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General tactics

Weapon choice

All Shamans can use staves, two-handed axes and maces (with patch 2.3), one-handed axes and maces, daggers, fist weapons, and shields.

Most mid- and high-level Shamans carry several weapons - generally a two-handed weapon, a one-handed weapon, and a shield. Lower-level characters will generally choose one weapon set, and not carry spares. Dual Wielding Shamans will, of course, carry a second one-handed weapon. Weapon choice will change depending on the situation, and your spec.

  • Enhancement Shaman will almost always use their chosen specialized weapon combination, preferring to DPS down the mobs before they take much damage. This usually involve 2 slow one handed weapons.
  • Elemental Shaman will almost always prefer a shield to assist them in taking less damage. In instances, they may choose to use a staff, if their staff has better stats (intellect, +damage, spell crit, etc) than their one-handed weapon and shield combination, however, a one handed and shield of the same item level as a two handed staff offers more spellpower then the staff.
  • Restoration Shaman will make their choice similar to Elemental Shaman, although their important stats will be different.

Some basic tips for selecting a weapon combination:

  • Against melee opponents, you may want to use your shield to mitigate damage.
  • Against casters, use the 2H weapon. Spells ignore armour when determining damage so the shield provides little value. Your goal is to kill them quickly using both weapon damage and spells.
  • When healing, the weapon's attributes should determine which configuration you choose as you will most likely not be engaged in combat as a healer. For example, if your staff has a +int buff on it, then you would select that weapon so as to increase your mana pool.

Weapon buffs and speed

  • Flametongue Weapon: Ignores damage reduction due to high armor, high, steady damage, a great all-around buff for grinding, PvE, PvP. Should be the only weapon buff considered for Elemental Shaman.
  • Frostbrand Weapon: Procs fairly often, decent burst damage, has a very useful movement slowing effect. Also popular for elemental and restoration Shamans because its damage is raised by +spell damage.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: Must bypass damage reduction due to high armor, but offers high, steady damage. Use against mobs with high fire resistance. Great with high crit chance.
  • Windfury Weapon: Unbeatable burst damage, procs fairly often, can easily win a PvP fight but very unpredictable with regard to aggro management. Best with slow weapons (but still very good with fast ones), great with high crit chance and can deliver some massive returns when combined with the Shamanistic Rage talent.

Fast weapons are recommended for non-Stormstrike/non-PvP Shamans, especially Elemental and Restoration Shamans, who should use Flametongue Weapon, as Flametongue scales much better on faster weapons. Dual-wielding Enhancement Shamans are encouraged to use slow weapons and Windfury in the main hand, and any weapon with Flametongue or Frostbrand in off-hand. At higher levels and with better weapons, it is advised to use slow weapons with Windfury on both hands (reasons explained exhaustively here).

Before The Burning Crusade, two-handed weapons were recommended for Enhancement Shamans, particularly in PvP. This was because Windfury would hit, and often crit, dealing a lot of damage. Immediately following a Windfury proc with Stormstrike and Earth Shock would often result in an instant kill, before the target had a chance to heal, be healed, or run.

With the changes to Windfury since the release of the expansion, coupled with the much larger health pools of level 70 characters in relation to damage caused, a slow two-handed weapon will not cause enough burst damage to kill a target outright, even with a Windfury crit. However, the high burst damage is still powerful and hard to heal, and two-handed weapons are still devastating in PvP.

As an alternative, enhancement Shamans may choose to wield two weapons. Dual-wield weapons should be slow (2.60 - 4 second swing) to maximize Stormstrike and Windfury effect. Enhancement Shamans Critical Strike will activate Flurry and Unleashed Rage. Combined with moderate hit and crit ratings, these useful effects will basically always be on. Placing Windfury Weapon on the main hand weapon while placing Frostbrand Weapon on the offhand will result in bit lower damage, but the enemy-slowing Frostbrand proc is a deadly combination in PvP.


Whatever weapon choice you make, make sure you have a weapon buff on at all times. If you are soloing, always keep your Lightning Shield or Water Shield active, and be prepared to reactivate it in the middle of combat, possibly repeatedly (preferably after casting another spell, so as to not needlessly trip the 5 second rule). As Water Shield does not require any mana to cast, it does not affect the 5 second rule. Be aware that Lightning Shield generates extra threat, so use it with care in group situations.

