Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

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Yutilk
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Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:29 pm

About
Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! For a long time
there has been some negative stigma surrounding shaman tanks in
original Warcraft. Many players do not consider them as tanks and
not worth a second look. However, this stigma is typically fuelled
by misinformation or players who refusing to go the extra mile to
make it work. If you have more questions regarding shaman tanks,
feel free to drop by the Twitch stream to chat.
Image
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Table of Contents
- Introduction
- Basics
- Race
- Profession
- Threat
- Totems
- Talents
- Rotations
- Buffs
- Debuffs
- Gear + Enchants
- Comparison
- AoE Tanking
- Raid Composition
- Raid Tanking Strat
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Introduction
Can Shamans tank in Vanilla? The short and to the point answer is, yes. You might be rubbing your eyes right now in disbelief of this answer. Perhaps concocting up an entire four page manifesto around how only warriors can and should tank. Although, I could go on a long rant about how there are many other classes that can tank, today, I will be focusing on our totemic friend, the shaman.

My intent and statement with this guide is not to upset anyone or downplay different classes but to bring to light a rarely talked about topic of the game. Nothing about what will be detailed in this guide is orthodox, many distinctive elements can be tied to other hybrid classes looking to stray away from the path of normality. Every possible subject that comes to mind will be dissected to answer any lingering questions you might have. In the likely situation a subject is not addressed or poorly please bring it to my attention. I expect the same amount of scrutiny from readers as I have put into writing this guide, so don't hold back. Before continuing, an important aspect needs to be brought to everyone's attention. For some players this will be old news, but for many others players this will be a much needed revelation. The topic of Viable and Optimal is a highly controversial topic as some people simply don't see the difference or mixed these words up and commonly interject their own misguided philosophy onto it. To put it simply, Optimal is the most efficient and foolproof solution to solve a problem that eliminates as many negative variables as possible and favors a more easy going route. Next, is Viable or commonly referred to as possible, which is seen as the more challenging path to take but feels like a greater personal feat.

With all of this in mind, where are shaman tanks placed? Shamans are classified under Viable and with each theorycrafter joining our ranks and contributing their work, perhaps shamans could “feasibly” one day dethrone those braggadocious paladin tanks/bear tanks and reach a theoretical semi-optimal spot. Many shaman tanks will agree their motivation or drive comes from the glory of accomplishing something the the rest of the server population dares not even try. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to continue reading on. To restate my point, you decide to go shaman tank if you want a challenge in an otherwise easy to clear raid. For example, Molten Core can be cleared without any contention. If it wasn't made obvious before, shield bearing is a sizable undertaking. When experienced players pick up a shaman tank and put in the effort, it shines tenfold. Nonetheless, your guild must also be experienced and prepared for a tempestuous task ahead.

You will often see experienced raiders from top guilds play as a restoration shaman in raid and build a tanking set while healing. Eventually, they will transition into shaman tanking due to its extra challenge in an otherwise easy to clear content patch, they usually make the switch after the initial rush to get world first on a boss or raid is claimed and the subsequent following content drought approaches. As I previously stated it is not for the faint of heart, if you are brand spanking new to World Of Warcraft consider leveling up a ranged class, for example: a mage to get an adequate grasp of the PVE raids.
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Basics
Let me put your fears to rest, shamans are fully capable of tanking 5mans, 10mans, off-tanking and even main-tanking a few raid bosses. Of course, as stated before, each form of tanking is heavily reliant on personal and guild experience. An important fact needs to be stated before moving on. A shaman's overall armor will never approach a warrior's armor mitigation. This results in a lower mitigation of physical damage. However, you compensate in other areas and provide some beneficial assets as well better threat output on single targets.

