Vanilla WoW Wiki
Instance grouping guide
Main Roles

Instance tanking (Tank)
Instance healing (Healer)
Instance damage dealing

(Damage dealer)

Currently a stub.

Other Roles

Instance leader
Instance puller
Crowd controller
Instance main assist
Instance off tank
Instance scout
Instance rezzer

Currently a stub.

Class Roles



Other Topics

Marking up mobs
Crowd Control
Combat Cycle
Dying and Wipe prevention
Role Assignment
How Not To Do Things
Additional Tips

Related Topics

Crowd control
Looking For Group

Meeting stone
Pickup group

Back to the Instance grouping guide

The Shaman in Instances

As a Shaman

  • Don't forget to use your totems, particularly the ones with party-wide effects. If there is another shaman in the group, coordinate totems as the effects of party-buffing totems do not stack.
  • Avoid Searing Totems as they may aggro additional mobs.
  • Use Earthbind Totem and Frost Shock to slow monsters from running away.
  • Unless you're a tank, avoid Frost Shock or Stoneclaw Totem as you'll pull aggro away from the tank. However, these abilities are very useful as an off-tank or in an emergency situation.
  • Avoid Frost Shock like the plague, as it will draw aggro from the tank. The exception may be when you need a quick shot of threat to deflect attention from a squishy. (Edit: As above, only use on a mob that is running away.)
  • Should it become obvious that a wipe is about to occur and you can use your Reincarnation, take precautionary measures and find a spot clear of mobs to die. This enables you to use your Reincarnation ability safely and resurrect the entire party.
  • Keep an eye on the main healer's mana as you may need to switch to secondary healer. In a difficult fight, conserve mana by avoiding shock spells so you have plenty to heal with.
  • Remember your totems have an aggro radius too. Don't set them too close before a fight. If a patrol comes, you may need to reset your totems to a new location to avoid adding them.
  • Remember to clean up your totems with Totemic Call to avoid having a patrol aggro to them and attack your group at an inopportune time.
  • Wind Shear is a good spell to help pull casters. Often, when casters aggro, they will stand and cast a spell, but will be too close to other monsters for melee tanks to run up to without drawing aggro. An interrupt from Wind Shear will often cause the caster to charge the group, and get close enough to safely fight in melee. (Counterspell also works for this, but the extra aggro it generates is often not wanted. Wind Shear also has a smaller cooldown.)

Shaman as Primary Healer

Main article: Instance Grouping Guide Healer
  • Heal the pet! - This may seem obvious but is often overlooked. The more punishment they receive, the less there is for everyone else. Prioritize pets (and characters) that are supposed to be off-tanking.
  • Unlearn what you have learned soloing - Stay back, give little heals to reduce threat, use your totems to bolster your team (as always!) - Stoneskin, Wrath of Air, Healing Stream Totem, Frost resistance (if applicable), etc.
  • Ensure that you're totems suit to the composition of the party. Usually, you will have 2 casters with you, which makes Wrath of Air Totem more convenient than Windfurry Totem. When you need to heal fast or a lot in boss encountres, be sure you have Wrath of Air Totem active, cause it increases your casting speed. If there are many melee dps, you can use Wrath of Air Totem for the casters and Strength of Earth Totem for the melee dps. Know that the tank also benefits from Strength of Earth Totem. Healing Stream Totem may appear useless to you because of the low regeneration it gives, but it benefits a great deal from your +Healing gear; with 500 +healing, it will heal at least 144 on each tick. This can work greatly with a Shadow Priest's Vampiric Embrace by allowing you to focus on the tank, so that you last longer in fights without going OOM.
  • Mana regen - Spirit won't often help you in fight because of the 5-second rule (your mana won't regen from spirit after 5 seconds from a cast). Your gear must be focused on mp5 that will assure you constant mana regeneration. If you're specialized in Restoration you will be able to set a Mana Tide Totem that will restore a very useful amount of mana. Be sure to bring drinks for between fights and potions for tight situations during fights. Your Water Shield can also help you to regen your mana.
  • Aggro and healing - You need to avoid getting aggro, even if you're a mail-wearer with a shield. Shamans have no innate tools for dumping aggro, (except Wind Shear, which lowers the aggro slightly). If you're Restoration specialized, you will have some talents that will help you to cast even while taking damage, but that will only build more threat for the tank to overcome. Earth Shield will help the tank build threat while sparing you some threat from healing.
  • You aren't a priest - You're not going to work in the same way as a priest. Instead you must read the fight and adjust your tactics accordingly. You need to learn when it's time to wade in and smack the mobs and when it's time to hold back and heal.
  • Don't be afraid - Like any healer, it is important to know when to use your smaller heals to control aggro and when to let loose with a large heal. It's far better for your tank to receive a massive blast of extra health and then have to pull the mob off you than for the tank to die and you end up with the aggro anyway. You should also have the talent Nature's Swiftness that lets you instantly heal a target. This ability has only a 3 minute cooldown, so it will often be available more than once for each boss fight. Consider putting it in a macro with Healing Wave so that you can cast it with one button.
  • Wipes are going to happen. When it becomes clear that a wipe will occur, try to expend as much of your remaining mana as possible to ensure that the remaining members of your group can continue to fight for as long as possible; then, make sure to die away from where the enemies came from so as not to aggro mobs after reincarnating.
  • Be prepared to heal. Many players don't view shamans as a good healing class; in fact, many players hardly know anything about them. Bolster your own reputation by being prepared with Ankhs, drinks and mana potions if you are asked to heal. Even if there's a Warlock with you, don't forget the ankh; it's an extra cooldown that can be used to bring yourself back if you pull aggro from healing, or one more wipe that the group can recover from immediately.

