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


December 22, 2011

Dragon Soul: The Final Trinket Showdown


Now, more than ever before, there are a multitude of choices for players looking to get those final upgrades in the last tier of the expansion. From heroics and LFR to 10- and 25-man raids, end-game PVE content has a multitude of gearing paths to suit a player’s interest and potential time commitment. Even valor upgrades have been expanded in this last progression push and now include offset helm and shoulder options for players who haven’t had the opportunity to kill the corresponding tier-token bosses. In today’s post I’m going to focus on one specific element of your Tier 13 set—trinkets. Always popular and always hotly-debated, trinket selection is the one choice where a healer can make a major distinction in gearing strategy. And Tier 13’s trinket options are no exception, as once again healers face the decision between longevity and throughput.


The Contenders

  • Jaws of Defeat (H)– A T12 option that unites healers’ favorite stat with solid mana reduction, Jaws was a shoe-in on every healers’ BiS for T12. Because of our long cast times, Resto Shaman will get less out of this trinket than Priests and Druids, but it remains a solid mp5 gain nonetheless, provided you use it on CD.
  • Shard of Woe– A T11 option that continues to stick around despite nerfs, Shard remains a solid best-of-both-worlds offering, with a constant mana reduction and relatively short CD on its +haste on-use effect.
  • Windward Heart– A new addition in T13, this trinket offers more of the Intellect we love and a throughput proc that puts Althor’s Abacus and Eye of Blazing Power (H) to shame. In the parses that I’ve reviewed, the effective healing contribution of “Nick of Time” is between 3 – 6%.
  • Heart of UnlivingJar of Ancient Remedies (H) 2.0, this trinket was incredibly underwhelming for its place in the final tier of content until it was patched to also offer a good helping of Int. The additional bonus with this trinket is that its effects, like Darkmoon Card: Tsunami, do work with Mana Tide, so this trinket will benefit your entire healing team. (Yes, feel free to quote that to Guild Leaders / Loot Councils as a reason why this trinket should go to a Resto Shaman first and foremost—I know I did).
  • Seal of the Seven Signs– An upgraded version of Blackrock Cavern’s Witching Hourglass, this Seal will be a tempting option for those healers focused on pure throughput. However, the thing to remember with this trinket is that the proc is on a long ICD (2 minutes), so you’ll be battling the high probability that the +haste will not line up with a high damage period of the encounter, significantly decreasing the effectiveness.
  • Bottled Wishes– An incredibly tempting option for haste-addicted shaman, this trinket is all about throughput and should make it much easier for you to hit the 2005 haste threshold for that extra tick of Riptide. (The benefits of which are entirely dependent on your healing environment and % overhealing).
  • Reflection of the Light– Similar to Fiery Quintessence, this underwhelming Spirit + throughput option is a good starter but should be something that you replace with any other option out there. (Not to mention, its lack of +Int proc makes it worse than its T12 relative, because you can’t even super-charge your Mana Tide).
  • Will of Unbinding– I’m only including it in this list because, undoubtedly, some shaman out there will jump on this trinket and say “Bizzuri’s/DFO 2.0! WOOT!” No. Bad Resto Shaman. Hands off the dps trinket. Blizzard has learned a thing or two since the days of releasing ICC we-can-use-caster-trinkets-too options, so Will does NOT proc off of dot ticks or HST drops but rather the act of casting the harmful spell (sneaky sneaky) which means this is really only an option for full-time atonement priests. Resto Shaman, DO NOT WANT.

So, now that I’ve introduced your options in this tier, let’s bring out something that hasn’t been featured in a post at LiG5 in a while—the spreadsheet! To look at the benefits of each of the trinkets in this tier, I dusted off the spreadsheet I put together for Tier 11 options (Trinkets, Math and Procs, Oh My!), and updated it to reflect gains from all relevant trinkets in both 6min and 10min fight segments. I won’t go through the individual calculations again, because you can see them in original post, but here’s what I came up with (the actual spreadsheet can be found here as well):


The Winners

If you’re just looking at trinkets coming out of T13 content, then the winners are pretty easy to identify:

  1. Heart of Unliving– The definitive leader in terms of regen, the Int loss is made up for in the incredible benefit to your mana pool and each of your teammates’ as well. For resto shaman at or around the 378/397 ilvl, this trinket will result in an additional 5-6k mana per MT drop. Assuming similar gains for each member of your healing team (let’s say you have 6), this trinket would account for a combined 30 – 36k mana per drop; in an 8-minute encounter, that would be 90k-108k mana total. Believe you me, in hard modes, that’s a worthwhile amount of “extra” mana to have.
  2. Windward Heart– Amazingly, this trinket also tops the list of valuable trinkets in this tier, not because of its regen benefits (they’re nominal at best) but rather because of its substantial effective healing contribution. As I mentioned above, because of the comparatively small ICD, this trinket has much higher uptime than its random-heal brethren. And although it’s no Glowing Twilight Scale (man, I loved that trinket), conservative parse review puts it 3-6% effective healing, a ceiling which is likely greater for shaman who favor crit-haste builds.

