- Author: Caperfin
- Date: March 19, 2019
- Expansion: WoW Classic
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, I’ll be focusing on our totemic friend, the shaman.
The topic of viable and optimal is contentious as some don’t 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 wasn’t 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 won’t reach a warrior’s. However, it isn’t necessary to do so, to tank.
You’ll be staring at your character for a long time. So, consider your character’s appearance as a key factor as it may entice you to play more. All races have benefits but they’re minor compared to other aspects. There is no wrong race. See to learn more about race options.
Engineering for: Goblin Sapper Charge, Masterwork Target Dummy, Force Reactive Disk, etc… The second useful profession, is whatever gives the most gold on the realm. Gold helps buy potions, ex: Flask of the Titans & consumable food, ex: Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops and other items.
The four most impactful threat generating Shaman spells are: Earth Shock, Stormstrike, Rockbiter Weapon and Lightning Shield. Consumable items also deal threat, ex: Major Rejuvenation Potion based on the Health & Mana replenished. In general, Health gained will deal threat based on a quarter of the amount replenished and Mana half. Next, damage dealing items, ex: Goblin Sapper Charge dishes out threat equal to the damage. Similarly, so do reflective type effects, ex: Thorns. Lastly, certain items induce pure threat each time their Debuff is triggered, ex: Gift of Arthas.
Install a threat tracking addon, ex: ThreatClassic 2, which will show the threat of your group/raid. Classes can reduce threat with items ex: Fetish of the Sand Reaver, with talents, ex: Burning Soul. Reduce the threat of others thanks to spells, ex: Blessing of Salvation. Wipe all threat with abilities, ex: Vanish & items, ex: Flask of Petrification. For a while, prevent Aggro, ex: Limited Invulnerability Potion. Lastly, redirect aggro, ex: Masterwork Target Dummy (taunts the target). Finally, classes within the 30-40 yard range won’t draw aggro until they outweigh the threat level of the mob’s current target by 30%, as opposed to 10% for melee classes.
Totems trigger the Global Cooldown (1.5 sec) during this time it’s not possible to cast shaman spells, therefore, be sure you don’t have anything urgent to cast. Contrary to popular belief, Totems are incapable of generating threat that is redirectable to you. The most common totems are Grace of Air Totem, Stoneskin Totem and Mana Spring Totem. Only one totem type can be active at a time per Shaman. If two totems with the same effect are placed their effects will not stack. Try and coordinate totems with other Shaman in the group if any. Fire totems offer no value other than some clever techniques around aggro through damage. See the video to learn more.
Detailed Totem Explanation
Strength of Earth Totem: A boost in attack power and thus threat. Optimally, put by another shaman with Enhancing Totems.
Stoneskin Totem: Gives melee damage mitigation and is put by us or another shaman who has: Guardian Totems in the group.
Stoneclaw Totem: Deals ~230 threat each pulse. Great for AoE tanking a pack of mobs.
Earthbind Totem: A tool for kiting/running possible unbound trash in an instance.
Tremor Totem: Mainly a situational totem to use when a boss encounter has fear, charm and sleep mechanics.
Frost Resistance Totem: Beneficial for fights involving high doses of frost damage.
Fire Nova Totem: Ideal for bursting down low hp adds on encounters. Fire totems are seen as a lavish luxury as they don’t generate threat for us.
Searing Totem: Fire totems crit & scale with spell damage.
Magma Totem: Good for AoE. Can aggro and survive a melee hit from a loose mob within a pack you don’t have aggro on yet.
Flametongue Totem: Sadly, it places a weak temporary weapon enchant and rarely if ever sees any relevance. AVOID using this.
Grace of Air Totem: Gives 4% dodge and agility is welcomed by others. Optimally put, by a shaman with Enhancing Totems.
Nature Resistance Totem: Advantageous for fights involving high doses of nature damage, such as in: Ahn’Qiraj and Zul’Gurub.
Tranquil Air Totem: Every party within a raid group should typically have a Shaman using this, with the exception of the tank group within a raid.
Grounding Totem: Useful for redirecting ranged spells from susceptible mobs and bosses.
Windwall Totem: rarely if ever sees any relevance.
Windfury Totem: No benefit for us, since we already have a temporary weapon enchant in the form of Rockbiter. But helps others.
Mana Spring Totem: Optimally, put by a shaman with: Restorative Totems. It doesn’t give us threat.
Healing Stream Totem: Typically, used if Mana Spring Totem is put by another shaman. Healing Spring Totem can’t generate threat.
