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


Mailbag

February 8, 2012

Resto Shaman Mailbag #5: Your Dragon Soul Questions, Answered

deathwing___the_earth_warder_by_mattdemino-d3ajb24

It’s been just two months since Dragon Soul was released, and whether due to the holidays or maybe just the excitement of consuming new content, it seems like time has been racing by. Judging by the number of emails that I’ve received since 4.3 launch, it’s been a busy time for you all as well, as you worked your way into the new heroic dungeons, through LFR, and onto the final battle with Deathwing. Today I wanted to do another round of the Resto Shaman mailbag, addressing some of the most common Dragon Soul questions that I’ve received post-4.3. As always, if you don’t see your question answered below, you can always feel free to drop me an email. And, at the end of the post I’ve included something that might just make you feel better about yourself, in my “WTF Moment of the Week”.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the Q&A!

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Question #1: Stat Priorities in 10s

For regular raids, where I’m usually healing with a Druid and Pally combo, my stats appear to be fine. I’m sitting with just over 4k mp5 in combat with slightly over 19% crit and 15.23% mastery. My haste is currently a little over 1k, but I’m having trouble debating which stats I should reforge out of and into.  I like speed healing but I also like seeing a tank or raid member that’s nearly dead come back to life after a Greater Healing Wave. Any advice would be most helpful.

When evaluating stats in a 10-man normal-mode environment, your stat priority will vary based on two things—first, the spells that you’re using, and second, the average level of HP in the raid. The first factor, your spell selection, is important because it impacts how much value you get from Crit. If you’re using predominantly single-target spells, then Crit will be of greater value. If you’re using multi-target AOE healing, like CH and HR, then Mastery will be more beneficial. Tied into this is the second major impact on Resto Shaman stat priority–the average level of HP of the raid. Obviously, this isn’t something that you can easily evaluate while in raid or even through a WoL parse, so the general rule of thumb is: if you’re in normal-modes, then Mastery won’t be as valuable as Crit/Haste, but if you are doing hard modes, then Mastery will be king.

So, in terms of what this means to you … If you’re doing DS10, I’d suggest sticking to your current levels of haste (~1k) and Spirit, and going with a balance of Crit and Mastery after that point. If you use CH/HR significantly, favor Mastery. If you use GHW/HS/RT more often, favor Crit. That one big Mastery-based critical heal might be nice to see, but if it’s only necessary once in a blue moon, then you’re pouring a lot of stats into something that could be going to waste the majority of the time.

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Question #2: Should I really be dropping Spirit?

I have been using one particular website for a while, along with your site, and the gear recommendations have typically lined up. Recently though, it has been telling me to reforge about 600 spirit off my gear for Mastery and Haste when I’m not at the 2800 Spirit cap. I don’t usually question the suggestions because the people that make it usually know a lot more then I do but the idea of reforging off spirit scares the bejesus out of me. Any advice or ideas?

The easy answer to your question is–go with the amount of Spirit that you need to not be OOM. It may be less than 2800 and it might be more–it depends on the fight and how you like to heal. The suggestions that come from sites like WoWReforge and AskMrRobot are based on a set of conditions (fight duration, stat valuation, etc.) that might not apply to you as a healer, and that is oftentimes why they might make suggestions that seem counter-intuitive.

For example, I prefer a higher amount of Spirit (3000+ unbuffed) because progression fights are often dependent on how long the healers can stave off an empty mana bar. But, that level of Spirit might not be appropriate for other healers who aren’t pushing the same level of progression and are working on normal modes. Case in point, if I head over to AskMrRobot, pull up my armory, and use the default PVE build to optimize my current gear, the suggestion is that I drop almost 1100 Spirit off of my gear. Quite frankly, if I followed that advice, I’d find myself to be absolutely useless on HM Spine and Madness.

So, my suggestion would be: play around with it a bit in raid. Go in one week with a comfortable level of Spirit, see how full or empty you are at the end of each fight, and then the next week, go in with significantly less Spirit. Compare the results and see if less Spirit really had an impact on your mana pool. (If you’re ending fights at > 40% mana, I would argue that you have some Spirit that is going to waste).

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Question #3: Battling HM Yor’sahj

Yor’sahj hard mode is driving me up the wall! I’m healing the tanks during purple phase, but I can’t get by without Paladins’ World of Glory and beacon heals to keep them up. How do you handle the debuff?

