For related articles, see Category:Shamans.
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Shaman (for correct spelling and more on the word, see Shaman Spelling) is a healer-warrior-mage hybrid class, and as such, the shaman are considered one of the most adaptable classes in the game. They are designed to enhance all parts of a party while not being particularly focused on any one aspect of the game. Depending upon how players choose to customize their character's talent points, they can specialize in offensive spellcasting, melee combat, or healing. Their primary support buffs come in the form of stationary totems, which when placed on the ground by the shaman, provide various benefits to party members, or offensive versus enemies within a totem's 30 to 50 yard (depending on the totem) radius.



Shaman unit from WarcraftIII.

Shamans are spiritual visionaries of tribes and clans. These gifted healers can see into the world of spirits and communicate with creatures invisible to eyes of normal beings. They are beset by visions of the future and use their sight to guide their people through troubled times. Although the shaman may seem wise and serene at first glance, he is a formidable foe; and when angered, his wrath is as fierce as those who have a connection to Eternals or nature.[1] (WoWRPG 71)


Shamanism has existed since the sapient races first discovered the power of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. On Draenor, now shattered Outland, the Orcs were shamanistic; on Azeroth Trolls and Tauren were shamanistic. Though shamanism on Azeroth flourished and still continues to, shamanism on Draenor was all but extinct by the time of the great crossing of the Horde into Azeroth via the Dark Portal. The greatest and yet some of the most vilified Orcs were once shaman; Zuluhed the Whacked, Ner'zhul, and even Gul'dan were all previously shaman. However, Kil'jaeden, current lord over the Burning Legion, distorted the shaman's connection with their spirits in the sacred mountain of Oshu'gun, himself taking on the form of the shaman's ancestors to convince the shaman (who held much political sway in the orcish culture) that the Draenei were the enemy. The ensuing massacres upon several Draenei hunting parties offended the spirits, who eventually denied the shaman their powers.

All was set for the transition.

Cut off from their elemental powers, the former shamans turned to the more efficient and masterful powers of the Burning Legion, becoming Warlocks. Though many tried to hang onto their roots, it was impossible. Even Drek'Thar was sucked into the dark magics, though he later repented and to this day has never forgiven himself for the acceptance of the demonic corruption that plagues himself and the orc race to this day. Ner'zhul was the warlock who created the portals from Draenor to many other worlds one of which was the Dark Portal to Azeroth (world). The many portals ripped Draenor apart creating the ravaged land of Outland. He repented but was dragged back into the fold by Kil'jaeden who promised him an endless existence of suffering and pain if he did not serve the Legion. Ner'zhul accepted this second chance at serving the Legion and was changed into the mighty being the Lich King and currently inhabits the body of Arthas Menethil his first and most powerful Death knight.

Shamanism in the orcs was all but extinct until Thrall, the son of the deceased Durotan and future chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, grabbed hold of the reins of Warchief of the New Horde ushering in a new generation of shamanism, which broke the captive orcs crippling lethargy, and outlawing the dark magic of the Burning Legion. At the time of the internment camps, a Shaman was a derogatory term for someone who told fantastical and unbelievable stories.[2] (LotC 98) Shamanism is now at its peak though, as the New Horde itself is led by a shaman of great power in the new orcish kingdom of Durotar.


The Shaman class was originally only available to three of the Horde races: Tauren, Orcs, and Trolls. Designed as a counterpart to the Paladin, the Shaman class was originally unavailable to the Alliance. This was said to create much trouble in developing both classes since they needed to be balanced against each other. The release of the Burning Crusade expansion introduced the Shaman to the Alliance through the Draenei while the Horde gained access to the Blood Elf Paladin, thus making it possible for both classes to be developed independent of each other.

In parties, Shamans make the quintessential fifth member; supplementing the others with powerful buffs (using their totems and shields) along with healing or damage on par with other, more specialized classes. Shamans have the ability to resurrect themselves once per hour (which can be reduced with talent points to once every 40 minutes) using their Reincarnation ability. In addition to its uses within a fight, this, in combination with their ability to resurrect other players, makes Shamans a viable utility for wipe recovery.


