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Resto Shaman Stat Guide Feedback

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So I've read your guide here about Resto Shaman stat priority and I feel that it's got some good and some bad points. The guide needs updating/extending with some points (one of which is glaring!), but some sections are really excellent.

Good points

The Soft Haste Caps section is very good indeed. It's the most readable comprehensive list I've seen around, so that's excellent.

Intellect - This is a good little summary; it's important to emphasize that Intellect is more important than any other stat and that's done well here.

Bad Points

Haste Explanation - You need to point out that Haste is a mana negative stat - stacking more of it effectively decreases your mana longevity. This is very important on long fights. This is important to contrast to the other secondary stats - they are all either mana neutral (Mastery) or mana positive (Crit, Spirit).

Stat Weighting Values - You should point out that all of the secondary stats are pretty much the same in terms of value - the stat that you choose to stack is dependent on several factors, including your playstyle. Elitist Jerks goes so far as to assign them completely arbitrary (equal) stat weights - your guide needs to reflect this!

Critical Strike - For a "comprehensive" guide, this section is way too short. I've already pointed out that Crit is considered equal with the other seondary stats in terms of stat weightings, and that's for a good reason. Crit's interactions with Mastery and Haste are complicated, and you absolutely need to give some impression of this in the guide. For example; One point of Crit is worth less in terms of throughput than one of Haste, but Haste also decreases your HPM to the point that you have to stack more Spirit to compensate. That means that when considering both mana and throughput, 1 Crit is worth approximately (iirc) 1 Haste and 1 Spirit point [source is the Life in Group Five post on Mastery's value mid-Cata].

Crit also has an interaction with Mastery - see the same Life in Group Five source - when your raid is at higher average health (in Normals or farm runs), Crit's value shoots up above Mastery.

I'm happy to continue a discussion with anyone about this.

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Hi Stoove

I believe this is the post you are referring to in the section about crit?

Life in Group 5: Gearing, Gemming and Enchanting

The explanation of the stats are found here: Life in Group 5: Stats but the previous link explains the stat priorities.

From what I can see these have been last updated during 4.0.6 so the stat priorities with better gear might be slightly off.

I understand your points in this, as a healer myself I know quite a bit about the stat weighting and priorities. That said I also think that stat priorities for healers are very personal, some people like slower, bigger heals (no haste lots of master/crit), others like faster and smaller heals (haste/mastery). However, I do not fully agree on your critical hit rating standpoint. (Just want to add quickly that I'm a priest healer main with ever other healer as an alt)

In the current situation, where gear is really good, with huge amounts of spell power and intellect (I believe I'm at about 14k SP?), critical hit rating loses a bit more value than it used to. With the high amounts of intellect, crit already gets a nice boost (I have 2 items with crit, reforged into haste/mastery and still get 25% crit in raids) and putting it even higher on the priority list to me seems a bit over the top. I personally think that crit is only usefull in a number of encounters (mostly Spine, Ultraxion and Zon'ozz), where getting critical heals is really good, in the other encounters it is very situational (e.g. on hagara it is only usefull during lightning phase) because it often becomes a lot of overhealing, where haste/mastery would have been a better choice.

Now I do understand that shamans have some really useful critical hit bonuses through ancestral awakening and ancestral fortitude, but once again these are quite situational. As for the ancestral awakening, for as far as I know this only procs on direct heals and not on healing rain or chain healing... which are your biggest heals in a raid environment, single target direct healing isn't used an awful lot so this is put a bit on the back foot.

As for the relation to mastery: I think stacking mastery is better since it ALWAYS increases your healing output, whenever you need it, as opposed to the random critting. stacking both makes your crits really good, but this once again makes the overhealing that much larger as well.

But enough about crit and mastery, I wonder what you think about my ideas on haste and spirit.

As for haste: I totally get your point, I have tried many stat priorities with many different reforges, and found myself going out of mana really fast when I was stacking haste. But once again, with this really good gear, I would rather label haste as mana-neutral as opposed to mana-negative. Why? Because with such good gear our lightning bolt hits for a lot more than it used to in 4.0.X and being able to cast these faster makes you regain more mana during downtime.

On the spirit point: personally I really like to stack this on my shammy, because Mana Tide Totem makes it so good, not only for myself (which most healers mana cooldown are personal: innervate, divine plea, shadowfiend), but also for the entire raid since all the healers get this buff. A buff that grows better really fast with spirit and is especially effective in a 25-man raid. Ofcourse that is just my opinion, personally I don't mind losing some HPS if that means that the other 4-5 healers can get their HPS up by a lot more than I lose (e.g. if i lose 3k, they gain 3k each), but that is just how I like to play.

What are your thoughts on this? I would really like to heal your opinion on it because my ideas could be off as well.

Happy to start a discussion.

Kind Regards


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So for the LiG5 reference I gave I actually meant this post, which is Vixsin's seminal work on Mastery just before T12 came out (and it's valid for T12 onwards, I believe).

The reference to haste vs crit is in the "But What About Haste?" section (second to final).

I think that the Stats section of LiG5 hasn't been updated since right at the start of Cata (4.0.6 like you said) - which was before the above linked article! So that's why I think we're misunderstanding each other there.

An example extract w.r.t. Haste/Crit is:

"1.87 crit = 1 haste + 1.1 spirit for chain heal (12% more effective to stack crit than haste+spirit)"

So you can see where I'm coming from on Crit/Haste. Actually, in response to your comment about Haste and Telluric Currents ("being able to cast these faster makes you regain more mana during downtime") I think you should re-evaluate that. As was also pointed out by Vixsin, Haste's effect on LB's cast time is rather small - that 0.1s change isn't going to get you another cast every downtime; it gets you another cast every fight or so. That's not really a significant gain in mana regen! OTOH, it does reduce the opportunity cost of casting those LB's, which means you might feel more confident to cast them in smaller gaps (for example by following the "abc" style which was rather fun in Firelands) - that would potentially increase your regen, but only when you adapt your entire playstyle around it! So if you're going to say that Haste can be mana neutral, say that "it *can* be mana neutral" rather than "it *is*".

