Home > Class Analysis > Mirror WAR – AM v. Shaman

Mirror WAR – AM v. Shaman

Continuing on with the High Elves today we look at the Archmage and its mirror the Shaman. The Archmage’s three mastery trees are: Isha, which focuses on healing abilities; Asuryan, which focuses on damaging abilities; and Vaul, which focuses on debuffing abilities. The Shaman is designed in the same format with: Mork, which focuses on healing abilities; Gork, which focuses on damaging abilities; and Da Green, which focuses on debuffing abilities. The mechanic of both classes involves a balance between healing and damaging abilties – healing spells build points for damaging abilities, points which increase the effectiveness of damaging spells; damaging abilities build points for healing abilities increasing the effectiveness of healing spells.

Core Abilities

  • The Shaman and Archmage have exact mirror abilities as core abilities – a single target detaunt, an AP drain, a resurrect, a HoT, an AoE Detaunt, and an AoE knock back. The only difference between any of these abilities is in the AoE Detaunts.
    • The AMs Walk Between Worlds costs 30AP and is a  5 second AoE Detaunt during which the AM cannot be set-back. The Shaman’s Stop Hittin’ Me! costs 40AP and is a 10 second AoE Detaunt with an additional +5% disrupt chance.


  • At Morale 1 the Archmage receives Isha’s Ward which is a 4080 absorb over 60 seconds on the Archmage. For Morale 2 the Archmage receives Blinding Light which increases the build times of your target and all enemies within 20 feet of your target by 1 second, and this lasts for 5 seconds. For Morale 3 the Archmage receives Arcane Suppression which is a 20ft AoE knock back from yourself and a 3 second silence.
  • At Morale 1 the Shaman receives Gork Sez Stop which is a DoT dealing 600 damage over 2 seconds, however if the target moves, the timer restarts. At Morale 2 the Shaman receives Breath of Mork which heals your target for 567 every three seconds for 9 seconds, with the additional effect of each pulse healing all allies within 30 feet of your target. At Morale 3 the Shaman receives You Weren’t Using Dat which is a 100 AP drain to all enemies within 30 feet of the Shaman, transferring 50% of the AP to the Shaman.


  • Archmage
    • Desperation – Your heals are 40% more effective if your target is below 25% health
    • Empowered Lores – On a critical hit you build an additional Force or Tranquility
    • Hurried Restore – Gift of Life now instantly resurrects your ally, but stuns you for 3 seconds.
    • Isha’s Encouragement – Cleansing Light will heal your target for 1143 over 9 seconds
    • Master of Force – Your chance to critically hit enemies with magical abilities is increased by 10%
    • Master of Tranquility – Your chance to critically heal allies is increased by 10%
    • Run Between Worlds – Reduces Walk Between Worlds’ CD by 50% (to 15s)
    • Transfer Magic – Drain Magic is now affects enemies within 20 feet of your target but drains 92AP/9s (instead of 180/9s on a single target)
  • Shaman
    • Ain’t Done Yet – Your heals are 40% more effective if your target is below 25% health
    • Burst of Waaagh! – On a critical hit you build an additional Waaagh!
    • Dat Makes Me Dizzy – Gedup! now instantly resurrects your ally, but stuns you for 3 seconds
    • Extra Special Mushrooms – Your chance to critically heal allies is increased by 10%
    • Get Movin’! – Whenever your groupmates damage an enemy with ‘Ere We Go Again! they gain 150 points of morale
    • Git Outta Here – Reduces Eeeek!’s (AoE Knock-back) CD by 40s (to 20s)
    • Green Cleanin’ – Greener ‘n Cleaner now heals 1176 over 9 seconds
    • Mork is Watchin’ – Your chance to critically hit enemies with magical abilities is increased by 10%


