- Author: Passion
- Date: August 31, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Welcome to our WotLK Classic leveling guide for Shamans, noble protectors, and seers to the spirits and elements of Azeroth. Shamans are known for heeding the call of the elements and expressing their will through elemental totems to support their allies or attack their foes.
Shamans in WotLK Classic are a great class, offering 3 distinct playstyles and a unique, support-heavy playstyle. Shamans are decently easy to level but aren’t necessarily the fastest levelers. Even so, they are very satisfying to level with large, sudden bursts of damage mixed in with sustained damage and a lot of buffs.
Most Shamans will choose to level as Enhancement, but some prefer to level as Elemental because of its ranged playstyle. Both playstyles work fine, but Enhancement is significantly easier and quicker for leveling. Because it is generally seen as the superior leveling spec in WotLK Classic, this guide will be focused on Enhancement Shamans, but a lot of the tips can be applied to Elemental also.
In this guide, we’ll go over helpful tips, where to spend your talent points, what to look for when gearing, effective use of your abilities, and other general advice to make the leveling process as smooth and easy as possible!
- Great survivability and utility
- Able to adapt to many situations or groups’ needs, especially with Dual Specialization
- Capable of soloing a lot of quests
- Rotation is punchy and entertaining at higher levels
- Situational abilities reward attentive players
- Totem quests offer a unique look at the world
- Lots of abilities come later, making the earlier levels fairly dull
- Dropping multiple totems every fight gets boring quickly
- Lots of situational abilities can be overwhelming
- Fights don’t vary a lot, you will mostly be doing the same thing for every fight
- Totem quests take a lot of time and are mandatory
General Leveling Tips
Pay attention to spells as you get them, something that may sound useless at the time most likely has a niche use that can save you. Something like Earthbind Totem may seem mediocre, but can be incredible for leveling. Experiment and see what you can do with niche spells!
Resistance Totems like Frost Resistance Totem might not seem important, but they can drastically reduce the damage enemy casters do to you, leading to less risk and less downtime between kills. Play around with every new spell you get, and try to understand it so you can incorporate it into your toolkit effectively!
As an Enhancement Shaman, most of your damage is based on your weapons, not your spell ranks or spell power. This means that upgrading your weapon will be the best increase in your leveling speed and a lot of the time a detour into a dungeon or a different zone to get a better weapon early can be worth it. Spells like Stormstrike deal damage based on “weapon damage”. Because of this, you want a slower weapon that deals higher damage. Something like Rockslicer is going to be better than Taskmaster’s Axe even though it has lower DPS, simply because every individual hit will deal more damage.
Shamans are able to use Cloth, Leather, and after level 40, Mail Armor. This is a key part of survivability as a leveling Shaman and you will often need to choose between higher damage Leather options and higher survivability Mail options. This is always going to end up being a personal choice, only you know how your leveling feels, so only you can decide if you need more survivability or if you’re comfortable enough to get damage instead. In general, you will always want to avoid wearing Cloth gear, as it does not provide the stats you need.
While leveling you will learn Lightning Shield and Water Shield — These 2 abilities are key parts of your leveling toolkit. Swapping between them as needed can be a great asset for any Shaman, giving you mana from Water Shield on demand and damage from Lightning Shield when you are actually killing things. Small things like swapping to Water Shield before mounting and back to Lightning Shield can be a useful habit to make.
Your weapon enchantments, Rockbiter Weapon, Flametongue Weapon, Frostbrand Weapon, Windfury Weapon, and Earthliving Weapon all have situational uses and it is good to familiarize yourself with all of them.
- Rockbiter Weapon is your first enchant, simply increasing the damage you deal. You will immediately stop using this as soon as you learn your next enchant.
- Flametongue Weapon is the second enchant you learn, making each hit deal bonus Fire damage and at higher ranks increasing your Spell Power. This is a fantastic weapon enchantment that you will be using in some capacity all the way to max level. Once you learn Windfury Weapon, you will no longer want this on your main hand. When you get Lava Lash you will want to make sure Flametongue Weapon is always on your off-hand!
- Frostbrand Weapon is the third enchant you learn and will not get much mileage while you level, but it can be useful in an emergency if you ever need easy access to a slow.
