Some Words to Start
After spending couple days of tweaking/testing, I think I’ve finally come up with the most optimal way of playing Runeshaper FOR MYSELF. However this does not mean the way I play it maximize this spec’s potential, thus why there is a quote around the word guide in the title. I would like to share my way of playing this spec to help those who does not know the spec at all. For those of you that may have better builds/more optimal ways of playing it, I am more than happy to hear about them and correct the places I did wrong in my guide.
This section is a special thanks to xclusive@hailol. The build I am using in this guide and the way I play it is a bit different from his. However the idea and the basic build were originated by him. Big credits to him.
Current State of Runeshaper
With this level of gear I am parsing:
Wondering what those numbers mean? Here is a direct comparison:
Pros of Runeshaper:
Currently cleric’s highest ST DPS spec, Higher ST DPS than Shaman
Scales VERY well in raid due to the fact that this spec relies heavily on crit RNG
It has a VERY high ceiling due to its RNG based playstyle
Cons of Runeshaper:
Weak cleave/AOE DPS, even weaker than Inquisitor with the build in this guide
Suffers heavily from target swap
Turret style DPS, suffers heavily from movement
Very mana intense
Due to its RNG based DPS style, it is very easy for this spec to de-sync with raid cooldowns
After tweaking with different builds, I personally find this build fits me the best as of now:
51 Runeshaper/17 Shaman/8 Inquisitor (fixed soul tree, thanks to Pretoi!)
There is an alternative build that takes no penalty of damage loss but with a purge (thanks to Tilar and Hoodies!):
Rune of Impending Doom AS OF NOW does not do enough damage to make it worth taking a GCD over other abilities (will explain later).
Runeshaper’s DPS is extremely bonded to crit RNG. This is why I take Shaman+Inquisitor instead of Inquisitor+Defiler or Shaman+Defiler.
How does this build compare to 61 Runeshaper?
This build does more ST DPS than 61 , however its cleave/AOE is absolutely trash compare to 61.
This build also has, even just slight, better ways of dealing with movement than 61 (will be covered in the movement section).
Annihilation Crystal, due to the fact that most of its damage abilities are cast time abilities.
Vengeance of the Winter Storm
Armor of Devotion
Macros and Abilities:
I use only one macro for Runeshaper:
#show inscribe fate
cast inscribe fate
To maximize ST DPS, the following abilities need to be put separately on your bar:
Rune Strike, Rune of Smiting, Rune of Castigation, Rune of Travail, Rune of Power, Rune of Soul Binding, Runelord’s Inscription, Seal of Vulnerability, Seal of Pain.
There are 2 preloads you can do for this spec:
Use Runefall to preload Diversify
Precast Seal of Vulnerability before the pull, it wont aggro the boss
If you and your raid lead are hardcore enough and do a 10s countdown…
hardcast Rune of Castigation on 6…LOL
There is NO set rotation for Runeshaper. This spec depends heavily on RNG. Based on when the procs of this spec happens you may find one Runeshaper’s DPS curve COMPLETELY different from another. Thus one can only play Runeshaper by following a priority list.
The key of maximizing Runeshaper’s ST DPS can be summarized in one sentence. That is firing off as many Rune of Smiting with as many but not exceed 3 stacks of Smiting Forces as possible while keep your dots up.
How to fire off as many Rune of Smiting as possible?
Each time you cast Runestrike, you will gain a stack of Hasty Inscription. Once reaching 4 stacks, your Rune of Smiting becomes instant cast. This is when you want to fire it off. (think about Inquisitor’s BoJ/BoR and BoD)
What is Smiting Forces?
It is a buff applied by using certain Runeshaper abilities. It increases your next Rune of Smiting’s damage by 100%. Can stack up to 3 stacks.
Outside of gaining stacks of Hasty Inscription via Runestrike, this is the major mechanism you wanna abuse. That is, before you reach 4 stacks of Hasty Inscription, try gain as many stacks of Smiting Forces as possible, but never exceed 3 stacks.
This is why Rune of Impending Doom is abandoned for this build. It does not achieve either goal of the above. The damage it does right now is not high enough to make it worth a GCD in the rotation. This is the same reason that Sanction Heretic is not used in the standard rotation (The usage of SH will be covered in a later section)
The following abilities, listed from highest to lowest priority, grants you a stack of Smiting Forces on use:
Rune of Soul Binding
Rune of Castigation (only use this on proc or Rune of Power)
Putting Them All Together
With the above priority list, how to play Runeshaper is pretty clear now.
Before you reach 3 stacks of Smiting Forces, follow the Smiting Forces priority list. If none of the abilities are up, use Runestrike.
Once upon reaching 3 stacks of Smiting Forces, use Runestrike until you are at 4 stacks of Hasty Inscription.
Once upon reaching 4 stacks of Hasty Inscription, fire off Rune of Smiting regardless how many stacks of Smiting Forces you have.
You have 2 seals that needs to be maintained, Seal of Vulnerability and Seal of Pain. They last 30s and can be refreshed via Rune of Travail.
Usually I refresh them as late as I can. The only time I will refresh them early is when I need to channel Rune of Soul Binding in 1 or 2 GCD.
Rune of Power
Rune of Power makes your next Rune of Castigation become instant cast.
I used to only use it after an instant proc Rune of Castigation. However I found out that if RNG is not on my side I may just delay it for too long and lose DPS. So instead I use it offCD now.
But you will never want to use it after a Runestrike. If the Runestrike procs instant cast Rune of Castigation you will just simply waste it.
Usually when it comes offCD, I use it after the first Rune of Smiting I fire off since Rune of Castigation grants a stack of Smiting Forces.
Runelord and Runelord’s Inscription
Runelord is a buff that can be proced with Runestrike. It will reduce you GCD from 1.5s to 1s as well as making your Runestrike instant cast, last 10s.
During Runelord you should not use Rune of Soul Binding.
Runelord’s Inscription is a 2 min CD. It grants you the same effect Runelord grants you, except it lasts for 14s.
Similar to Rune of Power, I used to use this only after Runelord proc but ended up losing DPS if RNG is not on my side. So now I use it whenever it comes offCD. And likewise, you should never use it after a Runestrike to prevent wasting it.
Similar to Runelord, during Runelord’s Inscription you should not use Rune of Soul Binding. This means if both abilities comes off CD together, you should Rune of Soul Binding before poping Runelord’s Inscription to prevent delaying.
Runeshaper suffers heavily from movement. However with this build it has slightly better ways of handling movement.
First of all if you anticipate an incoming movement phase in a fight you should delay/reserve Rune of Soul Binding and/or Runelord’s Incription for that phase.
If none of those 2 abilities are up soon, you should pray to RNGesus for a Runelord proc.
Finally, if RNG is not on your side, On top of the Smiting Forces priority list mentioned earlier in the guide, replace Runestrike with the following priority list:
Massive Blow (if you are in melee)
Crushing Blow (if you are in melee)
This is why Vengeance of the Winter Storm is no longer a useless buff for Runeshaper…LOL.
Some Final Words
This is just my way of playing this spec as of now. I do not think and this probably isn’t the most optimal way of playing Runeshaper. If you have better thoughts/ideas/questions or just simple want to flame/criticize me feel free to leave a comment below. Or you can just send me chinapandaman@laethys a tell in game. For those of you that bought your shinny soul pack and don’t know what you are doing, I hope this guide can get you started on playing some oracle/pyro…I mean Runeshaper.