Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Resto Shaman - One Stop Guide to Mastering the Power of Nature

Morning blog lovers!

I got an email the other day asking me a few questions about healing as a Shaman. So instead of answering those specific questions; I thought I would just make a guide about Shamans and their restoration spec.

So lets get start mmmk?

Ding 80, Now what?

Exciting news and I congratulate you, however, you are now playing with the big boys. That means you have gear up to a respectable stat level in order to heal heroics properly and not get laughed at.

Have no fear because this is done very easily through gear that is BoE (Bind on Equip). Leatherworkers have some gear resto gear, both blue and epic. I highly recommend Revenant's Breastplate and Revenant's Treads. Both are epic and are made by a leatherworker. I spent about an hour and a half farming the mats for the Revenant's Treads and I bought the chest piece for 300g.

While you are in farm mode, go ahead and farm the mats for the Titansteel Guardian. Become friends with a tailor and get yourself a Wispcloak. I farmed the mats for both as RESTO! and it took just under two hours. With the blue items from the AH and the pieces you had crafted, you should now be properly geared to heal heroics without any major issues. First two badge items you want to grab is your shield and your neck piece. After those, its up in the air.

Once you have gotten the two badge items, (don't forget to enchant your gear!) you should be sitting somewhere along the following stats...

Health - 14.5k
Mana - 16k
MP5 - 300 while casting
Spell Power / Healing - 1500 unbuffed
Spell Haste - 285ish
Spell Crit - 15-20%ish

Once you obtained those stats, you are more then ready to start healing Naxxramas.

There is alot of good information out on the interwebs about gearing up a resto shaman. This site won't be blocked at your work place and contains some more good information on the gearing up subject.


This is pretty much the cookie cutter spec for a resto shaman. Is it perfect? No. Can points be swapped out? Of course they can. Look, we can argue and debate this until the next expansion, but the fact of the matter is to go what works for you.

In any resto build, you have 6 talent points that you can mess around with. Some shamans like the healing wave talent and the spell push back talent. Others like to use the improved reincarnation with enhanced weapons.

I loved instant ghostwolf talent so much while leveling it took me a long time to finally respecing out of it. Some shamans recommend getting the Enhancing totems talent and personally, I do not agree with it at all. Yes, it does give your tank a little bit more agility for dodge and strength for parry / shield block etc. It just isn't worth it considering there are a zillion Death Knights running around in my opinion. (DK's have a similar buff that servery makes our earth totem not as vaild)

Overall, get the basics and play around with those 6 points. That way you can find what works best for you. For Ulduar, I am going to try this spec, 0/13/58, it has points into our healing wave talent and improved reincarnation for less down in between wipes.


PvE restoration shaman glyphs are pretty straight forward. The glyphs that I am using are strictly for pve use. There are better choices if you are more focused on pvp, but I am not going to get involved with that at the moment.

Not that much has changed in the new patch and I have been rocking my glyphs since Wotlk came out back in November.


1. Glyph of Earth Shield: Increases the amount healed by your Earth Shield by 20%

My Earth Shield is hitting for 3.5k and is criting for 6k. Believe, it is worth the slot.

2. Glyph of Chain Heal: Your Chain Heal heals 1 additional target.
If you are raid healing or healing heroics, I think this makes your job easier and is worth the spot.

3A. Glyph of Healing Stream: Your Healing Stream Totem heals for an additional 20%

If you don't have any mana issues, I highly recommend this glyph for your last spot and here is why. In 3.1, our mana spring totem is now equal to 91 mp5, 109 mp5 talented, and effects the entire raid. This is the same as Paladin's Blessing of Wisdom. So if you have a Paladin in your raid that has the Improved BoW, (109 mp5), you should use the healing stream totem. Why not make it 20% better?

3B. Glyph of Water Mastery: the passive mana regeneration of your Water Shield spell by 30%

That equals to about 30mp5 for the shaman, good stuff in my opinion.

3C. Glyph of Mana Tide Totem: Your Mana Tide Totem grants an additional 1% of each target's maximum mana each group member.

If you have over 20,000 mana, then this equals out to be an additional 67mp5 for your GROUP. I would only get this if your group / raid are having issues with mana. You can only drop it once per fight in 90% of boss fights. That is why I left this as a secondary choice, I would still go with the Water Mastery one if you are having any sort of mana issues....30 mp5 is nice.

Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave: +20% more heals when your target has Earth Shield

This is a very popular glyph within the resto shaman community. Just because it is popular doesn't make it the best choice. This glyph actually gives less healing bonus then the first two I mentioned. Surprised? I was surprised too, so surprised I did some further investigating...

I'll be damn....its true


Glyph of Water Shield: Increases the number of charges on your Water Shield spell by 1.

The water shield glyph is still worth it even if you do not decide on getting the improved water shield talent in the restoration tree. Of course it would be as effective, but it wouldn't be pointless.

What stats are important to me?

