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horde-logo-wow-warcraft2Project Panzer is a new weekly series on life at the other end of chain heal where Jager takes the time and learns what it is like walk the path of his warrior brethren.

As a Resto Shaman my life is about watching health bars. My job is to make sure those bars stay as green as possible and to make sure the health bars of the tanks do not hit zero. Raid healing is tedious, strenuous and sometimes boring…and you know…I love every minute of it.

My raid group is lucky to have two very intelligent competent warrior tanks that I have grown to love running with. I know both tanks very well and can anticipate what they will do which makes healing them that much easier. During a recent PuG raid though I realized just how spoiled I am.

During an OS 25-man run, the tank had the hardest time getting agro, controlling the mob and keeping things under control. I was very critical of their mistakes but did the most I could to help them out. By the end, the raid was successful, but only after numerous attempts. After paying 50 gold for the repair bill, I mentioned I could have tanked that better than him, drunk and half asleep. After the frustration passed, I thought to myself, could I actually have been able to out tank him? I am an OK healer, but do I have the skills to be a tank? Could I actually pull it off?

At the end of that night Panzerbombz was born, Orc warrior, born to serve Thrall and to battle for the honor of the horde. Panzer is to be my looking glass into the warrior class allowing me to learn the ways of the tank and to better understand the class in an attempt to make me a better healer. Each week will see updates on Panzer’s progression along with insights on class talents and leveling as a fury warrior.

What! You think I would level protection? I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.

Next time I will take a look at the first levels as a warrior and how much I miss being able to heal myself while I level.

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lol, glad I met my wife before I got into WoW

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Sad? Yes. Am I jealous? Yes

Today is patch day and boy I am glad I am not a hunter.  There are some nice shaman stuff going in today, especially for our elemental brothers.  Here is a list that effects us as Resto Shaman.

Shaman
Fire Nova Totem: Now no longer generates threat.
Healing Way: Now only one application is required to reach full benefit. No longer stacks.
Improved Water Shield: Lesser Healing Wave now has a reduced chance to trigger this talent.
Magma Totem: The damage and scaling has been increased and no longer generates threat.
Mental Quickness: Reduces the mana cost of instant cast Shaman spells by 2/4/6% and increases spell power by an amount equal to 23/46/70% of your agility.
Searing Totem (Rank 4) now does the proper damage for its rank.
Tremor Totem’s duration has been increased from 2 minutes to 5 minutes.

Blacksmithing
Reduced the spell power on the Titansteel Guardian to bring it in line with its item level.

With the change to Healing Way, I think I will give it a shot in our Naxx runs to see how viable it will be to use.  I am also excited about the fire totem changes, this should help out for adding AoE in the raids as well as AoE grinding for your daily quest.

The change to the Titansteel Guradian is met with mixed blessing.  The spell power on this was an unbelievable 490 but has reduced to 457.  This is more of a fix than a nerf.  The guradian’s spell power was way out of line for what it took to get it, but still, any loss in spell power is accepted with some sorrow for the spell power junky.

Don’t forget that all shamans have had their talent points refunded so make sure to talent up before your go out and try to heal your raids.

enemiesLast week was full of success and firsts for the Pen is Mightier.  Tuesday we cleared all of lower Naxx.  Wednesday we downed Sapphiron and Kael’Thuzad and then went in to take a look at Malyogs.  I will say that the Malygos encounter is not very Resto-Shaman friendly which should be interesting since the two healers in our 10-man group happen to both be Resto-Shaman.

We PuG’ed some 25-man Naxx/OS and Vault runs which allowed us to get some people some gear that they might not have had a chance to get normally.

I also rolled a warrior for those days that I am not raiding and I don’t want to do dailies.  So far he is only 10, but he is fun to play.  I picked him up the heirloom shoulders for the exp bonus and all I can say is “Wow”.  If you have an alt and some extra Wintergrasp tokens, you must get your alt a pair.  They are so worth it.

This week should see our second clear or Naxx, a real attempt on Malyogs and a guild meeting.  Oh how I love meetings.  I am sure this is the one where the guild decides we have too many shamans and I am the odd man out.  This should allow me to finish up my Naxx guides in the near future, so I guess it will be a blessing.

This is part two of my Resto-Shaman guides to Naxxramas. These guides are designed with the Resto-Shaman in mind, but may be beneficial for any healers. These guides are a condensed overview of each Naxxramas encounter allowing the Resto Shaman to understand their roll in the raid.

