The Shaman Leveling Guide
Harness the Elements and Win
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4.7
Why become a Shaman? Because there’s a certain satisfaction in commanding the forces of nature to obliterate your opposition. A Shaman can use the elements to help hack their opponents to bit (Enhancement,) destroy them at range with lightning and other elemental forces (Elemental,) or keep the group healthy and happy (Restoration.) The Shaman takes a bit of skill to play and a lot of skill to play well. If that’s what you’re looking for, read on …
Shaman Leveling Contents
Other Shaman Guides
As a shaman you preserve a balance, you aren’t so easy to level as to make it a one-and-done process, yet you don’t lag so far as to make it to the level cap only to discover it’s been increased by another 10 levels, once again. You can definitely level quickly enough to be satisfying.
Elemental and Ehancement are the specs we’ll focus on with this page. Restoration is nice in Dungeons and PvP groups, but is going to be a bit slow when soloing. We’re also not going to cover any of the “flavor of the minute” buffs or nerfs. Next week a hotfix will change them, so we’ll just concentrate on what you need to know, since you do want to play a Shaman.
The Quick Shaman Leveling Guide
Builds: Which is best for Shaman leveling? That depends…
- Enhancement for the “In Your Face” experience. Take two weapons and hack the opposition to bits, using the elements to supplement your abilities.
- Elemental for the “Nuke from Range” experience. Use the elements to blast the opposition into dust and ash.
- Restoration is one of the better healing specs in the game, but the damage is lacking. Go with Resto only if you want to stick with the dungeon (or PvP) leveling thing. It’s a bit, ahem, slow otherwise.
Race makes little difference, so play what you like. If you have to be efficient…
- Alliance: Draenei, for the hit buff
- Horde: Orc, for Blood Fury; Troll, for Berserking; Tauren for War Stomp.
- Pandarens can become Shamen and they level a bit faster (better “Rest XP” than others get) and have a couple of other useful perks.
Skip all crafting professions while leveling unless you have a nice pile of gold. If you do get a craft, then Leatherworking will make the mail armor that you want. With Inscription you can make all of your glyphs. You CAN make a ton of gold with professions, but they’re still expensive to level and will slow your leveling. All the professions come with some sort of perk that will adds stats, once you’re high level in it.
- Herbalism, mining, and skinning. Pick any two. Herbalism comes with a big Haste cooldown and you will find both healing and mana regenerating spirits while gathering in Pandaria zones.
- Enhancement: Agility and Stam
- Elem and Resto: Int and Spirit
- All: Haste and Crit
- Enhancement: Dual wield slow wpns (slow wpns hit harder.) Agi, Stam, & Crit. are the best stats.
- Elem & Resto: Weapons with Int, Spirit, and Spellpower are nice. Shields with similar stats are great.
Gems and Enchants:
- If you have gem sockets, and want to bother with them while leveling, then gem for:
- Resto & Elem: Int. Only Int.
- Enhancement: Agility only.
- If you have a meta socket, then:
- A lot of useful enchants can be had on the Auction House for very little gold. If you have the gold then go for them. Look for the stats mentioned above. Int/Ag and Stam are good choices. As of 5.4 all of the enchants can be applied to any level weapon. Yes, this means you can apply Dancing Steel or Jade Spirit to your level 1 weapon or heirloom.
Potions, Food, Etc:
- Carry the best buffing foods you can find for your level.
- Potions of mana and scrolls or potions of Agility/Int are nice to have and they’re often dirt cheap.
Get Leveled Faster:
Shaman Leveling Talents
Any spec of Shaman can pick any one talent from any one row. Talents can also be changed easily to suit whatever the situations. All you need is to open your talent pane and pick the new talent. Spend one Vanishing Powder (use other reagents if you’re 81+) and click “learn” and you have your new talent. You can switch them around as often as you like.
Keep in mind that there are a number of picks and some are better in some situations, such as whether you PvP more or less than the other guy. Adjust accordingly and to your style of play. Our picks are checked: . A couple are checked twice, since the picks change whether you’re Elemental or Enhancement. If you want to level as Resto then you’ll be in a dungeon group and you should go to our Resto Shaman page.
Tier 1, Level 15
These talents are for damage mitigation.
- Nature’s Guardian is useful if you anticipate dropping to low levels of health on a frequent basis, such as if you get the attention of a boss in the dungeon, or in PvP. This is a passive ability, so one less thing to keep track of.
