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Soloing the Shaman 1-40

Updated Wed, Feb 18, 2009 by Bluto



Step one in your Shamanistic journey is choosing your race. Not a tough decision for Alliance; you only get one choice, the Draenei.  As for the Horde, you get three choices.  Give some of the racial traits a gander.  Each one has its own benefit; I’ve always been partial to the Tauren war stomp. Although the Troll Beserking can be a useful as well. Of course there is always something to be said for just making a cool looking toon as well, don’t over think it too much.

Race Zone Perks
Draenei Azuremyst Isle Gift of the Naaru: Bonus healing
Heroic Presence: Increased Chance to Hit
Orc Durotar Blood Fury: Increased Melee and Spell Damage
Axe Specialization: Nice perk for that eventual dual wield
Tauren Mulgore War Stomp: Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 secs, gives you an extra mement to get a spell off.
Troll Durotar Berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed
Regeneration: Health regeneration increased

Now, that you’ve selected your Shaman it’s time to begin leveling.  No matter where you start the first ten levels are pretty straight forward.  In fact you will most likely hit a level within a few minutes. Remember that leveling sound, you’ll take it for granted now, but as you keep progressing, you’ll crave that sound. YOU WILL NEED IT. 

Quest helper and Carbonite are two recommend add-ons. I lean towards Carbonite. If it’s good enough for Boba Fett to trap Solo; it’s good enough for you.  Let’s face it; none of us are as cool as the Fett. If this is your first WoW character, I recommend not using any add-ons. There is a lot to enjoy in the game, so enjoy it. Don’t be in such a rush to finish. However, if this an alt? Do whatever it takes to level quickly, you’ve earned the right.

A quick note about questing. Let the quests be your guide. Follow your quest log; it will lead you to the zones most advantageous to you. Since this is a solo guide, stick to the green and yellow quests. They will be easy enough for you to manage on your own. Avoid group quests and dungeon quests. More often than not it will take you more time to find a group to complete them then it would take for you to solo level. That’s not to say don’t group with others, just don’t rely on other folks. The name of the game is solo leveling.

Levels 1- 10

Stick to your starting zones; there will be ample quests to get you moving along.  Additionally if you are on a PvP server you will be nice and safe.  There will be no pesky opposition running around and making your life miserable. We’ll save that for the later contested zones. 

Level 4 comes with your first Shaman quest, Call of Earth. Completion of this quest will grant your first Totem, the Earth Totem. It’s a fairly straight forward quest for both Horde and Alliance. One thing to be mindful while questing as a Shaman, is to keep an eye on that bag space. At low levels you will have virtually none to spare.  All the totem quests require the collection and use of materials, provided by the quest giver or sought out by the player. There was nothing more frustrating than working my way to another continent, and killing my way to the quest location; just to find out I was missing my quest item.  Upon completion of a Totem quest, you will be granted a Totem representing an element. There is a total of four by level forty, so make sure you have the inventory room for it.  Level 4 also introduces Earth Shock as a spell.  Earth shock will be one of the most useful spells you come across.  Not only does it deal damage, it interrupts casters. TAKE THAT YOU PAIN IN THE ASS SELF HEALING MOBS! C’mon we all know how much we all hate getting a mob close to zero life, and just before that killing blow lands - oh how convenient, they manage to heal themselves full.  No longer with Earth Shock.

Levels 10-20

Level 10 kicks off your next Totem quest, Call of Fire. “Say hello to my little friend” the Searing Totem.  The Searing Totem acts as an extra damage dealing assistant for the Shaman.  The damage is not overwhelming, but sometimes that little extra is all that’s needed to turn the tide of battle.  Bring on the next shock spell.  Flame Shock deals initial damage, as well as damage over time.

These levels are fairly uneventful for the Shaman.  You do however start to accumulate Talent Points, so now is the time to focus on you build.

Type Pros Cons
Elemental Caster DPS Mana burns quickly
Enhancement Enhanced Melee Damage Up close fighting in leather armor, not ideal
Restoration Increased Healing You're soloing, so the only one you are healing is yourself. Skip this build for end game.

I would lean towards either Elemental or Enhancement build for leveling.  I leaned in favor of enhancement. It just seemed to work out much better for myself. As mentioned in the cons for Restoration, it’s just not worth it for leveling.

Levels 20-30

At level 20 the Shaman gains a travel form, Ghost Wolf.  This ability increases movement by 40%, which means close to 40% quicker leveling. Well, maybe not that much faster leveling, but you do get to move around quicker. Especially useful for escaping mobs or just avoiding them. Sure, maybe that makes you a coward, but it makes you a live coward. Living = Good.

Well, it has been ten levels, soooo, that’s right folks, another Totem Quest - Call of Water. The water element in WoW equals regeneration for both health and mana.  A fantastic spell comes along at 20 - Water Shield. It acts as mana regeneration.  Keep that Water Shield active all the time. With the extra mana influx, you will be able to self heal during and after battle and minimize your down time. To quote my namesake, it “don’t cost nothing.” There is no reason for a Shaman not to constantly have a shield active. During the 20s the Shaman gains Lesser Healing Wave, it doesn’t heal for as much as big brother Healing Wave, but it does cast in half the time, which is good for getting out of pinch.

Levels 30-40

MMMM, I wonder what could happen at level 30. Could it be another Totem quest?  If you guessed yes, put a gold star on your screen. Call of Air will grant you your final elemental Totem. Once in possession of the Air Totem, you will be able to utilize the Windfury Totem - a great bonus for Enhancement Shamans let the melee carnage begin.

With a little luck in the auction house, or perhaps just dancing on mailboxes in cities, you will have earned enough money to train the Apprentice Riding Skill, you will earn the achievement Giddy Up and have the opportunity to purchase a mount.  A mount not only increases your non combat movement, it just looks cool. 

Oh, and at level 40, you get to wear mail and dual wield, but we’ll chat about that at a later date.

Sample Battle Rotation
  • Pre Battle Checklist, Shields to Full? Weapon Enhancement on? FIGHT!!!
  • Shock du jour (6 second cool down) - Flame or Frost for melee or Earth Shock for casters
  • Lightning Bolt (2.5 cast time)
  • Physical Attack, for the down time between spells
  • Healing Wave if needed (3 second cast time)
  • Wash, Rinse, Repeat until enemy is dead.
*note, I realize that lightning has a bit more range, but I think reversing the shock with lightning, helps get your next shock ready quicker*

Other Leveling Concerns:

While leveling your character is your primary concern, try to keep some of these professions in mind.  It’s much easier to level them as you progress.  The majority of professions can be used as a significant source of income. It may be a little more time consuming, the real question you need to ask yourself is “Do I spend the time now, or do I spend it later?”  Unless of course you don’t care at all about professions, then just disregard.

Recommended Professions Pros Cons
First Aid Adidtional healing for you and others You're a Shaman. Use your mojo to heal.
Cooking Plenty of enhancing foods out there, as well as healing after a fight. Can be a bit tedious
Fishing Supports Cooking Holy freakin' boring
Herbalism Supports Alchemy
Herbs in demand
Gather skill, very hit or miss
Alchemy Potions are a good source of income
Healing and Mana Potions GOOD
Relies on Herbalism, or buying materials
Skinning Supports Leatheworking
Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money (Auction House a-go-go)
Only found on beast kills, too bad you'll be killing so much more
Leatherworking Armor patches
Leather and Mail Armor for Shamans
Not much in the resale department

Well, there you have the first forty levels. Just remember you're only halfway there. Fear not; the next forty get really interesting.

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