  • This mastery tree for the Archmage and Shaman focuses on healing abilities. Both trees are virtually identical in terms of abilities. The Shaman’s heals overall have a higher tool-tip value.
    • For example, both group-resistance buffs buff the exact same amount, and both cleanses grant equal absorb bubbles. The Shaman’s 2s heal (Bigger, Better, an’ Greener) heals for 1460, while the Archmage’s 2s heal (Boon of Hysh) heals for 1438. These subtle higher tool-tip heals persist for the group heal, core HoT, and Isha/Mork HoT.
    • Both classes receive a 20ft GTAoE snare puddle at MR5 (Sticky Feetz and Misteress of the Marsh). Sticky Feetz has an additional 340 elemental resistance debuff, while Mistress of the Marsh 72 initiative debuff.
    • At MR 9 both classes has a 30s emergency heal which has a burst heal should the target fall below 20% health, with the Shaman’s healing for 1247 and the AMs healing for 1236.
    • At MR 13 we have our key difference in the trees – the AM gets a channeled heal which heals 2476 over 3 seconds and has a 13s CD; the Shaman gets a 1896 HoT over 10 seconds and a +228 Toughness buff with no CD. The implication is that the AM is meant to focus one person back to life, while the Shaman is meant to make many people harder to kill.
    • Tactically the classes have one common tactics. Both classes MR3 tactic increases the effectiveness of their 1s cast heal on other players by 35%, while reducing the effectiveness of this heal on the player itself by 15%. At MR7 the Shaman can adjust this same 1s heal (Gork’ll Fix It) and have it restore 40AP to the target it heals, while the AM’s 2s cast (Boon of Hysh) grants 250 morale points. At MR11 the Shaman gets Pass it On which grants the Shaman a 25% chance on heal to heal a random ally within 30 feet for 416 (a rather weak heal for MR11) and the AM gets Wild Healing which on critical heals reduces the cost of the AMs abilities by 50% for 10 seconds. So while the AM has a tactic which greatly helps with its AP management, the Shaman has a tactic which helps with its allies AP management.
    • For Morale 4 the AM gets Wind’s Protection which heals 1360 over 15 seconds (90HP/s = worst HoT in game? The core rank 3 HoT Lambent Aura by comparison heals 2305/15s) and grants a 4080 absorb bubble to all group members. The Shaman receives Feelz No Pain which is a 2760 group HoT over 10 seconds (276HP/s) and a decreases the amount of damage group-mates take to 75% for 10 seconds. Arguably the Shaman M4 is far stronger.


  • This tree focuses on damaging abilities. Almost every abilities from this tree mirrors over exactly between the two classes with minor exceptions. The Archmage deals Spirit damage while the Shaman deals Elemental damage. In general the Archmage’s tool-tip values for spells in this mastery tree are higher than the Shaman counterpart.
    • For example, the AMs Law of Conductivity deals 810 spirit damage over 15 seconds, while the Shaman’s Life Leaka deals 780 elemental damage over 15 seconds. The DoT, 1 second cast, 2 second cast, and 6 second channeled damaging abilities are exact mirrors.
    • Most abilities in these trees have a 100ft range with the exception of the 1s cast spells for the AM (Fury of Asuryan) and Shaman (Big Waaagh!) which have a 65ft range.
    • The only core ability to differ between the two classes is the AM’s Radiant Gaze which is an instant cast on a 5s CD which decreases the target’s chance to critically hit by 5% for 9 seconds (along with a weak DoT of the same duration). The Shaman receives ‘Ere We Go Again! which is a 10 second group buff causing the group-mates next attack do do an additional 151 elemental damage.
    • Both Mastery Rank 5 abilities are identical (elemental damage to target and all enemies within 20 feet of target and a knockback). THe MR 9 abilities are almost the same, both incoming heal debuffs, but the Archmages is a 9s spirit DoT + heal debuff while the Shaman’s is a heal debuff + a heal-barb which deals elemental damage to anyone healing your target – mild differences with potentially the same effect, though in this case the Shaman’s ability deals higher tool-tip damage and has the potential to damage more targets if more than one person is healing your debuffed target. The MR13 abilities however are different – the Shaman has a damaging spell which bounces from one enemy to another within 20 feet, affecting up to 9 enemies; the AM has a 10s DoT placed on a friendly player which damages enemies within 30 feet every 2 seconds.
    • Tactically these trees have one common tactic and two different ones. At MR3 he Shaman can increase the elemental damage buff of ‘Ere We Go Again to 181 elemental damage; the AM’s 2s Cast (Radiant Lance) will affect two additional enemies within 15 feet of its target. Both MR7 tactics are the same granting the player a 25% chance to remove an enchantment with a damaging ability. At MR11 with Hurts, Don’t It? the Shaman 2s Cast (Brain Busta) will now also reduce toughness by 240 over 20 seconds and cause the target to lose 150 morale; the AM’s Increased Conductivity makes it 15% harder for its spells to be blocked or disrupted.
    • For Morale 4 the Shaman receives a 2040 damage to all enemies within 20 feet of your target and knocks them back. The AMs M4 is a 4 second channeled damaging ability that damages all enemies within 20 feet of the AM, however the tool-tip does not say how much it damages the enemies.

