WoW Classic Shaman Guide - Best builds for Vanilla
About Shamans in Vanilla
One of the classes in Vanilla World of Warcraft which offered an unique gameplay style were Shamans.They were masters of elements and totemic magic which used first one to bring wrath of elemental magic upon their foes and second one to boost their allies in combat. Shamans were able to wear Mail armour which is the strongest type excluding heavy Plates and as a weapons they used hammers.
As a Horde bound class Shamans were a counterweight to Alliance Paladins. Most people remember them as the only class in the game able to play as a hybrid. With one build they could heal a group while dealing damage at the same time which was very unique thing to see. There were no classes to do this sort of thing for a very long time up until the release of Monks which were able to heal through Fistweaving technique. As Shamans were good in everything they never excelled in anything. They offered a well balanced gameplay in all forms but they did not shine in any of that.
Best race for Shaman
As mentioned before Shamans are Horde only class which can be made as a one of three races : Orc, Troll or Tauren. From these choices some benefit more than the others in PvP and some more on PvE. It is up to you to decide on which content you want to focus while playing so make your decision wisely.
-Hardiness increases your chance to resist stuns by 25%
-Command improves the damage of your pets by 5%
-Blood Fury increases melee power by 25% and reduces healing received by 50% for 25 seconds (2min cooldown)
-Axe specialization Improves specialization with Axes and Two-Handed Axes by 5
-Berserking increases attack speed of your weapon and your spells by 10%-25% depending on how much health you missing. The more you miss the faster you attack. The effect lasts for 10 seconds and has a 3 min cooldown
-Regeneration increases their health regen by 10%
-Beast Slaying increases their damage versus beasts by 5%
-Throwing and Bow specialization increases their spec with these weapons by 5
-War Stomp - Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. (2min cd)
-Endurance - Total health increased by 5%
-Cultivation - +15 to Herbalism profession
-Nature Resistance - +10 to Nature Resistance
From these three the best overall choice is probably Orc in most cases. Although it is true you have to keep in mind that when you are choosing a race in Classic World of Warcraft you should focus most of attention of the looks aspect. It’s not a joke. As leveling process takes a great amount of time you will spend with your character countless hours. It is extremely important to like the race that you are playing so make a wise decision, pick what you like the most and never regret your choice. All races are good in their own way.
Pros and cons
As mentioned before Shamans are a class which wants to be good at everything but is not quite perfect in anything. They have great group utility, pretty high burst damage, good mobility in Spirit Wolf form and decent healing. On the other hand they have pretty big mana issues, gear dependence and they lack hard Crowd Control. It’s hard to put Shamans into strong classes category but it is also not obvious to put them in worse ones. Below is a brief list of pros and cons of this class. By looking at what is good about it and what is tough you will be able to determine if its a class for you or not.
-Decent leveling speed - not the best but one of the better
-Good mobility with Spirit Wolf transformation
-Hybrid class - can both deal damage and heal with same talents
-Very interruptive - can be extremely annoying for casters in pvp
-Can solo elites and other tough enemies
-Ancestral Recall spell which is basically 2nd Hearthstone
-Good group utility - Always needed in raids
-Hard to play
-No hard Crowd Control
-Lots of cooldowns to keep track of
-Pretty bad against multiple enemies
Shamans in the late game are mainly used as a supportive healers which are able to greatly boost melee dps through their totems while doing damage at the same time. Although as one of the few classes they possess ability to heal multiple targets with one spell they are not as good healers as Paladins or Priests. They are still great class to pick but those who take it have to keep in mind that Shamans do struggle with some of the things.
General tips for Shamans
From level 6 Shamans get Earthbind Totem ability which can be used to maximum efficiency by Earthbind Kiting. Monsters around Azeroth usually have much higher attack speed than players fighting them. Because of that it is crucial to use slowing abilities such as Earthbind Totem to move in and out of Monsters range during the fight. By performing this correctly you will be able to exchange one for one blow with your opponent. This is how to do it :
1) Place down Earthbind Totem, Searing Totem and use Flame Shock on the target.
2) Let your character use melee attack and strafe out of monsters range
3) Reenter into the enemy range when your next attack is ready
4) Reapply Flame Shock and Lightning Shield when down
-During early levels you should also consider skipping Lightning bolt on your damage rotation. It is very mana costly skill and might quickly drain your resources.
-When fighting always keep your Flame Shock and Lightning Shield applied
-Keep some Ankhs in inventory at all times
-Drop totems in good timing and place so you can benefit from multiple kills from each totem
-Use Rank 1 spells in spells that you don’t need damage from. For example by using Earth Shock from 1st tier you are still able to Interrupt but you spend less mana
-Try to make clearcasting procs with Rank 1 Lightning Bolt
-Get your spirit set asap (more about it later in guide)
During early stages of the game the most profitable tree to take is the Elemental one. You should also use Rockbitter weapon with a slow 2 hander to maximize your damage output. After level 20 you want to respect into Enhancement Tree just like listed below.