- Windfury Weapon is the fourth enchant you learn and is your bread-and-butter. This enchant gives each swing a chance to hit two more times, effectively tripling the damage of that swing. Getting this is a major turning point in your leveling and this should always be on your main-hand weapon while questing.
- Earthliving Weapon is the fifth and final enchant you learn. This enchant increases your Healing Power and gives your heals a chance to buff the target with a small heal-over-time effect. This is aimed at Restoration Shamans more than anything else, but if you decide to heal a dungeon, swapping over to this can be a quick and easy way to get some bonus healing.
As a mana class, you always want to carry level-appropriate water with you. You never want to be stuck waiting around for your mana to regenerate, time spent waiting around is time wasted! You won’t need to carry a ton, but at least a stack or two should always fit into your bags.
There are a few important factors to take into consideration for Stat Priority. First of all, your equipment will be varied throughout your entire leveling journey.
Early on, your gear will be a combination of both cloth and leather items, and this will highly prioritize gear that grants you main stats, such as Stamina/Intellect/Agility/Strength. After reaching level 40, your gear will mostly shift towards mail items. Then, you will want to prioritize gear that provides main stats, such as Stamina/Agility/Intellect.
Our talents further emphasize this prioritization: we have two different talents that perfectly synergize with each other: Mental Dexterity, which increases our attack power based on our intellect stat, and Mental Quickness, which increases our spell power based on 30% of our attack power.
- Attack Power
- Critical Strike Chance
- Spell Power
- Hit Rating
While leveling your “rotation” will mostly consist of reusing your totems until level 30, when you get CotE, allowing you to place 4 totems with one button.
- Pull with Flame Shock (Unlocked at level 10)
- Cast Stormstrike (Unlocked at level 41)
- Cast Earth Shock (Unlocked at level 4)
- Cast Lava Lash (Unlocked at level 45)
- Cast Fire Nova (Unlocked at level 12) if you are against more than 1 target
- Cast Chain Lightning (Unlocked at level 32) if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom weapon and are against more than 1 target
- Cast Lightning Bolt (Unlocked at level 1) if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom weapon and are against 1 target
- Cast Fire Nova (Unlocked at level 12)
As a Shaman, you have access to a lot of different totems, all useful for different things. You can have 4 totems out at once, one from each of the 4 elements, Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.
Each element focuses on different things, for example, water totems focus primarily on healing and restorative buffs, while fire totems focus primarily on direct damage.
You can place totems individually, or you can store them in a set, summoning your pre-chosen 4 totems with one button instantly. You learn the first set at level 30, until then you will need to manually place them!
Remember, whenever you need to leave your totems, destroy them with Totemic Recall to refund some of your mana!
Preset 1 – Call of the Elements
Preset 2 – Call of the Ancestors
Preset 3 – Call of the Spirits
This preset shouldn’t really use a set list and should be changed based on your situational needs and wants.
The Enhancement tree has a lot of talents that are fantastic, and a lot of talents that are more so-so. Because of this, the route to your best talents can vary heavily from player to player. The tree posted is my preferred route, but a lot of the choices may vary from other players.
These are the key points in the talent tree:
- Improved Ghost Wolf at level 16, making your Ghost Wolf instant cast, saving you a lot of time traveling before you have a mount.
- Flurry at level 25, increasing your attack speed every time you deal a critical hit.
- Mental Dexterity at level 30, giving you Attack Power equal to your Intellect.
- Unleashed Rage at level 38, giving you Expertise and increasing the attack power of yourself and all party and raid members.
- Dual Wield at level 40, allowing you to equip two one-handed weapons instead of a two-handed weapon.
- Stormstrike at level 41, giving you an instant weapon attack.
- Lava Lash at level 45, giving you another instant weapon attack.
- Shamanistic Rage at level 50, giving you a defensive cooldown and a way to regain a lot of mana.
- Mental Quickness at level 51, converting your Attack Power into Spell Power, improving a lot of your spells.
- Maelstrom Weapon at level 55, giving you access to instant cast Lightning Bolts, Chain Lightning and healing spells.
- Feral Spirit at level 60, a massive offensive and defensive cooldown that makes you a powerhouse for 45-seconds.
