HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Restoration (Shaman) No More

Restoration Shaman - Healing Wave

It's not by coincidence that I'm posing in a graveyard

I tried. I really did. I waited until I had gathered more than 200 Emblems of Triumph and bought my Tier 9 set to see if it would make a difference. It didn’t. I still struggle to heal as a Restoration Shaman. I’m always a step or two behind the rest of the party. I’m looting mobs from the last pull. I’m drinking. I’m 10 yards out of range.

I’m pretty sure that it’s not the spec at fault – it’s me.

Even though I gave up on the Shaman a few months back I didn’t stop reading all the Restoration Shaman blogs that I have subscribed to. I think I was still looking for an answer, convinced that I had missed some crucial “rotation” or combination of spells, which would explain why I was so bad at playing this spec.

All that reading has paid off. I think I know why I couldn’t play the Restoration Shaman. It’s because I played a Discipline Priest first. My approach to healing with the Shaman was warped.

Why am I giving up on the Shaman? I think it comes down to two problems: no mobility and no damage prevention.

Riptide is the only instant heal available to a Restoration Shaman. And it’s on cooldown. That means that it’s the only spell I can cast to heal you while I’m moving. If we all need to run out of something nasty, I have to wait until I’m in the clear, then start up a Chain Heal or Lesser Healing Wave, then 2 seconds later you will get receive said heal.

If we all need to run out of something as my Priest I have 4 “instants” at my disposal. I can Renew (which I swear is more powerful than a Riptide tick) or send you 1 tick of Penance. I can hit you with Prayer of Mending and instantly heal you for a huge amount or I can Power Word: Shield you for an instant 2k+ heal (and that’s just from a glyph!) and then effectively pause your dropping health bar until I can fire off a party heal or a full Penance or Flash.

A Lesson from Pit of Saron

At about the time I was giving up on Restoration I was fortunate enough to be grouped up with a Restoration Shaman for Pit of Saron while I was playing Cassandri as DPS. I ran the instance with our healer set as my Focus target. I was open minded – perhaps here was my chance to learn how to play from another player, spell for spell.

As we approached the first boss I wondered how the Shaman was going to heal this. I can’t imagine a fight more difficult to heal as a Shaman. Lots of movement. And party members need to be spread out to avoid the rock throw which means that Chain Healing isn’t an option. As least we had Frost Resist Totem.

We wiped.

This is how I approach this fight as a Shadow Priest:

AoE off the boss to kill his adds at the start. DPS the boss until he has thrown a few rocks. When he goes to forge a weapon, run behind a rock to line of sight him. Your debuff is probably around 10-13 stacks by now. As soon as the debuff wears out, run back out to try and refresh Shadow Word: Pain before it expires. Wait til he forges a new weapon (around another 13 stacks), run behind a rock to LoS him.

The Shaman blamed the group for the wipe: “You didn’t LoS enough. You can’t let it get to 10 stacks!”

In every other run I’ve done we’ve all waited until the weapon forging – usually every second rock throw or so – before dropping the stacking debuff. Right or wrong, this means that every other healer that I’ve played with during the previous 20 runs or so could manage to heal through about 13 stacks of the debuff: Druids, Priests and Paladins.

On the second attempt we huddled and LoSed the boss after every single rock throw which gave the Shaman just enough time to get off two chain heals while we were stacked. Our health bars remained in the 30-60% range the entire fight. In the end I helped heal. My Shadowfiend and Dispersion won us the kill. Everyone else was dead.

I do think that fight is particularly punishing to Shaman. But the experience further cemented in my mind that other Restoration Shaman, not just me, struggle to keep green bars full in instances.

The Dungeon Finder Mentality

The players who run Wrath of the Lich King heroics are not approaching combat with the same mentality as my groups did when I first started healing as my Restoration Shaman in Naxxaramas/Tier 7 days.

In one of my first blogs for HoTs and DoTs I talked about how easy/difficult I found each of the Wrath Heroics to complete while healing as my brand new Restoration Shaman. I concluded by the end, when I was wearing all the ilvl 200 Epic faction rewards and Epic Heroic drops, that I was now over-geared for Heroics. How times have changed!

My party would listen to me when I said that they needed to group up around me for Chain Heal. They listened to me if I asked for a mana break. They declared “good job!” if I struggled to heal through a boss but somehow kept us from wiping. Even back then I struggled the most with heavy movement fights like Telestra (Nexus) and the Collusus (Gundrak).

