Season of Discovery Phase 2 Shaman Tank Build Guide & Best Runes

Season of Discovery Shaman Tank Featured Image
  • Author: Passion
  • Date: February 15, 2024
  • Updated: February 15, 2024
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Another Phase and Shaman remains the cream of the crop as far as tanks are concerned. This time we get some new toys to supplement our kit, instead of the build enablers of Phase 1.

Build Summary

Tanking as a Shaman relies entirely on the new Runes added in Season of Discovery. Through the Molten Blast and Fire Nova Runes we gain ways to generate AoE threat, while Shield Mastery and DW Spec allow us to prioritize defense or offense on a fight-to-fight basis.

Your game plan relies on keeping either Molten Blast or Lava Lash on cooldown, and Flame Shock running at all times. Every tick has a 10% chance to reset Molten Blasts cooldown, giving you great AoE potential. Utilize your Belt Rune to supplement your damage, either through Maelstrom Weapons or Power Surges instant cast Chain Lightnings, or Fire Nova for AoE. You will also want to keep Lightning Shield running as much as possible. This may not end up being the easiest task of course, as enemies will always be hitting you, knocking your stacks off immediately.

Along with this, you want to utilize your Totems effectively. If you can’t Taunt, you can drop Earthbind Totem to buy yourself time. During most fights you will want to keep Strength of Earth and Healing Stream Totem down, as well as shifting between either Fire Nova Totem, Magma Totem or Searing Totem depending on the fight. If the enemies Fear, throw down a Tremor Totem. If they Poison, throw down a Poison Cleansing Totem. If the damage warrants it, drop Stoneskin Totem instead of Strength of Earth Totem for extra tankiness.

You will also want to keep Rockbiter Weapon and Spirit of the Alpha running at all times. If you’re dual wielding, make sure Rockbiter Weapon is on your off hand too!



Maelstrom Weapon

When you deal damage with a melee attack, you have a chance to reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Lesser Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Chain Heal, or Lava Burst spell by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.

This gives you a stacking buff, and at 5 stacks you can instantly fire off one of the listed spells. This will typically be Chain Lightning for damage, or Healing Wave if you need an emergency heal. This can afford you a sudden burst of damage you wouldn’t otherwise have, but it can also be a bit of a mana hog.

Power Surge

Each time Flame Shock deals damage, it has a 5% chance to reset the cooldown on Lava Burst and Chain Lightning and make the next Lava Burst, Chain Heal, or Chain Lightning within 10 sec instant. Additionally, you regenerate mana equal to 15% of your Intellect every 5 sec.

This functions similarly to Maelstrom Weapon, but instead of building stacks, you simply have a chance each time Flame Shock ticks. On single target this will generally give you significantly fewer instant cast spells. This is slightly offset by the passive mana regeneration it offers, but we don’t stack a lot of Intellect on gear, making this effect barely noticeable.

Fire Nova

Your Fire Nova Totem spell is replaced with Fire Nova, which causes your current Fire totem to emit damage at its location.

This allows you to cast Fire Novas instantly from any Fire Totem, instead of having to place a Fire Nova Totem and wait for the delay, hoping nothing kills it in the meantime. This also has the added perk of giving you the threat generated, instead of giving it to a Totem.


Spirit of the Alpha

Infuses the target with the spirit of an alpha wolf, increasing all threat generated by the target by 45% for 30 min. Limit 1 target.

I don’t even know how this made it out of the testing phase. This spell is absolutely nuts, allowing Shamans to give anyone a massive threat boost. While non tank Shamans will generally place this on their groups tank, or even on a high threat DPS to turn them into a pseudo tank, we use it for our own benefit. Place this on yourself, slap Rockbiter on your weapon and never lose aggro again.

Decoy Totem

Summons a Decoy Totem for 10 sec with 5 health at the feet of the target that will redirect the next melee or ranged attack made against the target to the totem instead. The totem also grants the target immunity to movement impairing effects for 10 sec.