- Stone Bulwark Totem - Too little absorption and too inconvenient to use. Skip it. It’s buffed in 5.4, but will that be enough to make it useful?
- Astral Shift is a very useful damage mitigation tool. Pick either this or Nature’s Guardian although personally I’m partial to Astral Shift because of the big damage mitigation. Great for mitigating heavy, short term damage, such as from the Boss’s crushing strike or a burst attack in PvP or a pile of mobs. Stacks nicely with Shamanistic Rage, if you have that ability. In 5.4 the cooldown was reduced.
Tier 2, Level 30
- Frozen Power is only effective on a single target and adds a root to your Frost Shock. Nice for any single target fight, including PvP. Best for questing or dueling or small group PvP. Limited use in larger groups.
- Earthgrab Totem is an AoE root/slow, which has some PvP use, especially in the battlegrounds. Useful if you get mobbed while questing, making escape easier.
- Windwalk Totem gives you and your party/raid immunity to movement impairing effects for a short time, quite useful under the right circumstances. This is the one to pick if you’re in a team and the opposition is casting slows/snares.
Tier 3, Level 45
- (Elemental) Call of the Elements is the most useful choice of this tier, for longer fights. You will get more of the shorter (under 3 min) duration totems.
- (Enhancement) Totemic Projection is useful for movement heavy fights, of which there are quite a few in M of P. Not to mention questing, where you can quickly move from group to group. If your PvP victims move out of range of your totems you can put them right back on them. Relocate Magma to reveal stealthed enemies.
- Totemic Persistence: Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time
Tier 4, Level 60
- (Enhancement) Elemental Mastery is my recommended choice, offering the greatest DPS increase. Every 90 seconds you get a very nice Haste burst. Add it to a macro with any other damage buffs and you get a short period of mightiness.
- Ancestral Swiftness is an instant cast spell every minute plus a passive haste buff, not bad. It lets you insta cast your big cast-time spells. Just the thing for dropping a big heal on someone. The passive Haste is also pretty nice and is great in high level gear, at the level cap.
- (Elemental) Echo of the Elements has a chance to duplicate spells that deal direct damage or healing, including A of E spells.
Tier 5, level 75
If you’re solo leveling then none of these is of any great value.
- Rushing Streams increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once. Healing Tide Totem, the old talent here, is now a baseline ability for all Shamans.
- Ancestral Guidance is similar in effectiveness only it depends on your damage dealt and is thus best paired with other effects/cooldowns that boost your damage output. This is the best pick for Elem and Enh. in most situations.
- Conductivity is only useful for situations where the raid and enemies stack up in a single position. It requires Healing Rain to be cast first. Not as useful for Enhancement or Elem as it is for Resto, and even then it isn’t too hot.
Tier 6, level 90
- Unleashed Fury improves the weapon buffs provided by Unleash Elements.
- (Enhancement) Primal Elementalist allows you to have improved Fire and Earth Elementals, which isn’t a bad thing at all. These guys to a pretty fair chunk of damage. This one may be the most generally useful talent for leveling for any Shaman spec.
- (Elemental) Elemental Blast directs elemental energy at the target and buffs stats. The latter bit is why it’s the pick here.
Shaman Leveling Glyphs
Generally the minor glyphs offer little more than color, though a couple have some real use. As with talents the glyphs are easily changed and in the same way.
Enhancement Minor Glyphs
Elemental Minor Glyphs
Abilities for the Leveling Shaman
You pick your specialization (spec) at level 10 and then you are locked into that spec until you change specs. Mists of Pandaria brought a whole new talent system, and everything before has been scrapped. In a nutshell, things work like this:
- All specs share a common pool of abilities, just as they always have.
- Each of the class specs has unique abilities that you gain beginning at level 10. These used to be the talents, now they are core abilities, and they define the differences between Elemental, Enhancement, and Restoration. There is no customization here.
- All of the above abilities are learned as you level. You will never again have to visit your trainer to learn.
- Any spec can take any of the talents. The Talents are also easily changed and you can change them anywhere, without having to see your trainer.
A level 6+ guild gives you a 10% bonus to all XP gained.
Keep in mind that at level 30 you can get the Dual Build ability, for a bank crushing 10 gold, and do your dungeoning as Resto and your Questing or PvPing as Elemental or Enhancement.