These days tanks will not wait until I’m in range before pulling. Tanks will not wait while I regain my mana. Party members believe that it’s ok to stand in Flamestrike and be healed through it. Party members believe that if you want to stop in order to drink, you’re a bad healer. Party members believe that if everyone’s health bar is under 20% when the boss dies that you’re a bad healer.

Warped Thinking

It’s not so much that I’ve been spoiled playing the Discipline Priest (or maybe I have, they are pretty cool), it’s just that the way I approach healing is warped.

Discipline feels very aggressive to me, almost devious. You can quickly throw out a huge series of instant casts: shield, shield, shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew and then have a nap in the corner. Or better yet, skip the nap and hit “f” and Penance and suddenly you’re DPSing the enemy with your healing spells. Or you can just wade right into melee distance and Holy Nova while you run in circles like a mad man: healing and dealing damage at the same time instantly.

There’s a type of insanity to Discipline which I love. And it’s the only reason I hold a tiny amount of love for PVP in my heart – because this spec is so suitable for the battlefield mindset. One moment you might be struggling to keep you and three other friendlies around you alive and then the next moment you’ll realise that your teammates need a bit of help in order to finish off that enemy Paladin … and so you help bring him down with a fast Penance followed up by Shadow Word: Death. (And we all know that, just like a murloc,  if you leave a Paladin with less than 10% health he’ll run away only to return with 5 of his friends looking for revenge – and with a full health bar too.)

I think a Discipline Priest enters combat, and builds healing threat, slowly. We can enter combat with our “heals” already in place. We have a bit of time before our Prayer of Mending goes off. In the Burning Crusade that Prayer of Mending heal threat wasn’t even attributed to the Priest, it was attributed to the healed target. Most of the time that first bounce would be attributed to the tank thus helping them build threat at the start of a pull. I’m used to having a few seconds to myself at the start of combat to orient myself and get into a good position before I need to start casting.

Priests are encouraged to take breaks while healing – we’re not built to spam cast one or two spells without pause for the entire duration of a boss fight. The Priest heals selectively, casting the right spell on the right target at the right time. They are encouraged to take pauses and conserve their mana pool. I believe, although I’m no expert, that this might be what Blizzard are getting at when they say that Discipline needs some work to be ideal single target healers – they can do some amazing things to mitigate incoming damage, but they can’t deliver their heals at the same steady, sure pace that a Holy Paladin can. A few seconds without heals and your tank can be dead. And a tick of Renew ain’t gonna cut it.

I believe I’m guilty of not adapting my approach to suit my Restoration Shaman. Perhaps I need more time away from the Priest, as Discipline anyway, before I should try Restoration again.

I think I would be better served spam healing my targets before they take damage instead of losing precious seconds at the start of combat. I think I need to stop trying to get into the “ideal” position and instead make do with wherever I happen to be when combat commences. I think I need to get heals on my tank (small ones perhaps) as they’re still picking up adds, instead of waiting until I’m sure they have them all neatly standing in one spot. I think I need to treat my spells as a “rotation” get into the habit of casting a set sequence instead of waiting to read the situation, then determining which spell to cast, and then casting it. I think I need to stop worrying about mana conservation and overhealing.

I think I need to work at being a bit more steady, a bit more predictable. I think the only way to “proactively” heal is to make sure that I always have heal about to land.

Do you think I’m on the right track?

Thank God for Dual Specialisation

Well all this reflection has been motivating. It’s been months since I healed as my Shaman. I haven’t completely given up on Restoration, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the healing spec for me.

At the moment I’m giving Xata a second chance by using her secondary spec: Elemental. But my adventures as an Elemental Shaman are a topic for another day, I think!

40 Responses to “Restoration (Shaman) No More”

  1. AskevarNo Gravatar says

    I’m having the exact SAME problems on my resto shaman offspec [she's enhance main spec]. I also started healing on a disc priest… and to be honest, I’ve been wondering the same things you have… and have even contemplated playing with elemental offspec if/when I get badges built up.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Elemental is good fun, especially for Heroics.

      I think there’s something wrong with Restoration – even when I thought I was playing it well and my groups were breezing through whatever dungeon it never really felt fun or powerful.

      Even when I know I’m playing Discipline wrong, it’s still fun. Perhaps you feel the same?

      • AskevarNo Gravatar says


        I know a resto shaman who can outheal everyone. She stacks haste and is much better geared… but I dunno.

        But yes, resto shaman feels a lot less powerful than my disc priest. My disc priest healed a 476 defense tank through h-toc [my fault for being half asleep]. She can heal H-FoS, H-PoS and H-HoR without a second though

        My shaman has trouble in regular heroics if dps are being stupid. FOS is nasty and she always gets ganked the first aoe pull. PoS is just plain nasty and I dare not try H-HoR.
        .-= Askevar’s last blog: On Alts and Alt-y Things =-.

