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Caperfin's Guide to Shaman Tanking
by Caperfin • 19th March 2019

Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! For a long time there's been some negative stigma surrounding shaman tanking in original World of Warcraft, many players don't consider them tanks and not worth a second look. However, this stigma is typically fueled by misinformation or players refusing to go the extra mile to make it work and much rather give up halfway and play a protection warrior when it comes to tanking.

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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.
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Introduction
Basics Rotations
Buffs Debuffs
Gear + Enchants
Totems
Profession
Race
Talents
Comparison
What If
Raid Composition

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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 often seen as the more challenging path to take but to many feels like a greater personal achievement.

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 shaman could “feasibly” one day dethrone those braggadocious paladin tanks/bear tanks and reach a theoretical semi-optimal echelon. Many shaman tanks will agree their motivation or drive comes from the glory of accomplishing something that the rest of the server population dares not even try. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to continue reading. To reiterate my point, you decide to go a shaman tank if you want a challenge in an otherwise easy to clear raid. For example, Molten Core is on farm status. 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.

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A Shaman in BiS Tanking Gear

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/raid is claimed or 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. All the while researching about tanking and talking to peers to get a feel for it and slowly transition to the world of shaman tanking. If you are a veteran of the game by all means start leveling that shaman.
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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. I should specify there are non-traditional factors that make tanking easier, such as generally bad server coding, bugged items/talents and traditional factors such as having: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17007 , https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20906, tier sets, etc... Regardless, of these implementations and their magnitude a few things never change: 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 personal damage as a protection warrior. But there is a drawback, many spells in our arsenal cost a hefty portion of mana, so be prepared to ask for a few Innervates and 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 the compelling burden it has on threat causing a drastic overhaul in gearing, rotation, etc.. which will be explained in detailed and rectified in the upcoming sections. Outside of guild mates, establishing a reliable and trusted friend list of healers or dps is highly advised for procuring buffs, consumables, etc... as they are more accustomed to the lesser known way of the shaman. In other situations, by all means, carrying a resto set when unsure of the group's competence is advisable.


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Because a plethora of question surrounding aggro/threat are bound to come out of confusion. I'd like to first reference Kenco's and Nocturn's words about how gaining aggro on a mob functions and overall threat:
"Suppose a mob is attacking player 1. In order for the mob to switch to player 2, he must do more than just exceed the threat of player 1. If he is in melee range of the mob, he will draw aggro when he exceeds 110% of player 1's threat. If he is outside melee range of the mob, he will draw aggro when he exceeds 130% of player 1's threat. E.g. mob is attacking player x. x does 100 damage to mob, then stops. Player y starts hitting the mob. The mob will start attacking y when y does over 110 damage. Proof: this is easy to demonstrate. Get two players both doing autoattack on a mob (not warriors or rogues; we'll see later they complicate things). Have player 1 do a certain amount of damage, then stop. Have player 2 keep attacking till he gets aggro. You have an upper and lower bound on the threat required to get aggro - 1 attack before he got aggro was not enough, but the attack that he got aggro was at least enough. With low damage attacks (i.e. fists only), you will get a very good value of 10%. Testing for the non-melee range value is the same. Just replace it with a low damage ability such as a low level wand. If player 2 has exceeded 110% threat but not 130% threat, they will draw aggro immediately if they do a threat-generating ability within melee range of the mob, but proximity alone will not cause the mob to shift to them.This is only a description of the normal mob targeting. Obviously there are mobs who will attack secondary targets with special abilities, ignoring their current threat / aggro" - Kenco
"I think people who play horde understand this much more than the alliance players. Horde don't have the luxury of Blessing of Salvation, making threat a much bigger issue for their tanks, making the good ones realize the need to hold threat above all else and reducing their overall defense. When a tank can hold aggro and the dps don't have to hold back this will drastically reduce overall boss fight duration, making the (in absolute values) total damage taken (and thus healing required) considerably lower. If you've ever tanked and had to tell your dps to wait a few seconds, or to slow down, you as a tank are not generating enough threat and therefore not doing your job correctly." - Nocturn
Shaman Threat

How does this affect our hybrid buddy? Shamans are on another tier when it comes to outputting threat, but it demands a hefty chunk of dedication comparably to the more laxed protection warrior. Although, this might come as a shock, with proper optimization, their threat is nearly equal to that of a pure protection warrior and in some situation just shy of a bears. Not only on the initial pull, but steadily throughout an entire fight. Of course, the shorter the altercation with a target, the better, since a shaman can freely throw mana around without going out of mana as fast. This results in more dependable damage being dished out and correlates into predictable threat. So without further ado, let me demonstrate how to get creatures more mad at you than unusual.
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is first on the list as it provokes a tremendously high amount of threat because of its 2x damage threat modifier. Akin to other classes in WoW, downranking an ability is imperative and plays a big component in tanking as it can be the distinction between life and death, so pay attention:

To begin with, Rank1 Earth Shock is mainly incorporated in combat to interrupt spells all the while preserving mana. Rank5 Earth Shock is an ordinary threat increase and seen as the most cost efficient. Some shaman tanks might relentlessly use this rank, if a group has an abundance of warriors or warlocks. Rank7 Earth Shock is seen as a way to force the creature to attack the caster by dealing the most threat, this is seen as the closest we will ever get to a warrior's “taunt” effect. This rank is seen as the luxury rank and can be constantly used in raiding once the best gear is acquired. The downsides of our shocks is that nature damage is severely burdened on various fronts: there are no warlock curses that buff it, a low spell coefficient of 40.71% of the caster's spell damage and some of the raid content is particularly resistant to nature.

Contrary to popular belief, gear with “increase Nature damage by X” will always be worse than the equivalent amount of regular spell damage gear. Next, as a point of reference, anything that resembles an elemental (noticeable in MC) will have a rather high resistance to nature damage. All the Dragons of Nightmare found in the outside world are also immune to nature damage or tend to have the same kind of lofty resistance to nature that they do to fire (server dependent). 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 is a chart to better explain the notion. Do not fret, there are items to counter this downside, for example: and the debuff that originates from can help with ES dmg by reducing the target's nature resistance.

If a target is completely immune to nature damage there are alternatives, such as: our knight in shining white armor. Capable of hurling a modest amount of frost damage but at the trade-off of less threat. FS does not consume a debuff slot on a boss impervious to movement impairing effects (most bosses). There are additional ways to circumvent this lack of threat which will be peppered throughout the upcoming topics.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16316 is second on the drawing board of threat generators and typically is not downranked. Each rank of Rockbiter Weapon triggers a weapon proc that is designed to give a fixed threat per second. At max rank, Rockbiter gives 72 threat per second on successful hits.

