Monday, 6 April 2009

Escape options for Shamans

I've been asked by friends starting new shamans a few things about the class, but they mostly end up asking "why am I dying all the time?" and "how can I escape bad pulls?", so I thought I'd jot down some ideas. If I can remember how it was levelling a shaman, that is!

Tauren War Stomp from level 1. This (and that cows rule) is the reason I rolled Tauren. When I rerolled Horde, I read a description somewhere that Shaman don't have very many CC options, so being Bovine is good for the 'Stomp. This is certainly true, when combined with another ability the Stomp can get you out of trouble and heading for the hills, screaming.

Earthbind totem from level 6. This totem is good to slow down any attackers, but it seems to have need a "tick" before it snares mobs, or the server has to realise that mobs are in its range. If you pull a big pack accidentally and can get this down quick enough, you may be able to run for it in the opposite direction.

Stoneclaw totem from level 8. This is generally useful when your carefully planned pull went wrong and you have add(s). Stoneclaw will not aggro your primary target, but it will control the add(s) for long enough for you to either try to escape with a single mob beating on you, or nuke that single mob down quick. However, it has very little health so really won't last long.

Frost shock at level 20. If you need to get away from a single mob, drop a Frost shock on them and run for it. When I accidentally pull 2 mobs, I would often Frost shock the add when it gets within 20 yards, thus splitting the mobs up. Then I would hope I could kill the first mob by the time the add reached melee combat range.

Ghost wolf form at level 20. If combined with War Stomp, you can just about get into wolf form as the mobs unstun. Then so long as you don't get stunned yourself running away, you're laughing. If you don't have War Stomp, get Improved Ghost Wolf which makes for instant Ghost Wolf, which you can cast while already running away. If you have War Stomp... I'd get Improved Ghost Wolf anyway, you're really laughing when you can stun a pack of mobs, shift to wolf and be 1-2 seconds travel away when they wake up. Suckers! TWS and GW was my number one method of escape from level 20 onward.

Earth Elemental Totem at level 66. He is on a 20 minute cool down, but in a tight spot, this guy will save you. He's got an AOE taunt which will pull aggro onto him, and is tough enough to survive for several seconds while you beat a hasty retreat.

Fire Elemental Totem at level 68. Unfortunately he doesn't have a taunt, but does a wide variety of fire AOE, so any adds you haven't peeved off will switch to attacking the fire elemental. With little health you'd best run fast.

Hex at level 80. This is the business and I was so excited when I read we were getting a CC all of our own. It's very annoying then that you won't be using this until level 80. It does exactly what it says on the tin... hex that add and beat up the main mob, hex the main mob & stoneclaw any adds while you run away. The only limit is that it works on beasts and humanoids only, and has a 45 second cool down. Beware that the cool down starts when you start the cast, so if you cancel a Hex you still have to wait 45 seconds to cast another.

Feral Spirit is the 51 point enhancement talent, so you can have wolves at level 60. These guys have Twin Howl and Bash, both of which will let you get away while the wolves tank.

Thunderstorm is the 51 point elemental talent which you can have at level 60. It does knock enemies back by 20 yards, unfortunately with the run speed of most mobs, they are on you almost immediately. Still, if you pick a direction you can at least thin the mobs out and have a fair chance of escape.

Having said all that, most of my low levels were spent pulling very carefully, and dying if it went wrong! Don't be afraid to spam LHW, its a quick heal and I would often end up in a competition between whether my mana bar or the mobs health would reach 0 first. A lot of these escape options have other uses too, but I won't go into them here, suffice to say sometimes you can turn the tide of battle instead of legging it. Stick with it too, now Kam is decked out in mail, instead of running from adds, he laughs in their faces, shortly before smashing their faces in with uber weapons.

3 comments:

Wilson said...

Because I've been a shammy basically all my wow life, when i first tried the hunter class, i kept dying alot because i couldn't heal myself >< Playing another class other then your main at times require a change in mindset :P

Charles said...

I'm leveling up my first shammy and I've noticed that the whole running for your life thing stopped happening as ofetn once I got water shield. I could actually let mobs beat on me while I dropped what ever totem it is that does the aoe flame bursts and just use LHW and watersheld to keep myself up till the mobs health was down to a burstable level.

Anonymous said...

As a noob Shammy I just want to say Thanks!! It's very difficult to find any info for any low lvl class so you're post is very helpful

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