Last week in Totem Talk: Restoration 101 we talked a bit about the basics of being a healing minded shaman. Continuing in that vein today I would like to focus on the restoration tree's talents as well as glyphs. We will cover more specifics on other aspects of restoration in the weeks to come.
The restoration talent tree is very strong and versatile, filled with a lot of the talents focused on augmenting your existing ability to heal. It is also very lean in the fact that it does not have many talents that you need to absolutely avoid, and they all have a very distinct role in the shaman toolbox. These talents also provide you with key spells essential to your success as a healer as well as our most iconic spells. While we may not have as many healing spells as a holy priest, our toolbox is still very versatile and it does the job quite well.
Restoration talents that are struck out are considered expendable. These points can be moved around as you see fit. Talents that are in italics are ones that are more PvP centric and have limited application in PvE. From the enhancement tree we will only talk about the talents that further augment the restoration specialization
- Improved Healing Wave: Five points invested in this talent can go a long way. A half second reduction on your big heal can be the difference between a tank dying and causing a wipe or saving the day.
Totemic Focus:Reducing the cost of casting them is not as important as it used to be. You can ignore this talent, we will be spending these points elsewhere. Improved Reincarnation:The talent is useful when soloing and leveling, but otherwise the points are better spent elsewhere.
- Healing Grace:This is primarily used in PvP but there are some mobs that do purge your buffs off of players. It is highly suggested to ignore this talent unless you plan to do some PvP.
- Tidal Focus: 5% reduction in the cost of your healing spells can count for quite a bit. As a class that lives global cooldown to global cooldown, reducing the cost of your healing spells by any amount will be beneficial for you in the long run.
- Improved Water Shield: Every single one of your healing spells has a chance to trigger this upon gaining a critical heal. This talent is essential to your mana returns, the more you cast, the more you crit the more mana you receive from this talent.
- Healing Focus: If you find yourself suffering a lot of push back on your spell casts, this talent is worth picking up.
- Tidal Force: Being able to to increase the critical strike potential of your Lesser Healing Wave, Healing wave and Chain Heal every three minutes is amazing. This talent is perfect for when bosses hit soft enrages or there is gobs of raid damage that needs to be healed through. Don't leave home without it.
- Ancestral Healing: This talent reduces the physical damage done to a target by 10% whenever you critically heal them. Any damage reduction to the raid will only increase survivability and is well worth the talent point investment.
- Restorative Totems: You are likely to have one of these two totems down at any given point in time, anything that increases their effectiveness is helpful to you. This is a must have talent.
- Tidal Mastery: This talent gives all your healing spells an additional 5% critical strike chance. This is another staple talent. It has a direct impact on your healing output and there is no reason not to take it.
Healing Way:This can be extremely useful when you need to tank heal or for fights that can call for large nuke heals on a target in order to survive.
- Nature's Swiftness: The talent has had it's cooldown reduced by one minute down to two minutes. This allows you to turn any of our heals into an emergency heal as well as allows you more mobility on fights where you are forced to move but still need to lay down some larger heals.
- Focused Mind: While some fights may benefit from this in PvE, there are not enough encounters that silence or disrupt you that can justify taking this talent.
- Purification: This talent increases your overall healing by 10% if you put the full five points in. This is a must have talent as it does nothing but help your healing output.
- Nature's Guardian:This talent remains primarily a PvP talent. The points are better spent elsewhere.
- Mana Tide Totem: This talent allows for you to recover almost a full quarter of your maximum mana in 12 seconds. Not only does it allow you to recover your own mana, but anyone in party with you will gain back the same amount of mana. No resto shaman toolkit is complete without this.
- Cleanse Spirit: This talent allows you the ability to cleanse curses, diseases and poison all with one spell. This makes you more versatile and is a must have talent for any restoration talent build.
- Blessing of the Eternals: This talent does two very important things. First, it increases your spell critical chances by 4% and increases the chances of applying the Earthliving Weapon heal over time effect by 80% when the target of your heals is at or under 35% health. This comes in very handy on fights where the raid can potentially take a lot of damage
- Improved Chain Heal: This talent does nothing but augment what is arguably our strongest heal. That 20% healing increase scales as you increase your gear and spell power. There is no reason not to take this talent.