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You have probably conquered your fear of spiders and maybe even gotten “Arachnophobia”.  The next logical step in Naxxramas will probably be the topic of this guide, the Plague Wing.  The encounters in the Plague Wing are more about coordination than anything and you will need to be on the ball if you wish to keep your raid alive.

Naxxramas: Plague Wing

Trash: The trash in the Plague wing will consist of gargoyles, oozes, slimes, worms and bats oh my.  The only thing to really keep an eye out for is any diseases, make sure to cleanse them as quickly as possible or drop a disease cleansing totem if the majority of the raid is getting plagued.

nothNoth the Plaguebringer: The first boss encounter in the Plague Wing is the a former Wizard/Alchemist of Dalaran, Noth.  This encounter is broken up into two repeating phases.

Phase One: Noth will be engaged by the main tank.  During this time he will curse three random raid members.  It is important that you de-curse these s quickly as possible within 10 second.  If you rail to remove the curses, both the targeted raid member and anyone near them will take a significant amount of damage.

Also during this time, Noth sill summon Plague Warriors that will need to be picked up by the off tank and DPS’ed down by a couple of the raid members.

As a healer, this phase is all about cleansing.  As long as you can cleanse your raid healing will be only needed on the two tanks.

Phase Two: At this point Noth will teleport to his balcony and he will summon Plague Champions and Plague Guardians.  The Guardians need to be targeted first since they cast Arcane Explosion and can cause a good amount of raid wide damage. 

During this phase make sure to keep the raid topped of with chain heal or a combo of riptide and LHW.  This will make any Arcane Explosions less stressful on you.

These phases will cycle three times.  After the third time you will need to burn Noth down or he will enrage and wipe the raid, making the time after Noth returns from his balcony the first time a very crucial time in the encounter.

Once Noth has teleported back after phase two and the warrior has gained aggro control, cast blood lust, drop your fire elemental totem and start DPS’ing and heal when needed.  Your raid will want to do all it can to get Noth down at this point.

heigantheuncleanHeigan the Unclean: After working your way through a bevy of bats, worms and other trash you will come upon the keeper of the Naxxramas house music and coordinator or all Lich King’s raves, Heigan.

This encounter is all about paying attention.  During this fight there are two phases.  Phase one is the tank/dps phase and phase two is the dance phase.

Phase One: During this phase the tank and all the melee DPS will engage Heigan on the main floor while the range DPS and the healers are on the Heigan’s platform.  During this phase, the tank and the DPS will have to move Heigan around the room avoiding the poison waves splashing up from the floor.  Pay attention to this part to get an idea of the pattern of the splashed.  Your job on this phase will be to heal the main tank and cleanse anyone who has been diseased.

Phase Two: At this point Heigan has had enough his dance and will force you as a raid to dance for him.  Heigan will teleport back to his platform and the raid must gather together in what is known as quarter one.  During this time you will need to move from quarter to quarter avoiding the poison splashed.  The patter is 1…2…3…4…3…2…1…2…3…4…3…2…1.  If you are new to this encounter pay attention to nothing but yourself and the waves.  Once you have gotten used to this you will be able to use riptide during the dance to heal up those who have been hit by the waves.

As long as you pay attention this is a rather easy fight.  Drop your totems as you normally would.  Bloodlust can be kept for the second phase one or used right away once the tank has aggro.

loathebLoatheb: Loatheb is the final boss of the Plague Wing and can drive healers absolutely crazy the first few times they fight him.  Loatheb has three things to worry about, Deathbloom a 200 nature damage instant cast and a 1200 DoT that is raid wide, Doom that causes 4000 shadow damage raid wide and Necrotic aura that will reduce healing by 100%…yes you cannot heal at all when this is up, even health stones and health pots do not work during this time.  You can cast, but it will be a waste of mana.

During the fight you will be doing primarily DPS since if Loatheb is not killed fast enough he will enrage and wipe the raid.  So your job will be to get a fungal creep buff from the spore and nuke, nuke and nuke.

Now, don’t forget you are a healer and every 20 seconds you will get to be a healer for 3 seconds, the time fram between Necrotic Aura fading and getting recast.  In ten man you will either be the tank/raid healer or the raid healer.  Either way, you will need to be quick.  Here is how you can heal in both situations.