The standard pull for a Shaman uses Lightning Bolts, followed by a Flame Shock (or Earth Shock on a caster). Since Shocks are instant, this in effect damages the mob up to four times before it has a chance to hit back. The actual number of Lightning Bolts cast in the pull will depend on talents - Enhancement will likely cast one or two bolts before shocking (if they bother at all -- a Stormstrike followed by a shock will do more damage and is more mana efficient), while Elemental Shaman may manage as many as three Lighting Bolts, due to shorter cast times and longer potential starting ranges.


Caster Shamans may kite enemies with a combination of Lightning Bolt and Frost Shock or even Earthbind Totem. This can be expensive in terms of mana, but may enable the Shaman to down relatively high-level mobs. On normal mobs of a similar level, the Shaman may allow the mob into melee range, using a fast weapon with Flametongue Weapon, as well as Lightning Shield, to serve up some DPS between casting Lightning Bolts, and alternating Flame Shock with Earth or Frost Shock.


The four elemental totem types become available by way of certain quests. These quests become available several levels below the level at which the totem spells become trainable, ensuring that a Shaman need not go out of their way to complete them immediately. Obviously, they should be completed as soon as possible, but find quests in the same area so as not to waste time.

Selecting totems to maximum advantage is more art than science - sometimes, it may be most efficient not to drop any totems at all, especially when not in a party. Only one totem of each element can be used at a time, and this must be considered when choosing the combination that is most beneficial. Other factors include which party members can gain advantage from which totems, and which totems will affect your target. For example, Stoneskin Totem only affects people being attacked, whereas Strength of Earth Totem will improve all melee DPS. This makes Stoneskin useful when your casters are going to AoE, or possibly against Cleaving mobs, while Strength of Earth is likely to be better at other times. Similarly, Searing Totem will deal extra damage, but in close proximity to other mobs, it may accidentally aggro an add before you have a chance to use Totemic Call. Similarly, the AoE fire totem, Magma Totem, may break crowd control effects if placed too close to controlled mobs.

It is also a good idea to consider requests from your party members, as some classes will prefer different totems based on specs.

Several totems have an aggro radius, including Mana Spring Totem, Healing Stream Totem and Earthbind Totem, as well as the damage-dealing Fire totems, and Stoneclaw Totem. Elemental totems do not have an aggro radius, but the Elementals themselves do.

To best manage your totems, you should watch the totem timers (added in patch 2.4) under your party portrait. This will enable you to use Totemic Call just before they time out, giving some extra mana efficiency before replacing them.

Also note that totems activate the Global Cooldown, meaning it will take at least 3 seconds to place all four totems. It is therefore advantageous to place totems before a pull.

EDIT: In patch 2.4, Global Cooldown on totems was reduced to 1 sec from 1.5 seconds, meaning four totems can now be placed in 3 seconds instead of 4.5.

EDIT: In patch 3.2, Blizzard added a totem bar and spells such as Call of the Elements (available at level 30) that allow instant, simultaneous placement of up to 4 totems.

Key spells

As with all classes, some of the Shaman's spells are more useful than others. Some have uses that are not immediately obvious.

