Saturday, February 4, 2012

Enhanced Leveling: Levels 10 - 25 (Cataclysm)

A dark skinned draenei woman was shifting papers around her battered mahogany desk in her upstairs apartment in Booty Bay. The balmy air caused her shoulder length hair to cling to the back of her neck, but it didn't seem to bother the shaman in the least. She went about her tasks quietly humming to herself, completely oblivious to the salty heat that was so often complained about by the town's visitors.

She turned in her chair, rubbing her lower back as she attempted to knead out the stiffness that sitting many hours on a hard wooden chair caused. Looking out the apartment's little window, the shaman took note of how low the sun was in the sky and how the dark clouds that promised that evening's summer thunderstorm was nearly upon the sleepy town. She lost herself in a hazy day dream as she stared out of her window, not bothering to come out of her reverie until there came a faint rap on her door.

"Come in."

A young draenei girl walked into the one room apartment. Her light blue skin glistened where the first fat rain drops of the impending storm had come into splashed onto her. Much like the other woman whose room she was entering, her shoulder length hair clung to her neck from both heat and rain.

The girl bowed her head in greeting. "Miss Saz."

"Greetings little one, have you decided to stay on the path of becoming a warrior of the elements?"

"Yes, Elder."

"Good." The shaman smiled at the young draenei girl before her, a scar on her lip creasing as she did so. "It appears that we have a stormy evening ahead of us, so I shall not be sending you on any quests. Let's work on your spells tonight."

Putting a hand on one of her axe hilts, the younger shaman smiled. An eagerness to learn burning brightly in her eyes.

I have been ever so slowly leveling up young Sazza. She's currently sitting at level 25, waiting patiently in Stormwind for me to return to her. Leveling an enhancement shaman for the second time around with actually knowing what I'm doing so far has been a rather fun and insightful project.

Talent Points
Tier 1
Talent points can often be a tricky thing to decide on. Luckily for leveling they don't matter a whole lot, just so long as you put them into your intended leveling tree. In my previous post I stated how I was putting points into Focused Strikes first. At the time with two extremely poor weapons that was actually a decent choice. For quite a while my Primal Strike attack and Lava Lash ability were doing roughly the same amount of damage. In hindsight I wish I had gone 2/2 Elemental Weapons and then 3/3 Focused Strikes since Lava Lash at low levels with the Flametongue imbue on it hits fairly hard with those two points in Elemental Weapons. In the end though it doesn't matter a whole lot, since you usually fill in all of the talent points rather quickly anyways. Just fill in the blanks as soon as you're able.

Sazza So Far
2/2 Elemental Weapons
3/3 Focused Strikes
0/3 Improved Shields (We'll return to this talent later)

Tier 2
I had a hard time deciding which talents to dip into first in the second tier. In the end you will have talent points in three of the four available talents for this tier, but which is best to do with first? Personally, I think that if you're going through dungeons go with 3/3 Flurry first, then start filling in Elemental Devastation. If you're soloing, 2/2 Ancestral Swiftness is very handy, so I'd dip into that and Flurry before Elemental Devastation.

Sazza So Far
0/3 Elemental Devastation
2/3 Flurry
2/2 Ancestral Swiftness
0/2 Totemic Reach

Shaman actually gain a lot of new abilities rather quickly. For someone who is new to the ways of the shaman, it can be slightly overwhelming. Let's go through the list and break down what everything is used for.

Level 12
Purge - Can remove certain buffs from mobs/bosses/other players. Probably won't use this much while leveling solo, or even in instances.
Flametongue Totem - Our spell power buff totem. Pretty much never used by enhancement shaman.
Ancestral Spirit - Allows you to raise people from the dead, so long as you aren't dead as well.

Level 14
Flame Shock - One of our two main shocks. Get used to this one, it's vital for DPS.

Level 15
Ghost Wolf - Our travel form. Increases our "walk" speed slightly. Has a two second cast timer until we spec into Ancestral Swiftness.
Dungeon Finder - While this isn't a spell, it's worth noting here. Allows you to queue up for random dungeons suitable for your current level. Hit "I" - choose role - Enter Queue.