Tank/Raid Healing – 2 seconds before Necrotic Aura has faded queue up a HW on the tank.  This should hit just after the Aura has faded.  Then quickly cast riptide on yourself or a DPS and then cast chain heal.  It might take some practice but if timed right you can get three heals off in 3 seconds.

Raid Healing – 2 seconds before aura has faded, chose the lowest hp member in a group and queue up chain heal. This will hit just as aura fades.  At this point determine who your next target will be and Riptide them and chain heal them, this will give you a boosted chain heal for those around them.

Repeat these steps every 17 seconds and you will be fine.  Just make sure that you are paying attention to your mana since you will be DPS’ing during the fight.  Make sure to drop a mana tide around 60% mana and pop a mana pot toward the end when the raid damage starts stacking up pretty heavily.  Don’t be shy about asking for help.  If there are any Paladins, Druids or other shaman in the raid ask them to heal during those three seconds if things are getting rough for you.

Congratulations, you have just cleared the Plague Wing and survived one of the most stressful healing encounters in the game.  Next stop on your tour on Naxxramas will be the Abomination Wing where you will meet your next healing challenge, Patchwerk.

offiss_catFor wanting to not play this weekend I ended up running more content than I ever have in one weekend.

Friday was quiet, I think I healed a heroic and called it a night, but Saturday…yeesh.  I logged on to check my mail and got pulled into a PUG’d heroic Obsidian Sanctum.  The group was well geared and knew their stuff.  We had the zone cleared in less than a half hour.  Tier 7.5 glove token dropped for me, but I lost the roll.  I did walk away with the bag of spoils so I am not complaining. 

After the OS run, I got into a PUG’d heroic Naxxramas.  The start was rough, but after that the run went well and the spider wing was cleared.  Faerlina dropped the Totem of Misery and I hade flash backs of “I went to Black Temple and all I got was this stupid totem” (Totem of Ancestral Guidance), but Maexxena dropped me some leather shoulders that were a decent upgrade so I didn’t go to bed with the totem loot blues.

Sunday was the continuation of the guild run of 10-man Naxx and we did very well.  We took down Gron, Gluth, Thadious and the 4 Horsemen.  No loots for Jager, but Tommyox our druid and Buffmuffin our Paladin got all pimped out.  We went off to try Sapphiron.  The first pull of the night was the best and we ended up calling it after a few attempts.  People may say that you don’t need frost resist in the 10-man, but you know, as a healer…I am going to demand it.  Healing that fight is a damn pain.  He and Kael’Thuzad should be down by the end of this week though.  After that it is off to Malygos!

It started simple enough, the aged shaman and a warrior alone except for the pulsing totems at their feet, but before they knew it, Baron Rivendare was upon them.  The Tauren called to the elements to aide his companion.  The fight seemed simple enough, but after a time, a searing pain shot through their bodies.  Moments later the pain returned again, only greater, making the hulking mass wince and drop to a knee.  Like the others though, they fought on, the sounds of battle surrounding them from all corners of the room.

A call from the forsaken warrior urged the shaman and the warrior to move on.  The Orc turned quickly and charged towards the Paladin as the Tauren made his way to the bloodied Moonkin.  There was just enough time to heal the Moonkin’s wounds before the Forsaken called back to him and the Orc to return.  They held the Baron where he was, but the growing pain became too much to bear and the Forsaken and his companions returned allowing the Orc and Tauren to return to aide the comrades in the back.

The Shaman placed his totems, but before he could finish his casting, a hideous wail echoed through out the room.  He looked to see the Baron fall from his horse in defeat.  The Forsaken led the others to the back of the room assigning each a target focus on, allowing the shaman to take position on the platform in the middle of the room to aide all that he could reach.

The groups moved back and forth from rider to rider to avoid the building agony that each put on their combatants.  The shaman did his best to keep everyone standing, even if that meant having the powers of both riders building upon him.  The pain grew, his eyes waters, but the shaman continued on.

A moment of hope filled him as he watched the next rider fall from her steed.  The lone rider fought on with a look of sorrow in his eyes.  A moment before the killing blow, he exchanged glances  with the Tauren and a look of relief seemed to over take the rider as he slid from his saddle onto the stone floor.

