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

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 [patchnumber] 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 [guideupdated] for World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]

Changes to Resto Shamans in WoW Patch [patchnumber]

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.

Buffs

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

Cooldowns

  • 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 [patchnumber], 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 [patchnumber] 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 [patchnumber] 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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Are resto shamans the new “bench class”?

I’ve rarely read as heartfelt and powerful a post on WoW as Vixsin’s editorial on the place of Resto Shamans in really top guilds today.

If you don’t know of Life in Group 5, it’s written by Vixsin, a resto shaman healer with a very, very hardcore, top guild. They’ve been working on Heroic Ragneros in the Firelands – a kill which Paragon completed recently with no shamans at all in the group. And as Vixsin progressed through the end-game content, she started to wonder if the reason why was that, no matter how dedicated and competent the player, her class was actually not capable of holding its own:

Night 2 came along and over half of our 9-person healing team sat on the chopping block. And the first ones to go were … the 2 Resto Shaman. Not because of skill, or seniority, but because we are Shaman. It was hardly surprising, but nonetheless, it felt like being punched in the gut. It marked the first time that I have ever, in my raiding career, been sat because of my class.

And the interesting thing about it was … I understood why. Running through the rational side of my brain was the list of reasons why it wouldn’t be as easy a fight for me as it would be for another healing class

This is a long post, but it’s worth reading through in its entirety. Vixsin goes through the entire situation, from the controversy and blue reaction to the Paragon kill, to her own personal experience, to what can and should be done about the situation.

It’s easy to dismiss any player’s complaints about their class as “whining” or “QQ”, but the fact is that particularly at the top end, WoW is a very competitive environment full of extremely motivated, hard-working people giving their all to be the best. Notable class disparities really hurt that – they discourage players who are otherwise at the top of their game. And it’s really interesting to read such a well-argued and powerfully emotional piece from someone who is, frankly, so far ahead of me (and most of us, I suspect) in her level of gameplay.

What do you think of the Paragon “no shaman” kill? Is there something that needs to be fixed here?

_Quote taken directly from Vixsin’s post.

Find Life in Group 5 at http://lifeingroup5.com_

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Patch 4.3 Restoration / Resto Shaman Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

Resto. No, not those pesky people who are always complaining about not being a tree any more, real Resto. Chain Healin’ Riptidin’ Totemin’ Resto, and it’s coming to Deathwing’s back in a big way. Well, we’ve got your guide to 4.3 Restoration Shaman talent specs, stats, builds, changes in 4.3, glyphs, gemming and reforging, and of course how to use your spells to make people not die, right here.

Updated Nov 29th, 2011 to Patch 4.3

Resto Shaman Changes in Patch 4.3

Resto Shammies have recieved a couple of buffs in Patch 4.3. Notably, the talent Ancestral Healing now increases your healing targets’ health by 10%. All healing spells refresh this, but the most reliable way to do so is Riptide, so it’s now very important to keep Riptide rolling on tanks if you’re tank healing – but you should have been doing that anyway. (It also means that as the raid healer you may want to run Riptide on tanks – discuss with your Raid Leader).

Also, if you’re an orc, your racial Blood Fury now increases your spell power – so it becomes another useful CD for you.

Restoration healing “rotation”

What do you think we are, DPSers? We don’t have a “rotation”, of course. But here’s some basics on how to keep people from keeling over:

Tank Healing

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

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.

Totems and Buffs: Totems should be Healing Stream, Stoneskin, Flametongue, Wrath of Air. Keep Earth Living Weapon on your weapon, and keep Water Shield on yourself. If you’re with another shaman, coordinate your totems!

Cooldowns: Remember you can use Unleash Elements to buff your next spell (although it’s not that powerful), and Nature’s Swiftness to make it instant. Spiritwalker’s Grace is also 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. Oh, and remember Bloodlust / Heroism – work with your raid leader in a raid to choose the best time to cast it.

