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[GUIDE] Leveling a Shaman

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Another short class leveling guide, this time for Shaman. Never leveled a Shaman until Nost 2.0, but I did a whole heap of research and tried out different things for myself. These are my findings.

Shaman is overall a pretty good leveling class. It's very versatile with both good melee attacks and great spells, as well as self-healing and a plethora of buff and utility totems. There's a reason why the old "That's the WoW that you play" song calls Shaman "the most overpowered class"!

For leveling, you will want to go full Enhancement. I see lots of people claiming that Ele is good, but really, Ele does not even come close to Enhancement until level 40 or so, when you've got all of the useful talents for it. Even then, Enhancement is still faster, because you don't have to drink as often.

Some people will tell you to start off Resto, going deep enough to get the 3% hit talent and then going Enhancement from there, but honestly, in my experience, the 3% hit did not make much of a visible difference, whereas Flurry and Elemental Weapons make a HUGE difference. I leveled 10-33 using the Resto+Enh spec, and at 34 I swapped to full Enh just to try it out, and it was immensely better. I didn't even notice the loss of 3% hit, and the loss of -5% mana cost on heals didn't affect my dungeon healing either. The -25% totem mana cost also doesn't matter much, since the only totem you use consistently while questing is Searing Totem, and it already has a very low mana cost.

I've also heard people say that you should go Ele for Elemental Devastation, but....really, spell crit is incredibly hard to come by while leveling, and the spell crit talent in Ele only applies to Lightning spells. So Elemental Devastation is rarely going to proc unless you're using lightning spells all the time, which is going to run your mana down and force you to drink a lot.

So yeah, I'd recommend just going full Enh from the start, then putting the rest of your points in Resto or Ele trees after 40. Either one works. Resto gives you slightly better healing and 3% hit and 30 yard totems, while Ele gives you mana cost reduction and damage increase to damage spells, a bit of a buff to Searing Totem, and Elemental Concentration. Either way, you're going to get a damage increase and a mana reduction, to some part of your spellbook. Personally, I would go towards Resto, as the 30yd totem range is amazing, and you get groups so much easier as a healer.

Anyway, onto the guide.


Shaman talents are pretty straightforward. Most of the talents are obvious and self-explanatory, for the most part.

Level 19: http://i.imgur.com/sT50igQ.png
Ancestral Knowledge is better than Shield Spec, because that 5% mana will help you all the time, as opposed to shield spec only helping you when grinding, and that's only if you're using a shield. Imp Ghost Wolf makes Ghost Wolf so much better to use, no more having to sit there for 3 seconds and cast. Also makes it much more usable in combat, as it's much harder to get pushback on a 1-second cast. Rest of the points into Thundering Strikes.

Level 29: http://i.imgur.com/DjT1qJf.png
Finish off Thundering Strikes, and then get 2h Axes/Maces. The reason why I take Anticipation is because the other talents are pretty shit. Imp Lightning Shield doesn't provide that much of a damage increase, Guardian Totems is also crap, and so is Enhancing Totems. A rank 2 Strength of Earth totem will only get +3 strength from 2/2 Enhancing Totems. Rank 3 will get +5 strength. Rank 4 will get +9 strength. Tiny bonus to strength for 2 talent points? Yeah, no, fuck that. The dodge you get from Anticipation is much better.

Also, Flurry! This talent is just fucking amazing with Windfury. Often times, one of your three Windfury attacks will be a crit, leading to easy Flurry procs.

Level 40: http://i.imgur.com/4GDbXwV.png
Parry is also a very nice talent, giving you that extra survivability, as well as parry-hasted attacks, great for slow 2-handers. Weapon Mastery and Stormstrike are obvious choices. Improved Weapon Totems is useless for solo leveling, as you only use weapon totems in groups. Even then, the bonus is not enough to justify 2 talent points.

Level 40 (Resto): http://i.imgur.com/03F30kz.png
If you're going to heal a lot of dungeons, I'd recommend changing to Enh/Resto at 40, if only for the 30 yard radius on totems. It makes totem placement SO much easier, as you don't have to worry about running up close to melee range to place those Windfury totems, or making sure that Grace of Air is being applied to both melee and ranged. I swapped to this spec at 46, mostly because I was frustrated at the short totem range. Didn't really notice much of a decrease in damage, despite dropping Stormstrike and Weapon Mastery.