Shaman Abilities by Specialization
These are the abilities unique to each specialization (spec.) They define you.
In the dungeons both Elly and Enh are Damage (aka: DPS) and you job is to lay down the hurt on whatever the tank is fighting. Let the tank get their attention, then you burn them down. Durable as you are you are not the tank and you should not initiate attacks, let the tank handle that.
In PvP stay with your group and assist them. Lone heroes get crushed. Find a healer and stick near him. Your heals are decent, but it’s better if you don’t have to worry about healing yourself and can make them worry about it, instead.
(P) = Passive ability
You harness the elements (Lightning and Storm) to blast the opposition.You don’t want to get your hands dirty with hand to hand combat, prefering to incinerate your opponents from range.
Your Weapons: At level 10 put Flametongue Weapon on your weapon. Your shield can take various regular enchants.
Dual wielding melee machine, using your weapons to destroy the enemy and you spells to enhance your damage.You’re the Shaman who feels that bolt-lobbing and healing is for someone else. You want to get up close and personal and hack.
|10||10||Dual Wield - Use two weapons.|
|10||Elemental Fury (P) – 50% crit bonus, +100% damage total.||10||Lava Lash - Lava change your off-hand weapon and spread Flame Shock around. Flametongue Weapon adds to this damage.|
|10||Elemental Precision (P) – Spirit from items & effects counts as Hit.||10||Mental Quickness (P) – Modifies spellpower and mana cost of certain abilities.|
|10||Elemental Reach (P) – Increases range of various spells||20||Flurry (P) – Melee crits make you attack faster.|
|10||Shamanism (P) – More damage from Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning, removed CD from Chain Lightning.||26||Stormstrike - Hit with both weapons, increased chance to crit with followup spells.|
|10||Spiritual Insight (P) – Bigger Mana Pool and Reduces the CD of Earth and Flame shock by 1 second each.||30||Windfury Weapon - Each hit has a chance to trigger extra hits.|
|10||Thunderstorm - Calls down your Thunderstorm, knocking back enemies among other things.||34||Searing Flames (P) - Searing Totem and your Fire Elemental buff your Flametongue attacks.|
|20||Rolling Thunder (P) – Chance to recover mana and gain Lightning Shield charge.||40||Static Shock (P) – Chance for extra damage|
|20||Fulmination (P) – Use excess Lightning Shield charged to power Earth Shock.||44||Fire Nova - Ignites your Flame Shock and spreads damage around.|
|34||Lava Burst - Hurl lava at the target, always crits, does more damage if Flame Shock is already on the target.||50||Maelstrom Weapon (P) – Chance to reduce cast time of spells.|
|40||Elemental Focus (P) – Chance to Clearcast next two spells.||50||Mail Specialization (P) – +5% to your Agility if all your armor is mail.|
|50||Lava Surge (P) – Chance for free Lava Burst from Flame Shock ticks.||55||Unleashed Rage - Increase melee and ranged attack speed of entire party.|
|50||Mail Specialization (P)- +5% to your Int if all your armor is mail.||60||Feral Spirit - Summon two wolves to eat the opposition.|
|55||Elemental Oath (P) – 5% spell haste to entire group.||60||Spirit Walk - Removes roots and snares, increases speed for a few seconds.|
|60||Earthquake - Damage enemies in an area, chance to knock them down.||65||Shamanistic Rage - Reduces incoming damage, many spells cost no mana, usable when stunned.|
|65||Shamanistic Rage - Reduces incoming damage, many spells cost no mana, usable when stunned.||80||Mastery: Enhanced Elements (P) – Increases elemental damage.|
|80||Mastery: Elemental Overload (P) – Chance to cast a weaker copy of your current spell at no cost.|
Shaman Gear, Stats, Etc.
Don’t worry about stacking the secondary stats (Hit, Crit, etc.) until you’re into your 80s, or even done leveling. You’ll be leveling too fast to make gems and enchants, other than cheap ones, really worthwhile. If you are looking to stack stats, then Haste is good stat for all specs. If you’re only healing you don’t need any Hit or expertise rating.
- Hit, Expertise, Spell Hit: Any time that you’re attacking you will want these stats. Your can’t hurt what you can’t hit, after all. Healing does not require any of them. As for Spell Hit that is acquired by adding your Hit and your Expertise. Racial bonuses also count. Hit goes against the chance to miss and Expertise goes against the opponent’s chance to dodge hits. For casters it’s all just rolled into Spell Hit.
