Enhancement Shaman Leveling Guide

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Leveling Speed80%


Shamans are a great choice for Hardcore mode, and a great pick as a dps or a healer class with tons of support tools. For this guide, we will go through Enhancement spec. In contrast to Elemental spec, Enhancers really way more on their weapon and melee swings but they still deal half their damage as spell damage. They are not heavily reliant on their gear other than weapons, and even then their half and half damage profile with next to no lengthy casts in melee combat lend themselves perfectly to hardcore challenge. In endgame, shamans are not the highest damage dealers, but even still are welcomed into any group as either supporting class enabling other classes to shine even brighter, or an excellent healer that brings tools to deal with almost any situation. 

Shamans are an excellent choice for Hardcore play. As a versatile damage/support class, we possess a wide range of tools and abilities that empower us in this game mode.

For Enhancement Shamans, approximately half of our damage comes from melee attacks, which means we are not as heavily reliant on gear as classes like Warriors or Rogues. Moreover, unlike Mages, our damage output is not solely dependent on lengthy spell casts. The hybrid nature of Shamans aligns perfectly with the solo-style gameplay of Hardcore.


Shamans are a horde exclusive class, opposite to paladins.

Orc – an excellent choice fitting a shaman’s Enhancement spec perfectly. Giving you bonuses when using Axes with Axe Specialization, and a cooldown in Blood Fury.

Troll – is more suited to shaman’s caster and healing specs with Berserking. As well as some minor bonuses in Beast Slaying and Regeneration.

Tauren – are more focused on the defensive side of things, having bonuses in Endurance and an AoE stun with War Stomp that can give you some space to heal up uninterrupted, or run away.


Our talent spec path is decent while leveling, offering increases in damage through making our weapon swings and weapon enhancements stronger, as well as instant cast of Ghost Wolf for faster reaction to danger in the open world.

Talent link

As you finish off the Enhancement tree, move into Elemental to increase your synergy with fire and nature spells, giving you more damage output from range and before you engage enemies in melee combat.

Notable Talents

Two-Handed Axes and Maces – Enables you to use weapons in question, giving you access to lots of awesome upgrades from that point in the game.

Flurry – Increases value of Agility on your gear and Slower weapons in your arsenal.

Elemental Weapons – Further increases your weapon enhancements, make sure they are trained to max possible level whenever you visit your trainer.

Stormstrike – Extra button to press as well as a good combo starter to follow up with Earth Shock.


The core of our spec and main source of our damage next to melee hits, is our weapon imbuements. There are three viable enhancements.

Rockbiter – is our main and most used enhancement, providing a significant boost to our attack power but also generating additional threat in return. Make sure to keep track of what levels you can train the next rank of this spell and plan on making trips to your trainer accordingly.
Flametongue – is your fire imbuement, giving your weapon additional fire damage scaling better with slower weapons. It should be noted that the fire damage portion is scaled off your spell power and spell crit and that doesnt come into effect until endgame.
Windfury – is shamans signature bursty hit, it adds a chance to hit two additional times for a massive damage, but is unreliable because of its unpredictability. It also brings up the issue of overkill, and lowering your chances of pricing on your next enemy while you are chain killing mobs.

Another most used type of spell for enhancement is Shock, giving you an instant burst of damage that gives different kinds of damage with additional effects.

Earth Shock – you will mainly use this for shorter fights and in cases you know Flame Shock wont get full value and is not worth refreshing. It also has the additional benefit of interrupting spell casts.
Flame Shock – deals fire damage and has a damage over time component.
Frost Shock – does frost damage and will slow down an enemy, excellent for kiting enemies around in combination with your Earthbind Totem.

Totems are your classes’ signature mechanic and come in four elements, giving you and your party bonuses depending on which ones you choose. You can only have one of each kind down at the time, Earth, Fire, Water and Wind. For this guide we will go over the most useful ones. 

Keep in mind that in classic, you can’t recall your totems. So be aware of where your totems are as you keep fighting so as to not pull any unwanted enemies into combat.

For earth totems you have a choice of offensive and defensive ones. 

Stoneskin Totem reduces your melee damage taken by a flat amount, this helps when facing multiple enemies in close combat.
Earthbind Totem will slow down enemies in a radius, in combination with Frost Shock, it will be your main kiting tool.
Stoneclaw Totem taunts enemies and can come in clutch with giving you some space to run away when facing a single enemy. It does get better with ranks with stronger taunts and bigger health pool.
Strength of Earth Totem is your offensive totem and an excellent one to use in groups where you have at least one or two more melees that use both Agility and Strength.

Fire totems are all about dealing damage.

Searing Totem will be your first totem and deals consistent single target damage from range, simple yet effective.
Fire Nova Totem gives you one big burst of AoE damage after a few seconds.
Magma Totem also does AoE damage but is constantly pulsing, don’t use it if you can’t grab the threat of all enemies, so they don’t turn and destroy it.

