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Cleric Guide: Shaman Melee DPS

By on Jul 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm, in Article, Cleric, Guides, RIFT  |  Comments: 3 comments

guide cleric melee dps

When it comes to pure damage-dealing (DPS) options on a Cleric, there are currently only a few viable options if you really want the most bang for your buck when it comes to raids and other endgame group content. This spec– the 61 Shaman / 10 Druid / 5 Inquisitor spec– is currently one of them. This is a melee DPS spec, and is one of the hardest Cleric specs to master currently.

It can be used while leveling, but it’s probably better-geared toward a pure DPS spec for raids and other endgame group content. Since it’s melee, you’re going to only want to use it on bosses that can be safely melee’d for the majority of the fight. That said, if you are able to safely melee during a boss fight and understand this spec well, you should be able to do more damage with this spec than using an Inquisitor spec.

Note: This guide is based off a guide originally found on the official RIFT forums and written by Eskatol.


The Spec:

shaman melee dps tree

61 Shaman / 10 Druid / 5 Inquisitor

Role: Melee DPS
Level Ranges: 1-60
Content Use: Leveling, Leveling Dungeons, Raids, 5-man Experts (see note above)



Furious Assault, Armor of Devotion, Glory of the Chosen, Courage of the Panther, and Heart of the Frozen Sea.



Non-Physical Macro:

#show Frozen Wrath
cast frozen wrath
cast icy blow
cast Ekkehard’s Grasp

“Execute” Non-Physical Macro (when the target is below 30% health):

#show Glacial Strike
cast glacial strike
cast icy blow
cast Ekkehard’s Grasp

Physical Macro:

#show Massive Blow
cast Massive Blow
cast combined effort
cast Crushing Blow
cast Ekkehard’s Grasp

Massive Blow and Combined Effort Macro:

#show Combined Effort
cast combined effort
cast massive blow

Cooldown Macro:

#show Rage of the North
cast Rage of the North
cast Deep Freeze

Shield Macro:

#show shield of oak
cast shield of oak
cast glacial shield

Other important skills:

Bitter Wind, Avalanche Strike, Strike of Maelstrom, Lightning Hammer, Jolt, Eruption of Life, Rush of Strength, Vengeance of the Winter Storm, and Vengeance of the Primal North.


Rotations and Priority Lists:

The basic premise of performing well with a Shaman spec boils down to alternating physical attacks and non-physical attacks in order to take advantage of the bonuses effects of your physical attacks while ensuring you’re also throwing out as many Massive Blows as possible. This can be pretty tricky and takes some practice. That said, Shaman really doesn’t follow a set rotation and uses more of a priority system.

For opening fights and maximizing damage during raid cooldowns, your “rotation” should look something like this:

Vex –> Frozen Wrath –> Rage of the North –> Massive Blow –> Lightning Hammer –> Deep Freeze –> Rush of Strength –> Massive Blow –> Jolt –> Combined Effort

Single Target Priority List (using Vengeance of the Winter Storm):

1. Frozen Wrath
2. +30% Massive Blow
3. +30% Combined Effort
4. Glacial Strike (sub-30% “Execute” skill)
5. Lightning Hammer (make sure it falls off completely)
6. Jolt proc (don’t macro this)
7. +30% Crushing Blow
8. Eruption of Life (make sure it falls off completely)
9. Icy Blow

Area of Effect (AoE) Rotation:

Use Vengeance of the Primal North.

If there are only two targets, use Frozen Wrath then Strike of the Maelstrom and continue your single target rotation.

If there are three or more targets, use Frozen Wrath then alternate using Strike of the Maelstrom and Avalanche Strike. Reapply Frozen Wrath if you notice it’s not being reapplied by Strike of the Maelstrom.


Rotation Suggestions and General Tips:

  • Some Clerics find they play Shaman better using a full ability queue. If you decide to go this route, make sure you’re only firing off one ability per global cooldown (GCD) and not constantly spamming your macros.
  • Always follow up Frozen Wrath with a physical attack then Lightning Hammer. This will make it so you don’t really have to monitor Lightning Hammer, but aren’t at risk of clipping the DoT. If the target is going to die within 8 or less seconds, don’t use Lightning Hammer or Frozen Wrath. Use your “Execute” macro for your non-physical attacks.
  • Never delay a Massive Blow or Combined Effort with a Crushing Blow. This is where back to back non-physical attacks come into play. You need to monitor the cooldowns of Massive Blow and Combined Effort. This means if either is almost but not quite off cooldown, you want to hold off on doing a physical attack by doing a second non-physical attack. This is where practice comes in (or Karuul Alerts). You need to know what the remaining CD “looks” like on Massive Blow and Combined Effort and plan accordingly.
  • Always put at least two GCDs in between Massive Blows. You don’t want to clip Brutalize, which is the DoT from Massive Blow.
  • Never use Jolt if you don’t have a crit proc. It’s a huge DPS loss to do so.
  • Don’t worry about Eruption of Life when first learning Shaman. Only use Eruption of Life in place of an Icy Blow and only if you don’t already have stacks of Eruption of Life on the target.
  • Prioritize Crit Power when choosing gear.


Notes and Sources:

This guide is based off a guide originally found on the official RIFT forums and written by Eskatol. We’ll do our best to provide updates here, but if you need quicker guide updates and/or answers to specific questions, make sure to check out the original source thread! Also, feel free to drop us a line in the comments section if you notice something needs to be updated and/or something that’s incorrect.

Special thanks to Eskatol and Ahov.

Laura Hardgrave

Laura Hardgrave

Laura is the Editor-in-Chief for Junkies Nation. When she's not writing long editorials or fighting apostrophe errors, she enjoys exploring multiple MMORPGs, getting inspiration for more long editorials, distracting big snarly things for her friends, and writing LGBT science fiction/fantasy.