When healing tanks on HM Yor’sahj, I found it was beneficial to keep Tidal Waves up by RT’ing melee (or pets, if melee’s stacks were too high) and use GHW when the tank’s HP got to 50-60%. Unleash Life is also a must in this phase—be sure to use it after RT to get the most out of your GHW (it’s your choice whether or not to use it on a pet, since you might not want to burn a stack of the debuff on such a smaller “filler” heal). Combined with our pallies’ Beacon heals, this generally is sufficient to keep the tanks alive without proccing their debuff. Because you only have a limited number of stacks to play with, you want to be careful to not incur too much overhealing during the phase (i.e.: if you heal a tank at 90% HP you’re not only wasting your mana, but also burning 1 stack on a 10% heal).

That being said, tanks will be the hardest people to keep up during the shadow phase. Their health will not only dip from normal attacks, but also from the debuff that’s applied to them. So, that makes the end of the phase the sketchiest time because they oftentimes reach 4 stacks and can’t be healed, all the while their health keeps dropping. For those points in time, they should use their own personal CDs (trinkets too—the TB resist trinket is major in this regard) in order to stay alive until the debuff falls off. Ultimately, HM Yor’sahj is a fight that tests your judgment as a healer and your ability to accurately assess the damage that’s going out on the raid. Because although purple seems scary, the reality is that the damage during that phase should be easy for you and your team to heal through, provided you can avoid your knee-jerk reaction to drop Healing Rain and spam your heart out.

Speaking of, here is the list of what will and will not proc Deep Corruption from a Shaman PoV:

  • Healing Rain: 1 stack per person per heal (if dropped after the debuff is applied). If dropped before Deep Corruption is applied, HR will only generate stacks when someone moves out of it and back in again. I generally do not recommend trying to sneak in an HR before the debuff is applied because the potential for error / raid wiping, is high.
  • CH: 1 stack to each player hit, even if the initial hit is on a pet.
  • Riptide: 1 stack on initial application, no stacks from the hot
  • GHW/HS/HW: 1 stack per heal
  • Unleash Elements: 1 stack per heal (used to apply to the resto shaman as well, but this has been fixed)
  • HST: no stacks
  • ES: no stacks
  • Earthliving (hot): no stacks
  • AA: no stacks
  • SLT: no stacks (but worth noting that you shouldn’t need to use it during a purple phase)
  • Stoneclaw Totem: 1 stack (if cast after the debuff is applied)
  • Glyph of Healing Wave: unknown, because no one should be casting HW during this phase. Period. No discussion. Is crap heal. DO NOT USE.

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Question #4: Mastery versus Haste

I raid in a 25 man guild where there are two Resto Shaman—me and the GM. I went mastery for those times when the group’s health is low but the GM went for haste in order to be able to spam quicker. It’s been working well so far but I wanted to ask do you think it would be better If I went Haste alongside him? I personally feel Mastery for shaman is great and is too good to be pushed aside for haste but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Oh the joy of the Mastery versus Haste argument! The easy answer is … you both have a valid approach to gearing, but you’re gearing for separate conditions (as you pointed out).

The math behind it all will definitely point to Mastery as the stat of choice once you and your guild get into hard modes (especially if CH and HR make up a significant portion of your healing). This is because the HPS gain from Mastery will become greater the lower your raid’s HP is. Haste, on the other hand, in between Hot breakpoints, only decreases the amount of time in between casts (by fractions of a second), which may only garner you a handful of additional casts in the whole of a fight. For example, let’s take Chain Heal:

  • CH Base Cast time: 2.5 seconds
  • Cast time at 916 haste: 2.22 seconds (assuming only WoA)
  • Cast time at 2005 haste: 2.06 seconds
  • Total gain: 0.16 seconds per cast (=2.22 – 2.06)
  • Total number of casts it would take to gain 1 additional CH: 13 (=2.06 / 0.16)
  • Time elapsed: 26.78 seconds
  • Number of CH casts gained in a 6-minute fight: ~13

So, assuming that you do nothing else for an entire fight but cast Chain Heal, your 1089 haste investment will garner you 13 additional casts of Chain Heal. But what if you have to move? Or you stop for a couple seconds to, say, move out of a Twilight Meteor impact or to soak a Morchok crystal? Then you start to cut into those additional seconds that you gained.

