Axes, maces, lightning, fire, frost, and wolves, and best of all, Windfury. 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 at Big Hit Box and pens the enhance side of Totem Talk.
A dead DPS does no DPS. It's as simple as that. Whether in a raid, an arena, or out soloing and leveling, staying alive is priority number one. This is as true for enhancement shamans as it is for any class. Thankfully as enhancement we have a few more options than most DPS classes including our saving-throw talent: Maelstrom Weapon.
I consider it an absolutely essential duty to toss out MW4/5 heals in a damage-intensive environment, especially if the fight is new progression for your guild or you're in a tough match in PvP. I remember working on Tidewalker in Serpentshrine Cavern, I'd throw MW5-Healing Waves on the tank constantly. The damage was so intense on our main tanks and their health so spiky that
at 4 procs of Maelstrom Weapon he'd be at full health then a split second later when I had 5 procs he was dangerously close to dying. My Healing Waves rarely over-healed when we learned that fight it appears my memory is failing me as MW did not exist when SSC was progression content. I do distinctly recall tossing out Lesser Healing Waves to help top off the tank when the MT healers were Watery Graved.
Tossing heals on the main tank in the Tidewalker fight was the exception, for the most part when using MW for healing it's a matter of keeping yourself alive. Read on to live to fight another phase.