This is a tricky subject. I say that because it really depends on a variety of things. Such as who you are assigned to heal, (healing assignments) and if you are healing in a raid or a heroic 5 man.

Overall its spell power>mp5>intellect>haste>crit

Mp5 and Intellect are VERY close and could easily be swapped. Again, it really depends on your role and what you are doing.

You could also make a good argument that intellect should be first due to this fact:

10 intellect = 6mp5, 3 crit, and 2 spell power. Intellect also gives you mana based on your mana pool, replenishment, mana spring totem, and your improve water shield procs.

I like to keep all my stats balanced and I try to stay away from having one of my stats being outrageous. A good example is that I do not like to have over 25% crit rating and I like to stay around 350-370 mp5 unbuffed. My spell power is currently 2000ish unbuffed and 2200 with earthliving weapon. Once I get around 2150 spell power unbuffed I am going to focus solely on intellect and haste.

This is just my thoughts on this subject though. I am interested in what real resto shaman raiders like Drug and Manchego think.


Gems are expensive right now due to 3.1 and duel specs....but that is no excuses not to use the blue quality gems! If you are having some money issues you should check out Mr. Gelvon's blog and get on it.

Insightful Earthsiege Diamond: +21 Intellect and Chance to restore mana on spellcast
This meta gem is ONLY choice for resto shamans unless you have a redonkeyous amount of intellect. (3700!?!) I can't imagine anyone having that much intellect, so this meta gem is the way to go. The math geniuses over at elitist jerks says it averages around 60mp5. So yeah...awesome little gem =P


You would only use this kind of gem to meet the requirement of the meta gem. I recommend Dazzling Forest Emerald. I guess you could use the straight +stamina if you are under 16k, but I don't recommend it.


Head - Arcanum of Blissful Mending (30sp 8mp5 / The Wyrmrest Accord (revered) ) or Arcanum of Burning Mysteries (30sp 20 crit / Kirin Tor (revered) )

Go with the Wyrmrest rep first. That way you can can pick up a good pair of gloves while you are there.

Shoulders - Greater Inscription of the Crag or Greater Inscription of the Storm (Exalted versions). Atleast get the Lesser Inscription of the Crag, they are almost as good and only take honored with the Sons of Hodir. FYI - You have to unlock the dailies.

Cloak - Greater Speed (23 haste rating)

Chest - Powerful Stats (+10 to all stats) or Super Stats (+8 to all stats)

Wrist - Superior Spell Power (+30 sp) or Greater Spell Power (+23 sp) Fur Lining (Leatherworker only / +67 Spell Power)

Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower (+28 sp)

Belt - Eternal Belt Buckle - Extra Gem

Legs - Sapphire Spellthread (+50 sp / +30 stam)

Feet - Greater Vitality (6mp5)

Shield - Greater Intellect (+25 intell)

Weapon - Mighty Spellpower (+63 sp)


Ahh yes, what makes a shaman a shaman...totems! As a resto shaman though, which ones do you use? That answer isn't as straight forward as you might think and you need to be aware in order to maximize your role as a raid buffer. First, lets go over what totems to drop if another shaman is in the raid.

Other Shamans in raid / group

If the other shaman is enhance, then they should have Enhancing totems talent and should be dropping Windfury, Strength of Earth, and Flametongue totems. As far as which air totem to drop, it is probably better that he drops mana spring and you handle healing stream. This is because of the new change in 3.1 that made our mana spring totem a base 91 mp5 untalented. Even though a resto mana spring totem should be 109 mp5, there is a much larger difference in our healing stream due to the fact that it is based off of spell power. Hopefully you have holy paladin in the raid for his blessing of wisdom, which if talent is the same as the resto shaman, 109 mp5. These do not stack..../sad panda

If the other shaman is elemental, then there is no reason to drop your flametongue totem. Elemental's have Totem of Wrath, which is a larger increase in spell power and will not stack with flametongue. I usually just take over what they do not, meaning that I drop the melee helpful totems along with healing stream.

You are just going to have to use your best judgement in deciding which totems to drop. Two important things to consider...

1. Compostion of your group / raid. If you are melee heavy or the top 5 dps is all melee classes, you might want to drop windfury over wrath of air.

2. Make sure your totems are not wasted or being overiden. We talked about this in regards to other shamans and holy paladins. Example is Death Knight's Horn of Winter. When this is activated it makes our Strength of the Earth totem pretty useless. Use Stoneskin totem to add some extra armor, plus it makes healing the tanks a little easier.

Can't really go wrong if you follow those two rules.


Instant big heal aka OH SNAPFIZZLE button

All resto shamans need a "OH SNAPFIZZLE" button. This is when someone in your raid / group needs an instant big heal. Through talents you are going to get the ability called Nature Swiftness. This makes any spell with a cast time under 10 seconds instant. Coupled with another resto talent, Tidal Force, and waa you just have to put a macro to make it a button.