Glyphs aren’t always going to be the easiest to get a hold of while leveling, but if you happen to swing by an auction house you might find some cheap and useful glyphs to use.
Here are some of the Major Glyphs worth considering:
- Glyph of Feral Spirit – Your Feral Spirits gain 30% more of your Attack Power, increasing their damage.
- Glyph of Fire Nova – Reduces the cooldown of Fire Nova by 3-seconds, giving you a bit more area-of-effect DPS potential.
- Glyph of Lava Lash – Increases the damage dealt by Lava Lash by 10% if you have Flametongue Weapon on your offhand.
- Glyph of Lightning Shield – Increases the damage of Lightning Shield by 20%. More passive damage is never bad.
- Glyph of Shocking – Reduces the global cooldown of Shock spells from 1.5-seconds to 1-second. This can be very useful especially for interrupting spells with Wind Shear.
- Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem – Stoneclaw Totem gives you a damage-absorbing shield, 4 times the strength of the shield your totems receive. This is a nifty survival increase, but we shouldn’t need it much as Enhancement.
- Glyph of Stormstrike – Increases the nature damage bonus of Stormstrike by 8%, more easy damage.
- Glyph of Windfury Weapon – Increases the chance for Windfury Weapon to proc by 2%.
Here are some of the Minor Glyphs worth considering:
- Glyph of Astral Recall – Reduces the cooldown of Astral Recall by 7.5-minutes, letting you Hearthstone more often.
- Glyph of Ghost Wolf – You regenerate 1% of your maximum health every 5-seconds in Ghost Wolf, it’s not much but it’s a Minor Glyph so there isn’t a lot of competition!
- Glyph of Renewed Life – Removes the reagent cost of Reincarnation, never jump off a cliff without your “parachute” again.
- Glyph of Water Walking – Removes the reagent cost of WWalking, meaning you no longer have to keep a supply of Fish Oil in your pockets.
- Glyph of Water Breathing – Removes the reagent cost of WBreathing, meaning you no longer have to smell like Fish Scales.
Noteable Abilities To Train
- Healing Wave at level 1, 6, 12, 18, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 60, 63, 70, 75, 80
- Lightning Bolt at level 1, 8, 14, 20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 50, 56, 62, 67, 73, 79
- Earth Shock at level 4, 8, 14, 24, 36, 48, 60, 69, 74, 79
- Stoneskin Totem at level 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, 54, 63, 70, 73, 78
- Earthbind Totem at level 6
- Lightning Shield at level 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 63, 70, 75, 80
- Stoneclaw Totem at level 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 67, 71, 75, 78
- Flame Shock at level 10, 18, 28, 40, 52, 60, 70, 75, 80
- Flametongue Weapon at level 10, 18, 26, 36, 46, 56, 64, 71, 76, 80
- Searing Totem at level 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 69, 71, 75, 80
- Strength of Earth Totem at level 10, 24, 38, 52, 60, 65, 75, 80
- Ancestral Spirit at level 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 69, 80
- Fire Nova at level 12, 22, 32, 42, 52, 61, 70, 75, 80
- Purge at level 12, 32
- Cure Toxins at level 16
- Ghost Wolf at level 16
- Wind Shear at level 16
- Tremor Totem at level 18
- Frost Shock at level 20, 34, 46, 58, 68, 73, 78
- Healing Stream Totem at level 20, 30, 40
- Lesser Healing Wave at level 20, 28, 36, 44, 52, 60, 66, 72, 77
- Water Shield at level 20, 28, 34, 41, 48, 55, 62, 69, 76
- Magma Totem at level 26, 36, 46, 56, 65, 73, 78
- Mana Spring Totem at level 26, 36, 46, 56, 65, 71, 76, 80
- Water Walking at level 28
- Astral Recall at level 30
- Call of the Elements at level 30
- Call of the Ancestors at level 40
- Call of the Spirits at level 50
- Grounding Totem at level 30
- Reincarnation at level 30
- Totemic Recall at level 30
- Windfury Weapon at level 30, 40, 50, 60, 68, 71, 67, 80
- Chain Lightning at level 32, 40, 48, 56, 63, 70, 74, 80
- Windfury Totem at level 32
- Cleansing Totem at level 38
- Chain Heal at level 40, 46, 54, 61, 68, 74, 80
- Earth Elemental Totem at level 66
- Fire Elemental Totem at level 68
- Bloodlust/Heroism at level 70
- Call of Earth – At level 4 you will get a quest from your local Shaman trainer, giving you a few tasks around your starting zone, eventually rewarding you with Stoneskin Totem and an Earth Totem.
