The Shaman is one of the archtypical character classes in World of Warcraft.
Along with Warlocks, a large amount of the “lore” characters in WoW are Shamans, including Thrall, Ner’zhul, Drek’thar and others.
They have existed as a mirror image in ways of Paladins since the launch of WoW, especially during a time when the Shaman class was only available to the Horde.
Wearing mail armor, and able to play as either a ranged DPS, Melee DPS or Healer class, the Shaman also employs a unique system, the ability to lay down totems that grant buffs, hinder enemies or provide utility.
In the past these totems always had to placed, in the modern day they act more as short term cooldowns.
Wielding Elemental forces and being able to bind Elementals to their will, the Shaman act as Guardians of the World, standing on the front line against those who would destabilize the delicate balance in nature.
WoW Shaman Leveling Race Choices
The Races able to be Shamans are those close to Nature and the Elemental forces.
In Vanilla WoW only Horde were able to be Shamans but times have changed and many races now are able to take up the Shamanistic ways.
Draenei – Draenei have the slight advantage of an additional 1% chance to hit with both spells and melee. They also have a small self-heal and an increased skill at Jewelcrafting.
Dwarf — Dwarves gain Stoneform, a short term defensive Cooldown and increased Expertise with 1 and 2h Maces. They are also better at archeology.
Goblin – Goblins gain 1% Melee and Spell Haste as well as Rocket Jump, a defensive escape ability that can be quite useful. They also have increased skill in Alchemy.
Orc – Orcs have a built in damage Cooldown in the form of Blood Fury, and Hardiness reduces stun duration. They also have increased Expertise with Axes.
Pandaren – Pandaren gain double rested experience (Very useful for leveling), increased Food Buff benefits and a short term melee CC in the form of Quaking Palm.
Tauren – Tauren gain War Stomp, a melee range short stun and around 7k extra health at 90 due to Endurance. They also pick flowers very quickly (Cultivation).
Troll – Trolls have Berserkering which offers a Haste Cooldown and Da Voodoo Shuffle which limits how much their movement can be restricted by.
The best choice for Race is a large tossup for Shaman. For Alliance, Pandaren offer some of the best benefits but this is due to having all around powerful racials.
In terms of minmaxing for DPS, an Orc is best for Enhancement due to all of their racials offering benefits.
WoW Shaman Leveling Specialization
Shamans have three specilizations. Enhancement, which allows them to do melee DPS as Agility based, Elemental, which allows them to do ranged DPS as an Intellect based caster and Restoration, which allows them to heal as an Intellect based caster.
Enhancement: A totemic warrior who strikes foes with weapons imbued with elemental power.
The Enhancement Shaman is a melee DPS who provides many significant buffs to his fellow fighters.
They use 2 1h Weapons and use Agility as a stat base. They can summon two Spirit Wolves to assist them in combat.
Elemental: A spellcaster who harnesses the destructive forces of nature and the elements.
The Elemental Shaman weaves Nature and Frost/Fire damage at their foes, using deadly combos to do massive damage.
They are also very strong at AoE damage and especially leveling.
Restoration: A healer who calls upon ancestral spirits and the cleansing power of water to mend allies’ wounds.
The Restoration Shaman is a strong direct heal specialist, using Mastery and additional abilities to deliver massive greater healing to targets.
While all three trees are quite strong, due to the AoE potential, Elemental is generally the best choice.
A player who wishes to level via the Dungeon Finder could also take Restoration as a dual spec without needing to switch out gear.
For more information on the Individual Talent Choices, see the Elemental Shaman Guide.
WoW Shaman Leveling Tips
One thing that is very important to keep in mind when playing a Shaman is how to properly use your totems.
While in the past Shamans had to throw down totems and keep them refreshed to offer the benefit, that is not the case anymore.
Totems now count as cooldowns and only need to be placed once but they can be destroyed, ending the buff.
It’s a good idea to keep an idea on your totems and place them in areas where it isn’t easy to stomp them.
Earth Elemental Totems tend to be either survivability or defensive totems hindering the enemy while protecting the caster.
Fire Elemetnal Totems do damage, either as AoE or single target.
Water Totems are restorative, offering healing or mana returns.
Air Totems offer utility, either stunning enemies or offering buffs, or raid protection spells.
Shamans are a Mail class but wear Leather up to level 40. Since they use Mail, it is advised that you could take Skinning + Leatherworking as in the modern era Leatherworking also created Mail armor.
Skinning + Leatherworking
Being able to create top tier gear, Leatherworking is a very good choice for Shamans.
While leveling Leatherworking is rewarding for selling hard to find gear, leveling it is also extremely difficult, the hardest of all the professions, especially in the vanilla era.
Herbalism + Mining + Skinning
This is the classic farmer choice, something to turn into profit to purchase gear.
Mining + Jewlecrafting
Mining and Jewelcrafting offers a good choice for Shamans as the Jewelcrafter only gems offer very significant boots to primary stats.