Resto Shaman Pocketguide- MoP version 5.0+

Note: this guide is out of date- not sure when I'll be able to actually update it.

So it’s time for a resto guide- since somehow we don‘t have one. This guide will mainly be aimed at those starting out in MoP heroics.

"If you've got to get down, but can't find an elevator. You have to do it any way you can- even if it's with a shovel." (Dark Tower 2; Stephen King quote).

^ best way to describe shaman healing.

So you want to be a resto shaman, we’re sort of the underdog at times- but we are extremely fun. This is for anyone thinking of rolling a resto shaman or someone that played resto in Cata, but is just finally getting around to playing that resto shaman you’ve been neglecting.

As a resto shaman, your main stats are: Intellect, spirit, crit, haste, and at later levels- mastery. From level's 1-40, you can use cloth and leather. From 40 onward, you use mail.

Note: If you have access to BOA's, make sure to get the elemental leather/mail one. That is what you want to be using- not the clothie one.

For more advanced healers, here are some resources:

Advanced resto shaman stuff: (includes haste breakpoints)

Both are more geared towards raiding.

So, what’s changed? Well, talents and glyphs for one. Oh and all our totems are now cool downs.

Yes, that’s right- I said ALL of them. Also, there are no more buff totems.

So let’s review the main ones shall we?

Main resto totems:
Healing stream totem(water totem): 30 second cool down. It’s a small AOE typish heal. It’s also raid wide (used to only be party wide).

Spirit link totem (air totem): 3 minute cool down. Drops on your left side:
It takes any damage your tank/group is taking and evens out everyone within the totems range health pools. Throwing in chain heals and healing rain helps with this happening at a faster rate, it also allows you to heal everyone to an almost full HP bar. This is why it’s important to position yourself well (also your hunter now has no excuse to not get in range of this- they have no minimum range now).

Mana tide totem: 3 minute cool down. Restores mana. There are a couple of ways this can be used:

1. Personal cool down: When I use this as a personal cool down, what I like to do is drop my first MTT before I hit 50% mana (just my thing since Cata). I rarely use it on trash pulls but sometimes you have to.

2. Raid cool down usage: Okay, so you- yourself- are sitting round about 75% mana but you notice your priest/druid/etc seem to be low on mana. Don’t hesitate, just drop it. Don’t be greedy and use MTT just for your benefit.

Healing Tide Totem: 3m cooldown: Summons a Water Totem with 10% of the caster's health at the feet of the caster for [11 sec] sec. The Healing Tide Totem pulses every 2 sec, healing the 5 most injured party or raid members within 40 yards for 4932 [+ 48.4% of Spell power].

It's basically a greater healing totem. This can be used as an "Oh Crud" button or as a raid cooldown. The group/raid doesn't need to be stacked for this. It has a 40 yard range, which means- /gasp- you can cover an entire raid/party without trying to play connect the dots every 3 minutes.

Other totems that are useful:

Tremor totem: this is one of our better defensive cool downs. It stops a group wide fear (it is castable while feared). Don’t be that shaman that doesn’t use it.

Capacitor totem: it’s a stun! Must be right next to the mobs to use it. Helpful for your tank on trash mobs. I also like to use it in the stack phases of the Garrosh fight (I try to time it to go off when the MC's go out). Please note: it has a ramp up time.

Rocky and Bullwinkle totem: okay, not really called that. These are your elemental totems. Your earth elemental (Rocky) is your “tank” type elemental. Your fire elemental is your dps elemental.

Magma totem (fire totem):It’s an AOE damage totem. Useful for certain LFR fights (I’m talking Spirit Kings, of course. Drop it on the stack phases).

Grounding totem: 25 second cool down. Sucks up a harmful spell. If glyphed, reflects that spell back.

Earthbind totem: 30 second cool down. It’s a slow. When talented into Earthgrab totem, it works as a root.

Stormlash totem: 5 minute cool down: this basically ups your party/raids dps for 10 seconds.