Tauren shaman


Shaman organizations


The Shaman class can be played by the following races:

Alliance 32 Alliance

Horde 32 Horde

  • Until Burning Crusade, the Shaman class was exclusive to Horde, as the Paladins were exclusive to Alliance. The balance of power has been partially upheld, however; only one Alliance race can play shamans, just as only one Horde race can play as Paladins.
  • Each Race has its own distinct advantage, no matter its class; consequently, many players who wish to play shamans factor in the advantages and abilities of the various races when starting their characters. Some prefer Tauren for their Warstomp racial ability, as Shamans themselves do not possess any ability to stun. Others prefer Orcs as stun effects don't last as long when used against them, which is helpful versus a rogue, as well as against a shadow priest; likewise, the Orcs' Blood Fury ability can be very useful for a shaman because they get a bonus to both their melee attacks and spell damage. Both of these abilities are very useful in PvP. Still others enjoy playing Trolls because of their Da Voodoo Shuffle and Berserking powers, and the Beast Slaying bonus which can allow them to level more quickly. Players looking for a boost in healing for PvE or PvP may find that the Draenei's usable racial ability, Gift of the Naaru is an effective heal over time spell that can be cast on oneself or on another player at no mana cost. In the end, the choice of race is up to the player, and often comes down to a matter of aesthetics more than anything else. As long as the player enjoys the race they have chosen, many will simply ignore the mathematics.

Talent trees


Draenei shaman


The Elemental tree focuses on the shaman's offensive spell casting ability. It decreases the mana cost and casting time of spells while increasing their damage and critical strike chance. The 31 point ability is Elemental Mastery, a self buff usable every three minutes that gives your Frost, Fire and Nature spells a 20% increased critical strike chance and reduces the their mana cost by 20%. This buff lasts 30 seconds. The 41 point talent is Totem of Wrath, which increases the whole raid's spell power, and makes any enemies in its radius more likely to be critically hit.

Overall, Elemental is the best build for shamans who want to maximise their damage output in PvP. In raids, elemental shamans are more of a general utility class, so raid spots may be a little harder to find. In 5-Man instances and PUGs Elemental Shaman bring great flexibility and utility capable of high dps, buffing and healing (due to excellent spec and equipment synergy).


By spending talent points in Enhancement, a Shaman greatly increases melee damage output. This is a very appealing tree to lower-level shamans because dealing melee damage does not cost mana. At level 40, the Dual Wield weapon skill can be learned. Together with the infamous Windfury Weapon buff, an Enhancement Shaman's melee damage output is second only to Rogues and DPS Warriors. Together with their new 51 point talent, Feral Spirit, Enhancement shamans can quickly destroy a group of enemies while soloing, and bring a lot of DPS in to raids.

Enhancement builds generally have the highest damage output potential of all Shaman builds. In raids, enhancement shaman are highly desirable because their buffs to the other melee damage dealers are substantial. In PvP Enhancement Shamans usually have problems due to low survivability (compared to plate-wearing classes and Rogues) and susceptibility to Snares.


The Restoration tree focuses on the Shaman's healing capability, reducing the casting time and mana cost of healing spells, while increasing their effectiveness. Restoration Shamans are well suited for any healing situation in the game. On top of that they offer good utility (like Mana Regeneration by Mana Tide Totem), and the best multi-target heal spell in the game (Chain Heal). The 41 point talent Earth Shield acts as a very mana-efficient single-target HoT with a long duration.

This tree is highly useful in PvP and group PvE, the only drawback being the rather low damage output, so solo play is more difficult. In return, a Restoration Shaman hardly ever dies while questing/soloing.

See also:
Shaman Talents
Shaman builds



Orc shaman

Shaman Concept

Shaman concept art

Shamans wear leather armor up until level 40, at which time they gain the ability to wear mail armor. Because of this, many shamans take up the leatherworking profession, which can make certain mail armor around the time they get the ability to wear it. Additionally, the Dragonscale Leatherworking specialization can make several mail armor items with stat bonuses that are very beneficial to the shaman class.