But, if you’re favoring a longevity build for progression encounters, it’s likely you’ll see another horse in the race:

  1. Jaws of Defeat (H) – Although the trinket has no impact on the mana gains of your healing partners, and is thus the less-preferred option for Resto Shaman who love their teammates, the mana savings can be substantial. In most encounters and under most conditions, I have no problem getting to a 10 stack of the Victorious buff, netting me 6875 mana savings every 2 minutes. And although this is about half of the mana savings that you would have by using Shard, the ~6% Intellect gain from Jaws provides you with a compelling reason to finally ditch Sinestra’s emo trinket.


But, but …. HASTE!

Yes, it is the end of an expansion. And with that comes the inevitable situation of having too much Spirit and not enough to spend it on, which is why I think we’re going to see more Resto Shaman electing to go all out on haste in this final tier. I will be the first to admit that 2.2-second Chain Heals are no fun when you’re battling to beat your healing teammates to the punch, which is what you’ll be doing as your raid team becomes more saturated with gear. Likewise, when a raid is getting quickly topped off, a large investment into Mastery is not going to push you to the top of meters. This was nowhere more evident in our kill of HM Morchok this week, where my HPS plummeted from just a week prior, the result of a more geared team and me having too much Spirit and Mastery for an entry-level hard mode. Unfortunately, that’s just part-and-parcel of shaman healing (and something that I’ve been talking about since the start of the expansion).

So, if you’re working on normal mode DS or just looking to casually LFR, I would expect that you’ll want to pick up more haste than the bare minimum (916 for non-goblins). And with a number of haste-focused pieces to choose from this tier, including trinkets, reaching and passing the second haste breakpoint (at 2005 haste) should be easy enough. But … BUT … do remember that in an environment where you’re stacking haste to beat other healers to the heal, your gain from an extra tick of RT will be relatively low (because if you’re healing to beat other healers, then hots will be largely overhealing). And, Thus the true benefactor of the haste will be your CH and your single-target heals, so long as you have the mana to sustain yourself.

For me personally, I’ll be sticking to heavy Spirit + Mastery until we down Madness, with  Heart of Unliving and Jaws of Defeat (H) to keep my blue bar as full as it can be. But after that point, you can bet that I too will be choosing to go the throughput route, and seeing just how low I can get my cast times to be.


  1. Lardmus


    I’m quite sure that this is a topic every resto shaman has been dying to find a good discussion about. And now we have it ;).

    But one thing that I’m curious about is why you decided not to include the Gift of the demon lord trinket from WoE? 1k+ mastery proc is not exactly weak on heavy aoe damage fights. 1k+ mastery proc on a 45sec ICD is well….sounds amazing. No, I don’t have any math but I would be eager to hear what you have to say about it. I’ve been using this trinket to replace my HC Eye from Alyz.

    On a side note, MERRY XMAS!!!! I hope you’ve been a good girl =)!


  2. Wazabi

    What about Foul Gift of the Demon Lord? The proc on this is 15% chance with a 20 second duration and an ICD of 45 seconds.

    I think its better than the haste trinkets because its mana-neutral and it will proc more often in a fight, gibing us more chance to have a buff during healing intense phases.

    Furthermore its way easier to get.

    How does it compare througputwise against the haste options especially for progress content? Or is it always better to equip two regen trinkets in this case, which would be tsunami for me (no luck in FL with trinkets). Thanks for your answer and keep up the good work.

  3. Hi Vixsin, love your blog, I’m going with HoU and WwH as trinks.

    Just wanted to tell you that the proc from WwH is called “Nick of Time” and not “Time Slip” :)

  4. Arufonso-Eonar

    As my guild plans to start working on Heroic Spine next week, the resto shamans are all planning to run Heart of Unliving +Tsunami. From our first 10 or so pulls it seems the mana demands are absolutely brutal considering the length of the fight as well as the intensity of the searing plasmas. This was even the case when we were 6-healing it cause we didn’t feel like raid swapping for just a few pulls since we cut our raid week to two nights this week.

    What are your thoughts about going haste for this fight to get tons of TC procs or going Crit considering the benefits of ‘overhealing’ the Searing Plasmas?

