How I Shammy (5.x)

Throughout the time that I’ve been playing WoW, and especially while twinking, the amount of addons, macros, etc. that I use has been growing. In settling on playing a shammy most of the time, a good deal of these have become shaman-centric. So, I figured it was time to jot some of these things down with the idea of sharing and learning from others. This will be centered around twinking at level 20, though many of these would work at any level. These are generally used for PVP and though most of them can be used with any spec, Resto would take advantage of a few more of them than Ele or Enh would. Without any further intro, I’m just gonna jump right in it.




You will most likely notice with the screenshots that I’m not covering all the addons that I use. Really I’m just going to mention those that have a more functional purpose other than looks/cleanliness.

1. Mage Nuggets
Yes I know, a shammy is not a mage; however, Mage Nuggets provides an excellent purge notification for shammies. Any time your target uses a purge-able spell, a little box will pop up right in the middle of the screen listing what it/they are. This is a tremendous help with taking shields, rejuvs, speed of lights, and the like off of your target as quickly as possible.

2. Tidy Plates – Threat Plates
There are many nameplate addons out there that can do what Tidy Plates does, I’m just more used to using it at this point. So yes, Tidy Plates looks nice, but it has some very helpful setup options to make tracking friendly and enemy buffs/debuffs much easier. In the setup of Tidy Plates you can set up what specific spells, debuffs, and the like that you want to track. They will then appear as a little icon with a timer on it right above a mob or player’s nameplate. This is very helpful for tracking a number of things. A couple big ones that come to mind for me are Weakened Soul – for tracking when a priest will be able to shield themselves, and Ancestral Vigor – for tracking what friendly targets around me have the buff. Also, Tidy Plates allows you to display all enemy cast bars which works well in battlegrounds for planning an interrupt.

3. Vial Cooldowns
This for me is a big one. Vial Cooldowns displays enemy cooldowns over their nameplate. This is an enormous help for tracking rogue Kicks, shammy Wind Shears, shammy Thunderstorms, Pally Avenger’s Shields, Pally Hammer of Justices, etc. The default position for displaying the cooldown is on the left side of the nameplate, which can fairly easily be moved by messing with the lua. I like mine on the right so it doesn’t interfere with the Tidy Plates display.

4. Vuhdo

Vuhdo - Red for Hammer of Justice.

Vuhdo – Red for Hammer of Justice. Also, be sure not to anger the Yeti.

There are many options out there for raid frames, even the native raid frames seem to be quite good. I honestly haven’t tried that many different raid frame options, but of what I have tried I like Vuhdo. Vuhdo is massively customizable. I like to be able to view class color, HP, mana, and various HoTs, buffs, and debuffs. I prefer to use mouseover macros with the raid frames for quicker heals which also allows me to keep an enemy as my target. One of the biggest helpful features of Vuhdo for me (as resto) is to be able to set specific colors to a frame whenever that player becomes affected by a certain stun, cc, debuff, whatever. This is an invaluable help when running as resto when choosing who to use Purify Spirit on. For me I generally save Purify Spirit for when a team member gets Hammer of Justiced, Feared, rooted, Polymorphed, etc. In Vuhdo, I simply set frames to turn a specific, very noticeable color for those particular spells. Hammer of Justice is red, Fear is orange, Entangling Roots is Yellow, Polymorph is blue, etc. The nice thing is that any number of spells can be whatever color you want.


Set Focus – An essential macro for me as much of my other macros and playstyle utilize my focus target in some way.


Target Focus’s Target – Does what it says.

/assist focus

Wind Shear – Stops your own casting and casts Wind Shear. Simple.