Shaman as melee DPS

  • Make sure your weapon spell of choice is active on your weapon (or weapons if dual wielding).
  • Shaman melee damage without stormstrike and Shocks uses no mana except for weapon spells every 30 minutes, so a melee DPS shaman should have plenty left over for totems and emergency healing if needed. Stormstrike scales with levels and costs 2 mana for every 1 level (give or take) and has a 10 second cooldown (8 sec when talented). Although Enhancement shaman have a shorter mana pull than the other talent specs.
  • Critical hits and windfury procs on high damage weapons can draw a very large amount of aggro, so be careful at the start of fights. After some time, if the group has a good tanks, this sort of burst damage should not be a problem.
  • Shocks are useful as always in specialized situations, don't be afraid to use earth shocks to interrupt or frost shocks to slow runners.

Shaman as ranged DPS

  • Make sure that your target is affected by Flame Shock before you use your Lava Burst to make sure it hits as a critical strike.
  • Make sure to keep your Totem of Wrath up during fights as it will greatly increase all the casters DPS.
  • If you're running low on mana Thunderstorm is a good spell to regain mana with but it can be dangerous if used too close to the mobs since it will knock them back. This can be avoided by either running away or using Glyph of Thunderstorm.
  • If you mana pool is sufficiant you should use Chain Lightning whenever it is available because of it's added damage, especially when there is more than one mob.
Useful Glyphs
  • Glyph of Flame Shock as you will save mana and do more damage since it will last longer.
  • Glyph of Flametongue Weapon as it will increase your damage.
  • Glyph of Lightning Bolt as it will increase your damage.
  • Glyph of Water Mastery as it will increase your mana regeneration, thus making you last longer.
  • Glyph of Elemental Mastery as it reduces the cooldown of Elemental Mastery thus increasing your damage.
  • Glyph of Lava as it will increase your damage.

Of course you can only have three of these glyphs so you should pick those that you find gives you the biggest bonus. For example: If you have a sufficiant mana pool, Glyph of Water Mastery is not necessary and can be replaced by another one that boosts your damage instead.

Working with a Shaman

  • Stay close to the totems he drops. Many of them affect any group members (or enemies) within 20 yards (distance may vary), and if you run away, drawing the monsters with you in most cases, you're basically wasting the shaman's mana. On the flip side of that, if the mobs start to stray a bit, try to draw them closer to the shaman's totems.
  • If the Shaman is taking on an Area of Effect role, do not draw the mobs away from the Magma Totem which has only a 8 yard range.