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General Shaman and Specific Ice Thorns Questions

I couldn’t find this info searching the forums. It seems like a majority of the shaman builds rely heavily on Ice Thorns. Granted, I haven’t hit endgame with a shaman yet but I found it very tedious to keep Ice Thorns up without autocast.

Am I missing something or is autocast the accepted way to run Ice Thorns and is Ice Thorns really that strong?

Secondly, shaman seems like it’s supposed to be the totem specialist but I see few builds that rely heavily on totems. What’s the viability of doing a totem-focused build using Primal Strike to keep storm totems summoned and do those summoned totems use the storm totem skill tree? I was thinking of doing something like that along with thorn totems, leap, and another skill (not sure what yet).

There is a chance for Ice Thorns to be cast when you’re hit (node in the skill tree). So it’s a kind of retaliation.
The Shaman is good with totems and you can find several builds like this. See the YouTube channel of LastEpochBuilds for example, there is one relatively recent.

I’ve looked all over the skill tree in Ice Thorns and can’t find this node anywhere. I see a chance for it to be recast when expires, but nothing about being cast on hit. Which node is it that does this?

Bramble Armour.
Lower part of the tree.
Then Spell Thorns, next to it.