- Author: Caperfin
- Date: August 30, 2019
- Updated: December 9, 2020
- Expansion: WoW Classic
Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! I am know in the community for pushing WoW to its absolute breaking point during my +6 years of playing it and have redefined what classes can do. Today, we’ll be exploring the amazing power of shamans in pvp through the elemental specialisation.
An elemental shaman in a player vs player environment or “PvP” has the opportunity to not only deal a monstrous amount of damage but also the capability of supporting other teammates. Their toolkit is perfectly designed to reflect the bursty damage which is present and sought after in PvP. The term PvP is used to define several categories: World PvP (WPvP), Battleground PvP (BGPvP) and Premade BG PvP (PPvP). We will mostly be exploring BGPvP, PPvP and focus on the battlegrounds: Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. These two battlegrounds are deemed to put both factions on an equal playing field and an adequate representation of personal and team skill.
What is Premade PvP?
A premade is a Battleground group that joined the battlegrounds as a group. This is for the convenience of people who want to play together in the same battlegrounds instance instead of being forked into different ones. Premade groups often come with the advantage of routine, and everyone knowing where to go and what to do. Sometimes the premade groups will be from PvP guilds and even come with their own voice communication server for faster communication and response. Typically, premades go against other premades to showcase who is the best.
Races play a big part as we are grasping for any amount of extra efficiency possible. Shamans are exclusive to the Horde and are available to three races: Orc, Tauren and Troll. If you are dead set on going Troll, Tauren or Orc, go ahead. This isn’t to say you should be forced to play a certain race, rather that you should be aware of the differences and make the according decision that aligns with your preferences. Next, lets see the most beneficial race within the Horde. Lets breakdown each race:
Throwing/Bow Specialization: Skill with Throwing/Bow Weapons increased by 5.
Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
Beast Slaying: Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
Berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 25%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with…
What does this mean? Going Troll is the optimal race for dealing very fast damage on a designated kill target and is ideal for PPvP. Also, due to the constant damage you receive in general PvP, you will easily gain the extra haste effect from Berserking since your health is frequently low.
War Stomp: After 0.5 sec, stun up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 sec. 2min cooldown.
Endurance: Total Health increased by 5%.
Cultivation: Herbalism skill increased by 15.
Nature Resistance: Nature Resistance increased by 10.
What does this mean? Going Tauren is ideal in PPvP, they are used for setting up a kill on a designated target or prevent a nearby enemy healer from healing by using War Stomp. This spell can also be used defensively to create some breathing room for your own healers. Be cautious you cannot dodge, block, or parry while casting the spell. However, its overall usefulness outweigh this slight inconvenience.
Blood Fury: Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25…
Hardiness: Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.
Command: Damage done by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%.
Axe Specialization: Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5.
What does this mean? Orcs are the king of BGPvP, because of their passive chance to resist Stun effects by 25%, because of the chaotic nature of this type of PvP you might find yourself alone and vulnerable to multiple stuns from different sources disabling the chance to heal yourself. However, in a PPvP scenario, an elemental shaman is all about finding the perfect moment to burst down a target, having a reduced chance to be stunned is irrelevant as you are constantly near a fellow teammate who can support you and a stun will rarely if not ever hinder you.
During the harsh and lengthy process of leveling, select Herbalism and Alchemy. A valid case can be made for also having a lvl 5 alt stationed permanently in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use. Back to the subject at hand, herbalism contributes convenient reagents for alchemy and a strong source of revenue for our eventual endgame professions. It also prevents players from spending an exorbitant portion of time pestering strangers in Orgrimmar to craft potions. The objective is straightforward, gather a substantial supply of gold and a bank chock-full of fruitful potions the raid might need. Next, I advise dropping Herbalism once the quantity of gold in one’s bags is overflowing and adopt the late game profession: engineering to scoop up a few useful tools such as c. Finally, for secondary professions, I urge grabbing all of them as they all provide valuable assets. In terms of fishing, you can farm those elusive Stonescale Eels that are highly contested after for Flask of the Titans and make a great profit. First aid grants bandages, such as: Heavy Runecloth Bandage for healing that don’t require any mana to use and Cooking provides you with Dragonbreath Chili (we will explore this later)
World of Warcraft as a default only offers a few action bars to players, so consider installing an addon to increase the numbers of action bars available. Totems are included in the next section. Here are shaman spells you will be dealing with on a reoccurring basis.