Poison Cleansing Totem: Indispensable on fights with high poison output, ex: AQ bosses.
Fire Resistance Totem: Pragmatic for fights involving high amounts of fire damage, ex MC.
Disease Cleansing Totem: Unfortunately, rarely sees the light of day.
Dungeon tanking become easier with practice eventually you’ll reach a point tanking can be safely done with any talent setup possible. However, I still recommend having tank gear on you. If you are Shaman tanking for the first time, it’s recommended to go (16/35/0) which grabs, Stormstrike. This talent setup provides consistent threat per second for raids and strives on short boss fights. The second setup is (21/30/0) focusing more on magical damage with key talents as: Elemental Fury. It will demand many prerequisites to unleash its potential but will yield good results on long boss fights.
Pre-Pull: Cast Lightning Shield. Have all Buffs your group or raid can provide on you. Cast Rockbiter Weapon. Place totems, typically: Stoneskin Totem, Grace of Air Totem & Mana Spring Totem. Take a second to mark the mobs in front of you by right-clicking their portrait, pick Raid Target Icon and choose from either a Skull = kill first, a red X = kill second, a blue square = Hunter trap and lastly is a moon = Polymorph.
Combat: If the raid has many well geared damage dealing classes, use Nat Pagle’s Broken Reel to assure the first few Earth Shocks hit. Throughout the fight, use the appropriate rank of Earth Shock that reflects your mana and threat situation. Although, Stormstrike can’t be downranked, it also will be used in similar situations. If Lightning Shield disappears, reapply it. If your facing all of a sudden potential death, swap to a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter be sure it has Enchant Weapon – Agility & Rockbiter Weapon, use Masterwork Target Dummy (will aggro the boss), use Juju Escape, potentially use, Major Rejuvenation Potion & Major Healthstone in quick succession.
This is a more complex rotation mainly for raid tanking, it yields superb results but requires good gear, Buffs, etc… If you can’t perform every single action below don’t get discouraged, it’s mostly to showcase the maximum potential possible to achieve monumental feats.
Pre-Pull: Activate Unconscious Dig Rat. Unequip all gear and cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt on the rat to trigger Elemental Focus and (if 21/30/0) Elemental Devastation. Equip a gear set with the most spell damage possible and have another shaman with the (8/8) The Ten Storms gear set cast Lesser Healing Wave on you until you get Lightning Shield. Once the Buff appears, swap to your normal tank gear but keep a high spell damage weapon, ex: Staff of the Shadow Flame with Brilliant Wizard Oil and Enchant Weapon – Spell Power on the weapon
Pre-Pull Situational: You can also equip Malown’s Slam and hit the rat in the hopes of triggering the weapon’s strength effect. If the effect appears, swap to your usual weapon and the effect will remain. Furthermore, you can try and aim for a Flurry trigger.
Pre-Pull Situational: Someone in the party can: Gnomish Shrink Ray the rat to give the party +250 attack power.
Pulling: Have a Hunter pull the boss and be on the opposite side to create the most walking distance for the boss. A second before the Hunter pulls, cast Stoneclaw Totem, Thornling Seed, Fire Nova Totem and Chain Lightning. Use Nat Pagle’s Broken Reel. Cast Earth Shock and swap to your normal weapon & shield.
Pulling – Situational: If the first Earth Shock misses, swap to a two-handed weapon w/Rockbiter Weapon and Stormstrike after swap to your normal weapon and shield.
There is a max of 32 Buffs, avoid getting close to the max as it may result in Buffs getting accidentally pushed off. Talents, Set bonuses and Equip effects don’t count. A Buff Cap Calculator is used to see how many you have and what stacks. Prioritize stockpiling defensive Buffs, ex: Rumsey Rum Black Label before getting Threat Buffs, ex: Juju Might. Here’s a link to Realistic Defensive Buffs. Next are consumables, which also provide passive Buffs but some have instant active effects, ex: Goblin Sapper Charge, Major Healthstone as well as Dark Rune, Major Rejuvenation Potion among others.
Threat Increasing Buffs
- Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer: (If someone hands in Head of Nefarian or Head of Onyxia. Common but be in Orgrimmar)
- Mark of the Wild: Improved by talent: Improved Mark of the Wild (the resistance doesn’t stack with Shaman Resistance Totems)
- Traces of Silithyst: +5% damage to melee, range and spell damage dealt. Gained upon turning in Silithyst dust at Hive’Regal.
- Songflower Serenade: (From an easy & repeatable quest in Felwood, Corrupted Songflower.)
