Never Badmouth Synergy

25 03 2010

New Synergy? Does that sound like News Energy to anyone else?

Get used to this picture... I'm too lazy to take any other screenshots, haha.

Being a good player is all about knowing your class. If you can become a master of your class, you’ll be able to perform better in many situations that you may not be geared for, as well as performing above expectations. Today we are gonna take a look at the synergies that Restoration Shamans have to use and why we are just that awesome. Join me for the ride.

Critical Thinking: Crit is a very powerful stat for us, keep that in mind. It isn’t to be stacking implicitly, as it will come from gear (both as rating and from INT). You’ll also find it from a friendly Arcane Mage (3%) or a Boomkin/Elemental Shaman (5%). In Talents, you can get about 14% (Thundering Strikes, Tidal Mastery, Blessing of the Eternals). When you Crit, many wonderful things happen:

  • Improved Water Shield: Depending on what spell you are critting with, you have different chances to proc this talent. HW carries a 100%, LHW a 60%, and CH a 30% (each bounce can proc, it is awesome). This will instantly give you mana as if you had been struck by something and popped a Water Shield charge and as of not so recent patching, it will no longer consume the charge. Make sure you are keeping Water Shield up at all times. Power Auras can help with this.
  • Ancestral Awakening: Once again, it is selective spells that will proc this. However, if they ever add in CH proccing of this and that these heals can crit, I will probably jizz in my pants. Sorry about that. When you crit with RT, HW, or LHW, 30% of that heal will find itself healing another person within 40yds. If no one needs it, it’ll land on you and be overheal. Ah well, it is mana free.
  • Ancestral Healing: This is an awesome effect as it can proc from any of our spells and will give the person healed a 10% physical damage reduction buff upon crit.

Tidal Waves: Now that we’ve taken a look at how much crit is awesome and is in complete synergy with our class, we will take a look at the newest addition to our family (well, new as in WotLK) – Tidal Waves. This buff will proc from use of CH or RT, comes in a stack of 2, and will buff 2 of your spells:

  • Lesser Healing Wave will be given a 25% critical boost, helping for quick raid mending as well as any of the abilities happening in the above section.
  • Healing Wave will be hasted 30% and allow you to drop some nice bombs on someone that needs some serious healing and with the 100% proc of IWS with HW, you may also have a bit of mana back.

As this resource comes from 2 sources, it is pretty easy to maintain a nice uptime of it. Just know when you have it and you can do some truly wonderful things. As CH is our defining spell and you’ll find yourself casting it more often as your Haste increases and you move towards higher end raiding and set bonuses, this buff should always be at your disposal for all sorts of situations. Back in BC, Restoration was all about the Chain Heal spam. It was OP back then and it is still rather OP now. We are headed in a cycle back to that time, but it is also about knowing what kinds of heals to use it what kinds of situations.

For a fight like Twin Valks where tons of raid damage is going on and people will be sitting close to one another, you’ll find that CH will outperform almost any other spell combination that you can muster. Ona  fight like Anub’arak where only a few people are taking damage at any given time, it may be more useful to proc Tidal Waves and drop some LHWs around to help proc Ancestral Awakening to take care of some others (though, I did hear that guilds working on ToGC25 had their Shamans spec out of this for Anub P3). Shamans are great in that they can switch from tank healing to raid healing at the drop of a dime, no gear or talent change necessary.

Next time we’ll take an in-depth look at Restoration Shaman glyphs and playstyles. Until then, take care.

Note: The title and first line are from 30 Rock, episode 9, season 3.

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