Before we get started, just like last week, keep in mind that this is for the start of your raiding experience. This is not the best in slot list or heavy endgame theorycrafting. This is a list of available options and some suggestions for starting shaman before setting foot in a raid.
Gems are a shaman's best friend!
Gemming your gear is incredibly important. It allows you to increase your stats, unlock bonus stats on gear and fill gaps in your stats that may drag you down if you let them go unattended. Showing up to a raid without putting gem in the sockets of your gear is just bad manners. So let's take a look at all the options for gems that a restoration shaman should be concerned with.
For your meta, I highly suggest going with an Ember Shadowspirit Diamond. That additoinal intellect is great, and an additional 2% mana is nothing to scoff at. For your red gem sockets and prismatic sockets, stick with Brilliant Inferno Rubies if you can. Int should be thought of as your most important stat, as it gives you mana, spellpower and crit. If you're a jewelcrafter, I recomend utilizing Brilliant Chimera's Eye as soon as you can in the maximum three sockets.
If you haven't reached the first haste threshold of 916 haste, fill yellow sockets with Reckless Ember Topaz. Int and haste are great for those sockets. After you reach the threshold, you can switch over to Potent Ember Topaz if you need to fill a yellow socket to get a socket bonus. For your blue sockets, stick to Purified Demonseye for now. Int and Spirit are great stats to have when you're first starting out in raids.
When choosing your gems, also keep in mind what we talked about last week: getting that spirit to at least 2,100 and reaching that first haste threshold. You can always have more of it, but just make sure your basics are covered first before you add anything else.
Like gemming your equipment, enchanting your gear can help cover stat gaps and improve your overall performance. Showing up to a raid without your gear enchanted is a big downer, so you shouldn't do it! In some cases ,there are some choices you can make, but for others the choice is pretty clear. So let's take a look at what we have to work with.
Most of these are pretty straightforward, but I'd like to take a few moments here and talk about some of the options. For your bracers, if you are below the threshold for haste, that should be your priority; after that, you can go with crit. If you're lucky and land yourself some epic bracers and you're past the haste threshold, you may even want to look into the intellect enchantment.
For your chest, Peerless Stats is ultimately the best you can do, but if you're sporting a heroic dungeon or justice point chest, you may want to go with Spirit instead. It gives you a little more longevity and is a bit cheaper on material cost for you.
For your boots, your choice is really going to depend not only on what type of footwear you are wearing but also on your talents. If you have Ancestral Swiftness, you will want to gravitate towards the pure stats of Haste or Mastery. If you don't have the talent, you will want to consider an enchant like Earthen Vitality or Lavawalker to give you not only a stat boost but also a movement speed boost. If you are wearing Earthmender's Boots and can afford it, I suggest picking up Lavawalker. I'll go more into talent choices next week, and we'll talk about mastery a little bit more here in a few.
When it comes to weapon enchants, you have three main options to choose from. Heartsong works out to roughly a constant 100 spirit and is fairly cheap to pick up. More spirit is always welcome in the early stages of raiding, and the enchant does count towards Mana Tide Totem. Hurricane will amount to about a constant 100 haste after proc rates and internal cooldowns are taken into account. Honestly, the haste gain isn't that fantastic unless you are really struggling to reach 916 haste. I don't recomend this if you can avoid it. Power Torrent works out math-wise to a constant 120 intellect. This gives you the most benefit, but it is very expensive. I'd suggest sticking with Heartsong until you get a main-hand weapon that is better than heroic dungeon quality.
Haste vs. mastery
Some stats naturally gravitate towards each other; others seem diametrically opposed. Haste and mastery tend to be the two stats for restoration shaman that seem to be on opposite ends of the playing field. We'll be talking more about this in the weeks to come in regards to specific bosses, but for now we'll just talk a little bit about mastery.
Mastery is a great stat when you're starting new content, as it helps your heals hit for just a little bit more on those targets who are lower on health. After patch 4.1, this will become even more the case, as all of our heals will benefit from our mastery stat. It helps take the edge off on those healing-intensive fights. When entering raids, though, restoration gear comes with a good amount to get you through those first boss fights. I would suggest against actively stacking it, with a few exceptions. We'll talk more about the relationship between haste and mastery in the coming weeks, and I may even devote an entire week to it -- but for now, keep your stat priority in mind.
Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery/Crit
Next week, we will talk about picking your talents for raiding, as well as dive a little bit more into the relationship between haste and mastery. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email
me or hit me up on Twitter
Totem Talk: Restoration will show you the basics of endgame resto shaman play as well as how to find the expansion's best reputation gear for resto shaman and tips for easier leveling. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!