First off, it's worth it to invest some points in PvP talents if you intend to do this. AV gives you the great advantage as a leveling character of being one face in a mob, making it harder for the level 80's to immediately pick you out of the crowd and crush you to death with two swings of their 232 DPS 2h weapons. (That's what Divine Storm, Whirlwind and Heart Strike are for!) It's worth picking up utility talents like Frozen Power and sacrificing DPS (let's be honest, you don't have any) for possible snares and increased damage on people your Frostbrand has slowed.
Secondly, with the new Totem Interface, you have no excuse to not have a nice set of PvP totems picked out and ready to drop for any flag defense. Tremor, Grounding and Cleansing should be in there. When i first started this PvP blitz two levels ago (I was level 73 and it was yesterday, so the strange tone of this paragraph where I make it sound like oceans of time have flowed by is really rather inexcusable, my apologies) I took part in at least two defenses of Tower Point where four of us, none above level 74, held off a level 80 DK and Shadow Priest via creative use of these totems (and a Magma to keep then occupied) bought us the time we needed. Remember, your totems buff everyone from 70 to 80, and it's especially helpful when you can break fears, cleanse poisons and diseases, and keep that first big spell hit from ripping 80% of your piddly level 73 health pool away in one shot.
I actually preferred playing as Elemental for the first day, I only switched to test out Enhancement. In either spec, the first thing I noticed is that it's worth your while to throw healing spells around, especially once the opposing players have decided you are a weak DPS target and started ignoring you.
It is a very bad idea
to be an easily identifiable level 73 healer in AV, I find. But once you pop the Spirit Wolves or do a Thunderstorm
or otherwise done something to identify yourself as not a healer, it's actually really fun to start Chain Heals out the wazoo and watch the enemy spend seconds trying to determine who's healing. You'd think the totems would be a big giveaway, but it can take a surprisingly long time for a Murder of Rogues (that is the proper plural, right?) to come descend upon you and pick the flesh from your very stationary bones.
At least in my experience, however, Elemental seems to provide a lot more oomph at these levels in the gear I've acquired. Most of my old epics from BC endgame are caster mail, though. Yay for my Karazhan wolf hat
Basically, I think Shaman players are in a unique position to benefit from AV, or PvP leveling in general (although I tried WSG and AB as well as AV and AV definitely seems to offer the best XP bang for your buck) because you can do your offspec job while in a different spec. Unlike a Druid, you don't have to shift forms or anything complicated like that to start tossing a few heals around, and unlike a Paladin we actually have, and benefit from, Int on our gear in either of our DPS specs so we have better (although still not ideal) mana pools for a few frenzied heals. Elemental also have the benefit of wearing high spell power gear, while Enhancement usually has talents
that convert AP to SP and if I lower the gas tank too much throwing heals, I just pop Shamanistic Rage
and run up to hit somebody. The best part of doing that is, once Maelstrom Weapon
stacks I can throw an instant Chain Heal off and go back to punching.
To be fair, I could have prepared to do this much more effectively. I have level 80 toons on Malfurion, I could have arranged for some Heirlooms to help with the XP gains (at least the small ones for killing stuff in a raid, I don't know if Heirlooms work with the XP for killing Balinda or blowing up towers - I'm told by our new PvP expert that they do, however) as well as a pair of maces
so that I didn't have to worry about replacing weapons before level 80. I could have stockpile some consumables, loaded up on potions, and otherwise been methodical about it. I could even have broken out my PvP trinket instead of leaving it in the bank this entire time.
Next week, hopefully I'll be 80 and will have a more detailed look at Elemental as it steps its first foot onto the ladder that is endgame PvP. Expect many, many more deaths. For the next few weeks at least, Totem Talk is going back to its old school roots as Horde.