If a player knows what they’re doing, the WoW Shaman can be one of the most valuable classes in the game. They may not have a lot in the way of raw destructive capability, but they are an impressive hybrid class that can be incredibly diverse. Shamans are capable of both buffing and healing as well as damage.
The coming of Cataclysm took away many of the hybrid aspects of Shaman game-play. Once a player chooses a talent path, they are stuck until at least level 71.
While hybrid playing styles have come to an abrupt end, Shamans have been rewarded by recieving special abilities that are unique to a particular path.
One of the most recognizable aspects of Shaman gameplay is their totems. These totems allow Shamans to regenerat mana faster, increase damage, or a large variety of other assists.
Shamans can have up to four totems on the playing field at a time and, if skilled, extra buffs.
Totems make Shaman gameplay interesting but also requires a player to have a great deal of adaptability to play the class well.
Healer vs. Killer
Shamans are easily one of the most desired classes in raid situations. Their ability to Chain Heal makes them an ideal choice for an instance healer as it allows many members of the raid team to regain health at the same time.
The elemental attacks that Shamans posses also can make them a talented caster. In a PVP environment, elemental Shamans can be a difficult force to counter. Their versatility is definitely their strength.
Picking a Profession
Unlike classes like the Priest and Warlock, you won’t find a huge advantage as a Shaman choosing a particular profession over another. Leatherworking is the most obvious choice for a Shaman as you can craft good armor at low levels.
With that being said, players should be perfectly fine with taking the gear given to them as quest rewards until latter levels. If you are leveling on the fast track, this will be much quicker than crafting your own.
If you are more interested in gold than functionality, look into choosing either Herbalism, Mining, or Skinning. From level 1 to 535, anything you make or harvest will make you gold.
Leveling a Shaman
The basic talent tree for Shamans contains three divisions : Restoration, Elemental, and Enhancement. Depending on the path taken, a Shaman may either be a leader or a support role.
Elemental Shamans are great at PvP and are powerful casters while Enhancement focuses on destructive, raw melee power, and Restoration Shamans are support healers.
Regardless of which tree you choose, the spells learned and used in battle will determine your killing success. With a little skill, elemental shamans and enhancement shamans can tie for leveling speed.
Enhancement is for all those Shamans out there that just want to do a barrel roll and melee the guts out of unfortuante enemies. As a general rule, Enhancement Leveling is the easiest leveling spec to use.
Combining Windfury with dual wielding makes you a massive destructive force of death.
With this build, most of your totems will be either agility, strength, or regeneration. However, once you get comfortable, you may start using fire totems for bonus DPS damage.
Most people who level as an elemental Shaman describe the process as both amazing and totally boring. Unfortunately, they suffer from the same affliction as unbalanced Mage builds.
Elemental Shamans are perhaps one of the greatest downtime sufferers in the game. For a few seconds, you unleash the massive destructive force of nature upon an unfortunate creature… and then you chug some mana replenishment.
At later levels (50+), Elemental Shamans gain a better mana efficiency and can grind for quite a long period of time without having to take a break.
It’s a good idea to not forget your melee abilities even as an Elemental Shaman. Use them to your best advantage during breaks between spells for some of the best DPS in the game.
The Restoration Shaman
Restoration Shamans are generally not chosen for their leveling speed. This can be attributed to the fact that players generally solo from 1-85 and soloing a Resto Shaman can be pretty frustrating.
In the past, there were two options available to players who wanted to level this spec : instance grinding and questing. Since you can easily take over a minute to kill a single mob, you can guess how often Shamans chose questing.
Although finding instance teams used to be impossibly frustrating, modern Shamans have it easy as they can take advantage of the dungeon finder tool.
Because all of your abilities are healing related, it’s best to take advantage of what you are good at.
Instance grind to 85 healing dungeon parties and you’ll get great gear, EXP, and preparation for future raids