Ultimately, for normal modes, haste makes more sense because at that gear level, you’re going to competing with your teammates’ heals, thus making it a race to see who lands a heal first. If you’ve got a good twitch reflex and loads of haste, you can make it worth the investment. In hard modes, however, the goal changes, and you have to sustain high HPS rotations for much longer, meaning that your HPS gains are based on the power of your heals and not the number of casts. Further, since haste has a negative impact on regen, it reduces the sustainability of your typical rotation, meaning that you will have a shorter amount of time before you OOM. Since I’ve started running with Seal of the Seven Signs (a move to boost my throughput on Spine and Madness), there has been a decided impact on my mana pool, such that I needed to pick up a little more Spirit to compensate for the hastened throughput.

All that being said, it’s entirely possible that your GM could outheal you when you get into hard mode encounters, because there’s more to HPS than just your stats. Your decisions, spell choices, positioning, timing, raid strategy. etc. all play a much bigger part in performance than stat choices. So, if you find someone inching ahead of you, whether they’re stacking Crit or Mastery or Spirit, it’s worth looking at what they’re doing well so that you can take that and incorporate it into your own healing practices. If anything, I think this is what the discussion on theorycrafting sites misses more often than not—yes, healers do need to pay some attention to stats, but the greatest impact to your healing doesn’t come from your stats, it comes from the choices you make as a player.

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Question #5: Unleash Life

As my guild makes its way into hard modes I have seen, fight after fight, the stress that is placed on healers and so, I have re-examined my play style to see where I could improve. My concern lies with UE:E and how to correctly incorporate it into my arsenal, as I have ignored it entirely for much of the expansion. I have read in some places of people using it after Riptide and following with a HS rather than a GHW, while others are using it in addition to CH or Healing Rain (which I had presumed it would not affect). Others altogether dismiss the spell and claim that it is too significant an HPS loss to make up for the HPM gain in hard modes. If you could, please tackle this issue as I am terrible at compiling the necessary spreadsheets for comparison, or direct me to someone who has already done so.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy spreadsheet to point to with an answer to your question about if Unleash Elements: Life worth using. But fortunately, I think we can come to an answer without getting into the math of it (even though the math side of it could be fun). So let’s start with what UE does–for the price of 7% base mana it provides a small heal and boosts your next direct heal by 20%. At present, UE’s heal is averaging about 7-8k non-crit for me. In comparison to RT, which is 10% base mana and averaging 45k-55k healing done (initial hit + hot), we can clearly see that RT is the more powerful option; no math needed.

But this doesn’t mean we should discount UE entirely, because even though it doesn’t provide a significant of healing on its own, its real benefit lies in being able to provide you with some additional burst at times when you might need it. HM Yor’sahj with the Deep Corruption debuff up is a great example of when UE shines–if you set up an RT+UE+GHW combo, you can land a pretty incredible heal (think: upwards of 110k critical). You can set up a similar situation with CH–because UE will boost the initial hit, all subsequent hits will also benefit from the increased healing. Likewise, UE is a great spell to use when you’re on the move without Spiritwalker’s, because it remains one of the two instant-casts we have and the +20% to your next spell will partially make up for the decreased HPS associated with movement.

The players that you read who stated that UE is an HPS loss, aren’t incorrect, however. In a world when you start an encounter, perform a max HPS rotation, have limitless mana and never stop casting for one moment, they are right to say that UE would be an HPS loss. But, there exists no fight in game where that’s current the case (no, not even Ultraxion). In most every fight there is downtime and your mana is not limitless, so a max HPS rotation isn’t something that you should be worrying about. In which case, UE becomes a great mana-efficient way to boost your throughput and do more with what you have. It may take you a while to get comfortable integrating it into your rotation, but once you do, you’ll be a better healer for it.

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Question #6: What do you look for in WoL?

We have recently started logging our fights.  I look over my uptimes and they aren’t great but I figure they aren’t too bad either.  I am constantly casting and work very hard to keep my healing up.  But when it comes to looking at the ranking my numbers are really low. What are some of the common problems you look for in logs, that I might be able to fix?

First, it’s worth noting that fight rankings on WoL are the combination of a number of factors, including raid comp, fight duration, external buffs, etc. So using ranks as a gauge for your personal success can be very misleading. Likewise, having good parses doesn’t mean you don’t have room for improvement–there’s always something that a healer can be doing better.