  2. CelairiaNo Gravatar says

    I understand, definitely, the frustrations in beginning to heal as a Resto Shaman. CONSTANTLY OOM in dungeons, desperate for more instant cast heals (well, I would be if I had experience as a different healing class first, probably), and feeling completely punished when the group spreads out.

    Resto has a later ‘gear breaking point’, as I like to call it, than other classes it seems. Until a bit after you get your T9 (and that’s two pieces resto two pieces ele for the haste), you really are struggling all the time. But then, suddenly, you gain a percentage of crit, or maybe it was another 100 haste. And you stop drinking. Hell, you stop thinking in 5 mans.

    Though part of that two is getting used to the proc-based healing style that resto brings. The most important thing to pay attention to is making sure you have Tidal Waves (the proc from casting either riptide or chain heal) up 100% of the time. This gives you high crit LHWs (to get the 10% reduced damage on people or as quick hail marys) or high speed HWs (for quick tank heals, self heals, whatever — it’s guaranteed). It’s a strategy that I am fairly certain (again, no experience) other healers don’t really perform in their usual heal ‘rotation’. Watching procs, monitoring Earth Shield (which is hilariously powerful and wonderful), maintaining the 10% reduced damage on as many people as possible, this the allure of Resto Shaman.

    …That probably came out preachier than I meant, but it’s late. ^^; Sorry you didn’t think it was for you though! I find it crazily rewarding (if you couldn’t tell ;) ), though that might just be the haste addict in me talking.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      No, it didn’t come across as preachy at all :) I know that I wasn’t good at keeping Riptide off cooldown 100% for Tidal Waves but keeping Earth Shield (and my Water Shield) was easy enough.

      Perhaps I need to make more of an effort to construct my Restoration UI so that Riptide reminders are in my face and Tidal Waves is tracked more clearly.

  3. RifterNo Gravatar says

    Out of curiosity, have YOU tried the druid? You would probably love it. My main is a DK tank. My secondary is a Resto druid that I just finally started DPSing on (balance). My latest, is a Disc/Holy priest. Now, Disc, I am ok at. I find I miss Resto Druid a lot, though. Holy… on the other-hand… I am COMPLETELY lost. I hear it heals the party well.

    My first character was a resto shaman. In that, I leveled from 1-63 as resto, 99% solo. They seem to have a different feel to them. I am working my Shaman up now, I just hit 70, so I am within striking of 80. I watch my fiance wander around with her shaman, kicking ass, and healing more. She is really a healing goddess. I think it takes practice… and I have gotten FAR more than 10 stacks with her healing, without 1 death. :-)

    (And… I still have 1 more healer to try… my Pally is lvl 65… ) :-) Though, for all the healers out there. Do yourself a favor, and roll a tank, and learn the fights as a tank as well. It gives you an all-new appreciation for how the fights work, working them as Tank and healing.
    .-= Rifter’s last blog: Raid Ready Checklist. =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Nah, never tried playing a Druid. That would be stepping a bit too closely into Lathere’s “territory”. Silly, I know. But I didn’t like it when our we wore our hair the same way either. Must be a sibling thing.

      As for Holy and Discipline… I’ve played both but always preferred Discipline (even when they were Divine Spirit buff bots in BC). Penance and Pain Suppression are just two beautiful spells that I wouldn’t want to give up.

  4. pewterNo Gravatar says

    YAY! Another new Elemental! Our Lightning & Lava shall block out the sun!


    I really enjoy raid healing as resto, but I think the spec is very…talent/glyph dependant. If you’re all set up for raid healing (and most blogs are dedicated to that sort of healing) then 5 mans can be either a pain or a bore (depending on how specced you are.)

    I am still finding I need to tweak my UI every so often as I discover new healing elements. I’m really bad at using Natures Swiftness and Tidal Waves. I think the points you make about predictive healing and positioning are right on the nose – we’re a turret healer/dpser, so positioning is always much more crucial for us than many other races.

    During my sojourn as a resto raid healer, I get much more used to swapping gear, trinkets and glyphs. If I find I’m generally low on Mana I’m switching mp5 stuff in for a longer fight and using the mp5 flask, if I’m good with mah mana tide, I’m boosting my spellpower and haste instead.

    It’s made me much more adaptive.
    .-= pewter’s last blog: Which Potion Should I Use? =-.

