- For the manga, see Shaman (manga).
- 1 Class overview
- 2 History
- 3 Overview
- 4 Notable shamans
- 5 Shaman organizations
- 6 Races
- 7 Specializations
- 8 Equipment
- 9 Abilities
- 10 End-game expectations
- 11 In Warcraft III
- 12 Note
- 13 Videos
- 14 See also
- 15 Patch changes
- 16 References
- 17 External links
- "The spirits of the elements are wise. They've been here long before us and will persist long after we're gone. When they speak to us, we must listen."
- — Gotura Fourwinds
Shamans are mortal mediators between the very elements themselves. Spiritual leaders of their communities, these powerful practitioners commune with the ancestors and seek to balance the raging elemental forces, and can call upon them in battle to scorch and blast their enemies, or to strengthen and heal their allies. Shamans can enhance their weapons with elemental effects, smite enemies with lightning strikes and bursts of lava, and summon powerful elementals to do their bidding. Shamans can also grant themselves and their allies powerful elemental boons, and call upon the ancestors to assist them, transforming into a or using to return from the dead.
The shaman is a hybrid class, able to specialize in offensive spellcasting, melee damage dealing, or healing. As such, the class is considered highly adaptable and versatile. Shamans can also use a selection of stationary totems to gain a wide variety of effects, from restoring mana and automatically healing allies to snaring foes and attacking the shaman's enemies. Shamans are versatile and formidable opponents, able to respond to any situation with a range of unique abilities.
Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. Acting as moderators among earth, fire, water, and air, shaman summon totems that focus the elements to support the shaman’s allies or punish those who threaten them.
These masters of the elements can also call upon elemental forces directly, unleashing torrents of lava and bolts of lightning against foes. The elements can create, destroy, support, and hinder. The experienced shaman balances the vast spectrum of these primordial forces into an array of diverse abilities, making shaman versatile heroes and valued members of any group.
For millennia, since the primitive tribal cultures of Azeroth and Draenor, the natural elements of the physical universe have been celebrated, feared, and even worshipped. Mystics sought communion with the earth, air, fire, and water, and learned to tap into their raw power. In time, these spiritual guides came to understand that nature’s elemental forces aren’t wholly benevolent, but have, in fact, been locked in an unending conflict of chaos and primal fury that once consumed the physical realm. So began the calling of the Shaman, to bring balance to these volatile energies, leveraging their intensity to mend wounds . . . or inflict them.
Shamanism has existed since the sapient races first discovered the power of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. On Draenor, now shattered Outland, the orcs were shamanistic; on Azeroth, trolls and tauren were shamanistic. Though shamanism on Azeroth flourished and still continues to, shamanism on Draenor was all but extinct by the time of the great crossing of the Horde into Azeroth via the Dark Portal. The greatest and yet some of the most vilified orcs were once shaman; Zuluhed the Whacked, Ner'zhul, and even Gul'dan were all previously shaman. However, Kil'jaeden, current lord over the Burning Legion, distorted the shaman's connection with their spirits in the sacred mountain of Oshu'gun, himself taking on the form of the shaman's ancestors to convince the shaman (who held much political sway in the orcish culture) that the Draenei were the enemy. The ensuing massacres upon several Draenei hunting parties offended the spirits, who eventually denied the shaman their powers.
All was set for the transition.
Cut off from their elemental powers, the former shamans turned to the more efficient and masterful powers of the Burning Legion, becoming Warlocks. Though many tried to hang onto their roots, it was impossible. Even Drek'Thar was sucked into the dark magics, though he later repented and to this day has never forgiven himself for the acceptance of the demonic corruption that plagues himself and the orc race.
