Shaman are a hybrid class and can specialize in offensive spellcasting, melee damage dealing, or healing. As such, the class is considered one of the most adaptable and versatile in the game. Shaman can also provide group support in the form of stationary totems that, when placed on the ground by the shaman, either provide benefits to party members or deal damage to enemies.
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 class was once 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 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.
Shaman have the ability to resurrect themselves once every 30 minutes using their ability. In combination with their ability to resurrect other players, this makes shaman a viable utility for wipe recovery.
Originally, shaman were almost allowed a tanking role through the old enhancement talent tree. Their lack of heavy plate armor and the various changes made to their talent trees over time phased out their tanking potential in favor of healing and damage dealing. While most shaman are capable of adequately tanking instances prior to reaching level 60, higher level areas and instances require tanks to have stronger passive defenses and damage mitigation than shaman have, despite their versatility and healing abilities.
- See also: Shaman (Warcraft III)
Shaman are spiritual visionaries of tribes and clans. These gifted warriors can see into the world of spirits and communicate with creatures invisible to the eyes of normal beings. They are beset by visions of the future and use their sight to guide their people through troubled times. Although shaman may seem wise and serene at first, they are formidable foes; when angered, their wrath is as fierce as those who have a connection to Eternals or nature.
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, 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 shaman. However, Kil'jaeden distorted the shaman's connection with their spirits in the sacred mountain of Oshu'gun, taking on the form of the shaman's ancestors to convince them that the Draenei were enemies. 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 shaman 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. Ner'zhul was the warlock who created the portals from Draenor to many other worlds. 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 known as the Lich King. He later inhabited the body of Arthas Menethil, his first and most powerful of the second generation of Death knights.
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. This ushered in a new generation of shamanism, breaking the crippling lethargy of the captive orcs and outlawing the dark magic of the Burning Legion. At the time of the internment camps, "shaman" was a derogatory term for someone who told fantastical and unbelievable stories. Shamanism is now in good repute, though, as the New Horde was led for a long time by Thrall, a shaman of great power.
|Drek'Thar||Chieftain and Elder Shaman of the Frostwolf Clan||Alive||Frostwolf Keep, Alterac Valley|
|Magatha Grimtotem||Elder of the Grimtotem Clan||Alive||Unknown|
|Ner'zhul||The Lich King||Unknown||Unknown|
|Farseer Nobundo||Draenei far seer||Alive||The Crystal Hall, Exodar|
|Rehgar Earthfury||Advisor to Warchief Thrall||Alive||Unknown|
|Rokhan||Horde scout||Alive||Dragon's Fall, Dragonblight|
|Thrall||The Earthen Ring||Alive||The Maelstrom|
|Zuluhed the Whacked||Chieftain of the Dragonmaw clan||Deceased (lore), Killable (WoW)||Dragonmaw Fortress, Shadowmoon Valley|
- Earthen Ring: A group of shaman employing all races connected to the elemental spirits, including orcs, taurens, trolls, mag'har, broken, lost ones, draenei, Wildhammer dwarves, and goblins.
- Unnamed Draenei shaman brotherhood led by Farseer Nobundo.
- Main article: Shaman races
The shaman class can be played by the following races:
Until The Burning Crusade, the shaman class was exclusive to the Horde. In the Burning Crusade, Draenei shaman were introduced to the Alliance. With Cataclysm, Alliance dwarves also learned shamanism along with the Horde's new addition, goblins.
Each race has its own distinct advantage, no matter its class; consequently, many players who wish to play shaman factor in advantages and abilities of the various races when starting their characters. Some prefer tauren for their racial ability. 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' racial 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 and powers. Players looking for a boost in healing for PvE or PvP may find that the draenei's usable racial ability, , is an effective heal over time spell that can be cast with no mana cost.
- Stat priority
- Haste (single-target)/Critical Strike (AoE)
|Mastery: Molten Earth||80|
- Stat priority
- Haste - to 50%, then focus on below stats
- Critical Strike
|Mastery: Enhanced Elements||80|
- Stat priority
- Multistrike/Critical Strike
|Healing Tide Totem||65|
|Spirit Link Totem||70|
|Mastery: Deep Healing||80|
|Lightning Bolt||Starts with|
|Healing Stream Totem||30|
|Earth Elemental Totem||58|
|Fire Elemental Totem||66|
|Grace of Air||80|
- Located in the "General" tab of the spellbook.
|Glyph of Rain of Frogs|
|Glyph of Elemental Familiars|
|(requires 425 inscription skill)|
|T:#||Learned from a trainer with # Inscription skill|
|M:#||Minor Inscription Research (requires # Inscription skill)|
|N||Northrend Inscription Research (requires 385 Inscription skill)|
|V:#||Vendor (requires # Inscription skill)|
Totems are unique to shaman and only one of each elemental type can be used at a time.
With the spell , shaman can instantly remove all of their totems for no mana cost and receive 25% of the mana spent on the totems back. Shaman also 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.
Shaman can wear leather armor at the start of the game and can train to wear mail armor after level 40. It is not uncommon for many shaman to take up leatherworking as a profession because it's also used to craft mail armor with beneficial stats for shaman at higher levels.
Shaman can use one-handed maces with shields, staves, daggers, fist weapons, one-handed axes, and two-handed axes and maces by default.
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 adapting to various issues 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 specialize and equip themselves. For example, a shaman who has specced enhancement (and geared accordingly) may have problems healing, but will greatly enhance melee group attack speed via . On the other hand, a restoration shaman gets very little benefit from going melee, whereas elemental shaman can cast ranged DPS and still cast the occasional support heal and possibly main heal any 5-man instance.
Specialization is all a matter of preference. Some shaman 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.
Remember that the beauty of the shaman is its versatility, and even though you tend to go one way with specialization, remember that you still have access to the rest of your core class abilities.
- See Shamanism and nature worship to learn more about the shamans' beliefs.
- See List of shamans for named shamans from lore and in-game.
- Spell power coefficient.
- A list of useful macros for shamans.