- For damaging Featboth water bolt and Whip both are good, i recommend going for water bolt if you craft you weapon to 5 star, if you just use loot go for water whip
- For healing spell I recommend healing wave from 5 star axes because the instant heal will help a lot in emergencies, but if you don't craft rejuvenation is a viable option.
- For Damage&Heal Spell I recommend water shield for solo content and tidal wave for group content. Water shield is not so good on group content because if not cast on yourself only give 5 charge which make it pretty bad, while Tidal wave is not good for solo content because the AoE is so big that make it can attract unwanted enemy.
(missing lvl 55 elder gear spell rune and build more explanation)
does not always apply, even in socket-free builds.
In group content, tidal vs twister vs <any other feat> is usually dictated by role and you can’t really address builds without discussing that first.
To my mind, these are currently the most common build variants for Water Shaman:
Leveling Builds Whitecap (Water + Wind) - focus is on healing and higher single-target dmg. Muddy (Water + Earth) - focus is on healing with high survivability Riptide (nominally a pure Water build, but it really doesn’t ‘get gud’ unless it’s muddied up) - focus is on healing/survivability and dps is boosted via blasting and/or Windfury.
Group Content / End Game (right now, that means raids and 95 elders) HealMonkey - focus is on healing, survivability and effective mana control, at the expense of utility and dmg Support Healer - focus is on healing and dps, but likely includes either mistral and/or attune to wind (A2W) for its feat cd reset ability. Solo Raid Champion - a purpose-built raid build; almost exclusively based on a muddy or riptide build but tuned just for raid success.
First of all I'm sorry that I haven't finish the guide yet, since I haven't toy around with my Shaman that much.
I feel like my statement is still true, I specifically mentioned its downside. I mentioned "...Tidal wave is not good for solo content because the AoE is so big that make it can attract unwanted enemy. " So the statement should only applies in solo content and in a case where I can attract unwanted enemy. So in group content and in case where I do want to attract as much as enemies around me, the statement might be wrong. I purposefully put the numbers up there so people can decide on their own, if they'll like the spell or not, and I just mentioned the plus and the negatives of each spell.
Even right now I haven't see a scenario where I need or want to use it, no matter the role. On solo I might want to use it on Riptide built to pull a lot of enemy, but even then I feel like the extra pull just gonna waste my time and can pull another group more precisely with my ranged spell. As a healer I find Healing Rain and Healing Wave is way more than enough for healing the whole group. As for Damage dealing role the damage is so low for such a long cooldown. It basically is Tempest of Roc with much bigger AoE.
Do you have a scenario where you do want or need to use Tidal Wave?
I tend to agree with you that the only thing both novel and useful about Tidal Wave is it’s range, but that’s precisely why I use it in muddy riptide (leveling) and raid (support healer) builds.
To me, Water is kinda boring and slow when playing in a build where dmg is limited to 2 dmg feats and 1 passive reflect. If you need to kill quickly solo, I believe nothing is faster than a well-geared Rippr.
The primary scenario where Tidal Wave is most useful is just as you described. Pulling everything within range into a typical solo high-survivability/high-blasting Riptide build.
Another couple of scenarios where it’s useful has to do with raiding. Some of the raids (as support/healer) are easier if you can pull the room and drag them. Often, this is to either force aegis on a trash mob lightly agro’d to a squishy, or to pull widely-spaced mobs into LW/ES’s smaller aoe threat skills. In this case, the modest agro gained from tidal’s weak dmg works in the caster’s favor.