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Totem Talk: Leveling enhancement 71-80

Rich Maloy
Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury, and wolves. 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 (Week 2 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

We're in the home stretch now: Northrend. Once we hit our max level I'll throw out some recommendations dungeon, raiding, and PvP specs. Though admittedly I'm not the best PvPer so you'll have to bear with me on that and add in your recommendations in the comments. But that all comes at level 80 and we last left off at level 70 with a spec of 9/52/0. This spec still includes the Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem, but if you find you're tearing apart mobs and barely getting touched I recommend replacing that with Glyph of Stormstrike for the extra nature damage.

Let's dive in and continue!

Level 71

Talent point: Call of Flame 2/3
Spell upgrades: Flametongue Totem, Flametongue Weapon, Frostbrand Weapon, Healing Stream Totem, Mana Spring Totem, Searing Totem, Stoneclaw Totem, Windfury Weapon

This is a big spell upgrade level. Many of the totems and all of the imbues are upgraded to Northrend levels. Be sure you're putting the right level of imbues on your weapons. It will help us bang down those boars mobs faster.

Level 72

Talent point: Elemental Fury 1/5
Spell upgrades: Lesser Healing Wave

Yup, that's it. LHW. Thanks for stopping by the trainer, we have some lovely parting gifts for you. Thank the old gods for Astral Recall or we'd be stuck in our home city staring at the Hearthstone cooldown.

Level 73

Talent point: Elemental Fury 2/5
Spell upgrades: Frost Shock, Lightning Bolt, Magma Totem, Stoneskin Totem

Level 74

Talent point: Elemental Fury 3/5
Spell upgrades: Chain Heal, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock

Level 75

Talent point: Elemental Fury 4/5
Spell upgrades: Fire Nova, Fire Resistance Totem, Flame Shock, Flametongue Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, Healing Wave, Lightning Shield, Nature Resistance Totem, Searing Totem, Stoneclaw Totem, Strength of Earth Totem

Level 76

Talent point: Elemental Fury 5/5
Spell upgrades: Flametongue Weapon, Frostbrand Weapon, Healing Stream Totem, Mana Spring Totem, Water Shield, Windfury Weapon

Imbue upgrades! Absolutely get back to the trainer for these upgrades and again double check to be sure you're putting the max level imbue on your weapons.

Level 77

Talent point: Improved Fire Nova 1/2
Spell upgrades: Lesser Healing Wave

What is it with LHW that makes it so special? It gets featured as the only spell upgrade twice in this leveling experience. Who uses LHW anyway? Sure it's good when you're in combat and don't have enough stacks of Maelstrom Weapon up but you need a quick topping off of your health. It's like a token spell upgrade: "well we have to give them something, might as well be LHW. Problem sovled!"

Level 78

Talent point: Improved Fire Nova 2/2
Spell upgrades: Frost Shock, Magma Totem, Stoneclaw Totem, Stoneskin Totem

Level 79

Talent point: Elemental Focus 1/1
Spell upgrades: Earth Shock, Lightning Bolt

Level 80

Talent point: Call of Flame
New spells: Hex
Spell upgrades: Ancestral Spirit, Chain Heal, Chain Lightning, Fire Nova, Fire Resistance Totem, Flame Shock, Flametongue Totem, Flametongue Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, Frostbrand Weapon, Healing Stream Totem, Healing Wave, Lightning Shield, Mana Spring Totem, Nature Resistance Totem, Searing Totem, Strength of Earth Totem, Windfury Weapon

That's a big level, and expensive. Everything that needed to be topped off gets an upgrade here. Resistance totem upgrades bring them up to raid-usability levels. Imbues get one more bump, as do many damage spells.

At 80 we get our crowd control spell: Hex. Hex is effected by Maelstrom Weapon, meaning you can have an instant cast CC with five stacks of MW. It's a good spell for overly aggressive pulls (whether solo or in raids), to contain mind-controlled players, or to suppress an enemy in PvP. The downside is that because the cooldown is longer than the duration we can't spam cast Hex on one target. Even with that drawback it's a great spell and comes in handy in tough situations -- especially in PvP.

Respect the respec

The spec and glyphs we took on this journey to level 80 were designed for solo questing with a focus on limited downtime. This means we're heavy on mana regen/saving/replenishment and light on some additional damage dealing abilities. We finished up with a final spec of 19/52/0. It's not a bad spec, but we're sacrificing damage for utility. With dungeons, heroics, and raids in our cross-hairs now is the time to respec.

Dungeon & Raiding Spec

Start with this spec as a baseline for raiding and dungeons: 19/52/0. Within that there are a few talent points that can be moved around depending on your mana and damage preferences. Specifically Improved Shields, Shamanistic Focus, and Improved Stormstrike are all adjustable. For example, with judicious use of Shamanistic Rage mana should not be an issue and so points can be taken out of Sham Focus and Improved Stormstrike to sink a full 3/3 into Improved Shields. Or if you're running dungeons a lot and love to spam Fire Nova go with a more mana conservative build with 2/2 ISS. There are a few choices here as long as you stick with the core abilities.

Glyphs: Stormstrike & Feral Spirit are the absolute must-have glyphs. The third one is up for grabs, but unless you know a specific reason for a specific glyph, just go with Windfury Weapon.

PvP Spec

I don't get to spend as much time PvPing as I'd like so I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best to copy. We'll get into enhancement PvP in a later article, but to get you started check out this spec of 18/53/0. It's a mana conservative spec with a balance between damage dealing and life saving abilities. There is slightly more wiggle room in a PvP spec than PvE; it all comes down to play style.

I hope you enjoyed the leveling process as much as I did. If you have any questions about the ways of enhancement shamanism you can leave a comment below or contact me on BigCrits, BigHitBox or on the contact form.

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, 21-40, 41-60, and 61-70. Along the way we'll kill boars, learn to call the elements to our aid, kill more boars, and smash the ever-living wind out of our opponents.

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