After years of wanting the class but being intimidated by it I finally picked up Shaman. The class seems really complicated so I figured I would start this thread for future Sham noobs and my own benefit as well. I just wanted to explain some basics I've learned and let the better ones add to it as they will. Some...ok most of what I put here is probably only half of the picture, but here it goes.
Firstly, choose your spirit bonds before you get into anything. Some like Ri'shen are great for bashing, but there are better choices for PvP. You cange them out freely so make yourself a script to change "sets" for what you want to do. It doesn't take particularly long to change them up but it isn't something you want to do in the middle of a fight. If you have to, run somewhere you can breathe for a second and change.
Pay attention to the benefits of attunes when choosing your spiritbind setups, they are important!
Swiftcurse is your friend. Make sure it is up before you get going, if you are jumped on then still put it up, it is pivotal in getting your early momentum going so you can get them bleeding a bit and get into coagulation. Attuning Teraile helps immensely here, it makes all curses cause some bleeding.
You can jinx the next balance after a curse, this includes after coagulation (correct me if I'm wrong there) so be sure to alternate. Swiftcurse counts!
Puppets are strong, but the method in using them is very different. Manaleech is your buddy for fashioning, you get 8 stacks per fashion if they have manaleech and I believe more than that if they are low on mana but I haven't messed with lowering mana.
Start off simply, get the basic lock down first before trying all the other fun things. Mixing bleed into your curses to keep coagulation going is the ticket!