  • Shocks are a valuable part of the Shaman class. Earth Shock is extremely useful against melee as it slows attack speed by 10% for 8 seconds. Flame Shock, like any DOT, is particularly useful against stealth. Frost Shock, especially when combined with Earthbind Totem, makes a good snare. Frost Shock also generates additional threat and is good for pulling mobs off of healers and NPC escorts during PvE questing.
  • [Ghost Wolf] aids escaping significantly, particularly with the Improved Ghost Wolf talent or Nature's Swiftness, both of which makes it instant-cast. Several Shaman PvP rewards offer boots that give an additional 15% speed boost while in Ghost Wolf form. (These boots were changed in patch 2.4, a lesser version are available to level 58 for Horde players, and a slightly better version for both factions for level 60 players. Neither version can be used above level 60.) It is also available at level 16, making Shamans even with Druids with [Travel form] as the fastest class in the game at that level.
  • Astral Recall allows Shamans to teleport to their Hearth location every 15 minutes (7.5 minutes with glyph). It is on a separate timer to the Hearthstone, allowing the Shaman to Hearth home without using up the Hearthstone's cooldown. Many Shaman choose to destroy their Hearth Stone and use Astral Recall exclusively, saving bag space.
  • Mana Spring Totem and Mana Tide Totem are two totems that will appeal to all grouped casting classes. Increasing the mana regeneration of a party is one of the most vital roles a Shaman will play and significantly reduces the down time of your group.
  • Grounding Totem is a kind of pre-cast counterspell. Its casting cost is low (100 mana), and it absorbs every single-target (non-AoE) detrimental spell cast at the Shaman or his group while the totem buff is active, but is destroyed by the first direct damage spell it absorbs. It has a short cooldown.
  • Reincarnation is a unique, self-resurrection ability. It is very similar to having a Warlock Soulstone buff; as with these, Shamans should be very careful about the spots where they die. Sometimes Reincarnation is used for wipe recovery, but many Shaman (especially healers) use it to continue a fight after dying, much like a Druid battle res. Reincarnation has an (as of patch 3.0)has a 30 minute cooldown. Mats are needed for this unless you equip a glyph.
  • Elemental Totems produce a Guardian Elemental, which will assist a Shaman. The Earth Elemental has high threat and health, but does not do much damage. The Fire Elemental has AoE and Fire Shield abilities. Elementals will leash to their totems. They last for 2 minutes, and have a 20 minute cooldown. You can only have one Elemental active at a time. Elementals *can* be healed -- an Earth Elemental can be a highly effective off-tank for multiple adds if it is healed.
  • Bloodlust/Heroism is an ability learned at level 70, which grants a 40 second buff which increases melee, ranged and spell haste. It also increases unit size.
  • Chain Heal is a healing ability which heals 3 different targets (four if you have Glyph of Chain Heal equipped), which makes this a unique spell amongst all healing classes. In instances or boss fights with a lot of AoE damage, this spell is vastly superior to other healing spells.

PvE tactics

Solo PvE tactics

When soloing, totems that affect your group will, naturally, not be as cost-effective. Often, you will want to reserve mana for Lesser Healing Waves, so might not drop totems as often. However, if you can position yourself right, within reach of multiple mobs but not within their aggro range, you can put down totems and pull each to your spot.

You will almost always be more than a match for a single mob of equal, or even slightly higher, level. If you find yourself fighting more than one mob, a Stoneclaw Totem can provide the time you need to finish off one before the other destroys the totem. When fighting multiple opponents, it will be worth throwing in some extra damage spells. Nature's Swiftness comes in handy if you find yourself hurting while in these situations.

Group PvE tactics

The Shaman can play many roles in a group, including melee, caster, and healer. They are not as strong as a specialist at any of these, but they can quickly shift gears if needed.

General Advice

  • Stoneskin Totem is useful sometimes. If you are being attacked by multiple lower level mobs it can put a nice sized dent in their damage.
  • Strength of Earth Totem is helpful to all classes dealing melee DPS.
  • Disrupting enemy casters with Wind Shear helps deal with healers and ranged casters.
  • Windfury Totem dramatically increases the attack speed of melee party and raid members. If your group is caster-based, use Wrath of Air Totem to increase spell haste of party and raid members by 5% - particularly useful if you yourself are playing a caster/healer role.
  • Flametongue Totem is used to increase the spell power of party and raid members. It's value increases with level. If Elemental or Restoration spec, It is a viable option to use Flametongue Totem in combination with Wrath of Air Totem to boost both spell power and spell haste for the party or raid.
  • Searing Totem is extremely mana-efficient if it has a target available for it's entire duration, and so should be used when possible on long fights that do not involve CC.
  • Quick casts of Cure Disease and Cure Poison can cancel enemy DoT attacks - you can also use Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem for large groups or repeated poisoning/diseasing. The totems cost a similar amount of mana to use, but costs climb if by dropping them you are replacing another Water totem.
  • Frost Shock and Earthbind Totem can slow down enemy adds or prevent fleeing mobs from gathering reinforcements.
  • Grounding Totem and Tremor Totem are situationally useful -- against casters, grounding totem is useful for its cost; it can also absorb Curses and other non-damaging Debuffs. Tremor Totem wakes Sleep and counters Fear, although the latter function is hampered by the slow pulse rate of the totem.
  • Healing Stream Totem and Mana Spring Totem add a good curve to your total heals if you use them correctly. +heal effects do come into play with Healing Stream, making it a very effective (and efficient) group HoT.
  • Fire and Earth Elemental totems are excellent ways to recover from a sloppy pull - Earth Elemental will instantly draw the threat of any adds and Fire Elemental will gladly nuke away at them.

