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Totem Talk: Restoration shaman, axes and mana concerns

Joe Perez

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

For the last few weeks, we have been covering the various bosses of the Firelands raid. Beth'tilac and Rhyolith were taken down, Shannox and Baleroc have been toppled, Alysrazor and Majordomo Staghelm were retired early. This week, though, will not be about Ragnaros -- at least, not quite yet.

This week, I thought we could talk about a wonderful little zone drop and how it shapes up for restoration shaman. I also thought we could talk about the tier 12 two-piece set bonus for restoration shaman and how useful it is in heroic dungeon and raiding environments.

Forget Google, axe me!

The Eye of Purification [normal/heroic] is quite possibly my favorite item from the new tier set. I really love unique weapons, either in look or function, and this spellpower axe definitely qualifies. It is unique enough that it can be used (and is coveted by) all three shaman specializations, and holy paladins can use it as well. It is oddly class-specific in that regard. The last time we saw a weapon like that was Wraith Strike from Naxxramas. I know I got my hands on one and wore it proudly for quite a long time.

It has a blend of stats that are good for all three shamanistic playstyles and looks pretty cool, as well. Here are the stats for the normal version of the weapon:
  • 262 stamina
  • 175 intellect
  • 131 spirit
  • Equip: Increases spellpower by 2,333
  • Equip: Increases your mastery rating by 91
Now, this is a boss drop from Firelands, but if you noticed in my recent boss posts, I haven't talked about it before. I wanted to kind of pull it aside and discuss it on its own.

The weapon is one of a few items that has a chance to drop from every boss in the zone besides Ragnaros. This means Baleroc, Shannox, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith and Alysrazor have a chance to reward you with this sweet main-hand. Now, it was originally thought that these bosses were the only ones that could drop it, but recently I've been receiving reports that Majordomo Staghelm has dropped it for some lucky folks.

The stats cover all of our primary stats and one of our key secondary stats. For a restoration shaman weapon, this is pretty solid overall, and if it drops, you should definitely try to get your hands on it. It will serve you well for quite a while. Oh and if you get one, be sure to let Josh Myers know about it, in excruciating detail!

Mana, mana everywhere, nor any drop to drink

Mana is a growing concern among shaman healers, whether they are just starting to heal heroic dungeons or getting ready to raid. Since the patch, we've been having some issues with Water Shield, having it proc too often and having to reapply it fairly consistently. This is important for many reasons when evaluating our mana regeneration.

First, while the spell is active, it grants a passive 354 MP5. Every time you are hit by a spell effect or attack that deals damage, you get back 872 mana, but it consumes a charge of the Water Shield. This has been standard for a while now, but with patch 4.2 came the reinvention of a core talent into Resurgence.

With the new talent, each time you get a critical strike with a healing spell, you have a chance to gain back mana. Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave critical effects will gain you 2,293 mana. Unleash Life, Riptide and Healing Surge will return 1,376 mana, and Chain Heal grants you 764 mana.That is, of course, if Water Shield is active. You can see why keeping Water Shield up is very important. In the latest Ask the Devs, some concerns were addressed, and we know that the problem is being looked at.


Q: I spend a lot of my time in raids keeping Water Shield up, which I rely on to maintain enough mana. There have been times I've neglected to heal someone because I had to refresh Water Shield. Why are shaman healers less effective compared to other healing classes? – Epistemology (NA), ??? (EU-RU)

A: We'd like to be more consistent about what does and doesn't trigger Water Shield. Having the shield trigger when taking direct damage, and consume an orb, is consistent with how all shaman shields work. On some encounters though, constant pulsing damage probably burns through those charges too quickly and doesn't need to do so – that said, if you're having to refresh Water Shield often, that also generally means that you're getting a large amount of extra mana from all those procs that are burning through it. A situational glyph (like we have for Lightning Shield) could help with this issue, and that may be something we consider in the future.

There was more, but that's the part we're going to focus on for now. If you miss putting up your Water Shield, you can lose out on a lot of mana. With the mana situation like it is, we need to get as much back as we can for the sake of healing longevity. I would love to see a glyph similar to the Glyph of Lightning Shield. It could save us a global cooldown and give us one less thing to worry about when healing through those hectic hard modes.

In the meantime, though, we can't forget about what is quickly becoming my new best friend for mana regeneration, the tier 12 two-piece set bonus for restoration. The set bonus reads as follows:

Your periodic healing from Riptide has a 40% chance to restore 1% of your base mana each time it heals a target.

So how much is that in actual numbers? Base mana for a shaman at level 85 is 23,430; therefore, 1% of that works out to 243.3 mana. Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? Well, lets consider Riptide for a moment. The spell has a 6-second cooldown, so you can refresh it on another target every time it is up. Without Glyph of Riptide, the spell has a duration of about 13 seconds; with the glyph, it is raised to about 22 seconds. Every 3 seconds, the HOT effect will tick. So, if you have it glyphed, you can keep around three Riptides active simultaneously if you're refreshing it every cooldown. Also remember that as you reach the different haste levels, you can increase the number of ticks in the duration of Riptide. So without any haste in 22 seconds of uptime, you can have about 7 ticks. Over three active Riptides would be 21 ticks. If you're constantly rolling that Riptide, you have serious potential for excellent mana returns.

After receiving my two-piece bonus and watching my cooldowns closely, I've seen a very positive change in my mana regeneration. I'm ending fights relying less on my Mythical Mana Potions and even my Mana Tide Totem. Some fights, I've even been using Lightning Bolt and Telluric Currents much less desperately. Sure, there are fights where I need to cycle though all my mana regeneration tricks. The point is that in practical application, the set bonus has been making a big difference in my mana regeneration. So if you can get your hands on your two-piece bonus and watch your cooldowns, you can help alleviate some of your mana problems.

Next week, I'd like to do another ask a shaman, so if you have any questions you want answered, feel free to leave a comment here, email me or message me 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!

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