[Shaman] [Enhancement] Leveling guide, 1 'till 80.

Trollvink's picture


Table of content:

1. Foreword
2. What's the best leveling spec?
3. The spec
4. Abilities and Rotations.
5. Tips
6. Stats
7. Gear
8. Totem Quests
9. Glyphs
10. Addons

1. Foreword

This is a guide which will tell which talents are the best to choose while leveling, also what rotation you should do, what kind of stats you should be focusing on and some tips. This is based on my opinion, that's why it's an Enhancement leveling guide in the first place Smiling. I have included alot of feedback, too, and I will change this guide when the class will change too.

Click on this arrow:

To go to the top of the page.

2. What's the best leveling spec?

The best (solo) leveling spec for the shaman is Enhancement. This is because it's the most mana efficient tree there is, while it still maintains a lot of damage, in fact the shaman deals the most damage with minimum mana useage (with duel wield, that is). This only counts after level 40, though, and before that you might try Elemental. Elemental is our Casting spec, with it, we boost our Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Shocks and Totems.

I could write an Elemental leveling guide, but thats not needed. Browsing at the Wowhead forums brought me a guide for elemental leveling. Read CanadianSnipers' Elemental Leveling Guide if you choose to level as Elemental. That guide can take you to level 80.

If you want to level as Enhancement all the way, then read further. Otherwise, you could pick up the guide from level 40 and get some gear from the Auction House.

3. The spec:

10 - 14:
Ancestral Knowledge - 5/5.

15 - 19:
Thundering Strikes - 5/5

Shamanistic Focus - 1/1

21 - 22:
Improved Ghost Wolf - 2/2

23 - 24:
Elemental Weapons - 2/3 (only 2)

25 - 29:
Flurry - 5/5

Spirit Weapons - 1/1

31 - 33:
Mental Dexterity - 3/3

Elemental Weapons - 3/3.

35 - 37:
Unleashed Rage - 3/3

38 - 39:
Weapon Mastery - 2/3 (only 2)

Stormstrike - 1/1

Dual Wield - 1/1

42 - 44:
Dual Wield Specialization - 3/3

Lava Lash - 1/1

46 - 47:
Improved Stormstrike - 2/2

48 - 49:
Static Shock - 2/3 (only 2)

Shamanistic Rage - 1/1

Static Shock - 3/3

52 - 54:
Mental Quickness - 3/3

55 - 59:
Maelstrom Weapon - 5/5

Feral Spirit - 1/1

We are now moving to the Elemental tree.

61 - 65:
Concussion - 5/5

66 - 68:
Elemental Devastation - 3/3

69 - 70:
Elemental Warding - 2/3

71 - 75:
Elemental Fury - 5/5

Elemental Focus - 1/1

77 - 80:
Reverberation - 4/5

Click here for the build. This spec is made for solo gameplay, keep that in mind when your asked for an instance, group, or whatever.

4. Abilities and Rotations

Always take weapons with the highest min/max. damage range. These are usually slow weapons.

1 - 9.

  • Until you gain Earth Shock, simply spam Lightning Bolt.
  • When you get Earth Shock, use it when your target is in melee range, and use Lightning Bolt until a mob is near you.
  • Keep up Lightning Shield always.
  • Enchant your weapon with Rockbiter.
  • Use the best DPS weapon, be it a 1h + shield or 2H (the slow weapon part does not apply here, because we don't have Windfury yet)

    Rotation: Auto attack + Earth Shock. Pull with Lightning Bolt. Always keep up Lightning Shield.

    10 - 19.

  • Same as above but:
  • Use Flametongue instead of Rockbiter.
  • You might want to use a fast weapon, so that Flametongue hits more (which does more damage than it would on a slow weapon).

    Rotation: Lightning Bolt, until the mob is near you, then spam Earth Shock while auto attacking. Again, always keep up Lightning Shield.

    20 - 29.

    From now on, we will be using a method I call ‘Shield Twisting’. All you do is keeping a balance between Lightning Shield and Water Shield. Water Shield gives mana, but more then we need. Lightning Shield gives free damage, so keep a nice balance between those two ability’s.

    Rotation: Lightning Bolt, until the mob is near you, then spam Earth Shock while auto attacking.

    30 - 39.

  • Use the Windfury weapon enchant.
  • Always take a 2H weapon with a speed of 3.0 or more.
  • Don´t forget the Shield Twisting method.

    Rotation: Pull with Lightning Bolt, then Auto attack + Earth Shock.

    40 - 49.

    Okay, so you´ve made it to level 40. Ready to rock? Because now we get our key ability’s. Between these levels we get Dual Wield, Stormstrike and Lava Lash. The fun can now start!

