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Shaman: A comprehensive guide to PvE
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Talent Trees: TT
My hope is that, by the end of this guide, that your questions will be answered.
First off, allow me to say that if you have a problem with something said, feel free to post it. If you notice that some math is wrong, feel free to correct it. If you have a question, post that too. The purpose of this guide (and these forums as a whole) is to educate, and provide answers to questions. Its also a tool that we should be using to talk about our class. Negatives, positives, thoughts, comments, feelings, observations. All of it.
So, first off, what IS a Shaman? In WoW lore, Shamans were originally the spiritual leaders of the Horde. Able to communicate with the elements (earth, fire, wind, water, and heart! Er...Forget heart. Wrong lore), they provided guidance and insight to those that sought them out. Shamans appeared amongst the Alliance with the introduction of the Draenei, who came from...Yup, you guessed it, Draenor.
In the game, Shamans are a hybrid. Able to perform several tasks quickly and seamlessly, while also providing active buffs for their groups, they are an extremely complex and active, involved class. But one that provides a great challenge and satisfaction to play. The key to playing a Shaman is their talent trees. They are the key to a Shamans power, and speccing deeply into one tree will give you access to some of the more powerful talents and abilities that a Shaman has to offer. So lets take a look at a Shamans talent trees, and see what each has to offer.
12/7/07 Updated some info and talent trees
Talent Trees (TT):
The first is
Speccing into this tree means you're a caster. Think of it like a Mage or Warlock, except you can wear leather armor (and later, mail). This tree requires, for the most part, a healthy balance of spell crit, Intellect, spell damage, mp5, and spell hit. Typically you'll want to try and place
spell crit first, followed by spell damage, intellect, spell hit, and then mp5
. Basic stats that you will want pre-Karazhan are roughly
8000 mana, 500 spell damage, and 16-18% chance to crit
. The standard level 70 Elemental raiding build is similar to
A minor variation is
this one right here.
A PvP Elemental build is very similar, with removing the point from Totem of Wrath, and placing it in Nature's Swiftness.
The second tree a Shaman has access to is
Frequently called a “cardboard chainsaw” (for reasons that will be explored later), this is the melee tree. Talents here increase your melee damage, the buffs from your totems, your melee swing speed, and give you access to
Think of yourself as some sort of crazy Rogue/Fury Warrior hybrid, except without Vanish or plate armor. Unfortunately, there isn't really a cookie cutter build for Enhancement. There are several that float around. From
to an alternate 0/45/16 build
, to many others. Some of the more favorable stats for a Shaman are
Strength, Stamina, Agility, and hit rating
. Before entering Karazhan, you'll want
roughly 1000 attack power (more is better), a 25% crit chance, and at least 120 hit rating
. It is important to note that
Strength converts to attack power at a 2:1 ratio
. So if a piece has 15 Strength, it will add 30 attack power. Combined with Blessing of Kings, that will up your AP as well. Ideally, if you can stack about 7000 hp and around 6000 mana, you should be alright.
Two small notes about Windfury. When you get Windfury, use it. Its definitely our best weapon enhancement, and will scale as your attack power goes up. But there's also something else you should be aware of. Once you get to dual wield, be sure to choose the two slowest one handed weapon that you can. Ideally, 2.6 speed is perfect. Windfury has a 3 second hidden cooldown, and by going with a 2.6 speed weapon, you help to minimize its impact on your DPS.
The last (but by no means least!) tree is
. This tree focuses on, obviously, healing based spells. It also lets you expand the range of your totems, reduce their mana cost, reduce your threat, and it gives you Earth Shield, which is quite a unique talent. Your average build is typically something similar to
this right there.
build like this one is becoming more popular, however, since the release of TBC. Though of course, that is subject to personal preference and playstyle. Stats that you'll want for Resto are
+healing, int, mp5, and finally stamina
. I cannot stress the importance of
It is one of the stats that will make or break a Resto Shaman, and it should never be passed up for a piece of gear with Spirit on it. I've got two tips for Resto Shamans. Keep
up on your target, and mash the Chain Heal button. You can heal whole raids with Chain Heal, and heal them well. It holds a particular appeal because it will minimize the amount of overhealing you do, since it jumps to targets that need the healing most at that time. Pre-Karazhan stats that you'll want are roughly
+1000 healing, 8000 mana, and right around 80 mp5
. If you've got around 6k health, then you should be pretty well set.
Speaking of Spirit, this is one thing worth mentioning, and I'll only say it once.
SPIRIT IS USELESS FOR A SHAMAN, NO MATTER WHAT SPEC YOU ARE.
Spirit only helps while NOT casting, and if you're Elemental or Resto, then mp5 will help keep your mana pool up. If you're Enhancement, learn to love Shamanistic Rage.