In T12 normal mode progression I found that on some bosses, running with maximum haste and a special spec/glyphs made it easier to top people on Raggy - this was confirmed by several people doing HM content (but it apparrently took a lot of skill to execute in Heroic mode).

Your point of Spirit is valid, and it depends on your healing team completely; raiding 10's, I often find these days that my fellow healers aren't screaming for as much mana. That means that stacking Spirit to any degree isn't really worth it for me.

Back to crit:

While Crit is (as you pointed out) random, RNG isn't something I think we should dislike quite as much as we do. For one thing, it compliments our Mastery (which I agree is more reliable) nicely. Secondly, I think that Mastery stacking alone is a little naive unless you're really pushing the limits of the raid's survival; when topping people, Crit is much more valuable (as in the linked post). Considering that Crit gives you regen too (wheras Mastery doesn't), it's usually a good idea to have a balance of stats. I actually roll for general purposes with Mastery, followed by a reasonably high amount of Crit, followed by as low Haste as I can get away with (916 ideally, ofc). I think that it's important to remember that as a healer, you don't *just* save people's lives; you top them off too, and everything inbetween. Mastery isn't so good for that on its own.

I don't think that extra Crit is needed for the bonuses: they tend to happen frequently enough anyway. The only spec bonus from Crit that we might want is Ancestral Awakening, which is folded into the Crit relative power as above.

It's also important to keep in mind that we're about to jump into a new expansion, where single target heals will be fashionable again and mana will be tight. While the secondaries aren't changing, Intellect will no longer increase our regen, so the go-to stat for simultaneous regen and throughput will be Crit! It may well become the case that we want Intellect, Mastery and Spirit OR Intellect, Crit and Mastery depending on the fight. That's just speculation though.

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As an addendum, I'd also like to agree in part with your point on Crit's overhealing - it's not that useful when it overheals. On the other hand, when you get a critical overheal, you do get an AA proc as well as regen (assuming we're talking direct healing here) so it's not worthless nearer 100% hp by any stretch of the imagination. I do agree, though, that higher gear levels makes stacking crit less appealing due to Intellect scaling and higher SP. In that case, it's worth considering that we're about to hit a new expansion again; therefore it's worth re-evaluating our attitudes now so we're ready for it!

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I see your point better now. The biggest problem is that these stat weights depend heavily on the player's current health as pointed here with the 100% crit heal bonus.

  • For single-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit is going to be around 50% HP. If the target is lower than 50% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput.
  • For multi-target healing, your approximate breakpoint where Mastery > Crit, is going to be around 70% HP. If the target is lower than 70% HP, Mastery generates greater throughput
since we can't change our stats during a match, it is good to look at this for each fight. For example, the biggest problems on zon'ozz occur when we get the purple debuff which is single target heals, so we look at the first point and decide that mastery is about the same as crit.

The problems on ultraxion grow towards the end and , so we look at the second point and see that mastery is slightly better. This way, whenever we have a problem, we can look at what's causing the problems and quickly reforge our stats to adjust appropriately.

I think some good stats would look like this:

haste between 916 and 1000

25-30% crit

and ~18-22 mastery

you can lower the latter 2 a little bit and get haste to 2005, which is the breakpoint for another RT tick, but in a 25-man raid this seems less necessary than in a 10-man raid.

These stats do of course depend on your current gear and might be lower, but the main goal is to get your stats divided evenly between crit and mastery.

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Yes, I think we're agreed on Crit and Mastery now! :)

As for changing stat priority - fights are certainly one factor. I found that stacking too much Mastery on Ultraxion actually lead to me losing HPS on the fight, though. This was because my main role was to keep everyone topped during the early-mid stages so our Paladin could slack off and wait for Blue - I was much better off with a balance than simply stacking any one thing. That's a special case, though!

I think that what it really comes down to is that you have to attain a detailed knowledge of each secondary stat, and then evaluate which you want most for your healing environment, raid size, fight, role, raid skill, difficulty, etc. That's something that I think the stat guide is missing currently, and which I think needs fixing.

It might be that all healer stat guides need a look at, but since I play only one character (my Resto Shammy) I'm not really qualified to comment on them.

Nice discussion,


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Thank you for the detailed feedback! I've been really busy today with my preview of Jade Forest and haven't had the time to come up with a suitable reply yet. I'll do it tomorrow :)

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Ready for a longer reply now. It is going to look as if I am avoiding the discussion on stats, but the point I am going to develop here is why I think it is detrimental to our guides if we go too much in depth regarding the stats.

First of all, our class guides are aimed at players who attempt content that they find hard. In most cases, it means heroic raiding, but it also applies to someone getting started on the class and doing heroic dungeons or normal modes. Therefore, when we write healing guides, we make the assumptions that raid members will very often be low on health, and not that people are on farm mode and no one ever goes below 80%. Heroic Nefarian can probably be healed by spamming Healing Wave in full T13 heroic, this does not mean we should make a mention of it in the guides :P

Second, our stats priority is meant to reflect what we stated in the previous paragraph. In the case of Restoration Shamans, the best stats during progression are Haste Rating and Mastery Rating because 1) Haste Rating provides accuracy (which is essential to a healer) and 2) Mastery Rating grants increased throughput on low health targets, which is what you should be casting healing spells on during progression. I have yet to see a Restoration Shaman that stacks Critical Strike Rating under normal circumstances.

Third, you said that a comprehensive guide should include discussions about all the possible stat priorities. I disagree. Our guides are comprehensive because they give the necessary amount of information to perform excellently with a given combination of class/spec. If we decide to skip the explanations on Critical Strike Rating because we believe it to be useless during progression, it does not make our readers less capable of playing their Restoration Shaman.

Fourth, we need to keep the explanations simple, so that they can be understood rapidly by almost everyone. The matter at hand in this thread is rather complex. I don't know if you realize, but it requires quite a bit of thinking to go through everyone's arguments and analyze them. Imagine that amount of work it would require us to put everything in a more digest form and update the guide, especially when we believe that only a handful people are interested in these aspects.