Vaul/Da Green

  • Both of these mastery trees focus on debuffing enemies and using life-taps. All abilities in this tree are identical.
    • Both classes have a: 2s Cast damaging ability which heals their defensive target for 150% of the damage dealt; a 24 second DoT which heals their defensive target for 150% of the damage dealt; a 9 second absorb bubble; a 20ft GTAoE strength, intelligence, ballistics -93 debuff over 20 seconds;  and a 20 second -93 toughness debuff which debuffs all enemies within 20 feet of the target.
    • The AM’s life-taps deal more damage and therefore heal more, but the Shaman’s absorb bubble is stronger.
    • Both classes Mastery Rank 5 ability is a cone AoE attack which debuffs the resistance linked to that classes damaging spells (i.e. AM debuffs spirit resistance), however the AMs ability deals more damage and is a 65 foot cone while the Shaman is a 40 foot cone. Both the MR 9 abilities are identical – 5 second silences, and both MR13 abilities are identical – a 20ft on target AoE damaging ability which hits up to 5 targets healing your defensive target for 150%. All mastery abilities are identical.
    • Tactically, both MR3 tactics are identical. The Shaman’s MR7 tactic You Really Got Nuthin reduces the cooldown of the Shaman’s silencing ability, while the AM’s Arching Power grants all damaging abilities a 25% heal-on-damage to the AMs defensive target. Both MR11 tactics modify the classes absorb shield.
    • The Archmages M4 Funnel Energy increases the AP cost of all enemies within 30 feet by 50% and decrease the AP cost of all allies within 100 feet by 50% for 15 seconds. The Shaman on the other hand reduces the all the stats (except wounds) of enemies within 30ft by 96 for 15 seconds and buffs all group members stats by the same amount.


The Archmage and Shaman in regards to abilities are almost exact mirrors. There are very minor differences in abilities which do not merit the argument of one class being stronger than the other. In terms of core tactics the classes share 6 tactics – identical mirrors, the other two core tactics being close enough to again not merit an argument. Even mastery tactics for the most part are identical. The morales are different across the board, which they should be. The Shaman’s morale 1 is great at kiting and stopping those in pursuit, while the morale 2 is rather weak in my opinion and the morale 3 is again pretty potent if the Shaman is in the midst of many foes. The AM on the other hand has a hefty self absorb bubble and its M2 a nice enemy debuff; however, its morale 3 seems greatly out of place – why would an AM be in the midst of casters to silence them? It seems to me that more often than not AMs are surrounded by melee not casters.

The greatest contention between AMs and Shamans comes from the Shaman complaining about AP management and the AM’s MR11 Tactic in Isha – Wild Healing. While the Shaman’s MR11 tactic is pretty crappy in my opinion, I feel that the Shaman’s morale 3 and MR7 tactic Look What I Did! compensate for this. In retaliation AMs cite the Shaman’s MR13 ability Do Sumfin Useful (the toughness HoT) as being more useful than Funnel Essence, so it would appear that both sides have something the other wants. I would not want exact mirrors or that would erase the uniqueness of the classes, and to be honest so much between the AM and Shaman is already exactly mirrored that there is very little room for argument of one side being stronger than the other.

In the end the strongest argument that can be made between the two classes comes down to numbers. The Archmage has higher tool-tip values on damaging abilities leading to the impression that the class is better suited to deal damage and go for life-taps. On the flip side of the coin, the Shaman has higher healing tool-tip values leading to the impression that it would be a stronger healer. However, the tool-tip values between abilities vary by numbers ranging from 10-20, so in truth the difference is slim. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the AM and Shaman are the closest mirrored classes in the game in terms of core and mastery abilities/tactics (excluding racial tactics). The racial tactics only reinforce the Shaman’s position on supreme kiter/survivalist while the AM is dps king (Discerning Offense + Increased Conductivity = -25% chance for attacks to be defended against). I’m going to say we have a mirror image, it’s just a dirty mirror.

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  1. April 2, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    Elves don’t have beards

    • April 2, 2011 at 3:23 AM

      Hrm you raise a valid point =\

  2. April 2, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Unfortunately I’ve never played a shammy past rank 2 and an AM past rank 17, so I can’t really provide any hands-on experience. I can only say that DPS archmages hurt, A BLOODY LOT XD

  3. Dilek
    April 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    You alluded to this great inequality in your opening picture but I didn’t see any serious discussion on the topic. Shaman win hands down in the cute competition. No AM can even compete. It is a great tragedy and horrible force of oppression against AMs everywhere. =) Honestly though, I have always felt that AMs and Shaman are one of the better balanced mirrors and I am generally surprised when Mythic talks about making changes to our classes as we seem to be in the best shape in general. (I know Shaman want some love on a few issues but really, compared to some other unloved classes like, say, the Magus and Engie, we are in really fantastic shape.)

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