If you have a 2.6 speed weapon, each successful hit (not a miss, dodge or parry) would add 2.6 * 72 = ~172 threat. This means weapon speed doesn’t matter, but haste (Flurry) does. Haste effects are exceedingly sought after not only to counteract nature defiant mobs but overcome the drawback of having a low percent chance to hit. To give a better impression of threat let’s compare with a warrior’s threat toolkit for the sake of testing. Sunder Armor, a warrior’s bread and butter spell, creates 261 threat. Rank 9 Heroic Strike adds an additional ~172 threat.

So effectively, every swing from a shaman with Rockbiter on a 2.60 speed is equivalent to a Heroic Strike from a warrior using a 2.4 attack speed weapon. Of course this is not discrediting a warrior’s threat, they are kings at threat overall. However, a shaman with Rockbiter on its own will be dealing considerably more threat since max rank Rockbiter with talent improvements gives 665 additional attack power. I should mention, once you achieve a certain auto attack dps threshold (~140) it is no longer optimal to use Rockbiter, instead opt in for the more beneficial: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16362.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10432 and deals damage when hit but it imposes certain conditions to be cost effective. Firstly, Lightning Shield is on the GCD and should not be prioritized over other spells, such as: Earth Shock so properly weigh your mana and threat. Secondly, downranking LS is vital to conserve our resources and maintain productivity.

However, the appealing aspect of LS is each charge scales with 33% of total spell damage and its facilitation in securing threat on numerous targets. A small remark that LS is incapable of critting but its damage is increased by Stormstrike. Rank2 Lightning Shield can be indiscriminately done in single and multiple target fights as part of a rotation. Rank4 Lightning Shield alongside relatively adequate gear and conventional raid buffs is a cost efficient enough rank to periodically activate in a fight. Rank7 Lightning Shield is weighed as a luxury and carried out in the pre-pulling phase of an encounter or at personal prudence during short comprehensible fights. Tip: Equip spell damage gear, cast LS and switch back to tank gear before pulling the boss.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/item=8956 might not seem like much but gravitates around fourth on the list. The reason its exact position is unclear is because it resets your swing timer on some servers. However, it is undeniably good to use before a boss pull or against multiple mobs.

Luckily, they can be bought on the Auction House or simply created through Alchemy with a profession skill of 220. I suggest stocking up on them or the necessary ingredients when they are affordable and depositing a few in the bank for a later purpose. On top of all its benefits, it does not trigger a GCD so you can continue to wreck havoc uninterrupted.
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or https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10605 (depending on number of mobs) are both nature-based direct damage spells that follow the traditional rule for damage to threat conversion. They will be the very first spells that form threat on the target. Luckily, downranking is not as harsh or compulsory since these spells are rarely used:

Rank4 Lightning Shield is the economical version of the spell for pulling a target. It is ideal for subpar geared individuals in a less strict raiding environment with threat not being a main priority. Rank10 Lightning Shield can cause devastating damage at the beginning of an encounter. Tip: Move slightly ahead of the group, equip spell damage gear with a mix of spell crit gear and cast LB twice or once (depending on boss distance) then switch into tanking gear. Immediately sit down, drink mana and wait until mana is full or boss is 20 yrds away or forces you to stand up in order to proceed with your rotation.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/item=10646/ ... per-charge is great to generate additional threat but unfortunately has a long cooldown. Luckily, there are other bombs with shorter cooldowns. Regardless, it is a definite must have against multiple mobs. The majority of explosives are created through engineering with the exception of the last one in the following list:

Here is the list of explosives centered around threat management: Firstly, we have Goblin Sapper Charge the highest threat generating explosive and is also instant cast. (shares a 1min cooldown with other bombs) Secondly, is https://classic.wowhead.com/item=16005 deals damage in a 5yrd radius but requires to stand still and a 1 sec cast. The last one is: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11566, which deals similar damage to its predecessor but in a 3yrd radius and can be cast while moving. Another similarity is that both can be activated before Sapper is off its 5min CD.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/item=18253 and similar healing potions as well as mana pots, bandages and eating food are last on the list of threat generators and they produce a very small quantity of threat. To be more accurate, the healing threat is global and normally .5x of the amount replenished.

Unfortunately, both health and mana effects cause no threat if already at maximum capacity. Contrary to popular belief, the basic shaman restoration spell: Mana Spring Totem does in fact yield a small amount of threat with each pulse. Seasoned players on brisk coherent fights will often pop a heal pot after using a Goblin Sapper Charge or Major Rejuvenation Potion to induce an immense amount of threat. In the same vein, you can use https://classic.wowhead.com/item=13510 and consume a pot or bandage up oneself to generate threat. Mana and healing over time potions do not generate threat.

Here is a list of a few food/consumables centered around threat management:
      In order of threat:
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=18253 is the highest threat generator when it comes to regenerative items but it can be expensive.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=19013 is given to us by a warlock.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12662 converts health into mana.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=20520 nearly identical to the previous, however, this item can be traded between characters and bought on the Auction House.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11952 takes care of mana & health. Very easy to acquire so get a large amount and place them in the bank.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11951sadly it only grants health.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=13444 grants a good chunk of mana and drops throughout the world quite often.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=14894 is created from a neck item and saves on time, money, etc… (the single root will disappear after 1hr.)
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=13446 is last because the amount ratio of granted health is on a large spectrum and random.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11562 doesn't generate much threat, but it can be casted onto you by an ally. (this triggers the pot CD for ced ally)


The items above can relives some pressure from healers as they have to spend less mana to keep you topped off. As you familiarize yourself with a fight and the limits of your raiding partners, it will come intuitively what is the best to use. Its worth mentioning some items don't share a cooldown, thus can follow each other in quick succession.

Here are the two different cooldown categories:
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My personal recommendation is to have a diverse pool of the items featured in this section to cater to any situation that might arise.
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https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9910 and similar reflective effects to put it simply are passive buffs that deal damage to attacker when hit. Contrary to popular belief as well as many tooltips, reflective buffs will only damage the attacker if they strike you with in melee range. Although, it provides the lowest amount of threat in our toolkit it is still note worthy.

Typically, these buffs are great against multiple mobs however they still maintain some relevancy in single target scenarios, especially versus bosses with high attack speeds. There is no reason to not have the majority of them. All the buffs below stack with each other.