So, when I’m looking through logs, there are a couple areas that I target:

  1. Uptime – I brought this up on Twitter the other day—resto shaman have a load of maintenance activities that we need to perform in order to buff our own healing. So, the first thing I look at in logs is how much uptime the shaman in question has for major buffs like Healing Stream, Earth Shield, Water Shield, Ancestral Vigor, Earthliving Weapon (refreshing mid-fight is a no-no), Focused Insight (if they’re specced into it), and Tidal Waves. And when it comes to those performing in Dragon Soul, you can bet I look at the uptime of Heart of Unliving (which should be at 95% or higher).
  2. CD Usage – Granted, Resto Shaman aren’t all that blessed in the cooldown department, but as any super-powered Holy Pally or Resto Druid will attest, using your CD’s appropriately and frequently is key to maximizing your HPS (and looking good on meters). For CD’s like Mana Tide and Jaws of Defeat, I expect to see a maximum number of uses per encounter, but when it comes to other CD’s like Shard of Woe’s haste buff (in T12) or Spiritwalker’s Grace (in T13), timing matters as well. For these latter CDs, you want to make sure that your usage corresponds to the points of AOE damage in the fight, but you don’t want to hold them for an extended amount of time and lose out on the buff. So, for example, on HM Spine, I know that my timing of SWG won’t line up with every tendon phase (because they’re ~1.5 mins apart), so I use the haste buff for the first, third, and fifth pops and after each of the barrel rolls (in conjunction with my SLT) to maximize my throughput.
  3. Spell selection and overhealing – One of the other major things I look for in logs, before I dive into the nitty gritty of queries and comparisons, is how a Resto Shaman is fitting his spells to the damage that’s being dealt. Overhealing that’s greater than 50% on any cast spell (e.g.: HS, GHW, HW, CH, RT, UE, and HR) throws up a red flag that something odd could be going on. If I look at the shaman’s other spells and see significantly less overhealing, then I can confirm that something is amiss—the shaman is likely not fitting the heal to the damage that’s going out. Sometimes, it can be intentional, like for example, in the case of HM Spine, where part of a Resto’s “job” is to keep down HR 100% of the time. So, it’s no surprise that your HR overhealing would hover between 50-60%. But, if I were to look at the same fight and see RT usage at >50%, then it would be an indication that the shaman isn’t choosing his targets properly. Likewise, reviewing the shaman’s spell selection be key to identifying issues with low HPS; isolating one segment of a fight, like Hagara’s Ice Phase or a HM Yor’sahj’s Shadow Phase, will illuminate the healing choices made in high-stress or high-HPS times.
  4. Riptide usage – It’s our only controllable hot, a spell that’s integral to our single-target healing, and it can pack a good punch of HPS, so a shaman’s RT management is something I zero in on when reviewing logs. Not only should a shaman be using RT on CD–yes even during AOE,–you should also beware of clipping your RT hots. For Resto Shaman who glyph RT (which should, really, be everyone) clipping your RT hot translates to a significant decrease in healing, especially in light of the buff that the hot portion of the spell received in 4.3. But how do you know if you’re clipping RT’s? Pull up any fight in WoL and then select Expression Editor. Once there, modify the following query with your character’s name in place of YourName and hit Run:

sourcename=”YourName” and spell=”Riptide” and fulltype=SPELL_AURA_REFRESH

The results of the query are the times you managed to truncate RT’s full duration by reapplying RT to the target. If you see a blank page, congrats, you’re doin it right.

Lastly, if you’re really interested in finding out how your parses compare to other 10-man resto shaman, I’d recommend taking a look at CompareBot. It will allow you to compare 2 or 3 parses and will show the difference between them in terms of buffs, uptime, spell usage, average heal, etc. It’s something I use rather frequently to compare my own performance from week to week.

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Question #7: AOE healing

I wanted to ask you how to maximize healing output during AOE damage situations. What I do is I drop HR and then spam chain heal until HR is up again. I was wondering if weaving in riptides would provide a greater output with the recent buffs to riptide. I am not sure if it is worth it. Thanks.

