Cataclysm for the Shaman

19 12 2010

It has been 2 weeks since Cataclysm came out. I hit 85 on the Wednesday after launch. Got up at 3, played until work, got home at 3:30, played for 12 hours, did the same thing until 11:54 on Wednesday night when I hit 85 and then logged off for bed. Not really worth it. The rest of the guild is just now hitting 85, so now we can start doing normal/heroic farming to one day raid again. But, enough about me. Let’s talk about the state of Resto Shamans right now.

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Resto Shaman, circa 4.0.1

25 10 2010

We’re about a week or so into this new patch and the dust is starting to settle. Bugs are being hammered out for other classes, but I guess Shamans are in a decent place. So, let’s begin. Well, there really is nothing new… actually, meet me after the break.

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Old Buddies, you and I (Restoration Guide 3.3.5, addendum)

10 08 2010

Let me tell you a story… (and talk about how to use those spells in your book to heal people)…

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Circle of Healers – Just for fun…

6 11 2009

1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Nagrarok, a Restoration Shaman.

2. What is your primary group healing environment? I used to raid 10s and 25s every week, but kinda had to go full-stop after getting called back to work. Now it is just the occasional PuG.

3. What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Earth Shield. Like that one infomercial I used to see 5,000,000 times a night: Set It and Forget It. Would’ve enjoyed the implementation of Soul Link, but ah well.

4. What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? Tidal Focus. I never really use it… 60% would put me over 100% crit for the first, then it only lasts for 3 casts. Meh. Already have Tidal Waves giving 25% Crit consistently due to Riptide and using CH to get my SP buff.

5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? The ability to switch from tank healing and raid healing at the drop of a hat.

6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Even though we did go through some minor changes with the ~25% boost to MP5 items and Water Shield proccing differently, I think our longevity is kinda cruddy on certain fights. Though, Earth Shield is still an extremely mana-efficient heal.

7.In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? For me, I tend to not pay attention to healing assignments as they generally aren’t given out. For my current playstyle and gear, I enjoy Tank Healing and occasionally Raid Healing.

8. What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? Holy Priests. I have played with every healing class, but Holy Priests just seem to be the archtype Healer. Not a fan of Druids because they are all, “Look at me, I’m a tree, running around without a care in the world.” Jerks. Plus, I got denied entrance to ToC25 the other day because they wanted a Druid… which they never ended up finding.

9. What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? Druids, for reasons stated above, and I tend to not see HoTs rolling on targets, so I heal over them. Maybe I’ll fix up Grid one day…

10. What is your worst habit as a healer? I use Chain Heal to see were a person is. Haha. The other day in VoA25 I was wondering where a person was so I could run over and make sure my Mana Tide was in proper placement. Fired off a Yamoto Cannon to see which general direction.

11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? Not a big fan of people stepping on my toes to get things done. I understand people need heals, heals are on the way. Not a fan of doing other people’s jobs, like interrupting/purging when there are better equipped (people with hit rating) to do so.

12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? From the general idea that I gain from various forums, Shaman healers are supposed to not be able to compete with Priests or Druids, but I have yet to find a parse that I’m not performing above and beyond the #2 from the parse. Chain Heal is really OP, but I enjoy it that way.

13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? I was using World of Logs for in-depth analysis, but then I stopped raiding, so it is just Recount Overheal vs. Effective Heal, what were my most used heals? How is my mana doing at the end of a fight? Everyone I was assigned to take care of alive?

14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? I think people have a stigma about Shamans as being a utility for Bloodlust/Heroism, Totems, Purge, etc. I’ve been denied spots in 5-mans because people are like, “Shamans can’t heal effectively.” I’ve healed 5mans with just Earth Shield and Riptide. Hilarious.

15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? Figuring out how to compete. I tend to get tells from Shamans all the time, “How are you doing so much more than me/him/us combined?” I know, I know, it sounds like I’ve got the largest ego ever. We are a simple healing class, 5 heals to manage. Also figuring out stat weights for various types of healing, realizing that MP5 isn’t always the best course of action and to get irked when SP/Haste/Crit gear is few and far between.

16. If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? My performance, personally? Hmm… managed overhealing, high effective healing, high cleanses. There is that delusional talk again.

17. Haste or Crit and why? I enjoy crit for all the proccing effects, but I won’t turn down Haste. I’ve seen Shamans with high haste and low crit for raid healing with Chain Heal. I balance it nicely.

18. What healing class do you feel you understand least? Druids. I don’t see the appeal of rolling HoTs on targets and no matter how much gear you get, you will always look like a tree.

19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? Grid for raid frames, Clique for healing. 5 button mouse, all healing spells bound to it. Haha.