      In order of threat:
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9910 is the highest and originates from druids & its damage is amplified with a druid tier set bonus & a talent in the balance tree.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11771 is second and is casted by a warlock's imp and improved by a warlock talent in the demonology tree.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11567 is an item any class can cast on you and should be accumulated and stored in the bank for later use.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16610 originates from completing a repeatable quest in the Barrens from the NPC, Mangletooth a caged quillboar.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11841 is gained from using the head item: Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator. The effect will stay even while unequipped.
Threat Diminishers

Aggro and threat from teammates is another daunting obstacle to tackle with. Conveniently, there are ways for heavy hitting classes to reduce their threat. To begin with, ranged classes are highly adored because if they were to mistakenly get aggro, they are likely at that sweet 30-40yrd range, so it's easier to supervise. Also characters 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 diminishers or dumps in no particular order:

      Image Rogue can reduce their threat with https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25302 and flat our wipe threat with https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=1857. It might disrupt their rotation but its appreciated.
      Image Mage who have taken the frost talent: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=12519 or the fire talent https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=12351 is their overall way to reduce threat.
      Image Druid who are mainly spending their time in cat form have https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16697 and healing druids can obtain https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17122 through talents.
      Image Priest have two of the easiest threat reducers to acquire, within the discipline talent https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=14787 and the spell https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10942
      Image Shaman within the restoration talent tree can obtain the talent: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29191 & casting the basic spell: https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25908.

Additionally, there are some threat reducing items that drop in the latter portion of raiding content that are used in raids to combat the threat produced. This is good news because serious petal to the metal fury warriors generate a tremendous amount of threat. So we are grateful for the melee trinket http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21647 and the caster trinket https://classic.wowhead.com/item=23001 used by fire mages and destruction warlocks. Advise your high dpser's to keep an eye out for these items. Also, an honorable mention should be made for the potion https://classic.wowhead.com/item=3387 and its aggro reassignment effect as well as its halt on additional threat. All that was mentioned is also useful for bosses that reset threat globally due to a unique boss mechanic, a timely potion pop from teammates can help you quickly establish threat. There are some servers, where https://classic.wowhead.com/item=13506/ ... rification not only removes aggro but the debuff/buff it places can be clickable-off but these instances are rare and its unclear if that was the item's original intention. This guide will continue without considering this item as a key component to tanking.
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First, on the list is a simple rotation and we’ll be presuming the enemy is a simple tank-spank and has very minimal or no nature resistance allowing our totemic friend to freely cause havoc unhindered. For the time being we are sticking with a basic rotation. A more complex rotation will be addressed later on as well as a solution to completely nature immune targets. The following rotation is split into several sections to better highlight the course of action.

      Pre-pull: Begin by casting Lightning Shield Rank7. Next, make sure before pulling the mob all possible buffs are present on you and on       their maximum duration. Refer to the section Buffs for suggestions. Next, position the appropriate totems on the ground. Lastly, if it hasn't been done yet, install the addon: KTM Threat, which displays the list of members and the amount of threat they each deal. I can't stress how much a scenario can go from peaceful to chaotic in the blink of an eye, so watch KTM at all times. At any moment, you       need to be confident of the fitting Earth Shock rank to use, healers will be especially grateful.
      

      Pulling: Face the boss and cast a Rank10 Lightning Shield or Rank4 Chain Lightning and follow it up with a Rank7 Earth Shock.       Bearing everything goes smoothly, proceed with a Rank5 Earth Shock and turn the boss away from the group. If the enemy suddenly       targets a raid member or drops aggro due to a unique mechanic, lob a Rank7 Earth Shock to effectively redirect the boss to you, if       engineering was chosen the next action is to throw a Goblin Sapper Charge. For foreseeable threat problems refer to the previous topic       Threat Management.
Secondly, is a rotation that deals with some bosses who are completely immune to nature. However, we can rectify this problem by replacing instances of nature damage with Frost Shock or https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29228. Because we lost the ability to use a massive threat inducing ability, we must cater to increasing the damage of Frost Shock/Flame Shock as much as possible. This means making sure debuffs, such as: Winter's chill are present. Funnily, enough Flame Shock can come very close to the threat produced by our lost brother, Earth Shock. This is possible with a near constant uptime of the debuff: Flame Buffet by fellow teammates among many other debuffs.
Thirdly is, as promised a more complex rotation against non-resistant nature targets, this rotation yields unbelivable results but requires good gear, buffs, etc... Only experienced shaman tanks should consider the following:

      Pre-pull: Equip spell damage gear and cast Rank7 Lightning Shield and drink mana.
      Equip 3 pieces of https://classic.wowhead.com/item-set=501
      Equip the https://classic.wowhead.com/item-set=476 set.
      Place a Mana Spring Totem (it gives threat to you)
      Activate Oil of immolation.
      Place a https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=5730 in front of you and back up 25-30yrds. (This totem will later on make the boss stop for 0.5 seconds or       boss will attack totem)
      Use https://classic.wowhead.com/item=5052/u ... us-dig-rat and cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt on the rat to proc the nature effect or try and get Flurry and Elemental       Devastation instead, your choice. (a mage can polymorph the rat, until it triggers.)

      Pulling: Cast Rank10 Lightning Bolt
      While the bolt travels, equip tanking gear.
      Cast R6 Lesser Healing Wave twice on a warlock that has recently life-tapped.
      Cast R4 Chain Lightning, immediately after cast R7 Earth Shock.
      Activate https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12450 and https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12459, if the situation is ideal.
      Repeat max rank Earth Shock until boss is dead.


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As you probably know a character can have a theoretical cap of 32 beneficial buffs. The limit may differ from server to server or what is acknowledged as a buff. Prioritize collecting survival buffs before acquiring damage buffs, Agility for example has the added byproduct of helping with survival and threat. Disclaimer: because of the nature and duties of an OT, less damage is taken, therefore, it is not 100% necessary to aim for survival buffs. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. On a side note, I suggest installing NirkBuffRemover/NBR to help with overall buff management and ease of mind. Down below is a table of relevant buffs, separated into sub groups to better highlight their usefulness. Resistance buffs/totems are disregarded.
Threat Increasing Buffs