- Spirit of Zandalar: (Obtained if someone hands in Heart of Hakkar, which is common but you must be in Booty Bay/Yojamba isle)
- Gnomish Shrink Ray: Used on a mob before a boss fight. (can backfire giving group attack power instead, usually done by healers)
- Fengus’ Ferocity: +200 Attack Power (from Dire Maul North Tribute)
- Trueshot Aura: +100 Attack Power. (An ability within the Hunter Marksmanship talent tree)
- Battle Shout: +185 Attack power for 2 min. (improvable by the talent Improved Battle Shout & Tier2 set “Battlegear of Wrath“)
- Juju Might: (From the Winterspring repeatable quest: Frostmaul E’ko. Must have Cache of Mau’ari in inventory to use item.)
- Battle Squawk: +5% attack speed to group for 4 min, has a chance to happen on each attack made by Gnomish Battle Chicken.
- Swift Wind: +40% movement speed. +30% attack speed for 1 hour. (from the non-repeatable air totem quest, Call of Air)
- Ground Scorpok Assay: +25 Agility. (from repeatable quest: Salt of the Scorpok in the Blasted Lands)
- Elixir of the Mongoose: +25 Agility, +2% Melee Critical Strike chance. (purchasable through Auction House.)
- Grace of Air Totem: +77 Agility (effect is increased by Enhancing Totems)
- Grilled Squid: +10 Agility for 10min. (can’t stack with other food Buffs, such as: Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops)
- Strength of Earth Totem: +77 Strength. (effect increased by shaman talent, Enhancing Totems)
- Juju Power: (From the Winterspring repeatable quest: Winterfall E’ko. Must have Cache of Mau’ari in inventory to use item.)
- Holy Strength from Enchant Weapon – Crusader: Strength bolsters damage also the trigger of the Buff causes pure global threat.
Spell Critical Strike Chance
- Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian: Available in Phase 6. (Can’t stack with Moonkin Form)
- Slip’kik’s Savvy: +3% Spell Crit for 2 hours. (From Dire Maul North Tribute)
- Moonkin Form: +3% Spell Crit. (An ability from the Druid Balance talent tree)(Can’t stack with Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian)
- Arcane Intellect: +31 Intellect.
- Mana Spring Totem: (the Mana gain doesn’t cause threat to anyone but grants mana to cast spells which do cause threat)
- Mageblood Potion: (the Mana gain doesn’t cause threat to anyone but grants mana to cast spells which do cause threat)
- Innervate: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec.
- Rejuvenation from Dreamwalker Raiment (2/2) bonus.
- Lightning Shield: The highest damage dealing reflective effect. (Scales with the Spell Damage you have when the effect triggers.)
- Thorns: Second highest damage reflective Buff. (Improved by Cenarion Raiment (3/3) tier set bonus & talent, Improved Thorns.)
- Gift of Arthas: Deals threat when the effect is applied on the target. Continues to deal threat even if the effect is already present.
- Crystal Spire: (From repeatable quest “Crystal Spire” in Un’goro Crater & anyone can cast it on you) (can’t stack w/Thorns)
- Fire Shield: Applied by a Warlock’s imp. Deals 13 Fire damage to melee attackers. (Improved by Warlock talent, Improved Imp)
Spell Damage Increasers
- Flask of Supreme Power: Only 1 flask effect can be active at a time. Activating another flask causes the previous one to disappear.
- Greater Arcane Elixir: (can’t stack w/Fury of Ragnaros) Bolsters the damage of Dragonbreath Chili.
- Power Infusion: (Ability within the Priest Discipline talent tree) Optimally, put on you for the pulling & execute phase of a boss fight.
- Brilliant Wizard Oil: Put on a spell damage weapon, ced weapon is swapped once Lightning Bolt hits the mob. (See Rotation)
- Elixir of Greater Firepower: +40 fire spell damage for 30 min. Used to increase the damage of Dragonbreath Chili.
- Mark of the Chosen: Triggering it & then un-equipping it will cause the Buff to stay. (Get hit by a mob before engaging the boss.)
- Oil of Immolation: Interrupts the swing timer, only use before a fight or when switching targets. (purchasable through Auction House.)
- Dragonbreath Chili: Takes 2 Buff slots, 1 passive & 1 active. Stacks with another Food Buff if consumed after. Scales with Spell Damage.)
