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Chapter 1 - Shaman Guide - Basics

Posted Mon, Apr 05, 2010 by Mem

Getting Off to a Good Start 

Choosing your class is one of the first important decisions you make while playing World of Warcraft. Choosing a class that you love will help you enjoy the game more, while picking a class you hate can ruin your play experience. In the end it’s up to you to make that tough call and decide what class fits your personal playing preferences. The Shaman class may or may not be the right one for you, but in order to help you make that tough choice here is a short list of what the class is all about, what it’s strengths are and some of it’s weaknesses.

  • Shaman are a versatile class. Much like Druids they can heal, do ranged DPS, and even Melee DPS.
  • Shamans can wear any type of armor class except for Plate.
  • Shamans provide various Totems that buff the raid, or even hinder your enemies.
  • Healing Shaman excel at raid healing, while tend to be lacking in the tank healing department. 
  • Shamans have a Ghost Wolf form that allows for faster travel.
  • Shamans have the ability to give themselves buffs to their weapons. 
  • Shamans are able to use Reincarnation to resurrect themselves from time to time even in combat.
So in general Shamans are a versatile class that can fulfill pretty much any play style you could hope for (melee, ranged, healing) and they do all three remarkably well. Shamans are not overly squishy, and provide helpful totems to their friends. If you are still not sure if the Shaman class is the one for you, the best solution is to try it out for a few levels. While the lower levels certainly don’t show you everything a class can do, you can still get a general idea of what the class will be like.

Picking your race is just as important as picking your class. While the race you pick will not affect your performance as all races are fairly equal, who really wants to stare at something they find repulsive for any amount of time?

The Shaman class compared to other classes does not leave you much room for race diversity. There are very few races that can currently be Shamans, especially if you decide to play Alliance. You should be able to find something that suits your fancy though. Keep in mind with the release of Cataclysm Blizzard will be allowing two more races to be Shamans, the Goblin and the Dwarf. Below is a list of the benefits you will gain from each available race:

Alliance

Draenei (Burning Crusade): Draenei have the ability to cast Gift of the Naaru, which allows the player to heal themselves. They are also provided with natural Shadow resistance, an increased chance to hit with all spells and attacks that is shared with the Draenei’s party members. Draenei also have the Gemcutting skill, increasing their Jewelcrafting skill by 5.

Horde

Orc: Orcs come with some powerful racial abilities including, Blood Fury which increases melee attack power, Command which increases damage dealt by all pets, Dodge which increases your chance to dodge enemy melee attacks, and Axe Specialization.

Troll: Trolls get the ability to Regenerate, which increases their overall health regeneration rate, and they also have the Berserking skill which increases attack and casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. Trolls also naturally have Beast Slaying, Bow Specialization, and Throwing Specialization. Finally Trolls can do Da Voodoo Shuffle which reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. Very handy in PvP.

Tauren: Taurens are one with the land and as such they have Cultivation which increases their Herbalism skill. They also have a natural Nature Resistance, and Endurance which increases their base health. Finally Taurens can perform a War Stomp which stuns up to 5 nearby enemies for 2 seconds.

Each profession in the World of Warcraft brings various bonuses with it. Choosing the right ones for your class is very important as it can increase your damage or healing output. Below is a list of the professions that are suitable for the Shaman class. Choose wisely!

Alchemy
Mixology increases the effect and duration when any flask or elixir a player is able to make is used. Also depending on what path you choose to take allows you to proc extra flasks, pots, or transmutes. A good choice since every player uses flasks.

Jewelcrafting
Provides powerful gems only available to Jewelcrafters.

Blacksmithing
Provides an outstanding bonus as it allows you to socket your gloves and bracers with a gem slot. Those two extra sockets can be used for any gem you choose and can really give you that extra edge.

Leatherworking
Not only can you make yourself some nice gear once you level it, but it provides the player with Fur Lining which can be added to your bracers. This enchant takes the place of the normal enchant you would get from an Enchanter and is far more powerful.

Inscription
Able to produce shoulder enchants known as Master’s Inscriptions. It’s almost worth it to be a scribe just so you don’t have to grind the Sons of Hodir reputation. The Master’s Inscriptions are slightly better than the universally available versions.

Mana

Shamans like most other caster classes rely on mana to be able to cast their various spells and abilities. Learning how to manage your mana will be key in winning battles and defeating your foes. Use too much or too little and you will likely find yourself walking back to your battered corpse. Mana can be restored out of combat by partaking in one of various fine beverages, or in combat by taking a potion, making use of the Shaman’s handy Mana Spring totem, or by simply standing around and waiting. 

Totems are unique to the Shaman class and are what really set them apart from other classes. Gained through various quests as you level Totems show up on the ground near the Shaman and produce a certain affect that can benefit not only the Shaman, but his entire group or raid. Different situations and even different specs will require different totems to be dropped by the Shaman. Learning what totems to cast and when will truly make you a master of the Shaman class.

Since the Shaman can melee, be an offensive caster, or heal, the stat choice depends on which of these three you choose to play. Enhancement Shaman will focus on typical melee stats, Elemental Shaman will focus on more caster like stats, while Shaman who choose to spec into the Restoration tree will be looking for stats that enhance their healing abilities. No matter how you choose to play your Shaman choosing the right stats for that spec is all important.

Elemental Shamans will be interested in the following stats:
Spell Hit, Spell Power, Crit, Haste, and Intellect

Restoration Shaman look for similar stats as the Elemental Shamans:
Intellect, Haste, Spell Power, Crit

While Enhancement Shamans are the oddballs of the group looking for stats more akin to
DPS Warriors: Hit, Expertise, Haste, Agility, Armor Penetration, and Strength



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