Shamans can use one-handed maces with shields and staves by default, and can train daggers, fist weapons, and one-handed axes at a weapon master. In addition, since patch 2.3 shamans can learn to wield two-handed axes and maces by visiting a trainer, and, post-patch 2.0, to Dual Wield.

After reaching level 40, a shaman can learn to wear mail armor from their trainer. For shaman casters, the Turtle Scale Mail available from Leatherworkers is good, other items such as the Chain of the Scarlet Crusade are better for melee shamans.

The shaman's level 60-80 sets are The Elements (Dungeon 1), The Five Thunders (Dungeon 2) and Tidefury Raiment (Dungeon 3a TBC) / Desolation Battlegear (Dungeon 3b TBC). The class-specific epic sets are The Earthfury (Tier 1), The Ten Storms (Tier 2), Stormcaller's Garb (Tier 2.5), The Earthshatterer (Tier 3), Cyclone Regalia (Tier 4 TBC), Cataclysm Armor (Tier 5 TBC), Skyshatter Armor (Tier 6 TBC) and Earthshatter Armor (Tier 7 WoTLK). The 20-man raid sets are Zandalar Augur's Regalia (Zul'Gurub) and Gift of the Gathering Storm (Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj). Pre-Tier 4 sets only benefit shaman casters, as yet there are no dedicated Enhancement sets which directly benefit melee shamans before Tier 4. As a result of this many pre-60 shamans use non-class-bound mail items which give melee critical strike bonuses, as well as attack power and agility bonuses. The original patch 2.3 release contained one of the oddest bugs: Tier 6 armor cost nothing. Blizzard quickly fixed this issue, although it is unknown whether players were able to keep the items or not.

See also:
Enhancement Gear BC
Wrath healing equipment (mail)
Shaman Tactics


See the main article Attributes. This breaks down specifically for shamans as follows [1]:

  • At level 70, it takes 40 agility to gain 1% to critical strike chance.
  • At level 70, it takes 22 critical strike rating to gain 1% to critical strike chance.
  • Your level's worth of agility will increase your chance to dodge by about 3% (e.g., +60 agility will give a level 60 shaman +3% to dodge).
  • Every point of agility provides 1 melee attack power (e.g., +70 agility will give any shaman +70 AP).
    • This means that every 14 agility provides 1 additional damage per second (e.g., +140 agility will give any shaman +10 DPS).
  • Every point of strength provides 1 melee attack power (e.g., +70 strength will give any shaman +70 AP).
    • This means that every 14 strength provides 1 additional damage per second (e.g., +140 strength will give any shaman +10 DPS).
  • Every point of strength increases the amount of damage you block with a shield.
  • Every point of intellect adds 15 mana (MP).
  • Your level's worth of intellect will increase your chance to crit with spells by about 1% (e.g., +60 intellect will give a level 60 shaman +1% to crit with spells; at level 70 it takes +70 int.)
  • Every point of stamina adds 10 health (HP).
  • Every 18 spirit increases health regeneration by 1 health per second (i.e., 9 spirit restores 1 point of health per tick).



Totems are unique to the Shaman, and must be obtained by completing certain quests. A shaman can use one of each elemental type at any one time. Once a totem is put down, it cannot be moved - but a new totem can always be used to replace it if it requires the same Elemental Totem to cast it. With the spell Totemic Call (available at level 30), shamans can instantly remove all of their totems for no mana and receive 25% of the mana spent on the totems back.

However, as of 2.4, shamans who have not yet reached level 30 and trained the spell 'Totemic Call' will see "Totem Timers" below their character portraits. As with buffs, a simple right-click to the "Totem Timer" icon, and the totem will be destroyed with no mana gain.

  • See the Shaman totems page for complete list of totems, and additional details.


Shaman spells include direct damage spells, heals, and weapon buffs among others. Their spells are mostly based on the elements.


Shaman talents are split into 3 categories:

  • Elemental—improvements in offensive spells and offensive totems.
  • Enhancement—improvements in melee related skills and enhancement totems.
  • Restoration—improvements in healing and restoration totems.

Talent builders can be found at Official Blizzard site, WoW Den's Talent Calculator,, WoW Vault, ThottBot, Merciless, Wowhead.




