Chopping and You: An Enhance PvP Primer

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I. Introduction
II. Talents/Glyphs
III. Gearing
IV. Gems/Chants
V. Weapon Imbues
VI. Popular Comps
VII. Addons/Macros
IX. TLDR Version

I. Introduction

Lately, many people have become increasingly interested in playing enhancement in pvp. They log on their shamans, filled with glee to realize seconds later they have no idea how to set up. With little to no reliable resources for enhance shamans in a pvp mindset, getting started as Enhance is probably the hardest part of the spec.

The goal of this guide is to help open that door for the confused or new shamans that are looking to start a career in enhancement pvp. It will mainly focus on the things that don't involve actual game play, but more so set up, such as gearing, comps, weapon imbues and things on that spectrum. It will not include scripted strategies for fighting individual comps or classes however. Black and white strategies, while good in theory, hardly ever pan out perfectly in a pvp environment and thus, I leave you to make your own strategies. Of course, if you have any questions that are not answered in this thread, I will gladly answer them when I have a free moment.

There is also a TLDR version at the bottom of this guide. Some of my explanations for things are a bit wordy, and thus if you don't really care and just want the skinny you are more than welcome to just use that. I will by default pick the more popular options however with NO explanation down here. Use the TLDR at your own risk. I would obviously prefer you read the longer version. Thanks <3
II. Talents/Glyphs


As enhancement, your talent set isn't completely set in concrete and has a good deal of wiggle room in it. There is a base mold, with some points lingering around that can be used however you please really. Moving points around based on your play style/comp is always a good idea and I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. The popular builds currently are:

If you are only interested in running double dps 2's(note this build is not complete, finish it off yourself)

You can pretty much steal one of these as a mold and work it out as necessary. I advise against getting the following talents however:

Improved Shields

You will get a better damage increase from other talents. It has slightly more value in a static shock build, but granted using a static shock build almost requires the lightning shield glyph which will cost you another very powerful major glyph, its generally a bad idea for this season. Even if you were to use a static shock build, you would realistically not have the spare points for this talent.

Seasoned Winds

On paper this talent seems kind of good. Free resistance so you take less damage and possibly resist some key stuff. However, every caster has atleast 200 spell penetration (with a few with upwards of 270 if they toss a spell pen enchant on their cloak as well) making the bonus from seasoned winds almost not exist. Unless you have either mark or your resist totem down to stack with it. Doing so assume things that aren't necessarily true such as being able to use said buffs, and more importantly, would you want to wind shear the dps to reduce the damage as opposed to a healer?

Assuming all the criteria is met, and you do interrupt say a frostbolt, the damage reduction from the resist gained is barely better than the passive reduction from elemental warding. Which brings the question, why would you go through so much trouble to get barely better reduction that is not consistent or possible the majority of the time?

Totemic Reach

Totemic Reach is one of those iffy talents. Its use is severely diminished by the tremor changes and is nowhere near as good as it used to be. I don't want to call it garbage like imp shields but it is alot less attractive than a majority of the talents in the tree and you shouldn't feel bad if you dump it for something else. It definitely has plenty of uses however.

On a final note, NO MATTER WHAT MAKE SURE YOUR ENHANCE SPEC HAS REVERBERATION. IT WILL WIN GAMES. The only exception is if you are running a FI build in 2's, in which case its understandable. Past that, you should always have Reverb.

Seriously, its amazing and my favorite talent in game for enhancement. Shorter shears means ridiculously more pressure which is a very good thing.



1.) Glyph of Lava Lash (Mandatory)

2.) Glyph of Stormstrike

3.) Glyph of Windfury Weapon (Keep in mind that when you aren't using WF you get 0 use from this)

4.) Glyph of Shocking


1) Glyph of Hex

2.) Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem

3.) Glyph of Lightning Shield Only worth considering if you have static shock in your build (which you should)

4.) Glyph of Shamanistic Rage

This will either make you a god or die a glorious death. Versus mage/paladin teams this is pretty great for HoJ/DF. However, versus any lock or spriest team it will straight up kill you. It still counts as "dispelling" the ua/vt causing them to proc the nasty effects. VT is less of an issue, but UA crits for wayyyy too much when its dispelled and WILL kill you. Meaning you will either A.) Commit suicide versus lock teams by using SR or B.) Not be able to use SR and die pretty damn fast. Because of this, I almost NEVER use this glyph in a 3's environment since the risk is way too high. However, if you are just queing into RMP or whatever, obviously switch this glyph in but never leave it in if you have a chance of queing against a lock.