Level 60: http://i.imgur.com/Tssnyut.png
Continue onward into the Elemental tree, picking up the damage and mana reduction talents, as well as the fire totem increase talent, since you're going to be using Searing Totem. Elemental Focus is also a really nice boon to your mana, and Elemental Devastation is pretty nice for when you get the occasional spell crit.

Level 60 (Resto): http://i.imgur.com/jyA5yRU.png
Get the 3% hit talent first, and then finish up the Enhancement tree. After that, the last 6 points you can pretty much put wherever you want, based on what you'll be doing.


Though honestly, I would recommend speccing full Resto at 59, and just heal DM:E / BRD to 60. You can still quest just fine, but you're going to be doing these dungeons lot for gear, so you might as well get EXP for it. People might be reluctant to invite you to Strat/Scholo/DM West/DM North, but healing BRD and DM East should be no problem at 59, so long as you've been keeping your Int set up to date. I managed to heal Strat UD at 59 without wiping.



If you REALLY want to level Elemental, however...



While it's not exactly optimal, you CAN go Elemental, once you hit 39. At early levels, Ele is shit because Lightning Bolt has a 3 second cast time and you have no pushback resistance, and no reliable way to keep the mobs off you (and still cast, that is). Once you hit 40 however, you'll have the talents for a 2-second LB cast, with +6% crit chance, and +100% crit damage, making Elemental damage rather nice.

I switched to Ele at 51 just to try it out, and found that it works pretty fuckin' good. Went ahead and just leveled to 60 as Ele, as a change of pace from Enhancement.

-Much faster kill speed
-Big crits, can burst things down really fast
-Don't have to worry about upgrading weapons, just train new spell ranks
-No having to carry around two sets of gear (agi for questing, int for healing), you can just wear your int set all the time

-Way more downtime, have to sit and drink every 3 or 4 mobs
-If you run out of mana, you have to run away unless the mob is low on health
-Spell damage is hard to come by, outside of crafted stuff like Dreamweave
-Very hard to kill mobs with high nature resist

Gameplay is very similar to Enhancement: Use fast dagger + Flametongue + shield, plop down your Searing Totem, and then pull the mob at max range with 3 Lightning Bolts, then Flame Shock, then melee the mob to death.

If you get a Clearcasting proc, use Chain Lightning, as it does more damage than Lightning Bolt.

Make sure to use Elemental Mastery. It's a nice damage CD and mana-saver. I always forget to use it, so I just macro'd it to Lightning Bolt. You can also save it if you want, and only use it for emergencies if you're OOM or something.

Spec @ 40: http://i.imgur.com/mjJ5KrY.png

Spec @ 50: http://i.imgur.com/4QVqIVC.png

Spec @ 60: http://i.imgur.com/wGhFlLt.png



For the most part, your rotation on mobs will go:

Pull with Flame Shock -> Searing Totem -> autoattack -> Flame Shock again when debuff fades -> autoattack until mob dead

You can also use Lightning Shield in place of Flame Shock, as it is slightly more mana efficient in terms of damage per mana, past rank 2. Not a whole lot, but it adds up over time. And you can buff it long before combat.

Once you get Stormstrike at 40 however, you should consider not using Flame Shock or Searing Totem anymore. Reason being that Stormstrike is so mana-intensive, that if you try to use it alongside Searing and Flame Shock, you'll burn right through your mana and be drinking every 3-4 mobs. Not fun.

I found that with a decent amount of Spirit gear, I was able to use JUST Stormstrike, no totems, and go 10-12 mobs without having to drink. The killing was not that much slower (except for when getting fucked by bad RNG of no crits / no windfury), and I was saving tons of mana. But if you've got tons of mage water and don't mind drinking, go right ahead and use Lightning Shield as well. The +20% nature damage debuff from Stormstrike DOES affect Lightning Shield, but Lightning Shield does not consume charges of Stormstrike's debuff.


For the most part, you'll want to be stacking Str/Stam/Agi. Strength will give you more melee attack power, Stam will give you more survivability, and most importantly, Agi will give you more crit (as well as more dodge)

I've seen guides say that both Str and Agi are valuable, but IMO Agi is much better. Not only does it give you crit, but it also gives you dodge. With a Greater Agility elixir running (+25), I was rocking 15.5% crit and 13.2% dodge, at level 40. Pretty sweet.

Intellect isn't bad either, can help to increase your time between drinks.