- Chain Lightning: The most powerful damage dealing spell within our toolkit unfortunately has a costly mana tax to it.
- Lightning Shield: There is no reason why this buff should not be active at all time. Will hit the target regardless of your hit chance.
- Lightning Bolt: The most commonly casted spell within our toolkit.
- Flame Shock: Useful against an enemy rogue to prevent them from going back into Stealth.
- Earth Shock: Although it deals a large amount of damage. Typically, it’s used to prevent spell casters from casting an outgoing spell.
- Frost Shock: Typically, used against melee classes to slow down their movement and to create some breathing room.
- Lesser Healing Wave: A healing spell mostly used to heal one self when moderate amounts of health are missing.
- Healing Wave: Usually, used when large amounts of health are missing.
- Ghost Wolf: Although this movement increasing spell requires a long casting time it can be cast in combat to escape rough scenarios.
- Far Sight: Very convenient in PPvP scenarios to provide beneficial information for your team to plan strategies ahead of time.
- Purge: A staple spell of the shaman class, which sees a lot of benefits in PPvP environments. We’ll explore this spell in detail later on.
Shamans in World of Warcraft are capable of summoning stationary creations known as totems. Totems are capable of yielding benefits to not only the shaman but surrounding allies. I won’t mention all totems as some of them are obviously insignificant in PvP. Down below, are the most common totems we will see in our adventures separated by their element type.
- Stoneclaw Totem: Used to divert the attention or known as “aggro” of a hunter’s pet to the totem, to free yourself from pushback.
- Earthbind Totem: An essential totem for creating space or “kiting” melee opponents, such as warrior, rogues & other melee classes.
- Tremor Totem: The removal of fear, charm & sleep is instant. A useful totem to counter the fears: Fear / Psychic Scream, etc…
- Frost Resistance Totem: Advantageous versus mages as it can be used to resist core movement impairing effects, Frost Nova.
- Fire Nova Totem: A devastating totem for quickly bursting down a target. Unfortunately, has a short radius so be close to the target.
- Nature Resistance Totem: Valuable to diminish the damage from opposing elemental shamans.
- Grounding Totem: A core totem in our toolkit to deal versus casters. For ex, an almost dead warlock will try to cast Death Coil.
- Windfury Totem: We don’t gain any benefit from this but it could be asked in a melee heavy party from teammates, so pay attention.
- Windwall Totem: A pragmatic totem to deal with hunters but is somewhat lackluster when compared to other totems in our arsenal.
- Poison Cleansing Totem: Indispensable on fights against rogues who use poisons and Blind or hunters who use Viper Sting.
- Mana Spring Totem: Useful to replenish not only our mana but the mana of nearby allies. Looses efficiency if moving around an area.
As you probably know a character can have a theoretical cap of 32 beneficial buffs. The limit may differ from server to server or what is acknowledged as a buff. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. On a side note, I suggest installing NirkBuffRemover/NBR and Buffalo to help with overall buff management and ease of mind. I should point out buffs can be removed by enemy players through spells, such as: Dispel Magic. Therefore, we will explore buffs that CANNOT be “dispelled” but can still be removed by dying. We will also explore easy to get buffs that can be used to waste an opponent’s mana as they dispel and they can be used as “padding” to preserve more precious buffs. The following buffs are not an obligation but be aware you will be at a disadvantage and your potential will be lower.
Notable Non-dispellable Buffs
- Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer
- Sayge’s Dark Fortune of Stamina
- Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops (only 1 food buff at a time)
- Flask of Distilled Wisdom
- Flask of Supreme Power
- Rumsey Rum Black Label
- Brilliant Wizard Oil
- Spirit of Zandalar
- Major Soulstone: (We’ll explore this later)
Easy to obtain buffs to waste enemy’s mana:
It’s important to head into battle prepared with a bunch of useful gadgets. All PvP situations are different and there are many uses for these items, I will merely go over the most popular uses I’ve experienced. In regards to trinkets, it’s important to remember, equipping a trinket will place a 30 second cooldown on it and gear can only be equipped while out of combat. Unlike, the buffs we looked at earlier the effects below can be dispelled so use them at an opportune moment.
