Looking at Oaks skilltree, half of it is extremely useful. Raise Dead, Pentinence, Shield and Surge of Faith are all skills that can be maxed out depending on which build you're going for, and very useful when doing so.
The other half though (not counting Morale), Last Stand, Soul Power, Soul frenzy and Divine Justice, aren't quite so hot.
One point into this skill is very well worth it if you're getting minions, preferably early on so you also can take advantage of the passive bonus to the fullest. But getting level 2 and 3 is a lot harder to justify, since you will most likely need those point for other, more prominent skills during the mid-level game. Most builds I've seen that fills up SP does so after level 15, when there's little else to start speccing, and that is also what I do. The skill is not a tide-turner, but rather something you put points into when a] It's too late to start focusing on other skills, or b] when you're ahead so much that you just want a little extra damage to pile it on. Regardless, level 2 and 3 cannot compete with Shield, pentinence and Surge round level 5-8, which is when you get them.
Suggestions: Increase the Spirit bonus on level 2 and 3. There's really little else I'd want from this skill mid- to late game.
Like Soul Power, putting one point into this can very well be worth it, and give you a little extra staying power if you manage to hold a lane and farm it while the opponent is running for the crystal. But just like SP, this skill really isn't something you'll spec when you're having troubles beating the opponent. While level 2 and 3 gives you a very nice bonus (level 3 almost makes lv3 Surge of faith free if you pop it in the middle of a creep swarm), it's not a tide turner, but rather something you can use when there's no need for anything else.
Suggestions: Honestly, I don't know. There's nothing ineherently bad about the skill itself, and buffing the heal would probably leave it OP, since Oak isn't really supposed to be a healer (not to mention that it also heals your allies). I just find that level 2 and 3 has issues competing with the good skills, during the time when your choice of skills are important.
Divine Justice level 4. To be honest, I can't really recall more than 5-6 occations when I had to risk death in order to kill an enemy, and thay all happen waaaaaaay before level 15. Thus I've never gotten to use this skill.
The start-up animation is too long. Period. If Oak didn't go down, but instead simply caught fire (or something) and proceeded to bash the opponent, this skill could actually be useful in even encounters, as well as putting pressure on the opponent. As it is now, even Oak himself has no trouble out-running a LS Oak once he's dead. Unless you have 1% HP left, Last Stand is nothing to fear in 1v1, and 2v2+, you'd be running either way.
Suggestions: Skip the fall-then-rise animation, and give Oak a damage buff depending on the number of minions he had when he died (level 1). Level 2, make Oak give any nearby allies a temporary bonus (ala SoF, without the dmg) when he dies. Also, remove the bonus (both for him and allies) when hitting buildings, to avoid fortress-exploits and similar multi-Oak strats.
The problem with these skills isn't that they're plain bad (ok, I think Last Stand sucks), just overshadowed by the rest of the cast. It's a bit tricky to suggest improvements since it could leave Oak OP, but I cannot deny that whenever I put points into my tree, it goes in this order:
- Is the next level of SoF available? (Oak really needs this to level up)
- Can I put it into Spirits/Shield/Pentinence?
- meh, how about Divine justice? Or Morale?
- Guess I'll put it into Soul power 2 and 3 then. Or wait, my opponents are noobs. let's just go with Last Stand and suicide their citadel.