Spirit is actually pretty nice for Shamans, as you're going to be spending a lot of time regen'ing while you autoattack. Don't go out of your way to get spirit gear, though, just...don't insta-vendor the piece if it has spirit on it. There's lots of good gear with Spirit, like Tanglewood Staff, or Polished Jazeraint Armor. Since most people are convinced that Spirit is a shit stat, blue gear with Spirit on it will sell for real cheap.

So for the most part, all stats are good. Str/Agi for damage, Int/Spirit for more mana-longevity.


When it comes to weapons, you will want to start out using a fast Dagger (anything below 1.9 speed will work) and Flametongue, plus a shield of course. If you get a really good 2h weapon though, feel free to use it and Rockbiter.

Once you hit 30 and get Windfury, you have the option of using 2h and Windfury, or continuing with daggers and Flametongue. People will claim that Windfury is better than Flametongue, or Flametongue is better than Windfury, but in my experience, it all boils down to whatever weapon you have. If your best weapon is a 2h, use Windfury. If your best weapon is a dagger, use Flametongue. On a PvP server though, you'll definitely want the extra survivability of a shield, so go with Flametongue the whole way.

For 2h weapon speed, you don't want to go over 3.4; Windfury is not PPM-based, it is just a flat 20% chance to proc on every hit. So if you use a super slow weapon, you're going to have a really low Windfury proc chance, overall. Anything between 2.8 and 3.4 speed is fine. In PvP, you want a really slow weapon so you can potentially 2shot clothies; in leveling, you want a faster weapon for more consistent WF procs.

Here's a list of notable weapons:



-Evocator's Blade: Level 18 BoE dagger. Really nice speed, and has a little chunk of Int on it. I snagged one for just 2g off the AH. If you're short on gold, you could pick up a Pearl-Handled Dagger instead.

-Meteor Shard: Level 24 BoP dagger. Drops from last boss in SFK. Decent speed, nice damage, and the proc happens fairly often.

-Vendetta: Level 26 BoE dagger. Absolutely sick 1.3 weapon speed, and +6 agility for some extra crit. I got one for about 5g off the AH, after frustrations of Meteor Shard not dropping. :P

(You'll want to pick up a staff or 2h axe/mace before level 30, if you plan on using Windfury)

-Rod of the Sleepwalker, 27 BoP from 2nd to last boss BFD
-Gnarled Ash Staff, 26 BoE
-Wind Spirit Staff, 27 BoP from rare boss in RFK

-Loksey's Training Stick: Level 31 BoP staff, first boss SM Lib. Decent damage, but sadly the +60 AP against Beasts does not work at all. (tested it myself, after 30-40 kills, did not see any change in damage between Loksey's and Windreaver)

-Windreaver Staff: Level 32 BoE staff. Good damage for questing, and a huge amount of int to help you heal dungeons. The arcane damage is useless though, and causes lots of people to sell this staff for cheap. I snagged one for 3g off the AH.

-Black Duskwood Staff: Level 33 BoE staff. No stats, but it has a shadow bolt proc on it. Usually sells for cheap.

-Illusionary Rod: Level 34 BoP staff, last boss SM Lib. Great damage and amazing stats, but it may be hard to get since literally every caster wants it. Try to get a group with as few casters as possible.

-Hypnotic Blade: Level 34 BoP dagger, last boss SM Lib. Again, great damage and a nice chunk of int. Really nice Shaman weapon.

-Ravager: Level 37 BoP 2h Axe, Last boss of SM Armory. It has great damage, but no stats, and the proc is...wonky, to say the least. It doesn't seem to work properly on Nost/Elysium, in that while you are channeling Bladestorm, it only does TWO hits, instead of the three that it is supposed to. Furthermore, these hits from the proc DO NOT proc Windfury or Flurry. Which makes it kind of bad for Enhancement. However, if you use a macro "/unbuff Bladestorm", and hit that macro right after the first Bladestorm hit lands, you will immediately do a melee attack after canceling the channel. Pretty nice, I guess. Warriors will not take this weapon unless their current weapon is shit, because they'll already have WW Axe which is better.

-Coldrage Dagger: Level 39 BoP dagger, last boss RFD. Sick weapon speed and a nice slowing proc that seems to proc pretty often.

-Tanglewood Staff: Level 41 BoE staff. Has better damage than Ravager, as well as a huge chunk of Spirit, and some strength. I picked this up for 8g off the AH, simply because I was tired of having to fuck around with the Bladestorm proc. It also has +14 Nature damage on it, so...small bonus to Lightning Bolt / Earth Shock / Lightning Shield. Solid Shaman weapon.