Minor: Whatever you want, none have a noticeable impact in pvp. I'm fan of water walking for rp sessions.
III. GearingWhen gearing for enhancement, I use the following priority system for stats.

The caps > Agility > Mastery > Crit >Haste

Please note that I did not include stamina or resilience. Why? Its not possible for me to put an exact value on these stats in a pvp environment granted varying levels of gear and play. These stats are VERY good (especially resilience), but the exact levels you should have is entirely based on your battlegroup and comp. If you are getting tunneled, focusing more on resilience will obviously be a good idea. Talk with your healer and figure out the perfect number for you. The caps are spell penetration and hit. The cap for spell penetration is 195 to counter those pesky mark of the wild like buffs, ensuring that your purges/shears/hexs never get resisted and you don't rage break everything around you because of it. Getting exactly 195 spell pen is basically impossible however, so if you have to overshoot it a bit, don't worry about it. You will likely have to gem this, as there is no spell pen melee cloak currently.

Hit cap is 5 percent melee, 4 percent spell. You get all the melee hit you need from specing enhancement, however you WILL need to get the 4 percent spell hit from your gear. It is generally better to get it on your gear than gemming it, and with the large amount of hit off pieces available nowadays it shouldn't be a huge problem.

While we are on the topic of stats with caps, we should probably cover expertise. Expertise is one of those game breaking pve stats. This doesn't transfer over into pvp though. Think of expertise like nickels. Sure, its useful but having a quarter would be much better. Quarters in this terrible analogy are agi/mastery. Basically, DO NOT GEAR/GEM/CHANT/REFORGE towards expertise but don't be too sad about getting it on your gear.


In my opinion this season, you have 2 options for trinkets.

Vial of Shadows
Cataclysmic Gladiator's Badge of Conquest

Damage this season is pretty ridiculous. Since its so damn high, I am honestly scared to death to not rock a badge this season since I really feel I need the resil currently. You should straight up own one period, and see if you can get away with a more damage trinket based on what teams you are fighting, if you are getting tunneled, etc.
IV. Gems/Chants GemsSocket bonuses rock face currently and I highly suggest going for them.

(Use the Epic versions of these gems if you can afford it.)
Red: Delicate Inferno Ruby

Yellow:Adept Ember Topaz or Mystic Amberjewel

Blue: Stormy Ocean Sapphire or Vivid Dream Emerald

Your meta gem is not so set in stone. Racials and playstyle can scramble results pretty well here.

For non orcs: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond, Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond

For orcs: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond , Destructive Shadowspirit Diamond, Powerful Shadowspirit Diamond


Head: Arcanum of Vicious Agility

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Vicious Agility

Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Spell Piercing

Chest: Enchant Chest - Mighty Resilience or Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats

Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Agility

Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery

Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armoror Charscale Leg Armor

Boots: Enchant Boots - Mastery or Enchant Boots - Major Agility

Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Landslide and/or Pyrium Weapon Chain on off hand if you get disarmed often.
V. Weapon Imbues

Many enhance shamans like to argue on which imbues to use with short dummy tests (me included) Luckily, some people aren't as lazy as most of us pvpers and have been kind enough to sim for us with much better resources. Now, keep in mind some things. This is simulated dps at the end of the day, and assumes things which may not necessarily be true. However, it is very insightful and definitely worth reading. ALL CREDIT GOES TO ROUNCER.

(Note that these sims were done in patch 4.1 and the numbers have slightly skewed since that time)

Originally this was just going to be a response for Clous' thread but the results really surprised me so I put some more time into it and I think it has a lot of relevancy now and the results are really rather interesting.

In our rated games the flag carriers tend to be high armor tanks with dedicated healers where the snare from Frostbrand is helpful but the burst damage, especially from a frozen powered flametongued lava lash, is even more so. So in most PvP there are two extremes, high armored targets with a hefty amount of dodge/parry and low armored targets with minimal amounts of avoidance. So which imbue combinations work best for which types of targets.

I do love playing with EnhSim so the question is whether it could be used to work that all out. I like a challenge so I threw some time into it this morning.