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22888: +140 Attack power, +10% spell crit & +5% melee.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22817: +200 Attack power
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=19506: +50 Attack Power.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25289: +185 Attack power for 2 min. (increased by warrior talent & T2 warrior set equipped before casting)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12460: +40 Attack power.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23736: +10% Agility or +10% damage. (A damage version of this buff also exists)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8412: +25 Agility.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452: +25 Agility, +2% Melee Crit. (the agi stat will not stack w/Agamaggan's Agilitiy but the crit part will)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17013: +10 Agility for 30min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25359: +77 Agility (effect is increased through a shaman talent)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=4546: +12 Agility for 30min. (non-repeatable quest reward item)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13928: +10 Agility for 10min. (does not stack with other food buffs)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25361: +77 Strength. (effect is increased through a shaman talent)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16612: +10 Strength for 30 min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22589: +2% spell crit to all party members within 30 yards. (Does not stack with Moonkin Aura)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22820: +3% Spell Crit.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24858: +3% Spell Crit.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=7764: +10 Intellect for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13937: +20 Intellect.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10157: +31 Intellect.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10725: +5% Attack Speed for 4 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16609: +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16601: Grants 25% haste to the party for 8 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12450: +3% Attack Speed for 20 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8385: +40% run speed & +30% attack speed for 1 hr. (Only receivable upon completing the Call of Air shaman quest)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10497: +10 mana every 2 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20007: +12 mana per 5 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29166: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8956: Deals 50 Fire dmg to target within 5yds every 3 sec for 15 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10432: Deals 226 Nature dmg to melee attackers until 3 charges are struck off by the enemy.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11841: Deals 5 Nature dmg to melee attackers.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=11567: Deals 12 Nature dmg to melee attackers. (the quest is repeatable and any class can cast this)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11771: Deals 13 Fire dmg to melee attackers.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9910: Deals 18 Nature dmg to melee attackers.(32 dmg talented + tier set)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13512: +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect can be active at a time.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13454: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29534: +5% dmg to melee, range and spell damage dealt.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10060: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15366: Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17774: 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24425: +10 move speed, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9885: +384 armor, +162 all attributes,+270 all resistance.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21546: Increases spell fire damage by up to 40 for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8733: Increases intellect and spirit by 5 and frost damage done by 15.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17708: Increases spell frost damage by up to 15 for 30 min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12217: Often deals ~68 dmg at targets in melee. (scales with spell damage) (does not stack with other food buffs).

Here is a screenshot: screenshot of common threat dealing buffs. With the Threat Increasing buffs out of the way, lets proceed to look at buffs that increase our chances of surviving a fight. Although, there is no strict order, you should still prioritize getting world buffs before obtaining other buffs. In the scenario some of the following buffs are not obtainable for whatever reason, they will be separated into categories to provide alternative solutions.
Survival Increasing Buffs

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23737: +10% Stamina or +10% Armor. (A armor version of this buff also exists)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21023: +25 Stamina. (does not stack with other food buffs)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21151: +15 Stamina.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23948 (Priest): +54 Stamina.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22818: +15% Stamina overall.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20079: +50 Stamina, +50 spirit.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10030: +10 Stamina (must be applied by group member & then they logout)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11767: +42 Stamina (the amount of stamina can be increased through a warlock talent)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13510: +1200 Hp.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=3825: +120 Hp.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28744 Dreamwalker Raiment tier set bonus 6/6 (Druid): Increase max hp of target by 50, stacks 7 times.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=14557: When hit has a 1% chance of increasing the party's armor by +250. (can have 2 in trinket slot.)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13455: +2000 Armor for 2min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13445: +450 Armor.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=11564 (allies can also cast): +200 Armor.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15363 (Priest): Increases armor by 25% for 15 sec. (might not stack with Razorhide buff).

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10901: Absorb 1105 dmg for 30 sec. While active, casting isn't interrupted by dmg. Target can't be shielded for 15sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21625: Heals give a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of the amount healed for 30 sec. (can be item swapped)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28809 Vestments of Faith tier set bonus 4/4 (Priest): On critical hits, cast shield absorbing 500 damage.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22192: +3% dodge for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12459: +5% Dodge for 10 sec.

      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10463 (Shaman): Summons a totem for 1 min that heals group members within 20 yards for 14 every 2 seconds.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22010 Vestments of Transcendence tier set bonus. GH is now a Hot & equivalent to a rank5 Renew.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25299 (Druid): Heal for 888 over 12 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9858 (Druid): Heal for 1064 over 21 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25315 (Priest): Heal for 970 damage over 15 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10408: Reduce melee damage taken by 30. (effect is increased through a shaman talent).
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10174 (Mage): Decreases damage from spells by 135 & healing spells by 270. (effect is increased through a mage talent).
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10170: Increase dmg taken from spells by 112 & healing spells by up to 225. (effect is increased through a mage talent).

Mind Control Buffs

I wouldn't be thorough if I didn't mention the wonderful world of Mind Control buffing. It is possible for an alliance priest to use their basic shadow spell: http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10912 or someone with the engineering to create and use the head slot item http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10726 against players of the opposing faction. 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 log onto to their lvl 60 pallies and level 60 priests and stationed themselves near the raid entrance or zone for mind control buffing. Before undertaking this endeavor, be sure that the server allows for the Mind Control possibility and find out its exact limits. Tip: Try and get http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=6346 from a dwarf priest and if survivability is not and issue get Curse of Recklessness from a horde warlock as well.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25899: Reduce dmg from all sources by 24. If you block a melee attack the attacker will take 35 Holy dmg.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25895: Reducing the amount of all threat generated by 30% for 15 min. (higher threat reduction than       Tranquil Air Totem) Tip: Although, this is not beneficial for a shaman tank, raid members with high threat should get this. Note: Sadly,       this does not stack with Tranquil Air Totem.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25918: +45 mana per 5 seconds. Note: Icon vanishes if mana totem casted, but the effect is still present.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25916: +222 melee attack power for 15min. (Grants more attack power than Strength of Earth Totem.) Note:       Try and convince the others in the group to forgo WF totem (pref. tank group) because WF totem does not stack with Strength of Earth       Totem or Might. However, Imp. Greater Blessing of Might has its place in a group without a shaman.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25898: +10% to all stats for 15 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20235: +30% bonus to armor value from items for 2 min. Tip: When the buff expires, leave raid & get rebuffed by       nearby paladin/priest & resummon back into the instance.


The fun doesn't stop there. It is also possible for a priest of any faction to Mind Control certain mobs which can be controlled to dish out beneficial buffs to all raid members. In order, to fully utilize the duration of these buffs, its advised to have warlock be ready for immediate summoning.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15288: Comes from Twilight Emissary in BRD, he increases the magical damage dealt by an ally by 25 for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17175: From Scarlet Medic in Plaguelands, increases Arcane resistance by 78 for 1 hr. (tooltip assumes a lvl1 character)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15123: Scarshield Spellbinder in BWL, he increases an ally's Fire resistance by 81 for 1 hr. (tooltip assumes a lvl1 character)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16170: Gordok Mage-Lord in DM, increases an ally's attack speed by 60% for ONLY 30 sec. A great buff for threat generation.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=6742: Hamhock in Stockades, increases an ally's attack speed by 30% for ONLY 30 sec.


