Restoration / Resto Shaman Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

by on August 27, 2012

The other Resto class got to be trees again! And what did we get? Fewer totems. Which, depending on your point of view, is good or bad. But, nonetheless, WoW Patch 5.4 is here, bringing Garrosh’s final fall into barking insanity. If you want to get up to speed quickly, here’s our Quick Start Guide to Resto spells and abilities, glyphs, stats, reforging, gemming, and talent builds in MoP!

Updated 17th September 2013 for World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Changes to Resto Shamans in WoW Patch 5.4

Major changes to our talents.

Resto Healing “Rotation” and Priorities

Well, yeah, OK, not a “rotation” – but here’s how to make people not die real good:

Tank Healing As Resto

Keep Earth Shield on the tank. Use Riptide on cooldown, Healing Wave any time you don’t need to use something bigger (you CAN spam this, most likely), Greater Healing Wave if the tank’s taking serious damage, and Healing Surge only if you are sure that the extra second to cast Greater Healing Wave will kill the tank. Bear in mind that Riptide will proc an effect making both your Healing Wave spells much quicker for two casts.

Raid / Group Healing As Resto

Use Earth Shield on the tank anyway. Use Healing Wave to spot heal when the group or raid isn’t taking much damage. If the damage starts coming in heavy, use Healing Rain for mass group damage (warning, expensive) or Chain Heal any time it will heal 3 or more targets. Use Riptide on cooldown, and ask your raid leader if you should be keeping it rolling on the tank for the 10% health buff.


Keep Earth Living Weapon on your weapon, and keep Water Shield on yourself.


  • Use Unleash Elements to buff your next spell (although it’s not that powerful). Use on cooldown.
  • Healing Stream Totem is pretty much vital now. Use it on cooldown. Note that you can use Glyph Of Totemic Recall to recall this after its last tick and get 100% of the mana for it back.
  • Mana Tide Totem is a powerful mana restoration ability for your entire raid or party. Coordinate with your leader as to when to cast it.
  • Spiritwalker’s Grace is vital if you need to move – you can still cast whilst moving.
  • Spirit Link Totem is a save-the-group spell, particularly in 5-mans – it averages out health across the group, and will save a tank or other person taking heavy damage.
  • Ascendance is a powerful AOE healing cooldown. It has a reasonably wide range, so you don’t need to be too close for people to benefit from it.
  • Oh, and remember Bloodlust / Heroism – work with your raid leader in a raid to choose the best time to cast it.

See also Talent Choices, below.

Restoration Shaman Talent Choices

There’s a new talent system in WoW 5.4, and it’s a lot more flexible than older talent “builds”, so we encourage you to test out different talents (see the Links below for more discussion of Resto talents).

However, if you want a quick-start talent build that’s decent in most situations, we recommend:

  • Tier 1: Astral Shift – provides a nice personal damage mitigation cooldown.
  • Tier 2: Windwalk Totem – another cooldown helping your raid avoid movement-impairing effects.
  • Tier 3: Call of the Elements – ANOTHER cooldown, resetting CDs on your totems
  • Tier 4: Ancestral Swiftness – another cooldown, making a healing spell instant.
  • Tier 5: Rushing Streams.
  • Tier 6: Primal Elementalist – this will mean you want to use your Earth and Fire elementals as cooldowns.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Restoration Shaman

Intellect is probably the most important Resto stat. Spirit controls mana regen – you will probably need to experiment with higher Spirit values due to changes in 5.4 giving you less mana than you’re used to.

After those, you will want to hit the highest Haste cap possible: 5676, 7613 or 8882 if you normally have the 5% Spell Haste buff from a Moonkin, Elemental Shaman or Shadow Priest, or 8085, 10118 or 11451 otherwise. Then reforge into Crit

Reforging: Reforge to Spirit until your mana feels comfortable for the content you’re doing. After that, reforge to Haste for the haste caps, then Crit.

Gems: Use a Brilliant gem in red and yellow sockets and a Sparkling gem in Blue sockets. Use Energized gems in yellow sockets if you are just below a Haste cap, or Misty otherwise.

Meta Gem “Revitalizing” meta gems are the best choice.

Resto Shaman Glyphs

Glyphs in 5.4 are a lot more situational, and I’d recommend reading more about them in the guides under “Links”, but here are some good no-downside options for a quick start:

Major: Glyph of Healing Stream Totem, Glyph of Chaining, Glyph of Totemic Recall
Minor: Your choice! No performance effects from any of them.

Restoration Shaman enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
  • Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
  • Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
  • Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect


Lots of good Resto Shaman info out there!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Christian August 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I happen to disagree with some of the things on this guide (go figure someone disagrees) Mostly i disagree with ur talent picks. I find that the echo of the elements give me better hps. not only does it give u a second heal but it saves precious mana. I actually find myself running OOM a TON less with the echo’s spell. and i have yet to get out healed in game.