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Resto Shaman Talent Spec

This is a good standard Resto talent spec for 4.3 (alternative WoWHead link)

If you want to get more precise, the Elitist Jerks guide has talent specs for a wide variety of different raiding scenarios.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Restoration

Intellect is probably the most important Resto stat. Spirit controls mana regen and you should prioritise it if you are having mana problems.

If you are close to the Haste Caps (916 is the first one, with 2005 being another significant one, giving an extra Riptide tick), it’s advantageous to reach these, although not vital. All 3 stats other than Spirit are roughly equal but have different effects – Haste will make you more powerful but burn more mana, Crit will restore some mana and also boost healing but by less than Haste, and Mastery will boost your heals on people who are more injured. .

Reforging: Very personal, but reforge to Spirit until your mana feels comfortable for the content you’re doing. If you can get to a Haste cap, reforge Mastery and Crit to Haste.

Gems: Use two Reckless Ember Topaz in the best two yellow sockets to activate Ember Shadowspirit Diamond, the best meta gem. After this, generally use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless you can gain 20 INt or more with one non-red socket. In that case, use Purified Demonseye or Artful Ember Topaz.

Note: These are “rule of thumb” suggestions. Stats for Resto Shamans are complicated – once you’re comfortable with the basic mechanics, read the stat sections in the guides below and make choices on more complex reforging then.

Resto Shaman enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example. Note – these enchants are most likely to be useful. However, if you need more Spirit, for example, it’s OK to deviate from them to other top-end enchants.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats or Enchant Chest – Exceptional Spirit
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Haste or Enchant Boots – Mastery
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Shield Enchant Shield – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

Prime: Earthliving Weapon, Riptide, Earth Shield

Major: Chain Heal, Healing Stream Totem, Stoneclaw Totem are good options. Glyph of Healing Wave, which adds a self-heal, can also be useful.

Minor: Glyph of Renewed Life and two others of your choice.

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Patch 4.3 Enhancement Shaman Quick-Start Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Thrall’s in trouble! Again. Must be Tuesday. And you’ve got some totems and an urge to punch, bludgeon or hack Deathwing right where it hurts? Welcome to our Patch 4.3 Enhancement guide. Read on for all the rotation, gem, glyph, talent spec, reforging and stat info you’ll need to Enhance the new patch!

Updated 29th Nov, 2011, for Patch 4.3

Enhancement changes in Patch 4.3

The patch is looking pretty exciting for Enhancement shaman – after a rather lackluster last six months or so, Blizzard appear to be making some serious efforts to beef Enha up and fix a whole bunch of problems.

First up, the first-tier talent Mental Quickness has been completely redesigned. It now grants us 53% of our attack power as spellpower. However, Enha spells no longer benefit from any other source of spellpower – meaning that we no longer need to even consider spellpower weapons. We’ve also been assured that this change will be DPS-neutral – we aren’t being nerfed.

Secondly, Flametongue Weapon has been changed to provide a percentage of damage, rather than a flat spellpower increase – meaning it no longer compares badly with later-tier gear.

Finally, Lava Lash has been redesigned, buffed, and now has AOE potential – it spreads Flame Shock to nearby targets. That means that our Fire Nova will now do more damage, faster, meaning I might be able to delete the line in this guide that used to read “AOE: If at all possible, don’t.”

These changes don’t alter our single-target rotation, our weapon enchants or our talent spec, but they do change our AOE rotation. See below.

Enhancement Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Enhancement shamans don’t have a fixed rotation any more. Instead, we have priority system – use whichever ability is highest-priority and available.

  • Top Priority: Put down a Searing totem if one isn’t down already. Cast Storm Strike if it’s available.
  • Second Priority: Cast Lava Lash if it’s available.
  • Third Priority: Cast Lightning Bolt if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon. Cast Flame Shock if Unleash Flame is active.
  • Fourth Priority: Use Unleash Elements if it’s available. If that’s not available, use Earth Shock.

Totems: Unless your raid/group leader tells you otherwise, use Earth: Strength of Earth, Air: Windfury, Water: Healing Stream, Fire: Searing.