  5. VokNo Gravatar says

    I think that the biggest mistakes people make when playing a Shaman, or trying to understand how to play one, is trying to figure out the rotation, or what to cast when. See, the thing is, the rotation does not exsist and there is no clear time when one heal is always better than another.

    Case in point. Queen vampire whatshername in ICC. Contact raid damage with the group pretty close together. Perfect for Chain Heal spam and massive heal numbers. But, when I use CH in this fight, people die. Why? Because even with over 1k haste it’s just not quick enough. When I Lesser Healing Wave in response to the damage though, we win. LHW has three potential healing procs attached to it and can be nearly as useful for raid healing as CH even when people stand nicely bunched.

    Mobility can be an issue, but we have a few tools to get around that – with more coming in Cata.

    Shaman are, imo, the only real reactionary healers left. Disc stop you taking the damage, Pallies spam non stop, Druids already have the HoTs ticking. We wait. Green goes down, green goes up. Green goes down, green goes up.

    The secret is not trying to figure out the best tool for the job before the job starts, but using that .2 seconds it takes your brain to receive information, interpret and act to decide what to do.

    AND, it’s important to read the play. Move early so when the damage comes you’re already in position or close to it.
    .-= Vok’s last blog: Grand Final Day =-.

  6. GarethNo Gravatar says

    I have had a struggle with Shaman’s too but on a far more basic level. For some reason I find Shaman’s so much harder to level than other classes I have played. I don’t know if thats because the class is so very different from everything else but I find myself constantly OOM, doing very little damage and just all out struggling to get my little shammy levelled.

    Maybe I should blog about this a bit more myself, cos I really need some help with it hehe

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      It was a long term joke between my brother and myself – we leveled Shaman together and neither of us could survive on our own. We would group up to kill a level 15 trogg in Loch Modan. When we were level 15 too.

      I think the Shaman, of all the classes that I’ve leveled, is the one that it is essential to stick to green difficulty quests and mobs.

      In the end I gave up. Then BoA gear came along, I swapped to Elemental from Enhancement and went from level 50 to 80 in no time.

  7. AnjouNo Gravatar says

    I find this an interesting perspective as I have recently decided to focus on leveling my first healing alts – plural, because I am alternating between a resto shaman and a disc priest. Both are around 24 and are being leveled through the LFD tool. It’s strange going back and forth because while neither have a huge bag of tricks at that level, they certainly play differently. I am also noticing at that level, while there is something satisfying about a smooth run, my interest is actually held more by the groups with the crazy DPS that insists on taking damage or the tank that doesn’t wait for me to get my mana back. This is the minority at the lower levels, which is great. The hunter in me, though, likes seeing me creep up the DPS chart when I get the chance.

    I like hearing someone else contemplate the differences of these two classes, even at 55 levels above me.

  8. KriyetNo Gravatar says

    It’s not just you. I have a friend who plays an amazing resto shaman, and she maintains that while they are awesome raid healers, she still struggles with 5-man heroics. To me she looks like she’s coasting, but she says it’s much more difficult. I know once she knows a fight, she’s very picky about where she places herself and the totems so as to minimize having to move.

  9. zelmaruNo Gravatar says

    I hear ya. I play a disc priest and a resto druid, and I’m so bad at resto shaman it’s not even funny.

    (1) I don’t like, at ALL, the “tidal waves” aspect. It feels like too much of a forced rotation, like a “waltz.” BUM (Riptide) bum bum (lhw/hw) BUM (Chain heal) bum bum (lhw/hw).

    (2) Now for articles and stuff!

    This one is good about anticipating damage when you’re a class that can’t “proactively” apply spells before the damage occurs.

    And now some about setting up your power auras so you don’t forget your riptide (etc)…
    .-= zelmaru’s last blog: In-game Mail Scams! Will they never quit? =-.

  10. VogieNo Gravatar says

    Shaman is a different class then the rest of the classes, because it is truly Hybrid, especially in the low levels. You can’t play enhancement like a warrior, and can’t play an elemental shaman like a mage.