These days, you really do want to take time from that CH filler to make sure that you use RT on CD. With the 4.3 buff to RT’s hot, I’m averaging about 45k total healing per RT application, which makes its performance on par with a typical 4-hit CH. When combined with the fact that RT is an incredibly mana-efficient spell, procs AA, and can be used on targets that might be out of the AOE healing clump, (I’m looking at you, hunters), it should be sufficient reason to work it into your rotation at every opportunity. Arguably, it seems counter-intuitive that a single-target, instant-cast hot would do as much healing as an AOE heal, but there you have it. The one thing you do want to be careful about though, is that you don’t consume your RT while tossing out CH–the loss is now even more substantial than before, such that the 25% boost to CH output simply isn’t worth the loss of the hot.

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The WTF Moment of the Week

And finally, I just wanted to include this screenshot as a massive warning for all shaman. DO. NOT. EVER. DO. THIS.

Example 1: How not to gem for max throughput

This is a shaman with a Top 10 world kill of Madness who is … and I can’t even believe this … gemming Purple gems (Int/Spirit) in *red* sockets. I actually Armory’ed myself and then pulled up Wowhead as a double-check, just to make sure that they were indeed red! Had this resto shaman not suffered from a mild concussion before gemming, he/she would have 175 more Intellect. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FUCKING-FIVE; that’s the equivalent of moving from a T11 ilvl372 headpiece to a T13 ilvl410 headpiece. So before you start thinking that people in the top tier of progression are infallible, let me remind of you of this guy. He’s a great example of why I’m happy to have all of you out there, to keep me honest and humble, and prevent me from socketing my gear with Agi gems after a long night of raiding.

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Credit to: M. DeMino for the slider artwork. His portfolio at Deviant Art can be found here.






21 Comments


  1. Emil

    Great blog as always Vix, sad to see you didn’t include my question about Heartsong vs. PT though!
    Suppose it came in too slow as this was quite a long blog entry.

    Especially thank for you clarifying the Riptide in heavy AoE part.


    • Don’t worry, you have a hefty-sized email incoming. ^_^ And yeah, it’s difficult to include every question I get, so I oftentimes wind up combining several responses into one broader topic. If I didn’t, these mailbag posts would go on for ages!


  2. It is always a pleasure reading your blog, and see what other resto shamans think, however, in regards to your “WTF moment” you seem to overlook a quite important fact: The demand for red gems vs. the supply. If you look at his gear you will notice that the only pieces of gear, which got purple (25int / 25spirit) is his non-bis gear, which we can assume means that it will be replaced. I don’t know how the supply of red gems was on your server, however, we were struggeling to keep more than just HM gear with red gems. Furthermore, his “fail” of using purple is in no way a mistake, I will assume that it is due to the fact that the remaining red gems was of more “use” on the damage dealers in order to make the burn phases.
    We can easily agree that intellect beats spirit when you look at a 1:1 ratio, but I personally believe that 2 x “epic purple” beats 2 x “Brilliant Inferno Rubys”, I will assume it is with the same logic that he is using DM:T since 12mins of heavy use of HR, CH is a b#tch on your mana and despite TC can grant you a decent amount of mana is it still an increasingly hard fight in order to keep up with the “standard” burst, plasma, grip damage as well as having a massive amount of Bloods up.

    In short; I strongly disagree that you can label it is a “fail” to gem the purple gems, unless he had access to +50 int ofc., and it is instead a “smart” move in order to boost the amount of time you can spend on casting spells.

    /Sorry for any incoherent sentences and horrible phrasing and grammar.
    Zherman´s last post ..Restoration shaman guide as of 4.3 – Dragon Soul.


    • Sorry, but I’m not willing to cut those in the Top 10 World any slack. Money is no object, time is no object, and 1 Int is worth any effort. I run two alts through DS every week, along with my main, and I’ve been fully epic gemmed for the past month. Plus, 175 Intellect is a ridiculous amount to cast aside, by any measure, especially during progression.

      And not to put too fine a point on it but, for the sake of argument, let’s look at what would happen if, as you suggested, I took two of my epic red gems and downgraded to Brilliant Infernos (Scenario 1), and then compared that to two epic Purifieds in the same place (Scenario 2), assuming that everything else was constant. Speaking strictly in terms of regen, here’s the difference:

      My base starting Int/Spirit: 7938/3253
      Scenario 1 (Int: 7918/Spirit:3253) = 3592 mp5 base + 430mp5 for MT
      Scenario 2 (Int: 7878/Spirit:3293) = 3624 mp5 + 439mp5 for MT
      Difference: 41 mp5

      So on one hand, every spell I have is made more powerful by a gain of 40 spellpower, and on the other side, I gain ~3000 mana over a 6-minute encounter, which I could get back by casting *one* LB. I think that’s a pretty clear argument for the power of choosing Intellect.