-The Chief's Enforcer:Level 45 BoP staff. Drops in ZF, from the Chief. No stats, but good damage, and it seems to drop very often. The stun proc is pretty nice, but only really useful in PvP. The stun can proc off of Windfury attacks, as well. It procs once per mob, on average. Seems to have no ICD, as I've seen it proc 3 times on a single mob.

-Searing Needle: Level 46 BoE dagger. A bit high on weapon speed, but the fire damage debuff proc is really nice, since you're using Searing Totem and Flame Shock.

-Princess Theradras' Scepter: BoP level 49 2h mace, last boss in Mara. Again, no stats and the proc is kinda meh, but it's a nice upgrade from the previous weapon.

-Charstone Dirk: Level 49 BoP dagger, last boss in Mara. Nice intellect and some mp5 as well. This can serve quite well as a healing weapon, before you get Hammer of Grace in BRD.

-Waveslicer: Level 53 BoP 2h axe. Drops from Hydrospawn in DM:E. Nice speed, huge strength bonus, and a lovely 1% crit to top it all off. Very solid leveling weapon; this will likely be your weapon until 60. However, it can be very tough to find a group for DM East before level 60. Many people only do DM:E for jump runs, which require you to be level 60 so you can skip lots of trash.



If you need to pull one mob out of a group of 3+ mobs, use Lightning Bolt and then start running. The mob you damaged will have a slightly longer leash range than the other mobs, so just keep running until the other mobs reset, and then run up to the mob that you attacked. It takes a bit of practice to get a feel for the leash ranges, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do it pretty easily.

Use Rank 1 of Earth Shock for interrupts, to save mana. Use max rank for damage, if you need to catch a fleeing mob before it pulls other mobs, or burn down a mob really quickly.

If there are a lot of mobs in a small area and you're going to kill all of them, put down Strength of Earth and Grace of Air, and pull the mobs within range of those totems. Either through Lightning Bolt, or just backing up towards your totems as you melee the mob.

Front-load all of your casting before a pull, so you can maximize regen time. Cast your totem(s), Lightning Shield and/or Flame Shock as soon as possible after each other, so you can spend as much time as possible outside the 5-second rule.

Before you go out questing, ask around for some mage water. It'll save you a lot of money in the long run.

Lots of elite quests can be soloed, albeit somewhat slowly. With clever use of Frost Shock / Earthbind, you can kite a single elite around in circles, while your Searing Totem slowly melts it. With a little practice, you can use Flame Shock, while Earthbind slows the mob over and over. Just run in circles so that the elite keeps walking near the Earthbind, and you're good. I wouldn't recommend doing this for quests that require you to kill lots of elites, as it takes a good 3-4 minutes to kill one elite, and you need a good bit of space to kite around. This is mainly useful for quests that only require you to kill a single elite, such as Raptor Mastery(Tethis), or Excelsior(elite croc).

If you can get consumables for cheap, go right ahead. I found that potions were always really cheap, up until Superior level. Even things like Greater Mana Potion, I was buying them for 5-8 silver each. Also, I'd recommend using Agility elixirs, as the extra crit is really nice, and they're usually pretty cheap. These elixirs DO NOT STACK with Grace of Air, but they do give you the convenience (and mana savings) of not having to put down Grace of Air totems all the time. So you can pick between "more agility" or "not having to put down agi totem all the time". I personally use the totem, so that I don't have to buy elixirs, saving money and bag space.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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Nice guide. I do think you should include the 1h+shield spec I've linked in the other thread. It's still a faster spec overall and it gives an intresting twist to leveling.

Good information and insight, keep it up.

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Thanks for this.  Also agree with other poster about adding some info (spec link) regarding 1h+shield can be pretty good for PvP staying alive and grinding in general.

Edited by delita1

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Here's his post:


The best leveling spec is usualy limited to what you are looking for while leveling.

But the fastest spec is this one:


Start in enhance and then go to elemental. It can be done very easily with green gear, a shield and somewhat decent and sub 1.8 speed weapon with flamtounge, the faster speed the better. 

If you gear for: Int until you can spam totem/shock/lightningshield without going oom and then go for str>agi>stam>spir, you will never have to rest, aslong as you heal with bandage and no spells. If you are an expert at abusing the 5sr, go for str>int>agi>stam>spir.


