Starting in 4.0.1, shaman will receive a 5% bonus for wearing all mail pieces (except for the obvious slots which are type-neutral, like rings, cloak, trinkets, neck, offhand, and relics). For most shaman, except maybe those leveling, this 5% bonus to intellect is enough to outweigh the benefits from any leather/cloth upgrade that you currently are wearing because 5% Intellect not only increases your mana pool (which accordingly increases the amount of replenishment you gain), but it also increases your spellpower, your crit, and scales with gear, making it that much more powerful the more equipped you are.
Starter Dungeon and Heroic Gear
For more information about a gearing a newly-85 Resto Shaman, please see this post: Getting into Dungeons and Heroics. Do note, by the time you reach level 85, you should no longer be wearing any level 80 gear or epics. I cannot emphasize this enough. Do NOT hang on to your level 80 epics; even in complete 277 gear and a weapon from LK25 Heroic, I was replacing items in Deepholm and Uldum.
Stat Priorities for 4.0.3
(Updated as of 4.0.6)
It should come as no surprise that Intellect will reign supreme in starting dungeons, heroics and raids. Because of its benefits to spellpower, regen, and crit, and due to the low overhealing circumstances that shaman are currently experiencing, it will be a stat that you should pursue almost to the exclusion of all else. After Intellect, Spirit becomes the second stat of choice because of its direct relation to longevity. So long as encounters push healers to low levels of mana, spirit will be a stat that healers will be encouraged to seek on most items. (This does *not* mean that you should gem for spirit, simply that you should not pick up Int+Haste+Crit items exclusively and think that you’ll last for any amount of time during an encounter).
As far as secondary stats are concerned, there are two thresholds which should help guide your gear selection. First is the soft haste threshold found at ~1000 haste (technically 916 haste, a point at which your EL, RT, and HR will all have benefited from the addition of an additional tick of the hot). While haste is valuable both before and after this point, because encounters are less focused on HPS and more about increasing HPM, Mastery will ultimately prove much more useful than Haste. So, after you reach the first haste threshold (the second is at 3203 haste), it then becomes a good idea to start steadily increasing your Mastery value.
Now the caveat here is that if you’re ending fights with a significant portion of mana going unused, or you’re not using Potion regen or dropping MT on CD, then you could likely stand to inch your haste higher past the first haste threshold. In addition, because of the beneficial relationship between Mastery and Crit (the more Mastery you have, the more powerful Crit becomes), you can also feel free to start inching your Crit levels higher as well. The one thing to remember though, is that IWS procs are not the source of regen that they once were, and that point-for-point, you’re better off stacking a little more Spirit than piling on Crit.
Thus, the stat priorities for Resto Shaman become:
- Gearing prior to 1k haste: Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery = Crit (this stat priority will govern through normal mode encounters)
- Gearing after 1k haste: Intellect > Spirit > Mastery > Haste > Crit (this stat priority will take over during hard modes)
- Gemming: Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery (do not gem for crit)
Bear in mind that these priorities are based on qualitative analysis and not quantitative. It will still be some time before we can get a grasp on the specific numerical healing benefits of each stat. If, in the interim, you manage to record some top WoL parses while also ending fights with over 50% mana, then you’re fine to grab as much haste as you can. But for the rest of us mere mortals, I’d suggest a hands-off approach.
With patch 4.0.1 and the removal of spellpower from everything except caster weapons, there also came some gemming changes. Intellect, once a “yellow” stat, became a “red” one, shifting some of the patterns that we were used to seeing. The table below shows which Resto-relevant stats are which colors.
Gems with 2 stat contributions (Stamina and Intellect, for example) and represented by the combination of those two colors (Stamina-Blue + Intellect-Red = Stam/Int-Purple). These two-color gems can be placed in sockets of either of its two component colors and thus meet the requirements for that socket bonus. In addition, dual-color gems will meet meta requirements for both those colors. BUT, bear in mind that you are not required to meet any socket bonuses on any of your gear; meeting those bonuses will simply net you additional stats.
The following list includes those gems which are applicable to Resto Shaman:
- Ember Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 Int + 2% max mana (2 yellow gems) (Recommended)
- Revitalizaing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 Spirit + 3% crit healing effect (1 blue/1 yellow)
- Artful Ember Topaz – 20 Int /20 Mastery
- Potent Ember Topaz – 20 Int / 20 Crit
- Reckless Ember Topaz – 20 Int / 20 Haste
* After the first haste threshold, you can choose to either inch your haste forward with Potents or increase Mastery with Artfuls.
- Purified Demonseye – 20 Int / 20 Spirit (Recommended for Blue sockets with valuable socket bonuses)
- Brilliant Inferno Ruby – 40 Int (Recommended for red/prismatic sockets)
- Brilliant Chimera’s Eye – 67 Int (JC Option)
- Quick Amberjewel – 40 haste
- Smooth Amberjewel – 40 crit
- Quick Chimera’s Eye – 67 haste
- Fractured Amberjewel – 40 Mastery
- Sparkling Ocean Sapphire – 40 Spirit
- Zen Dream Emerald – 20 Spirit / 20 Mastery
Cataclysm brings a number of new enchants for healers, including a solid amount of haste and Intellect gains. And because of the limited options for the various gear slots, enchanting for haste can free you up to pick up other stats on gear and through gems. Below are the recommended stats for Resto Shaman; enchants that come from rep or professions other than enchanting are noted.
- Helm: Arcanum of Hyjal (Hyjal – Revered)
- Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Charged Loadstone (Therazane – Exalted)
- Cloak: Greater Intellect
- Chest: Peerless Stats
- Bracers: Haste (prior to 1k haste) | Crit (after 1k haste)
- Gloves: Haste
- Belt: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle (Blacksmith)
- Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (Tailor)
- Boots: Haste
- Shield/OH: Superior Intellect
When it comes to weapon enchants, healers have several options:
- Power Torrent – provides a constant ~120 Int (internal CD is 45 seconds, so a proc interval of ~50 seconds is assumed). This is the option I’d strongly recommend using.
- Heartsong – provides a constant ~100 spirit (internal CD is 20 seconds, so a proc interval of ~30 seconds is assumed). An option for Restos needing that extra regen boost or for those who don’t have access to top-end enchants.
- Hurricane – constant ~100 haste and can proc on heals (internal CD is 45 seconds, so a proc interval of ~ 50 seconds is assumed). Not an option I’d recommend for shaman because the haste provided won’t even amount to a 1% gain.