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 PvE Resto Shaman - WoTLK 3.3.5a

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Nightheal
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PostSubject: PvE Resto Shaman - WoTLK 3.3.5a   Wed Dec 21 2011, 22:57

Credits go to Evo9

I understand that this is a long read, but I encourage everyone to read through the entire guide, as it goes a bit more in-depth in explaining why you do certain things as a Resto Shaman. Hopefully this will help clear up most questions people have about Shamans, especially Haste and Chain Heal.

Changelog:

-July 10th, 2011:
Trauma is working now
Fixed some BBcode issues


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction - What this is about, why resto shamans, etc.
2. Spec (aka Talents)
3. Glyphs [Combined with point 2]
4. Stats/Professions and Gemming
5. Gear
6. Chain Heal and associated ideologies with it, "Rotation" based on different encounters
7. Totems, Reagents
8. Links for further reading/resources
9. Addons

================================================================================================================================================
1. Introduction

I have tried to bold and capitalize most of the things that are important and shouldn't be glanced past; however, I am human, and I do make mistakes. So, I encourage you to read this guide thoroughly. (Hey, look, first bolded word).

So, here we go. A guide on Restoration Shamans in PvE. This will cover most of what I know about resto Shamans. Hopefully you guys will find this useful and play a resto Shaman properly. This guide will use some common acronyms (IE. HPS, DPS, HW, CH, LHW, etc.) so hopefully you will be able to follow without too much trouble.

I made this guide due to the excessive amounts of ... retards (excuse me if I offend anyone here) that are on magic-wow who know nothing but to press "Chain Heal" on their keyboard, even when only the tank, or a certain DPS is taking damage. Some people use CH even when it's not necessary, or when they are socketed all SP. It just doesn't make sense, so I'm going to try to correct some of that.

Now come the question: exactly why a resto Shaman in PvE? Well, resto Shamans are fairly powerful healers, both in AoE and single target healing. Granted, they are not Holy Paladins or Resto Druids, but rather, something in between. Between Chain Heal, Riptide, and Healing Wave, you can outputs some serious HPS (Heals per Second). I would say that being a good resto Shaman sort of has to do with knowing the boss encounters fairly well, as although we do have Riptide, that will not cover most of the damage your average level 83 elite (Raid boss) outputs.

Resto Shamans are a hybrid between Druids and Pallies. Chain Heal covers almost all the AoE healing you will need to do, and with the amount of haste you will have (after reading this guide), a Healing Wave (HW) or two here and there will cover some, if not most of the tank damage too.

This guide will mainly cover how to heal with a resto Shaman with a focus on Haste, Chain Heal/Riptide/Healing wave.

2./3. Spec/Talents/Glyphs

So, lets get right to it. The spec I recommend, along with Associated Glyphs: HERE

I will point out the glyphs, just so we can talk about them a little:

Major Glyphs: Riptide, Chain Heal, Earth Shield
Minor Glyphs: Water Shield, Astral Recall, Renewed Life*

The Major Glyphs are a MUST have. They all greatly increase your healing abilities, and the extra target on Chain Heal is fairly powerful. For Minor Glyphs, the latter 2 (Astral Recall/Renewed Life) can be replaced with whatever you wish. However, the extra charge on the water shield is very useful, due to Improved Water Shield. You may choose Glyph of Water Breathing/Walking if you wish for reagent free water survivability; however, I chose not to.

*Note: On magic-wow, Glyph of Renewed Life still requires you to have 1 ankh INSIDE YOUR BAG AT ALL TIMES for it to work. That 1 ankh will not disappear as long as you have the glyph.

This spec is fairly viable in about all encounters, whether your aim is to heal with Healing Wave/Riptide or Chain Heal "spam" (I use the word spam lightly, what I really mean is using Chain Heal a little heavier than usual).

