Shaman

This guide is primarily focused on Healing. Elemental & Enhance guides coming soon.

Author: Egregious
Source: Elysium-Project ↗

Shamans, manipulators of the elements, are versatile like druids and paladins -- able to be healers, ranged spell DPS or melee DPS depending on their spec and gear. Until endgame instances, they are sometimes able to tank passably well, although they are considerably more limited in this than a druid, paladin, or warrior. Shamans are able to place totems that provide a huge variety of useful buffs to their group. These buffs are restricted to a relatively small area of effect surrounding the totem, and a shaman may have no more than four totems active at one time. Shamans are restricted to Horde players.

Shamans 3 talent specializations are Restoration, Enhancement, and Elemental.

If you'd like a more in-depth look at the Shaman class, check out the video below.



Talents

Let’s begin with a solid spec. Knowing how to allocate your talents is no longer a meme if transitioning from retail. I will provide you a visual and a link for what is considered the standard PvE Resto specialization.

Standard Resto 0/5/46 ↗

Shaman

You can tweak this spec to afford both Improved Reincarnation and full 3/3 in Healing Grace by simply taking as many points out of Healing Focus as you desire. However, I am not a big fan of Improved Reincarnation until later instances in Classic. Warlocks have the ability to Soulstone any healer with resurrection capabilities for wipe protection. Also there should be 4+ Shaman in your raid with whom an Ankh rotation can be established in the event of wipes.

If you are considering avoiding points in Healing Grace in order to pick up Improved Reincarnation, I would heavily advise against it. Chain Heal generates a significant amount of threat, especially with full consumables, and –if you find yourself in a melee group– you will not be able to drop Tranquil Air Totem, unless specifically required, drastically increasing your risk of pulling aggro on trash or boss mobs. A dead Shaman is a worthless Shaman.

Instead, I would take 2 talent points from Ancestral Healing. Unless your primary job in a raid is tank healing, you aren’t getting very much mileage out of the talent and, in that case, take the remaining point from Ancestral Healing and move it to Healing Grace.


End-Game Resto 0/5/46 ↗
The best endgame spec, arguably even better to begin with, is one utilizing Imp Reincarnation and [Totem of Rebirth]. An additional benefit to this spec is securing the last point in Healing Grace, aiding on trash healing as well as encounters with multiple adds -prevalent especially in Naxxramas. The spec is as follows:

Shaman

Pre-Raid Gear

Below is a pre-raid BIS list for gearing prior to MC. This list will not include gear from world bosses. Only gear obtainable off the AH, basic PVPing, world content and dungeon grinding (with DM taken into consideration) will be included in this pre-raid BIS list.

With these items you will have roughly (depending on race):

  • Intellect: 135 (+2093 Mana)
  • MP5: 59
  • Healing: 394
  • Crit: 2.18%
  • Spirit: 16
  • Stamina: 69 (+690 Health)


Stat Priorities

Stats for Resto Shamans are very straightforward. There are: Intellect, Stamina and Spirit as primary stats and then: MP5, Healing Power (hSP) and Spell Crit as your secondary stats. Typically, the primary stats and secondary stats are prioritized in that order.

Overall, the stat priority will look like this: MP5, Intellect, hSP, Stamina, Spell Crit, Spirit.

Almost every item you pick up in the beginning will have some mix of Intellect and Stamina while very few will have Spirit. It is important to avoid picking up Spirit as much as possible in the early stages of the game as you will lose a considerable amount of item budget to this significantly less valuable stat. It is also important in the early stages to pick up as many items as you can with MP5 since it is a rare and integral stat for the Resto Shaman. MP5 also happens to be a unique stat in that its HEP value far outweighs its item budget. The EP system arose from that Chinaman, Ming (pbuh), who wanted to more accurately prioritize gear in very minute ways. In order to figure out which piece was the best possible upgrade, he created systems of EP that ranked his respective stats by personal value. This way, he could find items that were even slight upgrades. I rank my HEP values against MP5.