TO BE DETERMINED/TESTED
- Rejuvenation: TBD:(might cause threat through the Druid Tier3 Dreamwalker Raiment (2/2) set bonus, Rejuvenation)
Defensive Increasing Buffs
Stamina & Health
- Sayge’s Dark Fortune of Stamina: +10% Stamina for 2hrs. (from Darkmoon Faire, from the quest, Sayge’s Fortunes).
- Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops: +25 Stamina. (can’t stack with other food Buffs, such as: Grilled Squid)
- Rumsey Rum Black Label: (By fishing in many kinds of pools, mainly Floating Wreckage in Stranglethorn Vale or bought from AH).
- Power Word: Fortitude: +54 Stamina. (effect is increasable through the priest talent, Improved Power Word: Fortitude)
- Mol’dar’s Moxie: +15% Stamina overall for 2hrs. (From Dire Maul North Tribute)
- Spirit of Zanza: Bought from Rin’wosho with Zandalar Honor Token. Tokens are gained through quests, ex:A Bijou for Zanza.
- Blood Pact: Warlock must be in the group for the “Aura” Buff to remain.(effect increased by Warlock talent, Improved Imp)
- Flask of the Titans: +1200 HP for 2 hours. The most significant defensive Buff out there for Shaman tanks.
- Elixir of Fortitude: +120 HP for 1 hour.
- Regrowth: +50 HP stacks fives times, resulting in 250 HP. From the (6/6) Dreamwalker Raiment tier set bonus available in Phase 6.
- Warchief’s Blessing: (Obtained when someone hands in Head of Rend Blackhand, which is common, you must be in Orgrimmar)
- Greater Stoneshield Potion: Has a 2 minute cooldown with potions, ex: Major Rejuvenation Potion & Major Mana Potion.
- Elixir of Superior Defense: +450 Armor for 1 hour. (can’t stack w/Crystal Ward)
- Polished Armor: +10% Armor for 10min. (from the PvP Battleground Alterac Valley quest, Enemy Booty. Persists out of Battleground)
- Crystal Ward: +200 Armor. From repeatable quest “Crystal Ward” in Un’Goro Crater. (can’t stack w/Elixir of Superior Defense)
- Inspiration: Increases armor by 25% for 15 sec, shares the same effect as Ancestral Healing, they can’t stack with each other.
- Power Word: Shield: Effect is improved by Improved Power Word: Shield & The All-Seeing Eye of Zuldazar.
- Scarab Brooch: (Healers can trigger its effect on you before a fight and swap it out for another trinket and the effect will remain)
- Greater Heal: From the (4/4) Vestments of Faith tier set bonus.
- Bloodkelp Elixir of Dodging: +3% dodge for 30 min. (one time usable item from the Dungeon Set 1 quest chain)
- Juju Escape: (from repeatable quest, Ice Thistle E’ko. Must have Cache of Mau’ari in inventory to use item)
Heal over time
- Healing Stream Totem: (Effect improved by Restorative Totems. The healing doesn’t cause threat to anyone)
- Greater Heal Renew: From (8/8) Vestments of Transcendence tier set.
- Rejuvenation: Heal for 888 over 12 sec. (increased by the talent, Improved Rejuvenation)
- Regrowth: Heal for 1064 over 21 sec.
- Renew: Heal for 970 damage over 15 sec. (increased by the talent, Improved Renew)
Pure Damage Reducers
- Stoneskin Totem: Reduce melee damage taken by 30. (effect bolstered by shaman talent, Guardian Totems)
- Dampen Magic: Useful for magical heavy fights. (effect is bolstered by mage talent, Magic Attunement).
- Amplify Magic: Useful for physically heavy fights. (effect is bolstered by mage talent, Magic Attunement).
Resistance Increasing Buffs
- Greater Fire Protection Potion: Absorbs 1950 to 3250 fire damage.
- Fire Resistance Totem: +60 fire resistance.
- Frozen Rune: Absorbs 1500 to 2500 fire damage. (Available in Phase 6.)
- Juju Ember: +15 fire resistance for 10 min.
- Greater Frost Protection Potion: Absorbs 1950 to 3250 frost damage.
- Frost Resistance Totem: +60 frost resistance.
- Juju Chill: +15 frost resistance for 10 min.
- Greater Nature Protection Potion: Absorbs 1950 to 3250 nature damage.
- Nature Resistance Totem: +60 nature resistance.
- Greater Shadow Protection Potion: Absorbs 1950 to 3250 shadow damage.
- Crystal Basilisk Spine: Increases Frost and Shadow resistance by 10 for 1 min.