On this notion, pending any major weird coding or other factors, shaman tanks can do about the same threat as a protection talented warrior. But there is a drawback, many spells are mana intensive, so be prepared to farm some mana regenerative items before a raid. We share the most similarity with feral druid tanks as we don’t have a major block activating ability and rely on a assortment of stats. The next downside is the nature immunity of certain mobs and its burden on threat but don't worry there are solutions which will be explained in the upcoming sections. Outside of guild mates, establishing a reliable friend list of healers & dps is advised for getting buffs, consumables, etc... as they are more accustomed to the lesser known way of the shaman. In other situations, by all means, carrying a healing gear set when unsure of the group's competence is advisable.
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Race
Races play a big part as we are grasping for any amount of extra efficiency possible. Unfortunately, shamans don't exist on the Alliance side, therefore, we are being relegated to spend our fighting days with the Horde. As for race, choose wisely as once the decision is made there is no going back. Some players might want to choose a certain race to assure the clearing of a specific boss or raid.
  • Tauren
    Nature Resistance, War Stomp, Endurance, Cultivation
    What does this mean?: Considered the most suited race for surviving long fights and ideally clearing ZG/AQ, which will be the first raids where difficulties will arise. The 5% hp is great and based on absolute HP, so it will scale with the amount of HP obtained from gear and world buffs. In regards to War Stomp, be cautious you cannot dodge, block, or parry while casting the spell. However, its overall usefulness outweigh this slight inconvenience. The increase to Herbalism is also helpful and nothing to scoff at while leveling.
  • Troll
    Throwing Specialization, Bow Specialization, Beast Slaying, Regeneration, Berserking
    What does this mean?: The race focusing on dealing threat instead of anything else. Generally, threat is not an issue, if you glaringly foresee having threat issues, than I unquestionably advocate for troll above all other races. Their "Regeneration" racial is insignificant even with a lot of spirit. Troll will especially deal a lot of threat on "Beast" bosses, ex: Magmadar in MC, Whirlaxis and Gahz'ranka in ZG, etc...
  • Orc
    Axe Specialization, Blood Fury, Hardiness, Command
    What does this mean?: Orc sadly fall short in survival & threat aspects. Akin to the troll, orc's focal point is threat. However, they're seen as a more riskier race option considering the -50% to healing from Blood Fury, which is a negative to non-attentive healers. In all honesty, in our strict testing, they surpass other races for dealing threat on short fights but it made the majority of healers very nervous. On the bright side, they proved more effective in the off-tank position. In conclusion, they're far too situational to be suggested.
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Professions
While leveling, select Herbalism & Alchemy. Herbalism provides reagents for Alchemy and a source of gold for our eventual endgame professions. The goal is to accumulate a large supply of gold and a bank full of potions the raid might need, for example the potion, Flask of the titans. After drop Herbalism and go for the late game profession, Engineering. In order to get a few beneficial assets, such as: Gnomish battle chicken, Goblin Sapper Charge among many other gadgets. A valid case can be made for having a lvl 5 character in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use.
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. First aid grants bandages for healing that don't require any mana to use. Lastly, cooking has Dragonbreath Chili a sheer delight as it not only scales with spell damage but also alongside the trinket: Arcanite Dragonling and its fire increasing debuff: Flame Buffet. This debuff scales with Goblin Sapper charge as well. All these items combine into a boost in threat. Contrary to popular belief, Dragonbreath Chili does stack with another food buff.
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Threat
Because a plethora of questions surrounding aggro/threat are bound to come out of confusion. I'd like to first reference Kenco's words about how gaining aggro on a mob and overall threat functions in World of Warcraft.

Now, let's examine the threat of a shaman. They're on another tier when it comes to outputting threat, but demand a lot of dedication comparably to the more laxed protection warrior. With proper optimization, their threat is nearly equal to a pure protection warrior and in some situations just shy of a druid tank. Of course, the shorter a fight, the better, since a shaman can freely throw mana around without going out of mana as fast. Resulting in more dependable damage being dished out and correlates into predictable threat. Let's see how to get creatures more mad at you than unusual.
  • Earth Shock is first as it deal a high amount of threat because of its 2x damage threat modifier. The downside is nature damage is burdened on three fronts: no warlock curses bolster it, a spell coefficient of 40.71% of the caster's spell damage and some raid content is somewhat resistant to nature. Lastly, downranking our spells is crucial in tanking to be cost-effective. Anything resembling an elemental (noticeable in MC) will have a high resistance to nature damage. All the Dragons of Nightmare are also immune to nature damage or tend to have the same high resistance to nature as to fire. The same applies for some creatures in: AQ, ZG and Naxx. Basically, if an environment has a disease or poison theme, expect nature damage to be hampered. Here's a chart to better explain the notion. Don't fret, items exist to counter this damage dampening downside, ex: Eye of Moam & the debuff from Thunderfury helps with Earth Shock's damage by reducing the target's nature resistance.
  • Frost Shock is used against nature immune targets. Frost Shock or referred as "FS" can't consume a debuff slot on a boss impervious to movement impairing effects (most bosses). There are more ways to circumvent the lack of threat done against nature immune targets, which will be peppered in the upcoming topics.
  • Rockbiter Weapon at rank7, is 72 threat per second on hit. With 2.6 speed weapon, each hit is: 2.6 * 72 = ~172 threat. Weapon speed won't matter, but haste does. Haste effects are wanted to counter nature defiant mobs & low percent chance to hit. Once at an auto attack DPS of ~140, Rockbiter isn't optimal, instead use Windfury Weapon. Players use fast daggers because of its higher chance to trigger the effect.
  • Lightning Shield or known as "LS" imposes conditions to be cost effective. Firstly, LS is on the GCD and shouldn't be casted over other spells, such as: Earth Shock so weigh your mana and threat. Secondly, downranking LS is vital to conserve our resources and maintain productivity. Each charge of LS scales with 33% of total spell damage but can't crit.
  • Oil of Immolation might not seem like much but floats around fourth on the list. It will interrupt your swing timer but not trigger a GCD. It is undeniably good to use before a boss pull or against multiple mobs. Luckily, it can be bought on the Auction House or created through Alchemy with a profession skill of 220.
  • Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning (depending on number of mobs) will be the first spells dealing threat on the target. Downranking isn't as harsh since these spells are only casted upon engaging a boss.
  • Goblin Sapper Charge and similar bombs are great to generate additional threat and a definite must have against multiple mobs. The majority of explosives are created through engineering with the exception of the last two in the following list:
    - Goblin Sapper Charge (It shares a 1 minute GCD w/other bombs)
    - Dark Iron Bomb will require you to stand still and a 1 second cast.
    - Crystal Charge this can be stacked up to 20 & used when moving.
    - Note: Not a bomb but Clutch of Foresight (CD w/bombs) is an arcane spell, great for fire resistant mobs.
  • Thorns and similar reflective effects are last. Typically, these type of buffs are great against multiple mobs but still have relevancy in single target scenarios. You can only have one reflective buff on you at a time. The second highest dealing damage reflective effect is: Fire Shield.
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Threat Diminishers
Aggro and threat from teammates is a daunting obstacle to tackle. Luckily, there are ways for classes to reduce their threat. Firstly, ranged classes are favored because any aggro they mistakenly get is likely from a 30-40yrd range, so it's easier to supervise. Also classes standing out of the 30-40yrd range will not draw aggro until they exceed the threat level of the mob's current target by 30% as opposed to 10% for melee classes. Here are a few examples of threat reducers or resets, in no particular order:

