Restoration Shaman Healing Guide
updated for patch 5.4.7
|This Restoration Shaman guide is primarily intended for Raid/PvE healing at level 90 and to some extent in PvP. However, if you’re looking for advice on leveling your Shaman, check out our Shaman Leveling Guide.
Other Shaman Guides:
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Restoration Shaman Talents
Most of the Resto Sham talents have, at least, situational utility. There might well be times when you want to switch up before a fight. Keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind handy for those occasions.
Tier 1, level 15:
- Nature’s Guardian is only useful if you anticipate dropping to low levels of health on a frequent basis. That shouldn’t be a problem for you outside of PvP.
- Stone Bulwark Totem is useful for sustained incoming damage, which is probably what you are most likely to encounter most of the time. Astral Shift is better for burst damage.
- Astral Shift is a useful damage mitigation tool, pick either this or Nature’s Guardian although personally I’m partial to Astral Shift.
Tier 2, level 30
- Frozen Power roots a target in place for 5 seconds and is the least potentially useful of the three talents in this tier, only effective on a single target. Useful for the occasional wandering add.
- Earthgrab Totem is an AoE root/slow which will see only very occasional value as the Tank should have control of everything.
- Windwalk Totem gives you and your raid immunity to movement impairing effects for a short time, quite useful under the right circumstances.
Tier 3, level 45
Each of these is somewhat situational and will really depend on the fight.
- Call of the Elements is the most useful choice of this tier as it can give you your totems right now.
- Totemic Persistance is useful in PvP, not so interesting for PvE/Raiding.
- Totem Projection is more for doing damage, or PvP, but could have the occasional other use. .
Tier 4, level 60
- Elemental Mastery provides a big haste cooldown, 20 seconds, every 90 seconds, one of two recommended choices. Useful for when you need a lot of extra healing during heavy damage periods.
- Ancestral Swiftness is another viable choice as it allows for an instant emergency heal and has a nice passive Haste boost.
- Echo of the Elements is too random to be as helpful as the other two options. It’s likely to cause overhealing when it does proc and can’t be counted on to proc when you actually need it.
Tier 5, level 75
- Rushing Streams is useful for when the team gets spread out. Increases overall healing by a small amount.
- Ancestral Guidance is also beneficial in certain specific situations, such as for tightly stacked melee, but less useful overall than Healing Tide Totem. More of a useful DPS talent than a Resto talent.
- Conductivity has very limited value the vast majority of the time, avoid it.
Tier 6, level 90
- Unleashed Fury for powerful single target heals.
- Primal Elementalist is best used when the majority of your heals are area effect.
- Elemental Blast is lacking due to the random factor of the buff. The long cast time doesn’t help.
Tier 7, level 100
These talents are coming with Warlords of Draenor.These are the description as of 4/1 (not an April Fools joke) and will likely change. The new talents often have different effects depending on your spec. This will be true for other classes, as well, and some of the lower level talents may change to do the same thing. See our level 100 talents post for details on the other classes.
- Elemental and Enhancement: While lightning Shield is active Lightning will strike a random enemy within 40 yards, that you are already in combat with, for decent nature damage.
- Restoration: Summon a Water Totem that will collect all Overhealing and grant it, as Spell Power, to your next Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Greater Healing Wave, Chain Heal, or Riptide.
- Storm Elemental Totem
- All: Summons an Air Totem (with 6k health) that calls forth a Storm Elemental which hurls gusts of wind at your enemies for damage. The damage done is returned to all allies within 15 yds, as healing, split evenly among them. 5 min cooldown.
- Questions: Will this be affected by Primal elementalist? Can it be summoned when the fire/earth elemental is active? Will it replace the fire elemental spell or the earth elemental spell?
- Reach of the Elements
- Elemental and Enhancement: Your Fire Totem now spits globs of lava at random targets within 40 yds. every 1 second for 15 seconds. Each glob deals damage to the target and all enemies withing 8 yds of the target.
- Restoration: Chain Heal now bounces to all targets affected by your Riptide.
Some of the more useful glyphs. Swap as necessary.
- Glyph of Healing Stream Totem – adds some damage reduction to the target of your heal.
