Are there any Shamans in da house?

Cassie has made a Shaman alt, and dinged 10 last night.

I am not allowed to know the name of this secret alt identity, but last night she revealed that, while she’s hit level 10, she’s still not sure if she likes it or not yet.

She told me she is trying to get comfy with the whole ‘blast enemies from a distance thing’, but that she still prefers whacking things in the face up close and personal.

Also, she wants a stealth button. And Vanish.

I told her, “Just roll another Rogue…”

Somehow, she didn’t like that idea.

So here’s the dealio… she keeps asking me all these questions, about Shaman specs, and “Can they use two handed weapons? What specs are there? What talents do I take? Is it possible to play as a melee Shaman? If it is, what talents, what gear, what level do I start?”

Hell, I dunno. I know less than nothing about Shamans.

Now, while I could go try and researchย such myself, I think I gots a better idea.

If you write a Shaman blog, or if you have knowledge of some solid resources for noob melee Shamans, why not less us know here? Cassie would thank you, and I would thank you.

Seriously, I don’t know shit about Shaman style. Except they get this here Ghost Wolf form thingie… but I don’t even know if Ghost Wolf has a stealth component. I knows nuthin’.


29 thoughts on “Are there any Shamans in da house?

  1. Heya, Bear. Long-time reader of the site and big fan.

    I would be happy to talk Shaman with you if you’d like. I wrote one of the two FaQs at Wowhead for the Shaman class. That’s linked in the “website” portion of the reply field.

    I’ve included my e-mail address if you have any specific questions that you’d like to toss my way, as I’d like to help if I can.

    Starting a shaman is a little rocky, but once you hit level 20 it picks up considerably, even more so once dual wielding is unlocked (as Enhancement is the oft-recommended tree for leveling). The linked thread has some every-10-levels specs that you might find useful.

    GL, hit me up if I can be of assistance.


  2. Ribeye –

    Re: your first point – I never really had that problem with finding gear for my shaman. Stuff “of the Monkey” is really not that good for enhancement shaman, since you get AP from strength and not agility. Granted “of the Tiger” is usually expensive as well, but you can get as much smash for your buck out of gear “of the Bear” and “of the Gorilla” – neither of which are prime for rogues or hunters, and therefore not priced out the wazoo for the twink market. You’ll be competing with druids, sure, but as elemental you’d be competing with them as well for caster leather.

    Also, if you’re instancing, there’s quite a bit of gear you can pick up there, especially weapons, from quest rewards – which is nice if the AH on your realm is anything like it is on mine (level 12 green of spirit? 4g. and no – I’m not kidding >.<)

    My main avoidance of elemental at low levels is that to get good stats, you usually have to resort to cloth – and being squishy really slows you down.


  3. My wife plays an Elemental Shammy, so I have some familiarity… but Shaman is the only class that I haven’t played to 60 or higher, so I’m slightly limited on knowledge. I can tell you a few quick things to consider, though:

    1) Don’t roll enhancement, at least no til like 40 or so. If you do, you’ll be competing with Rogues, Druids, Hunters, and everyone else alive for gear. Auction House loot that fits your spec is expensive because of this and since 1-40 really isn’t a big deal for any spec – I’d highly recommend Elemental for that timeframe. Nobody rolls on Caster Leather! You can implement a bunch of “Nature’s Wrath” gear in and dishevel mobs with Lightning Bolts far easier just because the gear is there. Try finding something “of the Monkey” without mortgaging your summer home in the Exodar!

    2) Shaman get lots of fun tricks if you use the totems right. One of the best for taking down high-difficulty mobs solo involves Earthbind Totem, Searing Totem, and gratuitous Frost Shocks. just kite the mob in circles around the two Totems while dropping Frost Shock, and watch it’s health bar drop-drop-drop!


  4. I dont have any shammies, but after reading this I will certanly open one (or two) right this night ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, I did have a chance to fight together with one in BGs, and I must say that in pair with rogue its practically carnage galore. I still remember once in WSG I was defending flag with enh. shammy, and enemy was coming at us in greater and greater numbers. At the end only attack we couldnt fend off was of 8 enemies. Our group won, but by the end of BG our flag base was covered with bones of ressed opponents.