Classes
- Rogue deal with threat thanks to Feint and wipe threat with Vanish.
- Mage have the talent Frost Channeling and the talent Burning Soul.
- Druid in cat form can use: Cower & healing druids can get Subtlety.
- Priest reduce threat with the talent Silent Resolve & the spell: Fade.
- Shaman who heal can get Healing Grace and use: Tranquil Air Totem.

Items
- Formula: Enchant Cloak - Subtlety: Used by high threat dealers in raids.
- Limited Invulnerability Potion: Will prevent aggro gain during its effect.
- Fetish of the Sand Reaver & Eye of Diminution: Available within AQ/Naxx.
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Totems
We’ll be asking our shamanistic brothers from the restoration side to land a hand with totem utility, so be kind and compliment each others advantages in the group. keep in mind, there's only one type of totem per shaman so having another shaman is welcomed. Also, fire totems can crit & scale with spell damage. Each totem below is in order of importance per category.

Earth
- Strength of Earth Totem: Put by a 2nd shaman with Enhancing Totems.
- Stoneskin Totem: Dropped by us or 2nd shaman with Guardian Totems.
- Stoneclaw Totem: For AoE tanking a mob in a pack you don't have aggro.
- Earthbind Totem: A tool for kiting possible unbound trash in an instance.
- Tremor Totem: This totem will see some relevancy on a few boss battles.

Fire
- Frost Resistance Totem: Ideal for fights with high doses of frost damage.
- Fire Nova Totem: Usually for bursting down low HP adds on encounters.
- Searing Totem: Damage totems are costly since they don't grant threat.
- Magma Totem: Superb for AoE damage on high HP adds in encounters.
- Flametongue Totem: A weak enchant incomparable to other enchants.

Air
- Grace of Air Totem: Optimally, put by a shaman w/Enhancing Totems.
- Nature Resistance Totem: To counteract nature damage, mainly ZG/AQ.
- Tranquil Air Totem: All raid party groups should have this, except yours.
- Grounding Totem: Sadly, this totem will rarely if ever used when tanking.
- Windwall Totem: Never used. I do not recommend purchasing this totem.
- Windfury Totem: Our Rockbiter enchant is better. But it may help others.

Water
- Mana Spring Totem: Usually, put by a shaman with Restorative Totems.
- Healing Stream Totem: Place if the before totem is put by a 2nd shaman.
- Fire Resistance Totem: Ideal versus high amounts of fire damage, ex MC.
- Poison Cleansing Totem: Good against a high poison output, ex: AQ/ZG.
- Disease Cleansing Totem: Unfortunately, it will rarely see the light of day.
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Talents
Naturally, if you're only doing dungeons the road ahead is much easier and there's more freedom to move talent points. However, raid tanking follows strict guidelines to be effective. The last two talent setups assume you're in a serious guild who confidently clear raids.
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Rotation
First, on the list is a simple dungeon tank rotation and we’ll be presuming the boss fight is simple.
  • Pre-pull: Cast Lightning Shield and assure all possible buffs are present and max duration. Next, place the appropriate totems. Lastly, if it hasn't been done get the addon: KTM Threat, it displays the threat of members. A scenario can turn ugly quick, so watch KTM often. At any moment, you need to be sure of the fitting Earth Shock rank to use.
  • Pulling: Cast Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning and Earth Shock. If all goes smoothly, Earth Shock again and turn the boss away from the group. If the boss suddenly targets someone or drops aggro, use rank7 Earth shock to aggro them. For future threat problems, see: Threat.
Second is a complex rotation mainly for raid tanking, it has great results but requires good gear, buff, etc... Naturally, if you aren't able to perform every single action below don't get discouraged, its mostly to showcase the maximum potential possible.
  • Pre-pull: Equip a spell damage gear set (ex: Gear Set + Brilliant Wizard Oil), cast Rank7 Lightning Shield. Equip normal tanking gear, except the weapon & drink mana. Place Stoneclaw Totem & back up 25-30yrds. (It will later halt the boss for 0.5 seconds or the boss attack's it) Equip 3 pieces of Stormcaller's Garb Place Mana Spring Totem. Activate Oil of immolation. Cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt on Unconscious Dig Rat to proc the previous nature effect or try to get Flurry & Elemental Devastation instead, your choice. (a mage can polymorph the rat, until it triggers.)
  • Pulling: Lightning Bolt, while it travels, equip a healing weapon (ex: Jin'do's Hexxer) As the bolt hits, cast R6 Lesser Healing Wave on a warlock who recently Life Tap. Equip a spell damage weapon (preferably staff). Cast R4 Chain Lightning. Equip all normal tanking gear. Immediately after cast R7 Earth Shock Activate Juju Flurry and Juju Escape, if the situation is ideal. Repeat the adequate rank Earth Shock until boss is dead.
  • Situational: If mana allows it, cast a suitable rank of Lightning Shield. If mana is foreseeably a problem, use Oil of immolation often. If mana is foreseeably an issue but threat isn't also cast R1 Frost Shock.
Note: Versus nature immune bosses, to pull: use Magic Candle (equip spell damage weapon). After, follow the healing-threat tactic above & cast Lesser Healing Wave as much as possible until the boss is at melee range than Frost Shock. If more threat is needed: Flame Shock instead. MUST need Flame Buffet (don't bother otherwise) & similar debuffs.
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Buffs
Prioritize obtaining Defensive buffs before acquiring Threat related buffs. Agility for example has the added byproduct of helping with defensive and threat measures. Generally, off-tanks or known as "OT", take less damage, therefore, it's not fully needed to aim for Defensive buffs. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. There is a max of 32 buffs: Talents, Set bonuses & Equip effects don't count. But Gear enchants count with exceptions: (Crusader enchant and enchants from the profession enchanting don't count.) Resistance enchants however need to be reconfirmed as they make it seem now like those should count. Let's move on and explore relevant buffs to our tanking duties. The following buffs are classified into sub-groups to better highlight their usefulness and showcase different options.