I also prefer the conductivity spell over the healing tide totem. As a hardcore rshaman as myself, shamans spam the crap out of their healing rain ability. most shamans sue riptide then healingrain in a combo pack mass healing bundle, sure healing rain may seem expensive but honestly i don’t have mana issues with only 2k spirit. Not only does healing rain with conductivity give me a boost on my major healing spells (which if done right can save mana) it also pops a hot on all the target in the area. i even use healing rain for single targets.

I also see no point in getting Glyph of Cleansing Waters. When are u going to be healing enough for that to do anything special. instead i rather have Glyph of water shield. Not only do u get a lot of mana from ur water shield but with Mop coming, healers WILL get hit by enemies in raids and dungeons. this give u a ton more mana, and that extra mana can be a life saver.

Please consider these changes to ur guide, and let me know if u disagree with my differences to ur guide and why u disagree.


Pelle October 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Do you spam healing surge? that’s the only way i oom. if you do, maybe try some other techniques?

I find that Echoes is too random to rely on, personally.


Matt January 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

i do not agree with anything you say, healing rain as single target healing, please dont make me laugh, echo of elements not viable with the 6% chance it hits and u loose out on the 5% haste when u make the other choice.

And im curious how you go OOM, i have yet to go out of mana even with a horrible group, you do know that you dont span healing surge right? and with basic healing waves a glyphed riptide and thye ocational chain heal/healing rain i dont think you should ever drop below 50%, i think you should actually read this guide again and maybe try it out, and you will see it is far supirior then your current selections.


Dedralie September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

First of all, just wanted to say, as the author of Healiocentric, I am honoured to be placed in a short list alongside Vixsin and Elitist Jerks! Thanks, Mr. Hugh Hancock :)

I also thought I’d address Christian’s comments.

The lovely thing about the new Talent system is that there are not meant to be “right” or “wrong” choices. For example, Echo is “right” for you, but for me, it is “wrong”. Personally, it is “wrong” for me because I don’t like random proc effects for healing, and I don’t like the fact that if I chose a heal that would adequately cover my target’s health deficit, and Echo procs, the Echo bit would be mostly overhealing.

I do think Echo is worth considering if Chain Heal is the primary source of your healing for an encounter, because its proc rate is higher (approx 22% if it jumps to 4 targets), Chain Heal is generally a small heal anyway so doubling it has a low overhealing risk, and the Echo is also a smart heal and can jump to new targets, making it far less likely to be overhealing.

I do think that the tier with Healing Tide Totem, Ancestral Guidance, and Conductivity has completely failed at the Talent tree’s new design philosophy. Healing Tide Totem simply delivers more healing than Conductivity possibly can. I did the calculations looking at the healing (and Lightning Bolt damage!) that I dealt on a Heroic Spine of Deathwing encounter, where everyone in my raid was standing in my Healing Rain 100% of the time, and where the encounter design encourages single-target heal spam, and compared it to what a scaled-to-my-stats-at-the-time Healing Tide Totem would have done, and I found that 3 uses of Healing Tide Totem would have provided almost twice as much healing as the Conductivity talent.

Finally, about Glyph of Water Shield, it is mana-negative if you are struck by a Water Shield-proccing attack less frequently than once every 22 seconds. Unfortunately I could not always track this during Beta raid testing for the new MoP encounters, so I don’t know how often this will be valuable in MoP. Keep in mind though that, like our Talents, our Glyphs are also situational, and it is well worth keeping a stack or two of reagents around so you can tailor your build to each encounter. You may find an encounter where there is a frequent need to cast Dispel on a damaged target (e.g. Protectors of the Endless) and this Glyph could be more useful than, say, the Glyph of Water Shield for that fight.

I don’t agree with everything in this guide either, but because of the way the new Talent and Glyph system works, that’s okay! Not everyone will have to take the exact same Talents in order to be competitive anymore. Again, some Talent tiers have failed to achieve this design goal, but in general, we should be embracing our varied opinions :)


Chrisitan September 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for the input, i find ur counterargument very helpful. i’ve been trying to discuss the new talent and glyph system with much other resto shamans and have gotten no good counter’s to my proposal. I see what ur saying about healing stream totem and agree that it is better at healing, but still find it a little less useful than the conductivity talent (FOR ME) since the healing stream is a situational spell for when at least 5 people are below ~30% for 4-12 seconds. No doubt u will get better heals with the healing stream totem though.

As u said before it comes to preference, so it will be good to see what is the most preferred down the line with highly respected rshamans. It seems most are going for the healing stream as of now.


Derek October 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I have definitely not spend near as much time and effort as everyone else but healing time totem has saved my ass a few times and its nice to keep in your back pocket for emergencies


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