    Since then I always try to have one shammy with me anywhere: BG, arena, instances…


  5. My wife leveled her Shammy, Shazira on Gurubashi, in the enhancment tree. She loved bashing stuff in the face. She respecced resto and worked her butt off getting all BG purples. She’s +1800 healz unbuffed and rules BG healing, but I still see her racing out front of her group to bash some face all the while ordering people to hold IB pass.


  6. I levelled my shammy with another shammy. It was a blast. We were damn near unkillable. There were so many times when we ended up in a fight where mobs would run and get adds. We would get waves of adds and be near death so many times but would manage to live every time and when it was over there were bodies everywhere. What a blast.


  7. I have an Enhancement-focused Shaman blog at, and also know of a good Resto one at Good luck with the Shaman’ing, Cassieann – it gets considerably more fun after 20, and then again at 40. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Wow! Thanks for all the info everyone! This has been really helpful and surprisingly, I actually was using a lot of the strategies mentioned in the early levels of fighting by just making it up as I went, lol.

    I’m going to stick with her a few more levels at least and see what I think then. Just not sure I have the energy to level another one to 70 right now (since I’ve only been 70 on Cassieann for less than 2 months), but we’ll see.

    Thanks again! You guys are the best!



  9. I just got my shaman alt to 70 a few weeks ago. It’s a great class, and I played mostly enhancement, but I did switch to a resto/enh combo for group healing at one point (I wouldn’t recommend it.)

    First thing is to check out this site:

    It’s got some great information about the class.

    Next up, when you’re out leveling (enhancement), you’ll want to set up where you can pull a few mobs in a row. Drop your earth totem of choice (strength or stoneskin). Drop your air totem of choice (agility, for the extra crit chance). Fire off a lightning bolt. Drop a water totem (usually mana spring since you’ve never got enough mana). Drop a fire totem (searing for singles, fire nova for groups). Beat on it with your weapon(s). You can shock every time the cooldown is up, or you can wait until a crit so you get the reduced mana buff. It depends on how fast you want to kill something. Heal yourself (usually lesser healing wave) as needed.

    Be sure to keep up lightning shield, as it’s your most efficient spell damage.

    Also, between fights, don’t heal yourself. Use a bandage. It will go a long way to improving your down-time.

    As for weapon enchants, you’ll want to use rockbiter (until you get windfury) for most mobs. If a mob has particularly high armor or is much higher level than you, use flametongue instead. The only time I would ever use frostbrand is if I’m fighting mobs that like to run a lot, and I was too lazy to frost shock them.

    Shaman can be very powerful if used properly. At level 20, I was able to solo several lvl 24 elementals that were on my way to do my water totem quest. Since I was barely able to hurt them with my weapon, I switched to a 1h and shield, dropped a searing totem, used flametongue, dropped stoneskin, and just healed myself. It took several minutes, but I was able to clear out a whole island of them by myself.

    I also found that even spec’d enhancement, I was very potent in PVP (AV particularly) as a healer, even if I was on the low end of the level range.


  10. The WoW Insider shaman column had a running thing on shammy basics a couple months ago. I found it useful for my shammy alt (until I lost interest in the late 20’s… I’m just not into leaving little bits of myself everywhere. I’m a druid, not a leper!).


  11. A big slow 2-hander. Use it and love it until you can get something slow in each hand.

    Windfury with a 2-hander is like…magic.

    Just drop the fireball totem, everything else is wasting mana (Unless you’re in a group).


  12. Oh! I’m forgetting. A quick primer on solo play attack setup.

    Don’t drop totems unless you know you’re going to camp at least a few mobs in a given location before having to move. You’ll get a feel for this as you level, and you may not even use totems for the most part while soloing.

    Always have Rank 1 of your shocks at the ready. They’re cheap on mana and just as effective for their utility. Earth to silence casters, Frost to slow runners, Flame to keep a rogue out of stealth. I found Rank 1 Lightning Bolt to be useful for when I didn’t want to blow mana on long range pulls.

