WoW Totem, by Scott Altmann for WoW TCG
(http://scottaltmann.deviantart.com/)

 
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side from being an iconic element of the Shaman class, totems are also what enable us to offer a ton of utility to our groups and raids. And despite the WoW developer’s aversion to button bloat, Shaman remain a class with a significant number of situational abilities taking up that valuable UI real estate. Below is a list of all totems that are usable by Resto Shaman, ordered by their respective totem classes.

Earth Air Fire Water
Earth Elemental Capacitor Fire Elemental Totem Healing Stream
Earthbind/Earthgrab (Talent) Grounding Searing Totem Healing Tide (Talent)
Stone Bulwark (Talent) Windwalk Totem (Talent) Cloudburst (Talent)
Tremor Spirit Link Totem (Resto)
Storm Elemental (Talent)


Note: Only one of each totem type can be active at a time, so casting another totem of the same type will despawn the active totem (unless you are using Totemic Persistence

Utility Totems

Resto Shaman bring with them three quite useful raid utility totems, which are not only unique in their visual aesthetic but also in their functionality:

  1. Spirit Link Totem – Resto Shamans’ main raid (and tank) cooldown, SLT provides two distinct benefits. First, for its 6-second duration, it reduces all incoming damage on players within its 10-yard radius by 10%. Secondarily, and more importantly, SLT normalizes raid health while it’s active, ensuring that players all stay at the same percent HP while under SLT’s effects. SLT’s redistribution of health happens every second (and is recorded as damage in the combat log), and it’s critical to note that this normalization effect occurs on player health and not on incoming damage. So if, for example, SLT is active and someone in it takes a 1,000,000 incoming hit, that incoming damage will not be split among players in SLT; that player will die (unless he has over 1 million HP). SLT redistributes raid health, not incoming damage. That being said, SLT is also an excellent cooldown for tanks, allowing them the benefit of an “immediate” heal directly after a very heavy hit.
  2. Capacitor Totem – Shamans’ AOE stun, it should be noted that Capacitor does have a “charging time” of 5 seconds, meaning that it will not activate immediately when dropped. The application of this totem in PVE content will be limited to add control, however a well-timed stun can significantly reduce damage on the add tank or provide him with sufficient window to reset bleeds or debuffs. (It’s another one of those totems that you’ll have to test and experiment with to find an ideal application). Capacitor Totem can be glyphed with Glyph of Capacitor Totem to reduce the charging time by 2 seconds.
  3. Windwalk Totem – See Talents discussion.

Healing Totems

In addition Restos’ active heals, we also have two powerful healing totems at our disposal. Whereas both Chain Heal and Healing Rain are spatially constrained, Restos’ water totems allow us to provide AOE healing which can reach all players within the raid (provided they are standing out in BFE):

  1. Healing Stream Totem – One of Resto’s remaining smart heals, HST is a single-target heal with a 15-second duration and a 30-second cooldown. Because of its low mana cost and smart healing, HST should be used (typically) on cooldown through the course of an encounter. The totem can be supplemented with Glyph of Healing Stream Totem, to provide damage reduction to the players it heals, and its output can be buffed by taking the talent Rushing Streams, which expands the targets healed to 2 and increases the healing done by 15%.
  2. Healing Tide Totem – Resto Shamans’ version of Tranquility or Divine Hymn, Healing Tide Totem is a raid healing cooldown that packs a significant punch, healing all players in range every 2 seconds for 10 seconds.

Offensive

Although it’s never quite been touted as a major selling point of Resto Shaman, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that we can contribute a small amount of DPS through use of offensive totems and abilities:

  1. Fire Elemental Totem – The best damage that a Resto Shaman can offer a raid group, Fire Elemental Totem has a 1-minute duration / 5-minute cooldown that can be further reduced via Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem. In addition, if you elect for Primal Elementalist in Tier 90, you empower the Primal Fire Elemental with additional abilities, increasing its damage by 50%, affording you control over its attacks, and making it possible to channel a healing boost on yourself (Empower) of +10% for 1 minute.
  2. Searing Totem –A DPS option when Fire Elemental is on cooldown, Searing Totem offers single-target damage (within 25-yards of the drop location). Although this totem won’t put you on par with active dpsers, they’re something we can offer when “every little bit counts”.

Defensive

I’m blurring the lines a little bit when classifying all of these totems are pure defensive abilities, but when you’re in a punch, there’s no doubt that you can ease some of the pressure with the following cooldowns:

  1. Stone Bulwark Totem – A talent in Tier 15, Stone Bulwark totem provides shaman with a small, scaling absorb that reduces incoming damage by a fixed amount. For more discussion, please see the Talents.
  2. Earth Elemental Totem – While Earth Elemental does even more measly damage than Fire Elemental, I’ve thrown him in with the defensive totems for two reasons. First is his ability to taunt mobs off of the shaman and nearby allies. His taunt, Angered Earth, is on a 5-second cooldown and is not applicable to bosses, so you can drop this totem without fearing that the boss will turn and cleave your raid. Earth Elemental’s second major benefit comes as a result of choosing the talent Primal Elementalist. If you elect to use the Tier 90 talent, you can empower your Earth Elemental, increasing its damage by 50%, affording you control over its attacks, and making it possible to channel a damage reduction and healing boost on yourself of 20%. (Reinforce) Do note that Earth Elemental and Fire Elemental have a 1-minute shared cooldown, so they cannot be used concurrently.
  3. Earthbind Totem (talented: Earthgrab Totem) – Probably the best way to flee your enemies, Earthbind totem is something that Resto Shaman can offer in fights where add kiting is important. The talented version of this totem, Earthgrab, counts as a snare and not a stun, so be careful when dropping it around raid members as snared enemies will hit any player within melee range. Unfortunately, neither version of the totem will save you from a boss intent on total destruction, but it certainly can make a difference between an untimely demise from an untanked add and looking like a champ in the kill video.
  4. Grounding Totem – Although Grounding Totem is something that oftentimes gets discounted as a pure PVP totem, it oftentimes can be a utility tool in a PVE setting, by grounding effects from both bosses and adds. Intuitively, grounding totem needs to be dropped before the spell is cast in order to absorb an effect. Unfortunately, its usefulness is something that can only be tested through trial and error, so finding those gems of application can be a bit more time consuming. Grounding Totem can be altered to reflect spells back at the caster (yes, even bosses) by using Glyph of Grounding Totem.
  5. Tremor Totem – A get-out-of-jail-free card for you and team, Tremor Totem will allow you to break a fear, charm or sleep affect once every minute. Do note that Tremor Totem will not break a mind-control, so it will not be applicable when bosses take control of your character.