Ner'zhul was the warlock who created the portals from Draenor to many other worlds. The many portals ripped Draenor apart creating the ravaged land of Outland. He repented but was dragged back into the fold by Kil'jaeden who promised him an endless existence of suffering and pain if he did not serve the Legion. Ner'zhul accepted this second chance at serving the Legion and was changed into the mighty being the Lich King and used to inhabit the body of Arthas Menethil his first and most powerful of the second generation of Death knights, until Arthas' eventual defeat, and Bolvar Fordragon took his place as the new Lich King.
Back in Outland, the elements slowly recovered from the turmoil and uncertainty of being ravaged along with the land when the portals were opened. For some time, they were lost, confused and neglected: very much like, they sensed, a kindred spirit in a certain Broken draenei named Nobundo was. Hopeful that he would be receptive to contact with them, they did so once they recovered sufficiently enough to reach out once again... and found that he was.
In an experience that was probably not too dissimilar with the first ancient shaman of other races, the elements themselves taught Nobundo the delicate balance of nature and the powers and truth of the Five Elements. Spending years primarily as a student of the elements, Nobundo would become a teacher himself, seeking out his first students among his own people at Telredor in Zangarmarsh and opened a new path for the draenei.
Shamanism in the orcs remained all but extinct until Thrall, the son of the deceased Durotan and future chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, grabbed hold of the reins of Warchief of the New Horde, ushering in a new generation of shamanism, breaking the crippling lethargy of the captive orcs and outlawing the dark magic of the Burning Legion. At the time of the internment camps, a shaman was a derogatory term for someone who told fantastical and unbelievable stories. Shamanism is now at its peak though, as the New Horde itself beacame led by a shaman of great power in the new orcish kingdom of Durotar.
Shaman were originally a Horde-exclusive class available to three races: tauren, orcs, and trolls. The class was designed as the counterpart to the Alliance-exclusive Paladin, and they shared many qualities such as a strong focus on buffs, the ability to act as an off-tank, and useful healing spells. However, balancing the two classes against each other to prevent one faction from having a clear advantage became too difficult for developers, restricting the development of both classes. After the release of The Burning Crusade in 2007, the Alliance gained access to the shaman class with the introduction of the alien draenei, while the Horde gained access to paladins through the blood elves. With both factions now capable of fielding shaman and paladins, developers have been able balance to shaman against the other classes instead of trying to mirror paladins. Later expansions have seen the shaman class become available to new races. Some goblins have adopted shamanic ways - albeit for typically profit-oriented reasons - and the dwarves have embraced shamanistic traditions. The pandaren are also known to include shaman.
In the past, shaman were often considered a “Jack of all trades, master of none”. This was a result of their ability to perform many abilities outside the normal realm of skills for their primary specialization. It was also a result of the Cataclysm model for the shaman’s iconic totems, in which many classes provided more powerful versions of a shaman’s totem buffs but no class provided the same amount of variety. Following the overhaul of the totem system in Patch 5.0.4, shaman now provide a number of powerful and unique buffs for their allies. Increasing their value in group settings is their access to two crowd control spells: and . Finally, the combination of and make shaman the only class able to begin wipe recovery without outside help. These abilities make the shaman one of the most powerful support classes in the game.
In game, shaman are capable of filling three roles: ranged DPS, melee DPS and healing. These roles are represented by the Elemental, Enhancement, and Restoration specializations. Originally, Enhancement shaman were designed to be viable off-tanks to counter the abilities of Protection paladins. As the Horde gained access to paladins with The Burning Crusade, and with the addition of the death knight class in Wrath of the Lich King, the need for shaman tanks was eliminated. Though developers pushed the class towards being exclusively damage dealers or healers, some enthusiasts maintained tanking simple encounters using Enhancement shaman. However, with the removal of the defense statistic in Patch 4.0.1 it became impossible for shaman tanks to prevent critical strikes, effectively ending their history.