- Shadow Protection: +30 Shadow resistance for 10 min.
- Gift of Arthas: +10 Shadow resistance for 30 min.
A maximum of 16 Debuffs can be on a target. Having as many Debuffs possible is negligible for dungeons but paramount for raids. There are defensive Debuffs, ex: Insect Swarm and threat Debuffs, ex: Faerie Fire among others. With the raid leader’s permission offer recommendations on optimal Debuffs that suits your needs without overstepping. As Shaman tanks, we can dispense Gift of Arthas and Stormstrike, which will result in a higher damaging Earth Shock and therefore more threat. Keep in mind, Stormstrike’s Debuff can perish by Lightning Shield among other nature damaging effects.
- Curse of Recklessness: – 290 armor but bolsters melee attack power by 45. Only 1 warlock curse can be active on any 1 target.
- Expose Armor: Can’t stack w/Sunder Armor but reduces more than it, if the rogue has the talent: Improved Expose Armor.
- Sunder Armor: Can’t stack w/Expose Armor.
- Armor Shatter from Annihilator: Reduces an enemy’s armor by 200. Stacks up to 3 times.
- Faerie Fire or Faerie Fire (Feral): They can’t stack with each other but perform the exact same function.
- Wail of the Banshee: Reduces hit chance by 10%. (Cast by healers, has a cast time, tied to spell hit. A rotation of it can be made.)
- Insect Swarm: Reduces hit chance by 2%. Typically, applied by a healing druid or a balance druid.
- Thunderfury from Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker: Takes up 2 Debuff slots. (can’t stack w/Thunder Clap)
- Thunder Clap: (can’t stack w/Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. Improved by 5 pieces Conqueror’s Battlegear.
- Improved Scorch: Mainly used to increase the damage of Dragonbreath Chili. Chili deals fire damage in a cone in front of you.
- Flame Buffet from Arcanite Dragonling: Mainly used to increase the damage of Dragonbreath Chili.
- Curse of the Elements: Mainly used to increase the damage of Dragonbreath Chili.
- Stormstrike: Used by you or another Shaman to bolster Earth Shock. Charges of the Debuff are useable by Lightning Shield.
General Damage Taken
- Gift of Arthas from Gift of Arthas: Bolsters the damage the target takes also deals threat when the Debuff is applied on the target.
General Magical Damage
- Spell Vulnerability from Nightfall: Mainly used to bolster the damage of Earth Shock and Lightning Shield.
Physical Damage Reduction
- Demoralizing Shout: Effect is increased by the Warrior talent, Improved Demoralizing Shout and Booming Voice.
- Curse of Weakness: Effect is increased by the Warlock talent, Improved Curse of Weakness and Amplify Curse.
When gearing, concentrate at cementing your survival before improving threat. It’s recommended 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. Melee Hit for Raid tanking, 6%. 10%-12% Spell Hit for raid tanking is advised, Nat Pagle’s Broken Reel helps. Gearing to bolster threat can start becoming complex, if Buffs are involved, I suggest Jannon’s TPS Simulator. You cannot swap gear in combat, except for a weapon & shield. Enabling the swapping to a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter, if survival seems grim.
Enchants enable us to further round out our character. There are two categories of enchants for Shaman tanks, defensive, ex: Enchant Gloves – Superior Agility. And offensive, ex: Enchant Gloves – Threat. Acquiring Enchanting is not necessary to benefit from the profession’s advantages. Simply, give the Enchanter the required enchanting materials and they will enchant your gear for a small gold tip. Getting all your gear enchanted can end up being very costly, I suggest enchanting gear, if you’re absolutely certain it wouldn’t get upgraded for a long time.
When it comes to AoE tanking, a Shaman must go above and beyond since it not only requires a prerequisite understanding of how to tank one target but many at a time. Thankfully, there are measures to help maintain AoE scenarios better, such as: Oil of Immolation, Thorns and Force Reactive Disk among others. Furthermore, it’s important to switch and attack some other target periodically. AoE raid tanking is demanding and many who want to solidify their execution may want to go a talent build with Eye of the Storm to Chain Lightning if Elemental Focus pops. A single Chain Lightning can go cleanly due to Masterwork Target Dummy aggroing mobs.
With the raid leader’s permission offer your advice on an ideal raid composition that suits to your needs without overstepping. Within our group, we appreciate a warlock with Blood Pact a warrior with Battle Shout, a hunter capable of dispensing us Trueshot Aura, etc… (see video). If we can choose the damage dealing classes to bring to the raid, we prefer ranged classes over melee. If melee classes are required, we opt for rogues. Groups with warriors and warlocks should preferably have a shaman providing Tranquil Air Totem. And finally,
a druid is welcomed for a potential Innervate sent our way.