If you have another Shaman able to provide Spirit of the Alpha, Decoy Totem is a solid option. This is effectively a Grounding Totem for Physical hits, but what we care about is the second effect. For 10 seconds after placing this Totem, you will be fully immune to movement impairing effects. This will linger even after the Totem has been destroyed. This gives us a drastic boost to mobility in any scenario where slows and roots are commonplace.


Shield Mastery

Each time you Block, you regenerate mana you gain Armor, stacking up to 5 times. You also always gain increased chance to Block and increased Block value.

This Rune regenerates our maximum mana each time we block. Additionally, it grants us additional Armor, Block Chance, and Block Value. This is a vital part of the build, and without it we will struggle to maintain enough Mana to last through a fight, especially if we are AoEing.

If you find yourself as an off-tank, not being actively hit by enemies, or against an enemy that is purely a caster, you may want to swap to the Dual Wield Specialization Rune and forego a Shield entirely. This is also true once you start to get geared, allowing you to entirely skip a Shield.

Dual Wield Specialization

Increases your chance to hit with both spells and melee attacks while dual wielding and your Stormstrike ability now hits with both weapons while dual wielding.

Any time you are dual-wielding you will want to bring this Rune instead. This is a big boon for any boss that focuses primarily on Magic damage, allowing you to deal high damage and high threat. This flexibility is a big part of why Shamans are so strong as tanks currently.

It is important to note that you do not need this Rune equipped to dual-wield, but you will find yourself missing a lot without it.


Molten Blast

Blast up to 4 enemies in a cone in front of you with Fire damage. This ability generates a high amount of threat. Flame Shock periodic damage has a 10% chance to reset the cooldown on Molten Blast.

This Rune grants us a vital addition to our kit, AoE damage. This hits a cone in front of the user, dealing a chunk of Fire damage and generating bonus threat. This is the Shamans answer to Cleave, Swipe, and Thunder Clap.

During a purely single-target fight, you may want to opt for another Rune, such as Lava Lash, but this only works if you are dual-wielding.

Lava Lash

You charge your off-hand weapon with lava, instantly dealing 150% off-hand Weapon damage. Damage is increased by 20% if your off-hand weapon is enchanted with Flametongue.

Any time we are dual-wielding and don’t need AoE damage, we want to bring Lava Lash instead. This spell costs next to no mana and is on a low 6-second cooldown, making it a clear choice for extra threat and DPS on every encounter we can use it on.

Water Shield

The caster is surrounded by 3 globes of water, granting 1% of your maximum mana per 5 sec.  When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, 4% of maximum mana is restored to the caster. This expends one water globe.  Only one globe will activate every few seconds.  Lasts 10 min.  Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at any one time.

If you are not able to regenerate mana through Shield Mastery, this will be your next best bet. This can allow you to freely spam your DPS spells without worrying about running out of mana. The major downside is that you are removing your ability to generate AoE threat, but that isn’t necessary on every fight.


Way of Earth

While Rockbiter Weapon is active on your main hand weapon, you deal 50% increased threat, gain 30% increased health, take 10% reduced damage, gain 6% reduced chance to be critically hit by melee attacks, and Earth Shock taunts targets to attack you and has a separate cooldown from other Shock spells but has its range reduced to melee range.

This Rune is the glue that holds our entire build together. While Rockbiter Weapon is active, we generate double threat, have 30% more health, take 10% less damage, are Crit Immune, and our Earth Shock becomes a melee range Taunt. This Rune is mandatory any time you are tanking.

If you find yourself relegated entirely to DPS during a fight, you can swap this to Shamanistic Rage to make sure you can maintain your Mana during the fight, as you will not be blocking.