For all these reasons, we opted for keeping our guides as simple as possible, all the while providing all the information we deemed relevant to progression raiding. Of course, we cannot possibly cover everything and this is why we added these forums. I can't thank you enough for tackling this complex issue here. All your points are valid, but it does not mean that we should make a drastic update to the guide, other than mentioning that Critical Strike Rating should go over Mastery Rating for "easy" content.

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Good response Damien, and I've got a lot of words in reply buzzing around my head. This might take me a while to work through. Overall, though, your strategy is perfectly understandable. However, I think that a guide that claims to be comprehensive must at least recognize that there is some subtlety there, rather than just presenting a single build and neglecting to mention that there are other ways of doing it. I think that this is important, because for people looking for a good guide for improvements, you could potentially confuse them. Claiming to be comprehensive and then failing to recognize in the text that there are subtleties is a little contradictory, in my opinion.

I'm not saying that this thread needs a chapter or anything, but a sentence or two to recognize that Haste can give you a disadvantage in progression and that Crit is not necessarily the worst stat would be a massive improvement.

I do have other points, but those will have to wait until after the work trip to the pub.

I much appreciate the effort you go to in the name of making the guides good!


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We added the mention in the guide, regarding Critical Strike Rating. Please tell us what you think :)

Regarding Haste, we have a different opinion than you, but Vlad will elaborate on this.

Also, everything is going to change with Mists of Pandaria, so we decided to skip some sensitive matters in the last class guides we released and focus on testing the new expansion (better invest our time in content that will soon be current rather than on content that will soon be obsolete).

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Haste Explanation - You need to point out that Haste is a mana negative stat - stacking more of it effectively decreases your mana longevity. This is very important on long fights. This is important to contrast to the other secondary stats - they are all either mana neutral (Mastery) or mana positive (Crit, Spirit).

In regards to Haste being a "mana negative" stat and Crit being "mana positive stat", I think it's a rather narrow way to look at things. I'm speaking from a general healing perspective here, not specifically Restoration Shamans.

Haste Rating is only "mana negative" if you think of the fact that "you get to cast x extra heals during the fight, consuming y mana". But that's not all Haste does. Haste allows you to heal surgically. It helps ensure that the heal you are casting will land in time. Not just in time to make someone else overheal instead of you, but in time to save a life. In my raiding experience, I've witnessed a lot of cases where a player died because a heal was 0.1 seconds away from being done.

Likewise, Critical Strike Rating is only "mana positive" if the crits don't overheal. Over the course of a fight (or a large sample of fights), naturally, stacking Critical Strike Rating will show an increase in HPS. But the problem is that this increase is uncontrollable in any way. You can have 10 non crits in a row and 5 crits that all overheal. And while you're at this, all these spells are slower because you aren't stacking Haste.

Personally, I never encountered high progression healers stacking Critical Strike Rating, for the reasons that I mentioned above. Stacking Mastery can work well for certain specs (Disc Priests for certain types of raid damage, Holy Priests).

Spirit is absolutely a "mana positive" stat, but in general we aren't suggesting that you reforge out of Spirit to get Haste (including in the stats page of Resto Shamans).

Favouring Haste for healers is a general philosphy we have at Icy Veins, but you will have noticed from the stats priorities in other healing guides (Resto Druid, Discipline Priest) that we have no problem adivising a different priority if it is actually better (such as if the other secondary stats offer some excellent benefits).

Having said all this, don't think that we aren't grateful for your contributions (and for you arguing your point). No good content will ever come out of just one side silencing the others.

As Damien said, Cataclysm and many of its mechanics is coming to a close very soon; so soon, in fact, that it seems rather a waste of time to iron out strategies for it now.

You have a very good grasp of Restoration Shamans, it seems to us, so perhaps you could help give us your input on what is coming with Mists of Pandaria?

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With regards to Haste as a healer stat in general, I agree that I'm taking a narrow-minded view of it. Then again, this is my feedback for Shaman specifically, rather than healers in general. The same goes for Crit as a mana-positive stat. In the case of Shaman, it is actually mana positive no matter whether it overheals or not (Improved Water Shield).

I also think that it's a little narrow-minded to consider only what healers will want to stack (i.e. give them one priority to take to the exclusion of all else) - this is silly. We all know that progression requires a lot more than just black and white "Fight X needs just stat Y" - the very reason healing is so exciting is that it brings up unexpected circumstances. Hence, I believe it's naive to just talk about "what stat to stack" when as a healer, it's incredibly important to have some of your stats distributed elsewhere. An instance might be this; topping people after a Magma Trap on Ragnaros - general healthbars are somewhere around 50% (very approximately), and at this point Crit is as good as if not better than Mastery (see Vixsin's analysis, the link to which I posted earlier). It is true that later in the fight, you will want more Mastery - but it's no use if you can't get the hps on the first phase, so the sensible thing to do is put a little more Crit on your gear than you would when just stacking Mastery - this way, you optimize for the fight.

I agree that a general guide talks in generalities and so talking about stacking is the easiest (perhaps best) thing to do - but any good guide recognizes when there are subtleties to a mechanic - I think that's the main problem I'm having with the guide, is all.

I do agree that Haste is beneficial for reaction times - that 0.1s can indeed change the course of a fight. What I don't agree with is the statement that Haste greatly increases your Telluric Currents regen - this is not necessarily true. Indeed, it will range greatly between fights, groups, setups, skill levels, and so on.

I do agree that Crit is RNG, but I think that RNG isn't something that should be completely unattractive to us. Yes, it has the potential to not fire when needed but every stat has a disadvantage, and the analysis has shown that Crit can be good as (see Vixsin's analysis) or better than other stats that have different disadvantages. As I've stated, I don't think that healers should simply stack one stat and expect that to be optimal - this applies to my view of Crit as well. Crit is (in my opinion) best used to compliment Mastery or Haste.

After all that, though; I do agree that it's a little bit of a waste of effort arguing over Cataclysm mechanics at the moment. I do have some thoughts about Mists of Pandaria healing - specifically, stat weights. I'll post them here or in another thread if you prefer.