  • Start dual wielding at level 44, otherwise you will miss too much without the +hit talents. Also put Windfury on both weapons.

    Rotation: Stormstrike > Earth Shock > Lava Lash > Shield Twist.

    Note: Although I call this a rotation; you’ll notice that, after a while, you’ll simply be using the first ability that pops up from the cooldown. That's why you'll see "priority list" instead of "rotation" next time.

    50 - 75.

    As explained up here, you’ll now rather have a priority list rather than a rotation.

  • Use Shamanistic Rage when you're out of mana.
  • Again, don’t forget the Shield Twisting method.

    Priority list: Stormstrike > Earth Shock > Lava Lash.

    Whenever you have 4/5 or 5/5 Mealstrom Weapon, use Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning, (use Chain Lightning only on AoE). Try to have the Stormstrike debuff on the target before pulling this one out. Do this when their is a gap between the cooldowns.

    75 - 80.

  • Use Windfury weapon enchant on main hand and Flametongue on your off-hand. Still take a slow off-hand (Because of Stormstrike, Lava Lash and Windfury will still be used.

  • Use Shamanistic Rage at 40% mana, or at least close to. And always use it when you’re about to start a fight, since it ‘procs’ from attacks, you’ll want to make the most of it every time you use it.

  • Again, don’t forget the Shield Twisting method.

    Priority list: Stormstrike > Earthshock > Lava Lash.

    Again, do a 5/5 Mealstrom Weapon when their is a gap between your cooldowns.

    5. Tips


  • Use Earthliving if you are going to heal for an instance.
  • Whenever you are at a boss fight, drop: Strenght of Earth, Flametongue totem, Windfury Totem and Healing/Mana stream totem.[/b]


  • Just heal yourself with Lesser Healing Wave whenever you need to heal. Once you get Maelstrom Weapon, use that to do instant/short Healing Wave'es
  • If you're multipulling, use your Stoneclaw Totem to crowd control.
  • You can also pop your Spirit Wolves to help with the crowd, since they can heal you.


  • The best options are Skinning/Mining, because they make lots of money. Skinning gives critical strike rating and mining gives extra stamina, which scales with buffs like Blessing of Kings. These bonuses are small and not needed at all, and you can pick up any proffesion.

    6. Stats

    In the following order: Stamina > Agility >Intellect > ManaPer5Sec > Strength.

      1 - Stamina: Needed for health.

      2 - Agility Needed for Attack Power and Critical strike chance. Also gives armor and dodge, but that's not why we're using it.

      3 - Intellect: Needed for mana, also gives spell critical strike chance. Needed for everything, and gives attack power because of the talent Mental Dexterity.

      4 - Mana Per 5 Seconds: You won't see this alot until outland, but Water Shield gives this, too. It basicly gives you a certain amount of mana every five seconds. But since patch 3.0 we see mana flowing in very smooth, but the term "MP/5" is still used.

      5 - Strength: Needed for Attack Power. Since Shamans gained attack power from Agility, and Intellect, this stat has lost his power. Let's just say that this stat is not bad to take. But don't go for it.

    7. Gear.

    Here I will show some gear you can pick up while leveling, although this guide is aimed at solo gameplay, going to an instance or two isn't a bad idea.

    Weapons & Shield's
    Combinations have the same color, and are under each other.

    10 - 20:

    20 - 30:

    30 - 40:

      Lvl 37 - 2H - Ravager
      Lvl 35 - 1H - Mallet of Zul'Farrak, Note: you can get this weapon at level 35, but this thing is very powerful. It can last 'till Outland. Imo, this weapon is a good choice you won't regret - Thanks to Lycander for letting me know about this weapon.

    40 - 50, you can Dual Wield now.

    50 - 60:

    For more items, use http://www.wowhead.com/

    8. Totem quests.

    Im not going to write a walkthrough for every quest, but I give the links to first part of the quests.

    Call of Earth.

    The earth totem quest for Orcs/Trolls
    The earth totem quest for Taurens
    The earth totem quest for Draenei's

    Call of Fire

    The fire totem quest for Orcs/Trolls
    The fire totem quest for Draenei's
    The fire totem quest for Tauren's

    Call of Water

    The water totem quest for Orcs/Trolls
    The water totem quest for Taurens
    The water totem quest for Draenei's

    Call of Air

    The air totem quest for Orcs/Trolls
    The air totem quest for Taurens
    If you by accident accept the quest that will teleport you on a mountain, don't be afraid and jump off the wooden plank, you will be teleported back to the quest giver!
    The air totem quest for Draenei's

    9. Glyph's

    Click here for a list of Shaman glyphs.

