The shaman knocks the dust out of the armor, which elicits a soft clink from the heavy chain mesh. Another successful dungeon trip that ended with a bunch of loot, dead monsters and a lot of gold and the feeling that you could really make a difference in Azeroth. After a friendly nod towards the magician and a strong handshake with the group's warrior tank, you go your separate ways. On the way home, the shaman decides to make a short stop in the tavern in Goldhain and to sit down at a table with six strange adventurers. He is received by embarrassed silence. "Sorry," the warrior reports. "Here only for tanks." The paladin and the death knight nod wisely, both holding a pink cocktail. The shaman sighs and already wants to get up – after all, one side of the table has a solid surface and is therefore responsible for the defense of the group. After a quick look at the other side of the bench, the shaman is startled. "What?" Reports the druid, "I am wearing leather armor, but I can transform into a bear weighing eight hundred kilos!" The shaman's gaze whips around to the monk and demon hunter, both of whom are nervously sliding around in their place. "I, uh … I'm drunk. And I dodge. In full drunkenness," the monk says. When the shaman frowns and throws his arms up in the air, the monk shrugs. "I know it doesn't make sense. It must have something to do with the black ox that the pandaren worship." The demon hunter poses, sipping his margarita dramatically and sniffing. "I dodge too! And I'm practically naked because my magic tattoos always have to be clearly visible!" A long moment later, the demon hunter collapses. "Okay, okay, maybe I should get dressed and take a sign in my hand, I'll admit it." The shaman clears his throat and taps on his heavy armor made of metal and glowing magma. On his shield. The elementary earth magic tank that surrounds it like a small asteroid belt. And finally the war hammer on his belt, which is similar in size and shape to a safe on a stick. "Nope," the warrior shakes his head, "doesn't look like a tank, maybe the table over there would be your case more?" At the far end of the room there is a soft "Hallohoo!" As one of the magicians rises from the damage table and waves. However, all the shaman sees are clothes made of fabric, leather fumbling, wands and daggers. With a heavy sigh, the one-ton shaman stomps through the taproom and falls with the crack of his heavy armor onto the chair at the DpS table. The sign is placed almost tenderly in the corner. Maybe it will be so far in the next but one expansion …
We are angry. Smelly pissed, because it is a bit rotten in the state of Azeroth. The shaman community has been overcoming a dry spell for years: Where restorers were able to rest in a good place from a design point of view, elementary shamans tend to be in the middle of the DpS classes. It gets really bad again and again, because the poor melee shaman has slipped to the back of the food chain every few months since Vanilla-WoW and also has the resistance of a moist toilet paper. The brave shaman does not do much, however: They grit their teeth and play the damn class they love, come what may! A certain point of conversation is picked up again and again in the shaman forums by an enormously large mass of players across all languages, although the discussion seems futile: shamans want to fill up! This is not only because your traditional "rival class", the paladin, is a real all-rounder. Everything about the shaman cries out for a traditional tank: his armor, his choice of weapons and his background are made for the role as, in the truest sense of the word, rock hard front pig. Anyone who currently plays Classic WoW from time to time knows that shamans can indeed complete all of the content there as a main tank with absolutely no problems. Yes everything! Correct, even the raid! Especially the veterans among us, who were still dragging themselves from Vanilla to Burning Crusade to Arthas' awakening, remember a time when no one was surprised when the guild shaman suddenly stood at the boss's teeth the aggro struck and never let go. We advocate bringing this time back! So take a seat, brew a hot tea and listen to us as we climb onto our soap box and tell you the arguments for the tank shaman.