There are several macros that are handy for Shamans. If you are unsure what a macro is or does, please take a look at the
UI and Macro compendium
There's a nice way to lay down four totems, without having to click on four separate buttons. While it may require pressing this macro four times, its still preferable to clicking four seperate buttons. It is:
/castsequence reset=6 Searing Totem, Mana Spring Totem, Grounding Totem, Strength of Earth Totem
You can switch out the totems in here for totems you want to substitute. So, if I wanted Grace of Air rather than Grounding Totem, it would look like
/castsequence reset=6 Searing Totem, Mana Spring Totem, Grace of Air Totem, Strength of Earth Totem
Say you're Resto, and need a macro for an instant heal. A simple macro would be:
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast Healing Wave
Or say you're Elemental, and want to have an instant cast Lightning Bolt. Simply replace “Healing Wave” with “Lightning Bolt” and you're good to go!
Want to let people know that you're using Bloodlust? Not problem.
/p >>>>Bloodlust! Enjoy the speed buff!<<<<
There are a number of great macros out there for Shamans. If you know of one, feel free to post it here. You can also find several here at
There are a number of mods out there for Shamans. Some are Shaman specific, and others are just sort of generalized mods meant for many classes. I'll try not to list all of these, because by the time I was done, there'd be more. Plus, I'd suffer from so much information overload and carpal tunnel that I wouldn't able to post this guide. And then where would you be?! : P Though if you'd like a more generalized list of mods, please look at the
UI and Macro guide
Totems! At 70, you've got at least 25 totems. Now true, you may never use about half of them. But what about those one or two times when you will? Well, there are quite a few handy mods out there for them that made access and organization easy.
Personally, I use
Gives ya a moveable, resizeable window with every totem in it. Any totem that you don't have access to is darkened out, and will sort of light up when you are able to use it.
Other people use
Its a small window with expanding menus. It also keeps track of several other items. Ankhs, potions (both health and mana), and it gives you one click access to your mount. Pretty handy overall.
And yet more people use
Very similar to
, except that
is solely for totems. Its also got its own totem timer built in, which is nice.
In conjunction with
, I use
Another small window thats there just for tracking the time left on your totems. You can also set it to display a number value, as well as an icon of what totem you've got down.
Ankh Cooldown Timer!
Get it. Love it. Gives you a countdown for how long you have until your
is available. Compatible with both talented and untalented Reincarnation's.
A very useful mod for Resto Shammies is
Little window, displays who
is cast one, how many charges are left, and how long the duration is. Doesn't provide one button recasting. But its better than nothing.
Those are most of the mods that I'm aware of. If anyone has any other useful ones, then feel free to post them here.
Again, this guide is meant to be useful for all Shamans. If there's some sort of problem you see here, please feel free to let me know. I will continue to update this guide as long as its in use. Hope it helps. ( :
Disagree on the Hit rating. Shamans can cap hit with yellow attacks (Stormstrike/Windfury Attack) with talents alone. After that, hit rating only affects your white damage (45% or so of your DPS). Crit or AP are far more valuable at that point.
for more info.
Edit: Your resto build also skipped Nature's Guardian for Totemic Focus? Are you kidding me?
Actually, I flipped through the EJ forums before posting this, as well as several others, and many said that around 120 is good. Others said 130, and EJ said around 100. I tried to round it to a good number as an average.
Personally, I consider 45% of our DPS to be quite a bit. Just a personal opinion, though. : P
And yes, I did skip Nature's Guardian in place of Totemic Focus. And for what I consider to be a good reason.
In a raiding environment, if you're being targeted by a mob, something is seriously wrong. Either with CC, or your tanks threat generation. That, or you as a healer are generating way too much threat (which could be because of the first two). Resto Shamans, generally, have very little threat generation.
During Kara, I can sit there and Chain Heal to my hearts content, and still be near the bottom of the threat meters (8th or 9th. Highest I've been is 6th in a 10 man). If the mob is going for you, then your tank is probably dead, and the aggro reduction/small bit of return health won't do much good, and its likely to be a wipe. And that 10% health that you'll get (if you get it) won't do a whole lotta good, since most raid bosses will two shot you anyway.
Regardless, I tried to post builds that
I've seen the most of.
I was also careful to note "Though of course, that is subject to personal preference and playstyle." If you want to change points around, by all means, do so. Don't think that the builds I've posted are ones you
But thanks for the feedback. I'll edit it and reflect a bit of what you said. ( :
It's not just about pulling aggro. There are often many things beyond your control that can cause you to become damaged, at which point Nature's Guardian can save you. Anyone who's done a 25 man raid can tell you that.
Just last week I was healing the Caribdis tank on Fathom Lord Karathess, and I got hit by her water volley (
) followed by a Cataclysmic Bolt (
) which stunned me before I could heal, Followed by another Water Bolt volley. If I didn't have Nature's Guardian (and Elemental Warding) I would have bit it, and we would have wiped.
For Totemic Focus, let's look at the worst case scenario, you're fighting Hydross in a Melee group, dropping the following totems:
Strength of Earth: 300 mana
Windfury Totem: 325 mana
Mana Spring Totem: 120 mana
Frost Resistance Totem: 235 mana
980 mana every 2 minutes.
5/5 Totemic Focus saves you 245 mana every 2 minutes, which is 10mp5. For 5 talent points.
I don't call that a good investment.