Threat Increasing Buffs
- Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer:
- Gnomish Shrink Ray: (can backfire increasing group's attack power)
- Fengus' Ferocity: From Dire Maul.
- Trueshot Aura: +50 Attack power.
- Battle Shout: (Improved by Battlegear of Wrath (3/3) tier set bonus)
- Juju Might: +40 Attack power. (from repeatable Winterspring quest)

- Sayge's Dark Fortune of Agility: +10% Agility. From the Darkmoon Faire.
- Ground Scorpok Assay: +25 Agility.
- Elixir of the Mongoose: +25 Agility, +2% Melee Crit.
- Grace of Air Totem: +77 Agility (effect is increased through a shaman talent)
- Call of the Raptor: +12 Agility for 30min. (non-repeatable quest reward item)
- Grilled Squid: +10 Agility for 10min. (does not stack with other food buffs)

- Strength of Earth Totem: +77 Strength. (effect is increased through a shaman talent)

- Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian: +2% spell crit to party. (can't stack w/Moonkin Form)
- Slip'kik's Savvy: +3% Spell Crit.
- Moonkin Form: +3% Spell Crit.

- Headmaster's Charge: +20 Intellect.
- Arcane Intellect: +31 Intellect.

- Gnomish Battle Chicken: +5% Attack Speed for 4 min.
- Warchief's Blessing: +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds.
- Fist of Shahram from (Blackblade of Shahram): +25% haste to party for 8sec.
- Juju Flurry: +3% Attack Speed for 20 sec. (Others can cast it on you)
- Swift Wind: +40% run speed & +30% attack speed (Only receivable upon finishing the Call of Air totem quest)

- Mana Spring Totem: +10 mana every 2 sec.
- Mageblood Potion: +12 mana per 5 sec.
- Innervate: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec.

- Oil of Immolation: Deals 50 Fire dmg to target within 5yds every 3 sec for 15 sec.
- Lightning Shield: Deals 226 Nature damage to melee attackers until 3 charges are struck off by the enemy.
- Static Barrier: Deals 5 Nature dmg to melee attackers.
- Crystal Spire: Deals 12 Nature dmg to melee attackers. (the quest is repeatable and any class can cast this)
- Fire Shield: Deals 13 Fire dmg to melee attackers.
- Thorns: Deals 18 Nature dmg to melee attackers.(32 dmg talented + tier set)

- Brilliant Wizard Oil: +36 spell damage and +1% spell crit chance.
- Blessed Wizard Oil: +60 spell damage against undead targets.

- Flask of Supreme Power: +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect can be active at a - time.
- Greater Arcane Elixir: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities.
- Traces of Silithyst: +5% damage to melee, range and spell damage dealt.
- Power Infusion: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec.
- Songflower Serenade: Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats.
- Mark of the Chosen: 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min.
- Spirit of Zandalar: +10% move speed, +15% all stats.
- Mark of the Wild: +384 armor, +12 all attributes,+27 all resistance.

- Elixir of Greater Firepower: Increases spell fire damage by up to 40 for 30 min.
- Blessing of Blackfathom: Increases intellect and spirit by 5 and frost damage done by 15.
- Elixir of Frost Power: Increases spell frost damage by up to 15 for 30 min.

- Dragonbreath Chili: Often deals ~68 dmg at targets in melee. (scales with spell damage)

Defensive-Buffs
- Sayge's Dark Fortune of Stamina: +10% Stamina or +10% Armor.
- Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops: (can't stack w/other food buffs)
- Rumsey Rum Black Label: +15 Stamina.
- Power Word: Fortitude (Priest): +54 Stamina.
- Mol'dar's Moxie: +15% Stamina overall.
- Spirit of Zanza: +50 Stamina, +50 spirit.
- Blood Pact: +42 Stamina.