Special Event Buffs

On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events/holidays. An example, is The Midsummer Fire Festival a seasonal event that celebrates the hottest season of the year. It starts on the (earthly) northern summer solstice, and lasts about two weeks (mid-late June to early July, usually). The next ones are Love is in the Air, Lunar Festival, Wickerman Festival and Scourge Invasion that all feature some useful buffs for tanking. It is possible for the Love is in the Air Capital Gift Collection buffs to be stacked with each other, ask around to find out its exact limits. The following buffs are separated by their event.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22131: Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22134: Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22136: Increases Agility by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22133: Increases Agility by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22132: Increases Stamina by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22135: Increases Stamina by 30 for 1 hour.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29235: Increases Stamina by 30 for 1 hour. (stack with the stamina buff above)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=23326: Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr.
      https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45444: 30% chance to deal 60 Fire dmg on any melee, ranged, or spell attack. (works outside only)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=23327: Improves your chance to hit by 2% for 1 hr.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29338: Increases critical strike percent and spell critical strike percent by 3% for 1 hr.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=23435: Increases Defense by 13 for 1 hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22236: Increases Defense by 13 for 1 hr.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22238: Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22237: Improves your chance to hit by 2% for 1 hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=26035: +10% to all stats for 30min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=26393: All stats increased by 10% for 1hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24705: Increase health & mana regeneration by 25% and Stamina by 25%.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28681: Increases all damage caused by 10% for 30 minutes.
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Having as many debuffs on the boss as possible is of paramount importance to tanking. Therefore, our interests are heavily tied to the release of patch 1.7, due to its extra 8 debuff slots introduction totaling to 16 debuffs. Tanking before patch 1.7 can be quite a troublesome route. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in either threat or survival and assumed to be at their maximum rank/talent improvement.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11717: - 290 armor but bolsters melee attack power by 45. Only 1 warlock curse can be active on any 1 target.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11198: Reduces target's armor per combo point. (might not stack with Sunder Armor but reduces more than Sunder Armor)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11597: Reduces armor by 450. Can be applied up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=12798: Reduces an enemy's armor by 200. Stacks up to 3 times.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9907: Reduces armor by 505 for 40 sec. While active, the target cannot stealth or go invisible.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17803 (Warlock): Shadow Bolt critical strikes increase Shadow damage dealt to the target by 20% until 4 non...
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17937: Reduces Shadow & Arcane resistances by 75 & increasing Shadow and Arcane damage taken by 10%.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15334 (Priest): Shadow damage spells have a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Shadow damage.       This vulnerability increases the Shadow damage dealt to your target by 3% and lasts 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13514: After a 1.5sec cast, reduce an enemy's hit chance by 10% for 12 sec. (preferably casted by healers)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24977 (Druid): The enemy is swarmed by insects, reducing chance to hit by 2% & causing 324 Nature damage over 12 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19019: Periodically deal 300 Nature dmg & jumping to 5 nearby enemies. Each jump       reduces the victim's Nature resistance by 25. The primary target is consumed by a cyclone, slowing attack speed by 20% for 12 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11581: Increases the time between attacks by 10% for 30 sec. Will affect up to 4 targets.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=12873: Scorch has a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Fire damage. This vulnerability increases       the Fire damage dealt to the target by 3% and lasts 30 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16536 (Arcanite Dragonling): Inflicts Fire damage to an enemy and increases the Fire damage it takes by 40 for 45 sec.       Stacks 5 times. (The numbers in the toolitp are possibly not exact)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11722: -75 resistance to Fire & Frost and increase Fire and Frost damage taken by 10%. Only 1 Curse per...
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28595: Gives your Frost damage spells a 100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which increases the chance a Frost       spell will critically hit the target by 2% for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=9088: If an enemy strikes the imbiber, the attacker has a 30% chance of being inflicted with disease that increases dmg       taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19169: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11556 (Warrior): Reduce melee attack power of enemies within 10 yards by 140 for 30 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11708: Damage caused by target is reduced by 31 for 2 min. (effect is increased through a warlock talent)
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Finding the perfect balance of gear will be the hardest aspect of this subject. To this day there is still a debate between the usefulness of stamina over dodge in the tanking community. If unsure of your guild’s performance, I recommend carrying several focused gear sets: a Stamina, Dodge and armor set in your bags to accommodate any encounters that might arise. For some players, a mix and match of particular gear stats may be needed, to compensate in other lacking aspects.
Down below is a document with a plethora of options for proper gearing.



A few things need to be remembered while gearing. Down the road, the universally top-grade gear gives hit chance as an unintended byproduct. Install the addon: “Outfitter” to assist with handling specific sets of gear against the numerous bosses out there. To give an example of a gear set, down below on image #1 is an armor centric set designed for bosses that deal high physical damage but don't require much threat. Image #2 to the right is a gear set focused on generating threat while retaining some survivability.

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An item of notable value in the image#1 is: https://classic.wowhead.com/item=19948 in the first trinket slot. This trinket can be activated before a boss fight and swap out for another item, these types of items are referred to as "Pre-Activated Items". Note: Pre activating items is very situational and not included in the google doc spreadsheet above. However, some will be listed below.

http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19948: Can be switched out for another trinket before pulling the boss.
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21326: Can be switched out... lasts 40 sec, will heal if caster is below 50%.
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21685: Can be switched... great against bosses that cast spells.

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 http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20735 Note: To avoid constantly having to re-enchant a piece of gear to tailor to a specific boss fights, have different versions of that gear in the bank or backpack to save on time and money. Also, the talent: http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16309 does not scale with armor enchants. Down below is a spreadsheet of enchants suited for our tanking duties:

Enchant SpreadsheetShow
I also suggest to keep on you http://classic.wowhead.com/item=4945 if you are aiming to assure the takedown of a specific boss and stay on top of aggro. The skull scales with spell damage and shadow buffs alongside related debuffs.

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We’ll be asking our shamanistic brothers from the restoration side to land a hand in optimizing totem utility, so be considerate and compliment each others strengths within the group. Each individual totem listed below is in order of importance per category. Keep in mind, there can only be one type of totem per shaman so having another totem slave in the group is largely welcomed. Also the handful totems in our stockpile have different durations and don’t scale with spell damage or similar effects.

      Earth
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10408: Provides a decent bulk of melee damage mitigation and generally is placed by the tanking shaman or a fellow       totem brother with 2/2 Guardian Totems in the enhancement talent tree within the group.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25361: A great boost in attack power. Alongside benefiting the dmg of other melee classes in the group.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10428: Diverts loose mobs off your tail and quickly allows readjusting of a target's positioning.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8143: Mainly a situational totem to use when a boss encounter has fear, charm and sleep mechanics.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=2484: A tool for kiting/running possible unbound trash in an instance.

      Fire
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10438: A pleasant boost to dps race boss encounters and practical for snap-aggro on a boss with an aggro reset, may vary       from server. (Customarily, fire totems are treated as an absolute extravagance in the middle of a boss fight). All fire totems are capable       of criting, but do not cause threat to the caster.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11315: Ideal for bursting down low hp adds on encounters.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10587: Great for tanking multiple mobs.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10479: Beneficial for fights involving high doses of frost damage.

