Shaman Tank TBC Guide
Can Shamans tank? The short and to the point answer is, yes. You might be rubbing your eyes in disbelief. Maybe conjuring a ten page manifesto about how only warriors can and should tank. Although, I can go on a long rant about the 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 is 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 for a challenge and a refreshing perspective from a 15 year old game.
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 relies 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.
Dreanei Shaman, thus the Alliance, can have all classes use Bag of Marbles on a raid boss. Tauren Shaman get Endurance & being Horde allows for Razorhide (+25% armor). Conclusion: Dreanei excels, if Bag of Marbles is involved, otherwise Horde Tauren wins.
Best Defensive Professions: Jewelcrafting exclusively has Falling Star, Enchanting has the exclusive, Enchant Ring - Stats. Best Threat Professions: Engineering for Super Sapper Charge, Blacksmithing for Dragonstrike.
Leading threat spells: Frost Shock, Stormstrike & Lightning Shield. Consumable items deal threat, ex: Super Rejuvenation Potion based on half of the Health & Mana gained. Damage items, ex: Supper Sapper Charge deal threat equal to the damage, so do reflective Buffs, ex: Thorns. (see Threat list)
Get a threat tracking Addon, ex: ThreatClassic2. Items reduce threat, ex: Fetish of the Sand Reaver & Prism of Inner Calm. Mage have: Invisibility & Burning Soul. Warlock: Soulshatter. Paladin: Blessing of Salvation & Blessing of Protection (prevents aggro). Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem (stacks w/Salvation). Hunter redirect threat: Misdirection. Rogue & Hunter wipe threat: Vanish & Feign Death. Items can taunt a boss: Masterwork Target Dummy. Classes in the 30-40 yard range won’t get aggro t'ill they surpass the threat level of the mob’s current target by 30%, as opposed to 10% for melee classes. (see More)
We don't get threat from totems. Common totems: Grace of Air Totem, Stoneskin Totem & Healing Stream Totem. For AoE Tanking: Stoneclaw Totem followed by Fire Nova Totem & Earth Elemental Totem. Other Shamans can Earth Elemental Totem to help with a pack of mobs.
Dungeon Beginner: 12/49/0. Dungeon Veteran: 16/45/0. Raid Tank: 16/45/0.
Pre Pull: Cast Lightning Shield & Windfury Weapon. Get all Buffs the group can supply. Put, Stoneskin Totem, Grace of Air Totem & Healing Stream Totem. Mark the mobs in front of you by right-clicking their portrait, pick Raid Target Icon, choose from a Skull = kill 1st, red X = kill 2nd, blue square = Freezing Trap and a moon = Polymorph.
Pulling: Rank12 Lightning Bolt, recast, followed by as many Rank1 Lightning Bolts to possibly get: Elemental Focus. At 20yards, Frost Shock.
Melee Range: In a fight, use Frost Shock ranks that suits mana & threat, lastly Stormstrike if need be. If Lightning Shield expires, recast. If death is imminent, equip a defensive weapon, ex: Grom'tor's Charge, use: Heroic Potion, Shamanistic Rage & Nightmare Seed.
This hardcore raid rotation has great results but requires good gear, Buffs, etc… If all actions below can't be done, don’t be sad, it’s mostly to show the max potential possible to achieve grand raid feats. For some, only certain actions are feasible, proceed accordingly.
Pre Pull: Hunter cast Ironshield Potion & Logout for 2min. You use Flame Cap, Logout for 3min, use Ironshield Potion, Logout for 2min. Login, equip a set with lots of +Healing, use Healing Stream Totem.
Pulling: Equip normal tank gear + The Decapitator. A Resto Shaman equips a set with lots of +Healing and will Earth Shield you, they reequip normal gear after. Ced Hunter pulls boss and consumes Misdirection. At 40 yards, activate Decapitator's "use" effect. Put Earth Elemental Totem, Wrath of Air Totem & Fire Nova Totem. Equip a +Spell Damage weapon, ex: Staff of Infinite Mysteries. At 30 yards, Lightning Bolt + rank1 Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning (depends on mob move speed). The Hunter should have Misdirection available at this point to use again. At 20yards, Frost Shock & equip a two-handed weapon, ex: Axe of the Gronn Lords.
Pulling Situational: When the Hunter initially pulls the boss, use Unconscious Dig Rat, equip Malown's Slam & hit the rat to possibly trigger the weapon’s effect and/or Flurry, afterwards swap to your usual weapon & the Buffs will stay.
Melee Range: As the boss is about to hit you, Shamanistic Rage, Stormstrike, equip one handed weapon + shield. Totemic Call and put usual totems: Stoneskin, Grace, etc... During the fight, replace Grace with Wrath of Air before each Frost Shock, put back Grace after. Totemic Call each time Stoneskin will expire.
Melee Range Situational: If Aggro is lost and a small walking distance is made, equip a 2hand weapon + Stormstrike, reequip normal weapon if Aggro is regained. On a potentially fatal boss hit, use Twisting Nether Chain Shirt and a Paladin can later Blessing of Protection, remove these Buffs instantly after.
There's a cap of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the cap as it may lead to unwanted Buff removal, the Addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Get defensive Buffs, ex: IronShield Potion before Threat Buffs, ex: Onslaught Elixir. (see Defensive Buffs).
Only 40 Debuffs can be on a mob. Having the most Debuffs is major in raids. There's defensive Debuffs: Insect Swarm & threat Debuffs: Winter's Chill among others (see list#1 & list#2). With the raid leader’s consent, suggest ideal Debuffs without overstepping.
Solidify defensive stats when gearing, threat is second. The Resilience & Defense stat helps us reach the 5.6% Crit Immunity Cap, PvP gear helps, ex: Gladiator's Mail Helm. General Stat priority: Resilience/Defense (t'ill Cap) > Stamina > Armor > Parry > Dodge. You can also have an MP5 set to regen Mana while you drink/run.
Phase1 BiS Defensive Set: http://bit.ly/HasArenaGear
2nd Best Defensive Set:
There's two situational types of enchants, defensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Superior Agility. And offensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Threat. Here's a List of relevant enchants.
Many actions can further solidify AoE cases, ex: Oil of Immolation, Stormchops, Force Reactive Disk, etc... (see List) It’s crucial to switch and attack another target every few seconds. In combat, items & spells giving Health or Mana deal 50% threat divided by each mob. At the start of a fight, items like Thornling Seed & spells, ex: Fire Elemental Totem can distract mobs by tanking them while you deal threat on them.
Healing a Shaman
Best healer for dungeons: Druid followed by Priest. Remind the healer to apply heal over time Buffs, ex: Regrowth & defensive Buffs, ex: Power Word: Shield on you.
For Dungeons: Shadow Priest, Retribution Paladin, Beast Mastery Hunter & Restoration Druid. In 10man raids, offer an ideal comp without overstepping. In our group, Warlock: Blood Pact, Paladin: Devotion Aura, Druid: Tree of Life, Warrior: Commanding Shout. A member (pref healer) can use: Thick Felsteel Necklace. Outside the group, ranged classes are favored over melee. If melee are needed, Rogues are best. (see Comp List: 5man, 10man, 25man).