Last week's discussion of Dual Wield restoration was a good follow up to our discussion of the official shaman talent preview. Everyone had lots of great opinions on the topic and there was some good speculation on other things the community would like to see happen as Cataclysm comes closer to being released.
This week I would like to revisit a topic we covered briefly in part 2 of the restoration addon discussion, Power Auras Classic. If you remember last month Matthew McCurley did a fantastic write up in Addon Spotlight on this mod and earlier this month Rich Maloy did a great write up on basic power auras for enhancement shaman. So this week I would like to expand a little bit more about the usefulness of this addon in the hands of a healing shaman.
As we've said before, Power Auras Classic is a powerful and versatile addon. You can track various different conditions in the game that can have a large impact on how you heal.
Trinkets and Rings
Trinkets and rings are some of the items we have that can often times be overlooked. That said, paying attention to trinket procs and buff durations can be very useful for a healing shaman. Take a look at Purified Lunar Dust, through normal healing the trinket can proc causing the Revitalized buff which increases your MP/5 by 304 for 15 seconds. Knowing how often the buff is up can help how conservative you are with your heals, or when you may kick it up just a little bit while still maintaining a good regeneration rate. Power Auras can help keep track of when this buff is active or when it falls off, and it can be very helpful in knowing how often it does indeed proc. The same can be said about Ephemeral Snowflake which can grant a healer an additional
464 haste through the Urgency buff. This can be handy when choosing what spells your casting in a given encounter. I personally use this addon to track the proc from Ashen Band of Endless Wisdom. I just like knowing when Chilling Knowledge is active.
Our relic slot items can grant some pretty stellar bonuses, and knowing when some of them are active or at full power can be very handy. Take a look at Totem of the Surging Sea, it grants the buff Energized. This buff grants an additional 85 spell power each time you cast Riptide and it can stack up to three times. While in a normal healing situation a shaman equipped with this relic should see a constant up time of this buff at its full stacks, there may be situations that get so hairy you may miss a Riptide in favor of other spells or even your own survival. Knowing when this buff falls off can be a good reminder to quickly toss a Riptide out there and reclaim its benefit. This holds true for all of our other relics such as Totem of Calming Tides.
There is a large selection of addons that will track your weapon buffs for you and let you know when they are about to time down or when they fall off completely. Power Auras also allows you to track our weapon buffs and know exactly when yours has fallen off. Earthliving Weapon gives us a pretty substantial boost to our healing capabilities and gives us access to a healing over time effect. Since it can proc off of all of our heals, knowing when the weapon imbue wears off can be very handy. There are few things worse than being in the middle of an encounter and having this imbue wear off and not noticing until after the fight. You just wind up losing out on a decent amount of healing.
Restoration shaman set bonuses have been pretty good for a long time now. They have provided a solid buff for quite a while now. Some of these set bonuses activate in a similar manner to our talents and item procs, and keeping track of them can be beneficial. Take a look at the tier 10 2 piece set bonus, Rapid Currents. The buff increases spell haste by 20% on the next spellcast. There are some fights that can find us incapacitated for several seconds and so knowing if you have to refresh this buff can come in quite handy. In the past I've used this mod to track the Cataclysm Raiment 4 piece bonus which was very useful.
We have several talents that grant us a temporary bonus when we activate it or something trigger the procs. Tidal Force increases the crit rate of our three staple heals by 60% for 20 seconds, with each spell cast reducing the crit rate by 20%. When you activate it it can be helpful to track if you have any charges left. This also holds true for Tidal Waves which lowers the cast time of our Healing Wave by 30% and increases the critical effect of Lesser Healing Wave by 25% while increasing the healing potency of these spells until you cast two of those spells.
You can also use Power Auras to track the up time of your shields such as Water Shield and even Earth Shield. These are part of the group of core spells for a restoration shaman. Water Shield is vital for your mana regeneration and Earth Shield is a key spell for single target reactionary healing. Knowing when these spells drop off and getting them back up as soon as possible can be very important. Most players prefer other addons such as ShieldsUp to keep track of their shields, but I know of quite a few that do it through power auras.
There is quite a bit you can track through this addon. The mod itself is quite customizable and you can set various visual queues with different textures, animations and colors that can be placed anywhere on your screen. You can also set it to add audio queues for whatever you have it set to track, and this can be just as useful as the visual queues. Honestly over the last few weeks I have grown to love this addon all over again and it is well worth the time to customize it to your needs. It is pretty straight forward and there is a plethora of useful information on how to set it up.
Along those lines, earlier this month I received an email from a player by the name of WoWEgg about highlighting Power Auras for the restoration shaman. He currently has quite a fair bit of information about this addon up at the Power Auras Wikispace and has been gracious enough to share with us a video detailing some of versatility of this mod. He has also been nice enough to add the code strings ready for pasting for the various aura tracking up on the wiki. So a big tip of the hat and a big thank you to WoWEgg, keep up the good work!
Do you use Power Auras? What do you use it to track? Do you use it to track your shields or do you use a different addon?
Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Mike Sacco's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition, we have you covered.