WoW: Shaman Class Guide v2.0

Updated Tue, Jun 23, 2009 by Bluto

Time is perhaps one the most precious commodities when it comes togaming.   As such, there are few things in gaming as disappointing as class selection regret. The choice of a hybrid class is one such way of eliminating the regret that comes with choosing a role the player dislikes.  Who has the time to create and level a whole new character? (Well most gamers, but I digress). The Shaman is an outstanding selection for players who like variety, or who may have an issue with committing to just one role.


To quote William Shatner the Shaman is a “conduit for the ancient forces of nature." What does that mean, exactly? The Shaman has the ability to wield the mystic forces of nature as either casters or to use nature to increase their physical prowess to act as melee characters. As such, they are a formidable hybrid class. As a hybrid class the Shaman’s role is defined by the selections the player chooses. The Shaman’s three schools of talents are Elemental, Enhancement, and Restoration.  Elemental and Enhancement focus on the damage that shaman can produce. It’s up the player to select how they prefer to assault their enemies. What’s your choice? From a long distance with a mystical elemental spell or up close and personal as an enhanced melee? Restoration speaks for itself; it’s the healing abilities that shaman can possess. Speaking of healing abilities, Shamans not only have the ability to resurrect players out of combat, they can also resurrect themselves. A little ability called Reincarnation, a fantastic ability for those times when encounters just don’t go the way you or your party plan. There is a cool down to Reincarnation, so don’t use it as an excuse for reckless game play.

Totems, Totems, Totems

The most distinguishing trait of the shaman is the use of totems. Totems are the physical manifestation of the shaman’s power. Totems are represented by the four classic elements (earth, wind, fire, and air) and as such only one totem of any element may be present at one time. Like the shaman the totems can be used for anything from dealing damage to healing and buffing party members. The totems do not move with the player, so positioning is crucial to the shaman and the players he is looking to assist. The totems each have their own life expectancy depending on their function. Another drawback to these totems is that they may be physically attacked and destroyed. It’s generally not a concern during PvE encounters but savvy PvP players may focus on removing a group’s enhancements by destroying these totems.  Well let’s face it, most savvy players will just kill the Shaman, and the totems will dissipate along with the Shaman’s death.

Armor and Weapons

Through leveling Shamans gain the ability to wear the second highest form of armor in the game (mail), granting them tremendous defensive capabilities.  Depending on the build of your character, it is not uncommon to see shamans wearing every type of armor from cloth to mail.  The armor bonuses and statistics will dictate what the best armor is for your character, not just the material it is made from. As with their armor, the Shamans have a broad range of weapons to select from as well. There are only a few selections unavailable to the Shaman. If your choice is to be a complete melee damage dealer, the ability to dual wield weapons is another trainable option open to the Shaman.  Shamans are limited to only melee weapons, guns and bows are not an option for the Shaman.

Shaman Strengths
  • Ability to use totems.
  • Can wear mail armor.
  • Many choices for weaponry.
  • Versatility.
  • Powerful buffs, like Spirit Wolf Form, which will increase your run speed by 40%.

Shaman Weaknesses
  • Totems can be easily destroyed.
  • Cannot use ranged weapons.
  • Rarely is a shaman "best" at the role they choose.

Defining Abilities

Bottom line, the shaman class, along with the druid class can boost that they are the most versatile class in World of Warcraft.  The shaman class has three distinctive talent specs that bring something to the table for the whole party and/or raid.

For Raid Damage a shaman can go Enhancement (Melee), or Elemental (Range).  For Raid Healing a shaman can go Restoration and be a effective raid healer or a raid tank healer.

With the three different specs a shaman brings many talents and abilities to benefit the party and /or raid.  For example with Enhancement talents Unleashed Rage, Enhancing Totems, and Improved Windfury Totem give benefits to everyone in the raid whether they are healing, melee, or range DPS.  With Elemental talents Totem of Wrath and Elemental Oath along with Restoration talents like Restorative Totems, Mana Tide Totem,  Ancestral Awakening,  Improved Earth Shield. 

Last but not least all three specs bring the ability Bloodlust (Horde) or Heroism (Alliance) which is one of the single most benefits that bring extra DPS to the whole raid party.

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