Stone Bulwark totem (requires you to spec into it): 1 minute cool down: puts a big giant absorb bubble around you for 30 seconds.
Talents and Glyphs:

These are now purely based on the situation. All of your healing increase talents of old are now cooked in once you pick your specialization.

a. The talent tree:

I’ll explain why I picked the talents I have. Just note: this is not a “YOU MUST HAVE THESE TALENTS” set up. What works for me, may not work for you. Please note: you always want to carry extra tomes with you- especially if you are raiding. Sometimes, some talents work better than others in certain fights.

Stone Bulwark totem: I picked it because I like trying to reduce the amount of damage I have to heal. It’s especially helpful if/when there is burst damage going out. The absorb seems miniscule when looking at the tooltip, but any way to save mana is a good thing. Plus, on a goblin it’s a giant green bubble.

Earthbind totem: don’t ask me what I was thinking. But it has it’s uses. This tier is more of a meh tier for resto in my opinion.

Totemic Persistence. Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time. In other words, you can use both HTT and MTT at the same time, or MTT and HST at the same time (etc).

Ancestral Swiftness: it gives a passive haste buff. It also gives me an insta cast spell every time it’s up. Very convenient for when I want to save mana , have to move, or have one of those “Oh crud, have give the tank a big heal NOW” moments.

Rushing Streams. Rushing Streams replaces Healing Tide Totem talent, increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once.
Conductivity for resto:
Healing an ally with Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Chain Heal, increases the duration of Healing Rain by 4 seconds. Both of these are situational.

Unleashed fury: boosts your next heal after using unleash elements. Primal elementalist is also decent, but you have to either macro in your pet's ability or manually press it for your healing buff.

b. Glyphs:

Once again, these are situational. I find I change my glyphs more than I do my talents. I’ve found it’s always good to be flexible.
More in depth guide to glyphs (copied from EJ):

Glyph of Chaining
Somewhat useful in 5 man dungeons. Consider it for raids where your party is widely spread and there is no stacking point for melee. Mostly useful for 10man raids, close to useless for 25man raids. The penalty: chain heal now has a 2 second cool down.

Glyph of Healing Stream Totem
Straight on throughput bonus based on smart damage reduction on the raid member that needs it the most.

Glyph of Healing Wave
Very valuable early on, but diminishes on heroic encounters, where you will be casting fewer and fewer Healing Waves.

Glyph of Purge
Unless there is a boss fight that requires dispelling multiple magic effects from the boss do not opt for this.

Glyph of Riptide
The tradeoff for this glyph is losing 75% of its initial heal. Its benefits include 100% uptime for Tidal Waves buff. Having no cooldown Riptide becomes an amazing tool for spread out situations enhances your mobility and guarantees that your Chain Heal spell will always be buffed..

Glyph of Spiritwalker's Grace
Considering one of the main weaknesses of shaman healing is mobility, spiritwalkers grace is a major band aid to this weakness. Any fight that has considerable movement, makes this glyph an attractive choice, especially fights that require heavy healing while moving (lei shi).

Glyph of Telluric Currents
Boasting at a 3955mp5(chaincasting at 3500haste rating), this glyph can be potentially useful for fights with long pauses. Note however that GC himself referred to this glyph as just a way for resto shamans not to be punished for helping out with DPS rather than it being a staple mana regen.

Glyph of Water Shield
Any fight where this reliably triggers ( calculated at 2.63 times per 1min to be superior than its unlglyphed version ) this glyph will land you with a huge mp5gain. In this tier there are only two occasions that this glyph is needed. (For a detailed table with recommendations refer to the Mana Sources - Water Shield section. )

Glyph of Cleansing Waters
For boss fights where your raid needs a lot of dispelling while incoming damage is high. Note that what was lost in the transition was the mana cost reduction which made Cleansing Waters such a valuable talent to take before MoP.With the added cooldown of 8sec on our dispels this glyph provides little to justify a major slot.

Glyph of Hex
Could be useful while gearing up in 5man dungeons, completely useless in raids.