If there is no viable Warrior, Paladin, or Druid tank, then a Shaman can tank 5 man regular instances up to and including level 70. It requires the building of a set of stamina/armor/defense gear, and a properly geared shaman should have at least 11k health and 10k armor before suggesting this to a group.

Raid PvE tactics

  • your primary goal in a raid is the buff group members with your totems. It is important to know what all your totems do and how they work.
  • All three talent trees have some for of short term buff that can also help you group.

Melee DPS Buffs

Caster DPS Buffs

  • Totem of Wrath give a large spell power boost - removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.1.
  • Flametongue Totem is not as strong as Totem of Wrath but is good when an elemental shaman is not present
  • Wrath of Air Totem will increase haste for spell casters

Resto raiding

Shaman healers are great single-target healers and raid healers. Most raid leaders will ask a shaman healer to raid heal because of [Chain Heal] and [Healing Stream Totem].

Tank Healing
  • Using [Riptide] will give the shaman a reduction on cast time for [Healing Wave] and [Lesser Healing Wave] if they have invested points in the talent [Tidal Waves].
  • [Earth Shield] is also very important for healing a tank, so points in [Improved Earth Shield] and [Improved Shields] are a must.
  • Other talents to consider are [Ancestral Healing], [Ancestral Awakening], and [Improved Reincarnation].
  • Generally, [Healing Wave] is the best option for single-target raid healing because it receives the most benefit from your spell power and benefits from [Healing Wave] and [Tidal Waves].
Raid Healing
  • [Chain Heal] will be your primary healing spell, so you should spec into [Improved Chain Heal]. - this ability removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.1.
  • [Lesser Healing Wave] is a good emergency heal to buy time until you can cast a bigger Healing Wave.
  • [Ancestral Awakening] will be a big help as a raid healer because restoration shamans tend to have a very high critical strike rating.

Restoration shamans want to stack the following stats (in order of importance):

  • Haste - Even with [Tidal Waves], Chain Heal and Healing Wave still have cast times well over 1 sec, so haste is the resto shaman's most useful stat until it reaches about 1000.
  • Spell power - All spells will gain potency with this stat.
  • Critical strike - Almost all procs come from this stat.
  • Intellect - This will increase your mana pool and give you more spell power from [Nature's Blessing].
  • Mana regeneration - This is a low priority because of [Water Shield] and [Improved Water Shield], but it will still help you regain mana faster.
General Healing tips
  • Buff your weapon with [Earthliving Weapon].
  • Use [Riptide] just before the tank runs in.
  • Keep [Earth Shield] up on the tank at all times.
  • Keep track of your short-term buffs to get the most out of your healing spells.
Raiding talents

Some important talents include:

  • [Ancestral Healing]
  • [Cleanse Spirit]
  • [Earth Shield]
  • [Healing Way]
  • [Improved Shields]
  • [Mana Tide Totem]
  • [Tidal Waves]
  • [Riptide]
Healing Glyphs
  • Glyph of Chain Heal
  • Glyph of Earthliving Weapon
  • Glyph of Earth Shield
  • Glyph of Healing Stream Totem
  • Glyph of Healing Wave
  • Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave
  • Glyph of Mana Tide Totem
  • Glyph of Riptide
  • Glyph of Water Mastery
  • Glyph of Water Shield

Enhancement Raiding

Enhancement raiders bring the strongest buffs of any class/spec to a physical damage group and are often undervalued until one is seen in action. In most fights the Enhancement raider will function exactly like a Rogue with the exception that he buffs the party and has useful utility totems such as tremor totem, grounding totem, and resist totems (which allow him to replace the holy Paladin in the main tank's group). Also the ability of a shaman to drop multiple resist totems is an invaluable asset in some fights. There are a few fights that are extremely melee unfriendly or simply require an immense amount of healing. This is where it becomes even more beneficial to have an enhancement shaman over say a 2nd Rogue as he can put on healing gear and not only become another healer but reduce the number of people in melee range without become dead weight to the party.