- Limited Invulnerability Potion: Good to counter the use of physical damage bolstering trinkets/abilities, such as: (Recklessness)
- Living Action Potion: Similar to the above but will remove existing stuns and movement impairing effects, such as: (Kidney Shot)
- Free Action Potion: Great to counter the many stuns & slows present in general PvP, such as: (Hamstring, Crippling Poison)
- Restorative Potion: Periodically removes a plethora of negative debuffs. Useful if you find yourself separated from others or a healer.
- Discombobulator Ray: Can be cast from 20 yards and dismount an ennemy player instantly.
- Clutch of Foresight: Can only have 1 at a time but a well timed use can change the tides of battle. Great to use with Earth Shock.
- Thorium Grenade: Has many functions for offensive and defensive measures. Always make sure to carry a few of these in your bags.
- Magic Dust: Used to create some breathing room. Allows you to leave combat & equip different pieces of gear as we’ll discover later.
- Chained Essence of Eranikus: Applies a damage over time effect or “dot”, which is beneficial against rogues who go into Stealth.
- Linken’s Boomerang: Allows you to stun a target from a distance and somewhat create some breathing room against melee classes.
- Smokey’s Lighter: Scales with spell damage and usually synergized with a powerful spell damage trinket to burst down an opponent.
- Six Demon Bag: Instantly cast either Frostbolt / Chain Lightning / Fireball / Felhunter / Polymorph (can fail & poly you)
Swappable Pre-activated Items
- Petrified Scarab Can be activated and replaced with another trinket before engaging into an important fight, its buff effect will remain.
- Mark of the Chosen: Has a low chance to trigger but can easily happen versus fast attacking classes, ex: warriors, hunters & rogues.
- Defender of the Timbermaw Will heal nearby members if they are below 50% hp but prioritises the user. It will last about 40 seconds.
- Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator Grants the user a useful damage reflecting buff which is similar to the druid spell: Thorns.
Miscellaneous Items (don’t share a cooldown)
- Gnomish Net-o-Matic Projector: Can be cast from the safe distance of 30 yards. Generally used against rogues and warriors.
- Ultra-Flash Shadow Reflector: Great to counter shadow priests & warlocks who have many PvP related CC effects & shadow spells.
- Shard of the Fallen Star: A great way to burst down a target. The damage is divided by the number of targets it impacts.
- Barov Peasant Caller: Versus casters to pushback their spell casting, such as Warlocks who don’t have any spell pushback immunity.
- Insignia of the Horde: A required item for anyone looking to make a significant impact in PvP. Sees a great number of uses in BGPvP.
- Nifty Stopwatch: Another item for escaping the numerous sticky situations in PvP but only lasts 10 seconds on a 30 minute cooldown.
- Tidal Charm: A stun to use for any type of situation but has a 15 min cooldown, which could end up being the entire length of a match.
Your responsibility or role will very much depend on your PvP leader’s decision. This section will explore what is generally asked of you in each respective Battleground. Although, elemental shamans in World of Warcraft are synonymous with dealing immense damage remember that supporting fellow allies can be just as impactful. Also, elemental shaman are known to be a substantial counter to spell casters as we will explore.
Mainly a battle of attrition, you will be asked to keep annoying and pester enemy priests who are casting Mana Burn and interrupt their spell cast casting by any means necessary, whether it be a low rank of Earth Shock or a well timed Grounding Totem. Any other time you will Purge healers and burst them down with a sequence of spells once it’s asked of you, we’ll explore this notion later.
You will mostly be relegated to the group in charge of assassinating the Flag Carrier or “FC”. A big role is to Purge the FC, so not only your spells can get through unburdened but also teammates. The warlock buff spell Major Soulstone and Reincarnation play a massive part in Warsong Gulch. Typically, if you are really well geared you will be the lucky person to get Soulstone, unless told otherwise by the PvP Leader. If you’re in this prestigious situation, all bets are placed on you to obliterate the FC. This brings us to the next related topic.
