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Totem Talk: Gearing your casual or alt enhancement shaman

gearing your enhancement shaman alt
Axes, maces, lightning, Windfury and wolves. It can mean only one thing: enhancement. Rich Maloy lives it and loves it. His main spec is enhance. His off-spec is enhance. He blogs about the life and times of enhance and leads the guild Big Crits (Week 12 now out!) as the enhancement shaman Stoneybaby.

Casual raider? Or not fortunate enough to play a shaman as your main, but instead stuck on another, lesser class? This article is for you. If you need to go out and gear up your shaman from guild alt runs, PUG raids and mucking about in daily dungeons for your two frost emblems, then read on for your gear choices.

From the applications we received over the past few months at Big Crits, it seems that guilds and PUGs alike had a hard time getting past Deathbringer Saurfang -- that is, until the bigger ICC buff hit. Now the breaking point is 6/12 ICC, with kills on Festergut and Rotface being commonplace but little experience beyond that available. Taking into consideration how far casual guilds or alt runs can realistically get into ICC, I've listed the loot in order of progression, from easy to hard.

A frost emblem strategy

To fill four pieces of tier 10 set of Frostwitch's Battlegear, the best-in-slot totem and the accompanying best-in-slot trinket, would require 435 Emblems of Frost. The maximum number of frost emblems you can possibly obtain in one week is 60. That takes into account full clears of both ICC and Ruby Sanctum in 10s and 25s of each, plus completing two ICC weekly raid quests, plus the weekly raid quest in Dalaran, plus running one random dungeon every day, and finally one lowly VoA.

Even collecting the maximum number of emblems each week, it would still take 7.25 weeks to fill out all of that gear. Let's face it, you're reading this article because you don't have access to 60 Emblems of Frost each week for the next two months, so you need a strategy for emblem expenditures.

While the two-piece and four-piece set bonuses are awesome for enhancement, I recommend that fresh 80s go for the Herkuml War Token first. Trinkets are harder to come by than other items, and we're fortunate to have one of our BiS trinkets so readily available. Spend the emblems on the trinket first.

Next spend on shoulders, chest, helm and legs of tier 10, depending on which is the biggest upgrade at the time. The hands are the piece to leave out of your tier 10 set. Finally, if you still have some emblems left after it's all done, buy Bizuri's totem.

The big list

But where's the rest of the loot coming from? Killing stuff -- where else? What follows are two lists for gear, one organized by slot, the other by boss. Use the first list to find your best upgrade options and the second list to prioritize your raid nights. Not that you're one of those players who only shows up when it's a boss you need, right? You're one of those faithful dedicated players who is around every night, for every kill, whether or not it benefits you. Right? Right.

Not every item listed is a best-in-slot item for enhancement, but even an i251 mail piece stacked with armor penetration is better than an i200-level crafted item. If you want a rough approximation of what to replace, simply go for gear with agility plus haste or hit first; next, go for gear with agility and ArP as a second choice; and finally, if no one else is taking it and it's a significant upgrade, take strength gear. I'm not including leather gear, which due to the lack of intellect is normally inferior than mail gear. I also didn't include the strength gear, just out of principle.

The loot below is not ordered by preference; I simply list 10-man loot first, followed by 25-man loot, followed by Halion loot.













For an in-depth enhancement trinket analysis, check out this pre-Ruby Sanctum post.


I wrote a separate post about weapons, which you can read at your leisure, or peruse the list below.

Icecrown Citadel 10-man

Lord Marrowgar

Lady Deathwhisper

Gunship Battle

Deathbringer Saurfang



Professor Putricide

Blood Prince Council

Blood Queen Lana'thel

Valithria Dreamwalker


Lich King

Icecrown Citadel 25-man

Lord Marrowgar

Lady Deathwhisper
  • none

Gunship Battle

Deathbringer Saurfang



Professor Putricide

Blood Princes Council

Blood Queen Lana'thel
  • none

Valithria Dreamwalker


Lich King

Ruby Santcum

I also covered Ruby Sanctum loot in a post a few weeks ago.

Halion 10

Halion 25

May all your hits be crits!

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Matt Sampson's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition,'s shaman experts have you covered.

Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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