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Totem Talk: Restoration 101

Joe Perez

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how. Brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

If you're reading this, you've most likely decided that healing is going to be one of your two possible specs and you're looking for information before you jump right into healing. I can think of no better place to start my inaugural post of Totem Talk: Restoration than to provide the basics to get you started on the path of one of the strongest healing types in the game.

This is not the definitive Restoration guide this is just the basic overview, the more complex stuff will come later on.

1. What is Restoration?

Restoration is the shaman talent tree dedicated to healing. Your spells and totems are there to keep your team alive.

2. Benefits of Restoration

  • Strong group healing.
  • Access to one of the strongest reactionary heals in the game.
  • Ability to go from group healing to single target healing without having to change spec or glyphs.
  • Lots of buffs for nearly every class and spec you could party with.
  • Gear upgrade choices are pretty clear.
3. Drawbacks of Restoration
  • Limited healing spells.
  • Buffs can be trivialized by ones provided by other classes.
  • Restoration gear is specialized and often can be harder to find from bosses.
  • Healing rotations can be boring due to limited number of healing spells.
4. Stats to look for

All potential gear will come with a requisite amount of intellect and stamina so there will be little need to worry about those stats. The main stats you'll be looking for are:
  • Spell Power. You want a lot of spell power any way you look at it. The more spell power you have, the more your spells will heal for.
  • Haste. Haste is important for a couple of reasons. First, it decreases your cast times, which allows you to fit more spells in between cooldowns. Second, it reduces your global cooldown to the lowest possible (one second), enabling you to cast more spells in shorter periods of times. This stat allows you to effectively increase your heals per second.
  • Crit rating. Not only does this increase the amount of healing you do, but crit rating also triggers key talents such as Improved Water Shield and Ancestral Awakening.
  • MP/5. This is a key restoration stat. As a resto shaman you will spend most of your time chain casting spells. MP/5 allows you to keep mana regen going while continuing to cast.
For priority, it's spell power, haste/crit then MP/5. We'll get more into the specifics of why later on.

5. Stats to avoid
  • Spirit. No shaman spec currently uses spirit. None of your talents will benefit from this stat, and the class mana regen combined with MP/5 outweighs any bonus spirit would give.
  • Hit rating. This stat does not affect whether or not your heals will reach your targets. While this stat is good for Elemental, the Restoration shaman should avoid it if at all possible.
There are exceptions here. As you gear up, you may find items that provide an upgrade to many of your primary stats (ex. SP, haste/crit) but also have spirit or hit on them. If the item is better than what you currently have, it may be worth picking up until you can get a more ideal piece for that slot.

6. Typical talent setup and glyphs

There are three typical PvE Restoration talent setups that are very popular. The specs dip into the enhancement tree as there are many key talents there that augment our ability to heal.
  • 0/16/55 . The most popular spec. This is a very standard build which picks up the most common restoration talents.
  • 0/16/55 . Second most popular spec. It moves three talent points around, dropping Healing Focus in favor of Healing Way. By enabling you to move between group healing and single target healing, it makes you more versatile and more effective.
  • 0/13/58 . This talent selection forsakes Elemental Weapons in favor of having both Healing Focus and Healing Way.
There are very few talents in the restoration tree that are not worth taking. Some are more PvP oriented while the majority are suited for PvE healing. If anything, you have too many good talents to choose from.

There are also several glyphs that will compliment your ability to heal. You will be choosing glyphs either to compensate for weaknesses such as low mana regen or to augment your healing abilities. Here is a list of the resto-centric glyphs:

Major Glyphs:
Minor Glpyhs:The most common choices for major glyphs are Glyph of Chain Heal, Glyph of Healing Stream Totem and Glyph of Water Mastery. We will go over choosing glyphs in more detail later on.

7. Gems
Gemming for Restoration is something that is often times over thought. Here are some simple gem choices to help you on your way:
  • Meta gem: Insightful Earthsiege Diamond. As resto shamans tend to be chain casters, this meta will give you the largest return on investment for overall usefulness.
  • Spell Power: Runed Cardinal Ruby. This will be your staple gem. You can never go wrong with more spell power!
  • Haste: Quick King's Amber. This is your gem of choice for this stat. Even though most of our gear comes with a healthy amount of haste on it, a little more can go a long way to help improve your healing throughput.
  • MP/5: This is an "if you need it" gem slot. If you find yourself running short on mana, MP/5 gems can be used to give this stat a boost. Royal Dreadstone is a good gem to use if you find yourself short on regen or if you need to meet your meta gem requirement.
  • For jewelcrafters: Utilizing Runed Dragon's Eye in red sockets will go a long way to help improve your healing output.
  • Crit: While this stat is important, you should not have to actively gem for crit as your gear should come with more than enough to keep crit right about where it needs to be. We will cover more on this later on.
  • Intellect and Spirit: Gemming for spirit is out of the question. Never do it! As far as gemming for int, your gear comes with enough to keep int levels high for replenishment. Between gear and MP/5, you should not have to worry about intellect.
  • Matching sockets: This should not be a concern unless the bonus from the socket is particularly spectacular. Meaning that if the bonus outweighs the loss of stats from the gem you would normally put in there you can find a gem that matches the sockets. The other exception is if it is to meet a meta requirement.
8. Enchants for the endgameThat should be enough for today. Next week we'll talk about the specifics of restoration talents and choosing glyphs.

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.

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