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Shaman Shaman Tank Guide - Tanking Shaman in WoW


New Member
Sep 20, 2021
Shaman Tank Guide - Shaman Tank in WoW
I’m Caperfin. If you have questions, see my Livestream: www.twitch.tv/caperfin

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.
The topic of viable and optimal is contentious as some don’t see the difference or mix them up and levy a misguided philosophy onto it. Optimal is the most efficient and foolproof solution that eliminates as many negative variables as possible and favors an easier path. Viable or often referred to as: possible, seen as the more challenging path but to many is a greater personal triumph. Shaman Tank is labelled as viable.

Video: Shaman Tank - Race Options - Video Explanation
You’ll be staring at your character for a long time. So, consider your character’s appearance as a key factor as it may entice you to play more. All races have assets but they’re minor compared to other aspects. There is no wrong race. See Video to learn more about race options.

Video: Shaman Tank - Best Professions for tanking?
Engineering for Goblin Sapper Charge, Masterwork Target Dummy, Force Reactive Disk, etc… Blacksmithing for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, disregard if Phase 5 (see weapon path), and go a high gold generating profession on your realm. Gold helps buy potions, ex: Flask of the Titans among other consumables.

Video: Shaman Tank - How to deal threat?!
We can increase threat in many ways, notably: Earth Shock, Stormstrike, Rockbiter Weapon & Lightning Shield. Install a threat tracking addon, ex: ThreatClassic2. Consumable items deal threat, ex: Major Rejuvenation Potion based on half of the Health & Mana gained. Damage items, ex: Goblin Sapper Charge deals threat equal to the damage so do reflective Buffs, ex: Thorns. Lastly, certain items ex: Gift of Arthas deal threat each time their Debuff is triggered (see Threat List).

Video: Shaman Tank - How do allies reduce Threat?
Allies can reduce their threat, through items, ex: Fetish of the Sand Reaver. Mage have: Burning Soul. Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem. Rogue and Hunter wipe threat w/Vanish & Feign Death and so can Flask of Petrification. Items prevent aggro: Limited Invulnerability Potion & redirect aggro: Masterwork Target Dummy. Classes in the 30-40 yard range won’t get aggro t’ill they surpass the threat level of the mob’s target by 30%, as opposed to 10% for melee. (See More)

Video: Totems for tanking? - Youtube Video
Totems can’t deal threat for you. Common totems: Grace of Air Totem, Stoneskin Totem & Healing Stream Totem. AoE Tanking: Stoneclaw Totem followed by Fire Nova Totem. To learn more about totems, see the Video.

Video: Shaman Tank - Tanking Talents - World of Warcraft - YouTube
The talent setup: (16/35/0), it has steady threat per second for raids & excels on short fights.

Video: Shaman Tank - Rotation - World of Warcraft
  1. Pre-Pull: Cast Lightning Shield. Get all Buffs the group can give. Cast Rockbiter Weapon. Place: Stoneskin Totem, Grace of Air Totem & Healing Stream Totem. Mark the mobs in front of you by right-clicking their portrait, pick Raid Target Icon, pick from either a Skull = kill first, a red X = kill second, a blue square = Hunter trap or a moon = Polymorph.
  2. Pulling: Cast Lightning Bolt, followed by as many Lightning Bolt possible to trigger, Elemental Focus. Lastly, Earth Shock.
  3. Combat: For raids, use Nat Pagle's Broken Reel to assure the first few Earth Shocks hit. In a fight, use relevant ranks of Earth Shock that suits your mana & threat. Stormstrike can’t be downranked but is also used in similar cases. If Lightning Shield expires, cast it. If you suddenly might die, equip a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter w/Enchant Weapon - Agility & Rockbiter Weapon, use Masterwork Target Dummy (taunts boss), use Juju Escape, possibly Major Healthstone & Major Rejuvenation Potion. To learn more, see the Video.

Video: Shaman Tank - Best Buffs for tanking?
There’s a max of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the max as it may result in Buffs getting pushed off, the addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Use Buff Cap Calc to see what Buffs stack. Prioritize getting defensive Buffs, ex: Elixir of Fortitude before getting Threat Buffs, ex: Juju Might. (Here's a detailed list of Buffs).

Video: Shaman Tank - Best Debuffs for tanking?
A max of 16 Debuffs can be on a mob. Reaching the max is major in raids. There’s defensive Debuffs: Insect Swarm & threat Debuffs: Faerie Fire among others. With the raid leader’s consent, suggest ideal Debuffs without overstepping. List of Debuffs.

Video: Shaman Tank - How to gear!? - Youtube
Cement defensive stats when gearing, threat is second. It’s advised to get 4k HP & 5k Armor unbuffed for Molten Core. Blackwing Lair, ~4800 to 5k HP and 6500-7k Armor. For reliable threat, 3% melee Hit is advised for dungeons. For Raid tanking, 6% Melee Hit. See the BiS Gear Set. You can only equip a weapon & shield in combat, enabling the swap to a defensive weapon, ex: Spineshatter, if survival seems grim.

Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJqx0yCkyig
There are two types of enchants, defensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Superior Agility. And offensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Threat. Having Enchanting isn’t needed to gain the profession’s advantages. Simply, give the Enchanter the required enchanting materials and they will enchant your gear for a small gold tip. To learn more, see the List of Enchants.

AoE Tanking

Video: Shaman Tank - How to deal AoE Threat? - Youtube
Many actions can further solidify AoE cases, ex: Oil of Immolation, Force Reactive Disk, Thorns, , etc… (see a full Threat List) It’s crucial to switch and attack another target ever so often. In combat, items & spells giving health or mana deal 50% threat divided by each mob. Items also help until a decent amount of threat is gained on all mobs, ex: Masterwork Target Dummy.

Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSmrU3T25wg
With the raid leader’s consent, offer an ideal raid comp without overstepping. In our group, Warlock: Blood Pact, Warrior: Battle Shout, Druid: Leader of the Pack, Hunter: Trueshot Aura. For damage dealing classes, we prefer ranged classes over melee. If melee are needed, rogues are best. Groups with high threat dealers can have a Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem.
Have question? see my Livestream: www.twitch.tv/caperfin


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New Member
Sep 20, 2021
Awesome Guide! i have en example of gear and i hope im allowed to post this, but this is my Arena Partner from a Shaman Tank in TBC 2.4.3 server. He had to do Herbalism/Alch to get the 54 Def Trink and stack Resil gear. Just an example of how Shaman can actually tank Heroics and Raids in TBC as well. https://endless.gg/armory/character/rockbiter
Thanks for the support :)
Shaman can indeed tank Heroic as well a Raids with enough effort. I am very familiar with TBC.
Happy to answer questions about Burning Crusade Shaman Tanking.


New Member
Sep 20, 2021
OP guide creator here,

Shaman Tank guide has been updated to account for many things (ex: 2hand tanking).

Let me know, if you have questions about Shaman Tank.
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