- Enhancement will want 3% each of Hit and Exp. to be “hit capped” Vs same level mobs. 7.5% of each for mobs 3 levels higher. This is for all your “special” strikes. Hit over 3% goes towards you auto-attacks from your dual weapons and is less valuable.
- Elemental will want the same stats as Enhancement, but this will be in order to build Spell Hit. You want 6% Vs same level mobs and 15% vs opponents that are 3 levels higher. Your Elemental Precision grants you Hit based on the Spirit on any of your items or effects.
- Intelligence increases Spellpower so is the #1 Stat for Resto and Elem.
- Agility is #1 for Enhancement, and you have no use for Int.
- Spell Power: If you’re lobbing bolts all the time, and as Elemental you will be, then this is a good stat to get, but it only appears on some trinkets and enchants. Enhancement will use Attack Power instead.
- Attack power: this equals a straight up increase in damage, so is quite helpful. Unfortunately, it only appears on some enchants and a very few items. Resto and Elly shamans will use SpellPower.
- Strength is of no use to any Shaman.
The Other Stats
- Stamina: Your #1 stat when leveling at lower levels. You need enough to stay alive and I recommend stacking only Stam at low levels. Stamina enchants, for your gear, are often very cheap on the Auction House. You can also get Stam scrolls and various foods will also buff Stam.
- Spirit is for your mana regeneration. Enhancement doesn’t have much use for it, But Elly and Resto do.If you’re having mana issues than see if a couple of spirit enchants, potions, or scrolls will help. At high level it’s very important for Resto. If you’re not having mana problems then get the Int scrolls, potions, etc instead.
- Haste makes you do everything faster, including burning your mana. All flavors of Shaman like Haste.
- Crit rating is obviously important, and a high crit rating allows you to have a more active Flurry effect going. Flurry counts for quite a lot of damage for Enhancement, and therefore is quite handy to have going 24/7. Given a choice between Haste and Crit, go for Haste.
- Mastery is gained at level 80. Don’t worry about it until the end game.
- Resilience used to be an all important stat in high level PvP, but patch 5.3 and 5.4.7 changed things for level 90s.At lower levels it’s still 40% and there will be times where you wonder if you have any at all.
- PvP Power is only for level 90 play. It’s like Attack or Spell Power, but only for PvP damage and healing. After the patch 5.3 nerf it’s somewhat less valuable than before.
- Stamina is a great things to have for PvP, the more the better. Stam gear, enchants, scrolls/potions, and some buffs will adds to your total health.
- Here is the Shaman PvP gear list, for all PvP gear from level 18.
- Check out Skill-Capped for all kinds of Shaman PvP stuff (and all other classes.) It’s aimed at level 90, but you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of that site, even at much lower level.
Enchants & Gems:
Chasing down the best gems or enchants is of little use while leveling. You’ll burn through a lot of gold, and you’ll probably be leveling fast enough that you will outgrow any enchanted/gemed gear that you’re using very quickly. Assuming you have the gold and you want to pick up some gems anyway:
- Enhancement should gem and Enchant for Agility first, attack power and Haste being 2nd choices if Agility is unavailable. Int gems have “brilliant” in the name, Agility gems are “Delicate.”
- Elem and Resto should gem for Int, they should also enchant for Int, then SpellPower, then Haste.
- Haste is a good stat for any Shaman.
- As of patch 5.4 all the high level enchants, including crafted ones, can be added to any weapon. Yes, you can put the top end enchants on your starting weapon or shield. Crafted enchants, such as the Inscription shoulder enchant, can also be added but you will need to have a level 85+ character to the work then ship it off to your leveling character. Enchants done by enchanters can be added directly. Unless you’re really rich (or a twink) it’s best to only use these on your heirlooms or items that you are going to keep for awhile.
Basic Gearing Up
At low level (up to 40) you will be wearing leather armor. If you enchant your gear at all try to get Stamina enchants. See the note just above about high level enchants.
At 40 you get to wear mail armor, though you might have (or find) some leather pieces with better numbers. This is fine for now, but at 50 you will want to be in all mail armor. At that point you will get a 5% bonus to your best stat (Int or Ag) by wearing mail in all of your armor slots.
Before you hit 70 do enough Battleground PvP to get around 2k Honor Points. At 70 head to the Legacy Arena Vendors and pick up your epic PvP set, even if you don’t really care for PvP (and you won’t have to do it again.) This is much better than the other gear you might find at that level.