Dungeon & Raid Tanking Strats
This section will explore dungeon and raid Tanking strategies and assumes you are putting in the effort and have carefully read everything detailed in this guide.
Dire Maul East, West, North
Dire Maul East has some nature immune mobs, they appear plant-like. Resort to using Frost Shock for these mobs and equip a two-handed weapon, if you can comfortably survive without a shield. If a priest and/or a druid is present make sure Shadow Protection, Mark of the Wild & Thorns are on you. When engaging a pack of mobs, place down Stoneclaw Totem and attack each mob at least once. Oil of Immolation is suggested if you have problems holding aggro on a pack of mobs (see AoE tanking to learn more).
Dire Maul West has bosses dealing high amounts of physical damage. It’s advised to have defensive focused gear equipped and potions, ex: Major Healing Potion & Major Mana Potion at the ready. Rumsey Rum Black Label and Elixir of Superior Defense also help. A priest assuring Power Word: Shield and Inspiration is constantly applied during a boss fight is appreciated.
Notable piece of gear: Tendris Warpwood drops Warpwood Binding. Immol’thar drops Vigilance Charm, Evil Eye Pendant, Odious Greaves and Demon Howl Wristguards. Prince Tortheldrin drops Silvermoon Leggings and Timeworn Mace.
(Lord Hel’nurath, special boss) drops Dreadguard’s Protector.
Scholomance has a large amount of bosses who deal shadow related spells, if a priest is present Shadow Protection is advised. The boss Rattlegore can cast Knock Away, which resets your threat, make sure to use Earth Shock after you get effected by this. Healing potions, such as: Major Healing Potion are suggested for Rattlegore, Doctor Theolen Krastinov and Lord Alexei Barov.
Notable pieces of gear: (Kirtonos the Herald, special boss) drops Windreaver Greaves. Rattlegore drops Bone Golem Shoulders & Rattlecage Buckler. Ras Frostwhisper drops Intricately Runed Shield &Shadowy Mail Greaves. Instructor Malicia, Doctor Theolen Krastinov, Lorekeeper Polkelt, The Ravenian, Lord Alexei Barov & Lady Illucia Barov drop Hammer of the Vesper.Stratholme Undead & LiveHide
Onyxia is the only boss of Onyxia’s Lair. Players must have Drakefire Amulet with them to enter the raid. The Drakefire Amulet must be in your bags, not bank, in order for you to gain access to her lair. It’s advised to have 4k HP & 5k Armor unbuffed for Onyxia. (refer to Gear).
During her flight phase, cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt to proc Elemental Focus and Chain Lightning. As she starts descending trigger Elemental Focus for a Rank 7 Earth Shock when she lands. Heavy Runecloth Bandage can also be used on an ally to generate threat.
MC will be the second Raid available at your fingertips but won’t be a problem as long as you come prepared.
Lucifron: A fairly standard fight. It’s common to have a gear set focused on acquiring as much armor and stamina as possible. Very well geared players (refer to Gear) who rarely go below 70% health and don’t cause stress on healers at all, can incrementally implement gear that focuses slightly more on Agility rather than Armor. This switch from Defensive related stats to Threat related stats also applies to Buffs and is a general rule when it comes to tanking.
– Notable gear to roll on: Heavy Dark Iron Ring
Magmadar: Magmadar has two signature abilities: Panic, a zone-wide Fear, and Frenzy, which needs to be removed by Hunters who learned Tranquilizing Shot from Lucifron. The totem Tremor Totem & Fire Resistance Totem are must have. Consider activating Greater Fire Protection Potion and Juju Ember to reduce the damage of Lava Bomb. It’s common for shaman tanks to equip a slightly stamina focused gear set, since it helps with the fire damage and physical damage.
Gehennas: Gehennas’s signature ability is Gehennas’ Curse, which reduces healing effects on the target by 75% for 5 minutes and needs to be removed as soon as possible. To decrease the effect of this ability, I suggest: Gift of Arthas to possibly resist it and reduce Shadow Bolt Volley. It’s common for shaman tanks to equip a slightly stamina focused gear set, since it helps with the shadow damage and physical damage. Otherwise, it’s a standard fight. If you are tanking the FlameWalker adds I suggest using Free Action Potion to avoid Fist of Ragnaros.