Thanks again for the constructive discussion,


PS: Thanks for the update to the guide. It's good to see the change, and I'm happy with it even if it's not exactly how I'd write it (but then, it was never going to be!) All in all - good, thanks! Posted Image

Edit: SPG

Edited by Stoove

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I do agree that Haste is beneficial for reaction times - that 0.1s can indeed change the course of a fight. What I don't agree with is the statement that Haste greatly increases your Telluric Currents regen - this is not necessarily true. Indeed, it will range greatly between fights, groups, setups, skill levels, and so on.

Note that this was a comment from Madmonk and it isn't in the guide :P

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Sure, but I wanted to make it clear that Haste has it's limitations too. It's not a one-stat solution to everything :)

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We will split the Class Discussion section into class-specific sub-sections, soon. If you were willing to start and/or (preferably and) maintain a thread in the Shaman section about this topic in Mists of Pandaria, that would be awesome.

In regards to your post, I agree with most of it, of course. And again, I was speaking in general terms because I'm really out of my league when it comes to Restoration Shamans (that's all Damien's section). The only thing I take some objection to (but we'll agree to disagree for now, until we see what it's all really like in Mists of Pandaria raids) is tolerating the RNG nature of Crit.

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I think Vlad meant "Class Discussion" section.

You're right. I edited it.

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Yeah, I understand that the RNG nature of Crit is controversial so I'm happy to agree to disagree for now. I'll be really getting going on hardmodes soon and I might give Crit stacking a try just to see what happens! ^_^

I'd certainly be interested in maintaining the thread, I'm new to it though so some pointers (via DM if possible) would be nice.



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Just to re-open the discussion about Crit, I wanted to respond to the statement that;

I have yet to see a Restoration Shaman that stacks Critical Strike Rating under normal circumstances.

At the time it was written, I didn't think I had the experience to comment on Crit's efficacy on Hardmode progression. My new guild recently moved up to Spine Heroic progression and I wanted to talk about my experience with the World's Hardest Fight ™. Spine really requires a peculiar combination of throughput and longevity (even with three healers) so we have been trying everything we can to push harder with less mana.

One thing that both myself and my raid leader (also a Resto Shaman) found was that reforging for the priority Mastery > Crit > Spirit (min 2800) > Haste (min 916) worked extremely well in comparison to taking the "superior" Haste. I think that this is because in Spine we're dealing with a situation where it's extremely hard to overheal (due to the Searing Plasma) and at the same time we're not seeing people's health dip as low as on (for eg) Blackhorn or Ultraxion progression. This means that Mastery is less effective than normal, and Crit becomes really excellent.

I think that this constitutes a relevant example of Crit's usefulness to progression raiding, despite its drawbacks.

I don't think that the discussion on Crit necessarily needs more discussion here, but when I make the MoP Resto Shaman topic later I will certainly put it as one of the issues to be addressed.

