) Con and Int bonus

    Hobgoblin (MM) Con bonus and decent racial abilities

    Orc (MM) Con bonus, but more of a melee race. Racial ability relies on strength.



    Backgrounds & Themes

    What backgrounds you have available depends on your campaign.   In particular I would recommend backgrounds that give bumps to class skills for most campaigns.  Backgrounds that add thievery or stealth are useful to watcher shamans.

    Some other useful ones are listed below, but these are setting/campaign dependent and several of them your DM may think are overpowered (I know I think some of them are).  So if these are available, pick from them unless you really want to bump or add a skill.

    backgrounds
    Spoiler:

    Backgrounds

    Forgotten Realms Background: From FRPH or Dragon 366, 376, or 371

    Hitpoints:
    Auspicious Birth: Substitute highest ability score to determine initial hitpoints.
    Born Under a Bad Sign: Substitute highest ability score to determine initial hitpoints.
    Impiltur: You can choose to add your wisdom score  to your starting hit points

    Resistances:
    Akanul: Gain resitance to cold, fire, and thunder.
    Calmishan: Resist 4 fire, +5 to endurance checks related to thirst

    Saves:
    Arcane Student who Saw too Much: +1 bonus to saving throws to end daze, stun, immobilize, or restrain.
    Crusading Zealot: +1 bonus to saving throws until you fail a saving throw.
    Former Gladiator: It takes 4 failed death throws to kill you
    Haunted Vetern: Encounter: Trigger (failed a fear saving throw) Effect: Reroll that saving throw
    Necromancer's Chattel: +2 bonus to fear saving throws
    Scorned Noble: +2 bonus saving throws when no allies are within 5 squares of you.
    Touched by Darkness: +1 to save against ongoing necrotic effects.
    Wandering Mercenary: It takes 4 failed death throws to kill you

    Proficiencies
    Gritty Sergeant: Simple or Martial Weapon Proficiency, +1 to initiative.
    Nobile Bred for War: Simple or Martial Weapon Proficiency, +1 to Diplomacy checks.

    Crafting
    Imbuer: You can construct implements and wondrous items. Implement takes 2 days, wondrous takes 4 days. Item cost is the same as if in store.
    Warsmith: You can create weapons and armor and can cast creation rituals.

    Attack Bonuses
    Chessenta: +1 to rolls made with action point.
    Restless Dead: +1 to damage against undead

    Other
    Monster Hunter: +2 to monster knowledge checks
    Sarifal D376: Gain Terrain walk Earth/Forest/Ice/Swamp
    Windrise Ports D376: You can multiclass twice.
    Officer Who Came Out of Retirement: History class skill. +1 to History and initiative checks.

    There have been two groups of themes so far: Darksun and Dragon Mag Style.  Darksun themes have more opportunities for free power swaps and are sometimes prereqs for paragon paths.  Dragon themes have few power swaps, but come with extra features at 5th and 10th level.  Both usually give you an extra power at level 1.  Generally the rankings take in all those potential benefits, but if you are not interested in any power swaps or paragon paths you should almost always go with the Dragon style themes.  So far there are not that many great themes specifically for shamans with knight hospitaler and fey beast tamer the top two probably. Out of all the theme handbooks out there, I prefer mommywasanorc's Variation on themes(x) the most.

    themes
    Spoiler:


    Dragon Mag Style

    Bloodsworn
    (DSH) Encounter power lets you reroll a missed at will attack.  Bonuses to intimidate and initiative.  Level 5 feature is great for dwarves, but not that great for everyone else.  Very good level 2 encounter utility.

    Elemental Initiate (HOEC) The ki focus proficiency is the big thing for shamans with this theme and you mainly want that for the superior ones with the forceful, reaching (applies to spirit melee powers), or possibly mobile property.  It also gives you an extra skill at 5 and a bonus to will at 10.  The encounter melee power requires you to have a ki focus or decent weapliment if you want to hit with it.
    Fey beast Tamer (HOF) Because simply having a spirit companion is not enough.

    Knight Hospitaler (D399) Shield of devotion power is a good immediate reaction healing power that keys off wisdom and you can use it twice per encounter at 10.  It also has good utilities.

    Mercenary (399) Decent if you take spirit of the tempest or have a totemic warclub.  Otherwise pass.
     
    Noble Get some movement enabling with the theme power.  Use the free item for a chieftain's spear (its common).  Decent utility powers.

    Ooze Master (D413) It gives you a good minion clearing minor action implement power and decent level 6 movement utility.  Also acid resistance at level 10.  If you can get a staff of fire and acid or staff of corrosion it can grant your party a lot of CA at level 10.

    Order Adept
    : This gives you a good level one minion clearing power.  And you can swap out for wizard utilities.  Plus a bonus to will.

    Primordial Adept (HOEC) A sweet control theme.  You get a choice between a good area proning/difficult terrain power or a close blast push cold/push vuln power.  Shamans should go with the area one, vezuvvu's eruption, since you then get a +2 power bonus to fire and thunder damage at level 10.  Shaman fire builds want this theme.

    Scholar
    : lots of languages, a new skill training and you are better at monster knowledge checks.

    Seeker of Illefan (D402) Eladrin, Elf, half-elf.  Reroll a 1 on an attack or save, bonus to perception, and you can't be surprised.

    Seer (D399) Good tactical feature and bonuses to useful skills.  Clunky in practice.

    Sensate (D414) Temp hitpoints when you use a daily or encounter attack power with a bonus to skills when you have temp hitpoints.  No starting power.  Boring, but solid choice.

    Sidhe Lord (HOF) Summoning power and good action point level 2 utility.  Shamans have really good level 2 powers though.

    Son of Alagonder (D402) You spirit companion can daze a CA granting enemy with a melee attack 1/encounter.  And free temp hitpoints when bloodied.  The level 6 shifting utility works well for shamans and will give you partial concealment for a round most encounters.

    Spellscared harbinger (Nevwin) Good free utility powers.

    Tuathan (HOF) Human or half elf.  Good utility power swaps and decent other features.

    Underdark Outcast
    (DSH) The starting utility will see decent use for most shamans and is a nice boost to offense and defense.  The level 2 and 10 utilties are good for as well.  Decent skill boneses and a nice temp hitpoint boost when you spend a surge at level 10.

    Windlord (HOEC) Only for those who plan to use totemic spear or mace or other weapliment.  Gives you some flight and a good sliding power.  I could see a worldspeaker making good use of it.

    Wizards Apprentice (D399) Good implement ranged dazing power.  Free item and language

    Dark Sun (only take these if you have too)

    darksun
    Spoiler:


    Elemental Priest An implement and conjuring themed path with a good healing focused paragon path. Only take it if you want the rainmaker path.

    Noble Adept An implement psion theme with a bonus to an attack.  Only really useful if you want a power point

    Templar An arcane/implement leader theme

    Vieled alliance Another implement controller/leaderish theme.



  4. #4
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Picking Your Spirit Companion and At Wills

    Every Shaman gets 1 required opportunity spirit at will depending on their spirit companion, 1 required spirit at will depending on their spirit companion, and then can pick 1 more from the rest of the non-opportunity powers, including the required attack powers of other spirit companion types if you want.

    All five of the spirits can work fine in any party, but some will work better in some parties than others. If you know who else will be in the party that can help if you are having trouble deciding. Bear shamans are best in parties that need help with defending since they can mark with some of their powers and provide other defensive/healing boosts. Panther shamans help out with extra damage so if you are missing strikers or your strikers need some help damaging or rogues (and others) need help flanking they are a good fit. Eagle shamans help with ranged PCs, their boon particularly helping warlocks use their curse and rangers use hunter's quarry on far away enemies. Their opportunity action attack only works if you have an ally with a ranged basic attack so that is something to remember, but the at will attack works with any basic attack. World Speakers are a good fit for a party lacking a controller or where the party is worried about taking OAs or needs help with movement.  Animists help with saves and granting extra accurate attacks to strikers.

    At Will Evocations


    Required Spirit Opportunity Evocations

    (You get this power if and only if you have that spirit type)
    These all work when an enemy leaves a square adjacent to your spirit without shifting. They are not provoked by other things that normally provoke OA like ranged powers.

    Spirit's Fangs P vs ref 1d10 +wis mod damage.

    Spirit's Shield B Vs reflex and does wis mod damage. Ally within 5 heals wis mod.

    Spirit's Prey
    (PP) E Ally within 10 gets to make a ranged basic attack with CA.

    Spirit's Wrath (DS) A vs ref  Damage and target grants CA.

    World Speaker's Command (PP) W Vs will and target stops and must use a new action to move.

    Required Spirit Evocations

    (You have to take this if you have that spirit type, but other shamans can pick from these for their second at will as well. All 5 of them are useful for other builds depending on party makeup, but unless you are going for a pure "lazy build" don't take both Claws of the Eagle and Spirit Infusion.  People have reported trouble with older versions of the offline character builder not letting them take one as their second at will, but nothing in the rules prevents this and primal power states "shamans of any build can make good use of the options presented here" immediately before listing the new at wills)

    At this point in the game basic attacks have become so powerful that I strongly recommend all shamans take either Spirit Infusion or Claws of the Eagle.  There are some parties where no one has a good basic attack, but not that many anymore.  If you have one of those already since you are playing an animist or eagle shaman or if playing a human who gets another choice, then I would normally take either voice of battle or spirit of the tempest.

    Protecting Strike
    B vs will
    Damage and allies
    get temp hp equal to con.  This is actually a decent power, but only bear shamans and world speakers will have the con to benefit from it and bear shamans already have it.  And since you should normally be taking an enabling at will as your second at will almost no one besiders bear shamans should have this.

    Stalker's Strike P vs fort Most direct damaging and most accurate spirit at will and SC can flank, but that is the only "leadery" thing about it.  At low heroic this is darkblue because of the damage, but at higher levels you will usually have better options.  Its good for animist as the second at will because it gets a bonus to hit bloodied enemies keyed to your int.

    Claws of the Eagle (PP) E Ally within 3 squares of you or SC can make a basic attack against target. Target grants CA if it hits.  If you don't take spirit infusion, you need to take this instead if someone in your party has a good basic attack.

    Voice of Battle (PP) W vs will Psychic damage and ally gets to shift 2.  World speakers already have it and the shifting compliments animists and eagle shamans well.  Good third at will for human shamans.

    Spirit Infusion (DS) A Ally next to SC can make a basic attack with a +2 power bonus to hit.  Gets int bonus to damage and the SC disappears.  This gets better for non animists once you get to paragon and have nimble spirit, but the advantage of claws of the eagle is that it does not depend as much on the Spirit Companion's position and if hit the enemy grants CA so high accuracy parties/parties with rogues might prefer claws of the eagle.  With Spirit Infusion the target is more likely to hit and do more damage. See below for pros and cons of each.

    Optional Spirit Melee Evocations

    (You can pick from these as your second at will)

    Defending Strike vs ref Some damage and SC gives you and allies +1 to AC. Not bad, but the other at wills have more utility.

    Spirit of the Tempest (PP) vs fort. Thunder damage and as an effect an ally near you or SC can make a save. 
    Makes a good third at will for a human or second at will for animist or eagle.  There is a lot of debate over the value of this power since it is a melee power (generally a bad thing on a class that uses ranged and spirit melee powers the vast majority of the time), but automatic save granting for an at will is great.  I had it as the third at will for my human panther shaman and I did not use very often, but it was really handy as a backup power.

    Watcher's Strike vs ref  SC gives you and allies get an untyped +1 bonus to attack and get a perception bonus.  The untyped bonus is nice, but I would normally take several other powers first.

    Optional Ranged Evocations

    (You can pick from these as your second at will)

    Haunting Spirits vs will Psychic damage and an ally gets CA against target.  There are many other ways to grant CA for shamans (tome expertise is the big one), but this is still a decent way to do it, especially at low levels or if you are taking other psychic tricks.

    Wrath of Winter vs fort. Cold damage and you can teleport SC next to target.  This is a tricky power to rate since its main value is in action economy by letting you move your SC a long distance without dismissing it as a minor action and you will often need your minor actions for other things.  Loses some value if you have other ways to move spirit around and animists can avoid it, but a low level human eagle shaman for instance should consider it for a third at will.


    Spirit Infusion vs Claws of the Eagle

    These two powers are very similar and I wouldn't take both, but unless no one has a good basic attack in your party you should take one of them. 

    Spirit infusion vs claws of the eagle
    Spoiler:

    Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both for worldspeakers, stalkers, and bear shamans:
    Claws of the eagle: Generally more flexible choice of allies to attack from since it works with allies adjacent to SC or within 3 squares of you.  A successful attack grants CA so better for subsequent allies to focus fire if they don’t already have CA.  Disadvantage: less accurate and less direct damage.

    Spirit Infusion: More accurate than claws of the eagle because of power bonus to attack.  Will cause more direct damage and better for increasing single PC novas.  Disadvantage: trickier range and makes the SC disappear, which means allies don't get the offensive bonuses from powers like twin panthers since those require your SC to be next your ally.

    Reasons to take Claws of the Eagle
    You are playing WorldSpeaker (generally want SC far from party)
    You have very accurate allies (WT heavy blade fighter, rogue, or avenger)
    You have ranged strikers
    You don’t have nimble call
    You have many other ally offensive buffing powers 
    You have a party who needs help getting CA (tome expertise helps with this)

    Reasons to take Spirit Infusion
    You are playing a Stalker (generally want SC near party and have int bonus)
    You have not so accurate allies, particularly melee characters (barbarians, melee rangers, axe-hammer-glaive wielders)
    You have nimble call
    You don't have many ally offensive buffing powers
    Your party has no trouble getting CA


  5. #5
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Heroic Evocations

    About two thirds of the encounter powers give a bonus rider to one of the spirit types, but any spirit type can use any power.  No utility or daily power gives any bonus riders based on your spirit type, but some have secondary stat riders.  For each type that gains a rider based on the type of companion I will add a notation A for Animist B for Bear, E for Eagle, P for Panther, and W for Worldspeaker. Attack powers are divided by the origin of the power: personal (ranged, close, and other) and spirit (usually melee 1, but occasionally close burst or ranged). Shaman encounter attack powers are split about 2/3 spirit and 1/3 personal (which with encounter powers means ranged). 