      • I am not talking about money being an obstacle, I am simply suggesting that the amount of red gems was limited to them, and with the additional rogue, mages and warrior alts who had to be geared and gemmed in order to make the dps requirements you would the majority of times give it gem to a dps. This is due to the increase in healing will be useless if you cannot make the dmg requirement in the tendons to make it in two phases, and despite shamans were pushing damage as well in the tendons it would only be “working” for the first 3 perhaps 4 phases since when we reach 3rd plate there is hardly room for doing much else than pressing your healing buttons, hard.

        Your point regarding gems is valid, in theory, however, let us look at the Spine fight. Now, what constitues the majority of our spells on that fight CH, HR, EL, Riptide is usually 85% of your healing one spine. I am not saying that 40spl. isn’t desirable, but beside from CH and Rip you will hardly notice any difference. Furthermore, when we look at Spine it isn’t a fight evolving around max HPs at all time, but more being able to dish out the required raid HPs while being able to manage the level and increase it slowly as the fight reaches the 10th, 11th and 12th minute. So when I look at it I see that 40 spl. won’t really be such a massive increase, except for barrelrolls where every bit of HPs is wanted, and instead I look at the eqation like since it is a 12min. encounter the use of the purple gems will grant me 2/3rds of the mana for a HR, and I need that HR more than I need the 40 spl. in end, furthermore, in spite of it being a minor increse you will also boost the mana that your fellow healers gain from MTT and thereby increasing the amount of time they got before they reach 0 mana.

        It is the same route I’ve followed with WS over ES despite ES having a low OH% and increases the HPM and HPS of ES, but speaking of 25man I would rather run with the extra 2100ish mana pr. min than grabbing a little extra HPs, when I know that the only difference it makes is that it makes is that I gain a little more and e.g. the druid gains some more OH from the HoTs that he keeps running anyway.

        I might have strayed away from my orginial intentions with my first post, but what I am trying to say is, as I am sure you are well aware of, a large amount of parameters which needs to be taken into account when we talk specific encounters.

        /Sorry for any incoherent sentences and horrible phrasing and grammar.
        Zherman´s last post ..Restoration shaman guide as of 4.3 – Dragon Soul.


        • Zuzum

          I have to agree with Vix, a top 10 guild should not have any excuses from their members to not min/max to the absolute limits, and if they are managing to hold their top 10 rating without it from all their members they should be wondering if they could do better still.

          The real question is why you guys n gals were sticking with mastery for spine! Seems to me you spend enough time healing people at high if not full HP, and have enough TC time which loves haste and gets nothing at all from mastery, the combination would shift the advantage to haste? I have gone back to mastery for madness, but haste ~2300 + goblin combined with T13 4P gave us enough throughput with tranq and SL to keep the raid above 50% during rolls and mastery never really has the chance to kick in.


        • @Zumzum – Actually, for our kill, I went for a mix of Mastery/Crit, Using an EP-TC + FI build, and 3 Resto Shamans, I was able to work in enough LB’s every tendon pop to get back to > 90% mana, so there was no need to max my Haste. Also, since HR and CH have a much higher break-point for Mastery=Crit, so long as the raid and/or your target is sub-84% HP, you’ll get more healing from Mastery than you will from Crit. I also used Seal of the Seven Signs, SWG, and Berserking to charge my HR drops and push them to an 8th tick.


        • @ Zherman

          Re: gems – I think we’re going off of two different assumptions here. I generally assume that a raider will pay for his/her own gems (I do–Vigil doesn’t provide them to me), so really the only limiting factor should be realm availability. However, given that these guilds run multiple clears on multiple characters, and each raider should have more than enough money in their pocket to purchase epic red gems at, say, 5-8k each, I’m sticking to my guns and saying “no excuse”. :-)

          Re: 3000 extra mana …. that’s for a 6-minute encounter, not per minute. So for a 12min fight, you’d have 6000 mana gained, which is 2/3 of one cast of HR. The mana gain for other healers is nominal, since they’re receive even less through MT.


        • Squidfayce

          I think focusing on this subject as a HPS vs Mana(anything) is the wrong way to look at it.
          The Int is just going to heal for more all the time. HPS is just a byproduct.

