Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


September 9, 2011

By Fire Be Purged


Four hundred and sixty-one wipes, forty-nine days, billions of healing done, countless frustrations, and one wonderful kill … was all it took for Pie Chart to finish out Tier 12 content. It was a bumpy road for the entire raid team, battling bad connections from Brazil, tank DC’s, and lag that seemed to hit right before someone died to Engulfing Flames. (Imagine that!) And it was a very bumpy road for me personally, a veritable roller coaster of emotions, as I struggled to find a place in a strat that played up almost none of Resto Shamans’ strengths. But in the end, late into Thursday’s raid time, we finally sent Heroic Mode Ragnaros back into the fire and earned the title “Firelord”. I will wear it proudly, knowing with every ounce of me that I earned it, and knowing that although I came out on the bottom of healing meters, although I struggled and had to spend many a weekday pouring through logs instead of writing blog posts, I made it work. And I can proudly say that our team shirked off every bit of shaman negativity and killed it with not one, not two, but three shaman–one of each spec (many props to Felessialol and Oldboltsides).

And so it was amid cheers, nerdscreams, and sighs of relief that I once again found my place in Group 5.

The Pie Chart Team that made it work

(Don’t worry, there will be analysis and tips and all that good stuff to follow! But for now … sleep.) Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way, both on this blog and in spirit.




  1. Peaces

    Congratulations!! From what I understand from that post, there will be more blog posts now. 😀 Keep up the great work. (And also helping Resto Shamans out all over the game) Again, A huge grats to you!

  2. Styx

    Congratulations and I am very happy for your achievement. Well deserved!

  3. Toludin

    Congratulations! I think we just barely beat you out tonight. Ended up having a tank go down to start P2.5…figures that an ugly attempt ends up as the kill.

    How do you feel about your Shaman role in this fight? What did you end up doing? I was mostly tank healing, as we had 1 Holy Paladin (had 2 Resto Shamans in fact, and we rotated SWGs to heal tanks during taunts/movement in P4).

  4. Erogash

    Congratulations a thousand times over! Was it the nerf of HP that was the final straw, or was it pure effort and aligning of stars? Now what? Hows your overall feel after such an exhausting encounter?

    • It was a bit of column A and a bit of column B. The nerf to HP didn’t hurt, but it only really chopped off the end of the encounter because at the time the hotfix went through, which was right in the middle of attempts (!), we were already pushing into phase 4 with two meteors. (Two meteors is pretty much the max that you can handle). What was our stumbling block for the last week, was cleanly handling those meteor kills–after you get those down, there really isn’t much else to the encounter.

      As to how I felt … relieved. The kill puts us at #10 US on Guildox, which isn’t as high as we would have liked, but is still somewhat respectable.

  5. Angelibianci

    Congrats on your well deserved kill. I am very happy for you, not only for the kill but also for the great attitude you showed with your “Life in Group 6” post. As a raid/guild leader, I would be over the moon if I had 10 people with that attitude. It is now required reading for all my guildies! Thank you for all that you have done for us, both Shaman and WoW players in general. Congrats again.

  6. Vili

    Congratulations…looking forward to your write-up on the experience.

  7. Cel

    Big congratulations! I’m so happy and proud for you.

  8. Congratulations, Vixsin! Keep blazing a trail. (No pun intended)
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  9. Well done. A lot of guilds killed it after the nerf this week it seems. Currently my guild is working on it as well, not tried it after the nerf yet that comes Sunday.

    What do you think is the answer to help us Resto Shaman out a bit? I’m getting a raid spot at the minute as I’m a good player but not because my healing can be as good as another druid,priest or pala. Would another 5-10% boost to our healing make us more competitive? With less raid wide damage do our single target heals need a boost? The trouble I see is the pvp Resto Shaman is strong so they don’t want to buff us due to this. In this case maybe our mastery needs a re-think?


    • I’m going to be talking about it a bit more in my T12 retrospective post but I think one thing that Blizzard needs to buckle down and do is give us something to handle a raid that will not, or cannot, stack. I think it’s incredibly obvious when you look at my parse for the fight, and someone like Novex in Vigil (, that I’m paying a price for having to use single-target healing.