Glyph of Totemic Recall
Could be proven useful for neutralizing mana cost of Healing Stream Totem. Conditions include, whether you can afford to spend one GCD everytime you drop HST and impeccable timing so you won't miss out of HST healing throughput recalling it the very last second which is unrealistic. Given the fact that GCD rules apply to it you will also need to be sure you weren't casting any spell before using your recall.Remember you will recall all of your totems so use sparingly when you are utilizing Primal Elementalist talent.

Eternal Earth
Your Lightning Bolt has a chance to add a charge to your currently active Earth Shield. This cannot cause Earth Shield to exceed 9 charges.

The minor glyphs for resto are all whatever you want to put there glyphs. The main one I like is the reduced cool down on my Astral Recall.

Other useful abilities:

Lightning bolt: if you took the telluric currents glyph, you gain a tiny bit of mana back. However, you are also contributing some dps- it helps the fight go faster and also helps you with mana.

Wind sheer: It’s an interrupt. You should use it to help out. Back during Cata (Corla, remember her?), I used to make it my duty to be the interrupter- I could never trust the tank or the dps to remember to do it. It helps on a lot of caster trash mobs also (makes them stop casting and normally the tank can pick it up). It can also be used as an aggro dump.

Hex and Bind elemental: Use hex on a caster type mob or even on a mob that might be hitting you. Turns the mob into a frog (I would suggest marking that mob so the tank doesn’t forget it’s there). Bind elemental- there really aren’t many elemental types to use this on anymore. Bind elemental is very useful on Lei Shei in TOES.

Ascendance: It’s another cool down, but it’s really a nice one. It up’s your healing by a certain amount (and transforms you into an Ascendant). I normally use this when SLT and HTT are on cool down and I need a healing boost for some burst going out.
What it healing? Healing is making sure you are keeping people alive (no brainer), but it is also about being able to manage your mana efficiently, using your dispels, and being able to help out your group in other ways (thus why I went into the other types of totems we have and other abilities).

What healing is not: it’s not as simple as some people make it seem. Not only do you have to watch the little bars, you also have to be aware of what is going on around you and what you are standing in. Healing is only as easy as you make it.

a. Healing technique:

So, you have just entered your five man. Make sure you have earth living weapon and water shield on. Third thing you do- if he hasn’t already ran off- is figure out who your tank is and put earth shield on him (always make sure this is on the tank- if it falls off: refresh it).

Unlike dps, there’s really no set rotation. However, the most mana efficient thing to do is this:

I still run with the old Cata rule:

Riptide on tank
Healing wave, healing wave
Riptide someone else
Healing wave, healing wave (on tank)
Drop HST every time it is off cooldown! (I suggest weakauras to watch these kinds of cooldowns)..

Save greater healing wave for big tank damage. Healing surge only if your tank is running about 25%, followed up with either a GHW or a HW (depending on HP).

Your AoE's (it is still bad to spam these):
Chain heal as long as it will benefit 4 people
Healing rain- you want as many as you can inside of this (yes, even the hunter <no minimum range- he has no excuse>)

On healing tide totem: this I generally save as a cool down when I know big group damage is coming the CH and HR are not going to cover. I also use CH while this is going (unless I have to move a lot). This totem is now baseline for shaman.

Spirit link totem: I like to use this as a tank cool down (as long as there are also melee and you can get your ranged to go near the boss). It falls on your back left side, so position yourself accordingly.

^ this is the nitty gritty of shaman healing. It’s pretty straight forward.
Other notes:

Healing types:
I want to explain the difference between a reactive healer and a proactive healer.

Reactive healer: “I see damage, I heal it.” This is pretty much what shaman is.

Proactive healing: “I block out some damage coming in and try to recover the damage that was taken afterwards”. This is mostly how a discipline priest works.

Absorbs explained:
Why is my healing so low in LFR?
It could be any number of things. However, the first thing you do is look at the composition of your group. If you have more than two disc priests and a pally in your group, your healing will generally be lower.