I like Imp ghost wolf though, it really does make leveling faster, lesser cast spell.  What would you replace?

Edited by delita1

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2 hours ago, delita1 said:

If you gear for: Int until you can spam totem/shock/lightningshield without going oom and then go for str>agi>stam>spir, you will never have to rest

I'm still waiting to see a video of you spamming so many spells and "never having to rest".


No (attainable) amount of int stacking will allow you to spam totems/shocks/litshield and never have to drink, because your regen is tied to spirit/mp5, not int. Stacking int will just let you go longer between drinks, because if you're spamming spells, you're not regen'ing mana.

Edited by gotmilk0112

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Thanks the OP for the post. I think that enh till 39 and elemental after this is cool way to level. About the other spec delita1 posted. I think that imp ghost wolf is so nice that there is no reason not to take it. My only concern on elemental is exactly this talent. It lets you get away fast from both mobs (if shit hits the fan) or unfavorable PvP situations!

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On 2/3/2017 at 0:12 PM, gotmilk0112 said:

However, if you use a macro "/unbuff Bladestorm", and hit that macro right after the first Bladestorm hit lands, you will immediately do a melee attack after canceling the channel.

This macro does not work. Is there a new one that does?

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I do not agree with not putting points into improved lightning shield. Along with searing totem, lighting shield is by far the most mana efficient and most damaging spell you can use. 15% extra damage on an ability you should always use adds up.


also stormstrike is horribly mana-efficient even with the slowest of weapons and i don't know why you would use it over searing totem. im pretty sure its minus on its mana to damage ratio while searing totem becomes plus on mana after only 4 ticks


Im level 44 and i use 1 hand + shield, my rotation is lightning bolt to pull into searing totem into lighting shield and i auto attack/reapply lightning shield until the mob is dead then i pull any nearby mobs that i need to the already up searing totem. Im able to clear several mobs before i even need to stop to eat/banadage/drink.

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47 minutes ago, Superomegaop said:

I do not agree with not putting points into improved lightning shield. Along with searing totem, lighting shield is by far the most mana efficient and most damaging spell you can use. 15% extra damage on an ability you should always use adds up.

Again, having it "always up" will OOM you very fast.

Flame Shock works just as well and lets you regen more.

47 minutes ago, Superomegaop said:

also stormstrike is horribly mana-efficient even with the slowest of weapons and i don't know why you would use it over searing totem. im pretty sure its minus on its mana to damage ratio while searing totem becomes plus on mana after only 4 ticks

Read what I wrote.


If you use other abilities alongside Stormstrike, you'll be OOM very fast and have to drink every 3 mobs.

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Why don't you mention the RFK axe as a possible weapon? No axes overall mentioned in this thread.

I do not know so I'm asking.

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On 11/09/2017 at 2:45 AM, suhail1200 said:

Being troll solves all problems in leveling.The hp regen in combat is OP.Having 2k hp and that's 200hp regen in combat so u save the heals.

Lol he is funny

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Thank you for the great guide. I registered because of it!

Two friends and I are will be levelling together from the start sometime soon, I'll be a mage, one friend a Warrior and another Shaman. What build would you recommend for my Shaman friend so he can have some healing utility for dungeons and help with AOE and overall questing speed?



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I saw this the other day in Reddit. What do you think?


I would go with imp ghost wolf first, then start working into the ele tree to get elemental focus at lvl 27:


After you get clearcasting, go back into enh to get 2h at lvl 31 for Windfury. You don't have to use a 2h. Just use whatever wep is best. If its fast(under 2.0 speed) use flametongue, or use WF or Frostbrand if its slow:


continue in the enhance tree for 5/5 flurry at lvl 40:


At 41, go back into elemental and spend 4/5 in call of thunder, then 3/3 elemental devastation which will improve your melee dps paired with flurry. I put 2/3 into eye of the storm and unlocked 1/1 elemental fury at 50:


put the next 2 points in 2/3 eye of the storm and 4/5 call of thunder:


By now you are 52 and can spend the rest of the points wherever you see fit. 3/3 elemental weapons is nice for your melee DPS. You can also go into the resto tree for .5 sec off your healing wave. Personally, I would continue elemental for -1sec casting time for lightning bolt and chain and +6 yards range. There are tons of specs for shamans to lvl with but ele / enhance hybrid is the most versatile spec for leveling in my opinion

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