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Totem Talk: Leveling enhancement 21-40

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, pens the enhance side of Totem Talk and leads the guild Big Crits as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Welcome back to the enhancement shaman leveling guide. This week we'll be covering levels 21 to 40, where we finally start to feel like enhancement, instead of just saying it's something we're going to do as we're Lightning Bolting down boars.

There were some commenters who suggested going with Flametongue Weapon early on and just focusing on casting. Call me an enhance purist (go ahead, I can take it), but I'm of the opinion that if you're going enhance, you might as well go all the way. Plus those early levels of 1 to 20 are so easy and mobs will do down so fast, you could practically /dance your way to 21 -- probably to 30 if you wanted.

One idea that was awesome and bears repeating is making your first glyph, Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem, and using said totem for pulls. It absorbs damage you take and shields your totem if you've got an extra-angry Searing Totem that can't seem to play nice with the naga.

We're going to start with gear you should look for from quest rewards then continue the every other level breakdown.


In short, agility and attack power are your friends. Agility converts to AP and crit. While strength is also good because it converts to AP as well, if you have a choice between agility and strength, go agility. It's also too early to start converting spell power to attack power, but once we hit 31 we can start converting intellect to attack power. Choose agi + int or str + int gear over others around those levels. For the random enchantments found on uncommon level gear, I'd say go for them in this order:

  • of Agility
  • of Power
  • of the Falcon (agility + intellect)
  • of the Gorilla (strength + intellect)
  • of the Monkey (agility + stamina)
  • of the Wolf (agility + spirit)
  • of the Bear (strength + stamina)

For weapons, the speed won't make much of a difference until level 30 when we pick up Windfury, then at level 40 with Dual Wield it will definitely make a difference. Until then see what you like between two-handers and main hand + shield. Do get in the habit of slow weapons starting at level 30, because you'll be sticking with slow/slow for the rest of your enhancement career.

Level 22

Talents: We should have finished off Thundering Strikes 5/5 with level 21 and start diving into Elemental Weapons 1 & 2 for levels 22 and 23.

New spells: Water Breathing can be learned here. Have you been stocking up on your Shiny Fish Scales from killing murlocs all along? This spell isn't going to save your day, considering that most underwater quests also come with some sort of water breathing elixir.

Spell upgrades: Fire Nova is the only upgrade in this level.

Level 24

Talents: Put the final point in Elemental Weapons 3/3 and and now it's time to start into Flurry! This is the first step down the true path of enhancement.

New spells: Frost Resist Totem. Not exactly worth rushing home to train, unless you're encountering an excessive amount of frost mages in your questing.

Spell upgrades: It is, however, worth heading back to train up on all the other spells we use in our daily lives: Healing Wave, Rockbiter Weapon, Earth Shock, Stoneskin Totem, Lightning Shield, Strength of Earth Totem, Ancestral Spirit all get upgrades.

Level 26

Talents: Flurry & Flurry for 26 and 27. We're going to continue until we have 5/5 Flurry.

New spells:

  • Far Sight Such a fun spell. You can chain Far Sights even while currently in the spell. Try it out and see how far you can get. Can be very handy in Arathi Basin (or any battleground, for that matter).
  • Magma Totem This mana hog will drain you dry fast when combined with Fire Nova, but it's great for pulling packs and AoEing them down.
  • Mana Spring Totem Very good for boss fights or setting up camp to kill spawns in a confined space. Over the short run, it's not going to do you a lot of good to continually drop it. Definitely useful in dungeons on boss fights for you and the rest of your party.

Spell upgrades: Lightning Bolt, Flametongue Weapon

Level 28

Talents: Finish out Flurry with two more points from levels 28 and 29.

New spells:

  • Flametongue Totem A great totem for caster-heavy groups in dungeons or just to give the healer a little extra oomph.
  • Fire Resistance Totem If you need some fire resist and don't need to use your water totem for anything else.
  • Water Walking This is one of the great kitschy shaman spells. It works on land mounts, so you can Water Walk yourself then mount up to cross bodies of water. You can sit on water, you can start a campfire and cook on water, you can cast it on your friends and water walk throughout Azeroth. Just beware: it comes off on damage. Requires Fish Oil.

Spell upgrades: Stoneclaw Totem, Flame Shock, Frostbrand Weapon, Lesser Healing Wave, Water Shield

Level 30

Finally! Now we get to really feel the enhancement love. Not only do we get the quintessential enhancement spell, Windfury Weapon, but we pick up a lot of great shamany stuff, too.

Talents: Spirit Weapons It's not doing a whole heck of a lot for us right now -- the parry is nice but we're not tanks after all -- it is required to open the doors to better talents later on in the tree. That and you'll love the threat reduction.

Ask anyone who raided as enhance when this threat reduction only applied to melee attacks. How did we reduce our threat from spells? We died. That's how. Then we Reincarnated. You kids and your "all threat reductions" don't know how good you got it. I remember when soup cost a nickel. And I don't like your New Coke.

At level 31, start into Mental Dexterity.