- Glyph of Riptide – less immediate heal, but no cooldown. Spam Riptide all over the place. Will result in more effective Chain Heals as they will be affected by the Riptide buff more often.
- Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem – When your elemental is up it can buff your healing ability via Empower or Reinforce.
- Glyph of Spiritwalker’s Grace – great for fights with lots of movement
- Glyph of Chaining – mostly for 5 mans and 10 man raids, where your targets are likely to be spread out. Not so useful for larger raids.
- Glyph of Healing Wave – Will likely lose value in heroic raids.
- Glyph of Water Shield
Minor Glyphs are mostly only cosmetic, But there are a couple of exceptions. Grab any that you like the look of. Such as these:
- Glyph of the Lakestrider: Gain water walking
- Glyph of Astral Recall: reduces CD by 5 min.
- Glyph of Deluge: chain heal now has a watery appearance.
Restoration Stat Priorities
All of these stats values will change greatly when Warlords of Draenor launches.
- Priority: Int & Spirit > Haste at a breakpoint > Mastery > Crit > Haste in between breakpoints.
The above is a quick and dirty stats guide. The value of the secondary stats depends a lot on exactly how you play the healing game.The exact value of the stats also depends on break-points, gear levels, etc.
Hit and Expertise are not needed.
Int is your Spellpower and is your most important stat, but it’s not the only one you need. Pump everything you can into Int and you’ll have powerful heals, but you’ll run out of mana quickly. Pump it all into Spirit and your heals will be weaker, but you will last forever.
Spirit is your mana regen. Stack it until you’re happy with your mana usage. Note that this will vary greatly with exactly what you’re fighting, your gear level, your team, and so on. In long fights with lots of damage you will need more than otherwise. If you are low at the end of the fight, but not running Out of Mana (OOM,) then your spirit is about right. If you’re near full mana then get rid of some Spirit. Likewise if you’re OOM then you need more.
Mastery: Your Mastery stat becomes increasingly valuable as your targets are lower in health. If your team is constantly topped off then points in Mastery will have a significantly lower value than if they’re constantly at 10% of full health.
Note that healing people up when they really need it is far more important than when they don’t and that’s exactly where your Mastery helps.
At higher health levels Crit actually appears to be more valuable, due to Resurgence.
Haste: Restoration has a somewhat complex Haste Soft Cap system, make certain to research it further before finalizing. Start by checking the Haste break-point card on Totemspot (you’ll have to scroll down a bit.) 12.51 total Haste (all buffs included) gets you the first three breakpoints. The next one is at 20.01% total Haste. When you hit the break-point Haste is your best stat (after Int and Spirit,) though it’s not so hot in between break-points. High Haste will also cause you to burn mana faster.
Crit: Resurgence returns a pretty nice amount of mana and crits do 200% healing, so what’s not to like? The randomness. It’s great when it happens, but you can’t count on it. It will certainly add the amount of healing you do and help keep your mana up, or at least it’ll help keep it from running out as fast.
You can find a detailed discussion of your stats on ElitistJerks.
- How’s your Mana regen? If you’re finishing fights with full mana then reforge some Spirit away. If you’re OOM during a fight then you need more.
Restoration Shaman In-Depth Ability Guide
Keep it Up
- Water Shield and Earth Living Weapon should always be active.
- Maintain Earth Shield on the tank at all times. Earthshield has nine charges and heals the shielded player every time they take damage. Earth Shield does not stack and if you have multiple shaman in a raid you should coordinate to make best use of the effect.
- Unleash Elements should be used to boost the effectiveness of your healing.
- Riptide is important to maintain on as many targets as possible to benefit from the 25% increase in healing done by Chain Heal on targets already affected by Riptide. Additionally, using Riptide triggers the Tidal Waves buff which reduces the cast time of Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave by 30% and increases the critical effect chance of your Healing Surge spell.
- Healing Wave should be used as often as possible for healing due to its low mana cost.
- Greater Healing Wave is more suitable for periods of heavy damage and should be swapped to if Healing Wave simply isn’t enough to keep people alive or in advance of an anticipated damage spike.
If the raid is taking AoE damage or at the very least multiple players are taking damage at the same time, use Chain Heal. As mentioned above, Chain Heal will benefit from a 25% increase in healing done if the target is already affected by Riptide.