Buffs: Keep Windfury on your Main Hand Weapon and Flametongue Weapon on your Offhand weapon and Lightning Shield active at all times.

Cooldowns: Use Feral Spirit whenever it’s off cooldown.

AOE: Drop Magma Totem, then Flame Shock on an opponent, then Lava Lash, then Fire Nova. For added power, use Unleash Elements before Lava Lash, and put Flame Shock on additional opponents whilst Lava Lash cools down.

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Enhancement Talent Spec

This is a good standard Enhancement talent spec for 4.3

If you need to interrupt, you can put a point in Reverberation, probably from Elemental Precision.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Enhancement

Agility is the most important Enha stat, followed by Hit or Spirit to the spell hit cap (1742, or 1639 for Draenai). After that it’s Expertise, Mastery, then finally Crit and Haste.

Reforging: Reforge to Hit to the spell hit cap, then reforge to Expertise to the Expertise cap (541), then Mastery. Reforge from hit above the cap first, if you have any, then Crit and Haste.

Gems: Use a Delicate Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless the socket has a per-socket bonus of 20 AGI or better. In blue or yellow sockets where the bonus is 20 AGI or better, use Glinting Demonseye or Adept Ember Topaz.

Enhancement Shaman Enchants

Remember, your profession may provide a better option than a standard enchant – check the stat priorities above!

Head Arcanum of the Ramkahen
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal
Back Enchant Cloak – Major Agility
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Agility
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Expertise if you are under expertise cap.
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Major Agility
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Landslide on both

Glyphs

  • Prime: Glyph of Lava Lash, Glyph of Stormstrike, Glyph of Windfury Weapon
  • Major: Chain Lightning, Lightning Shield, and Healing Stream.
  • Minor: Entirely your choice.

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Patch 4.3 Elemental Shaman Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Well, we’ve downed the Firelands, and now we’re off to fight the next element – which appears to be either slime, tentacles, or apostrophes, looking at Patch 4.3’s raid bosses. Anyway, Thrall’s in trouble, so it’s time for his fellow shamans to pick up their totems – that might take some time – and get down there to help him. Here’s our Elemental Shaman guide for Patch 4.3, including stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging, gems and priorities, so you can start zapping without delay.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Elemental Shaman Changes in Patch 4.3

Elemental Shamans have had some heavy changes in Patch 4.3, mostly aimed at AOE. Earthquake’s damage is up 75% (!), Chain Lighting no longer has a cooldown for Elemental shamans, and several spells have had their damage buffed for Elemental shamans by roughly 4%.

At the same time, Fire Nova will no longer extend the duration of Flame Shock. All of this means that our AOE rotation has totally changed – see below.

In other news, Reverberation now massively reduces Wind Shear’s cooldown – which has gone up, and comes down again with this change. However, that doesn’t change our recommended talents.

Elemental Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Elemental shamans don’t have a fixed rotation any more. Instead, we have priority system – use whichever ability is highest-priority and available.

  • Top Priority: Put down a Fire totem if one isn’t down already. If the target doesn’t have a Flame Shock Damage over Time on it, apply one.
  • Second Priority: Cast Lava Burst if it procs. Cast Earth Shock if it doesn’t, and if you have 8 or 9 Lightning Shield stacks.
  • Third Priority: If you have nothing else to do, cast Lightning Bolt.

Totems: Unless your raid/group leader tells you otherwise, use Earth: Stoneskin, Air: Wrath of Air, Water: Healing Stream, Fire: Searing.

Buffs: Keep Flametongue Weapon and Lightning Shield active at all times.

Cooldowns: Use Fire Elemental Totem whenever possible and when the mob will survive long enough to outlive its duration. Use Elemental Mastery whenever it’s off cooldown. Use Spiritwalker’s Grace if you’re about to have 10 sec or more of constant movement.

Advanced tips: Fire Elemental Totem is best cast when you have a Spellpower proc. Flame Shock is best cast when the FS DOT has about 2 sec left to run. See the MMO Champion guide, in Links, for more.