Unlike player versus environment or “PvE”, there isn’t a consistent rotation of spells to be applied in PvP. However, I will highlight the best case scenario for sequencing our spells once we get the go-ahead to burst down a target. The following rotation assumes you are a Tauren and the target is incapacitated for 5 seconds to showcase the full course of actions. Naturally, weed out what can’t be commonly reproduced. As pointed out earlier shamans excel at dealing with caster classes, so pick and choose your fights accordingly. At anytime refer to the PvP Items section to better help you deliver damage unhindered.
- Any idle time should be spent mounted.
- Ready to fight? Consume the food item: Dragonbreath Chili, equip Hand of Edward the Odd and Jagged Obsidian Shield.
- Preferably be relatively close to the target: 20 yards to cast shocks. If it’s possible to be in melee range and weave in auto-attacks do so.
- Activate a powerful spell damage increasing trinket, such as: Talisman of Ephemeral Power.
- If engaging a class capable of silencing/interrupting you, such as: Silence / Counterspell preemptively cast Grounding Totem.
- Cast Fire Nova Totem
- Cast Lightning Bolt
- War Stomp
- Cast Chain Lightning, activate Nature’s Swiftness
- Cast Lightning Bolt
- Cast Earth Shock to interrupt an outgoing spell from the target (caster) otherwise cast on the target (melee) Frost Shock.
- Lastly, use Smokey’s Lighter or a similar instant damage dealing trinket and Thorium Grenade.
As you’d expect as an elemental shaman we have the majority of our talents points placed within the elemental talent tree. Luckily, talenting an elemental shaman is not absurdly hard to understand since we have one general talent setup to follow as a guideline.
There might be slight variations to this talent setup but generally these are talents we are aiming for. If you plan on heavily doing PPvP, remember to talent yourself with an accordance to what your team needs. Don’t be shy and ask what your team might need before queuing up for a Battleground.
Down below is a url to a spreadsheet with a plethora of options for proper gearing. The spreadsheet incorporates the numerous gearing phases of World of Warcraft Classic. Also, there is a section for PvE gearing to better help you get into raids to acquire your desired pieces of PvP gear or make some gold for yourself.
Notable pieces of gear (can be equipped in combat):
- Skull of Impending Doom: Since it’s an off-hand can be equipped in combat. Good versus Crowd Control effects, ex: Polymorph.
- Hand of Edward the Odd: If you can, try and get an auto-attack on your opponents to trigger the weapon & cast: Chain Lightning.
- Hurd Smasher: Used to create space, if in an inconvenient position versus a melee user. Feeling lucky? try The Chief’s Enforcer.
Notable pieces of gear: (don’t share a cooldown):
- Gnomish Mind Control Cap: Used to make enemies jump of the cliff in Arathi Basin.
- Gnomish Cloaking Device: Can be used in combat
- Goblin Rocket Helmet: Knock the target down long enough for you to leave combat & equip different pieces of gear & consume food.
- Goblin Rocket Boots: Considered by many people as a practically mandatory item for escaping the numerous sticky situations in PvP.
Tips and Tricks
This section will dive into tricks you can perform to separate yourself from everyone else.
Crit Force Sitting: This trick involves sitting which causes you to receive a crit in order to trigger Eye of the Storm. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. Let me explain, start by sitting down and immediately stand up right as you’re about to get hit, so it affects you as you stand. Replicating it consistently is hard so don’t go out of your way to perform the trick.
Magic Candle: Dropped by Kobold Geomancers in Elwynn Forest, Magic Candle allows us to cast a fireball at the target after 1.5 seconds. They are VERY easy to obtain but share a cooldown with the second cooldown category in the section: Items. The interesting part about this item is that it allows to cast a fire spell with a casting time, which is non-existent for the shaman class, normally our fire spells are instant. The reason why the casting time is good is because we can use it to bait out or “fake cast” an enemy Counterspell / Earth Shock so we are free to cast our more important spells unhindered. In a similar fashion also look to fake cast Hearthstone or Astral Recall.