I've been playing AoC since late beta and have been playing a Bear
Shaman pretty much since I started. I currently play a level 80 Bear
Shaman on Fury.
I'm going to list three builds, with an explanation of each.
Playing on a PvP server in a PvE-heavy game generally gives you some
tough choices. It always has done in every PvP game. Ideally you
want to be able to play PvP to the most of your class ability, but
you want to be able to do your job in PvE too. In AoC this is always
the case, as even on a PvE server the game is slanted to PvP too,
with minigames and sieges and such. Luckily for Bear Shaman, we have
builds available to us that can do both very effectively.
Build 1 - PvP/Raiding Build
This is the build that I currently use and personally consider to be
the best Bear Shaman build out there.
PvP/Raiding Build Link
Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is essentially only one path to
take in the Wrath tree down to WotW, and WotW is essential to a PvP
build. It forces you, at the point before you hit Tier 4 (Grizzled
Hide) to put 2 points into either Ursine Brawl, Crushed Bones, or
Skulk. Well, Skulk sucks, and Ursine Brawl is better than Internal
Bleed at 80 when you should never be using the bleed. Then, once we
have WotW with the tree as shown, we need three more points to get
Rampage; the three points max out Ursine Brawl. This fulfils the
build's criteria because Ursine Brawl is a reasonable attack to use
in PvP (though I don't use it often) and a great attack for PvE (it
should be chained by your Bear Shaman on most bosses and raid mobs)
so, although it would be nice to have those 5 points in something
better, c'est la vie.
Where Bear Shaman builds really are chosen is the Spirits tree spec.
This build essentially buys all the best stuff from Tier 2 and 3 -
some people like to take Rune of Slaughter, but its impact in PvP is
so negligible and needs so many melee hits which you just don't get,
that it's poor. On Tier 5, we have taken Manifestation Rabies for
its destealthing abilities and Rune of Aggression for its PvE usage
(great when your raids is using bows, etc) since there's really
nothing better to take. Manifestation Regrowth is essential for PvE
and we really have nothing better to spend the points on. Then we
spec into the much maligned Iron Hide tree; Balance of Nature 5 is a
must for all Bear Shaman, Blood Healing is an important raid skill
(I mocked it too until i started using it; really, all healing
counts on raids so it's worth having, as long as you're aware of how
it works) and all of this extra healing power stacks and can be
useful for mass healing in PvP when AEs are flying. Finally, the
build ends up with one point, which goes in Iron Hide; even though
it's not as good as a Tier 9 should be, it's still reasonably good
and you won't find anything better for 1 point, plus you already
have the prereqs.
There are tweaks that can be made to this build for personal
preference; you can save points on the odd ability such as
Aggression or Iron Hide; you can drop Rampage and 3 points of Ursine
Brawl; you can drop Blood Healing; these can be spent on other
popular abilities such as Claws of Life or Rune of Slaughter. Really
though, the spec posted is the optimal way to spend your points.
Build 2 - PvP Purist
This build is, as you can see, very similar to Build 1. Why is this,
you may ask? Well, quite simply, 65 points of a Bear Shaman's spec
should pretty much always be the same. We have so many amazing
abilities and so many bad ones, that it's really not hard to see
where to put most of your points.
Anyway, this build is at this point broken and should not be used,
because Booming Roar does not work. But I'm posting it here anyway,
because it's a fantastic PvP build that also has the essentials for
PvE (basically, Regrowth and Balance). Despite my hatred of Rune of
Slaughter it's included here because it isn't *bad* per se, and
since this is a pure PvP build it's better than Rune of Aggression.
You could drop it and take RoA and put a point somewhere else
random, but then the second point would be a little bit wasted.
The main point of this is to get you Booming Roar, which is worth
everything you miss out on and have to buy to get it, because 6
second AoE silence in PvP is amazing. Imp. Adrenaline Surge is
pretty good too since the Untamed Regen nerf, and also comes in
handy for things such as chasing down fleeing people, or saving the
odd bit of cash on mana potions whilst raiding :P
Build 3 - Pure PvE
I'm sure there's some of you out there who are having a hard time on
raids, or who don't PvP at all, and are wondering how best to spec
for PvE. Alternatively, there are some people who love Presence of
Mind 5. That includes me, although it's not good enough to justify
everything you would usually miss out to get it, imo. However, if
you do fit any of these criteria, here is how to build your BS:
Pure PvE Build
Something has to give for Presence of Mind 5, and that something is
WotW and some of the stuff leading up to it. We keep the
all-important Ursine Roar and the healing abilities from Spirits,
then take the required in the general tree. It's fairly simple, and
there's not much to explain, but if you want to free up points for
PoM that's the way to do it.
Well, that's by no means every single valid way to set up a BS, but
they are pretty much the best ways (to within a variance based on
some personal choices) to do it.