Healing Surge is your emergency heal for situations where you don’t have enough time to cast Greater Healing Wave on someone. Making frequent use of Healing Surge will very shortly leave you with no mana so it’s recommended to avoid using it if at all possible.
Totems and Such
- Spiritwalker’s Grace will allow you to move and still heal when necessary.
- Mana Tide Totem contributes to raid wide mana regeneration and so its use should be coordinated with your entire raid.
- Healing Stream Totem should be used as often as possible. It lasts for 15 seconds with a 30 second cooldown and heals the most injured players within 40 yards every 2 seconds.
- Spirit Link Totem reduces all damage taken by players within range by 10% for 6 seconds. Each second the health of all players effected by the totem is shifted such that they have an equal percentage of life remaining.
Tier 4 Talented Abilities:
- Elemental Mastery provides a significant haste buff and is ideal for healing through periods of heavy damage.
- Ancestral Swiftness provides you with an instant cast heal every minute, this is best used to insta-cast Greater Healing Wave in an emergency.
Tier 5 Talented Abilities:
- Both Ancestral Guidance and Healing Tide Totem are potent healing cooldowns that are best saved for AoE healing the raid.
Gems for the Restoration Shaman
Unless a socket bonus offers a solid Int or Spirit bonus, it’s generally more effective to gem for pure intellect and ignore the bonus. But, note that gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, so your Haste gems are 320 points and your Int gems are 160. This does give some reason to match those socket bonuses, though we recommend only doing it if it’s for a nice Int bonus. See the stats section above and also check your healing logs and gem accordingly.
Your mail bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to the other stats.
This routine makes certain assumptions, for example: that you need more spirit
- Meta: Burning Primal Diamond is generally the best choice, esp. at higher gear levels when your mana is fine. If you need Spirit then use the Revitalizing Primal Diamond. The legendary gem Courageous Primal Diamond, is great if you can get it.
- Red, Blacksmithing, and belt buckle sockets: Brilliant Primordial Ruby – for the spellpower.
- Yellow: Reckless Vermilion Onyx (Int & Haste) or even Quick Sun’s Radiance if you can hit a Haste break-point with the gems, otherwise Artful Vermilion Onyx (Int & Mastery)
- Blue: Need the Spirit? Then use Sparkling River’s Heart. Otherwise Purified Imperial Amethyst (Int & Spirit.)
|Gems for the Resto Shaman|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Revitalizing Primal Diamond: +432 Spirit & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Courageous Primal Diamond: +324 Intellect and a chance on beneficial spell casts to make your spells cost no mana for 4 sec. This does require you to keep an eye open for the procs and use them properly. If, for whatever reason, you can’t nail the procs then the Burning gem will be better.
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +320 Mastery
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Blue||Sparkling River’s Heart: +320 Spirit|
|Orange||Potent Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Crit
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste
Artful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Mastery
|Green||Energized Wild Jade: +160 Haste, +160 Spirit
Zen Wild Jade: +160 Mastery, +160 Spirit
|Purple||Purified Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +160 Spirit|
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: 600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Restoration Shaman Enchantments
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
|Weapon||Main Hand: Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.
Off Hand: Enchant Off-Hand – Major Intellect: +165 Int
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats adds 80 Spirit.
Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit: +200 Spirit – grab this if you need more Spirit.
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +180 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste if it lets you hit a break-point, otherwise use…
Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: +170 Mastery
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Pearlescent Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Spirit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +170 Haste
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Restoration Shaman Professions
This is for those who need every last bit of burning power. All of the regular professions offer a self-only buff of some sort. None of these buffs will make or break your healing capability. Leveling any of the crafting professions will be expensive. Check out Tycoon if you are short on gold.
If you’re looking for more Spirit, or any secondary stat, consider Blacksmithing. You will be able to slot two gems for 640 points in a secondary stat Vs. 320 points of Int.
- Blacksmithing – Add gems slots to gloves and bracers, for the best Int or Spirit gems you can get your hands on. You can also make keys to pick locks when a Rogue isn’t handy. Since you can use any gem in those sockets you can consider Blacksmithing to be the best profession. Drop in Int or Spirit or Haste gems, depending on your needs.