A mistake many people will make is to not get Healing Way, and opt to get Elemental Weapons instead. This is a very bad idea, as in the spec linked above, almost all the talent points spent greatly improve the amount your heals heal for. As you may notice once you start playing, Healing Way will pay off much much more than Elemental Weapons (lets face it, Earthliving is a chance on proc anyways, so it will not ALWAYS work for you every heal).
NOTE that due to Ancestral Awakening and the high Crit chance you will have in raids (it's just how shamans work, you end up with close to 40% Spell crit chance from just normal raid buffs), the more your Healing Wave and/or Chain Heal crits, the more people you heal in general, as Ancestral Awakening grants a heal equivalent to 35% of the amount you healed to the lowest health party/raid member within 40 yards of you. Think of it this way, when you crit a Healing Wave on a tank, you can essentially be healing DPS 30 yards away as well.


Some people also choose to opt out on Cleanse Spirit. This isn't a big problem, although I find it a very handy skill to have as it's essentially a mirror of a Paladin's Cleanse ability.

Also, you may choose to opt out of Improved Chain Heal. I find this acceptable when your aim is to focus more on healing with LHW (Lesser healing wave) and Healing wave/Riptide. This method of healing is not common at all; infact, even on retail, most people opt to heal with mainly Chain Heal/Riptide (RT)/HW. In the end, spec to your play style; I just find the build I linked to be the all-around favourite.

Lastly, Improved Water Shield works for you more often then you think. For instance, similar to Earth Shield, a Water Shield orb is consumed every time AoE damage ticks on you. A prime example of this would be the Twin Valkyr fight in ToC. Everytime you are hit by an orb/absorb an orb, you "consume" a Water Shield charge and your target consumes an Earth Shield charge. This is a reason why Resto Shamans never OOM on Twin Valkyr in ToC (AoE pulse will force the Water Shield to "consume" an orb, granting you mana back).

4. Stats/Professions and Gemming

Very simple:

Haste > Spellpower > Crit > MP5

I think it is important that you understand exactly what Haste (rating) means, and what Haste will do to your heals.

To quote from ElitiestJerks:
Quote :

The soft haste cap for resto shamans is 1269 haste rating (38.7%). This is the number/percentage to aim for on your character sheet, assuming the raid buffs outlined below.

In most raids, you will have a total of 8.15% provided via raid buffs: 5% from Wrath of Air Totem + 3% from Improved Moonkin aura (balance druids) or Swift Retribution (retribution paladin). Haste is multiplicative so the total benefit is 8.15%.

1% haste means you will cast 1 additional spell in the time it would normally take to cast 100 spells. You do NOT cast 1% faster.

1% Spell Haste = 32.78 Haste Rating at Level 80

The soft haste cap refers to the amount of haste needed to lower the GCD from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 seconds. No amount of haste (including Heroism/Bloodlust) will reduce the GCD below 1.0 seconds. However, it is considered a soft cap because additional haste rating will reduce the cast time of longer spells, such as Chain Heal.

Stack haste in whatever sockets you can. If you have JC, use all prismatic on +34 Haste. Once you hit the soft haste cap (I have 1303 haste; this is what I use, although you may opt to reduce the amount of haste by 34 and choose to opt for more spell power), you can begin swapping out the red/orange sockets for Spell power/haste gems. Generally, I ignore most of the socket bonuses unless they specifically give > +5 SP or Haste. Ignore any MP5/Critical bonus sockets you see, those are useless.

Update: I have been told that GCD on magic-wow can be lowered to under 1 second (IE. soft haste cap does not work). So, if you wish, stack haste all the way. Or, trade off some of your haste for spellpower once you reach ~1 second LHW.

Note: If you notice, Chain Heal has a base 2.5 second cast time. That may not sound a lot, but once you begin healing in raids and the entire raid is taking damage from Festergut's Blight (orange gas cloud), you will realize that after pushbacks and reaction time to hit CH that 2.5 seconds suddenly feels a lot longer.