    Since the introduction of the dungeon finder, I’ve dropped my warlock as my main, and my Resto shaman has become my main, as it’s quick & easy to gear. As for playstyle, I can understand how it’s difficult for some to pick up. But there are some things that can make RestoSham really easy to play:

    Remember the basics: Water shield & earthliving on you, Earthshield on the tank.
    1) Always be casting. Riptide every cooldown. Glyphed Riptide makes life easier, but may not be required due to playstyle. Since you have few instant OSH buttons, you need the heals to keep rolling off your fingertips.
    2) The easiest way to keep a heavily damaging group alive is by rolling riptide on the tank and then spamming Chain Heal on the person NEXT to the tank. If you stand next to your ranged classes, you can keep the rest of the group alive by occasionally holding down alt (or your bound self-cast key)
    3) You can’t move & cast until 85, so let others move for you. Chain heal doesn’t stop if you cast it on someone who doesn’t need it. Pit of Saron was incredibly hard until I realized I can heal people not in LoS by bouncing Chain heals off of people who were in LoS to those who were not.
    4) You have an Obliterate. Its very difficult to see, and is very frustrating if you don’t know that it’s there. If the primary target of Chain Heal has a riptide on it, the riptide vanishes, and boosts the chain heal… Which is great if you have a need, but most of the time it’s a waste, and a HoT removal.
    5) Unlike other healers, which change healing styles with spec changes, all shamans have pretty much the same spec (0/16/55), and the Glyph choice determines what the shaman’s style is.
    5Man: Healing wave, Earth Shield, Personal Choice
    Raid heal: Chain Heal, Healing Stream, Riptide
    Tank Heal: Earth Shield, Lesser Healing wave, Personal Choice
    6) Watch your mana as you gear. Glyph of Water Mastery is great for gearing in 5 mans, GoMana Tide is good for gearing in raids.
    7) You don’t have a defined “Cap”. Some classes, like Druids, have a “haste cap” that they all gear for. Shamans have 3 spells that they’ll use – LHW, which is already 1.5 seconds. Tidal-Waves-powered Healing Wave is 1.75 seconds. Chain heal is 2.5 seconds. Haste is always good, but the amount you want will change depending on your desired role. Tank healers will put more emphasis on Intellect for mana pool and Thoroughput (via nature’s blessing), since they will be focusing on the power of GoLHW and nice, big Healing Waves.
    8) You are the most versatile class buff-wise. Although Totems can change on the fly depending on composition and need, I have seen a rise of 0/19/52 Resto Shamans for 10-man nonprogression content. Moving the 3 points from Ancestral Awakening to Enhancing totems gives both an additional 15% spellpower buff (without a WrathPact supplier, of course) and 15% more Str/Agi than Horn of Winter

  11. WhosmymainNo Gravatar says

    I think playing a resto shaman is all about knowing the encounters. I had a head start, as this is now my third main and I’d done all the heroics and raids up to ICC.

    Here’s what I mean though; All a resto shaman can really do is react to damage coming in. We only have one sort-of preventative measure in Ancestral Fortitude, but you can’t really control that. If you know that heavy damage is coming on the tank in 2 seconds though, you can start casting a healing wave then and have it land as the tank is taking damage.

    A good example would be on Koralon the Flame Watcher in VoA. When he casts Meteor Fists, I know it’s time to send a Chain Heal to one of the tanks, because by the time it lands, both of them will have taken a good chunk of damage.

    There are also two preventative measures you can take as a Resto shaman. I mentioned Ancestral Fort which is procced by critical heals. Since we have Tidal Waves, which boosts our chance to crit, you can use that then heal 3 people you know will be taking heavy physical damage soon. The other is in the form of interrupting casts. If a caster is off to the side, preparing a big spell, you can stop it and prevent the damage. The best example of that would be the Ahn’kahar Spell Flingers in Old Kingdom, with a spell that deals damage equal to 80% of your max health.
    .-= Whosmymain’s last blog: Why you shouldn’t use Glyph of Water Mastery =-.

  12. OleanderNo Gravatar says

    I remember enjoying your post on Chain heal awhile back; did you ever get GridStatusCloseUp or something similar? Knowing whether to riptide/LHW vs chain heal is a big help.

    Sounds to me that, even after you consider yourself a master at shaman healing, you’ll still sorely miss the freedom of movement, positioning, and praoctiveness of disc healing. I know I still prefer tree healing.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Yep, I think you have it spot on – even if I master all the nuances of good Shaman healing I don’t think I would enjoy playing it as much as my Priest.

      Everyone has given me good ideas for my UI in this post though! And, no, I never tried GridStatusCloseUp because I refuse to go back to Grid after using Vuhdo!

  13. NazanielNo Gravatar says

    Coming from Holy Pally, I really like playing the Resto Shaman. I think the big thing for both classes is working out how you can be proactive – moving proactively so that you’re in the right position at the right time, starting your heals early so that the heal hits just after the damage. The biggest difference for me is that the shaman can worry less about certain people due to ES, and has to worry more about where people are.