    If you want to kill things fast and have a stack or two of water handy, I’d manage pulls in this fashion: Drop totem(s) if appropriate, max rank Lightning Bolt twice, Flame Shock, melee until shock cooldown is up, Earth Shock, melee. If you’re not interrupting caster mobs, rotate Flame and Earth Shock for maximum effect.


  13. B3 I would tell Cass the following:

    You really want to be enhancement shaman. We’re melee monsters from 40 onwards. High burst dps in the mobs face.

    Stat wise you want Str/Agi Str/Int or Str/Stm gear. Str is your best stat as the majority of your damage is white. At 70 people advise shooting for a 30% crit chance on your weapons… Until then I try to maintain a 15% crit chance and if I have that I load up on str. Int/Stm are there to boost your resource pools.

    We get ghost wolf at 20. 40% increase in movement speed. Counts you as an animal like Druid forms. This means no weapon skill ups and no getting sapped. Hybernation sucks though. We also get water totems in the 20’s. Mana spring is a -huge- time saver.

    Levels 25-29 we get flurry. Flurry increases your attack speed by 10/15/20/25/30% for three blows after a crit.

    We get Windfury at 30. Windfury is simply amazing. It buffs your weapon of choice with a chance to get two extra attacks with increased attack power. The attacks are instant and have their own crit rolls. Windfury totem which is a group buff, gives only 1 extra attack but ask a warrior/rogue how much they loves it.

    We can Dualwield and wear mail at 40. Stormstrike, an instant attack with both axes we get at 41(the levels can be swapped).

    At levels 45-49 one of our best group buffs is available: Unleashed rage… 10yd +2/4/6/8/10% AP to any party members.

    At 50ish we get Shamanistic Rage. Use it early use it often. Its a chance to get mana back per blow. By this point dual wielding with high crits and flurry… you are getting a lot of mana back.

    Use slow weapons. WF is on a proc per minute hidden cooldown… if you are dualwielding fast weapons you get less procs and they are where an absurdly large portion of your damage is.

    In general FLameshock does more damage… for non-casters I use a Flameshock, earthshock, flameshock rotation until dead.

    For casters I save my shocks and use Earthshock to interupt them every 6 seconds.

    I find that few fights last more than 10 seconds. I usually get about 2-4 fights per mana regen but with drinks and manaspring totems those are -very- short.

    Many Annas blog is a great resource. Also, even though I’m not 70 I use Elitist Jerks’s forums to get information about what stats to stack and party roles.

    Okay… looking back I wrote too much. But no taking it back now.


  14. I levelled a Space Shaman last winter. It’s all kinds of awesome. I suck at Rogue but wanted melee DPS so did 10-70 as Enhancement. It’s amazingly fun. Certainly it’s a bit slow until 30 when you get Windfury Weapon, but buy 2H weapon training, pop Rockbiter on and Earth/Flameshock for extra DPS.

    The nice thing about Shamans is you can heal yourself midfight.

    The nice thing about Space Shamans is the HoT with no mana requirement. Pop that every time you need a heal and save the mana for shocking.

    When you hit 40 go Dual Wield and take Stormstrike. It’s a 10 second cooldown strike with both hands at once. It’s great. And great for skilling up weapons as well.

    Enhancement is a surprisingly fun spec. As long as you don’t play it as a “One Button Rogue lol” and remember you still have lightning, shocks and heals it’s extremely versatile. I was killing stuff with my Shaman that my Paladin and Warlock had trouble with at the same level just by creative toteming and trying out fun tricks.

    Really awesome class.


  15. I has a level 22 shammy on me team who is most usefuls fer her gathering professions. Ghost wolf form kicks in at 20 (10 seasons before druid travel) and is faster and more robust than a hunter’s Aspect of the Fast Running Whatever. So, even if it don’t work out, she can still be used to help other alts get crafting mats.


  16. If she wants hardcore melee beatdowns, Enhancement is the way to go. However, it’ll feel a bit slow until 30 when Windfury is available, or 40 when you can spec Dual wield.

    The link that Softi posted has some great info. Here, I’ll address some of the particulars she may be seeking.

    Escape: We don’t have vanish, but we do have Stoneclaw Totem (or Earthbind, if Stoneclaw is on cooldown) and Ghost Wolf. Additionally, we can self heal. Those will get you through or out of many difficult situations.

