Reader’s Question: Should I Follow William Shatner’s footsteps?

“Hey, I like your site. Like you, I tend to play as a healer since that’s pretty much what everyone is looking for plus it makes playing with my friends enjoyable. I like keeping everyone alive 🙂
Anyways, reason why I’m emailing you. I have a 70 Holy paladin and as much as I love playing him, I wanted to try out another character. I don’t raid. I like to pvp. But I find as a holy paladin I lack a lot of cc compared to a priest and such. I wanted your opinion on a Shaman. I wanted to level one for the longest time and try making him a healer in the end. Do you recommend trying one? Should I try a priest instead? Just wanted your thoughts on this since you played them.”

Now this isn’t a question I’m best suited for. I’ll try to answer it as best as I can. I play my Priest primarily for PvE raiding. My Shaman’s up there for PvP most of the time.

I found that as a Shaman, I had a bit more of an active role in my game. You’ve got to rely on your Rank 1 Earth Shocks to slow down enemy casters while dropping heals on your guy at the same time. Furthermore, you have to keep an eye out on buffs that you can visually see so that you can purge them off quick as possible (Pain Suppression, Blessing of Protection, etc). The only tools that you’ll be able to use as far as healing goes is Lesser Healing Wave and Earth Shield.

Here’s another response that covers more in depth in PvP then I ever will. An answer from official World of Matticus PvP Correspondent, Pwyff!

Currently in arena PVP, Priests are a lot stronger than Shamans. The difference between the two lies in what they bring to a team. A Shaman can run a huge amount of interrupts on any healer or caster with clever management of Earth Shocks and Grounding Totems, but you’ll find that you’re lacking in any significant preemptive heals. What this means is that every heal you do must always land after the damage is taken, and you have nothing that can help with this. Priests and Druids in particular are much better at preemptively healing, due to the nature of HoTs and the Priest’s Shield.

A Shaman only has Earth Shield as a preemptive heal, but many Shamans can attest to how frustrating it is to constantly have such a huge mana cost shield dispelled off. The other thing that might bother you is the complete lack of defensive dispels. A Priest has both offensive and defensive dispels, and in my opinion, he’s kind of a more defensive version of the Shaman. The Shaman can run extensive control upon the other team, while still helping his team and remaining on the front lines, while the Priest is more designed as a full support role.

It really depends upon your style. I myself am going to play a Shaman in my off-time, because I really enjoy the sturdy nature of the Shaman, and the fact that even as Restoration, a Shaman can bring decent offensive prowess to the table. I enjoy interrupting and playing a more offensive oriented style of play, and that’s something that cannot be said of Priests, unless they pair themselves with fully offensive classes. Restoration Shaman + Warrior is capable of bringing a lot more pressure to the 2s table than Priest + Warrior will. Resto Shaman + Resto Druid + Warrior is currently one of the highest rated matrices in BG9 (the most competitive battlegroup out there at the moment), so take that as you will (although there are more Mage + Rogue + Priest teams out there at high ratings).

If you enjoy pure healing and support, then a Priest may be for you. Manaburns, Power Infusion and Mass Dispels will be, for the most part, your most offensive oriented moves.

Keep those questions coming! If I don’t feel confident enough to answer your question, I will find someone who will. =)

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Thanks for answering my question 🙂 I decided to roll an Undead Priest. Although he is only level 10 (started him last night). I really enjoy him so far. Once I heal my first instance, Ragefire Chasm maybe, I’ll give you an update how everything went. Again, thanks for your feedback.

  2. Stephen: Any time! Drop me an email and tell me how it works out for you =).

  3. I currently run both a lvl 70 Holy priest and a lvl 70 Shaman (recently respect from Ench to Elemental) My priest is fully kara geared which also includes several pieces of season 2 and 3 armor. He’s mostly a raider but I’ve had some success in both BG and the arena with him. The Shaman however is basically….. really hard to keep alive in the arena and has had just a little success in the battlegrounds. Granted, he cannot compare gear wise to my priest, being a mix of dsp greens, blues and a few season 1 pieces. It can be tough to remember that the priest and shaman are such very different classes. I had envisioned this frenzied duel wielding killing machine in my enhancement build, only to find a lack of armor and mana really hurt my chances for victory. Recently, I decided to try out the elemental build and found it surprisingly fun and quite effective. Even with my “healing/spell off-set green gear” I’m able to survive longer and fire off some decent burst damage. The 4k extra armor with a shield certainly helps to keep you on your feet. I may have to try out Matticus’s resto talent build and see how that works down the road. If I may ask one other question. Can someone recommend a decent enhancement shaman blog or site? Do they actually exist anywhere? Thanks!

  4. djfinny: I have never come across an enhancement shaman blog anywhere as of yet. If you happen to find one, please let me know! =D

    And yes, as a Resto Shaman myself, I’ve found my survivability to be excellent. Of course, that means I’m a little limited in terms of offensive capability.

  5. I have a level @ lvl 8 I think. So far I’m playing around with him when I do for fun. Think I just got him his first Earth Totem.

    I have no idea if he will ever get leveled. But I’ve decided at least to level all my other alts to level 20 so they are all equal in level and see which one I like.

    Almost feel like I need a challenge to level a different character. Right now the aim is to level “Krovon” my Hunter he’s @ 35, but I’m really leveling my Hunter to be a miner. So when I play my Hunter its just kick back and relax play mode, at least it gets me out of the stress of Tanking. Who dosent like to relax and play WoW. So will see what becomes of my Voodoo listic Shaman “Voodoolion”.

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