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      What does this mean?: The race focusing on dealing threat instead of anything else. Generally, threat is not an issue, if you glaringly foresee having threat issues, than I unquestionably advocate for troll above all other races. Their "Regeneration" racial is insignificant even with a lot of spirit. Troll will especially deal a lot of threat on "Beast" bosses, ex: Magmadar in MC, Whirlaxis and Gahz'ranka in ZG, etc... Orc
      Axe Specialization             Blood Fury             Hardiness            Command
      What does this mean?: Orc sadly fall short in survival & threat aspects. Akin to the troll, orc's focal point is threat. However, they're seen as a more riskier race option considering the -50% to healing from Blood Fury, which is a negative to non-attentive healers. In all honesty, in our strict testing, they surpass other races for dealing threat on short fights but it made the majority of healers very nervous. On the bright side, they proved more effective in the off-tank position. In conclusion, they plunge too deep into the situational category to be justified. Professions
      While leveling, select Herbalism & Alchemy. Herbalism provides reagents for Alchemy and a source of gold for our eventual endgame professions. The goal is to gather a large supply of gold and a bank full of potions the raid might need, for example the potion, Flask of the titans. After drop Herbalism and go for the late game profession, Engineering. In order to get a few tools, such as: Gnomish battle chicken, Goblin Sapper Charge among many other beneficial gadgets.   Note: If you plan to raid tank, get Enchanting for Smoking Heart of the Mountain and feel free to drop Enchanting afterwards. Finally, for secondary professions, I urge grabbing all of them as they all provide valuable assets. In terms of fishing, you can farm those elusive Stonescale Eels that are highly contested after for Flask of the Titans. First aid grants bandages for healing that don't require any mana to use. Lastly, cooking has Dragonbreath Chili a sheer delight as it not only scales with spell damage but also with the trinket: Arcanite Dragonling and its fire increasing debuff: Flame Buffet. The debuff also scales with Goblin Sapper charge. All these items nicely combine into a decent boost in threat. Contrary to popular belief, Dragonbreath Chili does stack with another food buff.
      Shaman Tank Threat
      Because a plethora of questions surrounding aggro/threat are bound to come out of confusion. I'd like to first reference Kenco's words about how gaining aggro on a mob and overall threat functions in World of Warcraft.
      Now, let's examine shaman threat. They're on another tier when it comes to outputting threat, but demand a lot of dedication comparably to the more laxed tanks out there. With proper optimization, their threat is nearly equal to a pure protection warrior and in some situations just shy of a druid tank. Of course, the shorter a fight, the better, since a shaman can freely throw mana around without going out of mana as fast. Resulting in more dependable damage being dished out and correlates into predictable threat. Let's see how to get creatures more mad at you than unusual.
      Earth Shock is first as it deal a high amount of threat because of its 2x damage threat modifier. The downside is nature damage is burdened on three fronts: no warlock curses bolster it, a spell coefficient of 40.71% of the caster's spell damage and some raid content is somewhat resistant to nature. Lastly, downranking our spells is crucial in tanking to be cost-effective. Anything resembling an elemental (noticeable in MC) will have a high resistance to nature damage. All the Dragons of Nightmare are also immune to nature damage or tend to have the same high resistance to nature as to fire. The same applies for some creatures in: AQ, ZG and Naxx. Basically, if an environment has a disease or poison theme, expect nature damage to be hampered. Here's a chart to better explain the notion. Don't fret, items exist to counter this damage dampening downside, ex: Eye of Moam & the debuff from Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker helps with Earth Shock's damage by reducing the target's nature resistance. Frost Shock is used against nature immune targets. Frost Shock or referred as "FS" doesn't consume a debuff slot on a boss impervious to movement impairing effects (most bosses). There are additional ways to circumvent the lack of threat done against nature immune targets, which will be peppered throughout the upcoming topics. Rockbiter Weapon at rank7, is 72 threat per second on hit. With 2.6 speed weapon, each hit is: 2.6 * 72 = ~172 threat. Weapon speed won't matter, but haste does. Haste effects are wanted to counter nature defiant mobs & low percent chance to hit. Once at an auto attack DPS of ~140, Rockbiter isn't optimal, instead use Windfury Weapon. Players use fast daggers because of its higher chance to trigger the effect. Lightning Shield or known as "LS" imposes conditions to be cost effective. Firstly, LS is on the GCD and shouldn't be casted over other spells, such as: Earth Shock so weigh your mana and threat. Secondly, downranking LS is vital to conserve our resources and maintain productivity. Each charge of LS scales with 33% of total spell damage but can't crit. Oil of Immolation might not seem like much but floats around fourth on the list. It will interrupt your swing timer but not trigger a GCD. It's undeniably good before a boss pull or versus many mobs. Can be bought off the Auction House. Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning (depending on number of mobs) will be the first spells dealing threat on the target. Downranking isn't as harsh or compulsory since these spells are only casted upon engaging a boss. Goblin Sapper Charge and similar bombs are great to output additional threat and a definite must against multiple mobs. The majority of bombs are made through Engineering with the exception of the last two in the list below:
      - Goblin Sapper Charge (It shares a 1 minute GCD w/other bombs)
      - Dark Iron Bomb will require you to stand still and a 1 second cast.
      - Crystal Charge this can be stacked up to 20 & used when moving.
      - Note: Not a bomb but Clutch of Foresight (shares CD with bombs) is an arcane spell, great versus fire resistant mobs. Major Rejuvenation Potion & similar potions are global and .5x of the amount replenished. Health and mana effects will not cause threat if at maximum capacity. Players on coherent battles will use a heal pot after Goblin Sapper Charge to deal a lot of threat. In order of threat, there is:
      - Major Rejuvenation Potion is the highest threat but can be costly.
      - Major Healthstone is next on the list and given to us by a warlock.
      - Major Mana Potion is buyable on AH. (Shares CD with the above)
      - Demonic Rune / Dark Rune (Shares a CD with the below item)
      - Night Dragon's Breath easy to acquire so place them in the bank. Thorns and similar reflective effects are last. Typically, these type of buffs are great against multiple mobs and remain relevant in single target scenarios. You can only have one reflective buff on you at a time. The second highest dealing damage reflective effect is: Fire Shield from a warlock's imp. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      Threat Diminishers
      We’ll be and threat from teammates is a daunting obstacle to tackle. Luckily, there are ways for classes to reduce their threat. Firstly, ranged classes are favored because any aggro they mistakenly get is likely from a 30-40yrd range, so it's easier to supervise. Also classes standing out of the 30-40yrd range will not draw aggro until they exceed the threat level of the mob's current target by 30% as opposed to 10% for melee classes. Here are a few examples of threat reducers or resets, in no particular order:
      Rogue deal with threat thanks to Feint and wipe threat with Vanish. Mage have the talent Frost Channeling and the talent Burning Soul. Druid in cat form can use: Cower & healing druids can get Subtlety. Priest reduce threat with the talent Silent Resolve & the spell: Fade. Shaman who heal can get Healing Grace & use: Tranquil Air Totem. Items:
      Formula: Enchant Cloak - Subtlety: Used by high threat dealers in raids. Limited Invulnerability Potion: Will prevent aggro gain during its effect. Fetish of the Sand Reaver & Eye of Diminution: Available in AQ/Naxx. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      We’ll be asking our shamanistic brothers from the restoration side to land a hand with totem utility, so be kind and compliment each others advantages in the group. keep in mind, there can only be one type of totem per shaman so having another shaman is welcomed. Also, fire totems can crit & scale with spell damage. Each totem below is in order of importance per category.
      Strength of Earth Totem: Put by a 2nd shaman w/Enhancing Totems. Stoneskin Totem: Dropped by us or 2nd shaman w/Guardian Totems. Stoneclaw Totem: For AoE tanking a mob in a pack you don't have aggro. Earthbind Totem: A tool for kiting possible unbound trash in an instance. Tremor Totem: This totem will see some relevancy on a few boss battles. Fire
      Frost Resistance Totem: Ideal for fights with high doses of frost damage. Fire Nova Totem: Usually for bursting down low HP adds on encounters. Searing Totem: Damage totems are costly since they don't grant threat. Magma Totem: Superb for AoE damage on high HP adds in encounters. Flametongue Totem: A weak enchant incomparable to other enchants. Air
      Grace of Air Totem: Optimally, put by a shaman w/Enhancing Totems. Nature Resistance Totem: To counteract nature damage, mainly ZG/AQ. Tranquil Air Totem: All raid party groups should have this, except yours. Grounding Totem: Sadly, this totem will rarely if ever used when tanking. Windwall Totem: Never used. I don't recommend purchasing this totem. Windfury Totem: Our Rockbiter enchant is better. But it may help others. Water
      Mana Spring Totem: Usually, put by a shaman w/Restorative Totems. Healing Stream Totem: Place if the before totem is put by a 2nd shaman. Poison Cleansing Totem: Good against a high poison output, ex: AQ/ZG. Fire Resistance Totem: Ideal versus high amounts of fire damage, ex MC. Disease Cleansing Totem: Unfortunately, it will rarely see the light of day. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      Naturally, if you're only doing dungeons the road ahead is much easier and there's more freedom to move talent points. However, raid tanking follows strict guidelines to be effective. The last two talent setups assume you're in a serious guild who confidently clear raids.
      "The Basic"- 14/37/0