Here’s why:
Absorbs. Think of a sponge for a moment. When put it on any wet surface, what does a sponge do? It absorbs the liquid. This is basically what a healing absorb is: it sponges up the damage.

Less damage being taken means you aren’t going to have to heal as much damage. It’s pretty simple when you think it over.

Heals per second:
Heals per second is basically the amount of healing that you have done over a certain period of time. HPS is NOT DPS and should not be read as such.

Things that factor in:
Incoming damage: the higher the damage coming the higher the HPS going out. The lower the damage, the lower the healing.
Burst damage: Burst damage is when a lot of damage is coming in- this is normally when you should be using your bigger heals and cool downs.
Length of the fight: this indirectly affects your healing. The faster the fight, the less healing you have to do.

Remember: other healers also affect your heals per second.

Useful advice:

Playing a healer means that 80% of the time, you’ll get blamed for people dying. It comes with the job unfortunately. So how can your chances of being blamed be reduced:

When it is your fault: ADMIT TO IT. The most common mistake I see amongst all roles in the game is when people cannot own up to a mistake. Sometimes my cats' will do something that takes my attention away for a split second, if someone dies, I'll just mention it was my fault (no, I don't blame my cat).

I've always gone by this rule and I have never gotten kicked. Also, if you know for a fact that so-and-so's death was not your doing, explain why it wasn't your fault. A lot of the time that person knows why and how they died, but they don't want to admit to it. Don't let yourself be their scapegoat.
A very brief summary of our stats:

I'm not going to be all mathy on this because our stats tend to change depending on if you are only sticking to 5 mans, doing 10's or 25's, and also if you are doing heroic mode 10/25's. Also, sometimes certain patches make things change (for example if Blizzard were to buff our healing I'm sure the mastery stat would be a bit higher on the priority list).

Generally the stat weights go like this:

spirit*>intellect>haste to first break point (chart on icy veins will help with this)> mastery to 50%> haste to second break point (again icy veins)> crit

*Eventually in gearing, you can cut down on spirit. Especially if you have the legendary meta gem. If you get the meta gem, you can focus on other stats.

The reason I am referring you to the icy veins chart, haste depends on a couple of factors:

1) Are you a goblin? We get a passive to our casting speed, therefore our break points are different.
2) Are you specced into Ancestral Swiftness?

These two things tend to change the break points in that regard.

Ok, so what our stats do:

Spirit: regens mana, bumps up the mana regen amount gained on our Mana Tide totem

Intellect: gives us spellpower and crit

Haste: increases our casting speed and also affects our riptide/healing rain/healing tide totem/healing stream totem ticks.

Mastery: the lower your healing targets HP is, the higher your heal is. It effects all of our heals. Last expac mastery was our best secondary after the first haste point. However, according to several other guides, going beyond the 50% mark is a waste.

Crit: is very beneficial if a large part of your heals is going to come from single-target spells, which is mostly the case in 10-man raiding. This is due to your Ancestral Awakening, a passive ability that causes critical heals to trigger a smart heal. Also keep in mind that Critical Strike Rating increases your mana regeneration through Resurgence. (Copied this one from icy veins)

The problem with crit is it is not guaranteed that all of your spells are going to crit. It is very much RNG dependent- that is why it is generally classified as last in our priorities. Myself, I find mastery as more dependable.

What I like to do is experiment to see what works best for me. Some folks prefer crit over mastery, others prefer mastery over crit. There's even folks that favor haste more than either of these.

Myself, I try to keep a balance.

Gems and enchants:

Goes into gemming and enchants. I'll say one thing on gemming: we don't gem straight intellect anymore because of the way stats work now.

Addon's are not required to play the game. However they are very helpful tools.

UI: A UI- or user interface- is what appears on your screen. This include abilities, buttons, the questlog, procs, buffs. Addon's can help condense (or refine) these parts of the UI.

The key to a good addon set up is not having a bunch of unnecessary clutter on your screen.