      Air
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25359: Roughly comes out to about 4% dodge and agi is always a pleasant stat to have and also is appreciated by the       majority of other classes. A priority totem within the air types that should be taken seriously.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10614: Sadly, we are unable to benefit from this totem's effect since it is a temporary effect enchant to weapons and we       already have an active temporary effect enchant, Rockbiter. However, it is appreciated by melee dps in the group and enforced by a       restoration shaman with 2/2 Enhancing Totem with nothing else to do.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10601: Advantageous for fights involving high doses of nature damage, such as: Ahn’Qiraj.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25908: Every raid group has a fellow totem putting down this totem, avoid dropping in the tank group within a raid.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8177: Useful for redirecting ranged spells from susceptible mobs and bosses.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15112: Unfortunately, doesn't see much utility in most fights.

      Water
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10497: A very valuable totem in our arsenal. Optimally, it should be arranged by a resto shaman in the group who has       the talent: Restorative Totem within the restoration talent tree.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10463: Typically, is planted by a resto shaman if you both come to a mutual understanding and comfortable with       not having an improved Mana Spring Totem with 5/5 in the Restorative Totems. In this scenario, return the favor by placing a regular       MST. HST does not generate any threat.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8166: Indispensable on fights with high poison output, ex: AQ bosses.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8184: Pragmatic for fights involving high amounts of fire damage, ex MC.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8170: Unfortunately, rarely sees the light of day.
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During the harsh and lengthy process of leveling, select Herbalism and Alchemy. A valid case can be made for also having a lvl 5 alt stationed permanently in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use. Back to the subject at hand, herbalism contributes convenient reagents for alchemy and a strong source of revenue for our eventual endgame professions. It also prevents players from spending an exorbitant portion of time pestering strangers in Orgrimmar to craft potions. The objective is straightforward, gather a substantial supply of gold and a bank chock-full of fruitful potions the raid might need.
Down below are a few notable potions:

http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21546
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13445
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17708
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13453
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20007
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=3825
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=3387
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=18253
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13446
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13444
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13510
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8956
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=9088

Next, I advise dropping Herbalism once the quantity of gold in one’s bags is overflowing and adopt the late game profession: engineering to scoop up a few useful tools, such as:

http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10725
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10646
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=18232
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=16022
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=16005

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 dont 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 fire increasing debuff. The fire debuff scales with Goblin Sapper charge as well. All these items nicely combine into a decent boost in threat. But be mindful as only one food buff can be active at a time, cautiously evaluate the best possible food buff for the specific fight.
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Races play a big part as we are grasping for any amount of extra efficiency possible. Unfortunately, shamans do not 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.
ImageTauren
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20549/war-stomp: After 0.5 sec, stun up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 sec. 2min cooldown.
Endurance: Total Health increased by 5%.
Cultivation: Herbalism skill increased by 15.
Nature Resistance: Nature Resistance increased by 10.

What does this mean?: 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 is inherently 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 15 skill increase to Herbalism is also helpful and nothing to scoff at while leveling.
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Troll
Throwing/Bow Specialization: Skill with Throwing/Bow Weapons increased by 5.
Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
Beast Slaying: Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20554/berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 25%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with...

What does this mean?: The second leading race that converges more on setting up threat instead of having extra health as an option. Generally, threat is not problematic, if you glaringly foresee having threat issues, than I unquestionably advocate for troll above all other races. Berserking intertwined with Rockbiter Weapon is seen as an “emergency button” that alleviates healers of anxiety as a random group member quickly escalates the hate list, this is a great solution to further extend the gap in threat. Additionally, Berserking proves handy against nature immune targets. To be as thorough as possible, our long legged friends do gain an added benefit from spirit because it synergizes with their passive racial Regeneration. However, the end amount of spirit when fully buffed is insignificant to make a big impact in tanking. Trolls will also produce more threat than any other race on bosses that are beast, such as: Magmadar in MC, Whirlaxis and Gahz'ranka in ZG, etc...
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Orc
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20572/blood-fury: Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25...
Hardiness: Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.
Command: Damage done by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%.
Axe Specialization: Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5.

What does this mean?: Last on the lineup, as Orcs sadly fall short in both survival and threat categories. Akin to the troll our green comrades focal point is threat at the compromise of potential health points and is seen as a more riskier race option considering the -50% to healing, especially detrimental for non-attentive healers. In all honesty, through our rigorous testing, they do in fact come out on top of all other races for instituting threat 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 plunge too deep into the situational category to be justified.
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For the sake of generality and simplicity these talents setups assume a server between patch 1.9 - 1.12 and taking part in a serious guild who are confidently clearing raids. As stated earlier, the later a patch is, the easier the content is to tank.
https://classicdb.ch/?talent#hEczZxV0bExut The default talent
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build centered around this guide, calculated as the safest to pursue and viewed as a preliminary starter pack into the world of tanking 5mans/10mans/pre-raids. Highly, suggested if you are unsure of an upcoming boss fight or are still in the learning phase of tanking. If you are desperately in need of faster threat generation, withdraw 3 points from http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16112 and deposit them in http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16116 or http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16291

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https://classicdb.ch/?talent#hE0kVc0oZEV00vxz This talent setup is mostly centered around tanking multiple targets and revolves around Chain Lightning proccing with http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29065 as the main conduit for dealing damage and preserving threat on multiple targets. Because it is not possible to dodge, block, parry while casting it is ideal to employ this build versus mobs that deal little to moderate damage. Against heavy hitting targets it is advisable to grab the weapon http://classic.wowhead.com/item=2243 and use EOTS procs occasionally during phases with less damage or avoid points in EOTS altogether and cater to proccing Edward as much as possible by prioritizing crit and haste. Feel free to use R1 Earth Shock to not only save mana but to increase the proc chance of ED and http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16164, if you don't foresee at that instant a random mob leaving you to attack a teammate. http://classic.wowhead.com/item=5421 is also recommended for this type of tanking and “possibly” scales with EF and Elemental Focus. (ask around) Refer to: Gear, for additional help on this particular subject.

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https://classicdb.ch/?talent#hAczx0hoZxV00Exuo This is the solution to individuals heavily resilient or completely immune to nature damage. Good gear alongside a solid understanding of shaman tanking is required since we loose the ability to cast Earth Shock. Therefore, we will be casting max rank Frost Shock often and require the necessary mana related item to back it up. This path is frequently taken as a player reaches 3% hit chance from gear. Among the many other topics that briefly explain potential threat solvers, also refer to the Threat Management section for help.
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On patch 1.12 a full BIS and buffed shaman will be the closest in stats to approach a feral bear tank, let take an in-depth 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 without a problem. A shaman like other tanks tailors his gear in accordance with the boss he will be 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 raids.