- Flask of the Titans: +1200 Hp.
- Elixir of Fortitude: +120 Hp.
- Regrowth: From the (6/6) Dreamwalker Raiment tier set bonus.

- The Lion Horn of Stormwind: (can have 2 in trinket slot.)
- Greater Stoneshield Potion: +2000 Armor for 2min.
- Elixir of Superior Defense: +450 Armor.
- Polished Armor: (AWAITING CONFIRMATION OF ITS EXISTENCE)
- Crystal Ward (allies can also cast): +200 Armor.
- Inspiration (Priest): Increases armor by 25% for 15 sec.

- Power Word: Shield: Absorb 1105 dmg for 30 sec. While active...
- Scarab Brooch: Heals give a shield that absorbs damage equal...
- Greater Heal Renew: From the (4/4) Vestments of Faith tier set bonus.

- Bloodkelp Elixir of Dodging: +3% dodge for 30 min.
- Juju Escape: +5% Dodge for 10 sec.

- Healing Stream Totem: Doesn't cause threat.
- Greater Heal Renew: From the Vestments of Transcendence set.
- Rejuvenation (Druid): Heal for 888 over 12 sec.
- Regrowth (Druid): Heal for 1064 over 21 sec.
- Renew (Priest): Heal for 970 damage over 15 sec.

- Stoneskin Totem: Reduce melee damage taken by 30.
- Dampen Magic: Useful for magical heavy fights.
- Amplify Magic: Useful for physically heavy fights.

Resistance Buffs
- Greater Fire Protection Potion: Absorbs fire damage.
- Fire Resistance Totem: +60 fire resistance.
- Frozen Rune: Absorbs 1500 to 2500 fire damage.
- Juju Ember: +15 fire resistance for 10 min.

- Greater Frost Protection Potion: Absorbs frost damage.
- Frost Resistance Totem: +60 frost resistance.
- Juju Chill: +15 frost resistance for 10 min.

- Greater Nature Protection Potion: Absorbs nature damage.
- Nature Resistance Totem: +60 nature resistance.

- Greater Shadow Protection Potion: Absorbs shadow damage.
- Crystal Basilisk Spine: +10 Shadow resistance & Frost for 1 min.
- Gift of Arthas: +10 Shadow resistance for 30 min.

Mind Control Buffs
It is possible for an Alliance priest to use Mind Control or someone with engineering to use the head slot item Gnomish Mind Control Cap versus players on the Horde. For that duration the mind controlled Horde character is now considered an Alliance player. This allows the character to receive buffs from paladins. In the many guild raids I’ve taken part, we'd have 2-3 players on their paladins and priests stationed near the raid entrance for mind control buffing. It's also possible for a priest of any faction to Mind Control certain mobs, which can dish out buffs to all raid members.

Mind Control Buffs
- Greater Blessing of Sanctuary: (Will stack w/Stoneskin Totem)
- Greater Blessing of Wisdom: (Will stack w/Mana Spring Totem).
- Greater Blessing of Salvation: (can't stack w/Tranquil Air Totem).
- Greater Blessing of Might: (can't stack w/Strength of Earth Totem)
- Greater Blessing of Kings: +10% to all stats for 15 min.
- Improved Lay on Hands: Possible once it expires to go outside to get re-buffed then re-enter the instance & summoned back to allies.
BONUS: You can get Fear Ward from dwarf priests and if survivability is secured Curse of Recklessness from horde warlocks.

Mind Control Buffs from mobs
- Fury of Ragnaros: From Twilight Emissary in BRD.
- Resist Arcane: From Scarlet Medic in Plaguelands.
- Resist Fire: From Scarshield Spellbinder in BWL.
- Bloodlust: From Gordok Mage-Lord in DM.
- Bloodlust: From Hamhock in Stockades.
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Special Event Buffs
On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events. An example, is The Midsummer Fire Festival an event celebrating the hottest season of the year. It lasts about two weeks (mid-late June to early July). The next ones are Love is in the Air, Lunar Festival, Wickerman Festival and Scourge Invasion. The following buffs are separated by their event.
- Thunder Bluff Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Ironforge Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Stormwind Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Undercity Gift Collection: +30 Intellect for 1 hour.
- Orgrimmar Gift Collection: +30 Agility for 1 hour.
- Darnassus Gift Collection: +30 Agility for 1 hour.

- Fire Festival Fortitude: (stacks w/stamina buffs above)
- Midsummer Sausage: Bolsters damage from spells by up to 23.
- Fire-toasted Bun: +2% hit chance for 1 hr.
- Fire Festival Fury: +3% spell and melee crit for 1 hr.
- Elderberry Pie: +13 defense for 1 hr.
- Buttermilk Delight: +13 defense for 1 hr.

- Very Berry Cream: Bolsters damage from spells by up to 23.
- Dark Desire: +2% hit chance for 1 hr.

- Celebrate Good Times!: +10% to all stats for 30min.

- Elune's Blessing: All stats increased by 10% for 1hr.

Wickerman Festival (October 18th - November 1st)
- Invocation of the Wickerman: +25% health & mana regen. +25% stamina.