    Daily powers are ranged/close/area for the most part with a handful of spirit powers and some wierd exceptions like ones that summon an additional spirit as well as having a ranged attack or which grant allies attacks. For your close/area daily powers you do not usually have to worry about hurting your allies, but I will note the exceptions. I am going to bold damage types and other unique parts of the powers so people looking for certain damage types can save time by picking those powers. All powers are PHB2 unless noted. SC=Spirit companion and powers where the SC helps your allies/hurts your enemies means creatures adjacent to your SC.

    For skill powers I am going to include all the class skills that have good powers.  There are about 20 2nd level powers alone so I am only including the ones I think are most useful.  Remember that you can take the Skill Power feat to use one of these in addition to your normal utility so I rated the powers taking that into consideration. For the most part you have better class utility powers and these more provide a little diversity than anything else.

    I give a blue or sky blue rating to encounter attack powers that all shamans should consider.  Many powers are very good for only one build and bad or only ok for everyone else and I will note that in the power with a note like (Bear or Panther) and at the beginning list for each level for recommended powers.  For some levels you are better off with a power that is not specific to any build or with one that is for a diiferent build.  For instance for any party with a strong MBA PC Ironbreaker claws is one of the best first level choices for any shaman, but only Panthers get to add the int bonus to the allies attack roll.

    Level 1 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Twin Panthers or Ironbreaker Claws 
    Bear: Thunder Bear's Warding or Certain Threat
    Eagle: Stormhawks fury
    Worldspeaker: Bramble Ally or Thunder Bear's Warding
    Animist: Scorching Sands
    Any: Iron Breaker Claws

    Personal

    Thunder Bear's Warding B (Bear and Worldspeaker) vs fortitude. Thunder damage and SC gives party members damage resistence equal to con. With bear builds you also grant temp hp to a party member. 

    Twin Panthers P Two attacks vs reflex and SC causes enemies to grant CA. Attack bonus vs bloodied enemies for panther builds. Only multi attack power for level.  Panthers have a hard time picking this level since both this and Iron Breaker Claws can result in two attacks against the target.  This is more accurate, SC grants CA (which may not help if you have tome expertise) and you will always get two attacks, but Iron Breaker Claws is more potential damage overall if you hit with your first attack.

    Bramble Ally (PP) W (WorldSpeaker) vs ref and SC slows enemies that start their turn next to it. Immobilizes for worldspeakers.

    Spirit

    Call to the Ancestral Warrior vs ref.  SC gives party members +2 power bonus to defenses.  Not a bad power, but each build has better choices.

    Call to the Ancient Defender vs fort. SC grants party members an untyped +5 bonus against OA. It has the most situational rider and no damage type so I would always go with call to the ancestral warrior first and I don't even like that power.

    Certain Threat (PP) B (Bear) vs ref  SC marks. Protectors mark is 1 + con. Good for bear shamans in parties lacking defenders.  Remember that SC can only be targetted by ranged/melee so they can not attack it with a burst/blast power and also target your allies so at first level that is probably a -4 or 5 to hit if not directly attacking your spirit.

    Ironbreaker Claws (PP) P vs ref, damage and ally gets to make melee basic attack. Stalker
    builds, allies add int to attack roll, but this is good enabling for any build and will normally result in most single target damage of all powers this level.
    Scorching Sands (DS) A (Animists/Fire Parties) vs Ref a little fire damage and the target becomes vulnerable to fire.  Great if your allies have fire powers, but it causes your SC to go away.  Animists get to change their and their allies' damage type to fire.  Unless you already have multiple allies that do fire damage already, I wouldn't take this power if not an animist.

    Spirits of the Mountain Mists (PP)
    vs ref. Cold damage and allies get +1 power bonus to area/close attacks that include SC.  Unless you have some way to exploit cold this isn't that great.

    Stormhawk's fury (PP) E (Eagle) You get to move your companion 3 squares first, watchers move 2 + dex mod. Vs ref for a little bit of lightning damage, but allies also do lightning damage when they hit equal to your dex mod.  For watchers that can be a nice boost of 4 extra points per hit at level 1, but other shamans should have dumped dex.



    Level 1 Daily
    Spoiler:


    You have a good selection of powers and I would go with one of the good control options or Spirit of The Healing Flood for regeneration, which is normally the best choice.  In general I like taking the control focused shaman dailies.  Dust Storm Binding is a good small burst of blinding and autodamage and I really like Spirit of Grief's Shadow for the plethora of effects and save penalty,

    Personal

    Blessing of the Seven Winds Ok damage vs fort and creates a movable zone for the encounter where you can slide creatures around some.
    Dust Storm Binding (DS) vs fort party unfriendly close burst that blinds (save ends).  You spirit disappears, but you get a sustainable obscuring zone that autodamages enemies.

    Cleansing Wind of the North Big cold blast vs fort that lets allies make a save with a +5 bonus.  Not bad, but spirit of the Healing Flood will target more enemies and regeneration is better than a saving throw most of the time.  You have a lot of other potential ways to grant saves.

    Great Watcher Spirit (PP) Lets 2 allies make 1 basic attack and SC prevents allies from granting CA. Only worth considering if you have allies with really good basic attacks.

    Spirit Cascade (PP) Decent ranged damage vs ref. Potentially highest single target damage power since your allies get up to 6d6 extra damage on next three hits against creatures next to SC.

    Spirit of Grief's Shadow (PP) Ranged psychic attack vs will with dazed/slowed/ongoing psychic damage (save ends) and target takes a -5 penalty to saves while next to SC. Best power to use against solos and elites.

    Spirit of the Healing Flood Big burst vs fort that does a little damage and grants allies regen 2 while blooded or they can heal 10 hp. Minion sweeping and regeneration is a good combo.  This seems to be the consensus choice on this forum as the best shaman level 1 daily.

    Spray of Quills (PP) Targets Allies. Blast 5 vs ref that does poison damage and save ends ongoing poison damage.  Allies get +2 bonus to attacks against targets until they save. Probably does most potential overall damage for level, but you can damage allies too and its poison which means it won't do any damage at all to a lot of enemies.

    Stone Root Spirit (PP) Ok area vs reflex controlling power. No damage, but slides/prones creates a good place for squishes to get cover and creates difficult terrain for enemies.  I would rather get blessing of the seven winds since it damages and slides enemies and allies around.

    Wrath of the Spirit World Two attacks vs will, one burst 2 centered on you and one centered on SC. Does lots of psychic damage and knocks prone.  Can cover a lot of area at least for spread out encounters, but not a good effect.

    Spirit

    Massive Companion (D383) Close burst vs fort for a tiny bit of damage and knock prone.  The cover effect is what makes this decent and that it is one of the only companion focused powers of the level.

    Spirit of Consuming Terror (D383) vs will pyschic attack that can be repeated and sustained each round with a standard action.  Effect is a minor debuff to enemies attack.  Black at very low levels and drops to red as you level up and have more encounter attacks.  For a long encounter this is an ok option since it will do more than most of your at wills, but I doubt I would ever take it.



    Level 2 Utility
    Spoiler:


    Shamans have good level 2 choices that do very different things.  Condensation is a good rengeration choice for stalkers and especially animists.  Bear and worldspeaker shamans should consider protective roots.  I usually take engaging pursuit since it is a consistently useful way to make your spirit more sticky.  Spirit call and spirit sacrifice can be good choices for some builds either if you have a lot of zones/conjurations or if you need help with saving throes.

    On a special note, shamans have a lot of ways to slide allies with heroric and paragon tier utilities and attacks as well.  Agile Opportunist (free MBA as a reaction when slid) is an excellent paragon tier feat for your melee allies if you take those and greatly improves powers like assistance of the strong spirit, primal gust, and memories of wind and rain.


    Daily


    Condensation (DS) Gives ally fire resistance 10 and regeneration equal to your int mod, but only until you use call spirit companion.  Animists can get away without using that power, but other builds can't as well.  Blue for stalkers who have a lot of non-spirit focused powers and sky blue for non-shamans interested in shaman power swaps and hybrids since they won't mind the lack of a spirit companion as much and can resummon without using call spirit companion 1/round.  Purple for non-int shamans.

    Protective Roots: (PP) Damage resistance keyed to con mod. Sky blue for con shamans and potentially decent for others as well.


    Spirit of Life: ally gets surge free healing. Only multitarget healing power of level.


    Spirit of the Great Cat: (PP) Allies get to stand up as minor and shift extra.

    Spirit Zephyr: (PP) Allies get a +1 power bonus to ranged attacks against targets next to your SC. Spirit of battle is generally better, but this affects all of your allies and can be ended to give a +2 power bonus to one ally.  Watchers might want this.

    Spirits of Battle: allies in a big zone get a untyped +1 attack bonus.  For the spirit tempest PP this is sky blue since it really buffs your healing as well since the zone is so big.

    Stormhawk Vigilence: (PP) Slide everyone 3 sqaures at start of encounter and they get to draw a weapon/implement. Helps with surprise or when you are in a bad setup.


    Encounter

    Bonds of the Clan: Split damage with an ally. If you have a way to mitigate the damage to yourself this is ok, but there is so much competition at this level this is probably the least useful power of the level for most builds.

    Engaging Pursuit: (PP) Move your SC adjacent to an enemy who started out next to it. This can be useful when you are slowed or if you are facing a teleporter or someone faster than your our SC. I think it should let your SC pursue flying enemies as well.  This is also good if you take powers like Spirit of Griefs Shadow that give penalities to enemies ending their turn next to SC and prevents shift/charge to avoid the opportunity action.  I found this power consintently useful when I took it.

    Spirit Call: Move all zones and conjurations as a minor action. At level 2 this is only black since you do not have many yet, but in later levels you will probably have more zones and conjurations to worry about this gets better.  If you take lots of zone/conjuration powers at paragon and epic this can be skyblue so consider retraining to this power later on if you do not take it at level 2.

    Spirit Sacrifice: (D387) Dismiss your spirit companion to give you or an ally a saving throw or temp hitpoints.  There is no limit on how long the SC stays gone so you can bring it right back.  Only shaman power that can give the shaman a save.

    At Will:

    Assistance of the Stong Spirit (D383) It is a standard action to slide your SC and an ally.  In paragon if an ally has Agile Opportunist this can be much better since its slide the ally into an enemy and attack at will.  It is half your move so for dwarves, gnomes, and chain wearers this is only 2 squares at level 2.  Red if you have voice of battle or other movement powers and no agile opportunist.

    Skill Powers

    These are mainly worth it if you want to spend a feat for skill power.

    Daily:

    Inspiring Fortitude (Endurance) Allies get a good number of temp hitpoints keyed off con mod and you use your second wind.  Con shamans are better off with protective roots, but this is an ok choice for non-con shamans.

    Nature Sense (Nature) Make a nature check instead of an initiative roll.  Party get +4 to first rounds defenses.

    Encounter

    Healer's Gift (Heal) Standard action for a dying ally to spend a surge.  Might be worth it for the feat version if you run out of healing powers.  Replace with physicians care later on.


    Level 3 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Spirit Hunt
    Bear: Capturing Jaws
    Eagle: Spirit of Slavering Bloodlust
    Worldspeaker: Steadfast Mountain Guardian
    Animist: Granite Ally
    Any: Rimefire Spirit, Sly Fox Spirit, Spirit of Slavering Bloodlust, Infectious Spark

    Personal

    Lightning Panther Spirit: P vs ref. Small amount of lightning damage, allies can shift as minor action when next to SC. Stalker allies can ignore difficult terrain as well.

    Rimefire Spirit: vs Will Fire and cold damage. Any enemy adjacent to SC gains vulnerability 5 to fire and cold. With right party this can be great, but otherwise pass.

    Spirit

    Call to the Savage Elder: Vs ref. Allies get damage power bonus to melee attacks keyed to your wis mod.  That is not bad, but most builds have better ones like capturing jaws and spirit of slavering blood lust is better for most builds.

    Capturing Jaws: B (PP) (Bear) vs ref. Little damage and immobilizes. But for protectors this also lets allies flank with you SC and your allies all get power bonus to attack rolls while flanking with the spirit equal to your con mod. This easily tops spring renewal strike for bear builds.

    Infectious Spark (D383) Immediate interrupt vs fort  This is weird a power, but could be very useful.  When your SC is hit, then it can attack and if it hits it makes the enemy attack one of its allies.  It then disappears without you taking damage.  This is a power that is extremely situational and if your DM does not attack your SC much then it will not be much use, but if your DM likes to send high damaging monsters straight at your SC then this will frustrate him and saves you from taking damage.  Depending on initiative order and if you took sudden call this can become more useful.
    Granite Ally
    A (DS) (Animist) close burst 1 +2 vs ac.  Ally gets DR 3 and your spirit goes away.  For animists the DR is equal to 2 + int.  Only multitarget power of level so its not bad for other builds.

    Sly Fox Spirit: (PP) You do not attack, but this lets an ally get 1 basic attack, with a second ally getting one if the first hits. There are several other powers that will help your allies lay on damage more this level and that let you damage at the same time and this requires that they both be next to your SC.  For parties with a 2 heavy hitting basic attackers and it works with ranged and melee so for a party with mixed ranged and melee basic attacks its a good choice.

    Spirit Hunt: P (PP) (Panther) vs ref Highest direct damage power of level. Stalkers get +2 to hit and extra 1d10 damage if target is isolated.  Depending on your party you might want to go with something else even if you are panther shaman.

    Spirit of Slavering Bloodlust: E (PP) (Watchers) Vs Fort. Best when enemies are already bloodied since you get +2 bonus to hit. Allies next to SC get +2 power bonus to hit and damage bloodied enemies. Watchers use dex to figure allies' bonus.  Bear shamans have Certain Threat, but this is not a bad power for stalkers, animists or worldspeakers.

    Spring Renewal Strike: B Vs fort for high damage and ally gets to spend a surge. Protectors get to add con mod in healing. Only healing power of level.