          The manatide argument is a good point, but i think the difference in your manatide drop would be an extra 1k or so. So 4k per healer overall if you use it on CD during the fight (exception would probably be hpriest).


  3. Jambles

    Hi Vixsin! Thanks for the post, always get excited when I see a new one from you ^_^

    thoughts/questions! I wanted to ask something about Riptide, and so first off I ran that expression editor query – it didn’t work for me, and it turns out that WoL doesn’t like your fancy formatted curly quotes instead of boring parallell quotes, so I re-typed them and it worked fine. just fyi.

    AND it turns out I have a lot of RT refreshes (but I knew that was coming) – they are exclusively on the two main tanks. As the sole resto in 25 man raiding, it is my self-appointed task, NAY, mission to keep max stacks of ancestral vigor running on both tanks (is there anything worse than when you drop 25k hitpoints mid-fight and have to start over?) while raid healing. To that end, since a lot of times tanks aren’t standing in my puddles of rain, I have to make sure I have a heal on them and RT is the easiest way to keep the hp rolling with minimal direct healing from me that would just overlap on the actual tank healers and take away from raid healing… consequently I tend to “roll” RT on both tanks, where in this case roll = refreshing/overwriting.

    So, I guess I am not sure what I should do about that! I guess, the perfect solution is to have RT on 3 targets at once at all times, so that it drops off a tank and then I have the .. 10.. 15(?) seconds before AV falls off to get the next RT that comes back up onto that tank. I guess that’s optimal, but with more room for error. I was just wondering if you stress about keeping RT 100% uptime on tanks.

    We’ve been working on H Yorsahj (0.5 % wipe last night arg) and I asked to be a tank healer in purple instead of a raid group just so I can work the AE/GHW magic with ES and keep AV rolling on the tank who is going to be taking more stacks of the void bolt. But I have no way of landing a heal on the other tank without pissing off the other healer by giving him a stack, so every purple phase I lose all my vigor on tank #2. cry. I’m not sure what to do about that!

    Also I have to say, I respectfully disagree that there is no place for HW in H Yorsahj. When we are coming in to purple + blue + yellow towards the end and mana is very very thin, HW is almost mana-free and for group healing, there is no way I’m going to get 5 players to 4 stacks before the debuff drops off for the first time. The amount of healing I can put out by spamming that heal (again: almost free!) is fine for keeping people up. Previously I was really wanting to be the “perfect” healer who only used the biggest, baddest single target heals no matter what, but when the mana bar is empty, tide is on cd, the dps are failing at killing the old mana void – I cast 3 or 4 GHWs and I’m tapped, and then no one gets any heals :'( For tanks, of course, it’s a terrible idea.


    • Well crap, I thought I was being helpful including the query. >.< Darn it.

      Re: RT refreshes … alternating between two tanks and two tanks alone is going to decrease your RT’s effectiveness significantly, because you’re almost halving the duration of the hot (assuming that you cast RT on CD). It’s fairly easy to “roll” RT on three targets, without overwriting and without losing too much from missed RT opportunities, so that’s generally what I tend to do. Since I also tend to help out on tanks as well with direct heals (GHW and CH), my Ancestral Vigor uptime is pretty good. Realistically though, our tanks rarely die from <20k overkills, so it isn’t something that our raid team prioritizes over say, healing those who actually need healing.

      Re: HW on Yor’sahj … the reason I strongly advocate against HW during purple, especially when it comes to tank healing, is because you’re burning a stack on a ~20k heal, which is such a fraction of a tank’s health that it’s hardly valuable. Plus, one RT on a non-tank consumes one stack, uses and insanely low amount of mana, and does a goodly amount of healing (not to mention it keeps your Tidal Waves up). If your raid team is managing Purple+Blue combos correctly, then you should either be popping a mana void (that you carried over from the previous blue phase) or using raid mana CDs right after the drain. Either way, you should have more than enough mana to spend on GHW’s to keep the tanks and/or your group close to topped.

      Just to give you an idea of just what I do during purple phase (I’m in charge of G1 + Tanks) … I’ll get 3 RT’s up before the phase starts. If there’s a drain without an existing void, I’ll drop MT and toss out an LB to fill in the 2-4sec while my mana refills. Then UE on a non-tank + GHW on the tank. RT on a non-tank target in G1, then GHW back on the tank. Prior to each reset of the debuff, I’ll shoot for having both tanks at 3-4 stacks of Deep Corruption (group members rarely get above 2). I’ll keep RT’s rolling on the group, and fill with GHW as necessary. Once the phase is done and the tank dot has faded, I’ll LB the Globule or the new mana void.