|Drek'Thar||Chieftain and Elder Shaman of the Frostwolf Clan||Alive||Frostwolf Keep, Alterac Valley|
|Magatha Grimtotem||Elder of the Grimtotem Clan||Alive||Thousand Needles|
|Ner'zhul||The Lich King||Consumed by Arthas||Unknown|
|Farseer Nobundo||First of the draenei shaman||Alive||The Crystal Hall, Exodar; Maelstrom|
|Rehgar Earthfury||Advisor to Warchief Thrall||Alive||Unknown|
|Thrall||Leader of the Earthen Ring, former Warchief of the Horde||Alive||Maelstrom|
|Zuluhed the Whacked||Chieftain of the Dragonmaw clan||Deceased (lore), Killable (WoW)||Dragonmaw Fortress, Shadowmoon Valley|
- Earthen Ring: A group of shamans employing all races connected to the elemental spirits, including orcs, tauren, trolls, mag'har, broken, draenei, taunka, Wildhammer dwarves, and goblins.
- Unnamed Draenei shaman brotherhood led by Farseer Nobundo.
- The Dark Shaman, a group of evil orc shaman beneath Orgrimmar.
- Main article: Shaman races
The shaman class can be played by the following races:
- For a full list of specialization abilities, see Shaman abilities
A spellcaster who harnesses the destructive forces of nature and the elements.
Elemental shamans are powerful spellcasters, fulfilling a caster DPS role to blast and scorch enemies from afar. They benefit from numerous improvements to their offensive spell casting abilities, boasting reduced cooldowns and mana costs, and increased crit chance, range and damage dealt for many of their spells. Dedicated casters, Elemental shamans' play is augmented with a number of mechanics rewarding spell-casting, including and , as well as the raid buff. They also gain some unique abilities of their own, including the iconic - a powerful knockback ability notorious for propelling enemies from high edges in PvP - and the mastery . Elemental is the choice for shamans who want to play a ranged damage-dealer and maximize their damage output with their spells.
is another Elemental ability which while broadly similar to and , also has utility in being able to knock down foes caught in its area of effect, making it very versatile in both PvE and PvP settings when used right. Combining the passive with , an Elemental shaman can do considerable AoE damage.
Similar to the of Enhancement shamans, allows an Elemental shaman to store charges and then quickly release them by casting an to do an impressive amount of burst damage. This choice gives Elemental shamans versatility in their rotation and gives you the important choice of when to fulminate.
The most important attribute for Elemental is intellect, which increases spell power, mana, mana regeneration, and critical chance. The second-most important statistic is spirit, which is converted by the talent into hit rating.
Certain shaman have dedicated themselves above all else to forging a deep bond with the elements. They have peered beyond the Elemental Plane, gleaning visions of an ancient past where manifestations of volatile energies once raged unimpeded across primordial Azeroth. Through careful study and dedication, the elemental shaman is able to channel such power into destructive magical surges. Through the body of the shaman flows bolts of lightning, as if from storm, and bursts of fire, as if from molten earth. They manipulate the land itself and summon spirits of earth, fire, and storm to their aid. To battle an elemental shaman is to taunt the very forces of nature.
A totemic warrior who strikes foes with weapons imbued with elemental power.
Enhancement shamans are melee damage dealers, smiting opponents with elementally-empowered weapons. A unique melee spec that derives a large portion of its damage from spells, the playstyle of an Enhancement shaman is very active and hectic. Using the right abilities at the right time, combined with procs, it's a very engaging spec to play.
Signature abilities of this spec include , giving shamans the ability to dual wield one-handed-weapons, , an instant attack that deals more damage if the offhand weapon is enchanted with , and , which allows the shaman to hit with both weapons at once and causes the target to take more critical strikes from the shaman's spells.
Another key aspect of the Enhancement shaman playstyle comes with , giving the shaman's strikes a chance of granting a stacking buff, reducing the cast time and mana cost of their next Nature spell by up to 100%. When questing, this ability is very useful because it enables Enhancement shamans to heal themselves efficiently.
