Single-target healing spells
Like all other healers in WoW, resto shaman are equipped with 3 basic single-target heals, which vary in their power and their mana cost. This trinity of healing spells consists of:
- Healing Wave (Slow cast, low cost, low-moderate heal)
- Healing Surge (Fast cast, high cost, moderate-high heal)
- Greater Healing Wave (Slow cast, high cost, high heal)
As you can see, these core spells do not strike a proportional balance between speed, cost, and output, but rather find themselves in a somewhat lopsided application, with HS and GHW being almost equal in terms of cost, yet still slightly disparate in terms of speed of delivery and maximum heal potential.
But, shaman are not limited to the healing trinity to address single-target damage; they’re also able to utilize two instant-cast single-target spells to deliver small, low cost heals:
- Unleash Elements: Earthliviing. (Let’s just call that last one UE:E from here on out.)
While both RT and UE:E provide a small initial heal, their real benefit comes from the fact that both provide bonuses to your subsequent casts, RT through Tidal Waves and UE:E through a temporary single-use buff. Interweaving these instant-casts into your rotation can not only increase your output, but save you mana down the road.
The single-target heals in a shaman’s arsenal make it possible for us to serve as a tank-healer, a snipe-healer, or as a dedicated raid healer (when the single-target heals are combined with multi-target healing). But, it’s important to remember that shamans’ real power derives from the interweaving of these spells, not from a set rotation which follows a specific sequencing.
Multi-target healing spells
In terms of multi-target healing, resto shaman have two main tools at their disposal:
- Chain Heal (Slow cast, low cost, medium heal – max 4-target application)
- Healing Rain (Slow cast, high cost, high heal – 6-target optimum application, but can be applied to an unlimited number of players)
You’ll notice that both of these spells have very long cast times, but what they lack in terms of speed, they make up in terms of power. As a base raid-healing tool, Chain Heal can be applied to a maximum of 4 targets, and will “smart” determine the targets of its 2nd, 3rd and 4th jumps by selecting the lowest health party or raid member within 12 yards. If there are no players within 12 yards of the CH target, *or* if targets within the 12 yard range are already at full HP, CH will not jump.
Healing Rain is a new addition to the Shaman repertoire, combining two unique healing qualities—area of effect targeting and a location-based hot. As much as I dreaded it coming to pass, HR’s application is based on the healer’s targeting of an area (within the confines of LoS and range), much like a mage’s Blizzard. Once the cast is completed, HR is then static in that area, its periodic hots applied to anyone standing within the light blue circle on the ground (similar to Efflorescence or Power Word: Sanctuary).
The important thing to note about both these raid healing spells is that they benefit from proactive casting—the better you can predict when and where damage will be occurring, the more effective these heals will be. (This pretty much holds true for every multi-target heal out there!) Also, it’s worth noting that HR will not proc IWS, while CH has the chance to proc IWS on every CH bounce, making the latter far more sustainable.
Supplemental Spells & Hots
Lastly, resto shaman have a variety of passive supplemental heals that fill the spaces in between our single- and multi-target spells. These passive heals include:
- Earth Shield (passive, set-it-and-let-it-do-the-work heal)
- Healing Stream (passive group-only hot)
- Earthliving (passive hot procced by any active healing spell)
- Ancestral Awakening (passive, procced by single-target crits)
With the exception of Earth Shield, the above healing tools are not ones you can control directly, but with proper allocation of stats, you can make them into noticeable contributors to your total healing done.
Unfortunately, current class design places resto shamans as being a tad bit light when it comes to cooldowns, raid and personal. While some of our spells (RT, UE:E, and HR) have mini-CD’s of less than 15 seconds, Resto’s only “long” healing CD comes in the form of one of our Tier 3 talents—Nature’s Swiftness. When activated, NS will make your next spell an instant-cast, so because activation does not trigger the GCD, most shaman tend to combine NS with GHW via macro for one instant big heal. Shaman’s other CD is shared among all specs–Spiritwalker’s Grace–which enables the Shaman to cast while moving. Because of our lack of mobility, SG can be a boon to Resto Shaman on movement-intense fights, although at a 2 minute CD, you might oftentimes find yourself wishing it was off of cooldown.
HPM and HPS
Part of being a particularly adept Resto Shaman is knowing the qualities of your spells–how much they cost, how long they take to cast, and how much they can heal for. These qualities are oftentimes expressed as Healing per Second (HPS) and Healing per Mana (HPM). The following chart details the *baseline* resto qualities of each direct healing spell in the shaman arsenal.
|Heal||Mana @ 85||Base Av Heal||Hot Value||Base HPM||Base HPS||SP Coeff|
|Greater Healing Wave||7029||8917||0||1.3||3567||1.34|
|Chain Heal (4 tar)||4686||8151||0||1.7||4076||1.07|
|Healing Rain (6 tar)||10777||0||25230||2.3||2523||1.07|
|Healing Stream Totem (5t)||491||0||195||0.4||98||1.07|
Totems (And Their Overlapping Buffs)
One of the unique things about Resto Shaman is that they are equipped to bring a number of buffs to any raid environment. And although there some improved totem buffs which require Elemental or Enhance specializations, Restos can offer the large majority of buffs to any raid or group. (For a great visual explanation of just what class provides what buffs from the chart below, visit Raid Comp).
|Class||Totem||Buff/Ability||Also provided by:|
|Earth||Earthbind Totem||Movement Slow||Frost Trap / Desecration|
|Earth||Strength of Earth||Strength + Agility||Horn of Winter / Roar of Courage / Battle Shout|
|Earth||Stoneskin Totem||Armor||Devotion Aura|
|Earth||Tremor Totem||Party Fear Break||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Earth||Earth Elemental Totem||Short-duration tank||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Earth||Stoneclaw Totem||Limited-range taunt||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Water||Mana Spring||Mp5||Blessing of Might / Fel Intelligence|
|Water||Totem of the Tranquil Mind||Pushback Protection||Concentration Aura|
|Water||Healing Stream Totem (Glyphed)||Resistances||Aspect of the Wild / Resistance Aura|
|Water||Mana Tide||Spirit-based mana restore||(none)|
|Air||Windfury Totem||Melee Haste||Hunting Party / Improved Icy Talons|
|Air||Wrath of Air||Casting Haste||Shadow Form / Moonkin|
|Air||Grounding Totem||Spell Absorption||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Fire||Flametongue Totem||Spellpower*||Arcane Brilliance
Improved: Demonic Pact / Totemic Wrath
|Fire||Fire Elemental Totem||Short-duration DPS elemental||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Fire||Searing Totem||Targeted DPS totem||(not a standard raid buff)|
|Fire||Magma Totem||AOE DPS pulse||(not a standard raid buff)|
* NOTE: Elemental Shaman provide an improved version of the spellpower buff through the talent Totemic Warth, which applies to all of their fire totems. Demonic Pact is equal to Elemental Shamans’ spellpower buff, but Arcane Brilliance has a reduced spellpower benefit is thus equal in strength to a Resto or Enhance shaman’s Flametongue buff.