Raiding gear

This hit rating analysis is inaccurate to the point of uselessness and should be reevaluated.

Hit rating* AP Crit HP Mana
Bare Minimum 130 900 18% 6.2k 5.9k
Acceptable 170 1.1k 20% 6.8k 6.2k
Target Numbers 190 1.3k 23% 7.4k 6.5k

Hit ratings stated assume +9% hit from talents (notice that we need significantly more +hit than Rogues and Warriors due to different game mechanics) all stats stated in table above are unbuffed.

  • Bare minimum: are stats that are the absolute minimum in any one area you can have and expect to raid. If you fall below in any category you will be pretty much dead weight.
  • Acceptable: these numbers are easily achievable with blue gear and will bring you to an average/good contribution to the party.
  • Target Numbers: These numbers will give you top performance and if you hit one of them you are better off investing in another lacking stat in the future as you will see a greater overall increase to your raid contribution.

It should be noted that the amount of hit rating required to be effective in a raid setting is a hotly debated subject. An excellent guide to all things enhancement shaman, including required hit rating, can be found at [1].

To summarize the Elitist Jerks article, hit rating is less important than attack power and crit rating because AP and crit effect all of the shaman's damage, while hit rating only effects regular "white" damage. This is due to the fact that a shaman's "yellow" damage (WF procs and stormstrike) are already hit capped by the +9% hit received from talents. Auto-attack damage generally accounts for 40-50% of a shaman's damage output, so increasing hit rating WILL increase the total amount of damage dealt, but stacking hit rating at a loss to AP and crit is ill advised. Generally a shaman will get all the hit rating he or she needs by choosing items that have high AP/crit.

It should also be noted that enhancement shamans who want to contribute steady and reliable DPS to the raid should stick to dual wield instead of 2H, which is more suited for PvP.

Raiding talents

The Enhancement tree is a fairly straightforward path but here are some of the essential talents for raiding.

  • Dual Wield
  • Dual Wield Specialization
  • Unleashed Rage
  • Shamanistic Focus new in patch 2.3 - makes shocks substantially cheaper
  • Mental Quickness improved in patch 2.3 - boosts dmg & healing significantly
  • Enhancing Totems or Improved Weapon Totems - there is some debate as to which is better
  • Nature's Guidance
  • Totemic Mastery The importance of this to a spread out raid group cannot be understated
  • Shamanistic Rage This ability truly comes into its own on a boss fight as you will find the need for extra mana mid-fight. The high attack power of a well geared raider will give you wonderful mana return allowing you to sustain a higher level of combat for much longer than you would be able to otherwise.

Elemental Raiding

Elemental raiders will find themselves in a similar situation as most casters with the exception that they also need to buff the party. Elemental/resto gives a little more off-healing ability than Enhancement/resto due to gear compatibility between elemental and resto. Elemental shamans can expect to spend most of their time doing damage and buffing the party but should not be afraid to throw the odd heal out mid fight.

Raiding gear

Due to the Elemental Focus talent (your next 2 damaging spell's mana costs are reduced by 40%, after you crit with a damage spell), spell crit has become a very important stat for elemental raiders. Elemental raiders should shoot for close to 30% crit (with talents) then start focusing on spell damage and finally intellect and stamina. Make sure you are critting for at least 4.5k with your lighting bolt before you start to invest heavily in crit however.

Stat progression:

  • 1) Get your crit rating with your Lightning Bolt to 20% (5% from Call of Thunder, and possibly another 5% from Thundering Strikes in the enhancement talent tree).
  • 2) Get enough spell damage to crit for 4.5k damage on a lightning bolt.
  • 3) Get up to 27% crit with Lightning Bolt.
  • 4) Work on increasing your spell damage and crit equally until you hit about 30% Lighting Bolt crit rating.
  • 5) Focus solely on + spell damage.