I started by loading Clous into the sim in his current PvP gear with minimal buffs outside of self-buffs to better represent what a player would have in an average PvP encounter. EnhSim doesn't model Frozen Power (since bosses are immune to Frostbrand) so I did that part manually. Resilience affects all damage equally so no need to model that.

Then I ran Clous against two types of targets, high armor and low armor. Both are estimates based on PvP geared players in my guild. High armor being 14% dodge (simulating dodge + parry), 4% melee miss, 4% spell miss and 32,000 armor. Low armor being 4% dodge, 4% melee miss, 4% spell miss and 8,000 armor.

High Armor
WF/FT -> 10,582 dps (10,788 dps)
WF/FB -> 9,230 dps
FB/FT -> 10,163 dps (10,841 dps)
(FT/FT -> 11,168 dps)

Low Armor
WF/FT -> 13,995 dps (13,585 dps)
WF/FB -> 12,515 dps
FB/FT -> 12,484 dps (12,906 dps)
(FT/FT -> 13,203 dps)

That's with an active searing totem and when consuming 5 stacks of SF with each LL, which isn't entirely realistic in PvP so here are the values without an active searing totem.

High Armor
WF/FT -> 8,583 dps (8,426 dps)
WF/FB -> 7,543 dps
FB/FT -> 8,118 dps (8,424 dps)
(FT/FT -> 8,625 dps)

Low Armor
WF/FT -> 11,984 dps (11,211 dps)
WF/FB -> 10,813 dps
FB/FT -> 10,408 dps (10,474 dps)
(FT/FT -> 10,624)

Considering that the difference between WF/FB and FB/FT is minimal in the best case scenarios while FB/FT is a lot better in the worst case scenarios seems to me that you would be better off sticking to swapping mainhand enchants when you need the snare while leaving FT on the offhand at all times.

But what are all those values in the parenthesis-es? Those are the caster mainhand numbers. Figured people might want to see those as well.

Now before all of you go and grab some spell power weapons and go double FT keep in mind that this is assuming 100 percent uptime on a target. You need to keep in mind important things such as burst. That said, this clearly shows the imbue options are much wider than most people like to make them out to be.


WF/FT seems to be the best dps option keeping in mind burst.

WF/FB and FB/FT are rather close, with FB/FT outperforming noticeably on plate and WF/FB being barely better on cloth.

Spell power weapons have some merit. I personally do not endorse them, but in certain rare situations they will be competitive.

So which imbues should you use? All of them. Switch based on which situation you are in to release your maximum potential.
VI. Popular Comps

This is just a sampling of popular comps. Many have yet to be discovered, so don't feel you HAVE to run these comps to be successful (although it will make things significantly easier). Most of enhance's comps are melee cleaves just based on how synergy works. X represents a healer of your choosing. It's also worth noting warrior teams work significantly better with paladin healers since freedom is amazing.

2's at this time is incredibly unbalanced, and I do not suggest attempting to play it at a competitive level. Stick to 3's for srs face, and 2's for fun.

Comps are still being tested, as the patch is recent.


Optimal: Enhance/X (Gonna take 40 mins a win though :P )

Enhance/DK, Enhance/Mage, Enhance/Rogue, Enhance/Ret



Enhance/Rogue/X(DEM LEGENDARYS), Enhance/DK/X , Enhance/Warrior/X


Enhance/Feral/X, Enhance/Hunter X, Enhance/Ret/X

5's is a giant zerg pit for the most part, and is less dependent on comp and more about doing unhealable damage in a cc. Run whatever you can. The real challenge of 5's is finding 5 decent players who are all on and willing to play at the same time. Variants of the 3's comps generally work well for 5's though.
VII. Addons/Macros

AddonsRegardless of what you do, get


Shaman Friend:

Gladius: also suggest




You will also find it incredibly useful to activate the new in game version of snowfall key press. Interface->Combat->Cast action keybinds on key down. Every milli second helps! Macros

What you need:

Wind Shear

#showtooltip Wind Shear
/cast [target=focus] Wind Shear


#showtooltip Hex
/cast [target=focus] Hex
Cleanse Spirit Partners (Use this to remove hexs on your crew. Change "player" into your partners name. Have a macro like this for EVERY partner you have)
#showtooltip Cleanse Spirit
/cast [target=player] Cleanse Spirit

You need bash macro'd in some way and focus bash obviously helps.