    The following glyph's are a good choice for enhancement:

    Major - Glyph of Lightning Shield
    Major - Glyph of Stormstrike
    Major - Glyph of Shocking or Glyph of Water Mastery - Your choice.

    Minor - Glyph of Water Shield
    Minor - Glyph of Water Walking
    Minor - Glyph of Ghost Wolf or Glyph of Water Breathing - Again, your choice.

    10. Addons

    Here are some addons specific for the shaman.

    • Call of Element's [i]An addon which shows bars for your totems, tells you when you need to pull a totem, tells when your totems are destroyed and tells you when your weapon enchant is expired.

    • ShieldsUp An addons which tells you when your Water Shield/Lightning/Earth shield fade's.

    • Windfury Cooldown Timer This addon shows the [b]invisible cooldown of Windfury, if you want, you can use Stormstrike or Lava Lash so that it can proc Windfury.

    Click here for a list of shaman addons.

    Useful Addons while leveling:

    • RatingBuster, The design aim of RatingBuster is to provide detailed, meaningful and customizable information about items so you can easily decide for yourself which item is better.

    • AutoProfitX , Adds a button to a vendor-window which, if you click on it, makes you sell all the gray items in your inventory.

    • XBar, Makes bars for things like Tracks, Buffs, Companions, and of course, Totems!
    • ArkInventory, is a bag addon, which allows you te create seperate windows for different stuff, also shows the vendor price of items.

    .Special thanks to:

    - Gotler
    - Cyonna
    - Jiyambi
    - Zerox.

    And especially Brune, he is a P.I.T.A, but knows alot about the shaman class, too Sticking out tongue.


  • Comments

    Jiyambi's picture

    Moved to Archive Section

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    Another weapon I thought was

    Another weapon I thought was good was the Spirit of the Faerie Dragon from a quest chain in Feralas.


    'Lo Trollvink, it's been a

    'Lo Trollvink, it's been a while since I decided to point things out. To start off, the first arrow is not broken, although it may just be on my part.

    Under section 2, you spell dual wield as "duel wield."

    Under the 55-75 part of the rotation guide, you spell there as their (in the italicized paragraph)

    Under the 75-80 part of the rotation guide, you spell Maelstrom Weapon as Mealstrom Weapon.

    On the start of the tip section, in the second line of the instance tips, there is a showing bold closing tag.

    Under solo tips, you spell Healing Waves as "Healing Wave'es."


    Nilz's picture

    Is there a different Build

    Is there a different Build for instances, if so can you plz link it so i can see both?


    What about the herloom weapon the mace in perticular, isnt it a good choice to keep from 1- 80?

    Lycander's picture

    Another weapon

    Troll, another good level 40 weapon that's come to my attention is Gryphon Rider's Stormhammer. You'll need to be twinked for it, as it's the end of a quest chain that requires you go the temple event in ZF. The chain starts with Witherbark Cages in Aerie Peak. Hope it helps.

    Also, for some WotLK gear, the Notched Cobalt War Axe and Cobalt Tenderizer are nice. Crafted, with relatively cheap mats.

    Lycander's picture

    Another point in favor of Enhancement

    Troll, I love your guide but I've always been of the "kill it before it gets to you" school. I followed your guide to 60, then switched to CanadianSniper's elemental guide. It worked ok, until Nagrand... Most of the elementals are immune to Nature damage, which means you have to rely on Fire/Frost shock and fire totems. I switched back to Enhancement, and am going to follow it the rest of the way since most things aren't immune to an axe swing Smiling.

    JordanMiller's picture


    Use Earthliving if you are going to heal for an instance.
    Whenever you are at a boss fight, drop: Strenght of Earth, Flametongue totem, Windfury Totem and Healing/Mana stream totem.[/b]

    Strength* of Earth. Also, the [/b] is showing.

    I have followed this guide

    I have followed this guide and am now 71.
    I don't do the greatest damage in the world, crappy gear but I do fine.
    I have a couple of questions.
    Why ghostwolf talent?

    I am going to do some instances and dps them if I can.
    Do I still use the same totems as the guide?
    Do you use any totems on instance trash fights?

    Jiyambi's picture

    Ghostwolf talent = HUGE

    Ghostwolf talent = HUGE increase in speed while leveling. Think how many times you start and stop combat between small groups of mobs. You have a big advantage over everyone but druids and hunters in getting from one camp of mobs to another quickly. Without the talent, it's not really worth it and you might as well mount. With the talent, its very fast and also a great get away tool, so it increases survivability.