Water totems focus on sustained healing and resistances, but there are only two you might want during leveling.

Healing Stream Totem gives you pulsing healing every few seconds and will help out with sustaining your health while you stay in range.
Mana Spring Totem does the same thing as the previous one, only for your mana, good for when you want to sit down and eat/drink.

Air totems have very few options and only one you might want during.

Windfury Totem gives you the signature Windfury Weapon but it works on group members, excellent when grouping with other melee classes for dungeons.

Lightning Bolt should also be kept up to date as it still plays a part in your opening rotation.
Stormstrike will be a big help when combined with Earth Shock and gives you a nice boost in damage.
Lightning Shield will help with damage and needs to be refreshed often in combat because it works off charges.

If you wish to have an option to heal in dungeons, keep your healing spells trained, otherwise, just do Healing Wave and Lesser Healing Wave.

For mobility, you will want to train Ghost Wolf that will be made instant through your talents, and learn Astral Recall as an additional Hearthstone effect.

Purge can come in handy when dealing with some nasty enemy buffs but you need to familiarize yourself with what can be purged off and what can not.

Class Specific Quests

Shaman quests include some simple quests, mainly being made harder by lengthy travels and can be incorporated into a leveling route. In order you will finish Call of Earth, Fire, Water, Air. Giving you a corresponding totem and one of your totem abilities to start you off.

Call of Earth (Level 4) – will be done within your immediate starting zone depending on your race.

Call of Fire (Level 10) – includes a relatively short run between Durotar and The Barrens.

Call of Water (Level 20) – requires quite a bit of traveling between a few different zones across both Eastern Kingdom and Kalimdor.

Call of Air (Level 30) – final totem quest is very simple, sending you down to Thousand Needles. You can coordinate this with some difficult quest right after because of a huge buff you get to movement speed and attack speed that lasts an whole hour.


Strength >Agility > Stamina > Intellect > Spirit 

Make sure to keep any gear you can find that has stats like intellect/spirit/stamina if you intend to heal dungeons while leveling.

Weapon Progression

Enhancement shamans will rely on anything they can get their hands on for a weapon, and the slower the swing, the bigger bonuses they get from weapon imbuements. At level 20, you can spec into Two-Handed Axes and Maces and that opens up even more choices.

You can keep a spare one-hander and a shield at hand for difficult situations but you will mainly be using a two-hander for dealing damage.

Jagged Dagger6.0010QuestDurotar - Skull Rock
Skorn's Hammer6.4810QuestMulgore - The Demon Scarred Cloak
Hammer of Orgrimmar9.1414Dungeon QuestRFC - Hidden Enemies
Harpy Skinner9.6418QuestBarrens - Serena Bloodfeather
Callous Axe15.0024VendorOtt in Hillsbrad
Daring Dirk17.5029VendorVharr in STV
Bleeding Crescent18.1333Quest1k Needles - Parts of the Swarm
Black Water Hammer22.2238QuestArathi - Deep Sea Salvage
Tok'kar's Murloc Shanker25.0041QuestSwamp - Threat from the Sea
Force of the Hippogryph30.4248QuestFeralas - Weapons of Spirit
Axe of the Ebon Drake30.2650QuestSearing Gorge - Set Them Ablaze!
Blitzcleaver32.0552QuestWinterspring - Return to Tinkee
Lifeforce Dirk35.9453Dungeon QuestST - The God Hakkar
Belgrom's Hammer32.8654QuestAzhara - Betrayed
Hunt Tracker Blade33.6755QuestFelwood - The Remains of Trey Lightforge
Lorespinner37.6757Dungeon QuestDM - Lethtendris's Web
Dull Heater Shield1615Vendor
Charging Buckler1359QuestDurotar - Need for a Cure
Welding Shield34514QuestBarrens - Samophlange
Bear Buckler46118VendorGrazlix in Ratchet
Ward of the Vale52825QuestBarrens - Isha Awok
Arctic Buckler64226Dungeon QuestBFD - Blackfathom Villainy
Deadskull Shield61130QuestHillsbrad - Battle of Hillsbrad
Marbled Buckler77531Dungeon QuestRFK - A Vengeful Fate
Grom'gol Buckler69535QuestSTV - Defense of Grom'gol
Studded Ring Shield71136QuestDesolace - Gizelton Caravan
Forcestone Buckler105137Dungeon QuestSM - Compendium of the Fallen
Earthclasp Barrier125741QuestFeralas - Battle Plans
Collection Plate138042QuestSTV - Cracking Maury's Foot
Optomatic Deflector157846QuestTanaris - Rescue OOX-17/TN
Shizzle's Drizzle Blocker169149QuestUn'Goro - Shizzle's Flyer
Milli's Shield210657Dungeon QuestDM - Shards of the Felvine
Walking Stick4.23Vendor
Quarter Staff9.4411Vendor
Cauldron Stirrer10.1613QuestBarrens - Apothecary Zamah
Zhovur Axe13.0618QuestBarrens - Serena Bloodfeather
Crescent Staff20.3420Dungeon QuestWC - Leaders of the Fang
Big Stick25.6732VendorZarena Cromwind in STV
Silver Spade30.1439QuestSTV - Venture Company Mining
Tok'kar's Murloc Chopper32.541QuestSwamp of Sorrows - Threat from the Sea
Nimboya's Mystical Staff35.6544QuestSTV - Saving Yenniku
Spellshifter Rod35.7444Dungeon QuestZF - Tiara of the Deep
Will of the Mountain Giant39.4648QuestFeralas - Weapons of Spirit
Beastslayer42.5853QuestUn'goro - The Mighty U'cha
Wildstaff4553Dungeon QuestST - Da Voodoo
Limb Cleaver42.7157Dungeon QuestBRD - Lost Thunderbrew


