PvE Enhancement Shaman Talents, Builds & Glyphs

PvE Enhancement Shaman Talents, Builds & Glyphs
  • Author: Strong
  • Date: June 18, 2024
  • Updated: June 18, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

With the arrival of Cataclysm, the talent system received a massive overhaul, changing from the 71 talent points system to a more compact 41 points system. As such, many of the old talents were either completely removed or changed, resulting in fewer possible build variations. One key aspect of the new system is that you must use at least 31 points in your main specialization to use the remaining 10 points in a secondary specialization.

Talent Builds

enhancement talent tree

As with the Elemental spec, there’s only one real way to go with Enhancement, and it’s through the talent tree you see above. The other talents not allocated in the Enhancement tree — Totemic Reach, Toughness, Frozen Power, Seasoned Winds and Earthen Power — are unallocated because they don’t directly increase the damage you deal. Other talents such as Searing Flames and Improved Lava Lash are necessary, and every Enhancement Shaman will take it without fail. You’ll want to choose the Elemental tree to allocate your extra points, as you’ll be able to get much needed hit rating from Elemental Precision and critical strike chance for spells and attacks with Acuity.

Below are some of the build-defining talents that make the Enhancement spec do what it does so well:

  • Mental Quickness – Now that all of your spell power comes from Mental Quickness, equal to 55% of your attack power, you no longer need to find hybrid gear. With that said, spell power no longer exists on items except weapons, so you probably won’t run into that issue in Cataclysm anyway. This innate talent also reduces the mana cost of your beneficial, damaging and totem spells by 55%. This talent is one-half of a two-piece puzzle designed to solve mana issues for Enhancement Shamans.
  • Primal Wisdom – Is the second piece of that two-piece puzzle that solves mana issues for Enhancement Shamans. This innate talent causes your melee attacks to have a 40% chance to immediately restore 5% of your base mana. With this and Mental Quickness, you’ll pretty much never have to worry about mana.
  • Improved Lava Lash – This is the talent that caused Enhancement Shamans everywhere to choose Searing Totem over the old flame, Fire Elemental Totem. You’ll find in top-parsers’ logs that Fire Elemental Totem has been relegated to near never-used status. That is because Searing Totem in conjunction with Searing Flames and Improved Lava Lash is substantially better for single-target damage in encounters. Seriously, it’s the new bae.
  • Stormstrike – You can now unlock Stormstrike as your 11th talent point, which means that it’ll be present for more of the leveling process. However, Stormstrike is vastly improved in all facets from its Wrath iteration. It deals increased weapon damage at 225%, and its buff confers an an additional 25% chance to critically strike with your damaging Nature spells for the next 15 seconds, which is an expansive buff compared to the limit of Wrath’s Stormstrike affecting only the 4 subsequent damaging spells.
  • Searing Flames – This causes your Searing Bolts from your Searing Totem to stack a DoT on its target, dealing stacking damaging up to 5 times. This synergizes with Lava Lash and Improved Lava Lash to increase the damage of your Searing Totem and Lava Lash. You’ll find Lava Lash as your number one damaging ability and Searing Totem in your top five.
  • Maelstrom Weapon – Without Maelstrom Weapon, you miss out on all of your Lightning Bolt damage, which is a sizeable chunk of your damage. Generally, you’ll wait for 5 stacks before instant-casting your Lightning Bolt, or Chain Lightning in AoE scenarios, but if you’re especially attentive to your swing bars, you’ll be able to get away with a 3-4 stack cast without interrupting your next auto-attack.
  • Elemental Devastation – This is one of your two steroid abilities, along with Flurry. When you deal a critical hit with a spell, you’ll have 9% increased critical strike with melee attacks for 10 seconds. Since this is procced by any spell that can deal a critical strike, you’ll likely be proccing these from Lightning Bolt and Lightning Shield in boss encounters.
  • Flurry – This is the second of your two steroid abilities, along with Elemental Devastation. This increases your attack speed by 30% for your next 3 swings after dealing a melee critical strike; Elemental Devastation increases your chance to get a melee critical strike by 9% for 10 seconds. It’s a match made in heaven.
  • Feral Spirit – Another straightforward “press me to go boom!” ability. When cast, you’ll summon two Spirit Wolves that will attack your target for 30 seconds with a cooldown of 2 minutes. They each have Attack Power equal to 50% of your current Attack Power, meaning you can snapshot them to your trinkets, buffs, etc. While they can independently attack different targets, pet commands for them direct them both simultaneously.


Below are the glyphs pertinent to the Enhancement Shaman spec. The best way to choose your glyphs for Enhancement Shaman is by looking at which of your abilities are doing the most single-target damage and to cater to them. Obviously, Lava Lash is your big damage dealer, so you’ll want to prioritize that, but other glyph choices may be murkier. Look at your logs and the logs of top parsers to get a feel for what’s the current flavor of the month and try that. The selections below are in line with what will help you parse best.

Prime Glyphs

  • Glyph of Lava Lash
    This is stupid obvious; the largest source of your damage is Lava Lash, so you’ll absolutely be taking a glyph which increases the damage of your Lava Lash by 20%.
  • Glyph of Stormstrike
    Less stupid obvious than the Lava Lash glyph, this glyph is good at face value even though the wording is a tad confusing. Essentially, it confers an extra 10% chance to critically strike to the base additional 25% chance to critically strike for offensive Nature spells.
  • Glyph of Windfury Weapon
    A 2% increased chance per swing for Windfury Weapon to trigger seems small, but it really adds up. Also consider that your weapon enchants are close behind your main damage-dealing abilities in terms of total damage contribution throughout your encounters, Windfury Weapon especially, so this really puts in work.

Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Chain Lightning
    You’ll be doing a lot of AoE damage as an Enhancement Shaman, and you’ll be throwing out a ton of Maelstrom Weapon-boosted Chain Lightning to boot. Increasing the number of chain targets by 2 will add more damage over the long run to your trash parse.

Minor Glyph


About the Author


Thrall is the best Warcraft character; tell me I'm wrong. Long-time Blizzard fan who thinks that gnomes are the worst type of people and rogues don't tip (except into your spine). Flying mounts should never have been added to the game, and playing 12 hours of WoW a day just makes you "dedicated."
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