    I would just keep your same leveling spec until you hit 80. At that point, you will probably want to respec into some sort of DPS-focused spec. Some people still keep that ghost wolf talent though, it can be useful even in raid situations!

    I don't have a high level shaman so I can't give advice about what totems to use or what spec to change to at 80. I can say that I probably wouldn't use totems on trash unless the group is having a hard time. You'll just be moving too fast for it to matter, most of the time.

    Brune's picture

    I for one raid with

    I for one raid with ghostwolf, not cause I find it particularly useful, just because I use my enh spec to do dailies Sticking out tongue

    Maybe I lose 50-100 DPS? Meh. I can more than make up for that with simply timing Maelstrom procs correctly.

    For trash, (unless of course it's fear or poison trash, in which case change your set totems in Totem Timer), I just drop magma for the DPS.

    Night_Hawk's picture

    It depends on the length of

    It depends on the length of the trash fight, if the fight is just an AOE nuke, then I would only drop Magma. If it is going to take longer then drop more totems accordingly. I 100% agree with Brune that you should drop poison or tremor totem if the group of mobs are going to fear or poison the group.

    Ghostwolf is useful in raids, but I left if out of my raid spec, with duel spec I can afford to have a separate grinding spec which I have ghostwolf in for utility.

    Trollvink's picture

    Magma totem is considerd the

    Magma totem is considerd the best (fire) totem for DPS against a boss, so pop it more!

    And about ghost wolf, I've just changed my spec to a raiding one for level 80, and honestly, I want to kill myself for not having ghost wolf, I've become to used to it.

    mallet of zul'farrak

    I was just wondering if the mallet of zul'farrak is still available? because my friend says that it got took out in a recent patch.

    Night_Hawk's picture

    In 3.08 (I think?) it was

    In 3.08 (I think?) it was changed from being an item that you had to use to summon Ghaz'rilla, to the current weapon that it is now. You no longer need to have it to summon the final boss in ZF, and it is now a one handed mace.

    So in essence your friend was correct, the mallet was changed.

    If your interested in how to get it read the comments here.

    thank you

    thank you =D

    Improved Shields

    Some time ago a friend of mine made a suggestion to add points to the Improved Shields proc in enhancement talents since we rely on our shields a lot. Your thoughts...?

    Brune's picture

    'yes' is my thoughts on

    'yes' is my thoughts on this. I vaguely recall a minor argument with Troll about this. However, it's worth quite a bit less without points in static shock, and there aren't any in the levelling build.

    At level 80, yeah. Levelling, perhaps not.

    So basically...

    Without Static Shock Improved Shields isn't worth as much as it is with...okay, makes sense...

    This addon shows the ->[b]

    This addon shows the ->[b]<- invisible cooldown of Windfury, if you want, you can use Stormstrike or Lava Lash so that it can proc Windfury.

    Found that in the 10. addon section.

    Would you mind fixing it? Eye

    dual wield

    Why did you put dual weild after stormstrike and it seems like you would have dual weild befor stormstrike because it uses both weps plus I think that shamans would want dual wield first. but other than that it has made me want to level a shaman Laughing out loud

    Trollvink's picture

    The last thing we want is

    The last thing we want is dual wielding and missing alot. If you really want to, change the talents, but I had a horrible time dual wielding without the +hit talents. That's why we take Stormstrike first, because we can use it with a two-hander.

    You should level pretty fast anyway, if you're following Jame's leveling guides.

    Kuismar's picture

    Something you could suggest

    Something you could suggest now that they added it into the game is to get a good pair of mail boots (Scarlet Boots or Blackforge Greaves) and have them enchanted with the new +hit.
    all i want in life is to be happy!

    All I Want In Life Is To Be Happy!!! - Korn

    Trollvink's picture

    Sorry, I only list weapons,

    Sorry, I only list weapons, otherwise I would make a very, very big list of items.

    Kuismar's picture

    Not really the boots I was

    Not really the boots I was concerned with but the mention of +hit items recently added to include the boot enchant and a new JC neck. Something for those who have to go DW at 40. I personally picked this up and noticed little misses. Actually getting used to picking up +hit items is a good idea anyways since its the one of the first stats to get capped.

    all i want in life is to be happy!

    All I Want In Life Is To Be Happy!!! - Korn

    Horyuu's picture

    Stats and armor question

    What is the difference between Hunter armor and Shaman armor? I could see some issues in groups if a shaman or hunter rolls on an item that is "clearly" the other class's.

    Jenkins isn't a title, it's a way of life.