The Iron Shaman Saga
We also want to see a tank shaman on the live servers as soon as possible, but if you want to try out the famous shaman tank that we are talking about all the time on the Classic servers of World of Warcraft, the following equipment is here Recommended for refueling dungeons and getting ready to raid yourself:
Head: Narv helmet – auction house
Neck: Medallion of Grand Marshal Morris – auction house
Shoulders: Beast Hunter Coat – Overlord Wyrmthalak, Lower Blackrock Tip
move: Stone Shield Cape – Verek, Blackrock Depths
Chest: Beast Hunter Tunic – General Drakkisath, Upper Blackrock Top
wrists: Princely arm guards – auction house
Hands: Wild Gladiator Handguard – Gorosh the Dervish, Blackrock Depths
Hip: Blood tank belt – Doctor Theloen Krastinov, Scholomance
Legs: Chromatic Opponent's Legguards – Quest for the Renegade Quest, Western Plaguelands
feet: Shadowy Mail Greaves – Ras Frost Runes, Scholomance
Ring 1: Thrall's Determination – Quest "Is the Princess Saved?" Blackrock Depths
Ring 2: Ring of Protection – Hidden Gunner Quest, Eastern Plaguelands
Jewel 1: Mark of Tyranny – Quest "For the Horde!", Upper Blackrock Tip
Jewel 2: Smoking Heart of the Mountain – Enchanting
Weapon: Fervent Guardian – Auction House
Sign: Draconic Deflector – General Drakkisath, Upper Blackrock Peak
Activate your rock biter weapon, use earth shock and lightning shield, and swallow an oil of fire blight before the fight. When the going gets tough, you heal yourself so that you create even more menace – done. You should at least be able to fill up with dungeons without any problems. As a shaman, you have been in close combat since Vanilla-WoW, if you like. One could even argue that the only melee shaman that worked in the raid was a tank at the time, because as a damage class the amplifier cut a rather mediocre figure at that time (and now in Classic): it did absolutely solid burst damage over every distance and was able to do its DpS but not reliably maintained by long cooldowns. However, if you kept an equipment set with the values Dodge Chance, Stamina and Armor in hand, you could hold the opponent's aggro quite easily with your shaman, because earth shock generated a massive amount of threat. If you look at the tooltip for the rock biter's weapon, you will discover that the shaman even had a specialized tool for aggro production – and it was used often and often. Dungeons were not a hint of a problem, while the role of the main tank in the raid requires a little preparation and putting together appropriate armor – a process that was no different from equipping a DpS warrior with optional tank equipment. The Burning Crusade came and the tank shamans couldn't be stopped. It was still possible for the ancestors' minions to smuggle groups of five through the dungeon content with a little brain power and muscle. Arthas awoke and even here the brave shamans braced themselves against the wind and grabbed their shield with a strong grip: Shamans could stand in front of their group well into Wrath of the Lich King and remain reliably alive and hold their opponent's aggro. For example, the Crusader's test was very easy to tank with our favorite melee wizard. With Cataclysm at the latest, the era of tanking shamans came to an end because the concept obviously did not fit Blizzard's vision – in Warlords of Draenor, the rock biter's weapon was removed, which temporarily put the concept on the reserve bench. As the old systems that ultimately allowed you to play whatever you wanted were removed from the game, the shaman lost the ability to protect his comrades and our ancestors lowered their heads to grief.
The table is already set, but nobody is using it
So the will to refuel was always there, only the possibilities were removed. Let's start with the gameplay-technical arguments for a shaman tank, because these are crucial for many players: The shaman wears heavy armor. "But", we hear you call, "the hunter does that too, and the tank doesn't make any sense with that!" First, are you sure? The hunter tank is a completely different barrel, which we are also happy to open and rummage through before you. Second, the fact remains: there is a healing specialization for all armor, there is a damage specialization for all armor (some would say TOO many) – only one tank specialization is reserved for two types of armor. And instead of taking the clothes that say "Heavy armor" in capital letters, half of the tanks wear tight leather clothes. Such nonsense! And now we are not coming with "They dodge but"! We like to repeat it again: Heavy armor. Armor that is not light, but heavy. A clothing with metal, chains, flaming boulders, elementium plates and gigantic shoulder pads. The kind of armor you imagine in a tank instead of wide-brimmed hats, sandals and an exposed torso. In addition, the shaman is the only class in the game that carries a shield but does nothing with it! To top it all off, in Battle for Azeroth, the shaman's ranged specialization even traditionally uses the shield. On your back, mind you, because the standard gameplay of the fiery elemental shaman of course only provides wild waving with your hands, but no melee missions. You might as well have a sign on your back that says, "I'm not a real melee, I'm just cosplaying."