At 77 you cat start wearing Cataclysm gear. This is far superior to non-Cata gear. You can recognize it by item level, Cata greens start at iLevel 270 or so. The regular gear for level 77 is around 170. (Example: This 272 piece Vs this 172 piece.)
If you have Heirloom gear you should know that the Cata gear will be much better until your heirlooms make the switch at level 81. Send the level 80 ‘looms to another character or your bank. Keep the level 85+ ‘looms.
at 81 put your heirlooms back on.
Keep an eye on the Auction House for Mists of Pandaria gear. You can sometimes find blue items for a level 81 which are iLevel 417. This is better than Heroic Cata raid gear, though that raid gear will have gem slots. If you have the gold you can keep yourself in nice blue gear through 90.
At 85 your heirlooms are done. Send them to alts as you get better stuff.
If you don’t want to spend the gold or keep an eye on the Auction House then that’s Ok. Your cata gear that you find through level 85 will do you fine. In the lands of Pandaria there are vendors who will sell you complete sets of green gear for very good prices. If won’t be the better gear that’s on the AH, but it will be good enough and it will be cheap. You can see some of those vendors here.
If you want to gold to get the better stuff then check out Tycoon.
All the Shaman Approved races bring something to some aspect of the end-game (raiding, pvp, etc.,) but none of them are major abilities.
- Orcs and trolls have a damage cooldown and other useful abilities.
- Goblins and Draenei have stat increases that will add to overall damage.
- Dwarves and Taurens have useful defensive abilities.
For the Horde
Goblins as Shamans? Who’d they bribe to get that deal? Do they buy their totems from GobMart?
- Blood Fury increases melee and spell damage for a short time. Stick it in a macro with your opening attacks. Test it to make sure it works right.
- Resistance to stuns (Hardiness) is nice for PvP and certain other situations. You won’t see much need for it while questing.
- Expertise with Axes and Fist weapons will save a few points at the end-game, if you use those weapons. The expertise also adds into your Spell Hit number.
- Berserk increases casting and attack speed for a few seconds, which is always useful. Stick it in a macro with your opening attacks.
- Increased Regeneration sounds nice, but it’s a very small amount and you have heals.
- Reduced Duration of Movement Impairing Effects is nice in PvP and has its uses elsewhere.
- Increased damage Vs beasts is nice for leveling and some PvE.
- Ranged weapon expertise is completely useless to you, since you don’t use ranged weapons.
- Rocket Jump is a nice way to get to the fight or to escape from it.
- Vendor discounts will make living cheaper.
- Haste (1% increase) is a nice little DPS increase in all cases.
- Potion Healing increase from alchemy is nice for those situations where it’s easier to click your action bar (and the potion placed there) than to cast a spell.
For the Alliance
These two can be Shamans and Humans can’t? Sheesh.
- Dwarf – The Dwarves have been corrupted/enhanced by new tribes, some with a Shamanistic tradition. Naturally their totems should be kegs, unfortunately they aren’t.
- Stone Form washes away bleeds and such, for a few seconds, as well as reducing damage by 10%.
- Increased Expertise with Maces save a few points when trying to maximize your end-game efficiency, if a mace is the best weapon.
- Expertise with ranged weapons is useless to you.
Pandarens can become Shamans. They can pick Horde or Alliance at character creation.
- Pandarens have a melee range stun. This puts your enemy to sleep for a brief time and breaks combat.
- They get better Rest XP (Inner Peace.)
- Better buffs from food. That Ag/Int food you just ate will give you twice the buff that others get.
- Less falling damage, which is rather nice.
- They’re good with Cooking.
If your other characters are rich then go ahead and level a crafting profession. If you’re poor then you might want to stick with the gathering professions for awhile. You can earn gold, lots of gold, with the crafting professions, but it takes some work and you need to keep an eye on the Auction House. Tycoon will be a help with that.
All three gathering skills are good money makers. You get to pick two. I suggest Skinning (for the added Crit rating) and Herbalism (for the added Haste cooldown.)
- First Aid – You have heals, so why bother? Still, it’s something to do with all that extra cloth you’ll be finding.
- Cooking – You can create your own buffing foods. Cooking mats are often, not always, dirt cheap. At max level cooking you will be able to feed your entire group.