      The new player starter pack in 5mans. Pick if unsure of an upcoming boss fight or are still learning about dungeon shaman tanking. "The AoE" - 23/28/0

      For tanking many targets at a time in raids. It mainly uses Chain Lightning alongside Eye of the Storm for threat. Against +3 mobs, see: AoE Tanking. "The Advanced"- 21/30/0

      For Raid Tanking. The highest threat setup & for mobs resilient or immune to nature damage. Good gear and a solid knowledge of tanking is needed. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      First, on the list is a simple dungeon tank rotation and we’ll be presuming the boss fight is simple.
      Pre-pull: Cast Lightning Shield and assure all possible buffs are present and max duration. Next, place the appropriate totems. Lastly, if it hasn't been done get the addon: KTM Threat, it displays the threat of members. A scenario can turn ugly quick, so watch KTM often. At any moment, you need to be sure of the fitting Earth Shock rank to use. Pulling: Cast Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning and Earth Shock. If all goes smoothly, Earth Shock again and turn the boss away from the group. If the boss suddenly targets someone or drops aggro, use rank7 Earth shock to aggro them. For future threat problems, see: Threat. Second is a complex rotation mainly for raid tanking, it has great results but requires good gear, buff, etc... Naturally, if you aren't able to perform every single action below don't get discouraged, its mostly to showcase the maximum potential possible.
      Pre-pull: Equip a spell damage gear set (ex: Gear Set +  Brilliant Wizard Oil), cast Rank7 Lightning Shield. Equip normal tanking gear, except the weapon & drink mana. Place Stoneclaw Totem & back up 25-30yrds. (It will later halt the boss for 0.5 seconds or the boss attack's it) Equip 3 pieces of Stormcaller's Garb Place Mana Spring Totem. Activate Oil of immolation. Cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt on Unconscious Dig Rat to proc the previous nature effect or try to get Flurry & Elemental Devastation instead, your choice. (a mage can polymorph the rat, until it triggers.) Pulling: Lightning Bolt, while it travels, equip a healing weapon (ex: Jin'do's Hexxer) As the bolt hits, cast R6 Lesser Healing Wave on a warlock who recently Life Tap. Equip a spell damage weapon (preferably staff). Cast R4 Chain Lightning. Equip all normal tanking gear. Immediately after cast R7 Earth Shock Activate Juju Flurry and Juju Escape, if the situation is ideal. Repeat the appropriate rank Earth Shock until boss is dead. Situational: If mana allows it, cast a suitable rank of Lightning Shield. If mana is foreseeably a problem, use Oil of immolation often. If mana is foreseeably an issue but threat isn't also cast R1 Frost Shock. Note: Versus nature immune bosses, to pull: use Magic Candle (equip spell damage weapon). After, follow the healing-threat tactic above & cast Lesser Healing Wave as much as possible until the boss is at melee range than Frost Shock. If more threat is needed: Flame Shock instead. MUST need Flame Buffet (don't bother otherwise) & similar debuffs. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      Prioritize obtaining Defensive buffs before acquiring Threat related buffs. Agility for example has the added byproduct of helping with defensive and threat measures. Generally, off-tanks or known as "OT", take less damage, therefore, it's not fully needed to aim for Defensive buffs. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. There is a max of 32 buffs: Talents, Set bonuses & Equip effects don't count. But Gear enchants count with exceptions: (Crusader enchant and enchants from the profession enchanting don't count.) Resistance enchants however need to be reconfirmed as they make it seem now like those should count. Let's move on and explore relevant buffs to our tanking duties. The following buffs are classified into sub-groups to better highlight their usefulness and showcase different options.
      Threat Increasing Buffs
      Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer: Gnomish Shrink Ray: (can backfire increasing group's attack power) Fengus' Ferocity: From Dire Maul. Trueshot Aura: +50 Attack power. Battle Shout: (Improved by Battlegear of Wrath (3/3) tier set bonus) Juju Might: +40 Attack power. (from repeatable Winterspring quest) Sayge's Dark Fortune of Agility: +10% Agility. From Darkmoon Faire. Ground Scorpok Assay: +25 Agility. Elixir of the Mongoose: +25 Agility, +2% Melee Crit. Grace of Air Totem: +77 Agility (effect is increased through a shaman talent) Call of the Raptor: +12 Agility for 30min. (non-repeatable quest reward item) Grilled Squid: +10 Agility for 10min. (does not stack with other food buffs) Strength of Earth Totem: (effect is increased through a shaman talent) Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian: (can't stack w/Moonkin Form) Slip'kik's Savvy: From Dire Maul. Moonkin Form: +3% Spell Crit. Headmaster's Charge: +20 Intellect. Arcane Intellect: +31 Intellect. Gnomish Battle Chicken: Upon attacking it might give party +5% Attack Speed for 4 min. Warchief's Blessing: Fist of Shahram (Blackblade of Shahram😞 +25% haste to party for 8sec. Juju Flurry: +3% Attack Speed for 20 sec. (Others can cast it on you) Swift Wind: (Only receivable upon finishing the Call of Air totem quest) Mana Spring Totem: +10 mana every 2 sec. (Only causes threat if you cast) Mageblood Potion: +12 mana per 5 sec. (regen effect doesn't cause threat) Innervate: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec. Oil of Immolation: 50 Fire dmg to target within 5yds every 3 sec for 15 sec. Lightning Shield: (Scales with spell damage) Static Barrier: From Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator. Crystal Spire: (From a repeatable quest & anyone can cast it on you) Fire Shield: Deals 13 Fire dmg to melee attackers. Thorns: (Improved by Cenarion Raiment (3/3) tier set bonus ) Brilliant Wizard Oil: On a swappable weapon for the pulling of a mob. Blessed Wizard Oil: Ideal for Scholomance, Stratholme & Naxx. Flask of Supreme Power: (Can't stack w/Titans, so choose wisely.) Greater Arcane Elixir: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities. Traces of Silithyst: +5% damage to melee, range and spell damage dealt. Power Infusion: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec. Songflower Serenade: Boost melee, ranged, or spell to crit 5%, +15 all stats. Mark of the Chosen: 2% chance when hit of increasing all stats by 25. Spirit of Zandalar: +10% move speed, +15% all stats. Mark of the Wild: +384 armor, +12 all attributes,+27 all resistance. Elixir of Greater Firepower: Bolster fire damage by up to 40 for 30 min. Blessing of Blackfathom: +5 intellect & spirit. +15 frost damage. Elixir of Frost Power: Increases spell frost damage by up to 15 for 30 min. Dragonbreath Chili: (scales with spell damage and fire increasing buffs) Defensive-Buffs