– Notable gear to roll on: Earthfury Gauntlets
Garr: You should mark all of the adds at the start of the fight, assigning one Warlock or one tank per marked add. Warlocks can use Banish to control an add, which is the most ideal way to keep the adds under control. Any adds that are not being banished will need to be held by tanks, preferably with one add per tank. Once Garr is dead, just kill the adds one by one until they are all gone. Garr can cast Antimagic Pulse so make sure you pad yourself up with lesser buffs ex: Water Breathing.
– Notable gear to roll on: Deep Earth Spaulders
Baron Geddon: After clearing ample trash to give yourselves plenty of room to work with, pull Baron back to the entrance of the room. You want plenty of room for melee to be on the boss, but enough room for ranged classes to be able to sit at max range away from the boss. Additionally, you need space for targeted players to run 30 yards away from the group. You only need one tank to hold Baron Geddon. When you need to run away during Inferno, be mindful of where your healers are positioned so you can try not to out-range them. Priests should be using Dispel Magic as much as possible to deal with Ignite Mana, we can also use Restorative Potion. Whoever gets Living Bomb needs to be at 100% health before the bomb explodes, preferably also with Power Word: Shield on them.
Shazzrah: A massive emphasis is placed on equipping stamina focused gear and if you haven’t done so already get: Smoking Heart of the Mountain & use Greater Arcane Protection Potion before the boss pull. If he uses Blink announce it so someone can pick Shaz up. If Arcane Explosion is life-threatening consider getting: Resist Arcane from a Mind Controlled Scarlet Medic in Plaguelands, refer to (Mind Control Buffs). Druids and Mages need to be on top of removing Deaden Magic & Shazzrah’s Curse if not, Restorative Potion is advised.
Golemagg: You need four tanks, two for the boss and two for the Core Hounds. Keep the boss in the middle of the room where he starts, but pull the Core Hounds away from him back and to the sides of the room. Face the Core Hounds away from the raid, into a wall. Have a Hunter help pull the Core Hounds to each tank at the start of the pull to make it easier. The two tanks on the boss should swap based on Magma Splash stacks. Whichever tank is not currently tanking needs to not be hitting Golemagg the Incinerator at all.
– Notable gear to roll on: Staff of Dominance (used in the pulling of the boss w/Lightning Bolt and unequipped after)
Majordomo Executus: Make sure you have Shadow Protection. Adds will sometimes have Magic Reflection, when it happens avoid using spells and swap to a threat related weapon (ex: Eskhandar’s Right Claw). A massive emphasis is placed on equipping stamina focused gear for this fight.
– Notable gear to roll on: Core Hound Tooth (bolsters threat and slightly defensive stats) & Wristguards of True Flight.
Ragnaros: Greater Fire Protection Potion, Fire Resistance Totem, Juju Ember and Resist Fire (from Mind Controlled Scarshield Spellbinder in BRS) is highly suggested. Furthermore, a specialized “Fire Resist” gear set will be equipped to deal with the boss (See Gear). Wrath of Ragnaros will knock back nearby players and deal some Fire damage. Your melee will want to back out of melee range before this is cast, and your off-tank will need to step in after the cast to immediately pick up threat on Ragnaros.
Blackwing Lair can be found at the very height of Blackrock Spire and is a 40-man raid instance.
Razorgore the Untamed: This encounter is very unique, requiring players to mind control Razorgore via the Orb of Domination located within the left-side of Razorgore’s room, and using the Black Dragon to destroy the eggs. In terms of what we do as a tank it’s a fairly standard fight. Equipping a gear set focused on Armor and stamina is highly suggested.
– Notable gear to roll on: Spineshatter.
Vaelastrasz the Corrupt: Vaelastrasz is known as the Guild Destroyer, and for good reason – The first real DPS check fight in Classic, the raid has three minutes to defeat the Red Dragon before he enrages. However, Vael himself empowers the adventurers engaging him, giving them infinite resources via Essence of the Red for the entire fight, and even maximizing a player’s potential via Burning Adrenaline, allowing them to deal double damage and cast spells instantly for some time before dying. A high stamina weapon (ex:Spineshatter) should be equipped before each Flame Breath
– Notable gear to roll on: Dragonfang Blade (bolsters threat while retaining some Defensive aspects)
Broodlord Lashlayer: The fight against Lashlayer himself is not that complicated, the only real challenge being managing threat, as he reduces tank threat constantly. To deal with Blast Wave you can use Fire Resistance Totem. To diminish the impact of Mortal Strike, I recommend going above and beyond to obtain Armor related Buffs and receive Power Word: Shield after being struck by it.