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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.

Now, let's explores the threat generated by other classes to showcase where shaman tanks stand. Remember, threat will depend on gear, boss mechanics, etc... But in general, the current standing of tanks that can do the most threat are:
      1. Feral Druid/Warrior.
      2. Paladin/Enh Shaman.
      3. Dem warlock.
      4. Priest tanks.
The threat we can produce comes extremely close to Paladin Tanks using Holy Mightstone, if they don't use it we surpass them. We can reach an even higher threat ranking against bosses who have little to no nature resistance or the raiding group is capable of maintaining a consistent uptime of the Flame Buffet debuff.
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This section explores past private server bugs and theoretical bugs that push Shaman Tanks to new heights on the raiding content spectrum. An example, is: Inspiration or/and Healing Way can be applied multiple times through different ranks. Before continuing, be sure to read the section: Comparison, to know where we initially stand with other tanks. Down below, is a compiled list in no particular order:

      Razorhide's armor buff can stack with Inspiration.
      Rockbiter Weapon or Windfury Weapon triggers even if your auto attacks are dodged, parry, missed, etc..
      Searing Totem can trigger ED and/or generate threat for the shaman.
      The talent: Toughness scales with the armor granted from agility.
      The buff cap is increased to 35 or some buffs are not considered buffs and do not consume a slot.
      The Windfury Weapon enchant can trigger weapon procs among other procs.
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Raid composition differs with each boss but its considered an acquired technique that develops over time and reflects the playstyle of a guild or raid. The following image is an example raid comp with a few minor exceptions that differ from the norm. This image is by no means the perfect raid comp since raid comps drastically fluctuate along side: content patch, gear, experience, etc... With the raid leader's permission offer your advice on an ideal comp that caters to your needs without overstepping. A decent raid will always make sure that every group has a Tranquil Air Totem enforced by restoration shamans.

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  • Discipline priest with experience and ease of mind may occasionally throw a http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10060 on a shaman tank during the pull phase to help the tank gain a larger amount of threat.
  • In (Group 6): The shaman is elemental since healing is not an issue and we are relying mostly on http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25908. 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.

Thanks for reading!


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.

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Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/caperfin
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Nice read. I love the thought off non-cookie cutter builds. Lot's of undefined items/spells for me, will read it through once more when the undefined is fixed. ̶B̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶W̶e̶a̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶P̶r̶i̶e̶s̶t̶?̶ Edit: Shadow weaving, I get it now.

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This is a great guide, very interesting!

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Interesting guide but has this ever been attempted in a raid or is it just for dungeons at best?

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It is definitely something I will work towards on the side, possibly to help dungeon groups if there are no other tanks around, because I think it could prove a lot of fun. Great guide!

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This looks amazing! Currently at work, so I don't have the time currently to read it entirely, but I'm really curious. Will definitely read later!

Good job!

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Mulgore
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Before even reading: thank you. I dreamed about a guide like this. I tried so many time to do a leveling shaman to tank some dungeons here and there (no raiding in my goals) and usually hitted a wall with people not wanting me as a tank. This guide will only reinforce my dream :-) Shaman ALT incoming for sure!

Ish-ne-alo por-ah (May the days ahead be guided by the elders of long ago)
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Hydraxian Waterlords - RP - EU
  • Fendor - Tauren Shaman
  • Ildebrando - Dwarf Hunter
  • Osandiron - Dwarf Priest
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What's interesting is the last time I played and leveled in Vanlla, me and my 5 man group experimented with double tank comps in certain dungeons that had really tough pulls, and it was too much damage for one tank to take. Maybe this only works if you have a druid healer with strong HoTs, but it was me (a bear druid) and the other guy was a prot warrior. And it worked really really well, clearing packs that we wiped on previously.

So I'd be curious if this kind of shaman build would be viable for 5 mans. It would do more damage than a prot warrior and give buffs to the rest of the party. But maybe double tank in 5 mans is just dumb, and even if it isn't, a druid healer is the only thing that makes it viable.

So yeah, that's a long-winded way of saying this seems super cool, and it's clear that Blizzard at least thought about enhancement being a tank spec to mirror protection, but the only place I can see this working, especially at low gear levels, is in 5 man content. I feel like without this god-tier gear shown in the guide, this entire gimmick just falls apart.

Gensei - Shaman, Bloodsail Buccaneers
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fendor wrote:
6 months ago
Before even reading: thank you. I dreamed about a guide like this. I tried so many time to do a leveling shaman to tank some dungeons here and there (no raiding in my goals) and usually hitted a wall with people not wanting me as a tank. This guide will only reinforce my dream :-) Shaman ALT incoming for sure!
See my post after yours. I think it can be viable as a second tank/buffer/dps in 5 man groups. Not sure about raids.

Gensei - Shaman, Bloodsail Buccaneers
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I have been waiting for this for ages, finally a good & detailed guide for Shaman Tanking.
Something interesting to read when I am bored at work :)
Thanks @Devner

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Ashenvale
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Devner wrote:
6 months ago
A valid case can be made for also having a lvl 1 alt stationed permanently in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use.
Pardon me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a level 5 requirement to get professions such as enchanting?

Aside from that, I'm quite impressed! A lovely guide! :biggrin:

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Gensei wrote:
6 months ago
fendor wrote:
6 months ago
Before even reading: thank you. I dreamed about a guide like this. I tried so many time to do a leveling shaman to tank some dungeons here and there (no raiding in my goals) and usually hitted a wall with people not wanting me as a tank. This guide will only reinforce my dream :-) Shaman ALT incoming for sure!
See my post after yours. I think it can be viable as a second tank/buffer/dps in 5 man groups. Not sure about raids.
@Gensei Shamans tanking has grown tremendously since Vanilla. They can tank the majority of raid bosses out there. I was capable of reaching AQ, just before the server I was playing on was closed. Keep in mind, I was not using special event buffs. With these buffs, I would confidently see myself tanking NAXX.

Have a nice day :mrgreen:

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Nymis wrote:
6 months ago
Interesting guide but has this ever been attempted in a raid or is it just for dungeons at best?
@Nymis Shamans tanking has grown tremendously since Vanilla. They can tank the majority of raid bosses out there. I was capable of reaching AQ, just before the server I was playing on was closed. Keep in mind, I was not using special event buffs. With these buffs, I would confidently see myself tanking NAXX.

Have a nice day :mrgreen:

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Devner wrote:
6 months ago
Nymis wrote:
6 months ago
Interesting guide but has this ever been attempted in a raid or is it just for dungeons at best?
@Nymis Shamans tanking has grown tremendously since Vanilla. They can tank the majority of raid bosses out there. I was capable of reaching AQ, just before the server I was playing on was closed. Keep in mind, I was not using special event buffs. With these buffs, I would confidently see myself tanking NAXX.

