Shaman Tank guide - Learn how to master World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Classic as a proficient Shaman Tank

I’m Caperfin. Questions?

Intro: Can Shamans tank? The short and to the point answer is, yes. You might be rubbing your eyes in disbelief. Maybe conjuring a ten page manifesto about how only warriors can and should tank. Although, I can go on a long rant about the many other classes that can tank, today, I’ll be focusing on our totemic friend, the shaman.

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

Many Shaman tanks agree their motivation is from the glory of seizing a feat the rest of the realm dares not try. If this resonates with you, please continue reading. You shaman tank for a challenge and a refreshing perspective from a 15 year old game.

When experienced players Shaman tank and put in the effort, it shines tenfold. Shamans can fully tank 5mans, 10mans, off-tank & main-tank raids. But, this relies on personal and guild experience. Our overall defensive statistics won’t reach a warrior’s. However, it isn’t necessary to do so, to tank.

Video: Tank Races - Video Explanation
Dreanei Shaman, thus the Alliance, can have all classes use Bag of Marbles on a raid boss. Tauren Shaman get Endurance. Dreanei excels, if Bag of Marbles is involved, otherwise Horde Tauren wins.

Video: Professions - Youtube
Enchanting for Enchant Ring - Stats and Blacksmithing for Embrace of the Twisting Nether (its “use” effect).

We can increase threat in many ways, notably: Frost Shock, Stormstrike & Lightning Shield. Install a threat tracking addon, ex: ThreatClassic2. Consumable items deal threat, ex: Super Rejuvenation Potion based on half of the Health & Mana gained. Damaging Buffs, ex: Thorns and items, ex: Supper Sapper Charge deal threat equal to their damage. See the complete detailed Threat List:

Allies can reduce their threat, through items, ex: Fetish of the Sand Reaver. Mage have: Invisibility & Burning Soul. Warlock: Soulshatter. Paladin: Blessing of Salvation & Blessing of Protection (prevents aggro). Shaman: Tranquil Air Totem (stacks w/Salvation). Hunter redirect threat: Misdirection. Rogue & Hunter wipe threat: Vanish & Feign Death. Items can “pseudo-Taunt” a lvl72 elite boss: Masterwork Target Dummy. Classes in the 30-40 yard range won’t get aggro t’ill they surpass the threat level of the mob’s current target by 30%, as opposed to 10% for melee classes.


We don’t get threat from totems. Common totems: Grace of Air Totem, Stoneskin Totem & Healing Stream Totem. For AoE Tanking: Stoneclaw Totem followed by Fire Nova Totem & Earth Elemental Totem. Other Shamans can Earth Elemental Totem to help with a pack of mobs.


The main setup 16/45/0:


  • Pre Pull: Cast Lightning Shield & Windfury Weapon. Get all Buffs the group can supply. Put, Stoneskin Totem, Grace of Air Totem & Healing Stream Totem. Mark the mobs in front of you by right-clicking their portrait, pick Raid Target Icon, choose from a Skull = kill 1st, red X = kill 2nd, blue square = Freezing Trap and a moon = Polymorph.
  • Pulling: Rank12 Lightning Bolt, recast, followed by as many Rank1 Lightning Bolts to possibly get: Elemental Focus. At 20yards, Frost Shock.
  • Melee Range: In a fight, use Frost Shock ranks that suits mana & threat, lastly Stormstrike if need be. If Lightning Shield expires, recast. If death is imminent, equip a defensive weapon, ex: Grom’tor’s Charge, use: Heroic Potion, Shamanistic Rage & Nightmare Seed.
    Buffs + Debuffs There’s a cap of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the cap as it may lead to unwanted Buff removal, the Addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Get defensive Buffs, ex: IronShield Potion before Threat Buffs, ex: Onslaught Elixir. (To learn more about Buffs, see this detailed Buffs List:

Buffs + Debuffs

There’s a cap of 32 Buffs, avoid nearing the cap as it may lead to unwanted Buff removal, the Addon: Buff Cap Tracker helps. Get defensive Buffs, ex: IronShield Potion before Threat Buffs, ex: Onslaught Elixir. (To learn more about Buffs, see this detailed Buffs List:

Only 40 Debuffs can be on a mob. Having the most Debuffs is major in raids. There’s defensive Debuffs: Insect Swarm & threat Debuffs: Winter’s Chill among others (see List of Debuffs: With the raid leader’s consent, suggest ideal Debuffs without overstepping.

Gear + Enchants

Solidify defensive stats when gearing, threat is second. The Resilience & Defense stat helps us reach the 5.6% Crit Immunity Cap, PvP gear helps, ex: Gladiator’s Mail Helm. General Stat priority: Resilience/Defense (t’ill Cap) > Stamina > Armor > Parry > Dodge. For Heroic Dungeons: 12k Health & 11k Armor unbuffed. For Karazhan: 10.5k & 10.5k Armor. For Magtheridon’s Lair and Gruul: 13k Health & 12k Armor. See Gear List: to learn more.

There’s two situational types of enchants, defensive, ex: Heavy Knothide Armor Kit. And offensive, ex: Enchant Gloves - Threat. Here’s a complete list of relevant Enchants: (

AoE Tanking

Many actions can further solidify AoE cases, ex: Oil of Immolation, Stormchops, Force Reactive Disk, etc… (see List: At the start of a fight, items like Thornling Seed/Masterwork Target Dummy & spells, ex: Fire Elemental Totem/Fire Elemental Totem can distract mobs by tanking them while you deal threat on them.

Group Composition

For Dungeons: Shadow Priest, Retribution Paladin, Beast Mastery Hunter & Healer Priest. In raids, offer an ideal comp without overstepping. In our group, Warlock: Blood Pact, Paladin: Devotion Aura, Druid: Tree of Life, Warrior: Commanding Shout. A member (pref healer) can use: Thick Felsteel Necklace. Outside the group, ranged classes are favored over melee. If melee are needed, Rogues are best.

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Shaman Tank Discord:
Wotlk Shaman Tank Guide

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Guide has been updated!

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