Updating for Mists of Pandaria today
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.)
Shaman leveling speeds lie at the comfortable cross-roads between ‘I think I’ll cut my wrists now . . ’ and ’hit max level in a couple of days.’ At one end of the spectrum, the ‘cut’ end to be particular, we get holy priests, pre 4.0 protection warriors, and the pre 4.0 protection paladin – at the other end we have the candidates for ‘gods of leveling’: rogues, death knights, retribution paladins, and hunters, all of whom have it entirely too easy in general.
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.
In short, 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 …
Shamen Leveling Guide
Other Shaman Guides
|This page is simply intended to provide a general overview of leveling the Shaman class. For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on the Shamam, including PvP, Raiding, talents, leveling, and gold making, check out this Killer Guides’ Shaman guide.|
Builds: What do you want to do, today?
- Enhancement for the “In Your Face” experience.
- Elemental for the “Nuke from Range” experience.
- Restoration only if you want to stick with the dungeon 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 will be able to become Shamen.
Skip all crafting professions while leveling unless you have a nice pile of gold. If you do get a craft, then Leatherworking and Blacksmithing can make mail armor. With Inscription you can make all of your glyphs.
- Herbalism, mining, and skinning. Pick any two.
- 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.
- Elem & Resto: Weapons with Int, Spirit, and Spellpower are nice.
Gems and Enchants:
- If you have gem sockets, and want to bother while leveling, then gem for:
- Resto & Elem: Int. Only Int.
- Enhancement: Agility.
- If you have a meta socket, then:
- A lot of useful enchants (not the big ones, of course) 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.
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:
For the Horde
Goblins as Shamen? 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.
- Resistance to stuns is nice for PvP and certain other situations
- Experise with Axes and Fist weapons will save a few points at the end-game, if you use those weapons.
- War Stomp is nice to have for the melee shaman. It’s not quite so useful for bolt lobbers, but can helps with escaping.
- Increased Health is always nice to have, but seems largely missing at high level.
- 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.
- 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 Shamen 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, but 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.
- Draenei – Um, well, er…
- 1% increased chance to hit is rather nice for any spec of Shaman.
- The heal is nice, but redundant for you.
Pandarens will be allowed to become Shamen. They can pick Horde or Alliance at character creation.
- Pandarens have a melee range stun
- They get longer lasting rest XP (as from logging out at an Inn.)
- Better buffs from food
- Less falling damage
- 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 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 and Herbalism.
- First Aid – You have heals, so why bother? Every once in awhile it’s useful.
- Cooking – You can create your own buffing foods. Cooking mats are often, not always, dirt cheap.
- 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 120 in Cata and 480 in M of P.
- Herbalism – Pick flowers and gain a self heal (yawn) and a haste effect (nice, it’s 240 Haste rating in Cata and 480 in M of P.)
- 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 80 points in Cata and 320 in M of P.
Ok, so you have enough gold:
All of the crafting professions are good for about 80 Stat points through their self-only enchants or items, and a lot more in Mists of Pandaria. Depending on your spec that will be either Int or Agility. With the new Epic gems (from 4.3) you get +50 to your best stat, which might make Blacksmithing the best profession (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… The situation in Mists of Pandaria will be similar.
- Leatherworking – Bracer enchant adds 130 to your best stat, 500 in M of P, 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.
- Enchanting – Add a 40 Int/Ag enchant to each of your rings, 160 each in M of P.
- Engineering – Besides various nifty gadgets, the Synapse Springs widget adds 480 (2940 in M of P) to your best stat for 10 seconds, which is awesome for burst.
- Inscription – You get some nice shoulder enchants: one adds 130 Ag, the other 130 Int, and they’re good for 520 in M of P.
- Jewelcrafting – You can create three gems that add 67 points each to your favorite stat, rather then the usual 40. This gives you 81 total bonus 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.
Elemental Talents for the Leveling Shaman
You pick your specialization (spec) at level 10 and then you are locked into that spec until after level 69, when you have spent 31 talent points. Once that happens you can buy talents from the other trees. You don’t get talents at every level and at 85 you will have a total of 41 talent points. You also get special abilities, once you pick your specialization, that are unique to your build. (All of this will change with Mists of Pandaria.)
Each of the class specs has unique abilities, gained at level 10.
- Thunderstorm: This does damage, knocks your opponents back, is instant, and can be used while stunned. What’s not to like? Ok, if you’re dungeoning, chances are your tank hates the knockback. It has definite PvP/ganking utility, though…
- Elemental Fury: increases the crit damage bonus of your Searing and Magma totems as well as that of your fire, frost, and nature spells.
- Shamanism: Your Lightening Bolt, Lava Burst, and Chain Lightning gain a reduced casting time and an additional benefit from your Spellpower
- Mastery: Elemental Overload – A chance for your Lightning bolt, Chain Lightneing, or Lava Burst to cast a similar spell on the target at reduced power with no threat and no additional cost. Stacking Mastery Rating improves the chance of this happening.
Elemental Leveling Spec for Cataclysm
This build is intended to get to Earthquake ASAP and will come back for other elemental talents after that point. Below is the order in which to take the talents, feel free to change it, and you can view the completed buiild here.
This is a DPS build which is a good leveling build, as well. Consider moving a couple of points around if you’re PvPing. Earth’s Grasp might be a good choice, for example.
- If you find yourself healing a lot, especially at 70+, you might want to look into Spark of Life and Tidal Focus from the Resto tree. You’ll have to clip some points from somewhere to get them.