Have a nice day :mrgreen:
Yeah, that's fair, it's just that I can't seem to find a single video of that or any proof of it happening, private server or otherwise - in anything other than a dungeon setting. Maybe it's just me not looking long enough but I find it hard to believe this actually happened without some proof.

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Devner wrote:
6 months ago

      Place a Mana Spring Totem (it gives threat to you)
Mana Spring Totem isn't supposed to cause threat.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070105001 ... kenco2.php
"for example mana from Blessing of Wisdom or a Mana Spring totem doesnt cause threat"

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Devner wrote:
6 months ago
Gensei wrote:
6 months ago
fendor wrote:
6 months ago
Before even reading: thank you. I dreamed about a guide like this. I tried so many time to do a leveling shaman to tank some dungeons here and there (no raiding in my goals) and usually hitted a wall with people not wanting me as a tank. This guide will only reinforce my dream :-) Shaman ALT incoming for sure!
See my post after yours. I think it can be viable as a second tank/buffer/dps in 5 man groups. Not sure about raids.
@Gensei Shamans tanking has grown tremendously since Vanilla. They can tank the majority of raid bosses out there. I was capable of reaching AQ, just before the server I was playing on was closed. Keep in mind, I was not using special event buffs. With these buffs, I would confidently see myself tanking NAXX.

Have a nice day :mrgreen:
Do you have a gear list of what you were using in MC?

Gensei - Shaman, Bloodsail Buccaneers
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I have no time to read right now, but well definitely look into this as I'm probably going to main a Shaman in Classic! Thanks 1000x!!!

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For anyone wondering, none of this is even remotely necessary to tank 5-mans or even early raids. For much of the game, Shaman threat exceeds that of Warriors rather effortlessly, and their survivability isn't as much of an issue as you might expect. Don't feel as though this is something you have to wait until AQ40/Naxx BIS before hoping to attempt, as you can (and honestly should) start collecting tank gear as early on as possible and be prepared to fill the role when needed throughout your leveling journey.

Nymis wrote:
6 months ago
Devner wrote:
6 months ago
Nymis wrote:
6 months ago
Interesting guide but has this ever been attempted in a raid or is it just for dungeons at best?
@Nymis Shamans tanking has grown tremendously since Vanilla. They can tank the majority of raid bosses out there. I was capable of reaching AQ, just before the server I was playing on was closed. Keep in mind, I was not using special event buffs. With these buffs, I would confidently see myself tanking NAXX.

Have a nice day :mrgreen:
Yeah, that's fair, it's just that I can't seem to find a single video of that or any proof of it happening, private server or otherwise - in anything other than a dungeon setting. Maybe it's just me not looking long enough but I find it hard to believe this actually happened without some proof.

Here's a video of my guild's third Vael kill. There's no footage of the first one, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say I was the first tank on that as well. ZG was open prior to BWL on the server, but I used no gear from it on this fight.

I've tanked every leveling 5-man at the appropriate level as well as each 60 dungeon, UBRS included, significantly undergeared (I repeated this on The Rebirth as well as Kronos 2, with comparable success). I've also offtanked MC, BWL and ZG progression, sometimes main tanking fights where the extra threat generation could be taken advantage of. I'm also a huge slacker and cut lots of corners. I can personally answer any questions about the viability of progression tanking at those stages, beyond which I don't know enough to really comment on.

I'm also new to this forum; saw a Shaman tanking thread and couldn't help myself.
Cool stuff btw OP. :mrgreen:

   teebling Selexin
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3 months ago (Beta)
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I can't believe what I just read, I'm into this kind of shit.

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Sanniey wrote:
6 months ago
I have no time to read right now, but well definitely look into this as I'm probably going to main a Shaman in Classic! Thanks 1000x!!!
Yep, the text lenght is literally only one downside to the guide here, myself gave a read of less complex ones so far, but taking the time to read Caperfin's guide may as well be worth it!

   Akalia
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1 month ago (Beta)
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Hello Caperfin!

Amazing guide; I've read this over a few times and come back often in my theorycrafting for my own build, where I want to find a balance between tanking, PvP and DPS (Totem Twisting, Nightfall bot, probably).

I am wondering about the importance of the talent Toughness, specifically versus Weapon Mastery.

I imagine that Weapon Mastery is quite good for PvP, and will help with threat generation during tanking, but I would be forgoing Toughness for this, which means lowering my EHP.

Is Toughness' mitigation percentage substancial overall?

I am playing around with a few builds right now, so I don't have just one to link for context, but the essence of my dilemma is written above.

Thank you for the marvelous guide!

The Barrens
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1 month ago (Beta)
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abyss wrote:
1 month ago
Hello Caperfin!

Amazing guide; I've read this over a few times and come back often in my theorycrafting for my own build, where I want to find a balance between tanking, PvP and DPS (Totem Twisting, Nightfall bot, probably).

I am wondering about the importance of the talent Toughness, specifically versus Weapon Mastery.

I imagine that Weapon Mastery is quite good for PvP, and will help with threat generation during tanking, but I would be forgoing Toughness for this, which means lowering my EHP.

Is Toughness' mitigation percentage substancial overall?

I am playing around with a few builds right now, so I don't have just one to link for context, but the essence of my dilemma is written above.

Thank you for the marvelous guide!
When you need to compromise but have your sights set on tanking and PvP, Toughness > Weapon Mastery.

Weapon Mastery is mainly important for DPSing since it's a 10% damage increase to your white hits, which is all you'd really be using in a raid setting. For holding aggro, white hits could make up anywhere from 20-50% of your threat generation depending on how much earth shocking you're doing (the far end of that spectrum being literally none), which means a 2-5% increase overall for 5 talent points. You'd get more bang for your buck with a really strong weapon from BWL and later when the weapon damage starts to outweigh the invisible additive from Rockbiter, but it's still not enough to warrant losing all that extra armor. The extra mitigation from Toughness is a huge deal considering survivability is your main weakness relative to other tanking classes.

PvP Enhance is kind of a meme, and when you're getting those triple Windfury crits, your target is dead anyway so that extra 10% would be overkill. Yeah you're not always getting Windfury procs, but your basic melee swing feels like it might as well be doing zero damage so you won't ever notice that teensy increase.

   abyss
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3 days ago (1.13.2)
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I am slowly updating the guide to reflect Classic. If there is anything I forgot or something doesn't stack, scale, etc... please let me know.

   teebling
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1 day ago (1.13.2)
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Woohoo, Thanks Caperfin, tell us when complete!

Which parts have to be changed?

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