- Call of Fire – At level 10 you will get a quest from your local Shaman trainer, sending you on a few long treks to nearby zones, gathering some odds and ends to perform a ritual ending with you being rewarded Searing Totem and a Fire Totem.
- Call of Water – At level 20 you will get a quest from your local Shaman trainer, sending you on one of the longest quests World of Warcraft has to offer, taking you across continents and to a few small areas non-Shaman players will likely never see! After a long journey, you will be rewarded with Healing Stream Totem and a Water Totem.
- Call of Air – At level 30 you will get another quest from your local Shaman trainer. This one is a quick and easy quest, sending you on more of a hike than an epic journey and eventually rewarding you with an Air Totem.
- Totem of the Earthen Ring – At level 30, once you have all four Totems, you can turn them in to combine them into one, saving you a lot of inventory space.
- At level 50 all classes receive a quest taking them to the Sunken Temple. For Shamans, this offers a choice between Azurite Fists, Enamored Water Spirit, and Wildstaff. None of these are fantastic, but it is unlikely that you will have two trinkets by this point, so I recommend grabbing Enamored Water Spirit.
Shamans are able to use Axes, Maces, Fist Weapons, Staffs, and Daggers. You should always aim for whichever weapon is best for you, but swapping weapon types will typically require you to level the appropriate weapon skill as well.
You should always prioritize the damage of your weapon, not the DPS. Slower weapons at the same level will almost always have higher damage to make up for their slow speed and attacks. Abilities like Stormstrike are instant and deal damage based on weapon damage. Something like Corpsemaker is perfect for a leveling Shaman, being incredibly slow and having a lot of Strength. Something like Angerforge’s Battle Axe may seem great at a glance, the 2.60 attack speed massively reduces the damage per swing, especially compared to something like Flame Wrath from the same dungeon.
Weapon upgrades will be the biggest damage increase while leveling. Your most damaging spells only have a single rank and scale with gear instead of spell ranks.
Shamans are able to use Cloth, Leather, and Mail and ideally will always want to wear Mail after level 40 and Leather before level 40, but sometimes Leather items will provide better stats at the cost of survivability. While leveling you won’t always be able to wear optimal gear, so make do with what you have.
Professions can be hard to keep up while you level, but in Wrath of the Lich King, they give a lot of benefits. Something like Blacksmithing is very difficult to keep up while you level, but gathering Professions like Mining and Herbalism are incredibly easy to keep up as you go, and even if you don’t want to craft things yourself, you can sell the materials on the auction house to supplement other aspects of leveling.
While every profession gives some kind of stat boost, most of them give them towards max skill. Gathering professions instead give skills early that constantly scale as you level.
- Mining gives Toughness, a passive boost to your Stamina, starting with 3 Stamina at 75 Mining, and ending at 60 Stamina at 450 Mining.
- Skinning gives Master of Anatomy, a passive boost to your Critical Strike Rating, starting with 3 Critical Strike Rating at 75 Skinning, and ending at 40 Critical Strike Rating at 450 Skinning.
- Herbalism gives Lifeblood, an instant cast heal-over-time on a 3-minute cooldown. This scales with both Herbalism and your maximum health.
If you instead want to craft things while you level, Alchemy and Engineering are fantastic alternatives.
- Engineering allows you to craft grenades and bombs alongside a bunch of fun or niche utility items such as target dummies and fireworks.
- Alchemy allows you to craft your own potions, flasks, and elixirs which can all be invaluable for improving your leveling experience and speed.
There aren’t many useful macros while leveling, but one important one that I recommend always having is a stopcasting macro to make sure you can cast Wind Shear immediately without delay if you need it.
#showtooltip /stopcasting /cast Wind Shear