    I’m sure I’ll have big issues when I start playing my priest :) Switching from one way of thinking about performing a task to another way is tough, but doable, and probably very good for your brain. Don’t give up yet :)

    (And I can’t heal Forgemaster Garfrost on a resto shaman either – I think it’s the worst boss for a shaman to heal.)
    .-= Nazaniel’s last blog: Raid leading fail =-.

    • FoxpawNo Gravatar says

      I’m honestly surprised at some of the feedback here about Resto Shamans healing 5-mans. Like Nazaniel above me I came to the Resto Shaman from a Holy Pally so I imagine that’s why fights with a lot of movement don’t bother me. I don’t raid, so all of my experience with my Shaman is from healing 5-mans, and seriously all the non-ICC 5-mans are cake. Even ToC5 doesn’t give me any trouble until the Black Knight’s Phase 3, and then only if the DPS don’t all cluster together so I can spam Chain Heal. I have zero problems with FoS, Garfrost is challenging but not impossible. I might lose one person if I slip up. The rest of PoS is easy. I hate pugging HoR, but in a guilded group with a tank that can do it right, it’s not particularly difficult either.

      Resto Shaman healing is so fun and easy for me that I’ve abandoned the Holy spec on my pally. Haven’t touched it in months. I couldn’t really tell you what I’m doing differently though. I use Healing Stream Totem unless I know there’s a lot of cleansing to be done, in which I use Cleansing Totem. I keep Earth Shield on the tank, and Water Shield on myself. I spam Lesser Healing Wave, mostly keeping Riptide available to boost a LHW or to throw on a DPS that didn’t get hit with Chain Heal.

      Here’s a link to my armory:

      I’m sure my talents/glyphs are probably not of the recommended spec variety, but it’s been working fabulously for me in all the 5-mans I’ve been in.

      • LathereNo Gravatar says

        I guess the thing here is that you’ve mentioned the 2 healing classes that have pretty limited movement. I’ve played a discipline priest and a resto druid and I still can’t get over the shock when I tried healing a 5 man with my partners Paladin the lack of freedom to move and heal I couldn’t stand it. Movement was so impaired it squashed all visions of leveling a paladin in my future! Cass has played discipline for awhile so I guess in comparison to that the resto shaman just seems limiting.

  14. Dyre42No Gravatar says

    Well if you have to move and heal and you’re a Space Goat there’s always Gift of the Naaru if riptide is on CD. Its not much but its better than nothing.

  15. NasiNo Gravatar says

    Yea, i find healing five mans on my shaman fairly easy tbh. To use the worst kind of measuring stick, he only has about 4.6k gs and no tier pieces. I think that people incorrectly apply chain heal. You don’t need to Chain heal just because more than one person is taking damage. If you have an es on the tank, throw some lhw around, riptide the tank and lhw spam. If there is tank plus two taking damange then chain healing with riptides or lhw inbetween is good.
    I honestly only really spam ch for ten mans or times when you know melée or range will be grouped (loken for example). For garfrost it’s all about the lhw and riptide unless where are all standing behind the same boulder. I reckon I could go a whole five man without use hw regularly.
    My “4.2k gs” disc is quite a lot easier to heal with tho, especially with an overgeared tank. Don’t recall having done garfrost on him tho.
    .-= Nasi’s last blog: Friday Video: The Fall of the Lich King (Redux) =-.

    • I understand your pain. I raid ICC with The Insiders on Wyrmrest Accord as a Resto Shaman. It is very hard in five mans to keep up on your mana. (I put my mana tide down every chance I get) I rarely get called a bad healer though. I use resist totems to mitigate some damage, I often put down tremor totem to negate fear bombs, but just like a paladin healer you always have to have something brewing. On the initial pull make sure your tank has your Earth shield (with the glyph). Your Earth shield will do a lot of passive healing for you. (maybe even enough to get a bit of your mana back if you are drinking while the tank is pulling) A good trick I was taught was to make sure your Flame tongue totem is down when you Earth shield your tank because the healing it does is based on the Spell Power the Shaman has when its applied. (every little bit helps) Also don’t forget about your healing stream totem, and the effect that Riptide has on your next chain heal. (my grid is set up to show me who has a riptide buff in my group)
      I think despite the mobility problems, that the Resto Shaman is a very fun class to play with lots of abilities. (I love using purge in PvP, Wind shear is nice too) Continue to play your Shaman, you will someday see how fun they really can be.
      .-= Firemantony’s last blog: Be careful what you vent! =-.

      • CassandriNo Gravatar says

        I do enjoy the Shaman. I don’t hate Totems like a lot of people seem to, I didn’t even hate them when it took 1 GCD for each totem placement. Purge is nifty, Wind Shear too (I dont get an interupt on the Priest).

