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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