Totem Talk: Restoration support totems and haste for restoration

Totem Talk Restoration support totems, haste, and racial bonuses Tuesday

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 content creation at InternetDragons.TV), shows you how.

Another exciting week has come and gone, with a new set of raid instances, new looking for raid and the promise of even more content to come. I don't know about you, but it feels like I barely have enough time to look at it all, let alone do it all!

There has been a lot of focus lately on our healing tool-kits, individual spell usage and our stats. We're definitely not without our problems, but instead of focusing on all the bad, I figured it would be good to focus on some of the diversity that we can bring to groups. Even though I'm disappointed about our totems becoming more like cooldowns and less like constant companions, I can still appreciate the new totems that have been added to our repertoire. Even though we're healers, it doesn't mean we can't have some extra utility, and that's always been a key feature of our class.

The utility of totems beyond healing

Even as a healer we have a few items that we should not lost track of. With the release of Mists, many of our totems wound up going away or changing. No longer static, for the most part they've become mini cooldowns to use just like any other spell. The cool thing is that with those changes we got a few new totems to accompany them, and they are actually quite useful.

Earthgrab Totem is likely one of those talents that you may not have looked at with much more than a glance, but recently it's one I've grown to really enjoy not just for questing but also in raids. Particularly the trash packs in the Heart of Fear. There is some pretty nasty trash leading up to Imperial Vizier Zor'lok. Large packs that can swarm your group and just drop tons of AoE damage on the ground. Others will one shot you if you happen to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. What I, and other shaman in my raid group, have been doing is to use this totem to give the raid some time to run or stay out of range to burn the packs down before they can get in range and do any real damage. We've even been using it on Will of the Emperor to help handle rages and keep them at bay while we work on the bosses.

Capacitor Totem is another totem that deserves a little time in the sun. This little totem charges up and then unleashes an electrical torrent that will stun everything around it in an 8 yard radius for 5 seconds. It's great for questing, and can really make someones day unhappy in PvP. It also has similar uses in raid instances to Earthgrab Totem. For those same troublesome packs of trash you can drop this bad boy and buy some breathing room. On Will, you use it to reset the rage's focus, which is incredibly useful when you're the target. You can combine it with Totemic Projection for some extra utility. Honestly, I've been pretty impressed with this little mighty mite.

Stormlash Totem is something that I think a lot of healers forget about, but it is something we really should pay attention to. The basic idea is that it will give any of your raid members within 30 yards of the totem will dish out some additional damage for 10 seconds while the totem is active. If you have multiple shamans, chaining these together can give your raid a bit of a boost in your DPS. It's not meant to be a huge DPS increase, but it may just help you beat a tight enrage timer. Here's what we know about Stormlash Totem

  • The base damage is 20% of AP or 30% of SP, whichever is higher.

  • That amount is multiplied by 0.2 for normal pets, and by 0 for guardian pets.

  • Auto attacks deal 40% of base for main-hands, and 20% for off-hands, and are normalized to a 2.6 weapon speed.

  • Spells and abilities generally deal 100%, and are normalized to a 1.5 sec cast time

  • It generally only procs from direct non-periodic damage, but there are exceptions for Mind Flay, Malefic Grasp, and Drain Soul.

Just keep it in your sights the next time you're in a raid group.

Don't be so hasty

We talked a little bit about haste last time, but I figured I would spend some more time on it this week. Were you aware that there is a haste bug right now for restoration shaman? The bug affects Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. Basically, unlike Riptide or Healing Rain, these two totems do not behave with any rhyme or reason when it comes to stacking haste. Normally, we would have a set series of values that we could rely on to tell us when we were going to get an extra tick from certain abilities. Bink over at totem spot has a wonderful break down of all the finer totals for our break points, and I really do commend the work that he's done with it because it is really quite wonderful.

What does this mean for us? Well, after you break down the long version of it, it means that haste is a little less important than previously stated. 871 with full raid buffs and Ancestral Swiftness is going to be your very first target. This gives you an extra tick on RT, HR and Earthliving Weapon. After you hit that point, at least for now, I recommend focusing on your other secondary stats. I've done the whole practical application thing and found for at least right now, it's not quite worth pushing beyond that point with any sort of focus. This will likely change when this is fixed, and when higher totals are much easier to obtain

As far as the rest of the information goes from those healing parses, well I'm still working on something regarding those. I do want to thank each and every one of you who sent them my way, and those who continue to do so. Hopefully in a couple weeks my next article will be ready to unleash the findings from those parses. Oh, and for those of you that will inevitably ask, keep in mind I only write the resto side of things, I'm only now starting to learn the finer points of hitting things with pointy sticks!

Totem Talk: Restoration lends you advice on healing groups, DK tanks and heroics and mana concerns in today's endgame -- or take a break and look back at the rise of the resto shaman. Happy healing, and may your mana be plentiful!