AOE: Cast Earthquake where the mobs are tanked. Then spam Chain Lightning, and use Fulmination whenever you reach 9 charges.

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Elemental Talent Spec

This is a good standard Elemental talent spec for 4.3

If you’re having mana problems, try swapping Reverberation (2nd Tier Elemental) for Convection (First Tier Elemental).

Stats, reforging and gemming for Elemental

The most important stat for Elemental is Intellect, then Hit or Spirit to the cap (1742 – don’t settle for just under, you need cap or over), then Haste, then Mastery. Crit is the least useful stat for Elemental shamans.

Reforging: Reforge to Spirit to the hit cap, then reforge to Haste. Reforge from hit above the cap first, if you have any, then Crit.

Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless the socket has a per-socket bonus of 20 Int or better. In blue or yellow sockets where the bonus is 20 Int or better, use Purified Demonseye (Int/Spirit) or Reckless Ember Topaz (Int/Haste).

Note – If you can’t reach hit cap with reforging alone, you’ll also want to gem for it. Match blue gem sockets first if you’re doing that.

Elemental Shaman enchants

Several professions can provide better enhancements than these – Inscription, Tailoring, Engineering all have potential buffs. Check the stat priorities above.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Precision or Mastery
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

Prime: Unleashed Lightning, Flame Shock, Lava Burst (NOTE – if you are in a fight where you will need to move a lot, Glyph of Lightning Bolt can be used to replace Glyph of Lava Burst)

Major: Lightning Shield, Healing Stream Totem, Thunder. Chain Lightning is useful if you know you’ll be hitting a lot of adds.

Minor: Entirely your choice.

  • MMO Champion Elemental guide – Interesting and well-written, a good counterpoint to the EJ guide. Not up to 4.3 yet, but still worth a look.
  • Elitist Jerks Elemental Shaman Guide – as usual, an excellent resource, split into a FAQ and a very detailed guide that’s worth reading. Fully updated to 4.3.
  • Totemspot – the awesome Binkenstein, math-heavy Ele Shammie blogger, now at a new location. Extremely worth reading.

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Are Shamans Too Complex?

Personally, I miss a lot of the complexity that has been taken out of WoW. I miss having to carry flint and tinder and simple wood for a campfire. I miss the cooking and fishing quests at Artisan level. I even kinda miss the “argh nooo there are 5 paladins in this raid and 4 of them all want to cast Kings” complexity of pre-Cata buffing.

Having said that, though, in a post-Cataclysm world, it would feel wierd to be the one class which still had to micromanage its buffs and carry around a personal spreadsheet. Rhii of Oh My Kurenai agrees – and she should know, because she is that class – the poor, be-totemed Shaman:

Paladin auras and buffs used to be the big source of frustration, and now that those are simplified, that leaves Shamans as the only class that has to carry a checklist to raids to figure out how best to buff the group. I do mean literally, I carry a checklist.

… And now that buffs are simpler for every other class, nobody wants to give us time to figure out how we can best help the group with our buffs, so half the time I go into fights knowing I might as well not drop them, because I didn’t have time to fix my arrangement. Even in my own guild I feel like that forty second pause to arrange myself is often given grudgingly.

I’d not thought about it, but reading through her post makes the point very clearly – in a post-simplicity world, Shamans are stuck back with the Simple Wood and the trek to find Nat Pagle.

This is the kind of detailed analysis that Blizzard really ought to read, and I’m sure that shamans will get some Blizz love (sounds wrong) at some point. In the meantime, remember, raid leaders and impatient tanks – post-Cata, your class might play as smoothly and effortlessly as eating Haagen-Daas, but by comparison Blizz have given your friendly shammie a raw artichoke and told them to get on with it. Give them some slack.

Do you think Shamans have gotten the short end of the totem this expansion? Or would you actually welcome a bit more complexity than “cast Might, noob”?

_Quote taken directly from Rhii’s post at http://www.ohmykurenai.com/2011/03/the-essence-of-being-a-shaman/

You can find Oh My, Kurenai’s homepage here._

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