Scourge Invasion
- Soul Revival: +10% to all damage caused for 30 minutes.
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Debuffs
There can be a total of 16 debuffs on a boss. Having as many debuffs on a raid boss is crucial. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in either Threat or Defensive aspects and assumed to be at their maximum rank and talent improvement. The following debuffs are in sub-groups to highlight their utility and showcase different options.
- 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: Reduces target's armor per combo point. (might not stack with Sunder Armor but reduces more than Sunder Armor)
- Sunder Armor: Reduces armor by 450. Can be applied up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.
- Annihilator: Reduces an enemy's armor by 200. Stacks up to 3 times.
- Faerie Fire: Reduces armor by 505 for 40 sec. While active, the target cannot stealth or go invisible.

- Improved Shadow Bolt (Warlock): Shadow Bolt critical strikes increase Shadow damage dealt to the target by 20% until 4 non...
Curse of Shadow: Reduces Shadow & Arcane resistances by 75 & increasing Shadow and Arcane damage taken by 10%.
- Shadow Weaving (Priest): Shadow damage spells have a 100% chance to cause the target to be vulnerable to Shadow damage...

- Wail of the Banshee: Preferably casted by healers, since it has a casting timer. (is affected by spell hit)
- Insect Swarm (Druid): The enemy is swarmed by insects, reducing chance to hit by 2% & causing 324 Nature damage over 12 sec.

- Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker: Does not stack with Thunder Clap's slow debuff effect.
- Thunder Clap: Increases the time between attacks by 10% for 30 sec. (can't stack w/Thunderfury's slow effect)

- Improved Scorch: Mainly used to increase the damage caused by Fire totems and Flame Shock (niche scenario).
- Flame Buffet (Arcanite Dragonling): Mainly used to increase the damage caused by Fire totems and Flame Shock (niche scenario).
- Curse of the Elements: -75 resistance to Fire & Frost and increase Fire and Frost damage taken by 10%. Only 1 Curse per...
- Winter's Chill: Mainly used to increase the damage caused by Frost Shock.
- Stormstrike: Gives an extra attack. Also, next 2 sources of Nature damage dealt are increased by 20%. Lasts 12 sec.

- Gift of Arthas: If a target strikes you, they have a 30% chance of being inflicted with a disease increasing taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min.

- Nightfall: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec.

- Demoralizing Shout (Warrior): Reduce melee attack power of enemies within 10 yards by 140 for 30 sec.
- Curse of Weakness: Damage caused by target is reduced by 31 for 2 min. (effect is increased through a warlock talent)
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gear
If unsure of guild or group performance, carry several focused gear sets: Stamina set, Dodge set & Armor set to cater to any possible encounter. Certain pieces of gear from PvP through Honor Ranking remains the best forever but demands a large amount of Honor grinding.

Below is a Gear Spreadsheet to help with gear progression.
- Gear Spreadsheet Link

Below are BiS sets by Phase for defensive aspects, see above for threat gear.
Enchants
Similar to gear, enchants must be tailored against the specific boss you will be facing. Allies can also help us, by enchanting their own cloak with Formula: Enchant Cloak - Subtlety.
Here is the: Enchant Spreadsheet Link.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tank Comparison
To showcase our max potential a full BiS geared and buffed shaman will be the closest in stats to approach a Druid tank. Let's look at the stats to see the differences. As a guideline, the Example Druid Tank below is BiS/buffed and able to clear most bosses with no issue. A shaman like other tanks tailors his gear versus the boss they're facing. Obviously, the Example Druid Tank can reach higher numbers and has a plethora of defensive spells, but the goal is to showcase the class with the closest similarity to a shaman in stats across the board that gets the job done in high-end raids.

Image
Druids have the luxury of having multiple categories covered and a broader safety net on top of having access to join Alliance for the added advantage of paladins spells, while shaman tanks are required to significantly maximize a specific category for a certain boss.done in high-end raids.
Now, let's explores the threat generated by other classes to showcase where shaman tanks stand. Remember, threat depends on gear, boss, etc... But in general, the current standing of tanks that can do the most threat are:
Feral Druid/Warrior.
Paladin/Enh Shaman.
Dem warlock.
Priest tanks
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