Engineering / Mining

Like with other classes, Engineering provides great value for shamans. While they do have access to slows and interrupts, hard cc is hard to find and so bombs and dynamite give a decent chunk of AoE damage or cc. On the other hand you have a Target Dummy for efficient escapes in combination with Ghost Wolf. You can also opt in to taking Mining + Skinning to start with and farm up some Light Leather and Medium Leather before swapping it to Engineering, you have potential to get some early goggles at the time where hardly anyone will have access to helmets.

Alchemy / Herbalism

Alchemy is a great fit for shamans, offering versatility in choice of stat buffs as well as a mountain of health and mana potions you will craft during leveling it. Because Enhancement shamans are in melee a lot of the time, it can be troublesome to get off lengthy casts so healing pots are always welcome, and mana pots can be used as fuel for longer fights or even just to reduce downtime between combat.

Leatherworking / Skinning

Leatherworking is your armoring profession and during your leveling and killing beasts, you should have plenty of leather to advance it at a decent pace. While stats on crafted items in the early game have less desirable stats, they can often come as an upgrade. And even with that, you will get stated shoulder armor way earlier than others.

Honorable mentions

Cooking / Fishing / First Aid

Cooking can give you many stat buffing food that increase your stamina and spirit while leveling. Paired with Fishing, if you want to spend your time on it, you can use the caught fish to level up cooking all the way to max skill level. You can use Bandages from First Aid in combination with Mana Spring Totem to let your mana regen while you restore your health.

Tackling Danger

Shamans are excellent at running away whenever danger arises and even more so in the open world.

If you are facing multiple enemies and decide that it is best to disengage, your first step would be to use Stoneclaw Totem or Target Dummy to make some distance. After that drop Earthbind Totem to slow them down and that should give you enough time to run away in Ghost Wolf.

To get away from a single target, again we use Stoneclaw Totem and then a simple rank 1 Frost Shock. Do not repeat this as it will keep leashing the enemy while you have mana.

If you are a Tauren, War Stomp can be a great tool to make some distance as well before dropping Earthbind Totem.

Good leveling partners

Enhancement shamans are Warrior’s and Rogue’s best friend. Early on giving them healing and buffing with Strength of Earth Totem, and later giving Windfury. Every melee loves a shaman in their group.


Shaman by itself does not contribute too much damage, but due to its bursty damage profile with windfury and rockbiter weapons, are able to generate a lot of threat. Consider your group’s composition and pick your totems to compliment that. Contribute damage with your melee and shocks but keep some mana in reserve if the need for healing pops up.

Advanced Tips

Your main thought while leveling alone should be managing mana, front load your spells with Lightning Bolt, Shocks and Totems and then Melee to let your mana regen in meantime.

Totems will always spawn in the same spot respective of where your character is facing, familiarize yourself with that and make sure to replace them when moving from mob to mob if you can expect them to pull something behind you to ruin your day.

Your fire totems generate threat and are prone to getting destroyed, make sure to build some quick or plop down Stoneclaw Totem to protect your other totems.

Your earth spells generate a lot of threat, so be careful when using Rockbiter Weapon and Earth Shocks in group situations.


Stopcast interrupt macro:
#showtooltip Earth Shock
/cast Earth Shock

Weapon Swap Macro:
/equip [name of your one hander]
/equip [name of your shield]
/equip [name of your two hander]

Closing Remarks

As stated before, shamans lend themselves to hardcore challenges very well, with their multiple tools to handle whatever leveling throws at them. They are able to tackle Elite quests and enemies and while not as good at it as Hunters or Warlocks, they give you an option to do something thrilling if you deem the rewards worthy of your time. As a sought after class in any group environment, you can choose to change your spec after reaching max level, or continuing to support your team as an enhancer.