- If you PvP then Earth’s Grasp, taken above, is more use than Totemic Wrath. If you dungeon a lot then the reverse is true.
Get Leveled Faster
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 things into bits, face to face.
Your level 10 abilities are:
- Lava Lash – Charge your off-hand with Lava to do more damage
- Mental Quickness – Your AttackPower Increases your Spellpower and reduces the mana cast of various spells
- Dual Wield – Also increases your chance to hit by 6%, which is very nice.
- Primal Wisdom – Your melee attacks have a chance to restore some mana.
- Mastery: Enhanced Elements – increases your elemental damage.
Cataclysm Enhancement Shaman Leveling Build
This build is intended to get you into Spirit Wolves as quickly as possible. It also assumes that you do at least some grouping (eg: dungeons, PvP.)
Restoration Shaman leveling
Yes, you can level as Restoration. Questing will be slow, though, given that you won’t be able to mow down the opposition as fast as the other two specs. But, as you probably know, good healers are in great demand for any sort of team.
Dungeoning – Queue for the random dungeons and you will level as quickly as anyone. If the queues are long then you can do quests while you wait.
The advantage to being in the dungeons, besides gear and fast XP, is that you learn the healing trade really well and will be far more ready for raiding/PvP than otherwise. You can also try out the various healer addons/mods and have everything thoroughly dialed in by the time you get to the level cap and end-game heroics/raids/PvP.
PvP – Stick to a damage dealer or two and keep them alive while they kill everything. The battlegrounds can make for very quick XP gain if your teams win. Help them win. Healers are always in demand in PvP.
Questing – Grab a buddy to do the quests. She kills everything and you keep her healthy. Get a guildie to team with your for the quests and join guild teams for the dungeons. Among other things, the people in the guild will get to know you (is that a good thing?) and might be more likely to invite you along for events.
A level 6+ guild also 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.
Your level 10 Restoration Spec abilities are:
- Earth Shield – Protects the shielded target
- Purification – All heals are improved and your Healing Wave spells cast a bit faster
- Meditation – Some mana regen continues while in combat
- Mastery: Deep Healing – Increases the powere of your heals.
Cataclysm Restoration Shaman Levelling Build
Get Leveled Faster
Get Yours Here
Gear, Stats, Etc.
Don’t worry about stacking the secondary stat 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 these, then Hit , Crit, and Haste are good stats for all specs. If you’re only healing then you don’t need the hit.
Stats for the Elemental/Resto Shaman:
- Hit/Spirit: Your Elemental Precision (EP) talent gives you Hit Rating equal to the Spirit you have from gear and effects. You can’t do damage to what you can’t hit. If you’re only healing then you don’t need any Hit rating. If you’re running out of mana all the time then try to get more Spirit. If you generally have enough mane then get something else instead.
- Intelligence increases Spellpower as well as Mana pool, so is very important.
- 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.
- Stamina: You need enough to stay alive and I recommend stacking only Stam at low levels. Go for Spirit and Int when you aren’t in danger of dying every fight.
- Strength is of no use
- Agility is of no use to you.
- Stamina: is your health. At low level a few points of Stam will count for a lot more than a few points of any other stat. At mid to high level just start stacking lots of Agility.
- Agility: Increases Attack Power with melee weapons, increases your critical strike rating, and increases your dodge. This is the #1 stat to look for after you have enough Stam to survive.
- 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.
- Intelligence: Since you do use spells, and have a mana pool, this is a decent stat, but Agility is your #1 and is much more important, since you’re hacking all your opponents to bits, right?
- Spirit is of less important since you have no talents that make use of it.
- Spell Power: If you’re lobbing bolts all the time then this is a good stat to get, otherwise most of what you will be doing is hacking things to bits so you won’t need it too much.
- 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 and therefore is quite handy to have going 24/7.
- Dual Wield: Once you have this try to get the slowest, hardest hitting weapons you can find. Look for high DPS first, then you most important stats next.
- Resilience is an all important stat in high level PvP.
- Stamina is a lot more important for PvP than PvE.
- Here is the Shaman PvP gear list, for all PvP gear from level 18.
Enchants & Gems: Chasing down the best gems or enchants is of little use while leveling, since 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 them up:
- Enhancement should gem and Enchant for Agility first, attack power and crit being 2nd choices if Agility is unavailable.
- El and Resto should gem for Int, they should also enchant for Int, then SpellPower, then Crit.
- Haste is a good stat for any Shaman.
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, whether it is using earth shock while moving, re applying 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 raider, but allows you to use Spiritwalker’s Grace much better.
- Key bind all of your abilities you use on 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.
- 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 then this will become second nature.
- Use your interrupt, you have one of the best in the game, you should use it, with healing being harder if you interrupt you are saving the healer’s mana
- Use purge when you should, there are a lot of trash mobs that get a magic buff, and it makes them hit extremely hard, you should purge this to prevent a wipe and save your repair bill, as well as to help out the healer (unless a mage wants to spell steal.)
Note on leveling: Nowadays we have three (or four) ways of gathering our XP. All are fast.
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 can 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.
- 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 for Rogues.
- 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 questiing while you’re waiting for the dungeon queue. Dungeron 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.
- 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.
- Killing mobs of a bit lower level gives less XP 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.
Shaman Leveling Guide for FAST Leveling
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, 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 so will never be obsolete. You can snag your copy of Dugi’s Guide here and cruise through the levels.