See also: Shaman Elemental Equipment

Raiding talents

These talents are very important/useful for raid situations

  • Lightning Mastery
  • Convection
  • Concussion
  • Elemental Focus You must have this talent
  • Elemental Fury
  • Elemental Precision
  • Unrelenting Storm
  • Totem of Wrath This spell is designed for raids, it gives a useful fire totem to caster shamans (an otherwise unused totem) and should not be overlooked by a raiding shaman due to its lack of non raiding capabilities.

PvP Tactics

Solo PvP tactics

One good trick involves some quick mouse work. When trying to escape an opponent, autorun away from them. Then, jump, quickly rotate around in the air, Frost Shock, and rotate back before you land. This allows you to snare your opponent with no loss in forward momentum.

A good way to open a fight is to cast a Lightning Bolt, then a Chain Lightning, and then a shock. This will provide high burst DPS as the slow moving Lightning Bolt will hit close to the Chain Lightning and the shock or damage other nearby enemies.

Enhancement Dual Wielding can destroy cloth very quickly. A good tactic is to drop a Strength of Earth Totem and a GoA totem. Frost shock if you want to chase enemies and get massive crits from behind, Wind Shear to interrupt casting, Flame Shock to stop Rogues stealthing.

Group PvP tactics

(personal opinion) Here's what I think a Shaman's role in group PvP is:

1. Kill enemies. 2. Heal/save allies if you can, but don't disregard rule #1. It's generally pretty simple to snare a Rogue that's chasing after a caster, or to Wind Shear a Mage while he is casting a spell at an ally.

Enhancement shamans are great against casters (Mages, Warlocks, Priests, non-Feral Druids) and we should chop them up as quickly as possible. Wind Shears are a killer here, but in group PvP you can't spam it due to its high mana cost. Grounding totem and lightning shield are awesome against these classes as they continue to work even after you have been feared/sheeped. Typically the best strategy against a Rogue, which is easily our biggest enemy for enhancement shamans, is to not fight them. If you get jumped, bail out. Shock and Ghost wolf. An even geared Rogue will destroy an even geared enhancement shaman. This might change with all the stamina gear from BC. Once the Rogue can no longer stunlock you, you can easily out DPS the Rogue. Unfortunately, a good Rogue can get you down to at least 40% before cheap shot and kidney shot wear off.

Elemental shamans are extremely useful against melee resistant (Warriors, Paladins, Rogues, Bear Druids) characters due to the extremely high burst DPS and because others will have difficulties against them. If they try to melee you, frost shock, earthbind, and/or warstomp and run. Your best damage is lightning bolts and you can't really throw them while you're being hit in melee. In mass melee, when you run hopefully the aggressor will switch to a closer target which will allow you to turn and devastate with your bolts. In 1v1 combat, your shocks and lightning shield should be more than enough to take them down with the exception of Paladins and Druids; who will require you to speed DPS/focus fire in order to beat their healing/shield abilities. Rogues are actually a lot easier for elemental shamans. Lightning shield and magma totem (or even searing totem) can give Rogues a ton of problems due to the ability to DPS the Rogue even while stunlocked.

Frost Shock can be extremely effective psychologically against your opponent. An opponent running at 50% movement speed and being kited is going to have only one thing on their mind: Get to you, and kill you. An average opponent at this point will not be fighting nearly as well as usual, and will make mistake after mistake. Equally, using a slow weapon against a Rogue, keeping them frost shocked and only getting near enough to them to swing as your weapon becomes ready will drastically reduce their DPS. The only catch to this is dagger Rogues, who have numerous abilities to stop you in your tracks. It is best to entirely kite them using repeated frost shocks until they are at least half health. Finally, Frost Shock is the only shock to use against a hunter. Given the chance to Wing Clip you and run, they will do so immediately, and a Shaman will generally fare poorly against a Hunters ranged DPS.

Raid PvP tactics

In each battleground, a Shaman can do a lot. If your group stays close to each other, totems will be an advantage. You can choose to spend your time beating face with whatever weapon you have, or you can take on a support role. Keep your mana pool in mind -- with all of the totem dropping + shocking + healing that you can do, odds are you're out of mana before you're out of health unless multiple people are beating on you...if you're out of mana, dying in Battlegrounds will bring you back with nearly full mana in under 30 seconds. Overall, a Shaman can be really helpful everywhere you want to be.