Elemental tree :
5/5 Convection + 3/3 Call of Flame + 2/2 Earth’s Grasp + 1/1 Elemental Focus
Enhancement tree (respect at level 21 to erase Elemental Tree) :
5/5 Shield Specialization + 5/5 Thundering Strikes + 2/2 Improved Ghost Wolf + 1/1 Two Handed Axes and Maces + 2/3 Anticipation + 5/5 Flurry + 1/1 Parry + 3/3 Elemental Weapons + 3/3 Anticipation + 5/5 Weapon Mastery + 1/1 Storm Strike
Elemental tree :
5/5 Convection + 3/3 Call of Flame + 2/2 Earth’s Grasp + 1/1 Elemental Focus + 4/5 Reverberation + 3/3 Elemental Devastation + 5/5 Deverberation + 1/3 Elemental Warding
This is how your talent tree should look like.
Class specific addons
As Blizzard allows us to improve the game with various small enhancements called addons we have chosen few which can greatly improve your gameplay as a Shaman. First of all there is Swing Timer which keeps a track of your auto attacks. Similarly to Warriors - Shamans use two handed weapons and it is crucial to keep a track of attack times to weave some spells in between them. If your character is performing an animation of a swing you should never interrupt it by casting spells or moving out of enemy range. With Swing Timer addon you can now clearly see when you can use your abilities and when you should not. By using Totem Module you will get few easily accessible icons which will improve your totem placement and show you how much time they have left until they expire. Shammy Buff although not necessary might come in handy as it shows you timers on your buffs like Lighting Shield. With Xp/Hr Tracker you can see how much experience you are gaining at the location of your training and Outfitter can be used to quickly switch between your combat gear and your Spirit set.
In World of Warcraft Vanilla it was crucial to plan usage of your resources to the maximum. You always wanted to get value out of everything in order to level faster and more efficiently. Food was expensive and for most classes it was the only way to regain health and mana. As moving through Azeroth was extremely slow and took enormous amounts of time people came up with how to use it to their advantage.
Spirit is an attribute which can appear on any weapon, armor or accessory. It basically improves characters regeneration abilities by a small value. This means that by acquiring items with high Spirit statistics and equipping them on all slots people were able to recover health and mana much more quickly than it was possible without it. There was only one problem with it. Spirit sets were completely not suited for fighting and during Vanilla there was no wardrobe and set presets. Exchanging between two predefined outfits took some time because you had to click on each and every item from your equipment menu. This problem was solved with Outfitter addon that lets you change between two predefined armour sets with just a one click. Now every user that has this addon in his toolkit can use their regular equipment to fight monsters and their Spirit set in the downtime.
During your journey across Azeroth you will find a lot of more of less valuable items which you can wear. Some of them will have more Strength attribute and some Agility. There will be also parts with Intellect, Spirit and Stamina and from all of them you need to know which ones are the best for your character. This is called stat priority. By knowing from which stat your character benefits the most you are able to choose better items which makes you deal more damage and which translates directly into your leveling speed. It is crucial in any part of the game to know whats best for your character so always remember your stat priority and always put it into consideration when choosing between two pieces of gear. In general between 5 main stats your Shaman stat priority looks like this :
Agility > Strength > Stamina > Intellect > Spirit
-Improves Ranged Attack power by 1 for every point and increases Critical Strike Chance and Dodge chance by 1% for every 20 points.
-Additional 2 points of attack damage for every point
-10 Additional hit points for each point
-15 Additional mana points for each point
-Improve mana and health regeneration rates
During early levels it might look like Strength is the most valuable of the stats as it gives best increase in the damage. This will be less and less visual as with more points in Agility Shamans get more Criticals which translate into more damage. This is why Agility is more important to Shamans than Strength.
Best profession for Shaman
When it comes to choosing a profession as a Shaman there are two optimal routes. First one says that you should pick Leatherworking accompanied by Skinning. By doing this you are able to acquire necessary materials for your crafting and create armours by yourself. By choosing Leatherworking you increase your overall stats and dps because the better items you have equipped the better damage you deal. Creating BoP and BoE items will help you a lot through gearing process and with Skinning you will be able to pick up additional loot from monsters in form of claws, bones and leathers. Although it all seem fantastic we recommend to start with other route. Dragonscale Leatherworking requires scales that are skinnable from Dragons and those are often higher level monsters so you won’t be able to profit from it early on.
Another route that im talking about is taking two gathering professions at the same time like Skinning and Herbalism or Mining and Herbalism. By combining two of the you will be able to collect much more resources and make way more gold. This also means that you can gear faster since you will be able to buy new items for yourself straight from vendors or other players. Keep in mind that if you choose Mining and Herbalism at the same time you won’t be able to track both Herbs and Ores on minimap so it might be better idea to exchange one of them for Skinning.
Other professions might also be great and you can read about all of them in our WoW Classic Professions Guide.
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