Of all the classes in World of Warcraft: Classic, two are limited by faction: Paladins for the Alliance, and Shamans for the Horde. This was a rather big deal in the game upon first release, as the options weren't even visible in the opposite faction. Many Alliance players initially found themselves confused when they saw a Tauren, slamming these strange wooden totems into the ground and hurling lightning towards their target.
They had encountered a Shaman: the Horde exclusive class with amazing versatility and party management.
What Role Does A Shaman Fulfill?
Shamans are another of the few classes that have a broad range of roles and play styles, as they can be either ranged healers, spell casters, or melee fighters. Regardless of which style they take, they are attuned with the elements of earth, water, air, and fire, tossing totems from each onto the ground and gaining a buff or causing a debuff to an opponent. They bring powerful buffs to the party as a result and are often brought to raids more for support than their raw DPS or healing numbers.
Is Shaman Leveling Easy Or Hard?
Shamans are perfectly average when compared to most other classes. Warrior and Rogues are gear dependent and have the hardest time leveling, while Hunters and Warlocks have pets to sponge up the damage. Shamans often need to tread lightly in dense areas but can still quest effectively without too much trouble. Ranged spell casting is often the safest route, as it is less dependent on gear and weapons than Enhancement.
Similar to Druids, Shamans gain a mobile form through the Ghost Wolf ability. From level 20, this provides mounted speed movement far earlier than any other class.
Players may sometimes notice a Shaman slowly working on a mob with a two-handed weapon. The goal of this is to proc Windfury Weapon, which imbues the Shaman’s weapon with wind and provides a 20% change to deal damage equal to two extra attacks with extra attack power. The result is several small, seemingly weak hits, followed by one massive attack that looks and feels as though one has picked up a truck and slammed it into an opponent. It feels great but is often not the quickest way to level.
PvE Potential For Endgame
In the endgame, Shamans are mainly sought for their healing and support abilities. While their healing is perfectly competent, their four totems are always in demand to add buffs, remove debuffs, or debuff an enemy.
For those who choose enhancement, they may find a spot in melee heavy compositions of raids due to their Windfury Totem, which is similar in theme to Windfury Weapon, but it applies a buff to all allies within its range. As a result, Rogues, Warriors, and Retribution Paladins will be hitting far harder than before.
Shamans have always been considered strong in Classic PvP thanks to their totems, their strong direct healing and Chain Heal spell, and perhaps most importantly, their Purge ability which removed buffs from a target.
One of the benefits of totems is that they have no cast time, and so one can simply run around dropping totems to snare enemies or to help allies. Ghost Wolf will also provide quick mobility and can allow for a frustrating playstyle against opponents.
Elemental Shamans are perfectly adequate in PvP and resemble other spell casters. Their totems provide custom-made tactics as well, and certain totems are quite helpful in PvP, such as Grounding Totem, which redirects a spell cast at you to it instead.
Finally, Enhancement Shamans in PvP can be terrifying, but more for the image they present. Since the proc on Windfury Weapon is so powerful, it may seem as though a Shaman is an absolute beast of an opponent, when really it was their 20% chance to hit like a truck that misrepresents their true damage output. Still, if you can encourage opponents to steer clear of you, that is powerful in itself.
Racial Choices To Optimize
Trolls and Orcs are the best choices for PvE thanks to Berserking and Blood Fury, respectively. Taurens are less than ideal because their abilities are more for personal survival with War Stomp and Endurance.
Overall, Trolls are better for Elemental spell casting, while Orcs can be better for Enhancement, especially thanks to their Axe specialization.
Best Professions For The Shaman Class
Shamans are similar to Hunters in regard to the range of professions they can select, depending on their needs. First time players in WoW: Classic may want to take dual-gathering professions while they level to sell materials at the Auction House. Skinning and Herbalism for example while questing will always fill your bags with much needed crafting materials, which are always in demand.
Skinning and Leatherworking is a great choice to allow for a self-sufficient character though this is not practical if one levels faster than they can keep the profession up. With that in mind, sometimes a Healing Shaman will find better stated items in Cloth gear early on, preferring Intellect to the Agility often found on leather. Tailoring and Enchanting is another option, less so to wear the crafted Cloth gear in the long term and more to to disenchant and progress the Enchanting profession.
Finally, Herbalism and Alchemy offers long-term gold making potential. In the endgame, everyone is in need of consumables for PvE and for PvP, and there will always be demand for them at the Auction house. With the gold one makes from selling potions they can easily purchase gear they might need at level 60.
As Shamans can heal, and DPS at either range or in melee range, they are often an enjoyable class to level. At the very least, they offer players a broad range of playstyles to keep things fresh. Unfortunately, players should keep in mind that towards the endgame, Shamans are primarily sought for their utility, and not for their raw healing or damage output.