    Steadfast Mountain Guardian: W
    (PP) (worldspeakers) vs fort Little damage and push target, with you and allies getting +1 power bonus to defenses. For Worldspeakers this bonus is based on con mod.

    Winter's Thaw (D387) vs reflex for a fire damage.  Creates small temporary zone where allies get a save when suffering slow, immolized, or ongoing cold damage conditions.  Only worth it for fire focused builds



    Level 5 Daily
    Spoiler:


    Your best bets are usually a multitarget control power like ancient progenitor spirit or Shrieking Wind spirit.  Vengeful Blood spirit is good for a party with 2 chargers.  War Chiefs Blessing is a good accuracy boost vs solos and Spirit of the Hawk's wind is worth considering if you don't have good mobility granting powers.

    Personal

    Coils of the Earth Serpent: (PP) Small are burst vs fort . Creates a small zone where enemies are hurt your wid mod when they hit allies in the zone.

    Earthrage Spirit: Large blast vs reflex that knocks enemies prone and has effect that whenever they get hit they go prone again (save ends).  This isn't that great compared to other control powers this level that have come out since this was published, but I had this one on my first shaman and the effect was frustrating for my DM and it was a fun power.

    Spirit of the Hawk's Wind: ranged vs reflex for single target radiant damage with blinding. Blinding is good, but this creates a movable zone for the encounter where allies can shift 4 and ignore difficult terrain.

    Spirit of the Shielding Fire. Ally gets temp hp and fire resistance and as immediate intterrupt you can attack an enemy who (hits the ally with a melee attack) with a ranged vs ref fire attack. This is ok if you are focused on fire damage, but otherwise it is pretty situational and is a fairly weak effect for a daily.

    Vengeful Blood Spirits (PP) 2 allies can charge and do extra damage if they hit. For rest of encounter they get untyped +2 to hit and damage when charging. Great if you have barbarians or other chargers in group, but party dependent.

    War Chieftain's Blessing
    : Long range vs will that does single target damage. You and allies get a +2 untyped bonus to hit for rest of encounter vs your target. Good against elites and solos.

    Winds of the Scorching Desert (PP) Close blast Vs fort that targets all creatures for fire damage.  You slide the targets your wisdom modifyer (1 if you miss) and you slide you and your SC your speed.

    Spirit

    Ancient Progenitor Spirit (ITU) Close burst spirit power that does psychic damage and causes them to grant CA/lose concealment save ends.  Creates a sustainable zone that does auto psychic damage to enemies and penalizes their attack rolls.  A really good power for worldspeakers.

    Spirit of Battle's End: (PP) vs reflex for damage and allies do 5 damage when they miss until the enemy makes a save.  I think you are better off taking one of the many powers this level that helps makes sure your allies hit.

    Rememberence of Hate (D387) Cloes burt vs fort for damage plus ongoing damage (save ends).  Miss, pushes 1  Creates a zone that lasts as long as your SC, but it damages and pushes creatures away from SC, which seems counter productive since it won't help keep enemies next to spirit and punishes allies when they stay next to it. 

    Shrieking Wind Spirits (DS) close burst 2 vs fort.  Damages, slides, and dazes (save ends) enemies.  Dismisses Spirit, but you get a sustainable zone that lets you potentially slide more enemies.

    Wind of Pain and Succor (PP) vs will cold damage and up to 3 allies heal extra while next to SC.


    Level 6 Utility
    Spoiler:

    In my opinion, this is the weakest level for shaman utilities.  Light of the crimson sun is very good for animists and stalkers with the right party.  There are a couple of decent ones, but I had hearth spirit at first for my own character for 4 levels and it was the only power I had that never came up as a good option for my small group over several levels of play.  Sudden restoration is a good choice if you do not have any other save granting options, but otherwise you should probably pick a daily or even a level 2 power.  Herder of Hulamark is an interesting choice for worldspeakers.  This is a good level for multiclass power swaps and I took the ranger's weave through the fray, but that was before light of the crimson sun had been published.

    Daily


    Blessing of the Iron Tree: Targets 1 bloodied ally with damage resistance instead of multiple allies like in protective roots, but if you have a low con this is ok.

    Everlasting Flame Strength: (PP) When ally brings a target to 0, ally heals 5 and does 2 fire damage to adjacent enemies.  ON a controller or striker this could be pretty good.

    Hearth Spirit
    : (PP) Allies in close burst heal a little and can use second wind as minor action. I think this is the best healing power of the level.  Good for warden allies.

    Primal Investiture (D387)  Dismiss your SC for a round and you can't use call spirit companion EONT.  Ally gets to spend a surge and get +1 power bonus to attacks and +2 bonus to defenses.

    Roming Mind, Roving Spirit (D383) Lets your SC move out of line of sight and range, but it can not attack while out of your sight/range.  You have way better options than this and this is really DM dependent on how that will work.


    Spirit of Dawn: You and allies ignore cover, superior cover, concealment and total concealment in large zone. Good against lurkers.

    Spirit of the Keeper: Ok single target healing snd allies next to SC do not grant CA.  Minor action at least.

    Spirit of Vengeance: (PP) When you hit 0 hp as a reaction allies get to spend a surge and get +2 bonus to attacks against target

    Spur the Pack
    (PP) Very good ally movement keyed to your wis mod.  But its not good enough for a daily. You get to slide you and allies next to sc as a minor action. Shamans get a lot of ally movement powers that I would take before this one, but this is the only movement power this level.  
    Encounter

    Herder of Hulculmak
    (D383) You and allies in burst 2 get to move through enemies squares.  This is really only useful for worldspeakers since your SC protects from opportunity attacks through its boon, for everyone else this is not worth taking unless your allies have some other way to prevent OA.

    Light of the Crimson Sun (DS) Creates a temporary zone that gives allies power bonus to radiant and fire attacks, while they get temp hitpoints keyed off your int when they hit.  Very party dependent whether this is great (stalker or animist with radiant/fire themed allies) or useless (most other parties).

    Spirit Companion's Shelter: (PP) SC gets +4 bonus to defense when hit as an interrupt.  DM dependent, but if your DM attacks your SC a lot its a good choice..



    Sudden Restoration: 2 allies can make saves. You do not have that many save granting powers and this one is easy to use and has good range.

    Skill Powers

    Daily:
    Warning of Peril (Perception) Your allies can use your perception for their passive perception checks.

    Encounter:
    Empathetic read (Insight) Your allies can reroll a bluff, intimidate or diplomacy check

    Guided shot (perception) An ally that misses a ranged attack vs AC can instead target reflex.

    Insightful counter (Insight) You do not grant CA until the end of your next turn

    Insightful Warning (Arcana) You and allies in a close or area attack get a +2 power bonus to defenses as an interrupt.

    Mighty Sprint (Athletics) move your speed +4 and get a bonus to athletics check. Shamans do not have many movement powers.

    Physician's Care (Heal) Standard action lets ally spend a surge

    Presceint Manuever (Insight) Shift half you speed when an enemy moves willingly.  Shamans do not have many movement powers.

    Swift recovery (Heal) Minor action for target to use second wind as a free action.  This gets skyblue if you have a warden in the party.

    Walk it off (endurance) Make a saving throw against ongoing damage before you take the damage


    Level 7 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Call to the Blood Dancer
    Bear: Winter Wind Spirit
    Eagle: Guardian Eagle Flock
    Worldspeaker: Hammer of the Grasping Tides
    Animist:
    Any: Blood Red Mist, Emerald Lure, Hammer of the Grasping Tides, Memories of Wind and Rain or Call to the Blood Dancer
    Animists don't have a dedicated power this level.


    Personal

    Thunderstorn Spirit: vs ref Some lightning and thunder damage and when you or ally hit enemy adjacent to your SC you do extra lightning and thunder damage.

    Winter Wind Spirit
    : B vs fort. A little cold damage, but if an ally is hit while next to SC as an immediate interrrupt you can add 4 to their ac. Protector builds use 3+ con mod.

    Spirit
    Bear Hug:
    (D383) Vs fort for a tiny bit of damage and restrains.  Restrains is good, but there are better options.

    Blood Red Mist
    (PP) Vs reflex Decent damage and enemies take -2 penalites to defenses.  This is the only power this level that will normally increase the chances of allies hitting. 

    Call to the Blood Dancer: P Vs will Highest single target damage of level and allies can crit on 18-20 when next to SC. Stalker build allies do extra damage keyed to int.

    Call to the Howling Storm: vs ref, Decent lightning and thunder damage and 1 ally can shift 5.

    Emerald Lure (D387) Close burst 2 vs will that does damage and pulls enemies towards spirit, and you dismiss your SC. 

    Flashing Spirit (PP) close burst vs reflex. Allies get bonus to damage depending on how many enemies you hit. Other close burst powers this level target more enemies and have better effects.

    Guardian Eagle Flock
    (PP) E Burst 2 vs fort some damage and you can slide allies 3, watchers also get to slide targets of the power.  Agile Opportunist for allies if you take this in paragon.

    Hammer of the Grasping Tides
    (PP) W Burst 2 vs reflex a little damage and target is slowed, while the effect gives allies a speed bonus. World speakers also add bonus to defense against opportunity atttacks.

    Memories of Wind and Rain
    (DS) Close burst vs ref that damages enemies and slides allies (becomes skyblue with agile opportunist allies).  SC dissappears and leaves zone that dazes enemies that end their turn in it.  Best debuff this level.

    Spirit of Weakness (PP) (PantherP vs will. Target is weakend and ally makes a basic attack against it. Stalkers get to add int bonus to ally's damage roll.  This is an ok enabling/debuff power, but I like the bonus from call to the blood dancer more for panthers.


    Level 9 Daily
    Spoiler:

    If you have allies with good basic attacks Ancient Warlord's Inspiration is your best choice since it is good enabling.  Occasionally fore armed is forewarned will be better because it front loads the basic attacks, but it takes more set up.  Raging storm spirit is a decent party damage buffing power and has a big AOE and Mountains Might can be good for animist and stalkers if they have a melee ally that doesn't mind being slowed for the encounter.

    Personal

    Ancient Warlord's Inspiration: Summons a spirit that attacks reflex for a little damage. 1/turn as your immediate reaction you can have an ally make a basic attack.  Probably your best off turn attack multiplier.

    Call Discordant Spirit (PP) vs will with psychic damage and reliable. All other enemies take penalty to attack and saves when near this enemy for the encounter.  Might be decent in a few stuations.

    Clever Trickster Spirit vs will for some psychic damage. Slows and grants CA (save ends) Aftereffect gives same condition to nearest enemy.  I had a lot of fun with this power.

    Four-Armed is Fore Warned: (D394) Really good for ally Nova rounds since it grants up to 4 basic attacks to an ally at once, but your ally needs to be positioned just right to get it off since its vs 4 different targets.  For something like a high damage fighter with come and get it this could be useful or if you prep with a power like Emerald Lure and then action point with this.

    Raging Storm Spirit vs reflex Area burst 5 for some good lightning damage. Creates burst 5 zone where enemies take extra thunder damage whenever they are hit for the encounter.

    Spirit Control (PP) Large psychic blast vs reflex. Any target you hit, you get a +2 bonus to attack with you SC for rest of encounter. Creates zone where your SC does extra damage for encounter with spirir powers keyed to your wisdom mod. In a small party I might be tempted to take this, but I think raging storm spirit will normally be better.  This is about the time psychic optimization starts kicking in.

    Spirit of Autumn's Reaping:
    vs fort for some for some necrotic damage. Target becomes vulnerable 5 (save ends) if you hit, 2 if you miss. You and every ally within 10 squares of you heals 5 hp.  Raging storm spirit is probably going to do more overall damage as long as you can keep the enemy in the large zone and so will spirit control.

    Spirit of Earth Arisen (PP) You summon a spirit conjuration that attacks vs fortitude when you summon it for some ok damage. It potentially heals each ally once a round and creates difficult terrain in burst 2 for enemies. You can sustain it with a minor action.

    Spirit

    Enraged Spirit (D387) Your SC gets DR 5 and for the encounter can make a decent at will attack vs fortitude that can potentially do some pretty good damage d12 + wis with another D12 if they damage anyone that turn.  But this goes away if the spirit goes away and raging storm spirit will normally boost damage more.

    Explosive Sacrifice (PP) close burst 2 vs reflex. Damages and dazes (save ends). Targets allies as well and you lose your SC until the end of your next turn. Only damages on a miss. The effect is not that great for what you give up and it can hurt allies.

    Mountain's Might (DS) Makes ally slowed, DR 5 and power bonus to melee damage keyed off int.  Must be sustained. SC disappears.  Make close burst vs fort that damages and knocks prone.  Some stalkers and animists might like this power if they have shifty/teleporting squishy melee stiker allies or defenders/strikers that don't mind being slowed



    Level 10 Utility
    Spoiler:

    Daily



    Quickening Breeze: (PP) Allies get to reroll 3 failed saves with potential bonus when next to SC..

    Rock Shield Spirits Shield of the immortal Forest provides the same bonus to more defenses over a larger area and takes less actions.

    Sacrifical Spirit (D372) Allies get an additional healing surge and your SC disappears for a round.  The level 2 spirit of life is better than this.

    Shield of the Immortal Forest (PP) Party gets +2 power bonus to defenses when within 5 of SC.. Can end this power to give ally +6 untyped bonus to defenses as an immediate interrupt.

    Spirit Summons Get a second SC for the encounter. Bonuses and effects apply to both, but you can only attack through one at a time.

    Spirits of the Shadow Moon Grants concealment in a large movable zone. With the right party this can actually be pretty good, but twilight's veil makes you and several party members invisible and can be used each encounter so that will probably be more useful for more parties.

    Stone Roots Resilience (PP) Ally gets temp hp equal to your wis mod each round.