#showtooltip Bash
/cast Bash

Focus Bash

#showtooltip Bash
/cast [target=focus] bash
Feral Spirit/Spirit Walk all in one

/cast [nopet] Feral Spirit; Spirit Walk

No wolves out? Casts Wolves. Wolves out? Casts Spirit Walk

You should also bind all your attacks to have start attack in them. An example would be

#showtooltip Stormstrike
/cast Stormstrike

What will help:

Focus Purge

#showtooltip Purge
/cast [target=focus] Purge

Healing Surge partners
(Change "player" to whatever your partners name is )

#showtooltip Healing Surge
/cast [target=player] Healing Surge

Focus Frost Shock

#showtooltip Frost Shock
/cast [target=focus] Frost Shock

1.) Does the information in this guide work for Rated bgs?

Yes and No. You can easily use this to high levels in rated bgs. I personally use my arena set up for rated bgs and have no issues. However, it is not designed solely around rated bgs so it is not necessarily ideal for a player who does rated bgs exclusively.

2.) Is 2H enhance still viable?

No. Dead as a doorknob now. With a large amount of our viability tied into lava lash (which you can't use with a 2h) and maelstrom weapon procs (which are largely diminished by a 2h) there is little room for 2h in a pvp environment. Of course, you are more than welcome to use it for laughs in bgs, but it will severely damper your abilities and is not suggested in any form of serious pvp.

3.) Why is there no mention of double wf? I saw a youtube video and the guys damage was crazy!

Double WF is one of those things you do for laughs. It does not help you in any way. People argue it gives more maelstrom weapons, but in reality it doesn't. The unleash weapons effect of wf does not stack so by having both weapons with WF, you do not gain any additional bonus from just having WF on the main hand. On top of that, they share ICD's meaning you do not get any additional swings to get maelstrom weapon procs. Off hand procs also eat mh procs which hampers damage. You will get near the same amount of maelstrom weapon procs and wf procs off using it on the mh with a different imbue on the off, than using double windfury. Because of this, Double WF is not a viable imbue set up in my eyes.

4.) Fast/fast, slow/fast? What weapon speeds am i going for?

Slow/Slow. Always.

5.) I have a question that wasn't answered here!

Feel free to leave it in this thread and I'll answer it as soon as humanly possible.
IX. TLDR VersionSpec: Glyphs:

Prime: Glyph of Lava Lash Glyph of Stormstrike Glyph of Windfury Weapon

Major: Glyph of Lightning Shield Glyph of Hex Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem

Gearing: Get 195 spell pen, 4 percent spell hit. Prioritize Agility and reforge mastery. Use full pvp gear to keep resilience at acceptable levels.


Head: Arcanum of Vicious Agility

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Vicious Agility

Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Spell Piercing

Chest: Enchant Chest - Mighty Resilience or Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats

Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Agility

Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery

Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armoror Charscale Leg Armor

Boots: Enchant Boots - Mastery or Enchant Boots - Major Agility

Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Landslide Pyrium Weapon Chain on off hand if you get disarmed often.

Weapon Imbues: WF/FT or WF/FB or FB/FT

Best 3's comp: Kanyecleave (Enhance/Rogue/X)
Placeholder for additional information if ever needed. far as I can tell this is your same guide as the one stickied above clous...?
Woah, this got stickied lightning fast. @_@
Correct liax. The thread was post capped however, so people couldn't ask additional questions. So i had to remake it for that purpose.

When my sticky on the old forums got capped I reported it for extending the cap.

When my sticky on the old forums got capped I reported it for extending the cap.

Apparently they dont have the technology to do so now :P

When my sticky on the old forums got capped I reported it for extending the cap.

Apparently they dont have the technology to do so now :P


Apparently they dont have the technology to do so now :P

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Note how there are no more posts since the post cap came into effect. I said the same thing, gm pointed it out. I felt so fat.

06/19/2011 07:00 PMPosted by Earthbreaka
doesnt wf give extra maelstrom for higher survivability tho?

Yes, but there are certainly times where kiting is going to be alot more survivability than a 10k healing surge.
nice guide, good to be on the right track for when i get this sham to 85

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