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Totem Talk: Ask a restoration shaman, page 2

Joe Perez

Profession choices for shaman

Hello m8y!

Wanna pop a question for ya. It's been a lot of talk about builds, but my question is more about perks. With the new 85 cap, how will professions balance out for all the trees? What new perks will be the strongest -- for example, restoration from engineering, etc.? And how does archaeology benifit us in PvP and raiding? As far as I have read, not much on that topic.

Have a good one m8y!

Hulk, the honest answer is that they all have their benefits. One of the things that is really great about Cataclysm professions is they all have some really nice spellcaster perks. Leatherworking gives you a nice bonus like Draconic Embossment - Intellect, enchanting gives you Enchant Ring - Intellect, and jewelcrafting provides some very nice gems like Sparkling Chimera's Eye and Brilliant Chimera's Eye.

As far as what the strongest perks are for restoration, it's hard to gauge what the best will be right now as far as endgame or PvP goes. For now, I would say pick what you think will be the most fun. I'm finding an absolute fantastic combination in alchemy and jewelcrafting. I love making my flasks last for two hours at a time, and who wouldn't like to party like a rock star with their Rhinestone Sunglasses?

As far as archaeology benefiting us in PvP and PvE, the best thing you get out of the secondary profession really is some of the amazing items. Look at Headdress of the First Shaman; it has some pretty decent stats and is a bind on account item. Now take a gander of Ring of the Boy Emperor and Tyrande's Favorite Doll. The ring is item level 359 and provides you a decent amount of intellect, haste and mastery. The doll stores 20 percent of all the mana you use while casting spells and allows you to return that mana to yourself whenever you want on a 1-minute cooldown. It also gives you a super healthy dose of intellect.

The vast majority of the items you get from the profession are flavor pieces that advance the lore, but there are some very nice rewards for the PvE-minded player, not to mention a couple of really choice mounts and an awesome pet.

Help with macros
Hi Joe,

I recently started playing my shaman again after a hiatus and am enjoying resto now more then ever. I have a couple of questions that maybe you can help with. First, I'm looking for a one-button macro that will cast Ghostwolf indoors, a riding mount when outdoors, and (when I get high enough level) cast a flying mount when in a flyable area.

My second question is about the talent "Improved Shields." Does the increase in healing of Earth Shield effect the shaman only or whoever he/she casts it on? I know I'll take it for the improved water shield but was just wondering if the effect of the talent can simultaneously benefit me (water) and whoever I cast ES on.

Thanks in advance.

Take care,


Gohgoh (love the name), I've been looking for a macro answer for you since I received your email, but I've been unable to find a solid answer for that. If any of our readers here have an answer, please feel free to answer in the comments.

As far as a one-button solution, I personally have been using the addon Mountiful. It has conditional settings that you can set for things like Ghost Wolf indoors or mounts outside and flying mounts when applicable. The addon places a macro in your general macro section, effectively giving you one button from which to cast all your methods of locomotion.

For the second question, Improved Shields affects all of your shields at the same time. So if you have Water Shield active on yourself and Earth Shield active on another person, both of you will get the benefit of the talent regardless of the order in which you cast the spells.

Tidings of Mana Tide


I did see in an earlier post where you were talking about the Mana Tide totem; the general feeling I got from it was that although now it's spirit-based, it's actually going to work OK for the resto shaman.

In the current patch (not Cata), I never use it anymore. Frankly, it is worthless to me as a healer. Yes, I just heard myself say I don't use it anymore and that must mean that I don't "need" it anymore. I understand that, but it's a bit scary not to have it as a backup.Unless I'm missing something, I don't really care how fast (to a point) my mana will regenerate when I'm not casting. Although I can see some potential for this totem as an elemental shaman but not resto.

Question: Have there been any further developments on this totem for the resto shammy? If not, maybe clarify how this totem helps me as a restoration shaman.


Aanu, in patch 4.0.1, mana for shaman is a lot less of an issue than it has been at any previous point. This is a result of the shift to spirit as our main source or regeneration and its being slightly unbalanced for level 80. In Cataclysm, I can tell you from first-hand experience that this is not the case. There are ways to conserve mana and get the most out of your healing per mana spent, but your regeneration in and out of combat is quite important. Mana Tide Totem doesn't just work when you aren't casting; it works while you're pumping out the heals as well. Thanks to Meditation, you retain half of your total mana regeneration while in combat.

So this means come Cataclysm, you will care about your overall total regeneration, because that will determine what you get back while in the middle of combat. Increasing your spirit by 350 percent really does help keep your mana flowing; especially as a new level 85, you will be leaning on this totem pretty hard. Keep in mind that spirit is one of our new primary healer stats, so a lot of our healing gear will come with loads of it for us.

Insights on Telluric Currents and Focused Insight

I have been healing in raids since vanilla days, when a restoration shaman was often placed outside the range of combat to resurrect the poor sods that fell in the line of duty, both on druid and on shaman, and one change about our healing mechanics and me very excited but has seen sadly little attention so far: Telluric Currents and Focused Insight. Sadly, I have not seen situations in our current form that would allow for these to be very useful. There are a number of fights in the vanilla model that this would have been solid gold on, but in my experience on the beta, I rarely have time for a Lightning Bolt or if I do, the mana is not really needed.

I am more than open to change in the execution of this idea, but I love the mechanic of adding a small amount of damage to healing to augment our mana or healing. What I am wondering is what is the feel of this for everyone else in the healing community? Have these talents mostly been ignored and assumed to lack raid utility, without testing, or are they not worth the attention I am giving them? My hope has just been that they complicate the recent changes further and most healers are putting them to the side until number passes and balancing is closer to done to feel this out, but I also know it is possible that I am getting my hopes up for a class feature that will be mostly ignored and deemed useless.


Glossu, I'm very happy to hear from a restoration veteran from the classic WoW days. Telluric Currents and Focused Insight are very interesting talents for us, and the healing community has been pretty divided on them. There are threads on Plusheal, EJ and Totem Spot full of people trading numbers back and forth about the actual benefit of these talents. Some really like the talents; others are already dismissing them. I agree with you, though, that there are a ton of fights from the classic raiding days that these talents fit very well with. I remember healers working in cycles in order to regenerate mana and keep heals going. I can already see some fights in the Cataclysm beta where something similar may wind up happening.

The mana return from TC is pretty surprising actually, mostly because Lightning Bolt is fairly cheap to begin with and our spellpower will be scaling as we level and obtain more gear. In 5-man content, I find a few places where I can regenerate some mana by throwing out some Lightning, but I think it will really shine in a raid environment when you have another healer to step in and step up the healing while you do a little mana regen.

FI is a little harder to judge the value of yet, because for some people, it has been hard to work into their rotation. Right now, the biggest debate I've seen so far is the cost vs. effect. I've been liking how it works for some of the smaller fights, and I feel it works really well on pulls, but I think right now there just isn't enough data. I think when raiding content becomes more explored, we will see more numbers. Personally, though, I really like working Earth Shock into my rotations to get a little extra healing out of my spells.

It isn't that these mechanics are being ignored; there just haven't been a lot of opportunities to test them out to the fullest capacity in Cataclysm quite yet. As developments for this happen, I will do my best to keep everyone up to speed on it.

That's it for today. If I didn't pick your question for today's column, please know it was simply due to space constraints. Please continue to feel free to email me your questions and I will get back to you in a timely manner.

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Sarah Nichol's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition, WoW Insider's shaman experts have you covered.

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