    Encounter

    Call Forth the Spirit World (D387) (NOTE: Dragon has this colored as a daily power and the compendium says daily, but the actual dragon article lists it as an encounter power and since sustainable encounter powers are rare I think there may have meant it to be a daily at first, but changed their minds or made a mistake.  As a daily its probably only dark blue.  )  A very good zone around your spirit that makes enemies take -2 to attacks and that heals bloodied allies 5 hp a turn.  It needs to be sustained and if your SC is destroyed it goes away so this gets better if you have upped the defenses of your SC some.  (The wording is not clear since it uses the term "destroyed" and spirit companions are not normally "destroyed", but the feat retributive spirit makes it sound like destoyed is when a creature does enough damage to make it disappear)

    Primal Gust Minor action to slide someone 3.  This is situationally very good and skyblue with agile opportunist allies, but I think twilights veil will be a bit more consistently useful.

    Swirling Dust (DS) SC disappears and ally becomes insubstantial.  Surrounding squares are lightly obscured.

    Twilight's Veil (PP) You and some allies become invisible in a close burst.  This was very useful in my small party. 

    Skill Powers

    Daily

    Incredible Stride (athletics) +4 to speed all encounter

    Uncanny instincts (perception) You and ally use a perception roll in place of initiative

    Encounter

    Conviction (religion) +5 to your next save.

    Insightful Comment (insight) party gets bonus to social skills keyed off your wisdom mod.

    Perfect Sight (perception) blindsight

    Prescient Defense
    (insight) Immediate interrupt power bonus to all defenses

    Reactive Surge (endurance) spend a surge when bloodied

    Spot The Path (perception) close burst 5 ignore difficult terrain

    Time Out (heal) give ally a second second wind.  good for dwarves and wardens

  6. #6
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Paragon Evocations

    Level 13 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Watchers and Animists do not get a dedicated power this level.

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Call to the Laughing Fortune or Spirit of the Killing Shot
    Bear: Call to the Indominitable Defender or Drawing all eyes
    Eagle:

    Worldspeaker: Storm of War
    Animist:
    Any:
    Spirit of Cleansing Light, Spirit of the Killing Shot or Call to the Laughing Fortune

    Personal

    Harvest Reaping (D387) vs fort and damages/knocks prone.  Healing spirit also gives a +2 bonus to ally's melee damage rolls for a turn.  Conditional for a very small bonus.

    Howling Gust: vs Ref Some damage and you get to slide the target and teleport an ally.  You have better movement powers like seething zephyr, which is multitarget.

    Hungry Spirit (PP) vs will . If attack reduces enemy to 0, ally next to SC gets some good surge free healing keyed to your wisdom mod.  Its too conditional for me.

    Spirit of Cleansing Light: vs will 2 attacks for radiant damage. SC grants save with +2 bonus.  If you are short on saves this is a good choice and one of the few multitarget powers this level.
    Spirit

    Call to the Indominitable Defender: B vs fort. Some damage and your SC grants you and your allies damage resistance 5. Protectors DR is keyed off con.

    Call to the Laughing Fortune
    : P vs ref. Some damage and you can use 1 immediate interrupt when an ally misses with an attack while next to your SC to reroll the attack. Stalker builds add int mod to reroll.

    Drawing all eyes: B (PP) Vs ref for high damage and target is marked. Protector builds mark is keyed off of con.  Remeber that SC can only be targetted by ranged/melee so they can not attack it with a burst/blast power and also target your allies.

    Seething Zephyr (DS) close burst vs ref that damages and slides enemies.  If you hit one enemy next to spirit one ally can fly 6.  Your SC disappears

    Spirit of the Killing Shot
    P (PP) Ally makes basic attack for max damage. Stalker builds add int for attack.

    Spirits of the Forsaken Vale (PP) Vs for Decent damage and allies who make a close or area attack that incluides your SC get CA against the targets. Party dependent and storm of war also grants CA.

    Storm of War: W (PP) vs ref for average damage and enemies next to SC grant CA. Worldspeakers give allies bonus to damage equal to con mod.



    Level 15 Daily
    Spoiler:

    Not that great of a level for daily choices.  If allies have agile opportunist, then Searing Wind of the South or Tree Father's Bounty. Guardian of the Primal Copse is a nice defense debuff for an elite or solo.  Volcanic Circle and gray roarer's rampage would be next choices after those.

    Personal

    Guardian of the Primal Copse vs fort    Effect makes target use its lowest defense for attacks (save ends) For some higher level enemies this is a huge difference.  Its not uncommon for it to mean a boost of 4-6 at level 15 for some attacks, even more if allies are targetting AC.

    Searing Wind of the South
    vs fort big fire blast. Slide your allies around or next to the blast.

    Spirit Ocean (PP) vs reflex. Allies do extra damage for next three hits. Lots of straight up damage.

    Spirit of the Wolf Pack big blast vs will that causes targets to grant CA and take extra damage if flanked (Save ends).  Searing wind of the south is same size, but better effect most of the time.

    Storm Guardian Spirit vs ref for for good thunder damage and for rest of encounter 1 ally does 5 thunder damage when hit and pushes enemy 1 square. Helps protect a squish.

    Tree Father's Bounty.(PP) area burst vs reflex . Creates static zone that is difficult terrain for enemies and grants cover for allies. Allies in zone can be slid as free action so with agile opportunist
    this is very good.


    Spirit




    Gray Roarer's Rampage (D383)  Vs will for psychic damage.  You move your SC through up to 4 enemy's spaces and attack each of them.  Slide and daze (save ends) when you hit, make them grant CA when you miss.  I don't think you will normally get that many, but in the right party it could work ok.

    Reparative Spirit (PP) vs ref against single target. Rest of encounter your SC grants lots of temp hp.

    Spirit Pin (PP) vs will and damages and immobilizes (save ends) then restrains (save ends). Only worth considering in heavily ranged party since you are guaranteed at least one round of immobilization. I like the effects of other single target powers more this level

    Volcanic Circle (DS) Close burst vs reflex that targets enemies with fire damage.  Enemies hit grant CA and take ongoing 10 (save ends).  Spirit disappears and creates zone that deals 10 damage to anyone in zone.



    Level 16
    Spoiler:

    Faces of the fallen is my favorite power this level and one of the few good Dragon Mag powers for shamans, but spirit's regeneration is good as well.  Fate weavers shield is a good encounter defense power and Spirit Binding makes your SC buffs last an extra round.  Guiding winds is an excellent choice with agile opportunist allies and a decent int.

    Daily

    Forge The Chains of Life Revive a party memeber who fails a death save.  Healing howl will normally be more useful, heals more characters, and is less situational.

    Faces of the Fallen (D372) SC automatically weakens enemies who start turn next to it for the entire encounter, which makes it harder for them to hurt your SC or your party.  If you have a way to generate multiple SCs this is even better.

    Guiding Snarl (PP) Player gets to reroll an attack with your int mod as a power bonus.  Black for int builds, but a bit costly for a daily considering the competition.

    Healing Howl (PP) Close burst surge free healing centered on your SC. 

    Presence of the Ancestor Spirit (PP) Good bonus damage for a party memeber with stalker builds and you can reduce damage they take by from an attack, but that ends the effect.

    Screening Branches (PP) Creates a wall that provides cover and temp hitpoints based on your con mod.  Shamans do not get walls so it is unique that way.

    Spirits of the Dancing Zephyr
    Summons a movable zone that allows you and allies to shift as an immediate reaction when attacked.  Sometimes this will be very useful.

    Spirits Regeneration (PP) Give 1 or 2 party members regeneration while bloodied, with more regeneration while they are next to your SC.

    Spiritual Congress (D387) Use speak with spirits each round one encounter.


    Encounter


    Fate Weaver's Shield Untyped +5 bonus to one players defenses.  This is good to use on whoever is right before you in initiative and ok on others.

    Guiding Winds (DS) SC disappears and you slide allies next to it your int mod.  Only for stalkers and animists who need more ally movement powers.  Really good if you have agile opportunist allies and a decent int.

    One Spirit One Body (D383) You teleport and switch places with your SC.  Not bad, but the other encounter powers are better this level.

    Spirit Binding The bonuses from a buff to your allies from your SC get extended by a round.  Every build can use this to good effect with the right power selection, but only a handful of powers work with it since a lot of powers boost the next action, are enemy debuffs, don't require being next to the spirit or something similar.  About 15 powers work with it, but only a handful are of those are worth looking at: Call to the savage elder, spirit of slavering bloodlust,  Call to the blood dancer, Call to the Indominatble defender, call to the great hunter, spirit of elder wisdom and call to the clensing fire all work and will be in your arsenal at level 16 or higher.

    Skill Powers

    Daily

    Miraculous Healing (heal) Ally gets surge free healing

    Encounter

    Elemental Countermeasures (Arcana) Reduce elemental damage

    Insightful Riposte (insight) Add 3 to a missed attack roll



    Level 17 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    World Speaker's do not get a dedicated power this level.

    Recommended powers:
    Panther:
    Shackels of the Mountain 
    Bear: Flesh Ripper's Claws
    Eagle: Boar's Toss
    Worldspeaker:

    Animist:
    Any: Boar's Toss, Flesh Ripper's Claws , Spirit Bond of Vengence, or Winter's End

    Personal
    Shackels of the Mountain P vs reflex against 1 or 2 creatures.   Target uses lower of AC or Reflex as its ac.  Stalker targets use lowest of reflex, ac and fort as ac.  If you allies mainly target AC this is a potentially big debuff for stalker builds most of the time.

    Spirit of Spirng's Renewal
    B vs will and allies get to spend a surge, with protector builds adding 2 times con mod.  Only healing power of level.

    Thorn Ally
    (PP) Vs reflex for damage and SC restrains enemies for a round.


    Spirit
    Boar's Toss (PP) E If you hit vs fortitude you: do a little damage, slide the target and your SC, and everyone else within 10 gets to make a ranged basic attack against the target.  If you are a non watcher build and have at least two allies with RBAs this is normally your best choice.  Watcher allies get to add the watchers dex bonus to attack roll. 

    Call to the Lashing Behemoth Decent damage vs fort and you knock target prone.  Allies also get to knock targets prone.  Your party probably has better ways to prone by this point and Flesh Ripper's Claws also prones and that is normally a better power.

    Cloud Burst (DS) A Close burst and you do lightning damage and immobilize.  Your SC disapperas and animist can make himself and allies do only lightning damage as well for next turn.  For some parties and enemies that might be useful, but only in specialized groups.  And winters end will normally target more enemies with a more unique effect

    Flesh Ripper's Claws (PP) B vs reflex and an ally gets to make a melee basic attack against your target that knocks it prone, with protector builds
    another ally gets to melee basic attack the next round if it stands up.

    Hunt and Return (PP) P Potentially highest direct damage attack of level. vs reflex and get to move your SC 4 afterwards.  Stalkers get +2 bonus to hit if target is isolated.  If you care about damage I would do boar's toss, flesh ripper's claws, or spirit bond of vengence first.

    Spirit Bond of Vengeance
    damage vs reflex and if allies hit other targets next to SC, your target takes 1d6 damage.  There is no direct limit number of times this happens so if you move your SC into a crowd of enemies your AOE party members can take advantage.  Darkblue assumes you have a way to exploit it like Great Elder path and a multiple AOE allies.

    Spirit Lance (PP) This is a ranged attack vs will from your spirt that does high damage.  Only force damage for shamans in PHB2 or PP.  Long range, but nothing else.

    Winter's End (D387) close burst 2 fire damage vs reflex so usually most targets for any power this level.  Creates a temporary zone where allies can make saves vs slowed, immobilized or ongoing cold damage at the beginning of their turns so that is fairly decent.




    level 19 daily
    Spoiler:

    Sirroco Spirit is normally your best choice and is the best AOE power.  Spirit of the shield breaker is a good choice if you have striker allies that target AC.  Tree fathers ward is a good 2 enemy debuff with some surge free healing.  Nothing this level for enabling and not many choices with control either. 

    Personal

    Ancestors Drum (PP) Interesting close burst power 1 vs will that you can sustain up to 2 times as a standard action, with it getting 1 bigger each time.  It does thunder damage and lets an ally spend a surge each time.  This should usually damage more than tree father's ward, but that power might provide better healing and has a good debuff.

    Great Bear Guardian Ranged power Vs fortitude for low damage and a push.  Creates a bear conjuration that can flank and make OAs for damage.  Only worth taking if you need help flanking/defending.

    Horns of the Undefeated Kahn Long range power vs reflex.  Party members get a EONT untyped bonus to attack and damage against the target, get to shift 3, and get a save.

    Spirit of the
    Hunter's Soul
    (PP) Good damage vs reflex and when next to SC 1 ally gets a +5 power bonus (+int mod) to damage rolls against the target.  Only for stalkers/animists
    with multiattack strikers since by level 19 you could be talking about a +11 power bonus to damage for each attack.  Spirit of the shield breaker or Sirroco Spirit are normally better unless you have allies not-targetting AC or who don't miss very often and you are up against a tough solo.

    Spirit of the Shield Breaker  Ranged vs will and causes target to take a -4 penalty to AC (save ends), with an afteraffect of a -2 penalty to AC (save ends).  Creates a conjuration that gives allies a +5 power bonus to damage.  Dark blue assumes not super accurate strikers targetting AC.

    Tendrils of the Fate Weaver Vs will damage and a save ends (slows/can't get CA) on a hit with a -5 penalty to save against it.  The effect is ok and enemy is immobilized EONT if it ever hits 1 ally you pick.

    Tree Father's Ward (PP) Big blast vs fort that targets 2 enemies and gives them -4 to attack (save ends).  Bloodied allies in blast get to heal as if they spent a surge.


    Spirit


    Guardian of Howling Wrath
    (D372) VS will for high necrotic damage.  You get power bonus to attack roles for a round when enemies die near your SC.

    Sirroco Spirit
    (DS) close burst 2 vs fort that targets everyone.  Damages plus blinded and vulnerable 5 to all (save ends both).  SC disappears.  Normally best power this level.

    Spirit of Endings Begun (D387) Party friendly close burst 2 vs fort so most targets for any power this level, except for ancestor's Drum and sirroco spirit.  Targets take ongoing 5 and a -2 penalty to defenses (save ends).  The zone is a bit iffy since it is not party friendly.  Does 5 damage and lets you push target away from SC until your SC is gone.  So the zone often won't last all encounter and animist should't take.