AoE Tanking
Although I slightly talked about it in "Talents". Let me go into more detail here.
  • Against 3 targets and/or dungeons, AoE tanking revolves around Chain Lightning proccing with Eye of the Storm as the main conduit to deal damage and preserving threat on 3 targets. Because it isn't possible to dodge, block, parry while casting, this method is suggested versus mobs dealing little to moderate damage. Against heavy hitting targets it's advisable to grab the weapon Hand of Edward the Odd and use EOTS procs. If you don't foresee a random mob being aggroed by someone, cast R1 Frost Shock to save mana and increase the proc chance of Elemental Devastation and Elemental Focus. This is all done while auto attacking a different target after every 4-5 melee hit.
  • With a coordinated raid group, it's possible to heal designated players as they "stand in fire". Another way for players to intentionally receive damage is for designated warlocks to use Life Tap alongside items, such as Demonic Rune or Goblin Sapper Charge. Equipping a weapon with bolstering healing attributes such as: Hammer of the Twisting Nether before healing a member wield yield more threat.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Raid Composition
Raid composition differs with each boss but is seen as a skill that evolves over time and reflects the playstyle of a guild or raid. The following composition is an example with minor exceptions differing from the norm. By no means is it perfect since compositions change along side: patches, gear, experience, etc... With the raid leader's permission offer your advice on an ideal comp catering to your needs without overstepping.
Image
In (Group 1): A fellow tank in your party can equip The Lion Horn of Stormwind, granted the trinket slot isn't needed for anything else.
A bear can replace a prot warrior in the tank party, if the raid is comfortable enough with the idea and could probarbly use an emergency Innervate or Rebirth Also, only bring the bare minimum of tanks. This will open a spot for either: a lock with Blood Pact, or a hunter with Trueshot Aura.
Rogues are favored over fury warrior, they Feint, Sprint, Evasion and Vanish to manage their threat/aggro.
Feral cat druids can offer similar utilities as a bear and can Cower and Dash to manage their threat/aggro.
Discipline priest with experience and ease of mind may occasionally throw a Power Infusion on a shaman tank during the pull phase.
In (Group 6): The shaman is elemental since healing is not an issue and we are relying mostly on Tranquil Air Totem. In the situation, you are taking too much damage this spot can be replaced by a restoration shaman.
In (Group 7): A mage could be replaced by a shadow weaving healing priest.
In (Group 8): Mages gravitate to Fire Specialization after AQ but keeping a single mage as Frost with the talent Winter's Chill is advisable.
A rogue can be replaced by a melee hunter on Nightfall duty.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for Reading!

If you have any questions regarding shaman tanking, feel free to drop by the Twitch stream to chat.
Last edited by Yutilk on Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Pompa
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Pompa » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:38 am

Amazing guide! I will always remember a rogue tank that appeared during The Burning Crusade, there were videos of him tanking Gruul.
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Karma » Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:43 pm

This is a really interesting post. Thanks for all of the effort you put into it!

Pfwg
Posts: 34

Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Pfwg » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:44 pm

Yutilk wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:29 pm

Tank Comparison
To showcase our max potential a full BiS geared and buffed shaman will be the closest in stats to approach a Druid tank. Let's look at the stats to see the differences. As a guideline, the Example Druid Tank below is BiS/buffed and able to clear most bosses with no issue. A shaman like other tanks tailors his gear versus the boss they're facing. Obviously, the Example Druid Tank can reach higher numbers and has a plethora of defensive spells, but the goal is to showcase the class with the closest similarity to a shaman in stats across the board that gets the job done in high-end raids.

Image
Druids have the luxury of having multiple categories covered and a broader safety net on top of having access to join Alliance for the added advantage of paladins spells, while shaman tanks are required to significantly maximize a specific category for a certain boss.done in high-end raids.
Now, let's explores the threat generated by other classes to showcase where shaman tanks stand. Remember, threat depends on gear, boss, etc... But in general, the current standing of tanks that can do the most threat are:
Feral Druid/Warrior.
Paladin/Enh Shaman.
Dem warlock.
Priest tanks
Hi. Cool guide and lots of work gone into it.

Comparing shaman tanks to the other "meme spec" tanks (Feral druid) will obviously make shamans look better than they are. Comparing them to a warrior (who can also block and parry, unlike druids) would be a much more reasonable comparison.

Best of luck in your tanking endeavours!

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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:34 pm

Pompa wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:38 am
Amazing guide! I will always remember a rogue tank that appeared during The Burning Crusade, there were videos of him tanking Gruul.
Thank you for the support. You'll be glad to know Rogue Raid Tanking is very much a thing in original WoW, naturally it demands a great deal of effort but not outside the realm of reality.
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:20 am

Pfwg wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:44 pm


Hi. Cool guide and lots of work gone into it.

Comparing shaman tanks to the other "meme spec" tanks (Feral druid) will obviously make shamans look better than they are. Comparing them to a warrior (who can also block and parry, unlike druids) would be a much more reasonable comparison.

Best of luck in your tanking endeavours!
Thank you so much for the support!
I will be adding a warrior comparison shortly.
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Pfwg
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Pfwg » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:02 am

One star that was missing from the comparison also was hit%, I think in the level of gear that the comparisons use, both warriors and druids are running a lot of hit gear.

Does a shaman tank run spell or melee hit%?

I've healed a shaman tank through BRD before with no major troubles, and they certainly weren't putting in the same effort as you with consumables.

I imagine a shaman tank would be on a par with warriors for tanking Elemental damage fights. The things that stereotypically hold back shaman tanks aren't really an issue on most Elemental damage fights.

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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:37 pm

Pfwg wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:02 am
One star that was missing from the comparison also was hit%, I think in the level of gear that the comparisons use, both warriors and druids are running a lot of hit gear.

Does a shaman tank run spell or melee hit%?

I've healed a shaman tank through BRD before with no major troubles, and they certainly weren't putting in the same effort as you with consumables.

I imagine a shaman tank would be on a par with warriors for tanking Elemental damage fights. The things that stereotypically hold back shaman tanks aren't really an issue on most Elemental damage fights.
Good point, I'll addressee it here but also include it in the guide. Shaman Tanks don't require hit, mostly because of the fact that we can equip fast dagger and have Flurry active a lot. Not only can we trigger Flurry from physical attacks but we can also trigger it in a roundabout way with spells thanks to Elemental Devastation.