20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? I have too much SP, according to a general theme I see in Shamans today. I lack Haste, and my Crit is pretty outrageous. I enjoy SP for the fact that it improves consistency. Haste is cool for fast casting, but too much kinda pwns the ole mana bar. Crit is good, but it is rather unreliable.

Two Words (Great Excuse)

30 06 2009

Being a healer is awesome. Why? Because you get invited to everything. The best excuse ever to be included in stuff, to feel loved… to have e-friends.The Death Knight spree brought down the tank shortage and with no Healer Hero Class in sight, healers are still in a drought. Most people don’t opt to become a Healer by choice. Out of all 3 roles, it is the most stressful, but sometimes the most rewarding. Depending on the rest of the group composition you can just hang back, throw the occasional heal, and hope that they don’t see you are the bottom of the healer charts/meters. If you do end up the situation where you actually want to heal and you just so happen to be a shaman, this is a good place to start.

NOTE: If there are 2+ Shamans in the raid, both alive, and you are the healing type, don’t cast Heroism/Bloodlust. The other two specs have expendable mana, your mana is precious.

Chain Heal Spam, amirite?

No. Now shut the fudge up and get the fudge out. The days of CH spam are long gone. With the grandiose fights in Ulduar there is no real way to make it viable if it is only hitting 1 target the majority of the time. 3.2 is gonna give it a little boost: More mana efficiency, larger bounce range. Some people don’t think it is in a good place, but they can go fudge themselves. So how do I heal? In order for a Shaman to heal, we are going to use a few talented abilities and our weakest heal.



Yeah, I don’t get it either. Actually, I do. I shall explain. Riptide is awesome. It is instant, it heals, it leaves a HoT (maybe 2), and it procs Ancestral Awakening. It also boosts Chain Heal effectiveness by 25%. It also makes HW and LHW 30% faster (In 3.2, it will give a 25% crit boost to LHW). This hasted cast allows a quick 20k+ heal, depending on the tank. At all times, Earth Shield should be up. You should also Glyph LHW to boost effectiveness of LHW by 20% on ES’d targets, as you aren’t raid healing anymore. You are dairy creamer… I mean half and half. Mind you, there is no rotation for Shaman healing (as there is no true rotation for any healing class, I speak from experience that is very little to none). If you want to tank heal, follow this checklist:

  • Is Earth Shield up on one of the tanks? If no, please apply. Mana efficient reactive heal FTW. Kinda wish it did have an absorb effect to it, but meh.
  • Are any melee/ranged going down because they pulled aggro? If there is more than one, Riptide one, then LHW the other two. Once Tidal Waves procs are gone, continue to heal them with LHW until Riptide is back off of CD, recast on Tank (as you’ve been neglecting him/her), and LHW any that is not topped off.
  • Melee heavy group? Use Chain Heal to your hearts content. If you can guarantee that it hits more than 1 person, it is still a good heal. Riptide up one of the melee targets first, though.
  • Ranged heavy group? Ask them to stop being stupid and stand closer together (unless range is a factor, ie: KT, XT) to gnab them all with one CH. If they don’t want to or can’t, follow the instructions from the second bullet.

Oh snap, the tank is dying quick. This is when we use another talented ability known as Nature’s Swiftness. It is your Oh-Shit button and can be used in conjunction with Tidal Force, another Talent, to give you a very close guaranteed crit (but not always, as it is only 30%). In this situation:

  • Is Earth Shield on the tank? If not, it should’ve been. -50DKP minus.
  • Cast Nature’s Swiftness (I tend to have it bound to a mouse button to get it quick) and any other thing (Tidal Force) and then cast Healing Wave. Riptide for hasted LHW or HW (Tidal Waves current brings my LHW to 0.9sec cast, HW to 1.6sec cast) which may crit more effectively due to Tidal Force. Boom, massively healed tank.
  • Sidenote: In a fight like Auriaya or Kologarn where Melee is gonna be on top of the tank, it might be better to Riptide (won’t consume Nature’s Swiftness) and then Chain Heal to heal a bunch of them at once after a Sonic Screech or a Sweep.

I followed your instructions and still suck.

Yeah, I am a mediocre Shaman. It has taken me a while of testing on my own to learn how to heal effectively with this class. Maybe I don’t explain it right, but just take some of these notes and head out there into Heroics and Normal dungeons. If you are ever unsure of yourself, you shouldn’t be going into raids. Most people treat them as srs bzns and are willing to punt you for a friend and the like. Even after explaining it, I’ve found some people that still don’t enjoy the healing style and that is okay. Just respec Elemental or Enhancement and push buttons in a sequence, occasionally strafing. 😀 I enjoy it from time to time.