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Shaman Spell Pick Order



  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,720
    If you really want to change spells you can easily do that using EEKeeper.

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    Any chance we'll see those 7th level spells? Or a version of the guide for IWD?

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    Entirely understandable. Congratulations on the little one!

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,918
    I have a son on the way
    spoiler alert please :D

  • HempzHempz Member Posts: 14
    edited February 8
    I'll post my own list here.
    I've soloed BG1+SoA with shaman can say that shaman is a very solid class. As for the spell selection it mostly depends on wether you play solo or in a party, and on that party composition.
    I currently play EET+SCS+RR with Dragon Disciple and Ilusionist-Thief and have done BG1. In SoD and later in BG2 I want to add a shaman and Dorn. My DrD is a tanky sorc who relies on defence, debuffs, CC, fire resistance and mass fire damage.
    Hence this selection is suitable for any party with a rogue and a mage.

    On the spell selection format:
    <Spell level>. [char levels when spells of this level are acquired]
    <Spells in order of picking>
    // comments

    I. [1, 1, 3, 5, 7]
    Cure LW, Bless, Doom, Entangle, Armor of Faith

    II. [4, 5, 7, 9, 11]
    Charm PoM, Slow Poison, Prot. from F&C, Flameblade, Barskin
    // Don't need #2 and #4 much, but there's nothing more to take.
    #3 is an essential elemental resistance spell, should be combined with potions, rings , etc for full immunity.
    #5 is good to use on poorly defended party members and summons. In my case, on levels 20+ it will replace Spirit Armor for my DrD and summons. You can also use it for a minor s/t boost.

    III. [6, 7, 9, 11, 22]
    Call Lightning, Cure Disease, Prot. from Fire, Dispel Magic, Cure MW.
    // #1 is an incredible spell through the whole saga. Though most of BG2 are dungeons and other indoors, CL has its uses and does massive damage.
    #2 cures disease as well as blindness, deafness and feeblemind - frequent effects in SCS. Shaman's Spiritual Clarity counters charm, fear, confusion and rigid thinking. This two spells take care of most disabling effects at shaman's will.
    I'm not taking Insects because any mage who is not protected from direct spells is as good as dead anyway by means of arcane magic. In solo adventure Insects is the 1st or 2nd pick.

    IV. [8, 9, 11, 13, 23]
    Call WB, Defensive Harmony, Prot. from Lightning, Neg. Plane Prot., Death Ward
    // #3 is said to be worse than its arcane counterpart, but mages' 5th spell level slots are too valuable for this. Nevertheless the duration of 5r/lvl is more than enough.
    #3 is to be used in combination with lightning spells/wands against fire-resistant creatures.
    I'd prefer to have #5 before #4, but the latter is rather useless on levels 23+ as most vampires live in Athkatla. On the contrary, death-like effects become more frequent later on.
    On the other hand I can tank vampires with Dorn, who is immune, and give Amulet of Power to one of my casters, DrD most likely, and my I-T is going to steal a dagger (added by RR) that has 3 cats of PfNE 3t/day.
    Should I decide against PfNE, Poison is a good alternative here. It is a vicious spell for 4th spell level and is potentially lethal for any creature who fails its s/t. It is also doubly deadly for hasted enemies.

    V. [10, 11, 13, 15, 28]
    Iron Skins, Insect Plague, Chaotic Commands, Resist Magic,
    (?) Mass Cure/True Seeing/Pixie Dust
    // TS is not that valuable for me as both shaman and illusionist-thief have detect illusion skill, which is much better than divination spells for several reasons. First, enemy mages and thieves very seldom use invisibility spell/potion only once. So spells like Invis. Purge or Oracle are rather useless. Second, DI skill is always "at hand", you don't need to plan your mages' spell slots ahead, and you free them for other spells. Third, SCS mages like to use SI: Divination, and DI skill bypasses this protection.
    Mass Cure is nice, but our Nymph can cast it as well, though high level char will be more efficient with it. I'll also think about Pixie Dust as it gives good tactical advantages: you can place your group and summons before a fight better, and you can decide, who will aggro enemies first.

    VI. [12, 13, 15, 21, 30]
    Fire Elemental, Heal, Harm, Fire Seeds,
    Wondrous Recall
    // Fire Elemental, being immune to nonmagical weapons, is an outstanding summon. My DrD took Wraith Form and tanked 80% of BG1 battles with no hit taken. And will continue doing so together with the Elemental. Furthermore SCS replaces many +1 weapons with "excellent" ones, which makes this strategy even more efficient. Later in SoA and ToB they are going to lure enemies into deadly flames of Firestorm and Incendiary Cloud.
    #3 is believed to be rather useless because of bad druid's/shaman's thac0 but! In my solo Avenger playthrough Resist Magic on Iron/Adamantite Golems + Harm on 19 str was successful 3 out of 4 times.
    #4 is quite weak spell by itself, but in hands of Dorn, combined with Poison Weapon or Deathblow, become quite decent.
    The last spell is acquired very late, when Conjure Animals, Animal Summoning and Dolorous Decay are useless. So I take #5 as a balancing spell which trades 1 offensive spell for 2 defensive.

    VII. [14, 15, 17, 22, 31]
    Fire Storm, Creeping Doom, Shield of Archons, Nature's Beauty, Regeneration.
    // #2 isn't much better than Insect Plague except it can affect creatures, immune to 5th level spells like lichens. There are also nasty Rakshasas, immune to some spell levels.
    I'll perhaps switch order of #3 and #4, depending on how my shaman will handle tough mages battles.
    #5 is a great survival spell. Shaman protected with Spirit Form, Favored of the Spirits and #5 is very hard to kill.
    Earth Elemental is not as good as a Fire one, and we don't get access to its greater brothers. Earthquake is OK when used wisely, but doesn't fit good enough to my strategy. Confusion is a nice choice for solo Shaman, but not in party with mages and their 5th level analogue.