- Engineering – Synapse Springs can increase your best stat (Int) by 1,920 for 10 seconds. Drop it into a macro and use during burst phases. Also has other useful gadgets.
- Tailoring – Can embroider cloak for more power at random times (choose either the 3k Spirit or 2k Int) and can make a flying carpet.
- Enchanting – Enchant each your rings for 160 int each.
- Inscription – Best shoulder enchant is 520 Int and 100 Crit.
- Leatherworking – Bracer enchant for 500 Int. Can also make your own mail armor if you’re leveling.
- Alchemy – Better effects from your own potions – more stats and longer lasting. Put stacks of various potions on your action bars.
- Jewelcrafting – Make better gems for your own use
- Mining – 480 Stam is hardly useful for healing.
- Herbalism – Small heal and 2,880 Haste for 20 seconds.
- Skinning – 480 Crit rating
Comsumables for Resto Shams
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour. Alchemists get about 30% more effect and an extra hour from Flasks and Elixirs.
- Mogu Fish Stew: 300 Int
- Steamed Crab Surprise: 300 Spirit
- Braised Turtle: 275 Int
- Fire Spirit Salmon: 275 Spirit
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 4k Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP, just for emergencies.
- Master Mana Potion: About 30k Mana
Race Choice for the Restoration Shaman
As a healer your race doesn’t matter all that much. If being big and furry or short and annoying is more important than every last iota of healing power then go for it.
Pandarens get better food buffs, Trolls and Orcs have useful cooldowns.
- Can choose to be either Horse or Alliance upon leaving their starting area.
- Take less falling damage, though this has very little PvE use.
- If you’re leveling then your rest XP lasts twice as long.
- If you eat then you get increased benefits from food buffs.
- Can stun melee opponents for four seconds, which might have occasional use.
- Good with cooking.
- Self-Heal: You have plenty of heals, but this one is free and there are times when that’s a nice thing to have.
- +1% Chance to Hit – Self-Only: Hit is a pretty useless stat for you. Nice if you’re dual building to Enhancement or Elemental, though.
- Jewelcrafting skill increase.
- Stone Form washes away bleeds and other effects, but this is of value mainly in PvP.
- Mace and Ranged weapon expertise are pretty useless for you, as Resto.
- Good with Archeology.
- Blood Fury increases Spell Power for 10 seconds, which is a good thing in all cases.
- Resistance to Stuns has PvP value and is occasionally useful in PvE, but will only reduce a 6 second stun by about 1 second.
- War Stomp is strictly melee range so has very infrequent use in PvE, but has definite use in PvP when melee types get in your face.
- Health Increase is nice, but hardly important for you.
- Good with Herbalism, and this skill provides a pretty nice Haste buff.
- Berserk increases casting speed, once every three minutes, which can be rather nice.
- Ranged Weapon Expertise is a pretty useless stat for you.
- Damage Increased Vs Beasts: Pretty useless.
- Da Voodoo Shuffle is always useful in PvP (though not nearly as good as an escape ability or trinket.) Occasional value in PvE. It reduces a six second root to about 5 seconds.
- Rocket Jump is a nice little escape from, or entry into, combat. Kinda like a cheap Blink spell.
- Increased Haste (1%) is always useful.
- Increased Alchemy skillis nice if you have that skill. Keeping a pile of mana potions on your bar is a good idea anyway.
Shaman Leveling Guide for FASTER Leveling
The best way to get to level to the level cap fast is to do it with a pre-written, automated, in-game leveling guide. WoW has thousands of quests and a few million mobs to grind and it’s easy to get lost (in terms of what to do or where to go next ) or just bored. A full-blown guide will make your blast to the top much smoother.
Dugi’s Guide is what you want: constantly showing you where to go and what to do, without ever having to leave the game to look something up:
Assuming you stay focused on leveling (as opposed to shopping, PvP sessions, and RPing) you should be able to hit 85, 90, or whatever (from 1) in well under 10 days, and maybe even less. If you’re brand new or have full heirlooms and Recruit a Friend you’ll find yourself leveling even faster with Dugi’s.
Dugi’s is always quickly updated for new patches and expansions (such as Mists of Pandaria) and so will never be obsolete. You can snag your copy of Dugi’s Guide here and cruise through the levels.
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