    Wind of Death and Mercy (PP) vs will for cold damage.  Next 3 allies next to SC get to heal extra when they heal.  Tree Father's Ward is normally more and faster surge free healing, has a decent debuff, and targets 2 enemies.


  7. #7
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Epic Evocations

    Level 22 Utility
    Spoiler:


    Medicine of Many forms is an easy choice, with spirits of recovery right behind it.  Encounter minor action with a couple of different effects for allies to chose from: saving throw, temphitpoints, or spend a surge.  Spirits of recovery is fairly similar minor action with a save in close burst + temp hitpoints if they make it.  Bounty of Life is a good daily regen power.

    Daily

    Bounty of Life
    Regeneration 5 for allies, 10 while bloodied.  Best daily healing power.

    Call the Dead Standard action to revive your nearby dead allies and they spend a surge. Natural Rebirth is similar, in an encounter power, has better range, a minor action, and is surge free healing.  Spirit of the world healer is better too and I don't even like that one that much.  This is good for after the battle, but other powers are overall better and I would take something like Bounty of Life first so allies are less likely to die to begin with.

    Doorway To the Spirit World You and allies are insubstantial while in a  burst 1 that can't be moved.

    Life and Death Struggle
    (D372) Allies can spend a surge and creates zone where allies get bonuses to death saves and enemies can not heal.  The effect against enemies is nice, but just spending a surge is not that great.

    Sand Summons (DS) Teleport allies near SC and creates difficult terrain for the encounter.

    Spirit of the Cunning General (PP) When allies near your SC miss all targets with action point attacks they get to reuse the action points that encounter. There are action point abuses to be found in this.

    Spirit of the World Healer Ally gets all of their hitpoints back as a minor.

    Spirit Realm (PP) This replaces your SC with a burst 3 zone that treats all areas of the zone as if they were next to your SC or within range of your SC.  You must sustain the zone and you can't use call spirit companion while the zone is there.  You better have a lot of non SC ways to attack and probably some non SC dailes if you want this power, so a few builds could use it.

    Encounter

    Medicines of Many Forms (PP) Each ally in large blast can spend a surge, make a save or get 20 temp hp.  Probably most consistently useful power of level.

    Natural
    Rebirth (PP) Dying ally gets to heal as if they spent a surge and is immune to restain, slow, or immobilize.  If your party has a bunch of ressurection effects from their epic destinies you might not get much use out of this at later epic levels.  Otherwise it is a useful choice.

    Spirits of Recovery (PP) Allies in close burst make saves, if they succeed they get temp hitpoints.  I could see taking this instead of medicine of many forms.  They both have the same area, but this is burst instead of blast and potentially combines 2 benefits.


    Level 23 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Mighty Spirit Leap
    Bear: Call to the Primal Protector or Spirit of the Ram
    Eagle: 
    Worldspeaker:
    Spirit of the Vengeful Mountain
    Animist:
    Any: Spirit of the Ram,  Spirit of the Vengeful Mountain, Blood Red Bonds, Call to the Primal Protector, Beguiling Call

    Personal

    Spirit of the Death
    Raven Vs will for psychic damage.  Highest direct damage power and if the target is hit by a noncrit attack you can try to turn it into a crit with a D20 roll of 15+.

    Twin Tempest Spirits 2 attacks vs reflex for lightning and thunder damage.  If you hit you can teleport allies away from your SC.

    Spirit

    Behemoth's Club
    (D383) The attack part is not very good and only works against large targets (which is odd).  The only thing that prevents this from being completely red is that it makes your SC large for a turn, so some non great elder's might want it.  Probably worst power overall this level.

    Boulder Smash (DS) A close burst vs fort that targets enemies.  Damages and knocks prone.  SC disappears.  Animists create difficult terrain that goes away when you recall SC.  You have better close powers this level.

    Beguiling Call (D387)  Close burst 2 vs will  Pulls and dazes targets and dismisses the companion.  Spirit of the vengeful mountain has more targets and usually a better effect since a lot of enemies are teleporting in epic, but this is still a multitarget dazing power (shamans only have 3 encounter powers that daze and only one other is multitarget) and can lump up enemies well.

    Blood Red Bonds
    (PP) vs reflex.  Enemies take a -4 to defenses while adjacent to your SC.  If enemy starts turn next to SC, but moves away you can send SC after him.

    Call to the Primal Protector
    B Vs reflex for some damage and allies next your SC take half damage.  Protectors also give out temp hit points 5+con.

    Call to the Relentless Hunter
    P vs fortitude and when your allies next to SC miss with an encounter or at will power they do d10 damage, stalkers add their int to that number.  This is not bad, but mighty spirit leap is better.

    Eagle's Aerie (PP) E Close burst 3 centered on spirit vs fortitude for low damage.  You slide targets, plus they grant CA.  Watchers targets can't get cover.  Potentially most targets of any power this level along with spirit of the vengeful mountain, but that power is better most of the time.

    Mighty Spirit Leap (PP) P
    Up to three seperate attacks vs reflex.  After each attack you get to move your SC your move speed.  For each hit you roll d6 and allies get to add the total of this to their damage while next to SC.  Stalkers also add int bonus to ally damage.  Conservatively that is around a +15 average bonus to damage for stalker allies.

    Spirit of the Ram (PP) B  Allies in close burst 2 near SC can charge with a +4 bonus to hit, +5 bonus to damage and a push 3.  Protector allies push 2+ con mod. This is the most party dependent power of level and is great for parties with multiple charging based characters, but not very useful for non charging focused parties.

    Spirit of the Vengeful Mountain (PP) W
    Close burst 3 centered on SC vs ref.  Targets are restrained and can't teleport, with world speakers giving an insane attack bonus against the targets = to their con mod (plus restrained means they grant CA).  Worldspeakers should definitely take this power and other builds should look at it.  My vote for best overall power of level after spirit of the ram.


    Level 25 Daily
    Spoiler:

    Personal

    Huntmaster's Horn (PP) Party friendly vs will blast 5 that does psychic damage and immobilizes (save ends).  Miss slows (save ends).  For rest of encounter allies in blast get power bonus to damage  keyed off int mod.  And have ca against sowed or immoblized targets and get CA against those enemies.  Int like this because of the int damage and world speakers have lots of ways to slow immobilize, but your allies should be getting CA faily easily by now.

    Iron Born Spirit vs fort ranged power that damages and immobilizes (save ends)  target.  Creates a burst 5 zone that gives your allies a +2 power boost to AC and negates forced movement for the encounter.

    Peacemaker's Lodge (PP) blast vs will for psychic damage and dazes.  Creates sustainable zone where creatures take penalties to attack = to your con mod.  Allies next to SC do not suffer this penalty.  Risky power, but nice debuff for worldspeakers and protectors.

    Spirit of the Laughing Wanderer ranged vs will psychic and the target is stunned (save ends).  After effect other enemy is stunned (save ends).  By this point you should probably have some way to make that save pretty hard.  A miss is similar but, dazed and slow (save ends) then other enemy daze and slow (Save ends).

    Spirit of the World Serpent Strange ranged power vs reflex that has a bunch of save ends effects centered around the target getting knocked prone and then taking damage when it stands up.  Other single target powers are better.

    Stormhawk's Gambit (PP) blast vs will for damage.  Target is slowed (save ends) and flying creatures crash.  Allies within 5 of your SC can fly and hover for the encounter, which is the main reason to take it.

    Sunder Spirit
    (PP) range vs will for necrotic damage and knocks unconscious (save ends).    Potential save or die for enemies if they fail 3 saves.  Allies heal while next to unconsious enemy if it fails saves.  Bloodied allies heal if next to your SC.  If you have any save penalty boosts this is sky blue  and best single target power of level.

    Western Wind of Storms  blast vs reflex that does lightning damage and lets you teleport targets and allies even if you miss.

    Spirit

    Caustic Rain (DS) close burst 2 vs fort that targets all in area.  Acid damage and ongoing penalty to defenses and acid damage.  SC disappears.  Creates sustainable zone that is lightly obscured and deals acid damage to creatyres that end up in the zone.  If zone kills non-minion ally can spend surge.

    Spirit of Destruction
    (D387) Spirit gains DR 10 and gets an at will power with range melee spirit 3, that pushes, knocks prone and does decent damage. 

    Spirit of the Brain Mole (D383) vs will for psychic damage and the target is dominated (save ends) on a hit and makes a basic attack of your chosing on a miss.  Your spirit disappears, but nothing explicitly says you can't bring it right back.


    Level 27 Encounter
    Spoiler:

    Unfortunately shamans don't have really good enabling this level like most other leaders do.  If you haven't taken spirit of the ram or boar's toss yet and they work for your party I would consider taking one those this level.  If you have those powers than you still might look at some earlier level powers for your build.  Conquering storm spirit produces OAs when the enemy attacks so that can be good if someone in your party is dominating.  Immolating spirit is not that great but its enabling too.  Spirit of elder wisdom potentially recharges ally encounter attack powers and call to the great hunter hands out a nice bonus to attacks.  Warthane Ally is a good fit for a party with a lot of essentials style allies like slayers.

    Recommended powers:
    Panther: Blood Reaper Spirits
    Bear: Call to the Cleansing Fire or Forcing the Threat
    Eagle: Hunter in the Sky
    Worldspeaker: Conquering Storm Spirit
    Animist: Immolating Spirit
    Any: Conquering Storm Spirit, Spirit of Elder Wisdom, Call to the Great Hunter

    Personal


    Blood Reaper Spirits
    P Three medium ranged attacks vs fort and you can direct all the attacks at one target so its a good striker power for hybrid shamans.  Your allies do 2 extra damage while next to your SC for each one you hit.  Stalkers add their int mod to this damage, so that should be about an extra 8 by this point and its the only stalker specific power of the level for a potential bonus of +14.  Non stalkers should look elsewhere.

    Deep Roots (D387) Close blast 3 vs fort vs enemies that does no damage, but that weakens and immobilizes and gives allies next to SC +5 power bonus to damage with melee attacks, but only if you use healing spirit.  Decent control power, but a conditional +5 to damage isn't impressive at this point.

    Spirit of Elder Wisdom Medium ranged lightning attack vs will that dazes.  If an ally doesn't hit with an encounter attack power while next to your SC it is not expended.  This is vaguely worded in the PHB2, but they errated it so that the ally can't hit at all with the power and have it recharge so mainly for striker allies with a lot of non standard action single roll attacks or something similar.

    Warthane Ally (essentials allies) (PP) short range vs reflex.  Allies get +5 power bonus to attack and damage rolls with at will powers while next to SC.  Not bad, but it is a power bonus, has short range, and at level 27 your allies are probably going to be recyling some of their dailies and encounters enough to not be using many at will powers.  If your party has multiple essentials allies this is much better.  There are not many non essentials characters where this will be a better choice than call to the great hunter or one of the spirit keyed powers.
    Spirit

    Call to the Cleansing Fire
    B vs reflex for fire and radiant damage.  Allies get +5 untyped bonus to saves while next to SC.  For bear shamans it is 3 + con mod, which means automatic success by this point since your con mod should be about an 8.  So its a round of autosaving each encounter if you hit, which is useful.

    Call to the Great Hunter vs reflex and 1 ally gets an untyped +5 bonus to attack rolls while next to SC.  Watchers are better off with Hunter in the Sky, but others should consider this.

    Conquering Storm Spirit
    (PP) W close burst vs fort.  Usually targets most creatures for the level, and has interesting effect where the target provokes OA whenever it attacks.  World speaker
    targets also take penalty to their attack role equal to con mod so there is a good chance some enemies might not bother to attack that round to avoid the OA.

    Forcing the Threat (PP) B Vs reflex and marks the target.  Only bear shamans should look at this one.  If the target does not attack your SC it takes a little damage.  For protector shamans the mark is equal to your con mod.  Since your SC can only be targetted by direct melee/ranged attacks this  forces them to attack your SC for a round or face around a -8 penalty to hit. 

    Immolating Spirit (DS) A SC disappears and ally can charge or make melee basic attack that does extra fire damage.  If it hits, the ally gets to spend a surge.  Animists let allies deal extra fire damage to enemies adjacent to enemy hit.  The lower level enabling powers like spirit of the ram and sometimes conquering storm spirit are usually better.

    Hunter in the Sky (PP) E ranged attack vs reflex.  Allies get +2 untyped bonus to ranged attacks while next to SC.  Watchers the bonus is equal to your 1 + your dex so for them its about a +9 untyped bonus to hit, which is great in the right party.

    Ravenous Spirit
    (PP) Vs will and if it drops target, and gives you and allies get lots of surgefree healing.  Should be healing around 23-25 points, but it is very conditional. 


    Level 29 Daily
    Spoiler:

    Personal

    Death Spirit ranged attack vs fortitude for high necrotic damage.  They take necrotic damage whenever someone drops to 0 near them (save ends).  Aftereffect they take a little less necrotic damage whenever someone drops to 0 near them (save ends).  High damage, but not much else. 

    Heart of Bedlam
    (PP) Fun power that lets you force one creature near your SC to make a basic attack each round as a free action.  Over a long encounter that is a lot of basic attacks.  Your spirit needs to be present at the beginning of your turn for this to work right.

    Sea of Serpents blast vs reflex.  Creates nice zone that lets allies shift 3, grants CA vs enemies and can make OAs vs shifting enemies.

    Spiritbound Vines
    (PP) This is a unique close burst 5 control power.  You create 4 sustainable vines that attack vs reflex when you summon them and if they hit they do a little damage and restrain (save ends).  Each round you can sustain as a minor and you can repeat the attack as a standard action.  If you want you, can destroy a vine when you sustain and heal an adjacent ally.

    Spirit of Fiery Hatred (PP) Vs fort for fire damage and ongoing fire damage (save ends).  If you kill an enemy with this power allies next to SC can spend healing surge.  Allies do ongoing fire damage whenever they hit while next to SC for rest of encounter.  If you have a few multiattackers this is a decent damage boost for them for the encounter.