  5. Murilo

    Great article, look forward to your trinket comparison articles every tier. I wanted to echo the first two comments and suggest that Foul Gift of the Demon Lord deserves some consideration, despite only being i378. Similar to the moonwell chalice from last tier, the mastery proc allows us to drop a “super-charged” HST, affecting our healing output far beyond the 20 seconds the proc lasts.

    Granted it wouldn’t be near the top of this list, just saying for how easy it is to get, not a bad starter trinket for tier 13. As always keep up the good work!!!

  6. Hi Vixsin,

    I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for a long time and just now worked up the nerve to leave you a serious comment.

    I have a couple of questions, regarding how you came to the conclusions that you have listed here. Please note, I’m not attempting to de-bunk anything you’re saying here or dispute anything – but I am trying to follow along with your calculations, so I can truly understand them. I try not to be one of those people who just does what people I look up to tell me to do. I like to get out the calculator and follow along with ’em. Hopefully you can understand that and appreciate that mindset!

    First up, you mentioned favoring JoD quite a bit. I was using Fiery Quintessence, up until last night, as the calculations I had done showed it was an underrated trinket (for priests, at least) and I got a lot of mileage out of it. JoD kind of worries me, as the concept of spending mana to save mana didn’t seem very solid. It also seemed like you would only get the most out of it if you were guaranteed to get a certain number of stacks before the effect wore off. Overall, it seemed like too many variables needed to be in place for that trinket to really shine. Maybe I’m missing something and you can help me see that the trinket is more valuable than I’m currently imagining.

    Also, I was trying to follow along with your calculations, on how you determined how much overall mp5 you could expect to gain per trinket listed and I wasn’t sure what the formula was for trinkets like HoL or even DMC: Tsunami – trinkets where the buffs could have a near constant uptime. Could you post the formulas for those, so I can better see where you’re coming from and so I could have those for my own use, as well?

    Otherwise, thank you for writing another fantastic post! I think the work you do is much appreciated by both shaman and non-shaman alike and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Have a good one!
    Oestrus´s last post ..UPDATED: 4.3 Loot Priorities For Healing Priests

    • Delighted to finally see you comment, O. I welcome the keen eye.

      In regards to your question about calculations and the like, every calc that I performed can be found in the GoogleDocs spreadsheet that was linked right before the table. In essence, the mp5 gain for each trinket is a combination of potentially two things: 1) the trinket’s impact on static regen, and 2) the trinket’s impact on burst regen. For example, in the case of Heart of Unliving, you have the regen gain from the static intellect, plus the regen gain from the constant +Spirit. The former uses the regen calc:

      Mp5 = (0.016725 x SQRT(Intellect) x Spirit) x 0.5

      For priests and paladins, that “0.5” will actually be “0.8” because of Holy Concentration and Judgments of the Pure, respectively.

      Now, in regards to JoD specifically, the trinket’s value is largely going to depend on who’s hands it’s in. This is because, as you rightly focused on, the mana gain is really going to depend on how and when you stack the mana savings. There are also cast times to consider–I get far more out of this trinket on my druid than I do on my shaman, for the simple fact that my average cast time on Vix is ~2sec, while on Mynkz I can toss out hots every ~1sec. Likewise, a tank-healing Disc might see less value than a Renew-spamming Holy Priest. For the mana calculations in the spreadsheet, I assumed a 10-stack of the trinket per use, based on my own performance on logs. But, as with all trinkets, YMMV. Personally, I macro JoD into my Unleash Elements, knowing that there are rarely times in an encounter when I won’t be casting some sort of heal.

      Hope this helps clear things up a bit, but if you have any specific questions or maybe want to discuss valuation a bit more in depth, you can always feel free to shoot me an email. ^_^

  7. Wylhelmina

    Mery Xmas Vixsin!

    thanks you for your time on the spreadsheet!

    I got lucky and got two trinket so far out of LFR. I got HoU last week and got a bit sad with what proc or make it stack. The tooltips said your healing spell will make it stack. But healing rain don’t add a stack nethier of any tick of riptide, ELW or UE either!

    it’s not a big deal ! but seam rather hard to belive the tooltips. It’s gona be an afful trinket for druid. plus de stack stays for only 10 sec. it’s ok becaus we still got riptide to cast every 6 seconde but still rather short compare to DMC tsunami!

    juste wanted to check with ya if you had te same stacking probleme!

    • That’s something I noticed too when switching from my paladin to my shaman–while one Holy Radiance is enough to get a full 10-stack of HoU, Healing Rain will not proc the trinket. Nor will RT ticks or UE, as you found. So, stacking it before the fight starts is a bit of a pain. I’m not sure if it’s working as intended, or if it’s a bug, but rest assured, you’re not the only one who’s scratching their head in confusion!