You might note that most of the resto talents increase either: a)the critical chance of the heal, or b) the amount healed. This helps a lot when it comes to stats, as it really negates Spellpower as being the most powerful stat and gives Haste a much better run for the money, since your talents alone increase critical heals + amount healed enough.

For professions, I would definitely recommended Jewelcrafting (almost a staple choice) and Blacksmithing. Although BS on a Shaman sounds a bit weird, it is probably the best choice at the moment due to the 2 extra sockets you gain (for more haste [faster casting] or more spell power [larger heals]). This also enables you to mix and match more gear, IE. wearing PvP offset if you require for whatever reason. You can also opt for Alchemy, but alchemy really isn't that popular of a choice on Magic-WoW and most people would rather not farm mats for pots anyways.

Simply put, BS is a cheap, dirty, and easy way to boost your stats.

5. Gear

I do not have a particular gear list on me; instead, you can scroll down to the end of the page where i will put a link to EJ's BiS Resto Shaman gear list.

But, simply put, DO NOT LOOK FOR ITEMS THAT GIVE YOU MORE GEAR SCORE. For instance, the pants Leggings of Concealed Hatred (25 man ToC Heroic Factions Champion) gives the SP/haste/mp5 stats, whereas Leggings of Dubious Charms (ICC trash drop BoE) gives SP/Crit/MP5. If you are not ~1300 haste, and have the former leggings from ToC, use those instead, they are much better itemized for the gear selection we have at the moment.

Another note, 2 piece Tier 9 (even if it's non-Regalia) is recommended no matter what gear you choose. The +20% Riptide increases the effect of the entire spell; this means the HoT is increased as well. I have the hands and the chest, and this is what I would recommend you get as well if you have the capability of getting 2 pieces of T9.

Of course, get the Ashen Band of Wisdom from ICC as one of the rings. Marrowgar's Frigid eye as the other.

In terms of BiS trinkets, Solace of the defeated (Normal + Heroic) is as good as it gets, since Althor's Abacus (The trinket drop from Gunship) is not available through raiding content in-game.

Also note, TRAUMA (Rotface 25 man) is BROKEN as of r6124. If you have Misery's end, or even the 10 heroic Anub'arak Mace HeartCrusher, use that instead. You loose some SP yes, but again, haste is much more important then SP. You will not really notice the ~100 SP loss, trust me.

Update (July 10th, 2011): Trauma is fixed now. Pretty imba for Resto Shamans if you like to use Healing Stream Totem, as it proc's off that.

One last thing for gear: currently, there are no good mail heads for Resto shamans. There is one off 10 heroic ToC Anub, but the Haste is lacking. Therefore, I chose to opt to use the T9 Elemental head, which is much better itemized stat-wise. Gives much more haste and a bit less crit. If you have a spare trophy, spend it on that.

Raid leaders note: Much alike how Paladins/Warriors/DKs roll on Leather gear sometimes, Shamans can also roll on leather gear due to the fact that some items are much better itemized (IE. SP/Crit/Haste) than the Mail counterparts.

6. Chain Heal and YOU, as well as rotation

We've all heard it before: "Chain Heal spamming is for noobs". Let me start by saying that this statement can be true or false, depending on the boss encounter you are looking at.

The reason why people say "Chain Heal spamming" is bad is because the word "spam" is used too lightly on magic-wow. By definition, spam is:

Quote :
3. In gaming, refers to a player who throws grenades indiscriminately, many at a time. Generally an issue in Team Fortress. Although lately has been expanded to include any overused gun/combo/move/tactic/etc.

(Thanks Urbandictionary)

When you a person spams chain heals, then you are saying they are essentially healing with almost exclusively CH, and disregarding the boss encounter, the "type" of raid damage, and the positioning of the rest of the people in the raid. In this sense, Chain heal spam is bad. End of story, no questions asked.