    Stealth: We ain’t got it. Ghost Wolf is just a gimmick (though a fast one). In fact, two of our specs (Elemental and Resto) have the opposite in PvP. Those Chain Lightning / Heals are like giant “Kill Me” beacons.

    Weapons: One hand maces and axes (two handers available to train at 20), staves, daggers, and fist weapons. I preferred faster weapons with Flametongue until I got Windfury. If you can, carry a one hander and shield in addition to your two hand slugger for those pinch situations while soloing.

    Windfury: When you get to Dual Wield, Windfury gets a whole new thing going. You’ll want to put it on both hands and have both weapons at about 2.6 speed. Slower is better here. Elitist Jerks has information and numbers.

    Gear: Strength, Stamina, Agi, Int. Spirit is useless to us. When you can get it +hit and AP aren’t bad. Leather until 40, then mail.

    Warning: Shaman tend to be threat whores. Early in my career I learned just how much aggro we put out when I pulled off of a blast happy fire mage.

    Talents: The fun stuff comes later in the tree, utility early. Here’s how I’d go.

    Level 10-14: Ancestral Knowledge. That extra bit can really help at times.
    Level 15-16: Improved Ghost Wolf. Trust me. You will use it.
    Level 16-19: Thundering Strikes.
    Level 20: Shamanistic Focus
    Level 21-22: Thundering Strikes. Finish that puppy off.
    Level 23-24: Enhancing Totems. (Forget Guardian. Stoneskin becomes less useful quickly, and Windwall is just an icon in our spellbook.)
    Level 25-29: Flurry. Faster attacks? I’ll have seconds!
    Level 30: Spirit Weapons. Parry and threat reduction. You’ll wish you had more of the latter when you group.
    Level 31-33: Elemental Weapons. More damage is a good thing.
    Level 34: Improved Weapon Totems. This is a filler point that has some use in groups.
    Level 35-39: Weapon Mastery. Again, more damage. You’re almost a melee monster now.
    Level 40: Dual Wield. This talent plus Windfury will make tanks and healers fear you.
    Level 41: Stormstrike. A quick blast of damage that can give a nice little kick to your next two Earth Shocks, if timed right.
    Level 42-44: Dual Wield Specialization. Can’t crit what you can’t hit.
    Level 45-49: Unleashed Rage. A fine self and melee group buff.
    Level 50: Shamanistic Rage. Mana regen and damage reduction on a two minute cooldown. It’s like a free trinket.

    After this, you’ll pick up some utility from the Resto tree, and maybe Convection from Elemental to round off.

    If I can be of assistance in any way, feel free to email me or seek me out on the Llane realm as Lethai. (Or ask a member of Misdirected for me if I’m on one of my many alts.)

    Welcome to the class with the smallest player base. I really do hope you enjoy your new totem thrower.


  17. If the Shaman doesn’t work out, why not roll a druid? Build up the “kitty style” and play the sneaking game if you want…along with all the other Druid goodness?


  18. I never thought much of Shamans until I had a chance to duel a level 70 restor that was in my Guild. Basically no matter what I did he was not losing life due to earth shield. He danced while I attacked. He purged my buffs while I was trying to Mangle it was a very sad day for my Druid.

    I now have a level 66 Enhancement Shammy because I too enjoy the in your face fighting. Nothing is more pleasing than mowing down mobs with wind fury. If you get a chance try to pick up the Flurry Axe that extra potential swing seemed to down things that much faster.

    I did go restor at 65 and enjoyed it but had to switch back to level.



  19. I have a low-level Enhancement Shammy and I love it.

    M@ddog nailed it when he suggested that Elemental was the way to go. There is still a lacking of Shammy-specific gear, but you can easily compensate with rogue and druid Leather.

    Totems are fun, but what I really like is the damage I do with both my weapon and my shock spells, and though it is very OP in PvP, the instant spell interrupt shock is amazing for fighting PvE casters, such as in most instances.

    When you get Dual-Wield is where the real fun begins. Two maces, shamanistic rage, windfury, BAM! Damage Incorporated!