About Shocks in Battleground PvP

Flame Shock - any class with stealth abilities

Frost Shock - any situation where you need to slow someone

Wind Shear - interruption of casters

Warsong Gulch

A Shaman makes an adequate flag runner, especially when you have 2 points in Improved Ghost Wolf but Druids are better. Remember that Ghost Wolf is a dispellable magic effect -- it can be removed from you, then you're left carrying the flag without being fast. You can't shapeshift out of restraint effects like a Druid can, so you are easily rooted or slowed.

Since Patch 1.10, you can rely on your trinkets while in Ghost Wolf form. This gives you more tools to use while carrying the flag, such as

  • Insignia of the Horde/Insignia of the Alliance to get out of stun or snare effects
  • Defiler's Talisman/Talisman of Arathor, which provides you with a little bit of damage absorption when activated
  • or Nifty Stopwatch, which gives you an additional speed boost.

If you're engaged in melee combat while carrying the flag, don't forget to put on your shield for some extra damage reduction.

You can support your team's runner by dropping Earthbind Totems and healing. You don't have to worry about aggro from PvE mobs, so dropping your Searing Totem can be extra DPS. Magma Totem will break Rogue or Druid stealth usually before they can get to you. Tremor Totem can interrupt fear effects, and using Purge on Priests or other cloth mobs will remove their self buffs -- dropping someone by 54-70 stamina points has a noticeable, immediate impact on their survivability.

Arathi Basin

Always drop Tremor Totem when defending a node - it does not help against Rogue stuns but it will help with fear and charm effects from Priests and Warlocks. To help against sap, stay in Ghost Wolf form. In this form, you are considered a Beast and as such are immune. You will be vulnerable to Druid sleep and Hunter fear effects, but Tremor Totem will help defend against this.

Arathi Basin means small groups of people fighting in one place - your totems can make a serious difference. Now that most totems have raidwide effects, it doesn't matter if the people defending with you are in the same group or not.

The oft-forgotten Far Sight spell can be used to great effect, particularly from the Lumber mill, to help direct traffic. If you have 2-3 people defending you at that node, you can spy down to the Stables, Blacksmith, and Farm for any incoming groups or to check on the progress of your attack. Sentry Totem can also be useful, especially at Blacksmith, Farm and Mine, where you can hide in buildings.

A nice little trick for elemental shamans, is to just sit by the flag at the Lumber mill. When Horde/Alliance comes to take it from you, just use Thunderstorm to send them flying off of the ledge. This usually kills them unless you aren't placed right. Make sure that they are by the ledge and you are away from the ledge, and the Lumber mill will be yours for the whole round.

Alterac Valley

AV can be difficult for Shaman, because it's often a ranged zerg-fest. An Elemental Shaman can hang back and cast Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt into big fights, but Enhancement Shaman are susceptible to AOE attacks, as well as melee assaults. Tab-selecting opponents to cast Purge can be very effective, especially effective against Paladins, and anyone relying on Power Word: Fortitude or Arcane Intellect.

For direct damage kills, a Shaman with Nature's Swiftness can cast a normal Chain Lightning, pop NS, and then follow with an instant Lightning Bolt. This can be of great use in AV because you're almost guaranteed three targets for each Chain Lightning. Using a Shock spell will often finish off your target, should it be in range.

If you're hanging out of the fight to heal, using Chain Heal on the melee is very mana efficient. With three targets, it's the most effective heal in the Shaman arsenal, and everyone in the big fight below will appreciate every little bit of healing you can add to the mix.

Further, if as a Draenei shaman, you are grouped with the main tank during the Captain Galvangar fight, dropping a Tremor Totem can be invaluable, as he intermittently casts Intimidating Shout during the battle. Preventing the main tank from losing Galvangar's focus will save the lives of his/her healers and the higher DPS players in the room. This is especially crucial as Galvangar is usually engaged while the Enemy has no local graveyards captured, usually sending dead players all the way back to Stormpike.

A fun trick for Elemental shamans who are defending/attacking DB is to use Thunderstorm on the bridge, this will knock the attacking horde/defending alliance off the bridge, usually killing them and getting you tons of kills.

See also