    Spirits of Mist vs fortitude against one creature for a little damage.  Creates a movable zone where you and allies are insubstantial for the encounter. 

    Spirit of the Unbroken Vow Ranged attack vs will for psychic damage.  The best part of this power is the effect that makes this the best ally boosting power of the level to use against solos and elites.  One ally gets a +2 untyped bonus to attack the target.  Every time they damage the target the bonus goes up by 1 to a max of 10.  If they do not attack the target that round it drops by 2.  If you have a single target striker this is a good boost for them.

    Spirit Torrent
    (PP) vs reflex for high damage.  Allies next to SC do some extra damage for next three attacks against one target.  Competes with Death Spirit for highest single target damage of level, but other powers this level do more.

    Spring's Laughter (PP) Single target vs will and target takes -2 to saves and does no damage on its damage roles (save ends).  Very good if you have other ways to penalize saves or are very accurate against will, but otherwise too risky since on a miss it only weakens (save ends).  I think a multitarget control power like fury of athas is going to be better most of the time and spirits of mist will normally reduce damage more since its automatic insubstantial for the encounter for.

    Spirit

    Fury of Athas
    (DS) allies in close burst 2 can make a basic attack and SC disappears.  Attack stuns and takes ongoing 10 damage (save ends both).

  8. #8
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Heroic Feats

    I learned the hard way from my cleric handbook to not try to include every possible feat. I will just note the ones I think most shaman player's will want to consider so do not expect to see many red or purple entries here.  I am going to include most racial, shaman/primal, and general feats from PHB, PHB2, and PP.  Several feats are only worth taking depending on how your DM treats your spirit: some DMs don't provoke attacks from it or ignore it, while others are the opposite and respect the attacks and try to destroy it.  Feats like durable and resilient spirit become a lot more useful if your DM likes to attack your spirit and if you are using the post Monster Manual 3 high damage monsters.

    Some Suggested Feats 

    You can't take all these in heroic, so put some off until paragon.

    All Shamans: Multiclass Feat (often for a better implement), Superior Will, Improved Defenses, Sudden Call (retrained in paragon for nimble spirit), Expertise (versatile, totem or what you got from multiclassing), Superior Implement Proficiency, Mark of Healing, Resilient Spirit, Strengthening Spirit, Last Legion Officer, Racial Feat (where applicable), Tome Expertise (even if you don't know how to use a Tome this is a must have feat)
    Panthers Stalker Spirit Adept, Battlewise, Durable
    Bears Chain Proficiency, Protector Spirit Adept, Battlewise, Mark of Warding (instead of Healing)
    WorldSpeakers Chain Proficiency, Worldserpent's Grasp, Intollerable Command, World Speaker Adept, Battlewise, (worldspeakers have a lot of feats to take)
    Eagles Durable, Improved Initiative
    Animists Spirit of Vigor, Spirit Step, Battlewise, Durable

    Shaman Class/Primal
    Spoiler:


    Aggressive Spirit (D387) Teleport your spirit as a free action when you reduce an enemy to 0 with a spirit power.  Maybe in heroic this is ok, but nimble spirit lets you do this basically as an at will free action.  So retrain this out at paragon.

    Bloodthirsty Spirit (D387) E Watcher allies get a +2 bonus to damage with spirit's prey.

    Intolerable Command
    (D387) W Worldspeaker's command slows and deafens.  Slows in particular is nice when combined with Worldserpents Grasp.

    Invigorating Spirit (PP) Allies nex to SC can shift when you use healing spirit power.  Last Legion Officer is very similar, but a little better.

    Mobile Spirit (D387) +4 to your SC move speed.  If you like moving your spirit a lot this is ok, but I rarely needed this.

    Precise Fangs (PP) P Stalkers get +2 to hit with spirit fangs.  This is pretty DM dependent and if your DM does not like to provoke OA from your spirit, do not take it.

    Protector's
    Shield
    (PP) B Protectors do extra damage with spirit's shield. This is pretty DM dependent and if your DM does not like to provoke OA from your spirit, do not take it.

    Protector Spirit Adept (PHB2) B Allies get untyped bonus to NADs

    Rejuvinating Spirit (PP) Target of healing spirit gets saving throw.  Better
    if no mark of healing available.

    Resilient Spirit (PP) +2 to your spirit's defenses. If you do not spend any feats on boosting your own AC or defenses you definitely want this.  Only reason this is not skyblue is that some DMs never bother to attack SCs.

    Shared Healing Spirit (PHB2) If you find you are having trouble positioning your SC next to allies this is an ok choice.  I like the spirit feats from primal power more.

    Spirit of Vigor

    (PP) A This is probably the first feat an animist should take, but they can retrain it out in late paragon if it no longer that useful.  If you are not going for the sudden call feats this is still a good alternative since it hands out temp hitpoints to an ally keyed to int when you use call spirit companion as a minor action.  Technically you can take both in case you ever want to summon your spirit when lacking minor actions midturn.

    Spirit Speaker (PHB2) Give ally skill bonus from speak with spirits

    Spirit Step (DS) A An ally can shift when you make your spirit disappear with an attack power.

    Spirit Tribe (PP) Allies get bonus to same skill when you use speak with spirits.

    Spirit's Bulwark
    (D387) After spirit dismissed by enemy, your adjacent allies get +2 bonus to defense.  If your DM attacks your SC often this is worth considering, but othewise pass.  Same for the next three feats.

    Spirit's Guidance (D387) E Enemy who dismissed spirit grants CA to one ally.

    Spirit's Rebuke (D387) W Slows enemy who dismissed spirit.

    Spirit's Revenge (D387) P the least useful of the 4 "spirit's" feats from dragon 387.  Only a +2 to  damage for one ally.

    Stalker Spirit Adept (PHB2) P Ally can shift for free.  Worth taking, espeically if you do not have many movement powers.

    Strengthening Spirit (PP) When you use healing spirit give out temp HP equal to wis mod.

    Sudden Call (PP) Summon Spirit as free action (errata makes this once/encounter so retrain for nimble call in paragon). This lets you dismiss and recall spirit all as 1 minor action since the previous errata came out and helps if you are dazed or otherwise short of a minor action.   Very useful when you are dazed or need to use your minor action for something else.  Even animist should consider this since if you dismiss your spirit while dazed or out of minor actions it won't be back until your next turn.

    Vigorous Spirit (PP) Heal extra equal to your wis mod with healing spirit. My  reading of this feat only has it effect the person who spends a surge.  Still a decent amount of healing.

    Watcher Spirit Adept (PP) E Allies get +2 bonus to perception and insight.

    World Speaker Spirit Adept (PP) W SC lets you and allies ignore difficult terrain.


    General
    Spoiler:

    Alertness (PHB) This is a decent choice and works well with your perception skill.

    Battlewise
    (PLES) Eventually you will want this unless you are a watcher, but you can put it off for awhile.

    Coordinated Explosion
    (PHB2) You will probably have several dailies that make use of this, but your at wills and encoutner powers generally won't.

    Disciple of Light (PLES1) Give your allies scaling temp hit points when you spend a surge while bloodied.  A decent boost for most builds.

    Disciple of Stone (PLES1) Give yourself temp hitpoints when you spend a surge.

    Distant Advantage (PHB2) Tome expertise is better, but if your DM doesn't allow it this is good for stalker shamans who tend to have the most ranged powers.

    Durable (PHB) Not bad, but your con is often high enough not to need this for many builds and this depends on how often your DM attacks your spirit companion and if you are using the updated damage monsters. Blue for dex/int builds, purple for world spirts and protectors

    Hafted Defense (PHB3) If you only use a longspear totem or staff pick this up, but otherwise pass.

    Impending victory (PHB3) +1 to hit with at wills against bloodied targets.

    Implement Focus (PLES1) Unless you are playing a lazy build, this is a decent choice, especially for panther builds.

    Improved defenses (PLES1) I think you should just take this one feat and be done with it, but superior will is pretty good and also worth taking.


    Improved Initiative (PHB) Never a bad feat, but probably no room for it. Watchers already have high enough int. Battlewise is better for everyone else.

    Jack of all trades (PHB) Never a bad feat, and stalkers will have the int for it.


    Last Legion Officer
    (D396) Your surge spending powers let allies shift or give them an untyped bonus to AC/reflex. 

    Resilient Focus
    (HOFL) If you can fit it in its a +2 feat bonus to saves.  This outdates a lot of other feats.

    Ritual Caster (PHB) If no one else in your party has this you can be the party ritualist. You have nature and can take arcana and religion.  Some multiclassing options can also give you ritual caster.


    Skill Power (PHB3) Level 6 is probably the worst level for shaman utilities if you want to take a skill power swap, but this feat lets you have another utilty power.

    Superior Fortitude/reflex (PLES1) I think you should just take improved defenses, but these are good feats. 

    Superior Will Saving against very bad conditions that make you a worse leader at the beginning of the round makes this worth taking.

    Toughness (PHB) Not bad, but you should have a decent con so this is more for int/dex shamans.  If you are finding that your spirit companion is getting destroyed all the time this will give you a longer work day.  If your DM avoids attacking your spirit its not a must have.

    Vicious Advantage
    (PHB3) Tome expertise is normally better, but some DMs might not allow it if you don't know how to use a tome.  If they don't, Worldspeakers want this since the have powers that slow and immobilize.  Depending on party make up this can be good for other shamans too.



    Worldserpent's Grasp (PHB3) Worldspeakers have several powers that slow and immobilize so you can follow up with this feat with an action point or next round.  Or else you probably have someone else in the party that can slow/immobilize.  This knocks them prone and can help make your spirit super sticky.



    Damage types and powers (not really a feat section, but relevant)
    Spoiler:

    Here is a rundown on damage types for shaman powers to give you a hint on how the damage type feats play out. I am not including racial, item, paragon path, or epic destiny powers, just pure shaman ones.  You should pick your feats in conjuction with your powers (and sometimes race and paragon path) and if you want to focus on one or two types of damage you can do that fairly easily.  Fire for instance is a fairly common damage type and there is also a good fire centered paragon path called everflame guardian so if you want to focus on fire damage you can pretty easily set up your character around that with feats and powers that emphasize fire damage.

    Acid: Total: 0 Heroic: 0 Paragon: 0 Epic: 0

    Cold: Total: 7 At will: 1 Heroic: 5 Paragon: 1 Epic: 0

    Fire: Total: 7 Heroic: 4 Paragon: 1 Epic: 2

    Force: Total: 1 Heroic: 0 Paragon: 1 Epic: 0

    Lightning: Total 8 Heroic: 5 Paragon: 0 Epic: 3

    Necrotic: Total: 4 Heroic: 1 Paragon: 2 Epic: 1

    Poison: Total: 1 Heroic: 1 Paragon:0 Epic: 0

    Psychic: Total: 16 At Will: 2 Heroic: 7 Paragon: 3 Epic: 4

    Radiant: Total: 3 Heroic: 1 Paragon: 1 Epic: 1

    Thunder: Total 6 At will: 1 Heroic: 3 Paragon: 2 Epic: 0

    (I have included damage types from PHB2 and PP and up to Dragon 384.)

    Here is a guide(x) to optimizing damage types.



    Races
    Spoiler:

    Several of these feats require that you are a shaman or in a primal class.

    Dragonborn

    Enlarged Dragon Breath (PHB) Decent, but you normally are not that close to the front lines.
    .
    Dwarf

    Dodge Giants (PHB) I think the AC/ref bonus also applies to your spirit.  Take resilient spirit and the other armor feats first.  Not a bad feat, but probably not enough room for it until paragon.

    Quick Steps (D381) +1 to your speed.  Hard to fit in, but good.

    Spirits of Stone (PP) +2 untyped bonus to next primal attack after second wind.

    Stone Step Spirits (PP) Ignore difficult terrain while in light armor.  Most dwarf shamans will be in heavy armor.

    Stubborn Spirit
    (D387) Dismiss your spirit to prevent forced movement of ally.

    Eladrin

    Feral Fey Step (PP) When first bloodied can use fey step as an immediate reaction.

    Spirit Fey Step (PP) Teleport your SC when you fey step.  Your SC can already move 6 probably and does not provoke OA so this will not be that helpful.  And sudden call/nimble spirit lets you move it anywhere when you resummon it.  You can find situations where this is useful, but are better off taking one of those other feats.

    Elf

    Elven Precision
    (PHB) +2 to an important attack roll most encounters.

    Eyes of the Spirit (PP) Allies Do not take -2 penalty for attacking concealed creatures.

    Other Worldly Accuracy (D387) Allies get +2 power bonus to attack successful target of your elven accuracy pwoer.  This won't trigger all encounters, but if you use your elven accuracy against important targets it is nice.

    Half-Elf

    Half-elf Spirit Speaker (PP) When first bloodied you and allies get a +1 bonus to defenses.

    Adept Dilletante
    (D385) Lets you use wisdom for your Dilletante power, but locks in your MC choice.  I can see taking this for something like a con shaman with thunderwave.

    Human

    Action Surge (PHB) Use this with an AoE daily power.

    Kobold

    Dragon's Indominability (DHS) This plus superior will means you won't need to worry much about dazed or stunned.

    Tiefling

    Hellfire Blood (PHB) There is potential to make a good fire themed shaman.

    Rites of Spirit's Blood (PP) Bonus to hit for bloodhunt and infernal wrath powers.

    Deva

    Battle Intuition (D374) Unless playing an eagle build you want this boost to your initiative. 

    Focus the Spirits' Lives
    (PP) Use d10 for making memory of a thousand lifetimes with a spirit
    power.

    Githzerai


    Alhahn’s Mindful Relocation (PHB3) Extra shifting length.

    Dakshai’s Body-Mind Union (PHB3) Extra save

    Shifting Spirit (D378) This lets you shift your spirit when you shift.  You get to shift when you use your second wind so this has some potential if you have other shifting abilities.

    Gnome

    These are good for scry and die type builds.  See build section for a hybrid example.

    Fading Spirit (PP): Your SC is hidden while you are hidden.