Erm, I find myself using Healing Wave more than Chain Heal. Depends on the situation, if multiple people need healing in the same area Chain Heal ftw. Otherwise I downrank with Healing Wave ranks, usually rank6, 7, 8, 9 and 12. Lesser Heal Wave is only useful for burst HPS (mages with deathwishes and the like).
Grizlor, I couldn't agree more about Nature's Guardian, it really is something we need.
Followed by another Water Bolt volley. If I didn't have Nature's Guardian (and Elemental Warding) I would have bit it, and we would have wiped.
I'll be updating the guide either later today or tomorrow. I'd really love to see your build, so that I can toss it up there too. ( :
Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming. ( :
is probably the better Enhancement 0/45/16 PvE spec, and generally the most common.
Since when did people start loving Improved Reincarnation? I don't think I've ever seen it used until I started reading threads on this board.
As for the elemental spec you gave, personally i would not put the 2 points into the call of flame becuase your fire totem slot would be used up by Totem of Wrath. I would actually put it into Elemental Warding because every little damage reduction counts in PvE especially fights such as Tidewalker, Fathom Lord, SSC trash the Bog Lord or i can't exactly remember what its called.
ok! i'm elemental spec built to do as much dmg as i can with out pulling aggro. granite im not lv 70 yet but this is just an alt. personally i think your build for elemental shaman is full of **********( i think you can fill in the blank). mainly in the elemental tree. honestly are you going to be using your fire totem for any thing other than frost resist or wrath???? i haven't yet. nor has my main seen any raid leader or shaman that is elemental speced use any thing but those two totems. as for resto tree i put my pts in to cheaper healing wave vs quicker. also i find that every one in your party that are casters of some sort (healing or dps) love you more if u have 30 yard range on totems.
here is my build that i am when i get to 70.
I have to second the negative comments about the elemental build. It certainly isn't the
Call of Flame is worthless in a 25-man raid environment. ToW will be down, occupying that element. Those 2 points are wasted as a result. Similar problem with imp FN totem.
Additionally, 5/5 Unrelenting Storm is unnecessary, esp. with the 2.3 patch changes to shaman, giving us a minimum of 75 mp5 for free. Storm Reach will prove more useful for maximizing DPS time, as it will reduce the amount of movement, allowing greater casting time.
I would say that Elem Warding is much more of a staple raid talent than either imp FN or CoF.
Finally, I'd suggest 1/2 imp Reincarnate with 1/1 Totemic Mastery. Many fights require your group to spread out, keeping 8-12 yards between each member. TM allows more people to stay in range of the totem field with greater ease.
Here's my proposed change to the standard elemental raiding build you have posted:
yea 6 more yards on your bolts is nice. i will give you that but range doesnt really help dps. far as i know there are no bosses that have a 35 yard aoe range that is avoidable. from what i have experianced in my time as a lock ( mind you i havent done bt or mt hyjal) there are no aoe attacks that are just 35 yards. also i maxed out unrelenting storm so i have the mp5 that i need to off heal if need be. since we are casting and a healing class i figure there will be times i will need to off heal or even pick up main healing.
My apologies in getting this updated. I'll have it done in the next few days. Currently I've got a lot going on IRL, but I'll get it done ASAP. Thanks for all the feedback.
Keep it coming.
For the best resto build that I have ever used (before I quit) in 2.2 so it was not that long ago and I was in a BT/Hyjal guild is
. This gives you every thing you need to maximize your healing. There is no need for the 3 points in healing way because shaman are support healers not MT healers. The only reason to be throwing out healing waves is to NS + HW. I found myself using lesser healing wave mostly when I was healing over chain heal. LHW is a quickest heal shamans have but you need to have the mana pool and mp5 to sustain that type of healing through out a fight. (Which I could) I would be 1-2 on healing meters depending on the fight and was always a raid healer since that is the type of healers we are built to be. To speak to the imp ankh question any time you can get your self up in a fight is an improvement for the raid. It is helpful in the weirdest times. Like someone said before natures guardian is really helpful. It is worth the at least one point to put in there. 10% of 10,000 hp (which is not hard) is a 1000 heal for free. It procs at the nicest times to keep you alive. There are fights in BT/Hyjal that take your HP low and to help your mana as well as other healers free heals are nice. The reason I would pick up focus mind is because of the new tool tip. It reduces the time by 30% less time you can’t heal is nice. There are fights when everyone is silenced and the less time you are silenced or feared is better for the raid. You can apply that logic to next to any fight where you get interrupted. Any questions please post.
you don't need an addon to track reincarnation. if you have the room on your action bar, the macro "/cast reincarnation" will show you the cooldown, same as lay on hands or similar abilities.
I personally use bartender and 6 action bars to keep track of all my totems, so I have the barspace....don't know if other shamis who set up their ui differently would or not.
The post by Tyfas above is just linking the exact same build as the original post had, so whatever modifications he did to the talents were lost since he forgot to click "link to this build."
I disagree on not needing Healing Way, as with 2.3 and Zul'Aman being released, I'm finding myself doing a lot of single target healing, especially on the Lynx boss and Zul'jin, and Healing Way certainly makes a difference there. Not to say that the fights are that difficult, but it certainly helps.
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