Leveling As Enhancement
Questing can be a great way to level up quickly in World of Warcraft. You often get experience for the monsters you kill to accomplish the quest, as well as when you turn the quest in. Additionally quests can offer great rewards in the form of gear or consumables that help you in your adventures. Quests also help to drive the story line, so if you have even the slightest interest in WoW Lore you’ll want to do a healthy amount of questing.
Shamans are great at solo leveling through quests. While most agree it’s easiest to do as Enhancement you can be an effective quester in any talent spec if you use the right tactics. On the other hand, your questing experience can be a nightmare if you do not.
Shamans are also very useful in Dungeons and Groups. They can heal or DPS, and offer group-wide buffs through their Totems. Using the Random Dungeon Finder a Shaman can find a group and earn gold and item rewards many times per day while leveling up. They also can obtain gear and other items, plus lots of experience, in the dungeon itself. What’s not to love?
Mana and Totems
Enhancement Shamans use Agility as their primary stat, and deal damage by dual wielding two one-handed weapons and casting spells, both of which are enhanced by their Totems. Enhancement is said to be the easiest way to level as a Shaman because you almost never have to stop to eat or drink to restore mana or health. Enhancement Shamans restore mana through attacks, and therefore rarely have to think about it. You will use a lot of mana if you heal yourself, but not so much that you’ll need to stop to drink.
However, there is one way to use up a lot of mana without gaining much benefit: Totems. Totems offer great buffs to Shamans of every spec as well as their party members, but in questing it is rare for the Shaman to be near these totems long enough to make dropping them worthwhile. Dropping totems uses a healthy amount of mana, and even with Totemic Recall (learned at level 30) doing it too often will run even an Enhancement Shaman out of mana.
In groups, however, it is important that you always drop your totems when the whole group is fighting, as long as the battles are lasting longer than a 10 seconds or so. Remember to use Totemic Recall, if available, every time your group moves up in the dungeon.
Totems for Leveling
The best core Totems for Enhancement Shamans are:
Strength of Earth Totem (learned at level 4): Increases the Strength and Agility of the Shaman and party members within 40 yards.
Searing Totem (learned at level 10): A Totem that deals fire damage to a single nearby enemy.
Healing Stream Totem (Learned at Level 20): A Totem that periodically heals the Shaman and party members within 30 yards.
Windfury Totem (learned at level 30): Increases the melee and ranged attack speed of the Shaman and party members within 40 yards by 10%.
There are other totems that have situational uses, but these are the core totems for Enhancement Shamans. Only drop all four totems when you’re going to be near them for awhile, otherwise you can use no totems, or just the one that is most beneficial at the time (most often Strength of Earth or Windfury).
Attacks and Abilities
In normal questing and othersingle target DPS situations, your main attacks are Lava Lash and Stormstrike (Primal Strike at low levels). These are both melee attacks that deal significant damage. To get the most damage out of Lava Lash put the Flame Tongue enhancement on your offhand weapon. When it becomes available to you at level 32, it is best to put Windfury Weapon on your main hand weapon. Prior to that Rockbiter is sufficient. Enhancement Shamans, especially at lower levels, are not as active in using abilities as most classes. Much of your damage is proc’d off of Windfury Weapon which you often wait for while auto-attacking. While waiting you can cast instants like your Shock spells. If you have a few seconds you can cast Lava Burst on a target afflicted with Flame Shock to deal significant damage, or toss a Lightening Bolt. At later levels (with Maelstrom Weapon talent) your attacks can proc an Instant-cast Lightening Bolt, Chain Lightening, Hex, or heal, which I suggest you use with a Lightening Bolt on single targets and Chain Lightening on groups.
Glyphs and Talents
Lava Lash (Prime)
Glyph of Lightening Shield (Major)
Stoneclaw Totem (Major) - Situational
Astral Recall (Minor)
Water Walking (Minor)
Renewed Life (Minor)
You can use what other glyphs are best for your play style or convenience, but I highly recommend the above.
As for Talents, it is very hard to go wrong since everything is useful in its own way. This Enhancement Talent Tree is one solid spec for Enhancement Leveling.
The Enhancement Shaman in Dungeons and Groups
We’ve spent all of this time learning about how to be a great Enhancement Shaman when questing alone, but what changes when a Shaman enters a group for a difficult quest, or a dungeon?
The main difference in how an Enhancement Shaman plays in a group situations has to do with what Totems they drop. Most of the time the role of the Enhancement Shaman is nothing more than deal damage and buff the other physical damage classes, including the tank. You will typically always still drop Strength of Earth and Windfury totems, but should alternate Searing and Magma totems depending on if you’re fighting one enemy or multiples. It makes little difference whether you use Mana Spring or Healing Stream, but if your group is mostly mana users the former is likely more helpful.
On single enemy fights you will deal damage in the same way you normally do when questing. However when the party is fighting groups of enemies, around three or more, you’ll want to change up your abilities to deal the most damage. Use Magma Totem in conjunction with Fire Nova to deal AoE fire damage to groups of enemies. You need to drop the Magma Totem near or in the middle of the enemy group to have maximum effectiveness. You can then deal melee damage to a single target as normal, or stand back and cast Chain Lightening and Shock spells. Which method you choose depends on your play style, level, and how much mana you have.
Remember, you can use Ghost Wolf indoors and it can help you get into melee combat quickly. Also, watch your party’s health and assist with a heal when necessary. You can also help your healer by resurrecting dead players instead of waiting for them to do it. Shaman’s are a versatile and fun class to play, so enjoy.
This post is part of the series: The New Shaman - Cataclysm Shaman Leveling Guide
Shamans of all specializations have changed in the weeks preceeding the World of Warcraft Cataclysm Expansion. Learn how to level your Shaman in the talent spec of your choice through questing and dungeons. Guide covers talents, glyphs, abilities, totems, and helpful tips.