Updated spells and new talent
As a restoration shaman, we've endured quite a bit. Tiers where we were racing to even catch up to the last place spot on fights. We've lived through figuring out exactly how to work our mastery Deep Healing so that we could keep our parties alive and well, and balancing it against all of our other stats. Most of all, we endured having our iconic spells and abilities changed time and time again. Well, we got another change coming, and well, this one is bloody awesome. Chain Heal is one of those iconic spells we've had for a very long time, and it teetered often between being useful and getting put aside for other spells in our repertoire. We've mentioned before the upcoming changes to Glyph of Chaining and how the penalty is going to be lowered to two seconds and the jump distance increases by 100%. Now though, we get a another bit of an update to the old classic spell. On the new update, the healing penalty between all four jumps of CH has been removed. This is a big thing, as the penalty has always been the downside to the multi-target smart heal to balance out the spell. But now, with that penalty being removed, and the glyph's penalty being reduced to a 2 second cooldown, this is an incredible buff to the spell. I can see glyph of chaining becoming much more popular as a result of this change. Overall, very good news for any healing shaman.
The next big change is a new talent. Totemic Persistence is a very awesome talent. It is replacing Totemic Restoration, which fell out of favor pretty quickly after it was introduced. The old talent let you recover any lost time on a totem if you had to kill it early by dropping another totem of the same school. It was a cool concept, but honestly not nearly as useful as originally thought. This replacement, however, seems like just the ticket. One of the worst things as a restoration shaman is rolling a cooldown like Mana Tide Totem, only to have to cut it short because you have to drop Healing Tide Totem and loose out on those precious seconds of mana recovery. This talent, however lets you, summon a second totem of the same element without replacing the first one. The trick is, it only affects one school of totems at a time, so you'll have to be pretty careful and mind that Totemic Recall button. Personally, I really like this new talent, and I'm looking forward to having it as a failsafe. I think that the talent fits well in comparison to Call of the Elements and Totemic Projection. It feels about on par as far as power goes, and I can see bouncing between those talents depending on the fight. This talent feels right at home.
New and updated Glyphs
Now, some of these are restoration specific, and some are just really fun. First is Glyph of Eternal Earth. This new major glyph adds the ability to your Lightning Bolt to add a charge to Earth Shield. The maximum number of charges stays at 9 though. It's a very nice compliment to Glyph of Telluric Currents, and almost feels like more free mana tacked on. If you consider that adding charges to ES while regaining your mana means you will be less likely to have to spend the mana on re-applying ES and you have a pretty handy glyph. I'm pretty sure this glyph will see use on those fights where we find ourselves needed to top off the reservoir frequently. Glyph of Cleansing Waters has been updated to let your targets of cleanse be healed for 5% of your maximum health instead of 4%. A minor tweak, but a percent is a percent and definitely is a buff. On fights when you're using Cleanse Spirit a lot, this helps mitigate the mana consumption by allowing you to remove the debuffs and still heal. It's not quite Revival, but hey I'll take it.
There are also a multitude of new Minor Glyphs available, and while they don't really have an impact on your healing, I thought it would be cool to note them anyways. These are sort of the shaman class flavor text if you will. Glyph of Astral Fixation actually takes us back to the days of yore when Ancestral Recall could be bound to a different location than your Hearthstone. While this isn't exactly the same, it lets your AR take you to your shrine in Pandaria while your Hearthstone can be set somewhere else. Really darn handy for getting around the giant world of Azeroth. Glyph of the Compy lets you Hex things into little tiny raptors instead of frogs. If you really like frogs however, you can always pop a Glyph of Rain of Frogs which literally teaches you to channel a spell that summons a rain of frogs. It does nothing really, but just lets you drop frogs on people from the sky. Glyph of Elemental Familiars teaches you a spell to summon a random elemental companion that follows you around. Occasionally the summoned familiars will fight each other. Glyph of Flaming Serpents lets you turn your Searing Totem into something like my favorite Horde leader Vol'jin. Glyph of Spirit Wolf lets you use Ghost Wolf while you're a ghost, which I guess makes an odd amount of sense. They're not game changes as far as combat or healing goes, but they are certain fun and full of shaman like flavor, which is what glyphs were originally meant to be. It honestly looks like some fun and good quality of life improvements are coming for resto shaman in patch 5.4.
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!