    Spirits of Stealth (PP) Feat bonus to damage against bloodied creatures when hidden.

    Goliath

    Markings of the Blessed (PHB2) Roll twice for first save.

    Markings of the elements (PP) Choose elemental resistance when using racial power.

    Markings of the predator (PP) Bonus to defenses when you bloody a creature.

    Markings of the Victor (PHB2) Roll twice for first attack each encounter.

    Half-Orc

    Primal resiliance (PP) Extra temp hp equal to con from half-orc resiliance.  Blue for con shamans, but most half orcs will be watchers

    Thirst for Battle (PHB2) Decent 2 for 1 feat for watchers.

    Shardmind

    Linked Spirit
    (D387) Switch plaees with your SC when you use your racial power and you can use telepathy with creatures near your SC.

    Psychic Focus (PHB3) If you focus on psychic powers this is a decent damage boost.

    We Were Once One (D387) Allies make save when you spend a surge.  Mark of healing is better, but if not available this is decent.

    Shifter, Longtooth


    Longtooth Shifter Spirit (PP) Your racial regen increases by 2.

    Wilden

    Burden of Guardianship (PHB3) Free temp hitpoints keyed to your wis mod each encounter is solid.

    Improved Aspect of Nature (PHB3) Take Burden of Guardianship first, but this is decent as well.


    Revenant (D372)

    Revanant have a bunch of feats, but its a bit too detailed to go into here as they depend on your past life.

    Drow (FRPH)

    Spider's swiftness (PP) Feat bonus to speed.

    Genasi (FRPG)

    Genasi have a lot of good racial feats that work well if you take multiple ones.  Here are a few of the better ones.

    Extra Manisfestation (FRPG) Get an extra manisfestation

    Manifest Healing (PP) When you manifest get temp HP.

    Hobgoblin

    Hobgoblin Phalanx soldier.  Heavy shield proficiency with no penalty and only takes a 13 strength.  A must have if playing a hobgoblin.

    Kalashtar (EBPH)

    Dual Mind Strength (D385) If you focus on psychic damage this is decent.

    Quori Shield (EPG) Scaling Psychic Resistance

    Warforged (EBPH)

    Warforged Tactics (EPG) Untyped bonus to melee attacks when enemy is next to ally.  This applies to spirit melee attacks as well.


    Weapon/Implement/Armor
    Spoiler:


    Expertise is gold unless going for a pure lazy build (which I don't recommend).  And even then tome expertise is worth taking.

    See my section on shamans and AC at the end of post #2.

    Armor Proficiency (hide) (PHB) Stalkers, animists and watchers should consider it at some point, but it is no longer a good option for con shamans post errata on hide armor expertise.

    Hafted Defense (PHB3) If you only plan on using a staff or longspear for your totem this is a good choice, but I think you are usually better off with two implements or implement + singing stick of healing.

    Armor Proficiency (chain) (PHB): Protector and world speaker shamans need this.  Red for stalkers, animists, or watchers.

    Armor Proficiency (scale) (PHB): Protecting and World speaker shamans should consider taking this or another extra defense boosting feat.  This has a lower skill penalty than chain and fully frees up your off hand.

    Shield proficiency (light) (PHB) A decent choce for stalker/watcher builds with a 13 strength. Watchers will qualify for shield specialization at paragon. Protectors/world spirits should consider this after taking chain proficiency.  There are also weapons like the cutting wheel and singing stick that provide a similar bonus, but you can not hold a second implement if you go that route and this boosts your reflex by one more. 

    Shield Proficiency (heavy) (PHB) You probably won't have the strength for this until epic and you can't hold an implement in the same hand as a heavy shield.

    Superior Implement Training
    (PHB3) Accurate or farseeing are you best bets if you stick with totems.

    Totem Expertise (HOF) Totem Expertise is pretty decent.  You ignore partial cover or concealment.   Must have by mid paragon at latest.  If you get a different implement like a staff go for that expertise.  The more lazy your shaman is (animist and eagle usually), the later you can put this off.

    Tome Expertise (AP) Worth taking even if you don't use a tome.  Your SC causes enemies to grant CA.

    Versatile Expertise (totem & mace/spear)  Totem and then either mace or spear (totemic warclubs, totemic spears and alfsair spear).  This is for those who want to use a weapliment.  There are a handful of other expertise feats like this if you mc a class like swordmage or cleric or if you have a ki focus.

    Weapon Proficiency
    (PHB) Singing stick lets you have a +1 to AC, while wielding a mace of healing.



    Dragonmarks
    Spoiler:

    They are all from EBPG.
    Aberrant Mark of Contagion
    Enemies take penalty to ongoing damage saves, probably worth it if you have multiple damage dealing save ends powers.

    Aberrant Mark of Madness
    Enemy's will defense is lowered when you hit with a daily.  If you have a lot of powers that target will this is useful.

    Aberrant Mark of Terror
    Enemies take penalty to attacks if you hit them with a daily.

    Mark of Detection
    Roll twice for perception and get some rituals.  Shamans already have a pretty high perception.

    Mark of Healing
    Allies get a save when you use a healing power, which makes this the best Dragonmark for almost all shamans.  Dragonmarks are not allowed in all campaigns or LFR, but this feat lets you not need nearly as many save powers and Bear shamans in particular can get a lot out of this.  Recently I noticed that every single leader I make takes this feat.

    Mark of Hospitality
    Allies heal max during rests

    Mark of Storm
    Useful if you plan on taking thunder and lightning powers.  Potentially very useful for con shamans.

    Mark of Warding
    This increases the effectiveness of all of your defense granting powers.  Bear shamans in particular will like this.



    Multiclassing and hybrid feats are in the multiclass post.

  9. #9
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Paragon Feats

    Suggested feats

    All shamans: Nimble Spirit (retrain sudden call if you have it), Armor Specialization, Retributive Spirit
    Panthers
    Bears: Shielding Spirit
    WorldSpeakers: Psychic Lock, Cyclone Spirit,
    Eagles: Revelation of the Spirit
    Animists: Elemental Spirit Adept

    Shaman Class/Primal
    Spoiler:

    Guardian Spirit (PHB2) B Protects unconscious allies. Take shielding spirit first.

    Cyclone Spirit (PP) W Boosts forced movement powers of you and allys.

    Ephemeral Spirit (PP) Spirit takes half damage from ranged attacks

    Elemental Spirit Adept (DS) A This is an additional untyped +1 to hit for you and your allies with spirit infusion, immolating spirit and similar powers that make your spirit dissappear.

    Nimble Spirit (PHB2) Replaces heroic tier sudden call.  Your DM may limit the number of free actions you take, but RAW as long as you have free actions your SC will almost never be gone for more than a moment with this during your turn.  By this point you should have a feat slot open for this feat and it is one of the few must have feats for all shamans.  You need your minor actions for sustains and healing spirits and this feat helps when you are dazed.  Animists should consider this even since this can bring their spirit back for free in the same turn it is dismissed.

    Retributive Spirit (PP) I prefer the defensive spirit feats, but if your spirit gets destroyed a lot take this.

    Revelation of the Spirit
    (D387) E Enemies hit by your spirit can't get cover or concealment until end of next turn.

    Sentinal Spirit (PP) E IF your party boosts or cares about OAs some other way (like if you have a fighter) this can be blue

    Shielding Spirit (PP) B Healing spirit boosts ally defenses with untyped +2 bonus.

    Spirit's Eyes (PP) Roll twice for perception. This might be overkill.

    Viscious Spirit (PP) P Allies do extra damage against bloodied enemies after healing spirit.


    General
    Spoiler:


    Back to The Wall
    (PHB) You do not do melee attacks, but your SC does. It potentially boosts AC for you and SC as well. If you do a lot of dungeon crawls this is useful, but that is campaign dpendent.

    Defensive Advantage (PHB) Requires high dex so only for watchers who also took distant advantage.

    Fiery Blood
    (HOEC) For fire themed builds.

    Fleet Footed (PHB) Boosts your speed and therefore your SC speed.

    Gritty Determination (PHB3) Con shamans might want this for some good temp hitpoints.

    Lasting Frost (PHB) Only for cold focused builds

    Psychic Lock (PHB) Psychic is the most common damage type for shamans, including 2 at wills. World speakers should take a look at this in particular since their at will is psychic

    Reserve Maneuver (PHB2) Worth taking if you do not like your paragon path encounter power.

    Uncanny Dodge (PHB) You have the wisdom for this, but my reading of the feat makes it look like it does nothing when your SC is flanked.




    Racial
    Spoiler:


    Several of these feats require that you are a shaman or in a primal class.

    Dwarf

    Dwarven Durability (PHB) Even more surges and the con bonus to surge value is nice.

    Eladrin

    Feywild Protection (PHB) The bonus should also apply to your SC

    Half-Elf

    Versatile Master (PHB2) Encounter power becomes at will and other benefits.

    Human

    Action Recovery (PHB) Roll saving throws when you spend an action point.

    Tiefling

    Fiery Rebuke (PHB) Ok choice if going for a fire theme.

    Deva

    Wholesome Spirit (D387) Your spirit gets your necrotic and radiance resistance.

    Githzerai
     
    Githzerai Healer (D387) If you don't have access to mark of healing this is a good choice.  Targets of your healing powers can make a save with a +2 bonus against dazed, domniated, or stunned.

    Gnome

    Surprising Disappearance (PHB2) Creates additional CA most encounters.

    Goliath

    Unyielding stone (PHB2) Lots of temp HP 1/encounter

    Half-Orc

    Strength from Pain (PHB2) More damage when first bloodied. Use your dailies or action points in conjunction with this if you take it.

    Shifter, Longtooth

    Beasthide Shifting (PHB2) Damage resist 2 when under shifting power. Also for razorclaws.

    Tiefling

    Secrets of Belial (PHRT) Swap out a utility power.

    Wilden

    Burden of Liberty (PHB3) Ally telportation when using racial powers.

    Genasi

    Shocking Flame
    (FRPG) adds lightning or fire damage to your spirit melee attacks.

    Stormrider (FRPG) Feat bonus to speed

    Kalashtar

    Quori Backlash (EBPG) When enemy dazes, dominates, or deals psychic damage you deal a lot of psychic damage to them.

    Shadar kai

    Ghostly Rejuvination (D372) Target of healing becomes insubstantial



    Weapon/Implement/Armor
    Spoiler:

    Armor Specialization (Hide) (PHB) Reduces armor check, bumps ac. 

    Armor Specialization (Chain) (PHB) Reduces armor check bumps ac, but requires 15 dex.  You are better off with scale proficiency unless there is a particular chain enchantment that you want.

    Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB) Reduces speed penalty and bumps ac, but requires 15 dex

    Shield Speciliaztion (PHB) Does not stack with armor spec or reduce skill penalty, but also boosts ref. That feat bonus does not stack with paragon defenses or similar feats so is only for watchers (or stalkers with a high dex) since con shamans should just take an armor spec feat.



    Epic Feats

    Suggested Feats

    All shamans: Mighty Spirit, Primal Resurgance, Purging Spirit (if mark of healing not available), Epic Resurgance, Superior Initiative
    Panthers: Epic Fortitude, Grave Spirit, Triumphant Spirit
    Bears: Epic Reflexes, Iron Heart Spirit
    Worldspeakers: Epic Reflexes, Stone Heart Spirit
    Eagles: Epic Fortitude, Vexing Spirit
    Animists: Epic Fortitude

    Shaman Class/Primal
    Spoiler:


    These are hard to pick from since so many of them are useful, so you might want to retrain into some of them.

    Grave Spirit (PP) P Surge free healing for allies when you kill something

    Mighty Spirit (PHB2) One of the best shaman feats in the game. Extends range of SC benefits to allies to 2 squares.  You do not have to take it at level 21, but you should take it soon after.

    Iron Heart Spirit (PP) B Allies shift when hit.

    Primal Resurgance
    (PHB2) Regain a daily when bloodied.

    Purging Sprit
    (PP) Spirit healing also grants saves through SC

    Second Skin (PP) This used to be skyblue pre errata.  Now it is a decent choice for stalkers/watchers/animists, but it requries a high con.  For builds like a dwarf watcher/stalker it could work.

    Spirit of Healing (PP) B
    Allies next to spirit can spend a healing surge when you use your second wind.  This is blue for dwarves or if you have another way to use your second wind as a minor or free action.

    Stone Heart Spirit
    (PP) W Spirit provides cover.

    Triumphant Spirit
    (PP) P Allies get to make a melee basic attack after killing something

    Vexing spirit (PP) E Allies do not grant CA.



    General
    Spoiler:


    Blind Fight (PHB) You qualify, but does not apply to your SC.

    Epic Resurgance (PHB) Regain encounter power and you should crit most fights by this point.

    Epic Fortitude/Reflexes/Will 
    Your reflex or your fort is probably going to be a bit low and these stack with improved defenses.

    Irresistible Flame (PHB) If you took fire powers you will want this.

    Superior Initiative (PHB3) This helps you catch up to monster's init at epic.  Retrain improved init for this if you took it.



    Racial
    Spoiler:

    Several of these feats require that you are a shaman or in a primal class

    Deva
    Transcendent Lineage (PHB2) Roll twice for memories powers

    Gnome

    Vanishing Act (PHB2) Teleport with racial power.

    Goliath

    Ancient stone (PHB2) resist 10

    Genasi

    Double Manifestation (FRPG) Manisfest two at once

    Tiefling

    Renewed Wrath (PHRT) Recharges Infernal Wrath

    Royal Command of Asmodeus (PHRT) Shamans only have 2 stunning powers, so put this off till the end of epic unless you got a stunning paragon path power or something.


  10. #10
    Originally posted by GelatinousOctahedron:

    Paragon Paths

    For the most part you are best off sticking with shaman paths and shamans have some very good paths.  The invoker, cleric, druid, and wizard have some to look at and there are some theme and racial ones that work as well.  For the invoker and wizard ones you usually need a high intelligence for it to be worth it, with Flame of Hope being the most notable one.