A cheer erupted from the victors, the Four Horsemen had been defeated and the day was theirs.  The Tauren, weakened and shaking, collapsed in exhaustion where he stood.  A moment later he noticed something odd about here he lay.  He rolled over and found that yes, even undead horses seem to leave manure where they once stood.

/sigh

 

Shout out to the raid crew (Pud, Elniño, Ankenhawk, Buffmuffin, Maxpane, Udaan, Dayywalker, Duglarg and Tommyox) for the great job clearing lower Naxx.

The group stood, tired and injured, but victorious.  The hulking pile of rotting flesh and gore once known as Patchwerk lay dead; its blood and ooze starting to pool around their feet.  The battle was over but their journey far from over. 

The group gathered their strength and began to move on.  A large gore covered Tauren followed slowly, trying to wipe the last of the ooze from the creases of his aged face.  He felt a small drop of ooze run into his nostril.  He sneezed loudly to the amusement of his companions.  He had just enough time to look up and see an ooze flow over him and send him to the spirit realm.  The ancestor’s were surely never going to let him forget about this.

/sigh

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Anub’Rekhan to Maexxna in 16 minutes.  Good job guys!

My previous article on the restoration shaman raid build garnered a lot of attention and ended up being a good forum for discussing the pros and cons of the build that I had suggested.  I took those comments and started looking at the talent calculator and started trying to find the “perfect” restoration shaman raid build.

I am sorry to say that I have not found the “perfect” raid build and I don’t think there is one.  Each shaman is different, be it their play style (ES/LHW tank healer or Chain Heal spamming AoE healer) or their raid make up (10-man vs. 25-man) and this makes it difficult to have a single build for every shaman.

What I have found though is a build template that has some flexibility for the shaman to make decisions based on personal preference.  What I ended up with is a 0/13/51 +7 build.  This build includes the “must haves” for a restoration shaman and allows you to flesh out the build to match your play style.

talent

Enhancement – 13

Ancestral Knowledge 5/5 – Increase your Intellect by 10%.

Not only will this increase your mana pool, but will increase your mp5, your critical rating and your spell power.

Improved Shields 3/3 – Increase the damage done by lighting shield, Increase the mana returned from water shield and increase the amount healed by earth shield by 15%

The benefit of this talent is two fold.  Not only will we get more mana back from our water shield procs, but we will be healing more with our earth shield which in itself will also aid in mana regeneration.

Thundering Strike 5/5 – Increase your chance to get a critical strike with all spells and attacks.

With the onset of WotLK, the restoration shaman’s talents and healing have become more crit based.  Lading a critical heal can proc our water shield for mana regen, proc ancestral healing to increase our targets armor by 25% and can proc Ancestral Awaking for added healing.  Another bonus of this is that the crits also affect your damage spells so it boost up your DPS a little while either soloing your dailies or DPS during healing down time.  I personally would not leave Thunder Bluff without it.

Restoration – 51

Improved Healing Wave 5/5 – Reduce your cast time of healing wave by .5 seconds.

I will be the first to admit that I do not cast healing wave that often any more, but when I do I am glad to have it be 2.5 seconds rather than 3 seconds.  Taking this is a no brainer.

Ancestral healing 3/3 – Increase your targets armor by 25% for 15 seconds after getting a critical effect from one of your healing spells.

More armor = Win!

Tidal Force 5/5 – Reduce mana cost of your healing spells by 5%.

If I have to explain why this is good, please delete your shaman and go roll a Death Knight.

Improved Water Shield 3/3 – When you gain a critical effect from your healing wave, lesser healing wave and riptide you have a 100% chance to consume a water shield orb.

Stack this with improved shields and you will be getting a good amount of mana back on your crits.  There has been some discussion about this consuming water shield orbs too quickly and causing timing issues with the global cool down, but I have not been affected by this very much while running 10 man content.  After patch 3.0.8 is release this will be changed to be 100% on healing wave and 66% on lesser healing wave and riptide, so this might address the cool down issues without having to reduce the amount of points used in this talent.

Tidal Force 1/1 – Increase the critical effect of your healing wave, lesser healing wave and chain heal by 60%.  Each critical effect will reduce the chance by 20%.

With having so many nice talents based on crit, it is a must to take a talent that gives the shaman the ability to almost guarantee a healing crit.  If you combine this with the nature’s swiftness/healing wave macro you can land yourself some really big heals in those “Oh Sh!t” moments.