**HEP Values: [stat : 1 MP5]

  • Intellect: 5:1
  • MP5: 1:1
  • hSP: 6:1
  • Crit: N/A

In a perfect world (AKA not Classic, though hopefully Classic), you have a combat logging system from which you may calculate the overall benefit/loss of equipping certain stats over the period of hundreds to thousands of spell casts and spell lands. Here, I can gauge the rough benefit via checking my overall healing done when playing in the same style, on the same encounter, over the same duration. It is always hard to judge accuracy this way as the difference from one week to the next, even on the same boss, can be profound when human error and RNG are thrown in. I have found these numbers to be accurate in assessing which pieces of gear are actually worth picking up.


Enchants

Enchanting as a Resto Shaman is easy. Simply:

  • Helm: Zul’Gurub helm/leg enchant (Requires Zandalar Tribe: Friendly)
  • Shoulder: Zul’Gurub +Healing enchant (Requires Zandalar Tribe: Exalted)
  • Cloak: 15 FR / 15 NR (dependent on progression) OR 2% Threat Reduction [Subtlety] (I use the threat reduction)
  • Chest: +100 Mana OR +4 Stats (use the latter at higher gear levels)
  • Wrist: +24 Healing
  • Gloves: N/A
  • Legs: Zul’Gurub helm/leg enchant (Requires Zandalar Tribe: Friendly)
  • Boots: 7 Stamina OR Minor Speed Increase (have you ever walked anywhere?)
  • Weapon: +55 Healing
  • Shield: 7 Stamina


Consumables

Hands down, the most important preemptive measure to raiding a Resto Shaman can take: consumables. Hate them or love them, it is figuratively impossible to survive in Classic without them. Your arsenal of consumables will impact your performance so greatly that you may as well be playing two Shaman.

While the farming time may be rough I assure you it is a necessary evil. Take this time to familiarize yourself with what consumables you can consider “standard” for the average progression raid:

  • Flask of Distilled Wisdom x2
  • Flask of Distilled Wisdom x2
  • Brilliant Mana Oil x2
  • Mageblood Potion x20
  • Elixir of Greater Intellect x20
  • Sagefish Delight x20
  • Nightfin Soup x20
  • Demonic Rune / *Dark Rune x20
  • Elixir of the Sages x20
  • Rumsey Rum Black Label x20
  • Limited Invulnerability Potion x5
  • Scroll of Intellect IV
  • Scroll of Spirit IV
  • Scroll of Stamina IV
  • Scroll of Protection IV
  • Crystal Force

The items I listed above the line should be considered compulsory raid consumables. Some are more complex than others to farm but most of them should be no trouble at all. **If you are an old school player and have noted that Songflowers, Night Dragon’s Breath etc. are not included it is because they are bugged on this server and do not work, it is not Classic yet, or I got drunk and forgot to update the guide.

As for the items I have listed below the line, you can think of them as a little extra for progression encounters, or if you’re a tryhard. Again, bring them in quantities of 20. I have found that preparing for 20 wipes usually does the job. However, the list does not stop here. There are many other consumables that can be valuable for unique encounters and for those challenging bosses. Fights like Viscidus, C’Thun, most encounters in Naxxramas can all benefit from resistance potions, Flask of the Titans, and stamina food. List as follows:

  • Flask of the Titans
  • Elixir of Fortitude
  • Elixir of Greater/Superior Defense
  • Major Troll’s Blood Potion
  • Greater Nature/Shadow/Frost/Fire Protection Potion
  • Crystal Ward
  • Monster Omelet (stacks with Dirge’s Kickin’Chimaerock Chops)
  • Dirge’s Kickin’Chimaerok Chops
  • Noggenfogger Elixir
  • Magic Resistance Potion
  • Swiftness Potion

Yes, it is a long list but every one of these items can, and will, come in handy on some encounter so I suggest you stock up early. Scan the Auction House every day to try and catch consumables at their cheapest prices if you cannot farm them yourself… it’s a good money saver and you will need every bent copper for Naxxramas.



