I have a dilema - before starting a shaman I did some reading on what to spec it as, and most articles said to go for Enhancement, since that's the best for leveling - I did just that.

Just the other day, I decided to go to my first instance (Deadmines), and I selected myself as healer (which may or may not have been the best thing to do?). As we were going through, I tried my best healing with the 1 healing spell I had. Half way through the instance, things started hitting significantly harder, and I couldn't heal fast enough, so the tank died, twice (2 hitter deaths) - next thing I know, I Was kicked from the group.

I guess my question is - what did I do wrong? I was literally chain casting that healing spell. Should I have gone for DPS instead of the healer? Should I respec to restoration? How will that affect my leveling? I was completely demoralised after being kicked - totally killing my want to play the game in general.

Any tips from other shamans on the spec?

  • both answers are good. also just as important is to learn which totems best fit your play style for whatever situation is presently at hand (solo/party, melee/range etc)
    – Xantec
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 3:17
  • I can't believe you were able to queue as a healer in enhance spec
    – Antony
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 2:14
  • Just a few suggestions - use the warcraft forums to find other resto shamans and to see how they are geared, gemmed, and spec'd. Read the stickies that will doubtless be on the Shaman forum and discuss healing in-depth. <br />When healing, you always need to take time to understand your role at a very, very deep level, and to do so will require researching how your class heals. Healing has never been harder in WoW, so it is a must to research it.
    – Jagd
    Commented Apr 5, 2011 at 17:53
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    Almost forgot - if you're rolling a healer just so you can get into a group faster then you will almost always be a sub-par healer. I've seen it with an astounding number of tanks and healers that think they're smart enough to get around the system. If you're going to go healer, then you should devote just as much attention to said spec as you would any other spec. Don't half-@#$ it
    – Jagd
    Commented Apr 5, 2011 at 17:56
  • And another thing - if you need a wingman, lemme know. I'm on Staghelm, just let me know here on stackexchange and I'll give you my info for a little in game assistance =]
    – Rohjay
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 23:28

5 Answers 5


You're right in that you should not have tried to heal as Enhancement. Not only are there equipment differences (I'm guessing you didn't have much INT or spell power gear?), but by not being Restoration, you miss out on a powerful heal spell (Earth Shield) and a 1 second cast-time reduction on your only other healing spell for that level - Healing Wave.

As soon as you hit level 30 (At least, I think it's 30...) you will unlock the ability to have a dual talent spec. This means you can have a restoration spec for healing instances, and an enhancement spec for soloing when you're not running dungeons.

Regarding being kicked from the instance group: it's rough being a new player, and sometimes other players forget that. Chin up, don't let it get to you, and I'd suggest finding a guild, or making some in-game friends that can help you learn.


Definitely. For shamans there are the three specs:

  • Enhancement (Good for melee dps - storm strike and the like)
  • Elemental (Good for caster dps - lightning bolt, shocks, and lava burst)
  • Resto (Good for heals - chain heal, healing waves... etc)

Each spec benefits from different gear perks/attributes. It's been a while but the general rule is this:

  • Melee dps roles will seek out either Strength or Agility (shamans prefer agility)
  • Caster dps roles will seekout Int and stam/spirit
  • Healers will seek out Int and Spirit

In this case, healing with a bunch of +agi gear is doing nothing for you. Shamans will run out of mana quick and not be able to keep up (especially towards end-game play).

If you want to heal, respec and get some healing gear - aka gear with +int and +spirit. You'll find your heals do more and you can cast more of them.

I'm not sure what level you are, but I know that dual speccing is MUCH cheaper these days so if you want to carry some extra gear around (to fit your new role), you could pick up your second spec.

For being a beginner though, I might find the spec that matches my play style and stick with that. Enhancement is up close and personal melee dps with the enemy while Elemental is sitting back from a distance and casting devastating spells.

Get comfortable with it in a group setting and then watch the other players as they perform their roles.

Wowhead is a great resource for speccing your character. You can look up items and fiddle with your spec without having to spend gold.

Cheers and good luck mate!


As a healer (or worse, a tank) you need to get used to being kicked, yelled at, told how to play your class, and in general annoyed. Develop a thick skin, or just stay DPS.