Level 16
Wind Shear - Our spell interrupter. This is awesome for getting casters to come to you, reducing incoming spell damage from interrupt-able spells, and can even help get rid of a *tiny* bit of threat if you happen to be running with a tank who struggles to hold mobs off of you.

Level 18
Cleanse Spirit - Removes certain harmful debuffs (curses) from yourself and nearby friendly players.
Earthbind Totem - If you need to get away with a quickness and something is hot on your tail, drop this bad boy. It will slow anything that gives chase to you.

Level 20
Healing Stream Totem - Provides you with a small amount of passive healing. Drop this in instances or just before you pull a particularly difficult mob when soloing.
Healing Surge - A quick and somewhat efficient heal. Has a higher mana cost, but works very well in those situations where you're hurting and need a really quick heal.
Water Shield - Applying this shield allows you to passively regen mana at a faster pace. This isn't something you will use often as an enhancement shaman.

Level 22
Frost Shock - Will temporarily slow down an enemy. Most often used in PvP, but can be used to slow a mobs advance on you as well.

Level 24
Water Walking - Does just as it suggests: allows you to walk on water. Without a glyph this ability requires you to carry around Fish Oil though, which can usually be found on any nasty murloc near you.

Once you reach level 25 you gain the usage of your first set of glyphs. You are able to use one Prime, one Major, and one Minor glyph. Here's what I personally went with.

Prime: Lava Lash - With proper weapons and the Flametongue imbue, Lava Lash hits fairly hard. Since you do not have Windfury Weapon or Stormstrike at this level, Lava Lash is a no brainer. Enjoy the tasty Laval Lash numbers.
Major: Healing Stream Totem - I chose to go with this glyph to help reduce certain damage done to me, as well as to help out my healers in instances. Glyph of Ghost Wolf is another viable choice if you find yourself running around in the world often as a ghostly pup.
Minor: Water Walking - There's not a much for choices at this level, so I will be going with Glyph of Water Walking once I can find one at a reasonable price. Comes in handy in some situations if you're traveling out in the world.

By the time your little shaman arrives at level 25, you should have three of the four totems we typically use in any situation. While we do not have Totemic Recall yet, we can (and really should) have the ability to dismiss our totems. Somewhere on your UI, often by your portrait, there will be a representation of everyone of your totems, often accompanied by a timer of sorts. If you right click on this representation of your totem, you effectively dismiss/despawn your own totem. Do this when you wish to not accidentally pull any pesky and unwanted mobs that might come across it before you leave the area. Picking up after yourself can often save your life, especially if you're not terribly aware of your surroundings all of the time.

Earth Totem: Strength of Earth
Fire Totem: Searing
Water Totem: Healing Stream Totem
Air Totem: None yet.

Drop your totems before you pull, if possible. Flame Shock the target, Lava Lash, Primal Strike. If Flame Shock has a good duration time on it, use Earth Shock when your shocks are ready again. Use Lava Lash and Primal Strike as they come off of cool down. Refresh your Lightning Shield and Searing Totem when needed (keep both of these up at all times).

If you're soloing you may still used the Lightning Bolt ranged pull method to help reduce some physical damage taken. For the most part though you will more less ignore Lightning Bolt until much later when we get the Maelstrom Weapon talent.

Gearing remains the same while you level. Agility leather gear with hit (if you can find it). At first finding proper weapons for enhancement can be slightly difficult, but by the time you reach level 25 you should have been able to find one, if not two, weapons that have a speed of roughly 2.60 (the ideal weapon speeds are between 2.50 and 2.80, anything faster than 2.50 messes with our damage outputs and you'd be hard pressed to find something slower than a 2.80 in the one-handed department).

Currently Sazza has Battleaxe of the Farseer and Stinging Viper equipped. The battleaxe you can get from the quest Blessing of the Elements, which can be picked up in Stormwind from Farseer Umbrua (I'm assuming that there's a similar quest for you horde types; check with your shaman trainer in Orgrimmar). Stinging Viper is a drop from Lord Pythas in Wailing Caverns.


  1. Just have to say that screenshot looks AMAZING! Those colors! <3

    1. Thanks! I saw that sunset and I just HAD to take a screenshot. Love the Draenei starting areas, if only for their altered alien vibes.