     I am only going to include paths that are good for pure shamans for the most part, but with hybrids there are even more options since so many paragon paths are designed with full/hybrid members of the class in mind.

    Shaman Specific
    Spoiler:


    These are all pretty good so far and you should go with whichever one fits your build concept. They are hard to rank since they are all so build/party dependent so I highlight what is good about the path.

    Animus Predator (D385) Several ways to increase enemy vulnerability and to ignore immunities/insubstantial.  Strong for parties with multiple PCs that do the same damage type.  Probably best path for increasing party damage in situations like that.

    Disciple of the World Serpent (PHB2) A decent control themed path, most notable in that your enemies treat squares next to your SC as difficult terrain so it is harder for them to get away.  AP feature is dissapointing and only lets an ally spend a surge.  Utility is interesting boost for a ranged ally since they can attack a target and ignore things like cover, concealment and not having line of sight/effect EONT.  When an enemy saves against your daily attacks they take 10 poison damage at 16.   The encounter power is ok single target immobilize and the daily is a good single target immobilize/ongoing damage (save ends) with an aftereffect that is the same, but with less damage.

    Disciple of Winds (PP) Skyblue for bear shamans or if you have agile opportunist allies, darkblue for others.  It really boosts the control value of spirit's shield and your other healing powers.  For the level 11 feature windshroud, you get to slide the target of your healing powers, which works for friendly healing powers used on allies and on offensive healing powers, even when you miss. Lots of sliding & shifting in the powers.  If your DM lets you use the polearm momentum/rushing cleats/totemic spear trick bear shamans will be sliding and knocking prone with your offensive healing and offensive push/slide powers.  See here for a build based on this.

    Everflame Guardian (PP) Fire boosts, surge free healing, and vulnerability and resistances. If your party has fire powers this is one of your better choices. One of the higher damaging PPs.  I used it for my stalker shaman and was pretty happy with it since I had allies with fire powers, but I would have taken animus predator if that had been available at the time.  If you don't have allies that already deal fire damage, go with soul igniter.

    Ghost Panther (PHB2) Action point feature is decent for helping get CA for a round.  Add wis mod to stealth, athletics, and acrobatics checks at 16.  Good powers, with a weakening encounter attack and an immediate reaction movement utility that helps with you getting away from enemies.  An eagle shaman with this path can have very high acrobatics and stealth skills since you are adding wis mod bonus with an extra +5 to stealth checks when next to the spirit.

    Great Bear Shaman (PHB2) Good overall defenderish path.  Party gets untyped +2 bonus to damage against marked enemies, an ally gets a free melee basic attack when you AP, allies get bonus to hit with OAs at level 16, you mark enemy with the encounter attack power, and an encounter ally shifting utility.

    Great Elder
    (PP) W Makes your SC large.  That increases the number of enemies it can use worldspeakers command on, along with increasing the number of boosts you hand out that come from being next to your allies/penalties for being next to enemies.  It also increases the size of your spirit close burst powers so I would take lots of those.  Hands out defensive bonuses and your allies get to use your will defense when next to the spirit.  Has a strange daily utility power that has the potential to put out huge defensive bonuses based on your nature skill and a good dazing daily attack.

    Keen Eagle (PP) E Great for parties with
    lots of ranged characters. For a short time get two SCs when you spend an action point, your powers increase in range, and your allies can score a crit at 16-20 with your encounter power. Nothing not to like.

    Phrenic Master (D394) Nothing bad about this path.  Enemies are dazed until the end of their next turn when they destroy your SC, solid action point feature, and the level 16 feature lets you use your SC for your ranged/area attacks as well.  Also very good powers with a blast 5 encounter power that can use the SC as its origin square and dazes and slides, a utility power that helps you be closer to the front lines, and a daily that dominates (save ends).

    Scarred Healer (PP) Good healing shaman path. Unfortunately scar's gift is worded so it only helps with powers that target your allies.  Temp hitpoints as well and better with a high con.

    Scion of Renewal (D385) Good healing, regeneration, and save focused path.  Good encounter and utiltiy powers, but the daily takes standard actions to sustain.  In general I think this is the best of the healing focused paths.

    Season's Herald (PP) Various leader abilties. +2 untyped bonus to party initiative and other party members can use your action points. The encounter attack power is an ok reaction, but the utlity is nice since you can use a high d20 roll two times in a row as long as its not a 20.  The daily attack is a good save penalizer.

    Soul Igniter (D385) Another fire themed build.  It revolves around its an will buffing power Soulfire (+2 power bonus to speed and reflex and do extra wis mod fire damage EONT) that is triggered when you spend an action point, use the path's encounter power, and whenever someone in party crits.  So its a good path if you have critfishers in the party since it will be a consistent wis mod bonus to their damage.  It also does fire damage to enemies when your spirit is destroyed at 16.  The only really weak points are the attacks, with the daily as a not too impressive party friendly spirit burst fire attack.

    Spirit Tempest (PHB2) Adds extra healing targets with your healing spirit and lots of teleportation, including with your action points. Get CA with at will spirit attacks (you can do the same with tome expertise now for almost all your spirit attacks) and extra healing with healing spirit that rewards taking zone powers. Decent encounter power for minion clearing and both utility and daily powers teleport.  Spirit Flow in particular can move an ally up to 40 squares as a minor action which can do things like get a squish out of trouble or drop a defender right where he wants to be.

    Stormcaller (D385) Lightning theme with lots of shifting and thunder/lighting damage resitance.  Enemies take lightning damage keyed to your wis mod when they attack your spirit companion and destorying your spirit companion dazes them until the end of your next turn and adds more damage, which ups this to darkblue post MM3.  Phrenic Master dazes them longer.

    Voice For the Ravaged  (Darksun)  Good overall leader path with day long damage resistance & +1 to hit for an ally.  Elemental damage to adjacent enemies when you action point.  The attack powers are very strong with one of the best dailies for a paragon path I have seen and they scale properly even though they lack the implement keyword.  Party friendly stunned (save ends) then potentially dominated (save ends) with dazed as an aftereffect.  The encounter attack power is a forced enemy attack so that can trigger defender punishment.

    Warrior of Spring (PP) Ok healing path, but in general it falls behing Scion of Renewal for saves and Scarred Healer for healing.  Powers are all pretty good.  I would say this is the weakest path out of the books so far since it does not really specialize as well as the other paths.  The level 16 feature lets allies spend action points on your turn when you let them spend a surge.

    Shaman Multiclass

    Shyran Spiritblade (D371) shaman/swordmage combo path.  Lets you use your blade for shaman powers, but with the updated implement rules this is no longer needed..  Need to have Arkanul as your background.  Not a bad path, but not many shamans will be able to take it.

    Shaman Racial

    Keeper of the Past (Drag) Must worship keepers of the past.  Good class features, but to get full benefit of it you need to be wielding a weapon/totem and not dump int.

    Primal
    Primal Mapper Augments your at wills with extra damage and gives you extra moves/lets you ignore difficult terrain.  Utility is a decent daily revolving around difficult terrain your allies can ignore.


    Other Classes
    Spoiler:


    There are only a couple really worth looking at: Divine Oracle (mainly for worldspeakers), compassionate healer (for bear or worldspeakers), Spiral Wind's Ally, Thrallherd (stalkers/animists) and Flame of Hope (stalkers/animists).

    Cleric

    Compasionate Healer
    (DP) This is a good choice for bear shamans and worldspeakers since you need a decent con for sharing healing surges and for some extra hitpoints.  Several healing features that work with primal healing powers and both attacks weaken.

    Divine Oracle (PHB)  For worldspeakers who may have enough will attacks to consider this for the double roll at 16. The other powers and class features are useful too.  Make sure you have nimble spirit by level 16.
     
    Druid

    Spiral Wind's Ally (PP) Allys get extra healing = to your wis mod when they spend a surge and you shift when you spend a surge.  Attack powers are both blasts. 

    Invoker

    Flame of hope (PHB2) for stalkers and animists.  This is actually a leader focused path, with a daily healing power and allies getting bonuses to saves and attack rolls. 

    Psion

    Thrallherd (PsP) Because having just a spirit companion isn't enough: you need a thrall too.  For animists and stalkers.

    Warlock

    Umbral Cabalist (D383) Good choice con shamans with vestige pact.  You won't get much out of the action point feature unless you take both student of melediction (to get a curse) and pact initiate (to qualify for the path), but the encounter power stuns and the other features all work well to give you good defensive bonuses.  Probably a better choice for hybrids.

    Wizard

    (Only for stalkers/animists)

    Spellstorm mage (PHB) If you are doing a bunch of power swap feats this is a good choice since with the class features keyed off wisdom you can probably get an extra daily use out of a wizard daily utility or attack power.  The encounter power has a nice effect on a miss and does lightning/thunder damage.



    Racial & setting
    Spoiler:


    Racial paths that require you be a shaman are in the shaman section of paths.

    Deva
    Ancestral Incarnate (PHB2) Uses wisdom and you get some summons.  Plus it recharges encounter powers when you AP and combines well with superior will.

    Dragonborn
    Scion of Arkhosia (PHB2) Dragonborns are not a very good race for shamans, but this path is a decent chocie for shamans with a good con since you get lots of con based abilities and can fly.

    Eladrin
    Shiere knight (PHB2) Wisdom or int based, lots of teleportation.

    Human
    Adroit Explorer (PHB2) This is a decent paragon path for any character. More action points and you get extra encounter powers.

    Changeling (EBPG)
    Chameleon (EBPG) Its usefulness depends on your allies since you pick their powers for your paragon path powers.

    Mark of Healing
    Jorasco Jadehand (EPG) Requires Mark of Healing.  Wisdom based powers and lots of extra healing and saving throws.


    Epic Destinies

    There are not really any shaman specific epic destinies yet, although World Tree Guardian works well for con shamans.  Most of the fairly generic epic destinies that work well for almost any class are usually a good choice including: Destined Scion
    Demigod/Chosen, Eternal Seeker, Harbinger of Doom, and Reincarnate Champion.  Some of the destinies from divine power work well like the various Avatars, but require some multiclassing tricks to get.   Devas should take Soul of the World

    Epic Destinies
    Spoiler:


    Reincarnate Champion (PP) Get 2 other races encounter powers and feats. Boost an ability score. Lots of variaty and at level 30 get every racial encounter power there is.

    World Tree Guardian (PP) Damage resistance keyed off of con. Regeneration powers as well.

    Deadly Trickster (PHB) Only watchers who got another skill somehow will qualify for this, but if you like it, it is not a bad choice.

    Destined Scion (HoFL)  Boring, but most mechanically solid destiny.

    Demigod (PHB) Always solid.

    Eternal Seeker (PHB) If you like variety take this.

    Harbinger of Doom (PHB2) I have always liked this destiny since rerolling 1s is fun and shamans have a decent number of burst/blast attacks to take advantage of this..

    Lorekeeper (PHB2) Utility power is nice and keys off of wisdom and has one of the best level 30 features in game.  Also boosts your damage.
    Planeshaper (D372) Mainly for stalkers/animists.  Boost you int and remove enemies temporarily when you crit.  Use 1 encounter power 2/encounter starting at 21st.


    Prince of Hell (D372) Only for fire themed shamans.  Gain fire resistance and ignore fire restance.

    Punisher of the Gods (D372) Action points and save penalties.  This has been errated multiple times. 

    Storm Soverign (D372) For con shamans since you get a con boost.  Lightning and thunder resistance and an interesting defensive utitliy.

    For Devas


    Disincarnate  (D385) Boosts to wisdom and another stat and interrsting powers based on transforming into a raksahasa [SIZE=xx-small][SIZE=xx-small][SIZE=xx-small]
    [/SIZE]
    [/SIZE][/SIZE]and debuffing with your memory power.  Gives you radiant and necrotic immunity at 30.

    Soul of the World (D385) Similar to reincarnate champion, but with a boost to wisdom and inteliigence.  Also you get to swap out powers with another class.  Overall the best destiny for deva stalker shamans.

    Divine
    For the avatars you need to take divine channeler feat and the required channel divinity feat to qualify for MC characters or the equivalent for hybrid.

    Avatar of Death (DP)  Blue for stalkers.  Bonus to wisdom and int.  Necrotic powers ignore resistance.  Utility is useful and fits stalker theme of extra damage.

    Avatar of Freedom (DP) Blue for Watchers. Bonus to wis and dex. Lots of saving throw bonuses.

    Avatar of Hope (DP) Wis and cha bonus.  Immune to fear and other bonuses with good daily utility.

    Avatar of Justice
    (DP) Blue for stalkers.  Bonus to ally attack rolls and nice healing utility.

    Avatar of Life (DP) Blue for world and protectors.  Bonus to wis and con.  Bonus to saving throws and very good regeneration utility.

    Avatar of Storm (DP) Only for con/world shamans.  Bonus to con and str.  For thunder or lightning builds.

    Chosen: (DP) Like demigod, but with different utitlities.

    Exalted angel (DP)
    Flight, resistances, and imunity to fear.  Utility buffs allies defenses and lets them fly.

    Saint (DP) Bonus to NAD's, necrotic resistance, and you can not be domniated.  Good daily healing utility.

    Fighter/Warlord

    Adamantine soldier (MP) For con shamans who have chain.  +2 AC and damage resistance = to your con mod.  The utility is not really geared towards shamans.

    Ranger/rogue
    Godhunter (MP) Rerolls and other benfeits when fighting higher level creatures.

    Seeker
    Master of the Eternal Hunt
    (PHB3) Bonus to wisdom and lots of neat abilities like tremor sense/darkvision 10 and the ability to ignore concealment and cover with 10 squares.  Good choice for shamans that focus on ranged powers.  The utiltiy requires use of a seeker power.

    Ardent
    War Master (PHB3) Good general leader path.  Bonus to initiative, temp hitpoints to an ally when you let another ally spend a surge, and untyped bonuses to you and your allies attacks when an ally is adjacent to the enemy.

    Psionic
    Master of Moments
    (PsP) Action points also give you a minor and move action and you get extra minor actions later on each turn. For those with multiple sustainable powers, especially call forth the spirit world


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