Healing and tanking are both thankless jobs, and no matter how good you are, your party can screw it up. I've been healing since 1.0, and it never changes. I did a heroic random yesterday with a tank who I don't know how they passed the gear requirement for the instance, and three mediocre dps, and we only made it through because I was raid geared, and I flasked myself after the first wipe. I shifted to bear on the last boss and finished the last 10% by myself, and I still got shit. (If someone has crappy gear, and gets one-shotted, that's your fault, because you're a crappy healer, right?)

But I digress.

Before you start healing seriously, you need a couple of things:

  1. A good healer mod (HealBot or similar).
  2. A healer spec. Only priests have two valid heal trees. Everyone else needs to focus on Holy/Resto.
  3. Healer gear. Int is almost always the go-to skill now. Don't be afraid to use cloth gear if you have to: if the tank is doing their job, you shouldn't have to worry about soaking damage (if they're not, you're pretty much screwed anyway).

Earth shield on the tank, water shield for mana regen (shouldn't need it with the mana tide totem, but never underestimate a parties ability to ruin your mana pool), and always heal yourself first, the tank second, and the dps last: if you or the tank go down, you're pretty much screwed either way unless you have a backup tank lying around.

I wouldn't worry too much about healing until you can get dual specced: leveling with a healer spec is extremely annoying. You'd basically have to do nothing but run instances, and that's a very slow way to level. That definitely makes instances like the Deadmines annoying, but what can you do? You could probably heal it as enhance, if you were 6+ levels over everyone else, but that's not much fun.

And early on, "gear" isn't a big concern...Don't think you need some kind of super special gear. Just don't sell/disenchant the caster quest gear you get, and you'll be fine. Throw it in a bag, and put it in your bank, and dig it out when you want to do the healer thing. Don't be the lowest level guy in the instance, and you'll be fine. If you're worried about your mana, drink at every opportunity.

  • 1
    While I may agree to some level with you, you're forgetting something very important, you're talking as if the OP was a veteran, which clearly isn't the case here, the OP needs basics, he's got a shaman below level 20 (For the reference to deadmines).
    – Ozmah
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 16:23
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    A little confused about some of your points. Water Shield for emergency regen? It should be up all the time on yourself anyway, there's no penalty for having it up. And what healing build for priests doesn't fall 90% in Disc or Holy?
    – TheQ
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 19:16
  • @TheQ: Edited for water shield. And the Discipline builds are what I was talking about. Pally has holy, Druid and Shammy have Resto. But priests have valid Discipline builds, and valid Holy builds, that are both healer builds. Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 19:23
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    I think it's just the wording on that point that has me confused is all, then. Technically, both trees are "Heal" trees, just distinctly different types of healing. You'd be better off saying that "Only priests have two valid healer trees".
    – TheQ
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 19:46
  • @TheQ: How 'bout that? Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 19:59

Actually, I'm going to disagree a bit with some of the "standard wisdom" above with regards to the importance of spec chosen to a role. Up to level 60, unless you're entering into a dungeon that's too high a level for you... spec isn't as important as gear and skills. For Shaman play, enhancement feels the best for solo questing and can provide solid dps in groups.

Now healing in your +agility gear may be asking too much, so just hold onto quest reward armor/weapons that have +intellect on them. Spells that you can use as a healer include:

  • Healing Wave at 7
  • Cleanse Spirit at 18
  • Healing Stream Totem, Healing Surge and Water Shield at 20

heh... Looking at that, maybe waiting until level 20 to heal off-spec might be safest. But I have fond memories of dual-wielding weapons each with Earthliving Weapon (at level 54). But at levels when you can train enough of the skills, just having the gear and knowing what you can cast to help mitigate the damage can be enough.

  • Don't forget that level 30 brings Dual-Spec as well! (Welcome to gaming.stackexchange!) Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 1:16

Your mistake was queuing as a healer. Enhancement is fairly versatile, but it is primarily a DPS spec. It is good for leveling or dungeons as long as you remember you are not really a healer or tank. At later levels the right talent mix can make you a decent healer in a pinch (maelstrom) but it will never be your primary focus while you are specced this way.

At best, you are a backup healer and rezzer for when the main healer bites it. There have even been a few times when my Enhancement shaman ended up tanking the last bit of a boss fight because we were not quite fast enough to land a heal on the warrior for whatever reason. It helps that I am always in guild groups with Vent so when things go wrong we can adjust on the fly. =)

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