    Trollvink's picture

    From my experience (and I

    From my experience (and I play both classes), I see no difference. Not at all. They use the exact same stats. Wasn't always like this though; patch 2.4 or 3.0 changed a bunch of stuff including agility giving attack power; instead of the strength only, and that made us use the exact same stuff as hunters.

    I LOVE this guide, thanks

    I LOVE this guide, thanks alot trollvink! Laughing out loud

    Trollvink's picture

    Heya, no problem Glad I can

    Heya, no problem Smiling Glad I can help. If you have any suggestions, just comment!

    38 - 39: Weapon Mastery -

    38 - 39:
    Weapon Mastery - 2/3 (only 2)

    Why only 2 Puzzled You'll do more damage with 3. Smiling

    Trollvink's picture

    Yeah, I might change it so

    Yeah, I might change it so that we take one point less in the elemental tree, and one point more in the enhancement tree.

    Don't know what yet, but the importance isn't big while leveling - you shouldn't run Raids with this spec, and while leveling it the difference is minimal.

    Trollvink's picture

    I am gonna update this guide

    I am gonna update this guide for 3.1. Expect it updated this week.



    Brune's picture

    This is only from an endgame

    This is only from an endgame perspective, but it may apply lower down.

    (Note, I've been using magma tot already for a while).

    I've found with the SS changes in the new patch, I can now perfectly happily use chain lightning for my maelstrom procs. More DPS, yay (If you have 5 stacks at the start of a pull, lightning bolt, or you'll just pull aggro).

    Loving the fact that I'm even more like a WCIII shammy =D

    Trollvink's picture

    Ah, I I'll add that, I

    Ah, I I'll add that, I assume only for AoE.

    Brune's picture

    You will see best results

    You will see best results for AoE, yes, but it's still better on solo mobs. If mana is an issue for you though, they obviously juts use it for AoE.

    Trollvink's picture

    With the new patch, mana is

    With the new patch, mana is not a problem Smiling The new 'Improved Stormstrike' works excellent


    Will there be any changes tot he guide with the new patch dropping all of our Talent points?

    Trollvink's picture

    Yep, I will include things

    Yep, I will include things like Static Shock now, and more.

    For those that want to continue leveling their shaman; go ahead and take a spec based on mine.

    Trollvink's picture

    Also, I need to edit alot of

    Also, I need to edit alot of content because of the changes to Stormstrike (granting a percentage of base mana). Which also require's me to do some tests.

    Typo in section 2

    "...in fact the shaman deals the most damage with minimum mana useage (with duel wield, that is)."

    It should be:

    "...in fact the shaman deals the most damage with minimum mana useage (with dual wield, that is)."

    Dual Wield is spelled with an a, not an e.

    "Like sands through an hourglass, so are the the days of our lives." Yet, you can't flip life upside-down and restart.

    "Like sands through an hourglass, so are the the days of our lives." Yet, you can't flip life upside-down and restart.

    Further typo

    Even further, where it reads "minimum mana useage" it should be "minimum mana usage." There is no "e" in usage.

    2 more points !

    Unleashed Rage is now 3/3. Where do we put the extra 2 points?

    Trollvink's picture

    I have updated the guide,

    I have updated the guide, you should now see a different spec, but still optimized for leveling.

    Thanks very much for the

    Thanks very much for the guide Smiling Actually convinced me to change my shaman to my main Sticking out tongue 1 question i know this has nothing to do with this subject but how do i put a picture on my account? Thanks.

    My alt has heirlooms - So I must be l33t Smiling

    Trollvink's picture

    Thanks My account > Edit >

    Thanks Smiling

    My account > Edit > Picture.

    Brune's picture


    Anyone near 80, or gearing for raids should probably have a look at this series. Everything you need to know.

    Trollvink's picture

    I would like some more

    I would like some more shaman guide's though. For raiding, instancing and stuf

    Brune's picture

    Oh yeah, absolutely.

    Oh yeah, absolutely.

    That's just handing for gearing and gemming.

    The thing is... I'm not exactly what would you'd write in a shammy instance guide...

    Well, pop Feral Spirit before Bloodlust, I suppose.

    Pop bloodlust on bosses.

    Don't step in the fire.

    Anything else? Sticking out tongue

    Trollvink's picture

    Getting raid ready;

    Getting raid ready; gear.


    Tips on bosses (When the fire comes!)

    And that sorta stuff.

    Bazead's picture

    Super guide

    Your guide is awesome, it has everything in it i needed to know. My shaman is level 28 now, in less then 56 seconds. <- Just joking.

    Can you explain why i should choose a shaman instead of any other class? Because some other classes seem pretty interesting too.