Firemaw: Firemaw is one of the dragons that use Shadow Flame as an ability, requiring players to use Onyxia Scale Cloak to mitigate this ability’s damage. Furthermore, equipping a high stamina weapon+shield (Spineshatter, Elementium Reinforced Bulwark) before each Shadow Flame is advised. Other players should take advantage of the entrance from Broodlord Lashlayer’s room to line-of-sight Firemaw and clear up stacks of Flame Buffet when these get too high.
Ebonroc: Ebonroc is one of the dragons that use Shadow Flame as an ability, requiring players to use Onyxia Scale Cloak to mitigate this ability’s damage. Furthermore, equipping a high stamina weapon+shield (Spineshatter, Elementium Reinforced Bulwark) before each Shadow Flame is advised. Ebonroc’s special ability is Shadow of Ebonroc. When a player is struck by Ebonroc while affected by this, they will heal the drake tremendously. As he casts this semi-constantly on tanks, your raid will need three tanks with high Shadow Resistance (for a chance to resist the spell, refer to Buffs) and constantly juggle threat between them to ensure the drake does not get healed.
Flamegor: Flamegor is one of the dragons that use Shadow Flame as an ability, requiring players to use Onyxia Scale Cloak to mitigate this ability’s damage. Furthermore, equipping a high stamina weapon+shield (Spineshatter, Elementium Reinforced Bulwark) before each Shadow Flame is advised. Flamegor enrages every 10 to 15 seconds, and while enraged, he spams Fire Nova, which will deal constant Fire damage to the entire raid. To stop Flamegor from enraging, Hunters must soothe the drake with Tranquilizing Shot whenever his enrage starts.
Chromaggus: Chromaggus is special in the fact that he uses attacks that belong to all dragonflights, not just Black. Chromaggus has a total of five possible breath attacks, but only uses two at a time. These attacks are decided when the instance is first created, and they persist up to the end of the raiding week. The possible breathes are:
- Incinerate (Red): Deals high Fire damage (around 3-4k).
- Corrosive Acid (Green): Leaves a DOT on the target and reduces armor for the duration of the DOT.
- Frost Burn (Blue): Deals low Frost damage and heavily reduces attack speed for a few seconds.
- Ignite Flesh (Black): Deals low Fire damage for a minute. This effect can stack.
- Time Lapse (Bronze): Stuns for 6 seconds, leaves a player with half health, and reduces their threat permanently.
In addition, Chromaggus will constantly affect players with five different debuffs, one of each type of dispellable school, and one that is only removed with an item from Blackwing Lair trash. These debuffs must be dispelled as soon as possible by all classes that can dispell them.
- Brood Affliction: Red: Disease. 50 Fire damage every three seconds. Heals Chromaggus on death.
- Brood Affliction: Green: Poison. Healing reduced by 50%, 250 Nature damage every 5 seconds.
- Brood Affliction: Blue: Magic. Movement slowed by 70%. Casting speed reduced by 50%. 50 mana and 1 health drained per second.
- Brood Affliction: Black: Curse. Fire Damage increased by 100%.
- Brood Affliction: Bronze: 4 second stun at random intervals for 10 minutes. Can only be removed with Hourglass Sand, looted from trash mobs in Blackwing Lair.
Nefarian: Nefarian is a very long encounter, in which players face him in both Human and Dragon forms. The entire raid must have the Onyxia Scale Cloak equipped, to prevent spillover damage from his Shadow Flame. Nefarian’s special ability through the encounter is the Class Calls: Every 25-35 seconds, he will “call out” a class, afflicting every player of that class with a specific debuff. However, it doesn’t impact us very much.
The expansion The Burning Crusade “TBC” is looming and being prepared is wise. Gold is still a beneficial asset, especially a lot of it, since we have many different gear setups that will require: repair, enchants and gems. As well as buying potions, bind on equip gear, etc… Working on a positive reputation on your realm will help open many doors in the future as players will notice your name. Similarly, find a guild that will be accommodating of your future tanking ventures and has warlocks with Fetish of the Sand Reaver. In terms of gear, you should have going into TBC, Nat Pagle’s Broken Reel is suggested.
I hope you enjoyed exploring one of my favorite classes in World of Warcraft. If you are left with some lingering questions after having read the guide, feel free to swing over to the Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/GYF3uNf and I would be more than happy to answer them. I will be continuously updating this guide as we learn more about Classic WoW.