Starting a shaman
Shamans are a unique multi-modal class: they can play as casters, as healers, or as melee DPS. Their totems and utility spells make them valuable members of any group, and their ability to self-heal and conjure fierce elementals give them high survivability in solo and PVP content.
Enhancement shamans are dangerous melee attackers, imbuing their weapons with temporary powers to make their strikes even more lethal. Elemental shamans are ranged casters, summoning the powers of nature to weaken, transform and injure their enemies. And Restoration shamans use the power of water, casting forth soothing rains and tremendous surges of healing energy.
Shamans have one of the largest spellbooks in the entire game, with their myriad totems and enhancements often confusing new players. But it doesn't have to be difficult, and Wowpedia is here to help make sure it isn't.
- 1 Race selection
- 2 Early Levelling
- 3 Levelling as Elemental
- 4 Levelling as Enhancement
- 5 Levelling as Restoration
- 6 Totems
- 7 Professions
- 8 Shaman Quests
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
Although some races do provide modest bonuses to shaman abilities, rebalancing has ensured that every option has at least some utility. In selecting a race, the most important thing is finding one which feels good: if you think Tauren are pretty, roll a Tauren; if you think Goblins are hilarious, play a Goblin; if you think Draenei are sexy go on and play with them. Pick whatever you think you'll enjoy most.
The following races can play as shamans:
As a shaman, your early abilities include:
- , a ranged spell. Most early enemies will die from just 3-4 bolts.
- , a powerful strike from your main weapon, doing bonus damage.
- , which does a little damage and weakens your foe slightly.
- , your first healing spell.
- , a passive buff which will injure enemies who attack you.
These 5 abilities let you assemble a basic rotation: use to attract an enemy's attention, then cast while they run towards you. Once they're within melee range, . If they've survived this long, keep alternating and until they're dead. If you require healing, use to save yourself, and try to keep on yourself at all times.
Don't worry about mana: at this level of play, it regenerates very quickly. For now, focus on learning how to use these abilities optimally.
At level 10, you gain access to , your first weapon enhancement. These enhancements are temporary buffs which make your weapons even more powerful. Flametongue causes every strike to deal more damage, and makes your fire spells even more powerful. Weapon enhancements must be re-applied every hour, or whenever you replace a weapon, and cannot be applied to shields.
As you level up, you will gain access to more enhancements:
- , which gives every swing a chance to hit three times. Used mostly by enhancement shamans, as they're the only ones who should be doing melee damage.
- , which slows the movement speed of anyone you hit. Primarily useful in PVP.
- , which weakens incoming attacks and allows you to attract the attention of your enemies. Mostly used in instance groups while queuing for a tank or during emergencies.
- , which makes your healing spells more powerful and gives you a chance to apply a bonus heal.
Level 10 is also when specializations unlock. As a shaman, you can choose from three schools:
- Elemental Shamans, ranged casters who attack with powerful nature spells.
- Enhancement Shamans, melee attackers who use both hands to smack down their enemies.
- Restoration Shamans, healers who use the power of water to protect and empower their allies.
Because they use such different equipment for each specialization, shamans may find it difficult or inconvenient to swap specs at a later date. By now, you should have some idea where you're most comfortable: do you prefer to attack your enemies up close (Enhancement), do you prefer to kill them at range (Elemental), or do you prefer to avoid combat entirely and play a healer role? (Restoration)
Levelling as Elemental
As a caster, you're at your most effective when enemies are far away. If they're up close, they can not only injure you, but they can also interrupt or delay your casting by clawing at your face.
The good news is that you've got two key abilities to make you hard to reach:
- , letting you hit your enemies from further away.
- , which will knock them out of the way if they get too close for comfort.
Abilities, Enhancements and Elemental Shields
When running instances, you don't need to worry about survivability, so you should focus on powers which increase your mana throughput or grant bonus spell damage: , , etc.
As an elemental shaman, you have two weapon choices: a two-handed staff, or a weapon in one hand and a shield or off-hand in the other.
Carrying a shield will give you additional armour, and many shields have useful stats (like intellect), but they can be hard to come by. Shields are most useful during solo and PVP play, when that extra armour makes you more difficult to kill. For dungeon and raid instances, use whichever combination gives you the most useful stats, regardless of whether or not it involves a shield.
Elemental shamans will want equipment which maximizes:
- Intellect and Spell Power, which make all your spells more powerful.
- Spell Hit, which will allow you to reliably hit higher-level enemies.
- Haste, which decreases cast time and the global cooldown.
- Critical Strike, increasing the possibility that your spells will hit for bonus damage.
- Spirit can be useful (thanks to ), if you can't find anything better.
While playing solo, you may also want to stack on some stamina in order to increase your survivability, and from level 80 onwards you'll also want some mastery, but most other statistics are not useful to elemental shamans.
Levelling as Enhancement
Once the enemies are in your face, your melee abilities like and will let you make quick work of them. For groups of mobs, put a on one of them, then use to spread it to the others. (Once you hit the mid-40s, will make this one of your most powerful damage-dealing rotations.)
Abilities, Enhancements and Elemental Shields
Because you dual-wield, you can use two weapon enhancements. For the time being, just put on both of your weapons. When you hit level 30, you'll want to use on your main-hand weapon and on your off-hand.
As Enhancement, you want to ditch your shield as soon as possible after level 10. Take an offhand weapon instead: this will significantly improve the damage output of your (one of the core Enhancement spells) and make your even more destructive.
In terms of statistics, enhancement shamans want:
- Agility, which increases your damage output and makes it more likely your attacks will hit for bonus damage.
- Critical Strike, which grants significant amounts of bonus damage and makes it easier to pop .
- Hit, which will help you hit higher-level enemies more often.
- Haste, which will make your weapons swing even faster while reducing the global cooldown.
- Expertise, which prevents enemies from dodging your attacks.
Levelling as Restoration
Restoration shamans can generally follow the same advice given to elemental shamans, with one key difference: as a healer, in addition to intellect, you want gear with Spirit in order to significantly improve your mana regeneration.
Although totems have decreased in importance since Cataclysm, they're still an important part of every shaman's rotation.
Your first totem, , will do a good deal of damage to a single enemy, and should be used in most single-target encounters. (Especially for enhancement shamans who benefit from .) As you level up, you'll begin swapping it out for , which does less damage, but hits every enemy within an 8-yard range.
You'll gradually acquire more and more totems as you level up, and using them effectively is what differentiates good shamans from poseurs. Some totems are primarily useful in PVP, others in PVE, and some for solo play: check out the full list of totems for more information.
Although shamans start out wearing leather armour, they change over to mail at level 40, which can complicate profession selection. (If you take leatherworking, it becomes much less useful at 40; if you take blacksmithing, it doesn't really kick in until you're halfway to 90.)
With this in mind, there's really no right or wrong combination of professions for a shaman to take. Most players find it helpful to take a "matching pair" (e.g: herbalism and alchemy, or skinning and leatherworking), but the best advice is to find a combination that feels right. If your character feels like an engineer, take engineering; if it feels like an alchemist, take alchemy; etc.
These quests are available only to shamans, and offer unique rewards.