Shaman Tank Guide - Shaman Tanking in Warcraft


Intro
Can Shamans tank in WoW? The short and to the point answer is, yes. You might be rubbing your eyes in disbelief of this answer. Perhaps conjuring a ten page manifesto about how only warriors can and should tank. Although, I can go on a long rant about how there are many other classes that can tank, today, Iíll be focusing on our totemic friend, the shaman.






The topic of viable and optimal is contentious as some donít see the difference or mix them up and levy a misguided philosophy onto it. Optimal is the most efficient and foolproof solution that eliminates as many negative variables as possible and favors an easier path. Viable or often referred to as: possible, seen as the more challenging path but to many is a greater personal triumph. Shaman Tank is labelled as viable.


Many Shaman tanks agree their motivation is from the glory of seizing a feat the rest of the realm dares not try. If this resonates with you, please continue reading. You shaman tank if you want a challenge and a refreshing perspective from a 15 year old game. If it wasnít obvious before, shield bearing is a sizable undertaking.


When experienced players Shaman tank and put in the effort, it shines tenfold. Shamans can fully tank 5mans, 10mans, off-tank & main-tank raids. But, this is reliant on personal and guild experience. Our overall defensive statistics wonít reach a warriorís. However, it isnít necessary to do so, to tank.



Youíll be staring at your character for a long time. So, consider your characterís appearance as a key factor as it may entice you to play more. All races have benefits but theyíre minor compared to other aspects. There is no wrong race.




Engineering for: Goblin Sapper Charge, Masterwork Target Dummy, Force Reactive Disk, etc... Blacksmithing for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, disregard if Phase 5 (see weapon path), and go a high gold generating profession on your realm. Gold helps buy potions, ex: Flask of the Titans among other consumables.




We can increase threat in many ways, notably: Earth Shock, Stormstrike, Rockbiter Weapon & Lightning Shield. Install a threat tracking addon, ex: ThreatClassic2. Consumable items deal threat, ex: Major Rejuvenation Potion based on half of the Health & Mana gained. Damage items, ex: Goblin Sapper Charge deals threat equal to the damage so do reflective Buffs, ex: Thorns. Lastly, certain items ex: Gift of Arthas deal threat each time their Debuff is triggered.


Allies can reduce their threat, through items, ex: Fetish of the Sand Reaver. Mage have: Burning Soul. Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem. Rogue and Hunter wipe threat with Vanish & Feign Death and so can Flask of Petrification. Items prevent aggro: Limited Invulnerability Potion & redirect aggro Masterwork Target Dummy (taunts the mob). Classes in the 30-40 yard range wonít get aggro t'ill they surpass the threat level of the mobís current target by 30%, as opposed to 10% for melee classes.


Totems


Totems can't deal threat for you. Common totems: Grace of Air Totem, Stoneskin Totem & Healing Stream Totem. AoE Tanking: Stoneclaw Totem followed by Fire Nova Totem.




Talents

The talent setup: (16/35/0) has steady threat per second for raids & excels on short fights.


Rotation



  1. PrePull: Cast Lightning Shield. Get all Buffs the group can supply. Cast Rockbiter Weapon. Place: Stoneskin Totem, Grace of Air Totem & Healing Stream Totem. Mark the mobs in front of you by right-clicking their portrait, pick Raid Target Icon, choose from either a Skull = kill first, a red X = kill second, a blue square = Hunter trap and a moon = Polymorph.
  2. Pulling: Cast Lightning Bolt, followed by as many Lightning Bolt possible to trigger, Elemental Focus. Lastly, Earth Shock.
  3. Combat: For raids, use Nat Pagle's Broken Reel to assure the first few Earth Shocks hit. In a fight, use relevant ranks of Earth Shock that suits your mana & threat. Stormstrike canít be downranked but is also used in similar cases. If Lightning Shield expires, cast it. If you suddenly might die, equip a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter w/Enchant Weapon - Agility & Rockbiter Weapon, use Masterwork Target Dummy (taunts boss), use Juju Escape, possibly Major Healthstone & Major Rejuvenation Potion.


Buffs + Debuffs


There's a max of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the max as it may result in Buffs getting mistakenly removed, the addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Use Buff Cap Calc to see what Buffs stack. Prioritize getting defensive Buffs, ex: Elixir of Fortitude before Threat Buffs, ex: Juju Might. (here's a detailed List of Buffs).


A max of 16 Debuffs can be on a mob. Reaching the max is major in raids. There's defensive Debuffs: Insect Swarm & threat Debuffs: Faerie Fire among others. With the raid leaderís consent, suggest ideal Debuffs without overstepping. We can apply Gift of Arthas & Stormstrike.


Gear + Enchants


Solidify defensive stats when gearing, threat is secondary. Itís advised to have 4k HP & 5k Armor unbuffed for Molten Core. Blackwing Lair, ~4800 to 5k HP and 6500-7k Armor. For reliable threat, 3% melee Hit is advised for dungeons. For Raid tanking, 6% Melee Hit. See the BiS Gear Set. You can't equip gear in combat, except for a weapon & shield, enabling the equipping of a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter, if survival seems grim.


There are two types of enchants, defensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Superior Agility. And offensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Threat.


AoE Tanking


Many actions can further solidify AoE cases, ex: Oil of Immolation, Force Reactive Disk, Thorns, etc... Itís crucial to switch and attack another target ever so often. In combat, items & spells giving health or mana deal 50% threat divided by each mob. Items also help until a decent amount of threat is gained on all mobs, ex: Masterwork Target Dummy.


Raid Composition


With the raid leaderís consent, offer an ideal raid comp without overstepping. In our group, Warlock: Blood Pact, Warrior: Battle Shout, Druid: Leader of the Pack, Hunter: Trueshot Aura. For damage dealing classes, we prefer ranged classes over melee. If melee are needed, rogues are best. Groups with high threat dealers can have a Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem.


Questions? let me know!