        But none of those things draw me into playing Restoration, which is why I’m Elemental at the moment. I do intend to go back and try Restoration again. But I don’t think it’s something I would enjoy doing long term.

  16. BellNo Gravatar says

    Goodness, I think have the reverse problem! I have a resto shaman main, and it’s a spec that just simply clicks for me. Whether it’s a raid or a 5-man, I love healing with her and always thinking ahead to which heals I’ll use next, which totems I’ll drop, who’s the dps most likely to stay out of CH range, etc. But as I level my disc priest, I keep feeling like I’m doing it wrong. Everyone is shielded, I’ve got Renew rolling and Flash Heal ready to bolster the health bars . . . and it’s not enough. I keep wanting to prep a Chain Heal and cancel it if no one needs, and I want to hit Heroism on the last boss.

    But disc in PvP? PURE LOVE.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      When you say “it’s not enough” do you mean you can’t keep everyone at full health? I don’t bother with Renew (except on the tank usually) and just supplement my bubbles with Prayer of Mending and Penance/Flash heal in dungeons.

      Or if you mean “it’s not enough” and you keep wanting to start up another cast, but there’s nothing else to do – that’s the point when your Priest takes her nap! Napping is good for Priests.

      Definitely check out that Life in Group 5 article I linked to: that’s written by a main spec Restoration Shaman who is adjusting to healing as a Discipline Priest. 4th paragraph: “All that reading has paid off” That link :)

      • BellNo Gravatar says

        Oh it’s definitely the “I should be doing more!” mentality. Granted, my priest is only just edging level 30, so I try to compensate for feeling lazy by wanding mobs in dungeons. I’ll toss out dots sometimes when it’s clear that my group doesn’t need any big heals anytime soon, but I still look for more to do, and I think it all goes back to my totems.

        That article was one of the reasons I re-visited the priest, actually. She was sitting at level 15, and Vixsyn’s thoughts on the disparities between the healing styles encouraged me to have another go at disc healing.

    • ShivaNo Gravatar says

      For what it’s worth, sometime’s it is not best to pre-shield everyone. Everytime you cast a shield as a Disc Priest you should gain the “Borrowed Time” buff for the next 4 seconds.

      If you’re in a 5-man and everyone is shielded, it’s entirely possible they will have Weakened Soul and you can’t toss another shield.

      Now, there is a little nuance to this as well. Borrowed Time only lasts for 4 seconds or the first _casted_ spell. Key word being casted spell. Instant cast and channeled spells benefit from the 25% haste it awards, but do not consume the charge.

      This means you can pull off some interesting combos by using the extra 25% haste. If you know there’s incoming AoE damage, you can pop a shield on yourself (to protect from push back) and use your Prayer of Healing. It’ll cast 25% faster, and the added bonus of casting it on yourself; you can become a focal point. That is, you can position yourself so all your part members get hit.

      If the tank is taking big damage, Power Word: Shield -> Prayer of Mending -> Penance -> Greater Heall is ridiculous and all 3 spells will benefit from the 25% haste.

      It’s like playing under heroism, permanently.

  17. ShivaNo Gravatar says

    It’s with good reason Paladins cannot be Night-Elves! I don’t know what I’d do if I was healing on a paladin and I couldn’t jump around and twirl in the air doing sommersaults and throwing my healing magic.

    My new favorite thing to do is to heal 5-mans as Shadow using Imp. VE and some well timed PW:S. If things go bad, I can always drop and hit Divine Hymn, guaranteed to fix everything.

    I did notice however, you never mentioned Healing Stream at all. In my experience, with any decent tank, Earth Shield and Healing Stream will do the bulk of the work, only with the occasionally riptide.

    Also, ancestral awakening is pretty good. It’s almost like being a holy paladin, except it smart targets, and well I s’pose you do need to crit.

  18. MelvylNo Gravatar says

    After a year of playing Holy Paladin, I am really enjoying my Resto Druid. Having leveled her from lvl26 using the LFD, it is so much easier now than it was then – more spells, better gear, almost no chance of Ooming.

    Two things I want to try soon:

    1) Healing on my Priest. I leveled her shadow all the way and really have had no idea what spells to use.

    2) Getting back to my Resto Shaman. He has been sitting at lvl31 the last few months while I focused my attention elsewhere. In Gnomer, I actually considered him much easier than the Druid. I guess I need to see if I still feel that way as he advances.
    .-= Melvyl’s last blog: An Aacr Update =-.

  19. ZahiaNo Gravatar says

    “It’s because I played a Discipline Priest first.”