       Sayge's Dark Fortune of Stamina: +10% Stamina (+10% Armor also exists)  Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops: (can't stack w/other food buffs)  Rumsey Rum Black Label: From Booty Bay.  Power Word: Fortitude: +54 Stamina.  Mol'dar's Moxie: +15% Stamina overall.  Spirit of Zanza: +50 Stamina, +50 spirit.  Blood Pact: +42 Stamina.  Flask of the Titans: +1200 Hp.  Elixir of Fortitude: +120 Hp.  Regrowth: From the (6/6) Dreamwalker Raiment tier set bonus.  The Lion Horn of Stormwind: (a friendly tank can activate it for you.)  Greater Stoneshield Potion: +2000 Armor for 2min.  Elixir of Superior Defense: +450 Armor.  Polished Armor: (AWAITING CONFIRMATION OF ITS EXISTENCE)  Crystal Ward: From repeatable quest in Un'Goro Crater. (allies can also cast on you)  Inspiration: Increases armor by 25% for 15 sec.  Power Word: Shield: Absorb 1105 dmg for 30 sec. While active...  Scarab Brooch: (Healers can trigger its effect on you before a fight)  Greater Heal Renew: From the (4/4) Vestments of Faith tier set bonus.  Bloodkelp Elixir of Dodging: +3% dodge for 30 min. (one time usable item)  Juju Escape: +5% Dodge for 10 sec.  Healing Stream Totem: Doesn't cause threat for you.  Greater Heal Renew: From (8/8) Vestments of Transcendence tier set.  Rejuvenation: Heal for 888 over 12 sec.  Regrowth: Heal for 1064 over 21 sec.  Renew: Heal for 970 damage over 15 sec.  Stoneskin Totem: Reduce melee damage taken by 30.  Dampen Magic: Useful for magical heavy fights.  Amplify Magic: Useful for physically heavy fights. Resistance Buffs
       Greater Fire Protection Potion: Absorbs fire damage.  Fire Resistance Totem: +60 fire resistance.  Frozen Rune: Absorbs 1500 to 2500 fire damage.  Juju Ember: +15 fire resistance for 10 min.  Greater Frost Protection Potion: Absorbs frost damage.  Frost Resistance Totem: +60 frost resistance.  Juju Chill: +15 frost resistance for 10 min.  Greater Nature Protection Potion: Absorbs nature damage.  Nature Resistance Totem: +60 nature resistance.  Greater Shadow Protection Potion: Absorbs shadow damage.  Crystal Basilisk Spine: +10 Shadow resistance & Frost for 1 min.  Gift of Arthas: +10 Shadow resistance for 30 min. Mind Control Buffs
      It is possible for an Alliance priest to use  Mind Control or someone with engineering to use the head slot item  Gnomish Mind Control Cap versus players on the Horde. For that duration the mind controlled Horde character is now considered an Alliance player. This allows the character to receive buffs from paladins. In the many guild raids I’ve taken part, we'd have 2-3 players on their paladins and priests stationed near the raid entrance for mind control buffing. It's also possible for a priest of any faction to Mind Control certain mobs, which can dish out buffs to all raid members.
      Greater Blessing of Sanctuary: (Will stack w/Stoneskin Totem) Greater Blessing of Wisdom: (Will stack w/Mana Spring Totem). Greater Blessing of Salvation: (can't stack w/Tranquil Air Totem). Greater Blessing of Might: (can't stack w/Strength of Earth Totem) Greater Blessing of Kings: +10% to all stats for 15 min. Improved Lay on Hands: Possible once it expires to go outside to get re-buffed then re-enter the instance & summoned back to allies. BONUS: You can get Fear Ward from dwarf priests and if survivability is secured Curse of Recklessness from horde warlocks. Mind Control Buffs from mobs
       Fury of Ragnaros: From Twilight Emissary in BRD.  Resist Arcane: From Scarlet Medic in Plaguelands.  Resist Fire: From Scarshield Spellbinder in BWL.  Bloodlust: From Gordok Mage-Lord in DM.  Bloodlust: From Hamhock in Stockades. Special Event Buffs:
      On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events. An example, is The Midsummer Fire Festival an event celebrating the hottest season of the year. It lasts about two weeks (mid-late June to early July). The next ones are Love is in the Air, Lunar Festival, Wickerman Festival and Scourge Invasion. The following buffs are separated by their event.
      Thunder Bluff Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour. Ironforge Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour. Stormwind Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour. Undercity Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour. Orgrimmar Gift Collection: +30 Agility for 1 hour. Darnassus Gift Collection: +30 Agility for 1 hour. Fire Festival Fortitude: (stacks w/stamina buffs above) Midsummer Sausage: Bolsters damage from spells by up to 23. Fire-toasted Bun: +2% hit chance for 1 hr. Fire Festival Fury: +3% spell and melee crit for 1 hr. Elderberry Pie: +13 defense for 1 hr. Buttermilk Delight: +13 defense for 1 hr. Very Berry Cream: Bolsters damage from spells by up to 23. Dark Desire: +2% hit chance for 1 hr. Celebrate Good Times!: +10% to all stats for 30min. Elune's Blessing: All stats increased by 10% for 1hr. Wickerman Festival (October 18th - November 1st) Invocation of the Wickerman: +25% health & mana regen. +25% stamina. Scourge Invasion Soul Revival: +10% to all damage caused for 30 minutes. Debuffs
      There can be a total of 16 debuffs on a boss. Having as many debuffs on a raid boss is crucial. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in either Threat or Defensive aspects and assumed to be at their maximum rank and talent improvement. The following debuffs are placed into sub-groups to better highlight their utility and showcase different options.
      Curse of Recklessness: - 290 armor but bolsters melee attack power by 45. Expose Armor: (can't stack w/Sunder Armor but it reduce more armor). Sunder Armor: Reduces armor by 450. Can be applied up to 5 times. Annihilator: Reduces an enemy's armor by 200. Stacks up to 3 times. Faerie Fire: Reduces armor by 505 for 40 sec. Improved Shadow Bolt: Curse of Shadow: Reduces Shadow & Arcane resistances by 75... Shadow Weaving: Wail of the Banshee: (affected by spell hit, usually casted by healers.) Insect Swarm: Reduces target's chance to hit by 2%... Thunderfury, Blessed Blade: (can't stack w/Thunder Clap) Thunder Clap: (can't stack w/Thunderfury's slow effect) Improved Scorch: To increase Flame Shock's damage (niche scenario). Flame Buffet: To increase Flame Shock's damage (niche scenario). Curse of the Elements: -75 resistance to Fire & Frost and increase Fire... Winter's Chill: To increase Frost Shock's damage (niche scenario). Stormstrike: Next 2 sources of Nature damage dealt are increased by 20%. Gift of Arthas: If a target strikes you, they have a 30% chance... Nightfall: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec. Demoralizing Shout: Reduce attack power of mobs by 140 for 30 sec. Curse of Weakness: (effect is increased through a warlock talent) Gear
      If unsure of guild or group performance, carry several focused gear sets: Stamina set, Dodge set & Armor set to cater to any possible encounter. Certain pieces of gear from PvP through Honor Ranking remains the best forever but demands a large amount of Honor grinding.
      Below is a Gear Spreadsheet to help with gear progression.
      - Gear Spreadsheet Link Below are BiS sets by Phase for defensive aspects, see above for threat gear.
      - PreRaid          AoE
      - Phase 1          AoE              Fire resist
      - Phase 2       (no PvP)              AoE
      - Phase 3       (no PvP)
      - Phase 4       (no PvP)           Nature Resist
      - Phase 5       (no PvP)           Nature Resist for Huhuran
      - Phase 6       (no PvP)           Nature Resist Enchants
      Similar to gear, enchants must be tailored against the specific boss you will be facing. Allies can also help us, by enchanting their own cloak with Formula: Enchant Cloak - Subtlety.
      Here is the Enchant Spreadsheet Link. Tank Comparison
      To showcase our max potential a full BiS geared and buffed shaman will be the closest in stats to approach a Druid tank. Let's look at the stats to see the differences. As a guideline, the Example Druid Tank below is BiS/buffed and able to clear most bosses with no issue. A shaman like other tanks tailors his gear versus the boss they're facing. Obviously, the Example Druid Tank can reach higher numbers and has a plethora of defensive spells, but the goal is to showcase the class with the closest similarity to a shaman in stats across the board that gets the job done in high-end raids.