Resorative Totems 5/5 – Increase the effects of your healing stream and your mana stream totems by 25%

This talent increases your mana totem effect at level 80 from 85 mp5 to 106 mp5 and we all know 106 is better than 85.

Tidal Mastery 5/5- Increases the critical chance of your healing and lighting spells by 5%

See above for why crit is good for both healing and grinding.

Nature’s Swiftness 1/1 – When activated your next nature spell with a casting time less than 10 seconds will be instant.

This is the “Oh Sh!t” button that you should not be without.  Not only is it handy for those moments when you needed a big heal 2 seconds ago, it can come in handy when the rest of the raid is dead and you are standing face to face with a boss that has all of 4K health left and you are the last line of defense.

Purification 5/5 – Increases the effectiveness of your healing spells by 10%.

Take this talent not only to increase the amount of your healing, but for the next talent where purification is a pre-requisite.

Cleanse Spirit 1/1 – Cleanse the spirit of your target removing one poison, one disease and one curse effect.

I did not how much I loved this talent till I didn’t take it.  Having a one button cure is so helpful and finally being able to clear a curse is heaven.

Mana Tide Totem 1/1 – Summons a mana tide totem that restores 24% of a player’s mana over 12 seconds.

If you are a restoration shaman and do not have this skill…you are not a restoration shaman.

Improved Chain Heal 2/2 – Increase the amount healed by chain heal by 20%.

As much as some shamans, like myself, try not to use chain heal as much as we used to there is no denying that it is still our most effective healing spell.  This is a must for all raiders to handle raid damage in both 10 and 25 man content.

Blessing of the Eternals 2/2 – Increase the critical effect chance of your spells by 4% and increase your chance to apply the earth living effect by 80% on your target when they are at or under 35% health.

Another talent that increases our chance to crit, are we getting the hint yet.  The added bonus for applying our EL HoT on a target that is low is nice, not game changing but any extra healing can mean the difference between a loot piñata or a raid wipe.

Nature’s Blessing 3/3 – Increase your healing by 15% of your intelligence.

A nice boost to our healing power is greatly appreciated and has great synergy with the ancestral knowledge skill that increases your mana by 10%.

Earth Shield 1/1 – A six charged shield that has a chance to heal the target when hit and reduces spell pushback by 30% when hit.

This is one of the class defining mechanics we have as a shaman.  Not only is this an added heal to the target, normally a tank, but the healing agro done by the shield is based on the target and not the caster.  

Improved Earth Shield 2/2 – Increases the shield charges to 8 and increases the amount healed by 10%.

This is a must for the added heals and the extra procs.  Stack this with improved shields and the healing from earth shield will be increased by 25%.

Tidal Waves 5/5 – You have a 100% chance after you cast chain heal or riptide to lower the cast time of your next two lesser healing wave or healing wave spells by 30%.  In addition, healing wave will gain an additional 20% of your bonus healing and your lesser healing wave will gain an additional 10% of your bonus healing.

Take this talent, cast riptide and either two LHW or HW and go to town.  This is what has helped us be a viable tank healer and allowed for a better single target raid healing role.  This has also allowed the shaman to become a little more mobile when healing.  The less time it takes to cast the quicker we can move when needed.  This has become one of my favorite talents in the restoration tree.

Riptide 1/1 – Heals a target for 639 to 692 and then another 665 over 15 seconds. The next chain heal cast on the main target will consume riptide and will increase the amount healed by chain heal by 25%

Finally what I have been dreaming of as a restoration shaman, an instant heal and it even has a HoT attached to it.  This spell has allowed me to tank heal while proc’ing tidal waves, has allowed me uber raid heals with the chain heal effect and has allowed me to heal on the move.  If there has been one talent added to the restoration shaman’s arsenal that I cannot live without, it is Riptide.

This build now allows you to spend 7 points any where you want dependent on your play style.  If you normally run 5/10 man content, ancestral awaking may be useful for the extra heals.  If you are learning new content and the learning curve is steep you could go for improved re-incarnation and nature’s blessing and if you are having issues with agro you can spend the points in healing grace to reduce your healing threat.

No matter what you choose, know that the build above is solid and will give you all the tools you will need to heal raid content.  You can even go in with this build without using the 7 extra talent points and do absolutely fine.  This has been proven, but you might not want to tell my raid group.

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