Talent Build

season of discovery phase 2 shaman tank talents
Talent Calculator

While we had many ways to build in Phase 1, Phase 2 locks us significantly more into the Enhancement tree. Shield Specialization, Thundering Strikes, and Flurry are obvious choices. Elemental Weapons buffs our already very strong Rockbiter even more. Any melee DPS will love being in your group with Improved Weapon Totems and Enhancing Totems giving very strong buffs to them.

Improved Ghost Wolf remains optional, but I would personally never skip it. If you do skip it, you can instead grab a second point in Guardian Totems and Two-Handed for PvP purposes.

Weapon Mastery is an obvious pickup. Finally, Stormstrike has received significant buffs in Phase 2. The Nature damage debuff no longer has stacks, instead lasting for 12-seconds flat. When combined with Dual Wield Spec, Stormstrike will hit with both weapons, allowing it to do very big damage.

Key Spells and Abilities

Rockbiter Weapon

We want to have this running on our weapon at all times. This is effectively our Defensive Stance or Bear Form. Unfortunately for us, our stance has a 5-minute duration, so we will need to be refreshing it often. Cast it every time you run between packs, drill it in as a habit early and often.

Earth Shock

As long as Rockbiter Weapon is active, this is a melee range taunt, and does not share a cooldown with our other Shock spells. Treat it as you would any Taunt ability.

Flame Shock

We want to keep this running on as many targets as possible. Every tick has a 10% chance to reset the cooldown on Molten Blast, which will be one of our biggest threat generators and damage dealers. Make sure to refresh it every time it falls off, even in single target!

Lightning Shield

This is our filler. Whenever we have nothing else to cast, we cast this. We don’t have that many spells in our rotation, so you will end up refreshing Lightning Shield fairly often.

Chain Lightning

This is primarily used with either Maelstrom Weapon or Power Surge instant casts. This gives us a chunk of AoE damage as well as some extra burst threat. We can also use this to pull, allowing us to establish some quick AoE threat upfront.

Noteworthy Items

Mekkatorque’s Arcano-Shredder

This is our Best in Slot weapon, and provides us a very useful debuff for both ourselves and the rest of our group. Bringing this to a group adds even more valuable to a very valuable spec.

Race Choice


Blood Fury is mostly a no-no for tanking, as reducing your healing received by 50% can very easily be a death sentence. On the other hand, Axe Specialization is fantastic, and Axes are one of few weapon types we can use. Level 40 and Phase 2 brought with it a few more options for Hit and Weapon Skill, meaning Axe Specialization is slightly less valuable, but far from useless.


Often an underutilized tanking favorite, Taurens have Endurance and War Stomp, both of which are great for us, but neither are spectacular.


My personal favorite, Trolls deal 5% increased damage to Beasts. They also have access to the very powerful Berserking racial, scaling with your current health. As a tank, you may be able to activate this after a heavy hit to take advantage of the full 30% boost.


About the Author


I love MMOs of all shades, especially the nitty gritty numbers parts of them. You might recognize me from the Shadow Priest discord, otherwise I play a little bit of everything, especially games with support roles available.
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6 months ago

How do you see a sham tank in pvp? What changes would yo apply?

Reply to  Macabrones
6 months ago

Maybe something with shamanistic rage and lava burst?

6 months ago

I feel you need more points into elemental or shaman tanks will OOM too quickly

Reply to  Esky
6 months ago

12/8/0 is going to be my starting tank build at 25. without mana shamans cant tank. Extra points in concussion for better damage for same mana cost coupled with Convection makes you much more efficient. the extra points you get in enchancement is not worth it imo at this early stage

Last edited 6 months ago by Esky
Reply to  Esky
6 months ago

Edit: idiot only have 15 points to work with. I’d consider doing a 7/8/0 build

5 months ago

Stop recommending that stupid mace, test of strenght is last chain u can do rest of the chain is 26lvl +

Khaled Choucri
Khaled Choucri(@triavatar)
Reply to  Kokusho
5 months ago

came to say this, huge waste of time. Also the Face Smasher BoE drop from SFK is better than the one mentioned here.

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