    Oh, and M@ddog…. my shammy is a space monkey! ROFLAMO


  20. Well, I have a 59 Enhancement Shammy that does lovely lovely high DPS in your face melee damage. My main is a rogue too and I do love being a shammy. Dual wield, stormstrike, ghost wolf, blue skin and a funny accent, what more could you ask for. Oh yeah, being able to self-res – how cool is that? I think Cassie will love it. It sure gets better after 10.

    Ask Detto in game any time =)


  21. I have a lvl 40 shammy that is enhance (melee) and I enjoy iy better now that I’m 40. Duel wielding is cool, however you can use 2hd. I can’t wait til 41 so i can get stormstrike which i heard is cool. The play style is a bit different. Being an enhance, I find that I run OOM a lot, so I had to buy lots of water and pulled everything to my totems to get max use out of them.


  22. hehehe. I have a friend who has played a rogue since day 1. Nothing else. Shes been 70 for a LONNGG time now as well. About a month and a bit ago she rolled an alt. The alt being a priest!!

    Talk about going from one end of the spectrum to the other. She was just like your wife, wheres my stealth, why can’t I pick pocket, wheres my vanish, why am I not fighting up close.

    Gl with the alt roll!! I’m working on characters 3 through 6 now.


  23. If she wants to get up close and personal, the tree is Enhancement (mine is Elemental, though, so I’m not familiar with good starting points) and the stats are much the same as feral druids want — same gear until lvl 40, too, so you should be able to help her with that. No stealthy stealthy, or vanish, but if things get too difficult she can heal herself!

    Shammies can both dual wield and use 2-h weapons, though they might require some points further down in the tree.


  24. Ok.

    Here we go.

    First of all, the shaman class, as you probably now is a hybrid class, much the like the druid. It has 3 specs (talent builds) namely Enhancement, elemental, restoration. Each build represents a different aspect of playing, and ALL ARE VIABLE OPTIONS.

    1.Elemental, a.k.a Caster Ranged DPS.

    Elemental shamans excel at blasting things for afar. Lightning bolt, chain lightning and the various shock spells are their bread and butter. At a plus side, the wear mail and have a shield, so they are not squishy. This spec is better followed after 60, because of poor item choice in pro-TBC items (not many mail with +dmg, especially at lower levels)

    2. Enhancement. a.k.a Up Close and personal DPS.

    Enhancement shamans do exactly what Cassie wants. Bash things at mellee range, usually while dual wielding. They can use 2H weapons also (trainable at lvl20 i think). They can use all mellee weapons except swords and polearms. It is by far the best leveling build, especially when you get WF at level 40. You can grind yourself to 70 at no time. When enha, go for Str/Stam/Agility (and a bit of int if you can find) and you will be rocking with DPS.

    3. Restoration a.k.a imba Group Healing.

    As the name suggests, it is the healer build of the shaman. Better left for lvl70, for 5-mans, raids, Bg, arena etc.

    Ghost wolf is like the druid travel form. Now it, love it, cherish it until you get a mount at lvl40, and at PVP especially if you use 2 talent points to make it instant cast. Only used outside, no stealth, breaks if u cast or attack (but not if u are CC’ed).

    One of the best things about a shaman, is his utility. you can do a multitude of things, and most of them pretty damn good. U can water walk, water breath, selfrez each hour, hearthstone every 15min, clean poison, dispell buffs on others, remove desease. And of course, u got TOTEMS. Which i cant explain here (no room). At level 10, u haven’t seen nothing about a shaman.

    If u need more info, e-mail me and i’ll be more than happy to answer any questions.

    An BTW, shamans are MENT TO BE HORDE……. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Only. Not space cows, for crying out loud.


  25. Basically, up until you get dual wield it’s easiest to level as elemental. After you can get dual wield, then you will start blasting through stuff like mad via Stormstrike and your high DPS, slow weapons. Primary attributes are str, stam, agi and int. When you get Shamanistic Rage, it makes things much easier thanks to less damage incoming and the mana regen (pretty much the only mana regen prior to Water Shield).

    Hope she has fun ๐Ÿ˜€


  26. I know Anna’s got quite a few good posts about being a shammy. This one helped me figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing on my baby shammy a lot, maybe it’ll help Cassie out too ๐Ÿ™‚


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