Finally, allows enhancement shamans to summon a pair of immensely powerful spirit wolves which add a fair amount to the shaman's DPS while active, as well as healing the shaman with each strike (and providing some unique utility, in breaking snares, sprinting, stunning, and taunting enemies).
Intense communion with fire, earth, air, and water isn’t exclusive to the elemental shaman. In many ways, enhancement shaman similarly bond with nature and leverage its power on the battlefield. What distinguishes them in their training—and in their connection with the elements—is their combat methodology. These shaman favor empowering their physical attacks with elemental energies and facing their adversaries up close. They don’t shy from the frontlines, wielding magically augmented weapons, potent elemental attacks, and totems that shape the tide of battle.
A healer who calls upon ancestral spirits and the cleansing power of water to mend allies' wounds.
Restoration shamans are versatile healers well suited for any situation, with numerous passive abilities reducing the casting time and mana cost of healing spells, while increasing their effectiveness. On top of that they offer good utility (like mana regeneration using ) and strong multi-target healing through and . Signature abilities include , a long-term buff that triggers a heal whenever the target is damaged, and , an instant cast heal and an HoT.
An important mechanic of the restoration shaman is the buff, granted upon casting a or a . This buff has initially two stacks. A single stack is consumed upon casting a or a . A spent charge makes a much faster to cast or increases the crit chance of a . This makes careful management of , , and the Healing Wave spells essential for a good Restoration shaman.
Restoration shamans are highly effective in PvP and group PvE, the only drawback being their rather low damage output, which can make solo play more difficult. In return, a Restoration shaman hardly ever dies while questing/soloing.
Some shaman find a serene affinity for the restorative properties of water. These shaman do not necessarily seek the Light or turn to the divine, yet they feel a profound spiritual connection with the source from which all mortal life took root. So strong is their connection with water that the shaman is able to restore life and heal afflictions. They balance this with a command of the other elements, finding harmony in nature and purifying their allies as a tidal surge washes across a sandy shore.
Shamans can initially only wear cloth armor and leather armor; at level 40, they unlock the ability to wear mail armor. At level 50 they gain Mail Specialization, after which they should only be equipping mail armor. Enhancement shaman will often compete with Hunters for armor while Elemental and Restoration shaman will only compete with other shaman. All shaman specifications can equip daggers, staves, fist weapons and shields; as well as, one or two-handed axes and maces. In Patch 2.0.1, Enhancement shaman gained the ability to dual wield. Prior to Mists of Pandaria, shaman equipped a Totem, in their relic slot in lieu of having a ranged weapon. However, with Patch 5.0.4 the ranged weapon slot was removed and the relic items were phased out.
Enhancement shaman should dual wield slow (speed 2.60) agility weapons. Slow weapons are recommended as they maximize damage from weapon damage based attacks like and . Elemental and Restoration shaman should equip a spell power main hand weapon and a spell power shield. Caster shaman may also equip non-shield off-hand items or, if the stats are more beneficial, staves.
There are a number of end-game gear sets for shamans to use ranging from Molten Core's Tier 1 to Mists of Pandaria's Tier 15. There are also multiple sets for PvP which can be purchased with honor points and conquest points. Most of these sets can be found on the Shaman sets page.
The Leatherworking profession is capable of crafting many pieces of mail armor that are attractive to both PvE and PvP focused shaman. Uncommon quality armor sets, like the Nerubian Hive or Heavy Scorpid Armor can provide useful upgrades while leveling; however, the highest quality pieces often require materials which can only be collected in a raid setting, and may be very expensive.
- See also:
- Shaman tactics
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Totems are unique to the shaman, and must be obtained by completing certain quests. Each Totem corresponds with one of four elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Wind) and only one of each elemental type can be used at a time. Once a totem is put down, it cannot be moved, but a new totem can always be summoned to replace it.