A song of ice and fire and earth and air
As the last and perhaps most important argument, we present the shaman's already existing specializations: the elementary specialization forms magma, throws with fire and with the help of the talent ascendancy turns into a fire ascendant. As a recovery shaman you control the cool water, alleviate wounds by rapid flooding or use the totem of the cloudburst. In an emergency, of course, as a restorer, you will transform yourself into a water ascendant. Finally, amplifiers use the power of the wind: lightning strikes and storms are their area, supported by their characteristic ability to anger wind. The ascendant you can transform yourself into is the aerial ascendant. Maybe something is missing? Of course: Of the four elements, only the earth can still be asked. Of all the elements that are best suited for the role of the classic tank, including thick rock armor and swirling granite shields. There was already a tentative attempt at an underground tank: The rock biter's weapon in Classic shows that Blizzard himself knows exactly why the specializations were later divided up in this way. However, one of the most incomprehensible decisions for us was to give the druid his (absolutely justified) four specializations and to ignore the shaman. The shaman of all people! You know, the guy who, based on World of Warcraft's fifteen-year background (buy now for € 39.99) mastered the four elements – with an emphasis on four? Not three, but four? I agree. We mean this shaman. And people are still wondering why we regularly bite our unfortunately useless shield with frustration.
What follows is a concept that many tank-interested shaman players probably already know by heart: The shaman theory crafter "kid-karma" already proposed a practically fully developed concept for a shaman tank in 2016, which shows the power of the Uses earth and has some very sophisticated and above all possesses unique abilities. Basically, the life energy and armor of the so-called "earth former", similar to other non-plate carriers, are increased by the passive gift of the earth by twenty percent. Aggro is created by a classic taunt ability and the basic reverberation spell that emits tremors whenever the shaman is attacked. The tank shaman does damage with its stalagmites, which impale its enemies and explode into a thousand sharp fragments when they are struck by reverberation – a great idea for synergy effects! For increased protection, however, the ability of Tectonic Tanks, which adds 20 percent armor every second, up to a maximum of two hundred percent.
If you shake your head as a tank colleague, you can rest assured: a side effect of the heavy stone armor is a gradual slowdown of the shaman, which reaches its maximum at fifty percent. Great idea! So that you don't crawl over the floor like a snail all the time, you can remove the additional armor with the erosion magic, which also cures you for four percent for every removed stack of erosion. For us it all sounds very well thought out and cool, with clear mechanics and a clear vision for class fantasy!
What is also noticeable, however, is that the fan concept of the shaman tank turns out very slowly, which seems quite logical for a pounding pile of stones. So that the whole thing does not degenerate into frustration, the earth shaper with rock slide and gullet hole gets the opportunity to draw his opponents towards him. Stop, we know what you want to say now: "That is already the gimmick of the death knight, all copied!" We think there is room in WoW for two slow tanks to pull their opponents towards them.
The indestructible core of the world
Everything said so far is supported by what the history of Azeroth has to offer, because shamans have always been the boys and girls who stood at the front and took hits: in Warcraft 3, the shaman caused little damage, but received more life energy with every upgrade and launched his automatic attacks into melee combat – ranged combat is for priests and elves! Thrall, an elementary shaman, stomped around in heavy armor for a long time and practically all shamans in the earthen ring wear glowing tanks instead of flowing robes. Speaking of the Earthen Ring: Does anyone else find it strange that the element after which the largest shamanistic organization was named is not to be found in our skills list? Especially since Therazane (both the Queen and the faction) practically stands for endurance, tenacity and readiness to defend within the game. Names like "Lavinius the Unbroken" and "Urgar the Unshakable" sound from the ground up to elementals who pound around slowly, take a lot and never give up – the perfect flair for our shaman tank. As soon as you recruit Therazane in Legion for your classroom, she even says explicitly that Earth will be the "Shield of Azeroth". For all titans, every time you say goodbye, the flying crystalline smooch says word for word: "Earth is your shield!" How many technical background information and justifications do we still need so that the shaman can also firmly grip his shield for his friends?
But like the Earth itself, the shaman community is patient. Sooner or later we will resume our trusty shield and stand in the first line of battle as we are entitled to. You don't believe us? Hey, after all, upright orcs and undead without protruding bones were also considered mystical figures at the time, which were more similar to the Yeti or the Loch Ness Monster than to a game feature that was actually being worked on. And if such small lover details make it into the game, we are very happy that Blizzard will roll up our sleeves one day not too far away and finally give us what we want: a balanced shaman who is at peace with all four elements. Don't hang your head, shaman! Say it aloud and say it proudly: We are the earth itself! We are your shield!
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