This guide is aimed at the already raiding Resto Shaman. If you're fresh to the class and looking for where to start, then this will not be the guide for you. Secretgarden has a wonderful guide for the starter Resto Shaman, so go there for all your beginner needs to get your feet wet. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1577519250
If you're already raiding and looking at what it takes to push your class to the max, then you're in the right place. This will give you the info you need for whats best in raids to maximize your performance.
Also this guide will be written from a 4.1 perspective. The mastery changes are looking to go through in their current state, and the importance of that will effect our stat choices a fair bit. However things like Spirit link won't be written about until it's live due to needing to test it.
Table of Contents
Section 1 – Talent Builds
Section 2 – Glyphs
Section 3 – Stats
3.1 - Int
3.2 - Spirit
3.3 - Crit
3.4 - Haste
3.5 - Mastery
Section 4 – Roles and Optimal Stat Choices
Section 5 – Gemming
Section 6 – Enchants
Section 7 – MTT and your Mana
Section 8 – Spirit Link Totem
Section 9 – Healing Ideology
Section 10 – Healing Methodology
**** Section 1) Talent Builds ****
I've now accepted that TC is viable if you want it as your healing style. With gear scaling, you get very decent mana return. On the low end in hard modes 200mp5 can be expected, on the high end 2k mp5 can easily be reached. I've seen enough ranked parses from WOL to know that it can work and you can still do great healing with it. So here are your 3 best builds.
Cookie Cutter Max hps build
This is your do-it-all spec. It works with any role, and any stat priority. Assuming mana isn't a concern, it will be your best hps spec.
Non EP based TC resto build
Sacrifices a bit of hps from losing 1% crit in order to allow you the ability to regen mana using TC. The idea being during low damage downtime you weave LB's in between your heals giving you more mana overall to cast bigger heals when you need them. The catch is, this style of play is most viable if you are a haste/crit stat build shaman to maximize your TC return and minimize LB castime. In addition in a tank healing role or 10man role, downtime is harder to come by so you'll have less a chance to really use TC.
EP based TC resto build
Same as above, but sacrifices even more throughput and mobility in order to give a greater amount of mana return. The idea being with the greater mana return, you then are able to spam your higher throughput spells more freely to compensate. So you're able to serve your raid in that role if required. Two core points with this build is that you'll need 2640 spirit to hitcap and you'll need a +runspeed boot enchant to compensate for loss of AS.
So which build should you play? Well first of all you have to ask yourself if you want to use TC for not. Some Shaman swear by it, some swear at it. It's a personal decision. In the end it comes down to your personal spell usage and healing style. There are ZERO encounters in this game that require you to have TC, so think of it only as a 'buffer' for your mana. Gear, gem and play properly, and you don't need it. But having TC allows you to recover mana in downtime to blow mana more freely during hectic times.
The best way I can relate is dig back to wrath raiding. Personally my mp5 was in the area of 90 or less throughout the entirety of the x-pack. Even in Ulduar when everyone was stacking int to overcome their mana problems, I blasted my way through content stacking haste because I was able to. And set dozens of ranked hps parses along the way. So ask yourself if you can relate to this or not. If your find you have mana problems due to whatever reason in your heal style, then TC will be worth a look for you. If you find that you're able to heal in a way that you don't need active mana regen mechanics and just blast out hps all day long non stop, then go for the max hps build.