However, there are some boss encounters out there which require a heavier use of Chain Heal. Let's face it, Blizzard did not make the associated EoT relic (Totem of Calming Tides; CH has a chance to grant 234 SP for 10 seconds) proc off Chain Heal for no reason. Shamans were given Chain Heal to use; the problem is when, where, and why you are using Chain Heal.

For instance, when you look at Gormok the Impaler, or Deathbringer Saurfang. The way they are scripted on mWoW atm (especially Saurfang), these bosses do not do a whole ton of AoE damage. Yes, there's Staggering Stomp on Gormok and the Boiling Blood on Saurfang but, those are minor AoE raid damage and can be taken care of with 1 or 2 chain heals. These bosses do more single target damage, IE. Impale and just generally hard Melee hits to the tank. In this kinda situation, Chain Heal would not be the best heal of choice to use. Instead, you should aim to keep up Earth Shield, and use the Riptide/Healing Wave combo to keep the tanks alive, while using a Chain Heal every 10 seconds to keep up the 234 SP proc, and to heal out any minor raid damage. LHW can be used here to great effect for a cheap and dirty heal if the other healers suck and you have to do something quick to ensure the tank does not die.

However, on encounters like Lord Jaraxxus, parts of Lord Marrowgar, Festergut, Rotface, etc., you may need to focus on healing with Chain Heal a bit more. This is due to the various boss abilities that do raid wide damage, such as Bonestorm, the Blight in Festergut's room, and the Radiating Ooze on Rotface. Note that this does not entitle you to spam CH. You use CH heavier here, but still keep in mind to keep up Earth/Water Shield, Riptide on every CD, and to use Healing Wave where spike damage occurs. This is the mentality you should keep all the time, and not say "Oh, I have the ability to stand there and press 1 button, lets do it even though it could probably wipe us because I'm being a retarded fuck."

The way that you should be healing with a haste setup, is to first (obviously) put your totems down (as mentioned above). Then, start with a riptide on your target, followed by a Chain Heal (especially important if you have the EoT totem that grants you spell power) to get your Spellpower proc, then various heals depending on the type of damage the raid is taking. Again, use chain heal in moderation and evaluate the situation well before you mash your keyboard. Watch where your raid members are positioned, and target + heal the person that will allow chain heal to "bounce" off to other members in the raid. As mentioned before, LHW can be used to great effect as long as you use at the right time. For the most part, you shouldn't have to use LHW at all; Riptide will take care of most of the smaller damages, and it's very likely that Chain Heal will pick up the rest of the unhealed raid members. Remember to constantly refresh Water Shield and Earth shield (On the tanks). Keep Gift of the Narru (Dranei racial) on your bars, it can be used in conjunction with Nature's Swiftness and Tidal force for spike healing. A small note: You can NS > Chain heal for instant AoE healing.

Take special notice here: When you Chain Heal, you need to pay attention to where people are standing. Chain heal is a smart heal, and "bounces" off players; this means that it will automatically target the lowest player health after your target and "bounce" to them, hence healing them. This "bounce" effect occurs 4 times (with the glyph), healing a total of 5 players. Note, however, that the "bounce" effect has a range of roughly 10 yards. Think of how far a Rogue's sap will reach. That is approximately how far your CH will search for a nearby player with not-full health to "bounce" to. So, if you are healing RDPS, and your Warlock to your far left is low health, as well as the 3 other Mages to the near right of you, and you choose to target the Warlock, then you will probably let the mages 3 to your right fucking die. This is because chances are, Chain Heal will not "bounce" to the 3 mages to the right (remember, the "bounce" effect has <~10 yards range). Let's face it, you can only do so much as one healer. If you are stuck in that sort of predicament because your other raid healers suck, then you should use your own personal judgement and choose to heal the 3 mages to the right and save them instead of the one lonely warlock far away.