      And that price is not being paid because our raid team is obstinate, but rather because the fight punishes you for being grouped up during phase 2 (unless you have the dps to kill seeds before they get to a stacked raid, dps which PC, unfortunately, did not have). I think it’s high time that Resto Shaman stop being punished for those kinds of decisions, which are made in the best interest of the raid and are almost necessitated by encounter design.

      I think you’re dead-right about the PVP side of things being the constraint, so I know it’s a careful line to walk since we’re so powerful in arenas at the moment. But I do think there are a number of things that can be done and that (I hope) Blizzard is dutifully considering as we make our way towards tier 13.

  10. Cabòóse

    CONGRATULATIONS! I’ve been reading this blog since before you started Firelands content. In fact, this blog is the exact reason I put my Paladin to bed and started leveling a Shaman. I absolutely love my Shaman more than anything right now, and am rolling with a PvE Resto spec and a PvP Resto spec, so my core is healing. I have you to thank for my success because between my own theorycrafting, excessive grinding for better gear, and perusing your blog for every drop of useful information, I’m finally making a name for myself. I secured a spot in a core 10-man Firelands group just because of my insane healing in a BWD PUG.

    Ever since I started in Firelands on a mastery heavy build (I have enough haste to hit the breakpoints), I’ve noticed that Shaman are lackluster in a raid environment (coming back to what Kelami just said). We are disgustingly OP in a PvP environment, but we are definitely lacking in a PvE environment when you compare us to a Holy Paladin or another Resto Druid.

    Kelami, last night our core group downed our first Beth’tilac kill and immediately killed Shannox after that. Between the two fights, I noticed that I was behind the other healers (our core group has 1 Resto Shaman, 1 Resto Druid, and 1 Holy Paladin) in terms of amount healed and HPS done (by a very small margin). However, the one part that I love the most, is when the RL (the Holy Paladin) always complains that I’m dishing out non-stop heals but I’m always hovering right around 75%-85% mana! We don’t compare to the other two in terms of HPS, but we come out on top in longetivity. Beth’tilac, they found having me going up top with the tank was the best strategy because I always came down during Smoldering Devastation with full mana to cure bomb the raid before going back up.

    Anyway, wall of text aside, I agree with what Kelami is asking and I’d like to ask the same thing myself. What exactly in your opinion gives us the edge to catch up in a raid environment? You always hear “Why a Shaman when you can have a Druid or Priest instead?” What do YOU do that really “secures” Shaman as worth having in a raid environment?

    • Excellent question there, Cab. And to be honest, I don’t know the answer–I don’t think resto shaman really have something distinctive to offer a raid at this point aside from the ability to do it all, albeit at a lower performance level.

      Druids? Massive HPS and hots, to enhance raid stability
      Paladins? Incredibly single-target throughput and so many solid raid/personal CDs (really, I think of paladins like healing warriors–they’re so amazing)
      Priests? Either proactive damage mitigation or amazing AOE healing, and the ability to do it both

      But Shamans? We do all of that … kinda. We have hots, in RT, HST, and Earthliving. We have strong single-target healing, in RT+HS/GHW combos. We have damage mitigation in Ancestral Fortitude (which players oftentimes forget about). And we have solid AOE healing, with one tiny minor oh-so-insignificant density constraint. And that’s fine, and great, and something I love about the class.

      But it still leaves me wondering … what is it that defines us? I really am hoping that Blizzard can answer that question, and give resto shaman the identity that we’re looking for.

  11. Gerundia

    Congratulations on winning!

    I was curious, you said you fought for the bad connection of Brazil, have BR players in the guild?
    17 legendary staff?! lol
    already made ​​his Off spec too? ashuasahsu

    • PC is a United Nations melting pot, believe you me. As far as I know, we have 2 BR’s (huehuehuehue) with one other one in retirement, 2 Mexicans, 3 French Canadians, 1 Aussie, 1 bona fide Redneck, 3 chicks, and a whole host of baggage and emotional issues! (hehe)

      As to the legendaries, we only have one. But we were able to pick up 24 Potions of Illusion for the killshot. 😛

  12. Percy

    Yeah it seems a ton of guilds are killing it this week since the recent nerf was fairly significant.

    Its too bad really, I was impressed with Blizz’s difficulty curve but they just had to go and mess it up. =(

    • While I am bummed that we killed it in a “post nerf” environment, I don’t think it had a significant impact on the difficulty of the fight. I think most who killed it with the higher HP would agree that Phase 4 after the meteors are done is really kind of … boring, in comparison to the rest of the encounter. So while less HP means one less trap in Phase 1, one less seed spawn in Phase 2, and gives you a little more leeway for a 2-meteor Phase 3, the inherent difficulty of the encounter is still there.