The previous two were originally 10-point talents in Enhancement and were replaced with Shamanistic Focus in Patch 2.3

Talent-based enhancements

  • Offhand weapons ("Dual-wielding")

Cannot use

Note: the inability of Shamans to use ranged weapons makes the Troll's Throwing Weapon Specialization and Bow Specialization racial traits worthless for them.

End-game expectations

Totems are a major part of the end game and knowing what totems will benefit the shaman's group members best in different situations is all part of the strategy involved in playing a Shaman. With the versatility that comes with a shaman you will always be the one patching up on various issues that your group might run into. If your party runs into an encounter which is very DPS heavy, you will find yourself supporting DPS, occasionally throwing in a Heal if needed. The same goes for encounters that require lots of healing.

A shaman's role in parties and raids will vary depending on how they choose to spend their talent points and equip themselves, as some of the shaman's versatility is diminished if they focus heavily on one tree. For example, a shaman who has specced Enhancement (and geared accordingly) may have problems healing, due to the lack of crucial intellect/+healing/MP5 bonuses on their gear which Restoration requires, but will greatly enhance melee group DPS in raids (enhancing warriors, rogues, and feral druids via Windfury Totem, and all physical damage classes via Unleashed Rage and Strength of Earth Totem). On the other hand a Restoration shaman gets very little benefit from going melee due to the lack of +hit/+Attack Power, whereas Elementals shamans can cast ranged DPS and still cast the occasional support heal, still getting the bonuses (in most cases) from +heal/+spell damage.

Specialization is all a matter of preference. Some shamans choose to go Restoration, some Elemental, and others Enhancement. No matter which tree they follow, there are a lot of abilities that will benefit raid/party DPS, protection and healing. Patch 2.0 (just prior to Burning Crusade) added such talents as Totem of Wrath, and Unleashed Rage (depending on whatever you wish to go Melee or Caster shaman), so although you may not be the number one DPS class or number one healing class, your choice of playstyle and talents will greatly benefit the classes who do heavy DPS and/or heals, leading to an overall successful achievement in the end.

  • Remember that the beauty of the shaman is its versatility, and even though you tend to go one way with talents, remember that you still have access to the rest of your spells and abilities.

Wrath of the Lich King Changes Wrath-Logo-Small


Shamans now receive one point of Attack Power from both Strength and Agility. Additionally, every point of Intellect provides one attack power with the talent Mental Dexterity. Also, critical rating and spell critical rating, as well as hit rating and spell hit rating, have each been condensed into a single stat.


Totems have been "condensed" into a smaller amount of totems, for example Grace of Air Totem was removed and its agility bonus was merged into Strength of Earth Totem. Totems were moved to physical school and cannot be counterspelled. Most totems now also affect raid members, not just the local party.[3]

Weapon enchants

A new weapon enchantment has been added, Earthliving Weapon. It increases the healing power of the Shaman. Flametongue Weapon now gives spell damage bonus to the Shaman.[4]

The effect of the Windfury Totem is not a weapon enchant anymore and has been changed to a buff granting melee haste. The buff can be used in bear form or with poison.[5]


Shamans were given Hex, a polymorph spell with a 45 second cooldown allowing them to turn an enemy into a frog. The enemy cannot cast or attack but is still in control of his character.[6] It will last up to 10 seconds on pvp targets with diminishing returns, similar to other crowd control, or up to 30 seconds on monsters.

Unleashed Rage

Unleashed Rage affects the raid, not just the party.

Wind Shock

Shamans now have Wind Shock, a threat-reducing spell that does no damage but has an interrupt effect. Wind Shock shares a cooldown with the other Shaman shock spells but is not affected by the global cooldown.

Water Shield

Water Shield got moved to an earlier level and has more ranks now.

Lava Burst

The Lava Burst spell was added at level 75 in the Elemental tree.


The shaman (prestige class) was replaced with the shaman (core class) in the World of Warcraft RPG.[7] (WoWRPGCD 1-2)

See also


  1. ^ WoWRPG, 71
  2. ^ LotC, 98
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ WoWRPGCD, 1-2

External links

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