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Totem Talk: Enhancement glyph review

Rich Maloy

Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance at Big Hit Box and pens the enhance side of Totem Talk.

Last week I went over the talents in great detail. Exhausting, two page article detail. I also linked to two specs which included glyphs. Those specs will serve enhancement shamans everywhere well enough to get the basics done, but I didn't get into the glyphs. This is what we'll tackle today.

There are 28 major glyphs for shamans but of course not all apply to enhancement. Of those 28, two are considered must-haves for PvE (once you hit level at least 60). They are: Glyph of Stormstrike (level 40) and Glyph of Feral Spirit (level 60). And when it comes to PvP no other glyph beats Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem.

After the break we'll review the enhance-related glyphs and get into a few options for glyph setups.

Standard setup

At level level 80 I'd suggest major glyphs:

The choice of minor glyphs is really up to you for PvE purposes; we'll get into them below.

AoE setup

If you wanted to have some fun in trash packs then swap out the Glyph of Windfury Weapon for Glyph of Fire Nova. I've also toyed around with Glyph of Flametongue Weapon and Glyph of Fire Elemental but found when it comes to trash mobs, add-intensive bosses (Freya, Yogg, Anub, LK), or random heroics nothing beats swapping out WF for FN glyph. Get some herbs or inks and have an inscriptionist buddy make a stack of each for you, then swap them in and out depending on the fight.

PvP setup

For PvP I recommend replacing the WF glyph with Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem and keeping the other two from PvE. That extra damage shield is like a free 4,340 heal, and with shamans pretty much having giant "KICK ME" signs on their back in arenas we need all the help we can get.

In PvP the choice for minor glyphs can make a difference. These fall under the category of giving you that slight edge when it matters most -- they are after all the minor glyphs. I recommend the following three:

  • Glyph of Water Shield
  • Glyph of Water Breathing
  • Glyph of Ghost Wolf

Water Shield because mana management is much more difficult in arenas. That extra mana return from that one extra orb just might mean a critical Stormstrike or a timely Wind Shear when otherwise you'd be OOM. After all, a stun during Shamanistic Rage means a very long 60 seconds of running around OOM or damn near it.

The Glyph of Water Breathing means you can buff yourself and your teammates with Water Breathing reagent-free. We put this buff up for arenas so that hopefully that Purge or Mass Dispel picks off Water Breathing instead of something important like Mark of the Wild or Blessing of Kings. You could keep a bag full of Shiny Fish Scales just as a reminder of all the murlocs you've slain over the years, but who has room for that when we have important things to carry around for our Dalaran set like Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter and Lovely Purple Dresses?

Major Glyphs

I only skimmed over a few glyphs above so we'll dive into more of them all here.

Feral Spirit - While the Feral Spirit glyph may seem wasted as it's only effective a maximum of 25% of the time, when those wolves are up makes enough of a difference to make this glyph worthwhile. The other thing to keep in mind is that we're usually timing our wolves (or should be) with trinkets and Heroism/Bloodlust. Also when Spirit Hunt is up that additional damage means additional healing and can be a life saver in tight situations -- PvE or PvP. Give your puppies some love.

Fire Elemental - Knocking five minutes off this cooldown means you can use it ... every five minutes. I glyphed into [Master of the Obvious] this morning. Let me try that again. It means if a boss fight lasts roughly 6 minutes or longer then this glyph is a good choice. If the boss fight is under 5 minutes then this is 100% wasted glyph spot. I also don't consider this glyph for trash packs or heroics because of the high movement factor means your ele gets left behind. If you have the time, gold, or inclination then this is another good one to keep in your bags and swap out for long boss fights.

Fire Nova - BOOM! See above for the FN love.

Flametongue Weapon - Once upon a time I was using WF & FT weapon but with so many other great glyph choices FT got pushed aside. With a level requirement of only 15 it could be a good first glyph choice until you hit level 30 and Glyph of Windfury Weapon becomes available.

Flame Shock - This is one of the glyphs that can be a top contender for your third major spot. Adding the ability for FS to crit is a very good thing. If you're into sims or practice dummy testing this is one worth checking out. By and large I expect most enhancers will find it pales in comparison to other choices such as WF and Feral Spirit.

Lava Lash - Oh poor little Lava Lash. I really wanted you to be so great. I hit level 45 and thought, now I've made it; I've hit the big time, I can Stormstrike with both weapons and, oh, what's that? A little LAVA in my off hand! I wanted us to go far, Lava Lash; to travel distant lands and kill elite mobs with you high in my priority. But no, you're a weak little spell with a small impact on my overall damage. Then you got a glyph and came back to see if we could have another chance at lava love. But you'll always be low on my list Lava Lash and so I won't glyph you when I have so many other options that do so much more for me. TL;DR: meh, pass.

Lightning Bolt - Another also-ran. I looked into this when I had the 4 piece tier 8 set bonus knowing more MW procs meant more LB's and thinking this would be a good glyph, but it didn't really pan out.

Lightning Shield - Lightning Shield is great to have passive damage for no mana (and in Stoney's magical world where we can divide by zero it presents a very high DPS-to-mana ratio /nod zolikk & Edge), but alas the glyph is not worth it. I also toyed around with this glyph in sims when I had 2 piece tier 9 set bonus but still wasn't getting enough out of it.

Stormstrike – Two words for you: nature damage. Nature damage is the top school of damage output for enhance, making this glyph a must-have.

Stoneclaw Totem – I covered this above in the PvP section. A must-have in my opinion.

Windfury Weapons - As you move up the iLevel ladder and your weapons become stronger, then this glyph starts to take a lead from the pack.

Minor glyphs

The minor glyphs are more of convenience items for enhancement. Perhaps in a critical moment in PvP that extra tick of health from Glyph of Ghost Wolf or that extra orb of Water Shield will save the day, but for the most part there aren't really must-haves like there are for other classes and specs.

Astral Recall - Because you're a shaman-about-town who needs to pop back in to the bar at Dalaran every 7.5 minutes. Either that or you're level 30 and you want a great minor glyph for leveling.

Ghost Wolf - Great choice for PvP and leveling because of the extra bit of health you regen.

Renewed Life - Never need an Ankh again.

Water Breathing - Recommended for PvP, see above. Might as well take it in the other spec so you never need to carry about stinking fish scales again.

Water Shield - Again, a PvP recommended glyph which was covered above. Could also be helpful in leveling to reduce downtime before picking up Shammy Rage. At level 80 for Enhancement it's not really worth it.

Water Walking - To carry reagents or to not carry reagents. The choice is yours.

If a shaman so desired they could use all three minor glyph spots to never worry about reagents again. The pro tip here is to pick two and use them in both specs, that way you only need reagents for one of the three. Come to think of it, I need to do that on Stoney. I think I'll go Water Breathing and Reincarnation, since I strangely have a limitless storehouse of Fish Oil in my bank.

May all your hits be crits!

StormstrikeShow your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk, whether reading Mike Sacco's Elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of Restoration or Rich Maloy's Enhancement edition, we have you covered.

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