      In terms of difficulty, this is the hardest encounter I’ve killed to date.

  13. Zaphire

    Congratulations on your kill. I know you worked very hard on it. I can’t wait to hear your insights of Shaman healing in Firelands. I love your blog and can’t wait to read more postings.

  14. Kahro

    Awesome. What fantastic news. I eagerly await your analysis and thoughts! Thank you for representing shamans!

    I have an inkling of what you are feeling after our 25-man raid down’d Beth (normal). Two weeks of wipes, probably about 20-30 of them total. Basically we weren’t making the DPS check until this week.

    I couldn’t imagine 461 wipes; that is just dedication to getting the job done. Now you have him on farm, amiright? :p

    • Now it’s on to farming mounts and rebuilding the gbank. I think we spent about 4-5M gold so far in this tier and went through god knows how many consumables. All I can say is thank goodness this isn’t BC and I don’t have to farm my own mats.

  15. Bell

    Yay, congrats! You’ve definitely helped keep me motivated to play my shaman this tier, and I’m so glad to see you, Fel, and Old be there for the kill. I’ve been watching the livestream for weeks and rooting for you guys. 😀

  16. Huge gratz to you Vixsin and Pie Chart.

  17. Shirlei

    Congrats on the kill! I’ve been waiting for a post from you regarding having killed it! I got my first taste of HRag last night and I can see in just the first two phases how much “other classes can just do it better”. Here’s hoping Tier 13 is a little more shaman-friendly or the developers give us a little PVE love.

    Either way, huge congrats on a great kill!

  18. Epick

    Congrats!! As a casual 10-man resto shammy, its great to read of your exploits and what heights people can push the class.

    Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to read up on the rest of your thoughts about tier 12.

  19. Kahro

    Oh and for the important part; did you get any loot?!?!

  20. Niënni

    Holy sh*t, congrats! :)

    I can only imagine how big of a relieve this must be on a personal level, I’m happy for you!

  21. Big grats! We’re just starting on Rag hc, it will be very interesting to see how long it’ll take us to down him ^^
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  22. Tidecaster

    Awesome, Vix! Gratz! Well deserved and earned! As always stepping up for the shaman community! i was so joyful going through this post! Gratz again!!! ;D

  23. Dak

    Oh wow, huge congratulations to you! It is wonderful to hear that not only did your guild get the kill, but that you were in there for it! Truly you’re an inspiration to shaman — and any player with class “issues” — out there. :)

  24. Naturalchaos

    Curious, how many other guilds that have cleared H Rag with a Resto Shaman in their line-up? That would be a good way for Blizzard to look at it.

  25. Partyfavors

    I have found myself in an interesting situation. So far I’ve been a paladin through nearly all of my raiding career, but very recently (as in, the last week of T11) mainswitched to my favorite alt resto shaman. I know how to push my buttons and heal people, but I know very little else about the class. Which is kind of funny/terrifying now that I have been accepted to a 6/7 guild. We just started working on H Rag last week, and I’ve noticed that I have mana problems well before the other healers. I do have time to LB between traps in P1, though not much. Also I have taken to dropping Stoneclaw for traps. I can’t really tell you what I am doing in the rest of the fight though, because we are still struggling with making it through seeds. >_< When you make the tip post for this particular fight, could you also share what gear you use for it and what you are reforging for? So far it seems like a monstrously shaman unfriendly fight, and I know that false confidence from healing melee in P1 is going to evaporate later in the fight as I slide down the meters haha. I'd love some advice to make sure I am doing it right. I'm SO GLAD I found your blog! <3

  26. Robert

    Wow, very impressive. I can imagine the pressure your group was in. I know how wicked hard that level is. You deserve your title and thanks for sharing your triumph. It serves as a motivation to a lot of players.

  27. Razbek

    Gratz to you and PC Vixsen!

    Glad to hear all the work paid off for you guys. But I would like to point one thing out.

    Nerfs to Rag and FL raids won’t be happening until Sept 19….


    So in other words….. BIG Gratz to you guys!

  28. Congratulations dude. And right before the nerf, that must feel good!
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