#showtooltip Wind Shear
/cast Wind Shear

Riptide Mouseover – Casts Riptide at whatever is under your mouse pointer. Largely used hovering over Vuhdo raid frames

#showtooltip Riptide
/cast [@mouseover] Riptide

Healing Surge Mouseover – Casts Healing surge at whatever is under your mouse pointer. Largely used over Vuhdo raid frames

#showtooltip Healing Surge
/cast [@mouseover] Healing Surge

Self Riptide/Healing Surge – Without holding down the shift key, will cast Riptide on myself. With holding down the shift key, will cast Healing surge on myself. Holding down the shift key is trickier to do while running, so it works better to use it with Healing Surge since you have to stop moving to cast it.

/cast [@your name, nomod] Riptide
/cast [@your name, modifier: shift] Healing Surge

Focus Riptide/Healing Surge – Without holding down the shift key, will cast Riptide at focus. With holding down shift will cast Healing surge at focus. Holding down the shift key is trickier to do while running, so it works better to use it with Healing Surge since you have to stop moving to cast it.

/cast [@focus, nomod] Riptide
/cast [@focus, modifier: shift] Healing Surge

Purge/Purify Spirit – Uses mouseover for target. If mouseover is friendly, it casts Purify Spirit. If mouseover is an enemy, it casts Purge. Also includes a stop cast which helps a lot now that LB doesn’t cancel upon moving. Can also be changed to Cleanse Spirit when not specced as Resto.

#showtooltip Purify Spirit
/cast [@mouseover, nomod, help] Purify Spirit
/cast [@mouseover, nomod, harm] Purge

Rogue Escape Button – Somewhat of a trinket against rogues. Not always effective, though definitely worth using. Uses Anti-Venom to remove Crippling Poison, uses Swiftness Potion, casts Ghost Wolf.

#showtooltip Anti-Venom
/use Swiftness Potion
/use [@your name] Anti-Venom
/cast Ghost Wolf

General Strategy

PVP is very dynamic, which is one of the big reasons that I like it. It’s hard to nail down an absolute strategy that works even most of the time, though there are some things as a shammy that I prioritize in a fight. Some of these things are resto specific, though most of them are things that I use with the other two specs as well. If I’m not in WSG or not with the flag carrier in WSG, one of the first things that I do is look at who is alongside me and use the focus macro to quickly make them my focus. I will usually choose a strong dps class (a hunter is a very common choice for me). If there is time before combat, say if we’re defending something, I will generally try and get teammates’ Ancestral Vigor (health buff) up by throwing around some healing. Positioning myself out of harms way is also a good idea at this point as well. When combat ensues, I will look for a priest right away to target them and purge their shield. Top priority at all times is keeping others and myself alive of course. At this point in the healing game I will target my focus’s target with the macro/binding. The idea is to help in my focus’s attack by purging their target’s buffs, HoTs, and shields, interrupting their target at certain points, and adding dps when possible. If I’m ele or enh, I’ll generally be attacking and looking to add off heals or go all healing when necessary. From here on it’s generally a game of healing people, aiding my focus, keeping priest shields down, and interrupting any crucial heals.

Now, if I am running with a flag carrier in WSG, things are a little different. The focus in this scenario is of course keeping the FC alive. I pretty much always keep the FC as my focus. Then with my Healing Surge/Riptide focus macro I will be able to heal them without ever targeting them. A big priority with them is to keep Ancestral Vigor on them at all times. Once it’s up, a simple Riptide on them periodically will keep it up. Ancestral vigor on myself is also a good idea. When crossing mid, staying a bit ahead of the FC is generally a good idea as well, depending on where the opposing team is. Other than these general priorities, running with an FC is pretty straightforward.

Well, that’s the gist of how I shammy. I am not a top notch shammy, but am always trying to improve and have fun. I would love to hear any feedback or advice on how I’m going about playing one. One thing that I know a good deal of players use that I don’t is mouseover interrupt macros. I’ve put a lot of time into getting them set up and using them and just haven’t had good results. I will most likely revisit them down the road as I do see that they would be much more efficient at interrupting non-targets. Anyway that’s that for now. I will try and keep this little post updated as I change the way I do things.


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