Last week, we talked a little bit about picking a raiding spec for entry-level raiding as a restoration shaman. There was some great comments and some great emails, which I am still going through and replying to. As always, if you haven't gotten a reply quite yet, don't worry -- it's on its way.
We have already covered some pre-raid gear choices, as well as gems and enchants with a little discussion on stats and stat pirority. This week, I figured we would round out or pre-raid preparations with a quick list of raiding glyphs as well as taking the opportunity to talk about some upcoming changes in the forthcoming patch 4.1 that will have a potential impact on our raid healing.
More than just pictures on the wall
The last piece of your pre-raid setup is your glyph choices. Some of our glyphs are pretty awesome; others are situational. We'll just talk about glyphs for when you're starting out raiding, as well as my personal thoughts on the choices. Here is the list of what we really have to work with.
- Glyph of Chain Heal
- Glyph of Ghost Wolf
- Glyph of Healing Stream
- Glyph of Healing Wave
- Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem
Minor Earth Shield, Glyph of Earthliving Weapon, and the last slot for Glyph of Riptide. Glyphing Earth Shield is about to become a little more important, especially after patch 4.1, but we'll get into that in a little bit here.
For Glyph of Earthliving Weapon, it should be known that this only applies to the HoT effect. It does not increase the spellpower gained from Earthliving Weapon or have any effect on Unleash Elements. That said, the glyph really pays for itself, especially when you consider that it can trigger off of Healing Rain as well as your other heals, so you can have the HoT up on large numbers of raiders in the group.
Glyph of Riptide gives Riptide an additional 6 seconds to tick, bringing its total duration up to 21 seconds. Since the spell has a cooldown of 6 seconds, you can in theory keep it up on three targets at a time once you get rolling. Now, if you find yourself having mana issues, you can swap one of them out for Glyph of Water shield, but it ultimately only results in a gain of about 170 MP5.
For major glyphs, there's a lot of choice here, but I highly recommend Glyph of Healing Stream, Glyph of Chain Heal and Glyph of Healing Wave for starting out. Chain Heal is a great spell when you can use it and get it to hit at least three people. The only problem is that if the spell hits fewer than three, this glyph can result in reduced overall healing. It is really good for 25-man raiding, but it is on the fence for 10-man raiding. If you're in situations in 10-man raiding in which you can make sure it hits at least three people, it can be a great pickup. I suggest Healing Wave because when you're first starting out raiding, chances are good that you'll have times where you are low on mana and may need to heal yourself and someone else. This makes sure you get some health back every time you cast that Healing Wave, and that can be pretty handy.
Glyphing Healing Stream Totem is almost a necessity at this point. While it won't stack with Kings or Mark of the Wild, it still raises resistance to fire, nature and frost by 195. While other classes may be able to do that as well, you can't always count on them being there or being alive. Besides, you're likely to be keeping a HST down anyways -- why not make it that much better? Keep the others in mind; we'll be coming back to them at a different time.
As far as minor glyphs go, the only one I really recommend is Renewed Life. There's nothing worse than needing to use Reincarnation only to realize you forgot to stock some Ankhs. Now some fights may do better with other glyph combinations, but as we discuss the bosses themselves, we will point those out as we come across them.
Patch 4.1 is on the horizon, and when it does go live, there are a number of changes in store, even for restoration shaman. In the last few weeks, there have been a couple of changes announced, and I figured now would be a good time to address them while we all eagerly await Spirit Link Totem's arrival.
Right now, I really like Cleansing Waters, if you hadn't already gathered that last week. The reason I like it right now is because on trash and some bosses it can be very handy for the reduced cost to Cleanse Spirit and a free heal. When you find yourself in 10-mans, without a plethora of cleansing options, it can be useful; even in 25-man raiding, you may find yourself having to cleanse something. Any reduction in mana expendeture is good, as it leaves you with more mana to cast a heal with later, and I'm never one to pass up a "free" heal.
After the patch, though, the heal will only be able to be used every 6 seconds. While Cleanse Spirit remains spammable, the heal won't be. This means that it moves a little lower on my priority list after the patch.
Earth Shield's healing being reduced was something I was surprised to see. In our heroic Maloriak kill this week, ES was less than 10% of my overall healing. In every other fight, it clocks in somewhere around 3% to 4%. This is with me keeping my ES on the add tank. While I don't think the reduction will hurt too terribly much, I do like the change to Nature's Blessing. It gives your heals a little extra kick when healing anyone that has your ES on them. This is particularly handy if you pull tank healing duty. It's an extra 3% healing at rank 3, but sometimes that extra 3% is all you need. I can tell you that when I pull tank healing on boss fights, anytime I have to use a big heal, every percent matters.
Overall, patch 4.1 is shaping up to be something I'm excited about as a restoration shaman. The further tweaking we're getting, as well as our brand new raid-wall, are really working to help us out in the long run as far as raid healing goes. What do you think of the upcoming changes? Next week, we'll begin diving into actually healing through the entry-level raid encounters in Cataclysm.
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!