Earthbind Totem is a core shaman ability learned at level 26. It is an Area of Effect (AoE) debuffsnare. It slows enemies in a 10 yard radius for 20 seconds. This is very useful against multiple mobs/players that are about to attack the caster by slowing them.
It's helpful to drop a totem just before running from a fight to gain some distance between you and your pursuer, as well as just before your enemy is about to run away. It takes a second to have its first effect, so you should drop it a couple seconds before you need it for best effect.
When attempting to push past mobs in tight quarters (such as in a tunnel), not damaging the mob at all before you plant Earthbind means that the totem's debuff will place it higher on the monster's aggro table than you. This will buy you a second or two extra as the mob turns and knocks down your totem before pursuing you.
This totem is mostly used as an escape tool; it is used to either escape an upcoming danger or escape from a battle gone bad. Unlike [Frost Shock], this totem is more suitable for escaping danger due to its low mana cost, insta-cast, and convenience (since it doesn't need to target or be in front of the target).
It can also be used to snare runners escaping you or your teammates, but the caster always runs the risk of attracting aggro from other other mobs.
Outside of this scope, the totem has been used for kiting players, but only in conjunction with Frost Shock; Earthbind totem alone cannot keep a good amount of distance between the caster and the pursuer mainly due to its long cooldown and small radius of effect (10 yards). The totem can be used, however, as a back-up or alternative snare to Frost Shock. The slowing effect is identical for each: 50%.
It is often used in PVP and is a common tactic in Warsong Gulch. It can be used offensively to slow down the flag carrier or defensively to keep the other team away from the flag carrier. It can also be used to seal off choke points temporarily. Enemies must dismount to destroy the totem, and can't remount in combat, or face charging at 50% of normal speed.
0600Patch 6.0.2 (14-October-2014): Totems will no longer cause hostile creatures to enter combat with the Shaman based on proximity.
0500Patch 5.1.0 (27-Nov-2012): All totems are now considered spells, and summoning totems can be prevented by silencing effects. Searing Totem, Magma Totem, and Fire Elemental totems fall into the Fire school, while all other totems fall under the Nature school.
0100Hotfix (2009-04-17): "Earthen Power will now properly be applied on the first pulse of an Earthbind Totem. "
0200/0300Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): All totems are now considered on the "Physical" school, and no longer magical spells.
0200Patch 2.4.0 (25-Mar-2008): The Global Cooldown of all Totems has been reduced to 1 seconds, down from 1.5 seconds.
0200Patch 2.2.0 (25-Sep-2007): Earthbind Totem no longer breaks stealth.
0100Patch 1.2.0 (18-Dec-2004): 15 second cooldown added to the ability.