7. Totems, Reagents

The totems you choose to use are up to you. I will not explain the whole Totem crap with the Wind/Fire/Water/Air, you can easily Google that yourself. But basically, the most standard set of totems (if you are lost to what to pick and/or if there are no other shamans in the raid) you can use are Strength of Earth, Wrath of Air, Mana Stream Totem, Flametongue Totem. This provides you and other casters with a nice +125 SP/Healing buff, as well as 5% spell haste, the raid with 91 MP5, and the melee DPS with strength/agillity. Yes, Melee DPS get less buffs, but in the end you are the Shaman, and you are Resto.

Please, when a raid leader asks you to PUT DOWN A TOTEM THAT INCREASES RESISTANCES TO A SPECIFIC SCHOOL OF SPELL (IE. Fire, Nature, Frost resistance), you put down the totem swiftly. I recommend you set your totem bar hot-swap (the totem that is displayed) to fire/nature/frost resistance with their respective water/fire/air totem groups, and either tremor or stoneskin for the last group. This ensures that if you all of a sudden need nature resistance on rotface, you can put down the totem ASAP and not have to devote attention away from the raid to find where the totem is located.

In terms of reagents, if you have the Water Walking/Breathing OR the Renewed Life minor glyphs, then you need not to worry about carrying reagents for those buffs. However, most likely you will have either the first set (water breathing/walking) or just renewed life. The reagents for Reincarnation (1 hour CD; 45 minutes if you have Imp. Reincarnation) is 1 ankh. For Water Walking it's Fish Oil, and for Water Breathing it's Shiny Fish Scales. You can WoWhead where to farm these reagents (the Ankhs are purchasable from any reagent vendor); however, check your local Auction House to see if they are being sold to ease the pain of farming. The worst thing a raid leader can hear is "Oh, I do not have an ankh to reincarnate." Also note that on magic-wow, Glyph of Renewed Life still requires you to have 1 ankh INSIDE YOUR BAG AT ALL TIMES for it to work. That 1 ankh will not disappear as long as you have the glyph.

One important thing about Water Breathing is that it negates any Environment Damage that will otherwise occur if you did not have Water Breathing. This also goes for a Warlock's Unending Breath. For instance, in Naxxramas, the green slime on the ground deals ~10k/second without water breathing; same with the Lava in Obsidian Sanctum. With it, you take 0 damage, and you gain the ability to travel in water for 10 minutes without dying (to environmental damage).

8. External Links

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9. Addons

On-top of your stand DeadlyBossMods (raid encounter notifications) and Omen (Threat meter), I would also recommend getting a Unit Frames addon such as Xperl or Grid. I would recommend Grid over Xperl for healing if you only want to use one addon. It is an amazing, modular addon; by this I mean there are extensions you can use with Grid to make it even more customizable, such as GridRaidDebuffs. Grid makes healing so much easier, as you literally have a "grid" or 25 people that you can click on. It's extremely customizable; for instance, you can choose to show either the player's health, or health deficit (IE. The amount of healing they need to be back at full health). It's very simple to understand visually; however, configuring may prove a challenge.

Grid can be downloaded here, and the GridRaidDebuffs (mandatory if you want to heal with grid, as Grid itself does not show debuffs; you need an extension for it) can be downloaded here. Install GridRaidDebuffs like you would with Grid or X-Perl; extract it, copy the 3 child folders to your Interface folder where your WoW is installed and you're done.

Note: You can choose to use X-perl as standalone too; however, it is not as customizable and is a little more clunky (takes up much more screen space). If you do not mind using 2 addons, however, then I recommend you choose to disable X-Perl's Party/Raid Frames, and use X-Perl solely for the Target/Focus frame, and use Grid for the raid frames. You can disable X-Perl Party frames in the Addons section on character selection screen, and disable the raid frames in-game (just hit the raid tab and uncheck 1-10 to the top right of the X-Perl config screen).


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Akriti
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PostSubject: Re: PvE Resto Shaman - WoTLK 3.3.5a   Tue Dec 27 2011, 04:06

ah thks for all the info, coz m newbie on shaman

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