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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.
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.