New spells:

  • Astral Recall Awesome spell for leveling. You can be back at camp to turn in quests every 15 minutes, or 7.5 minutes if you use it in your minor glyph.
  • Call of the Elements Our first totem-combo spell. Train for this spell and you'll see a new button on your interface. This allows you to pick up to four totems to drop in one global cooldown. Of course, until you complete the final totem quest (see below), you'll only have three types to drop. Pro tip: Hotkey your "calls" using the keybinding interface. (And props to Blizzard for their totem bar, which I think is really excellent and better than any totem bar mod I've used.)
  • Earthliving Weapon Good for healing, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Grounding Totem An excellent air totem to drop for absorbing spells you couldn't Wind Shear. Learn to love it in PvP.
  • Nature Resistance Totem What can I say? Resist some nature damage.
  • Reincarnation Oh yeah, another great shaman spell. Reincarnation, Water Walking ... I really wanted to make some religious analogies, but considering this is the most holy of weekends for Christians, I think I can at least be that much respectful to my Catholic upbringing. Having passed up on the obvious and quite possibly poor taste jokes, stock up on a stack of 20 Ankhs for popping up after dying once every 30 minutes.
  • Totem Recall This is coupled with the Call of the ... spells. Use it to pick up your totems and refund some mana. Pro tip: Hotkey this as well. I use F2-F4 for my Call of the... spells and F5 for recall. F1 is still self-target, which I find oddly helpful in many situations.
  • Windfury Weapon At long last, we have come into our own as enhancement. When I think of a characteristic enhance spell, I think of Windfury Weapon.Train it and imbue it now.

Spell upgrades: Searing Totem, Healing Stream Totem

Kill Strategy: Imbue Windfury Weapon. Pull with Lightning Bolt, apply Flame Shock, auto attack, Earth Shock when it's up. Use Stoneyclaw Totem and Magma Totem, and Fire Nova with multiple mobs. Water Shield to help with mana regeneration if that's an issue for you. Slow weapons are your best friends.

Glyph: We get our second major glyph. There is absolutely no question what goes in here: Glyph of Windfury Weapon.

Call of Air

And to top off the greatness that is level 30 for shamans, we get our final totem quest. Be grateful that the totem questing will all be over soon. Here's the Wowwiki link to find your starter quest. Good luck and congratulations on completing the set!

Level 32

Talents: Finish off Mental Dexterity with two more points from levels 32 and 33. Remember that agi + int or str + int gear are the best items for now.

New spells: Chain Lightning is good for making sure that mob brings his buddies over for some enhance party time.

Spell upgrades: Healing Wave, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Fire Nova, Purge (worth noting this now clears out 2 effects!)

Level 34

Talents: We need to spend just one point to get down to the next tier, so I recommend going back for Shamanistic Focus at level 34. Then at 35 start in on Weapon Mastery. I chose this to start increasing the melee and Windfury damage

New spells: Sentry Totem Learn this spell, drop the totem down and check it out. Neat-o! Now put it up in the attic with all the other toys you never played with again.

Spell upgrades: Stoneskin Totem, Frost Shock, Water Shield

Level 36

Talents: Finish off Weapon Mastery with two more points from levels 36 and 37.

New spells: Nada. Zero. Zilch. Thanks for checking in, we have some lovely upgrades for you though.

Spell upgrades: Earth Shock, Flametongue Weapon, Ancestral Spirit, Lesser Healing Wave, Magma Totem, Mana Spring Totem

Level 38

Talents: We're going to go 2/3 Unleashed Rage, then leave it be for quite a few levels until we can fill out some new essential talents.

New spells: Cleansing Totem This is a great totem when you're farming mobs that love to poison, in instances, and of course in PvP against filthy rogues.

Spell upgrades: Lightning Bolt, Stoneclaw Totem, Strength of Earth Totem, Frostbrand Weapon, Frost Resistance Totem, Flametongue Totem

Level 40

Talents: Announcing ... DUAL WIELD! No, it's not "duel" wield. You don't challenge the wield to a fight to the death. You have two weapons wielded at once. You dual wield.

With Flurry, Windfury Weapon and Dual Wield, do you feel like a shaman? Do you feel like an enhance shaman? Ok, you must look like a total noob out there barely able to hit anything with your off-hand, but fret not; we'll get some talents in a few levels to make this dual dream a reality. Whether or not you choose to dual wield off the bat is up to you. Try it with and without.

New spells: Call of the Ancestors, Chain Heal

Spell upgrades: Healing Wave, Lightning Shield, Flame Shock, Searing Totem, Healing Stream Totem, Earthliving Weapon, Windfury Weapon, Chain Lightning

Final spec

0/31/0 is the spec du jour. I kept the glyph for Ghostwolf, but really any will do in there.

Stop back next week as we continue the enhancement journey into levels 41 to 60. You though 30 and 40 were good? Wait until we get down into that enhance tree. By level 60, you'll be unstoppable!

May all your hits be crits!

StormstrikeShaman, follow the path of enhancement with Rich Maloy's leveling guide by starting with with levels 1-20, then follow the guide into levels 41-60, and 61-70. Tune in next week as we continue with 41 to 60.

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