      • Wylhelmina

        Thanks you to have take the time to reply to me!

        When you said that holy pally got instant 10 stack to it i was mad as hell! now that i cool off they should fix it! lol but i think it’s to much to ask! I still got the guilty pleasur to beat on every single fight the holy pally i run with lol! ( 10 man 2 healing)

        as this expension got rough on us resto shammy we still manage to get out victorious lol!

  8. Pokka

    One point on Windward Heart, after getting super excited i reviewed my raid combat logs to see how much healing it had managed to pull off, i was disapointed to see that on some fights it had done a mere 1.2% and the average was around 2.5% healing with a maximum of 3.8% on one fight.

    Am i just extremeley unlucky?

  9. Uhru

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Windway heart scales with Shaman Mastery, critting for me up to 88k.

  10. Naturalchaos

    I’m not a huge fan of the random HEAL LOWEST PLAYER procs. The ICD always seems too high and the amount healed isnt really game breaking IMO.

    Still a fan of Foul Gift of the Demon Lord, its always up it seems and that MAST proc is a good 24% extra healing.

  11. shammypie

    I will be rolling with windward heart and heart of unliving. I don’t have the option to get heroic jaws of defeat and i can only see using it with my t13 4 piece bonus to be effective.

  12. Calmseer

    My plans for trinkets:

    Mana Regen / Mastery / Spirit Set:

    Heart of Unliving, Windward Heart

    Haste Set

    Windward Heart, Seal of the Seven Signs

    Extremely Mana-Intensive Progression Fights

    Heart of Unliving, Jaws of Defeat (H)

    I focused heavily on mastery and regen when this tier came out, but already the other healers are catching up, that mastery is doing less and less for me, and I’m ending fights with plenty of mana left over. Next week I’m reforging deep into haste and going to give that a try, even for H-Morchok. (We’re a 10-person group with H-Morchok and the rest of Normal DS on farm, just beginning attempts on H-Yorsahj which aren’t getting very far, but I’m needed as enhancement for that.)

    So, those are the four trinkets that I would like to eventually have in my bags. So far I’ve only obtained Jaws of Defeat (H) and the LFR version of Seal of the Seven Signs. But I have my Maw of the Dragonlord and my 4-piece T13, so I’m not complaining.

  13. Kharma

    Thanks for your spreadsheet!
    sorry if someone said that yet, but don’t you think that a proc from Seal of the Seven Signs will never be wasted? infact if it procs during some hard aoe healing, than good; if it procs in the middle of nothing, than it’s time to spam some Lighting bolt. I’m not good at math, but what do you think? (sorry for bad english)

  14. Hi Vixsin, longe time reader, first time commenter here.

    Definatly share your asessment of the trinkets but since I am just the unluckiest of the unlucky when it comes to Solace trinktes ( waited 30+ ids for my first solace of the fallen back in Tier9 -.-“) I’m currently running the Seal of the Seven signs.

    While I totally agree that the long ICD really blows, I work around that by having an old fashioned TC specc and a blow all cooldowns(4pc t13, engineer gloves, Jaws of Defeat) macro.

    Meaning that if the trinket proccs in a crazy HPS part of the fight, I just roll with it and enjoy those quick chains, rains, and hots.
    If it proccs in a low HPS phase, I often use my cooldowns macro with a say announce so my healing colleagues know whats up and just go nuts with 1 second cast LBs (no bloodlust ;D).
    Mana return from this has been fantastic and if I put down a healing rain immediatly after I clicked all my CDs, my HPS doesn’t drop by that much at all since the crazy hasted rain ticks REALLY fast.

    Just a thought for those less fortunate raiders without loot councils 😉

  15. Thank you for this informative post! While my resto shaman alt is unlikely to see content other than LFR, your assessment on the VP trinkets has opened my eyes to stop-gap trinkets I can use in the interim until I hopefully win the LFR trinks. :)

  16. Adam

    I don’t think that Windward Heart can proc off either Healing Rain or Earthliving crits anymore. Some posters at WoWHead suggest this was a hotfixed change. If true, Blizzard ruins everything :(.

  17. Seal of the Seven Signs – -”However, the thing to remember with this trinket is that the proc is on a long ICD (2 minutes), so you’ll be battling the high probability that the +haste will not line up with a high damage period of the encounter, significantly decreasing the effectiveness.”

    Somewhat counter argument with this one as its proc, when not lining up with a high damage period of the encounter, is a great boon to TC builds.
    Ashlay´s last post ..About me

  18. […] the trinket section. Vixsin from LiG5 has a great post explaining this Dragon Soul: The Final Trinket Showdown . All I have to add here is that there are 2 VP trinkets you may equip also Bottled Wishes, […]

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