For example, here's what my set up looks like:

It's not perfect, but it shows me the information I need (yes, the circles are huge- I've made them smaller since this was taken)..

What I personally use:

Vuhdo: those are the big giant circly things on my screen. Those are my healing bars. I have it set up to show the tanks, then the melee dps, then the ranged dps, then the healers. Just makes it easier for me to figure out who the tank is. I also have it set up to see when other shaman have thrown earth shield on what tank. That way, I'm not overwriting them.

Bartender4: Since I'm picky and go through a "Let's move things around" phase every 6 months, I use a bar addon. It allows me to set my bars up where I want them.

Recount: I honestly don't look at this much, but it's a good tool to have- especially when you are wiping to bosses.

Weak Auras: Allows me to keep track of cool downs in an easy to see spot.

Deadly Boss mods: I use this for boss fights. It helps me in determining when I need to use my big cool downs.

These are just some of the ones I use.
More Resources:


I linked both because certain addons aren't on curse, but are on wow interface.
More other stuff:

Gear "recycliing":

This only works if your other spec is elemental. Elemental and restoration spec has one thing in common: they share stats.

Way back in Cataclysm, Blizzard decided that healing specs that also had other specs that shared stats would share gear to make it easier if the healer had to go dps for a fight or two. As elemental, you get a passive called "Elemental Precision". For every point of spirit you have in elemental, it gets turned into hit rating.

What this means at the early gearing levels:

Let's say you are in LFR and you get a brand spanking new piece of healing gear (rings, neck, weapon, and actual armor). Do not trash the piece it is replacing!!!

Use that old piece for your elemental spec. Re-reforge, re-enhant, re-gem that old piece to be elemental appropriate.

This is gear recycling.

The only thing from then on you have to worry about are dps trinkets.
This is probably on the second page now....

/bump for sticky

One thing I didn't cover in the addon section is macro's. Back when I first started healing on this (when totems were not cool downs), I had almost everything on my screen except for my heals. Then one day I thought to myself: why not condense some of this mess?

I call this "The Great Rearranging of 2010" because this is when I started using macro's/redoing my UI.

So here are just a few of mine:

Lightning Bolt: I use this when I use the TC glyph. All I have to do is hover over my tank's HP bar and hit my "1" key on my mouse/keyboard, it casts lightning bolt at his current target:

#showtooltip Lightning Bolt
/castsequence [@mouseovertarget, harm] [@mouseover, harm] [@targettarget, harm] [harm] Lightning Bolt

Healing stream/healing Tide:
/cast [nomod] Healing Stream Totem
/cast [mod:shift] Healing Tide Totem

Situational stuff:
/cast [nomod] Tremor Totem
/cast [mod:shift] Stoneclaw Totem
/cast [mod:ctrl] Grounding Totem

Movement stuff:
/cast [nomod] Spiritwalker's Grace
/cast [mod:shift] Rocket Jump
/cast [mod:ctrl] Ghost Wolf

/cast [nomod] Wind Shear
/cast [mod:shift] Purge

Rocky and Bullwinkle:
/cast [nomod] Fire Elemental Totem
/cast [mod:shift] Earth Elemental Totem

/cast [nomod] Hex
/cast [mod:shift] Bind Elemental

Mouse over Hex:
/cast [target=mouseover,harm] Hex; Hex

/cast [nomod] Mana Tide Totem
/cast [mod:shift] Spirit Link Totem
/cast [mod:ctrl]Stone Bulwark Totem

As you can see, I don't have any actual buttons assigned in these macro's. Since I use a WoW mouse, I put the macro's where I need them, unbind the shift/alt/ctrl 1-0 buttons in the WoW keybind interface, and I'm able to use those alt/shift/ctrl modifiers without having to scratch my head on why they don't work.

The whole point of these macro's are to allow me to have as much "real estate" on my screen as I can. Trust me- it helps.