      Druids have the luxury of having multiple categories covered and a broader safety net on top of having access to join Alliance for the added advantage of paladins spells, while shaman tanks are required to significantly maximize a specific category for a certain boss.done in high-end raids.
      Now, let's explores the threat generated by other classes to showcase where shaman tanks stand. Remember, threat depends on gear, boss, etc... But in general, the current standing of tanks that can do the most threat are:
      Feral Druid/Warrior. Paladin/Enh Shaman. Dem warlock. Priest tanks AoE Tanking
      Although I slightly talked about it in "Talents". Let me go into more detail here.
      Against 3 targets and/or dungeons, AoE tanking is about Chain Lightning proccing with Eye of the Storm as the main conduit to deal damage and preserve threat on 3 targets. Because it isn't possible to dodge, block, parry while casting, this method is suggested versus mobs dealing little to moderate damage. Against heavy hitting targets it's advisable to grab the weapon Hand of Edward the Odd and wait for its procs to cast. If you don't foresee a random mob being aggroed by someone, cast R1 Frost Shock to save mana and increase the proc chance of Elemental Devastation and Elemental Focus. This is all done while auto attacking a different target after every 4-5 melee hit. Items such as Skull Flame Shield, Force Reactive Disk, Oil of Immolation are beneficial. With a coordinated raid group, it's possible to heal designated players as they "stand in fire" in between boss melee swings. Another way for players to intentionally receive damage is for designated warlocks to use Life Tap alongside items, such as Demonic Rune or Goblin Sapper Charge. Equipping a weapon with bolstering healing attributes such as: Hammer of the Twisting Nether before healing a member wield yield more threat. Raid Composition
      Raid composition differs with each boss but is seen as a skill that evolves over time and reflects the playstyle of a guild or raid. The following composition is an example with minor exceptions differing from the norm. By no means is it perfect since compositions change along side: patches, gear, experience, etc... With the raid leader's permission offer your advice on an ideal comp catering to your needs without overstepping.

      In (Group 1): A fellow tank in your party can equip The Lion Horn of Stormwind, granted the trinket slot isn't needed for anything else. A bear can replace a prot warrior in the tank party, if the raid is comfortable enough with the idea and could probarbly use an emergency Innervate or Rebirth Also, only bring the bare minimum of tanks. This will open a spot for either: a lock with Blood Pact, or a hunter with Trueshot Aura. Rogues are favored over fury warrior, they Feint, Sprint, Evasion and Vanish to manage their threat/aggro. Feral cat druids can offer similar utilities as a bear and can Cower and Dash to manage their threat/aggro. Discipline priest with experience and ease of mind may occasionally throw a Power Infusion on a shaman tank during the pull phase. In (Group 6): The shaman is elemental since healing is not an issue and we are relying mostly on Tranquil Air Totem. In the situation, you are taking too much damage this spot can be replaced by a restoration shaman. In (Group 7): A mage could be replaced by a shadow weaving healing priest. In (Group 8): Mages gravitate to Fire Specialization after AQ but keeping a single mage as Frost with the talent Winter's Chill is advisable. A rogue can be replaced by a melee hunter on Nightfall duty. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thanks for Reading! If you have any questions regarding shaman tanking, feel free to drop by the Twitch stream to chat.
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