Enhancement Shaman Quick-Start Guide for WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 28, 2012

Mists of Pandaria brought with it one hugely anticipated change for Enhancement Shamans – Thrall won’t be in trouble all the time! Oh, yeah, also new talents, Pandaren, new continent, etc. But not everything’s changed – Garrosh is still a knob and WoW’s Patch 5.4 threatens changes to talents, totems, glyphs and more. So, if you’re itching to stick a new and improved axe into The Big Crazy Orc, here’s our quick start guide to get you gemmed, reforged, au fait with your new rotation and ability priority queue, and out there hitting things.

Updated 17th September 2013 to World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Changes to Enhancement Shamans in WoW patch 5.4

Some talent changes and Fire Nova buff.

Enhancement “Rotation” and Priorities

OUr DPS rotations remain mostly the same as they were in Cataclysm – the big change being the removal of buff totems. These rotations assume you’re using our recommended talents.

Single-target DPS as Enhancement

  • Top Priority: Put down a Searing totem if one isn’t down already or is about to vanish.
  • Second Priority: Cast Lightning Bolt if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon. Cast Storm Strike if it’s available.
  • Third Priority: Cast Flame Shock if Unleash Flame is active. Cast Lava Lash if it’s available.
  • Fourth Priority: Use Unleash Elements if it’s available. If that’s not available, use Earth Shock. If that’s out, and you have a stack of Maelstrom Weapon, cast Lightning Bolt.


For 2 or more enemies use your regular single-target rotation, but cast Fire Nova whenever it’s available. At 3 or more, use Chain Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt.


  • Use Feral Spirit on cooldown.
  • Use Spiritwalker’s Grace whenever you’ll need to move and attack.
  • Use Ascendance on cooldown, or when you’ll need to attack at range.
  • Use Fire and Earth Elemental Totems whenever the elementals are guaranteed to be able to attack the boss for a solid minute.
  • Use Stormlash Totem when your entire group is buffed, usually at the same time as Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp.
  • Use Heroism/Bloodlust when your raid leader tells you to, or in dungeons when your group needs to deal high DPS.
  • Shamanistic Rage can either be used when you’re taking damage, or if you’re very low on mana.
  • Spirit Walk is a great speed-increasing cooldown.


Rememeber to cast Lightning Shield, Windfury on your main weapon, and Flametongue on your offhand weapon.

Enhancement Shaman Talent Choices

Most Enhancement Shaman talent choices are very situational, and you should expect to end up swapping often if you’re raiding. However, here’s a good general-purpose build to get started with:

  • Tier 1: Astral Shift – defensive cooldown.
  • Tier 2: Earthgrab Totem – only situationally useful.
  • Tier 3: Call of the Elements – resets cooldowns on your totems.
  • Tier 4: Elemental Mastery
  • Tier 5: Ancestral Guidance – gives you a short-cooldown raid healing spell.
  • Tier 6: Unleashed Fury

Stats, reforging and gemming for Enhancement Shaman

Agility is our strongest stat. Then we’re looking to get Hit and Expertise capped (2550 rating or 7.5%). After that, Mastery is our strongest stat and Crit by far our weakest.

Reforging: Reforge for Hit and Expertise caps, then reforge to Mastery. Reforge from Critical Strike first, then other secondary stats.
Gems: For Red slots, Delicate (Agility) gems. For Yellow slots, Adept (Agi/Mastery), and for Blue slots, Glinting (Agi/Hit).
Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.

Enha Glyphs

There are a lot of situational glyph choices, but here’s a good no-downside loadout to use for general purpose:

Major: Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem, Glyph of Feral Spirit, Glyph of Lighting Shield.
Minor: Your choice!

Enhancement Shaman enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
  • Cloak – Accuracy
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Wrist – Greater Agility
  • Hands – Superior Expertise
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
  • Feet – Blurred Speed
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel


There are quite a few good Enhancement Shaman resources out there, although they’re often pretty hardcore:

  • Icy Veins continue to dominate the WoW theorycraft scene with their great Enhancement guide
  • Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

thephish5622 August 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

What happened to mastery? does it not matter in stats reforging anymore? as per my play today i still have mastery in my stats and it increases dmg done for frost, nature and fire dmg. would this stat not out weigh haste?


Hugh Hancock August 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

Mastery still exists – according to the best information we have now, it’s not as good as Haste but better than Critical Strike.


Rafala August 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

One of the headings needs fixing:

Elemental “Rotation” and Priorities

…should say Enhancement.

(An outline copypaste derp I’m guessing, happens to me all the time. I’m a writer too xD.)


Hugh Hancock August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

You got it in one! Fixing it now. Thanks!


Saz September 1, 2012 at 3:04 am

To my knowledge mastery, haste, and crit are currently more or less on par with each other at level 85. Haste probably won’t take over as our best secondary until level 87 when we receive Ascendance, and even at 90 it looks like haste will only take over mastery with certain talent combinations.

Hit/Expertise cap numbers are 768 (for those who are super picky about their numbers), or 666 for those with any race specialties.


Hugh Hancock September 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

Interesting stuff – thanks.

I’m going to alter the reforging guidelines to reflect that (I’ve heard it echoed elsewhere too).


Urita September 5, 2012 at 3:52 am

Is the Hit Cap still 17%??


Hugh Hancock September 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

Nope, it’s changed – the melee hit cap is now 7.5%. However, Expertise is also now important – you’ll need that at 7.5% too.


Kylie November 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

How do I know if I have 5 stacks of maelstrom weapons already?


Hugh Hancock November 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

Good question! It’s a buff – it stacks from 1 to 5. Check your buff bars.


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