- Archeology – You can find BoEs, mounts, very nice weapons, and even some BoA (Bind on Account) items.
- Fishing – Kick back and goof off after a few dozen quests, dungeons, or battlegrounds.
- Mining – Breaking ore out of rock nodes builds big muscles, so your Stam increases to a max of +480.
- Herbalism – Pick flowers and gain a self heal (yawn) and a haste effect (nice, it’s 2880 Haste for 20 seconds with a 2 min cooldown at 90.)
- Skinning – With the bazillions of critters in WoW it’s easy to gather many stacks of skins. Might as well take advantage. This also increases your crit rating by 480 points in M of P.
Ok, so you have enough gold:
All of the crafting professions are good for about 320 Stat points through their self-only enchants or items. Depending on your spec that will be either Int or Agility. Blacksmithing might be the best profession with its two extra gems slots if you have to squeeze our every last bit of min/mix. You might find the price of those gems to be a bit steep, though… Engineering has a very nice Ag/Int nice cooldown (Synapse Springs) and a lot of fun toys.
Note that you have to have a skill of over 400 (and appropriate character level) to access the perks and over 500 to 550 for the better perks. The better perks are what you see below. You don’t have to be 90 to get the perks, just have the skill.
- Leatherworking – Bracer enchant adds 500 to you best stat, which is much nicer than the next best enchant. You’ll be able to make your own mail armor, including PvP gear at high levels.
- Alchemy – get more stats and duration from your own buffing potions. Also get better effect from your other potions. Figure 30% more in stats and an extra hour from elixirs and flasks.
- Enchanting – Add a 160 Int/Ag enchant to each of your rings,
- Engineering – Besides various nifty gadgets, the Synapse Springs widget adds 1940 to your best stat for 10 seconds, which is awesome for burst.
- Inscription – You get some nice shoulder enchants: and they’re good for 520 Int/Ag in M of P. Inscription provides all of the shoulder enchants, the other rep or vendor enchants are gone.
- Jewelcrafting – You can create two gems that add 320 points each to your favorite stat, rather then the usual 160. This gives you 320 total bonus points to that stat.
- Tailoring – Cloak enchants can add occasionally add a lot of either Int or AP
- Blacksmithing – Can add an extra gem socket to gloves and bracers. Drop the appropriate gem into those sockets. Note that gems in Mists of Pandaria have twice the value for secondary stats than primary stats (eg: 320 Haste Vs 160 Ag/Int.) This makes Blacksmithing more flexible than the other professions.
Shaman Leveling Notes
Note on leveling: Regardless of whether you’re questing, dungeoning, or PvPing you will be far more effective if you use macros and keybindings. Macros are just sets of commands that can all be activated at the same time with one keypress. See our Macro page if you need help with macros.
Keybinds are just where you assign an action to a key. You can google or Youtube wow keybindings and find some good stuff. You can also grab this nifty addon which will do them all for you.
It used to be that going level 1 to 60 in 6 days in-game time was pretty fast. These days? Dugi’s + heirlooms + questing + Recruit a Friend + charging as hard as you’re able can get you to 85 in under three days (in-game time.) Our RaF pair has gone 1-80 in 17 in-game hours, doing just that.
Nowadays we have three (or four) ways of gathering our XP. All are fast.
- Questing and or Grinding – low stress and you’ll level fast enough. The in-game quest helper is fine, but Dugi’s is much better. Questing is, overall, about as fast as dungeon or PvP leveling.
- Dungeoning – via the Dungeon Finder tool: DPS classes are a dime a dozen so the wait times to get into the dungeons can be a few minutes, but this can result in fast XP and better gear than you’ll get from questing. Just go questing while you’re waiting for the dungeon queue. Dungeon leveling isn’t much faster than questing (mostly due to the sometimes long wait times for a group,) but it’s different and you get the nicer gear. If you go Resto, and are a halfway decent healer, then your queues will be shorter and XP gain faster.
- PvP leveling – Battleground weekends can result in seriously fast XP if your side wins. Since winning doesn’t seem to be a priority these days, for either faction, it might be best to do this with a well-oiled team. Even if it’s not the BG weekend, wins still result in very nice XP gains. XP while losing is about the same as questing XP and is more frustrating (to me, anyway.)
- Healing – Bind your best heals to a key. Keep food in your bags for when you just want to sit and admire the scenery. Buffing foods can add Int and Stam and other stats.