With the spell (available at level 30), shamans can instantly remove all of their totems for no mana and receive 25% of the mana spent on the totems back. However, shamans who have not yet reached level 30 (and therefore have not yet learned Totemic Recall) will see "Totem Timers" below their character portraits. As with buffs, a simple right-click to the "Totem Timer" icon, and the totem will be destroyed with no mana gain.
With the spells , and (learned at levels 30, 40 and 50) shamans receive a sorely needed tool that allows them to place four totems at once. With the three different spells, shamans can have three different sets of totems to place. This allows the shaman to have different sets for different situations where only one Global cooldown is needed to place an entire set of totems. This makes the Call-spells very powerful utility spells that are unique to the shaman playstyle.
- See the shaman totems page for complete list of totems, and additional details.
Shaman spells include direct damage spells, heals, and weapon buffs among others. Their spells are mostly based on the elements.
- Maces (1-handed) (2-handed)
- Staves (2-handed)
- Shields (off-hand)
- Daggers (1-handed)
- Fist Weapons (1-handed)
- Axes (1-handed) (2-handed)
- Swords (1-handed or 2-handed)
- Ranged weapons (wands, bows, throwing weapons, crossbows, guns)
Note: The inability of shamans to use ranged weapons makes the Troll's and racial traits worthless for them.
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Totems are a major part of the end game and knowing what totems will benefit the shaman's group members best in different situations is all part of the strategy involved in playing a shaman. While the class is versatile, from Blizzard's overhaul on balancing talent specializations you will now have a much more specific role.
An elemental shaman will be expected to maximise their damage output as a ranged DPS through careful management of their Spell Power and Haste statistics, and usage of their offensive spells such as . They have access to , a powerful spell casting buff for raids and groups, as well as , another spell casting buff.
An enhancement shaman will be expected to maximise their damage as a melee DPS by stacking Agility (And therefore Attack Power), as well as haste and critial strike rating. They have access to , a powerful melee buff that increases the attack power of raid and party members by 10%.
A restoration shaman will be expected to maximise their healing, and much like an elemental shaman requires Spell Power and Haste. They also have access to , which is a powerful mana management tool for parties and raids.
- Remember that the beauty of the shaman is its versatility, and even though you tend to go one way with talents, remember that you still have access to the rest of your spells and abilities. For example, an elemental shaman can still heal moderately well, and are able to support themselves in raids when healing is tight.
In Warcraft III
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
- See also: Shaman (Warcraft III)
Shamans are spiritual visionaries of tribes and clans. These gifted warriors can see into the world of spirits and communicate with creatures invisible to eyes of normal beings. They are beset by visions of the future and use their sight to guide their people through troubled times. Although the shaman may seem wise and serene at first glance, he is a formidable foe; when angered, his wrath is as fierce as those who have a connection to Eternals or nature.
- Official Crash Course: Level 90 Shaman (Elemental)
- TGN - Elemental Shaman DPS! (Cataclysm)
- TGN - Enhancement Shaman DPS! (Cataclysm)
- See Shamanism and nature worship to learn more about the shaman's beliefs.
- See List of shaman for named shaman from lore and in-game.
- Spell power coefficient.
- A list of useful macros for shamans.
- See Category:Shamans for more related articles
- Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): All totems are now considered spells, and summoning totems can be prevented by silencing effects.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
- Relics have been removed from the game.
- Totems no longer provide long-term buffs. Some of the old passive effects are now innately provided by the shaman. Totems instead have short-term situational benefits.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Totems are no longer necessary to keep in your bags. Many totem quests have been removed.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04):
- A customizable Totem Bar will now be available for shaman allowing the storing of 4 different totems. These totems can be placed on the ground at once in one global cooldown for the combined mana cost of all 4 totems.
- Base health increased by approximately 7% to correct for shamans having lower health than other classes.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): All totems are now considered in the "Physical" school, and no longer magical spells.
- Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05):
- With the introduction of the draenei, shamans are now playable by both the Alliance and the Horde.
- Shaman with the appropriate talent spec are now able to dual-wield.