Player Spotlight: Barokoshama

“Elemental Shaman can do just as well as some of the best classes played by some of the best players in the world.”

VitaminP: Welcome to the first RaiderIO Player Spotlight! In this new series, we'll be taking a weekly look at players around the Mythic+ and Raiding scenes and get a chance to shed light on the great players and personalities in the community.

Today we have Barokoshama, an Elemental Shaman ⚡️ in North America who pushes high Mythic+ keys. Can you provide a bit of background on your recent history with World of Warcraft and Mythic+?

Barokoshama: My name is Nick and I live in Ottawa, Canada! I'm 24 years old and I’ve been playing WoW since just before the Launch of BC. I started playing Shaman in Cataclysm with the release of the Dragon Soul raid and introduction of LFR, bless its heart.... My goal is to become one of the best Shaman players in PVE and Mythic+ content. I hope that the work that I do brings a better outlook for the community in regards to classes that aren't meta but if played well can perform just as good if not better.

VitaminP: Great to meet you, Nick. So let’s get the elephant out of the room... how does it feel playing one of the most underrepresented classes in competitive Mythic+?

Barokoshama: The community perception is so bad. People are chasing the highest, most popular DPS class and are not thinking enough about utility. Mythic+ is actually going to change that. In raids, you have either the “you can soak this mechanic the best or, if you can’t, you better be doing the best DPS” mentality. If your class doesn’t provide one or the other, you generally don’t have a spot in some of the highest progressing raid teams. But in Mythic+, utility is so much more important and not just CC’s, interrupts, or buffs, but also damage mitigation for the tank and peeling for the Healer/DPS on Skittish weeks. You just have to think: what is your class capable of doing on the fly?

“People are chasing the highest, most popular DPS class and are not thinking enough about utility.”

VitaminP: Let’s talk more about this utility. What does Elemental Shaman bring to the table?

Barokoshama: Elemental brings a lot more to a group than people would think... even just in Earthquake alone. Knockdowns are one of the best forms of interrupts in the game because a silence only stops a target from casting interruptible spells. A knockdown can interrupt a hard cast that can be otherwise hard to deal with in the form of a stun/displacement. For example, in Tol Dagor, the officers do a shield absorption called Riot Shield. If this isn’t stopped, all the mobs around it within 10 yards take 75% reduced magic damage and it redirects all spells to the caster. Keep in mind that Earthquake is also physical damage, so you’re doing physical damage to it (bypassing the 75% reduced magic dmg and reflect) and have a chance to knock it down... all for the simple cost of resource. Earthquake doesn’t have a CD. The only things that you can do to a Riot Shield is displace or stun, so Earthquake can come in really clutch here. That’s what I’m trying to to bring to the community’s eyes: how valuable it can be to bring an Elemental Shaman into top level content and how it can really benefit your progression into those higher keys.

Elemental Shaman brings the best interrupt in the game, Capacitor Totem stun, Earth Elemental (like Treants), a self resurrection, Tremor Totem, Purge, curse dispel, slow totem, Hex (which is one of the best CC’s because it can absorb damage and not break), an AOE knockback, off-healing, and some of the best burst AOE in the game... especially if you bring a DH and a Monk in the group since our damage output is comprised of both physical and magic damage.

VitaminP: We recently saw you doing some high keys with Shakib on Twitch where you kept up with him in overall DPS while he was playing Havoc Demon Hunter. You also melted the heck out of Azerokk, the second boss in that Motherlode 19 key. Can you tell us what you two were joking about at the end of the key? Can an Elemental Shaman really keep up with a Havoc Demon Hunter?

Barokoshama: Oh, he thinks I’m a padder, that’s what it is. Haha. In all honesty though, it is the fact that I was able to benefit from both the 5% physical damage buff that monks bring, but also that my single target damage is better when there’s also a DH in the group because all of my single target is magical damage. It’s a noticeable difference, especially for a class that’s lacking in the area of single target damage. Elemental Shamans are not lacking in AOE, but it’s a big difference to see that extra 5% on Earthquake which does the majority of your AOE damage. So even though we were joking and having fun about it, it actually has a serious undertone to know that, with the right comp, Elemental Shaman can do just as well as some of the best classes played by some of the best players in the world.

VitaminP: What advice do you have to new players trying to get into Mythic+?

Barokoshama: Right now is one of the best times to get into Mythic+. In legion, it was in the baby stages of the sport and now it’s really growing. If you’re drawn to a specific class, don’t let a negative influence impact your decision to play that. Play that and follow your niche of your class the best you can and build your comps around that. Tournament realm is a little different, but on live servers, you can get away with something you really like playing if you bring classes that help support your strengths and weaknesses.

VitaminP: What are the top addons you’d suggest to players wanting to learn to play like you?

Barokoshama: First off, I have some WeakAuras to suggest that will improve your mechanics and gameplay. I recommend getting some sort of tracker for interrupts and externals / defensives / CC’s. I feel like those are mandatory in high keys. Overlapping these abilities can mean the difference between a wipe or a timed run, so tracking CC’s and interrupts is super important to have that information in order to plan ahead but also make on the fly decisions. Depending on what role you play (Tank/Healer/DPS), the information you need to track will vary. The CC tracker I use was made by Zuleh in the style of Nnogga’s interrupt tracker and can be found here. Another group of WeakAuras I would suggest using would be a class-oriented one to track your resources (if applicable), cooldowns, and dot timers on your target. For instance, I use a custom WeakAura to track my Maelstrom resource, another for Flame Shock tracking, and various other trackers for my cooldowns. All of my WeakAuras that I use can be found here. Finally, Mythic Dungeon Tools (MDT) is a staple for high-end Mythic+ pushers. This addon allows you to pre-plan routes and mobs, calculate mob percentages, make notes, and has every affix combination to take into consideration. This tool gives visual learners a strong visual representation of what their dungeon route will look like.

VitaminP: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you'd like to say to the community?

Barokoshama: Don’t completely throw yourselves to “Flavor of the Month” classes. If a class calls to you, play it. Then, be the change you want to see in the community.


About the Author

Vitaminpee mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming and a partnered Twitch streamer who plays all tanks at max level and is excited to have more time now to push for the next MDI with her team: Synecdoche, Oddy, Sham, and Comfykins.