    Conclusion: my party mostly relies on magics, and I want them to be highly versatile. That's why I chose shaman over druid or fighter-druid. Though the latter is overall stronger, his spell progression is much slower than that of pure druid or shaman. Another thing to mention is that shaman's level progression from 14 to 18 is more consistent. Bonus slots from druid's high wisdom mostly affects spell levels 1-4, the least useful ones, while shaman will get strong high level spells earlier. At the same time shaman is sturdier than single class druids, both in terms of health and physical damage output.

    Post edited by Hempz on
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 410
    @Hempz very insightful. What spells would you really change if you were playing solo ?

  • HempzHempz Member Posts: 14
    edited January 30
    @monico sure!
    Shaman Solo
    I haven't played solo with SCS though I believe that should I try the list would be the same.

    I. [1, 1, 3, 5, 7]
    Cure LW, Entangle, Doom, Bless, Armor of Faith
    // Here I switch order because Entangle and Doom are needed on first levels and Bless - only later on to buff summons.

    II. [4, 5, 7, 9, 11]
    Charm PoM, Flameblade, Find Traps, Prot. from F&C, Barskin
    // There's no use for Slow Poison (you have potions and bhaalspawn abilities) so change it for Find Traps - to buff yourself before setting them off.
    Flameblade offers acceptable damage only before you get more damaging weapon so I take it earlier.
    One more thing to mention here - the Writhing Fog spell. By gods it's awesome! Shaman is immune to it, as well as his spirits. So you throw it at feet in every single battle (unless there are neutrals around) until mid SoA. The casting is very fast (2), duration is decent (1 turn), enemies can get slowed, casters get interrupted - what else is needed? It's perfect for 2nd spell lvl.

    III. [6, 7, 9, 11, 22]
    Summon Insects, Call Lightning, Dispel Magic, Cure Disease, Prot. from Fire
    // When soloing Summon Insects is used not only for interrupting casters, but is more considered as a damaging spell. Because of constantly ticking damage it effectively slows foes' movement so that it is easier to kite them. I also used it against trolls and werewolves to counter their regeneration. Hence it's the #1 pick.
    All deseases you might meet in BG1 are cured with Potion of Health, no blindness there. So you can take it on 11th in BG2.
    Dispel Magic for solo adventure is an offensive spell and you will need it in mid and late BG1.
    Before PfF you have to combine either 2 of ring, potion and PfF&C. Ring slots are valuable, time for buffs is limited, so I prefer to have 1 spell for full immunity. Despite its description the spell provides 100% fire res.

    IV. [8, 9, 11, 13, 23]
    Call WB, Defensive Harmony, Prot. from Lightning, Neg. Plane Prot., Death Ward
    // #1 and #2 are essential hands down.
    Prot. from Lightning is nice to have against traps but you can use potions in that cases. Other sources of lightning damage are also very rare.
    Neg. Plane Prot. isn't needed for yourself (Amulet of Power) but is highly desired for your tanking summons as they have bad AC and are susceptible to energy drain. On the other hand you can tank vampires yourself and let your summons act as damage dealers only. And of course you might want to side with Bodhi after all.
    There are two other spells worth taking at this lvl. The first is Poison, see my previous post. Another one is Farsight which allows some tactics inaccessible otherwise.

    V. [10, 11, 13, 15, 28]
    Iron Skins, Insect Plague, Chaotic Commands, Pixie Dust, Magic Resistance.
    // The first 3 spells are must have. Following my discourse on the last spell choice it is obvious that TS isn't needed much.
    If you want to use MR spell as a debuff, take it on 15lvl. The easiest way to kill Iron and Adamantite golems: buff Iron Skins, cast MR on a golem, Harm it and land a final hit. Repeat if Harm resisted or if you miss. SCS golems cast poisonous clouds and will unlikely let you do that. So better safely kill them with Sling of Everard as they are usually stuck in an aperture. If you happen to deal with them in an open space, Boots of Speed + Potion of Speed + Energy Blades will do the work.
    Back to MR: if you want to use it for its intended purpose, it doesn't stack (at least in my current setup) with bonuses from items, but does stack with Potion of Magic Protection.
    Mass Cure is not very useful. It heals too little and doesn't help much in the midst of battle. Even if you heal 30 hp per summon, in later game it is one or two hits for most enemies. By that time I usually use summons as meatshields to save time for myself to eliminate enemies. If I really want to save my summon, I just Heal it via spell or a wand. On the other hand, you may want to walk around surrounded with 5 summons, buffing and healing them.

    VI. [12, 13, 15, 21, 30]
    Fire Elemental, Heal, Conjure Animals, Harm, Wondrous Recall.
    // Fire Seeds changed to Conjure Animals. I favor it over Animal Summoning III because the latter is weaker as it can summon lions and winter wolves along with bears. CA calls forth 1 to 3 (usually 2) mountain bears. They are not very tanky but are good damage dealers. So I usually tank with Elemental and back him up with bears.

    VII. [14, 15, 17, 22, 31]
    Shield of Archons, Fire Storm, Creeping Doom, Nature's Beauty, Regeneration.
    // On this level the order mostly depends on what threats you find most dangerous.
    Confusion is a decent spell, but our Nymph can cast so why bother. Nature's Beauty is a legal cheat.

    Post edited by Hempz on
  • FirecrowFirecrow Member Posts: 94
    @Hempz, what do you think about pick order of HLA spells and it's usefulness?

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