  4. Wow, some great info here. I’ve recently started using WoL to better analyze & improve my performance and I have indeed been a bit puzzled as to what to look for. Thanks for breaking down some of the “red flags” you look for and your methods for analysis. :)


  5. Naturalchaos

    Another Yorsash question: Do you get double mana voids???


    • We never get double mana voids (as would result from yellow + blue).

      However, our strat creates the situation where we have a mana void to pop when a blue phase hits. This is because for the first blue phase of the encounter, instead of killing the mana void after it spawns, we leave it alive and instead use all raid mana CDs. This keeps us going through the phase, and then, when the second blue phase hits, after the raid’s mana is drained, we pop the first mana void, and -presto- full mana for everyone.


      • Naturalchaos

        Yeah we do that. Get the first one to ~15-20% and pop it after the second one spawns. Just need to work on the adds from black cause a few survivors messes with us into the next phase, especially if its green. Probably would have had our first kill too but all of a sudden the void runs into the boss for the first time ever while we had Black – Yellow – Red up and next spawn was a Blue – Purple – Black – Yellow and with no mana void to pop screwed us. Every other time that thing floats towards the edge of the water.

        I guess we were wondering more or less that we once again save our Mana CDs for the void, leave the first one at 20% still and take the 2nd one down to 20% as well then when the 3rd one comes, blow up the first void. We just completely ignore the 3rd void and let it wonder around aimlessly.


  6. For those people have troubles with there uptimes (question 4 and 6) i can really advice powerauras. This addon can really help you track CD/uptimes. After configuring this addon it really boosted my uptime from RT, UE and even HR. I’m also using it for ES, but there are beter addons (shields up) for that.

    When my riptide is off CD i have a big red square in my screen saying that i can cast it again. Its so “annoying” that i just need it on CD.

    And for the people that feel sad about there healing: I currently can’t compete with our guilds druid (he is just good) and our paladin (still think Holy Radiance is a to powerfull spell currently). But i still and up with all the guilds first kills. Why? Shamans still have the best healingsurvival spell there are ingame. Just ask yourself, how many people did you save with SLT? I can remember me saying a few times to players that die, because they were next to my SLT. My best UE + GHW cast crited something like 150k HP. that is 2/3 of the tanks HP. During raid i always end up as the healing doing most DPS. why? i cast LB all the time to regain mana.. and it works. Also how many times other ppl are screaming for a Mana tide during raid.

    Just accept the fact that you arent there for pure healing, like druids.


  7. […] a Shaman I have respected the opinion of since I first began raiding.  The other day, she posted a Mail Bag, answering questions from her […]


  8. I was bored enough to do the math for HPM and HPS of Unleash Elements, taking into account that the GCD you spend on it could have been used for TC regen. The results were something like this:
    http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m265/defektunge/WoW/UnleashElementsHowTo.png

    The “Riptide” part being whether or not you can get a Riptide off right after the spell you boosted, so that both spells benefit from Unleash Life.

    Also, I’m fairly sure that receiving Deep Corruption while standing in a Healing Rain counts as entering it and applies a stack even if you pre-cast the rain. I keep forgetting to do really proper testing while there, though.


  9. Jinaiya

    Your website has been a daily read for awhile now! I love your insight. Keep up the great work!


  10. Champ, can you help me to clarify something please?

    Well I set my haste at 1271 rating (9,93%). When I am using t13 4set bonus/hero (should be +30% haste) it’s jumping to 42,90% (if we calculate that on rating its 5491,03 so just after 5486 cap).

    Thats strange, if we calculate it just like it’s stated in tooltip +30% it should be 1652,3 haste rating (12,909%).

    Which is correct? What am I missing?
    I was trying to dig it here and there but haven’t got luck to find it.

    Cheers,
    Aslaf
    Aslaf´s last post ..Ultraxion-25 HC down


  11. Màsteröfall

    Hey,
    Just now starting to get all my heroic gear finally and I have to say. You are amazing. If my group gets spine down soon, it’s gonna be thanks to you. Thank you on behalf of all resto shammys out there <3



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