- Nature's Blessing: This directly increases your healing output and scales with gear. This is a must have.
- Ancestral Awakening: Every time you gain a critical heal with Riptide or either healing wave, this will heal someone for 30% of the amount healed. This is a free heal no reason not to take it.
- Earth Shield: A shaman iconic spell, this talent is a must have for every restoration shaman.
- Improved Earth Shield: Another must have, this makes Earth Shield so much more effective.
- Tidal Waves: This talent gives both of your healing waves a boost whenever you cast Riptide or Chain Heal. This talent does nothing but help increase your healing output, and should always receive a full five talent points.
- Riptide: This talent and spell has become a staple of shaman healing. This talent works to proc many of your other talents, is instant cast and gives you a heal over time. You will be using this spell quite frequently and you should pick it up as soon as possible.
- Ancestral Knowledge: This talent increases your overall int, and has amazing synergy with Nature's Blessing. This is a must have.
- Thundering Strikes: This talent gives you another 5% crit with full five points invested. Since all your best abilities benefit from critical heals, this talent is a must have.
- Improved Shields: This talent allows you to gain more mana from your Water Shield as well as increasing the healing amount of Earth Shield. This is something no restoration shaman should be without.
Elemental Weapons:This talent augments the healing bonus of your Earthliving Weapon by an additional 30%, but the points can be used elsewhere if necessary.
Last week we talked about glyphs briefly. Today I'd like to take a little bit of a closer look at them and explain some of the choices. To recap here is a list of restoration specific glyphs.
- Glyph of Chain Heal
- Glyph of Earth Shield
- Glyph of Earthliving Weapon
- Glyph of Healing Stream Totem
- Glyph of Healing Wave
- Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave
- Glyph of Mana Tide Totem
- Glyph of Riptide
- Glyph of Water Mastery
Water Shield currently gives a passive bonus of 100 MP/5 whenever it's active. With the Glyph of Water Mastery this becomes 130 MP/5. A lot of beginning shaman struggle with mana consumption and every little bit helps as you work to earn the gear you need. 30 MP/5 might not seem like a lot, but in a two minute fight that turns 2400 mana into 3120 mana gained. That can be the additional mana needed to keep the tank or the party alive, and all the difference between a wipe and a win.
Glyph of Chain Heal is very common among all levels of restoration shaman whether beginners or experienced raiders. The glyph adds an additional target to chain heal extending it's reach from three to four. That means in most heroics, depending on positioning, you may be able to hit the entire party with one heal. This continues to be useful in the end game as increasing the number of targets healed by your Chain Heal can help get that little bit of extra healing on clusters of melee and ranged.
Glyph of Healing Stream Totem is often times overlooked, but is actually very useful. Restoration shaman can use Healing Stream Totem in many situations. There are several fights that force you to move or can temporarily incapacitate you both in raids and heroics. No matter what happens to you (short of dying) this totem will keep healing not just one target, but your entire party. The totem scales with your spell power so trinket procs and temporary consumables will affect it as well. Beginner shaman have found the use of this totem with the glyph to be helpful in evening out raid wide damage and assisting their healing. I've seen parses where this little combo has counted for 13% of the shaman's healing or more, so it's worth looking at when you're first starting out.
As you progress in gear and start to define your role you may start looking at other glyphs. Glyphs should be used to fill in gaps and strengthen your weak points, or to augment your abilities to get that little extra out of them. Some may be situational useful and others may not be worth your time at all. Lets say you find yourself casting nothing but Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave, those two glyphs may be more useful to you than Glyph of Chain Heal. It's all about finding what is most useful to you and the role you choose to play.
I think that is enough for today. Next week I'll go over totems and spells of restoration.
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk, whether reading Mike Sacco's Elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of Restoration or Rich Maloy's Enhancement edition, we have you covered.