Hardcore Shaman Class Overview
Shaman are a melee-caster hybrid that fully utilizes not only spell casting but getting directly into melee range and fighting. While not true tanks they are able to utilize a shield to grow considerably tankier. Shaman provides some of the strongest buffs in the game not only to themselves but anyone in their party in the form of Totems.
This guide is specifically directed towards using Shaman on Hardcore servers.
Hardcore Classic Shaman Overview
Races for Shaman
In the Classic version of World of Warcraft only Horde races are able to be Shaman, but all Horde races can play the class.
- Orc — Orc has one of the strongest DPS racials in all of Classic with Blood Fury, as well as having Axe Specialization which increases your Axe skill, giving you a greater chance to hit while using an Axe which will likely be your most commonly used weapon as a Shaman. Hardiness cannot be underestimated as it increases your chance to resist any kind of stunning ability by 25%.
- Troll — Troll comes in a close second to Orc in regard to strongest DPS racial in Berserking and has its own strong set of complimentary racials to their main DPS cooldown. Regeneration allows you to continue to re-generate 10% of your total health while in combat.
- Tauren — Tauren is the tankiest of all possible starting races for Classic thanks to 5% increased health from Endurance. They also are the only race that comes with a built in AoE stun in form of War Stomp which can also act as a spell casting interrupt should you need it.
The Stat priority that you will be following for Classic Hardcore is very similar to original Classic, but with a larger emphasis on Stamina and Intellect. The added Health and Mana can at times be the difference between surviving an encounter with an enemy or not and is typically more reliable than gearing towards just damage. Even though Shaman comes with a considerable amount of self healing and the ability to dispel Poison, it is typically much safer to play around your resources instead of maximizing damage.
For a more in-depth explanation of what stats you should be prioritizing and their benefits to your leveling experience checkout our Shaman leveling guide listed below, specifically the Shaman Gear section.
Enhancement is the most reliable and consistent damage dealer of the Shaman specializations so it will be your default choice for leveling. Due to the nature of talents while leveling as an Enhancement Shaman your stat priority will change as you level. Before reaching level 29 where you will have maxed out your Flurry Talent, you will want to prioritize Spirit over Agility as a much larger part of your damage at this point will come from spell casts. When Flurry is maxed you can shift this priority, putting Agility ahead of Spirit.
For a detailed route on how to spend each of your talent points while leveling check out our Enhancement Shaman talent build guide specifically for leveling. This page also includes an Enhancement specifically priority list of how to deal maximum damage while leveling.
Professions are a huge part of Hardcore leveling as they can provide you with consumables that give considerable stat increases, items that can be used in case of emergencies or the ability to craft gear that will last you for countless levels. Below I will go in depth about the various professions combinations available in WoW Classic and their benefits specifically in a Hardcore context for Shaman.
Herbalism and Alchemy
Herbalism and Alchemy is a great pairing of professions as it will allow you to make consumable potions that not only give you a burst of health in an emergency situation, but also offer considerable stat increases and the occasional solution to a niche situation. Shaman specifically will benefit greatly from the Free Action Potion as it removes and makes you immune to all stunning/slowing effects for 30 seconds. Stuns and slows greatly impact Shaman as their abilities can be quite costly and the range of your shocks is short so maximizing your time spent in melee range will grealty increase your kill speed.
There are countless potions offering buffs to give temporary stat increases that will smooth out the leveling process by making you much stronger than you otherwise would be. The only downside to this profession being the time you must invest to harvest your own materials via Herbalism.
Mining and Engineering
Engineering and Mining is a strong combo, and while it offers less static increases than Alchemy and Herbalism, it is still something you should consider as it offers quite a few extra buttons to get you out of a sticky situation. Target Dummy is a usable item that will instantly redirect threat to it, causing mobs to stop attacking you for either 15 seconds or until it dies. You will also have access to bombs that both deal AoE damage and incapacitate/stun whatever you are fighting which can sometimes be the difference in surviving an encounter.
Skinning and Leatherworking
Skinning and Leatherworking are also a great way to utilize your characters profession slots. Leatherworking will allow you to create pieces of powerful armor while leveling. It can be difficult to plan around building a specific item as some items in Classic have rather hefty material requirements, but this can be used to plug in any holes in your gear that you may find as you progress through leveling.
If you are curious about the most efficient way to level your professions, or would like a list of many of the useful items you can craft, make sure to check out our Classic Profession guides listed below.
Shaman Specific tips for Hardcore
Shaman is one of the steadiest leveling classes in all of Classic and the main thing that will separate you from the pack is how you utilize your totems to get the greatest benefit per mana spent.
Totems generate threat! Your fire totems especially will be constantly trying to pull threat off of you as they deal damage and can be targeted by enemies, take full advantage of your Stoneclaw Totem in order to protect your fire totems. Magma and Fire Nova totem both will cause threat the moment you place them so there is a high probability of them dying instantly if you use them on the pull.
Don't be afraid to kite. Shaman has some great tools in both Earthbind Totem and Frost Shock that can help you kite a dangerous ally that you may otherwise not be able to kill. Pair this with your Searing Totem for the best results.
Be aware of your threat in parties. Due to the nature of what abilities deal the most damage, Shaman will almost always be high on the threat meter. Earth Shock and Rockbiter Weapon both have large threat modifiers on them so make sure to be aware of your threat when playing in a party, especially in content that may be higher level than you.
Be aware of your totems positions at all times. It is very easy to either pull a mob with a totem that you left behind and forgot about, or a mob out ranging one of your totems rendering it a waste of your mana and useless.
Shaman benefits greatly from the use of macros. Due to the nature of Totems you will be constantly dropping them, so adding some quality of life macros can help make this less of a chore. Listed below is a guide on some of the most useful Macros that will greatly simplify using your classes abilities to their fullest extent.
Many people are enjoying Classic Hardcore by duo leveling. Shaman is a class that shines when paired with another that can quickly kill enemies. Shaman provides some of the strongest buffs in the game, especially to Melee dps, and their ability to heal enables you to do much more efficient leveling without adding much if any risk. Included below is a list of the most popular/effective class duos and their strengths/weaknesses!
General Hardcore Tips
And of course, if you are curious about more general hardcore tips that apply to not just Shaman checkout our Hardcore Classic hub that includes tips and tricks that will greatly increase your chances of surviving.
- 19 May 2023: Tier List added.
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