Shamans are a versatile class in World of Warcraft. At lower levels they can tank, at higher levels they can add to a group’s damage per second through melee, spells, or the class’s most important grouping role, healing.
The shaman is a class that is good at PvE (player versus environment) and has much to offer in PvP (player versus player) situations, but it is not necessarily the strongest class for people who enjoy the PvP aspects of World of Warcraft.
This does not mean that shamans cannot be an effective PvP class, because a player who understands how to be an effective in the arenas and battlegrounds will certainly do better than a player who does not. It merely means that the shaman’s most poweful tool is not as useful when facing opposing players.
Shamans as Healers in PvP
The process used by a shaman to keep his group alive in PvP is the same as the procedures used to keep group members alive in PvE, but there is one key difference. Spells like the shaman’s stoneclaw totem have no effect on opposing players. Human opponents will attempt to take out the healers first.
Using shaman totems in PvP combat is usually a waste of mana. While each totem provides a beneficial affect, enemy players know that they are easily taken out and will not leave them up long.
Useful Shaman PvP Spells
Enhancement and Elemental shamans have a distinct advantage over healing shamans in PvP as they can do considerably more damage. Enhancement shamans do better than shaman who specialize in the other two brancehes of the talent tree as they are not as spell dependent and can deal more damage consistently, but they still are hindered by the weakness of their totems. However, there are some useful spells for the shaman to use in the battlegrounds and other PvP combat.
Earth Shock, a low-level shaman spell, should not be overlooked when facing casters, but the trick is to use the spell correctly. Because the spell can be used does not mean it should be, wait until someone on the opposing side is casting and press the hot key button for frost shock to prevent the spell from activating.
Chain lightning is one of the few multi-target spells that a shaman gets that is not dependent on totems, but the shaman must be positioned to use the spell effectively. The first target will get the full damage of the spell and each additional target will take half. If the shaman is not expected to heal, this is a good way to spread out damage. If the totems are being ignored, laying down magma totem can help the shaman’s team out.
Frost Shock and Fire Shock
These are two shaman spells that have a dot component added to them. Frost shock does slightly more damage, but these spells can be timed so that while the dot effect on one is starting to wear off, the other spell’s damage over time effect starts. This gives the elemental shaman and enhancement shamans extra damage per second capability in PvP
If a shaman in a PvP situation is out of mana and needs to melee, he can use a series of spells to add damage to his weapon, frost shock has small dot affect that will remain active on an enemy target even after his target becomes incapacitated
Shamans can be effective at PvP and the enhancement tree is the best choice for a shaman who wants to go into the battlegrounds, but while their abilities make them desirable, their strength in PvE situations is their greatest weakness in PvP. It is not an insurmountable one. A good player can easily overcome this weakness.