Totems

*Something you will have to get used to when transitioning from retail is dropping four totems every two minutes, or just simply dropping totems at all (lol Legion). Yes, every two minutes! And one for your Mana Spring and Healing Stream totems. And say goodbye to Totemic Recall. If you are going to totem pull a mob/boss you’ll have to drop a totem of the same element somewhere else or risk looking a fool.

Totems are integral to the Shaman class (using this logic one may conclude that, in Legion, there are no Shaman) and if you fail to drop them you are a bad Shaman (using this logic one may conclude that, in Legion, there are no good Shaman). A common mistake many Shaman make is not refreshing their totems as they expire or as their party members out-range them. Thirty yards without the talent or 40 yards with the talent and T1 3 piece. It is a deceptively small range. I advise you, if you are new to the idea of placing buff sticks, to notify your group to spam a macro in party should they notice a totem buff has fallen off. It will, of course, be up to you to replace them.

A second mistake a significant number of Shaman make is not to bind all of their necessary totems. Totem binds are a required part of playing the Shaman class. There may be a moment where you have to swap from one totem to another rapidly or where there will be no time to open your spell book. Clicking them is not an option either. Every time you click a spell a kitten is brutally murdered.

A final mistake many Shaman make is to neglect the benefit of casting non-melee totems while in a ranged DPS or healing group. This is a very serious lapse in judgment as there are several totems that can be worthwhile to a ranged DPS or healing party.

I will run through the list of raid viable totems per element:

Earth:
  • Strength of Earth Totem – REQUIRED 100% uptime on this totem when in a melee group. Exception when needing Tremor or Earthbind.
  • Tremor Totem – An important totem to use when a boss encounter has fear/charm/sleep mechanics.
  • Earthbind Totem – A very useful tool in kiting/running from loose trash in an instance.
  • Stoneclaw Totem – Good to drop before Earthbind in order to take loose mobs off your tail.
  • Stoneskin Totem – Not a very worthwhile totem. Use this if there are, for some reason, two Shaman in a melee or tank group.
Fire:
  • Frost Resistance Totem – Very beneficial to have down if you are a healer/ranged DPS group during Twin Emperors, Sapphiron or other encounters with Frost damage.
  • Searing Totem – A nice addition to DPS race boss encounters and useful for snap-aggro on a boss with an aggro reset (Skeram, Noth, etc.).
  • Fire Nova Totem – A nice addition to nuking adds on encounters such Anub’rhekan and Maexxna.
  • Magma Totem – A nice addition to nuking adds/trash if you have the mana.
Air:
  • Windfury Totem – REQUIRED 100% uptime while in a melee DPS group. Exception to this rule is when NR/TA is required.
  • Grace of Air Totem – A nice buff for a group with a Hunter or if you are one of two Shaman in a melee DPS group.
  • Nature Resistance Totem – Very beneficial for fights involving high amounts of Nature damage. See Viscidus and Huhuran.
  • Tranquil Air Totem – REQUIRED 100% uptime while in a healing or caster DPS group. Exception when NR is required.
  • Grounding Totem – Useful for redirecting ranged attacks from susceptible mobs and bosses. Crucial in PvP.
Water:
  • Mana Spring Totem – REQUIRED 100% uptime. Exception when FR is required.
  • Mana Tide Totem – Use on rotation with Dark/Demonic Runes and Mana Potions.
  • Poison Cleansing Totem – Mandatory on fights with high poison output (Viscidus, Huhuran, Grand Widow Faerlina and some Naxx trash).
  • Fire Resistance Totem – Very beneficial for fights involving high amounts of Fire damage.
  • Healing Stream Totem – Useful if there are two Shaman in one caster DPS/healer group.
  • Disease Cleansing Totem – Nominal usage.

Downloading the addons TotemTimers or gotWood will make handling your totems 10x easier.