- Always have the biggest bags you can afford
- Make an Auction House alt and send anything (that isn’t grey) to the alt instead of vendoring it. Vendor the grey junk.
- Questing is faster than grinding, except at the very lowest levels, but you do have to have a plan for your questing. Get a guide (see below) or study the in-game quest help thing and organize your quests to hit several at one time in the same place.
- Keep your weapons updated; the rest of your gear can fall behind a bit (unless you’re serious about dungeons or PvP.)
- Killing mobs of a bit lower level gives less XP per mob, but a lot less downtime, for a net XP per hour increase.
- Always log out at an Inn, to get the Rest XP when you come back.
- Level with a new friend for 3x XP. I hit level 42 in 12 hours played this way. People who are actually trying hard will go faster. I’ve seen people hit 85 in under three days with RAF, Heirlooms, and Dugi’s guide.
- Dungeons (instances) are a great source of XP (especially if you get the associated quests ) and much better gear than you’ll find while soloing. Depending on the teams you join they may also be a great source of irritation or fun. See our dungeon leveling guide for more info and “how not to fail” tips. For example:
- Only attack what the tank is attacking.
- Stay out of any goop on the floor unless your guys are creating it (such as healing circles.)
- Stay behind the opponent at all times.
- If you get aggro then either kill the mob or drag it to the tank.
More Dungeon Leveling Tips:
OK, you’re in a dungeon and you’re healing/blasting/hacking stuff. Here are some pointers.
- When you are moving always be doing something, never do nothing on a boss fight. Use Earth Shock while moving, re-apply Searing Totem so you don’t have to do it later, or use Unleash Elements.
- Do not keyboard turn! Bind the A and D keys to strafe left and right. Turn with your mouse. This not only makes you much more effective as a player, but allows you to use Spiritwalker’s Grace much better.
- Key bind all of the abilities you use in a boss fight. If you bind these keys as you level (and learn the new abilities) then you will learn to use them more effectively.
- Get the Glyph of Thunderstorm or don’t use that ability on mobs the tank is tanking, it is very annoying to tank when a shaman keeps knocking away all the mobs that the tank is trying to position. It may result in getting you kicked from the team. (In PvP though, knocking people around or off cliffs is just peachy.)
- Be able to carry out your rotation and pay attention to what is going on around you. if you cannot do this, get more addons (see addon section) and practice more. If you level in the dungeons this will become second nature.
- Use your interrupt. You have one of the best in the game, you should use it.
- Use Purge when you should. There are a lot of trash mobs that get some kind of magic buff which makes them hit extremely hard. You should purge this to prevent a wipe and save your repair bill.
Even more General Dungeon Tips
- Let the tank lead & pull (attract the enemy,) unless he states that someone else should pull.
- Do not use Knockback effects on anything the tank is fighting.
- Stay out of any goop on the floor unless your guys are creating it (such as healing circles.)
- Stay behind the opponent at all times.
- If you get aggro then either kill the mob or drag it to the tank.
- Groups tend to move very quickly through the dungeons. Kill, move, kill, move… Be quick with your looting and try to keep up. Guild groups are generally much more forgiving.
- Questgivers are located just inside the entrance to the dungeons. Grab all of the available quests and hand ‘em in when done. Sometimes the questgivers will come to you when the final boss is down. Other times you will need to get back to the entrance. An easy way to do this is to exit the dungeon (using the icon on your mini-map, right click it and teleport out) and then teleport right back in. You’ll be at the entrance.
The (Really) Fast Shaman Leveling Guide
The best way to get to level to the level cap fast is to do it with a pre-written, automated, in-game leveling guide. WoW has thousands of quests and a few million mobs to grind and it’s easy to get lost (in terms of what to do or where to go next ) or just bored. A full-blown guide will make your blast to the top much smoother.
Dugi’s Guide is what you want: constantly showing you where to go and what to do, without ever having to leave the game to look something up:
Assuming you stay focused on leveling (as opposed to shopping, PvP sessions, and RPing) you should be able to hit 85, 90, or whatever (from 1) in well under 10 days (in game time,) and maybe even less. If you’re brand new or have full heirlooms and Recruit a Friend you’ll find yourself leveling even faster with Dugi’s.
Dugi’s is always quickly updated for new patches and expansions (such as Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor) and so will never be obsolete. You can snag your copy of Dugi’s Guide here and cruise through the levels.