Another thing, I try to keep similar type abilities to similar type macro's. That way, I'm not having a "blonde moment" trying to remember which is which.
If you play another healing class (or how to not get confused):

I play several different healing classes (though this expac, I have limited myself to two main healers- this one and my priest). Back when I first started doing this, I used to get extremely confused but I'd spend a few minutes trying to find my priests totems or earth shield until reality set back in.

Some tips:

1) Try to avoid rolling the same race twice. One of my problems from going from a goblin shammy to a goblin priest was just that: they were both goblins.

Your brain wants to associate that other midget for your main midget- especially when you are first starting out with it. I noticed I never did this when going over to my BE pally though (though I did manage- one day- to confuse her for my hunter <kept looking for her pet>).

To avoid doing that this expac, I race changed the priest to a Panda (plus she's cute).

2) Keybinds/mouse clicks: Try to keep similar abilities between the classes to the same mouse click. For instance, my smite macro on my priest is bound to the same button my lightning bolt is. My PW:S is bound to the same button my riptide is (she's disc); my penance to where my healing wave is- so on and so forth.

Trust me- it makes it a lot less complicated.

3) Set up: the only real difference I have between my priest and Juju here is the way my vuhdo looks. Prayer of healing doesn't work like chain heal- PoH works as a group heal (where chain heal will bounce within the raid). So on the priest I have it set up by groups, as opposed to Juju's tank, melee dps, ranged dps, healer set up.

Otherwise I try to keep the bar configuration similar.

Just some tips for if you're confusing you goblin priest for your goblin shaman ;).
Thanks Juju for the guide, no one's hard work should ever go uncommented on. I saw this a lil while back on my lunch break and meant to comment later.

I know we don't have a set gearing style like many others, but some form of stat recap would probably be helpful, as it is a frequent forum question.

A little more depth on the glyphs and talents could be helpful.

Also, including more mouseover macros would be a great addition. I don't think many beginner restos know exactly how beneficial these are.
Thank you for the guide Juju. I knew I was missing an extra healing totem lol!
Also, including more mouse over macros would be a great addition. I don't think many beginner restos know exactly how beneficial these are.

As odd as this might sound, I don't use many mouse over macro's myself. LB is the main one I use. So if anyone knows more- feel free to add it here.

I know we don't have a set gearing style like many others, but some form of stat recap would probably be helpful, as it is a frequent forum question.

A little more depth on the glyphs and talents could be helpful.

The stat caps are a little odd- just depends on if you took ancestral swiftness or not (and if you're a goblin). I'll just have to put the more in depth links I have on the first post.

As for the second half, I mainly listed what I took- and why. Just entirely too many new talents to go through all of them :(. Post would have been sitting at 20 posts by the time I was finished with it (was trying not to write a novel lol). Though I agree- the glyph part could use some work.
For mouseovers I have every heal set up in the following way:

/cast [target=mouseover,help] Healing Wave; [help] Healing Wave; Healing Wave

This will cast HW on my mouseover, on my friendly target if there is no mouseover, and on myself if there is no target. To do this with other spells, just change every Healing Wave to the desired spell name

If you specced into PE theirs also this gem:

#showtooltip Healing Wave
/script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE")
/cast reinforce
/cast empower
/script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE")
/cast [target=mouseover,help] Healing Wave; [help] Healing Wave; Healing Wave

Does the same thing as above, but will make your elementals channel reinforce and empower when they are out. With as often as we HW, this keeps the buff's uptime high. This one is someone else's brilliance, I just turned it into a mouseover.
/bump added a lot more in depth stuff to the glyphs section.
Very useful thanks, I requested sticky.
sticky requested. thanks for taking the time.
Why is this not stickied? Thanks for the heads up with this guide. Was feeling a little lost, nice to have some direction.
If you are an herbalist, did you know you can make your healing rain sprout flowers?

#showtooltip Ancestral Swiftness
/cast Ancestral Swiftness
/cast Lifeblood
/cast Healing Rain

I made the macro way back in tier 11. My guild leader ran a stick figure computer and had trouble seeing exactly where I put my HR. So, I got creative, just for him.

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