Unlike fury warriors who require decent hit chance to dual wield tank, we don't require it since we have a 1handed weapon which requires a very lower hit chance (not worth improving). Our threat is also divided into physical and magical, which is a huge win.

Consumables in dungeons are merely a safety option if a group is inexperienced or shows problematic signs. For raid shaman tanking however they are mandatory and will be activated regardless of what happens.

Feel free to ask more questions about shaman tanking!
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Pfwg
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Pfwg » Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:05 pm

Yutilk wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:37 pm
Good point, I'll addressee it here but also include it in the guide. Shaman Tanks don't require hit, mostly because of the fact that we can equip fast dagger and have Flurry active a lot.
Can you explain this a bit more for me? I don't understand how flurry helps you to hit. With no hit gear you've got a 9% chance to miss all melee attacks and 16% to miss spells, iirc. What happens when you pull but miss your first few spells? I have this problem when tanking already and my miss chance isn't anywhere near as high as 16%.

I'm a pretty safe player, so the idea of rolling the dice and hoping you get threat on every pull seems really risky. Is there something I'm missing? Like I said, this is all completely new for me.

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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:40 am

Pfwg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:05 pm
Can you explain this a bit more for me...
Sure. I'll address weapon speed and flurry.
A weapon with a slow swing speed is already a downside to have it also miss is extra painful. Flurry helps alleviate the melee downside by having the next auto attack comes faster and compensate for the previous miss.

All of this is perfectly balanced, because if we were to meet the hit cap we would be left too weak. (referring to raid)

The necessary +spell hit required to achieve an adequate spell hit is 6-8%, for shaman tank it is not necessary, see the above sentence.

If you were to miss an Earth Shock you're compensated with the next one critting alongside Elemental Fury. (this assumes you have good gear, if your gear is sub-par go Stormstrike)
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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Pfwg » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:35 am

The below question is the part I'd like answered.
Pfwg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:05 pm
With no hit gear you've got a 9% chance to miss all melee attacks and 16% to miss spells, iirc. What happens when you pull but miss your first few spells?
I don't feel like your response answers it at all.

Yutilk wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:40 am
If you were to miss an Earth Shock you're compensated with the next one critting alongside Elemental Fury. (this assumes you have good gear, if your gear is sub-par go Stormstrike)
Outside of the 3 minute cooldown ability Elemental Mastery, which you don't take in any of the 3 talent specs that you've posted, how does the "next one crit"? You've got 11% max spell crit as per your table. Your "next one" is more likely to miss than it is to crit.

Your chance to miss 2 spells in a row is 2.56% presuming 0% spell hit. A 2.56% to do zero threat. What happens then? Wipe and try again?
Yutilk wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:40 am
because if we were to meet the hit cap we would be left too weak. (referring to raid)
I would propose that if shamans are too weak if they get to the hit cap, and give a 2.56% chance (at the very best) of failure if they don't, that they are weak regardless of which route you decide to take.

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Re: Shaman Raid Tank Guide (Talent, Gear, Rotation, etc...) A Serious Look at Shaman Tanking.

Post by Yutilk » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:57 am

Pfwg wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:05 pm
With no hit gear you've got a 9% chance to miss all melee attacks and 16% to miss spells, iirc. What happens when you pull but miss your first few spells?
I don't feel like your response answers it at all.

[/quote]

Because a shaman tank generates threat from both physical and magical effects (including stuff mentioned in: Threat) the possibility that you don't generate enough threat even by missing the first few spells is highly unlikely. As a matter of fact, I "solve" the problem of your first few spell missing in: Rotation, by suggesting to cast heal spells (bad case scenario type deal). For dungeons, first spells missing should not be a problem...
Unlike warriors, we have to wait a few seconds to establish threat (the better gear, the faster dps can start)

There's plenty of small synergies/solutions that solve your first few spells missing, ex: the damage from Elemental Fury compensating for a missed spell.

I suggest to cast Lightning Bolt, Berserking, (number of LB casts depend on run speed but the point is to crit proc Ele Fury to solve the potential missed threat from spells later on/before), and Chain Lightning and lastly Earth Shock. I highly doubt not enough threat was generated (you can even equip a +spell hit weapon for the first few spells). I've never encountered threat issues even with Fury warrior dps going crazy and if there's a problem there's a plethora of solutions.

In the absolute worst threat scenario, you can consider a Buff Rotation, which is switching between Offensive and Defensive buffs, ex: Supreme Power to Titans once threat is solid. This tactic is mostly used for progression or crazy Naxx-level raiding.

If I'm not explaining myself properly or I don't understand the question, there's also a Shaman Tank discord with plenty of other raid shaman tanks that can perhaps formulate it better. Personally, I've never heard of the first few spells missing being a problem from other tanks or encountered it as problem myself.

Melee hit cap isn't a problem as well, not really needed but I'll assume devil's advocate: we do in fact gain +hit on some of our BiS and can always equip a +hit weapon for sticky situations or afford an oddity like Voone's. I was exaggerating about the "weak" part, I say it because I assume people want to shaman raid tank days after a raid is released, which is not everyone.
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