The two talents by itself with a healing wave cast should instantly heal someone for 10-14k (depending on spell power). You can also add trinkets into the mix and it is recommended.

Macro is as follows:

/use 13
/use 14
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast Tidal Force

13 is the upper trinket slot and 14 is the lower trinket slot. If you do not have a trinket that has a use, then the macro will just skip over it.


This macro is useful for pvp and pve. It also comes in very handy for heroic 5 mans. Remember that less dmg that your group / raid is taking, the better. If you have a badie targeted, it will Earth Shock them. If you have a friendly targeted, it will earth shock its target.

/cast [harm] Earth Shock; [target=targettarget, harm] Earth Shock

These are the only macros that I use. There are other ones out there that other shamans deem useful, but those two are the most useful in my opinion.


Addons are a big deal and help you do your job correctly. Even though it is slightly outdated, I wrote an article awhile back of all of my addons. Most of those addons are not necessary, but a few make our job extremely more efficient. I HIGHLY recommend downloading and using Clique for all healers, not just resto shamans.

Clique is very easy to setup and if used correctly, automatically makes you a better healer. Breakdown of the addon is that heals are casted by just moving your mouse over the raid frame or the toon portrait and pressing a certain keybind. You can setup which key you want to bind an ability

Alot of shamas swear by grid or healbot. I used the default UI and I do find. Now If I didn't have clique, I would be in major trouble.


1. Key bindings. Super important. Besides the key bindings I have setup for Clique, I also use the "~" key for Riptide, the "1" key for LHW, and the "2" key for HW. "G" is my OH SNAPFIZZLE button, and "T" is just Tidal Force.

2. Raid Healing. We have chain heal and because of this we make excellent raid healers. In fights where people are spread out, Chain heal loses its power. Howeer, melee can only spread out so far and because of this we are excellent in keeping that group up while we through a quick LHW to others.

3. Don't forget about your elementals! You might be thinking to yourself...well duh dude! I is no noob mmk? Well I am and I forget about my fire and earth elementals all the time. Blizzard buffed both of them substantially and they are definitely worth dropping during boss fights. Especially for all of the dps races in Ulduar.

4. Don't be afraid to fail. I have let many people die when they shouldn't have. Most of the time it was due to casting a chain heal (long cast) instead of using a Riptide+LHW (quick cast). Other times it has been due to me zoning out or just plain failing. Practice and repetition is key to perfecting anything, just try not to get discouraged and keep at it.

5. We can decurse! So do it! This may be another one of those dumb moments, but I have ran into MANY resto shamans that did not know they can decurse. Even better is setup your cleanse in clique to minimize the time the disease, curse, or poision is on. Very important and recommended.

I know this post is huge, but there was alot of information I wanted to inform the masses few followers about how to play a restoration shaman correctly. If you notice any glaring mistakes please say inform me in the comment section. Thanks for reading and now you should know how to master the power of nature....

....good luck with that shit =P

Referance for most information:


T-Sonn said...

WHOA this is a lot of info - thanks!! My hub plays a resto shammy as his main, I'm going to direct him here for your OH SNAPFIZZLE macro, lol.

thedoctor said...

Well, I figured since I put "One stop" in the titel I better cover everything LOL.


Darraxus said...

Who, quite the impressive post. You forgot one major thing.

You need to channel Williams Shatner dawg.

Occeleta said...

Tis perfect timing. I been working on my Shaman, leveling as Elemental. But even before 3.1 I was often asked to heal the instances I ran. The higher I level the more and more I was asked to heal. Considering he is planned to be a healer anyways he was my first to Dual Spec as opposed to all the other 70+ i had. Now that I have the Resto spec and have hit Northrend I am very appreciative of this info and look forward to utilizing it the best I can.

Gaelicjim said...

Nice post but I do have 2 comments.

The glyph of healing stream totem is crap. Its only party wide and you lose out on LHW glyph. Unless you are in same group as tanks (i am generally in cast group so we all get totem buffs), LHW glyph is much better imo.

Earth elemental is a last resort option in raids. He can pull aggro off tanks and that is not good. Fire elemental is great for aoe fun times and adding extra dps, like loethab.

kyrilean said...

Whoa! I seriously need to finish leveling my shammy this weekend. Thx a ton!

Anonymous said...

I feel almost silly for even saying anything about resto shamans on my blog now -- i feel inadequate! haha. good post!

Squid said...

I know this is slightly old post but i just came across your site :D. Good blue sockets are royal and glowing opals.

thedogmode said...

blog is old but the information still applies as of patch 3.1.3 June 2,2009 :)

Good job! This is an excellent entry! :) ALL Resto Shamans can pick learn/re-learn from this!

Fish said...

This is invaluable for my little shammy (lets face it, any class that can heal, eventually will probably have to heal, if you want to group consistantly)

Rompa said...

This guide would be useful if it had anything useful in it...shamans gem haste. and who the hell glyphs healing stream?

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