    This. My resto shaman was my main back in TBC and at the beginning of WotLK. Then I played a disc priest. When I first played my resto shaman again after more than 6 months playing a disc priest it was all “omg resto shaman is hard! I need more instant spells!” But after a few instances/raid it was ok again. And then in my first ICC raids I found shaman was way easier than disc priest (even with a very poor gear) as I didn’t have to manage my mana at all.

    Now resto shaman ca be a bit harder some times, but it’s not that bad. In TBC there was a quest (for Tempest Keep attunment \o/)where you had to do heroic Shattered Halls in a limited time. As a resto shaman, you just COULDN’T do this quest until you had a protection paladin as a tank. (Or until you where with very skilled players who all outgeared the instance)

    I just tried heroic Pit of Saron and it wasn’t that bad. For the first boss we were all in melee range and it was really easy to keep up with damage. After the first rock I just hid behind it and spammed Chain Heal on me. It bounced on the other even if they were not in ligne of sigh.
    I found the first boss in Forge of Soul harder, as if you’re the one who’s feared, there’s not much you can do to stay alive (Tremor totem doesn’t work).
    .-= Zahia’s last blog: Shortest Shared Topic ever ! =-.

  20. DraniirnNo Gravatar says

    My first 80 was a discipline priest that I even leveled as discipline. I love him. I love the variety of spells and the interesting playstyle. My second 80 was a resto druid. My resto druid is now my main. I love my priest, but my druid is just so much fun. Druid healing has zero drawbacks in capable hands. My third 80 was a resto shaman (yes, I have 3 healers, and am about to have a pally at 80, lol). The Shaman was a… different… experience. Shamans have fewer spells than druids or priests, and the variety is a major draw to both of those classes. Shamans cast A LOT, and coming from a priest and druid background that was something I had to adjust to.
    In the end, I doubt you’ll enjoy shaman healing even if you master it completely. I’ve been taking my Shaman through ICC for gear, but I’m already missing my druid. Without meaning to offend any shamans, healing as a shaman is just boring, and all but brainless. I think that Cataclysm will bring some awesome changes for Shamans, but right now they have too few spells, too few variety in those spells, and not enough options. About the biggest decision a shaman healer has to make is which person to chain heal to maximize the bounce.
    Also, if you don’t enjoy Shaman healing, don’t even bother trying paladin healing. I love the there are people in the game that heal with these classes, but it’s just not for some of us.

  21. KadomiNo Gravatar says

    This is very interesting to me. I just kinda made the transition from prot warrior main to resto shaman main, but am leveling a priest on the side. I just healed my first 5-man as disc yesterday, and it was really awkward and weird to me.

    I remember the pre-Naxx times when healing heroics was quite challenging as resto shaman. I remember my first time healing the ToC 5-man and thinking it was impossible. But one of the posters above mentioned that there’s this moment where suddenly everything changes, and healing heroics becomes trivial. I am always embarrassed in raids, because I usually forget to carry water around. Even in ICC heroic 5-mans I don’t have to drink. In all honesty, heroics usually means putting Healing Stream down, refreshing Earth Shield, healing people with Riptide, and otherwise DPSing. I think on Loken I once outdpsd a DK like that.

    What I love about being a shaman is that there is always something to do. Refresh Water Shield, keep Riptides rolling for Tidal Waves, casting super-fast 10k Lesser Healing Waves. A lot of shamans fall into the Chain Heal trap where it seems like every single button on their bars is just that one Heal. Be versatile. Learn when to use what. Fall in love with Riptide. I know I do.

    I will have a huge learning curve as disc priest. He’s 52 now, I hadn’t touched him for 1.5 years, and he’s been shadow since level 10. I felt very mobile in that first BRD run yesterday, but also very limited. I don’t have this huge arsenal you mention, so I excessively shielded people, used Power Infusion randomly because I have no idea when to use it and felt like I should be doing a lot more somehow. I guess I’ll have to figure it out somehow. I think it’s possible to love both play-styles, and I will definitely try.

    I know I am much happier play resto shaman than holy paladin. I tried that once, and the absolute lack of mobility and the strange mechanic of Beacon really turned me off that path.
    .-= Kadomi’s last blog: Tank like a girl, the series: The Death Knight =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I can’t bring myself to like, let alone, love Riptide. I know it’s strength lies in the setup of a Riptide/HealingWave/HealingWave or a Riptide/ChainHeal combination but I hate the cooldown on Riptide and I hate the mana cost and I hate the HoT compotent – it’s awful.

      Renew is one of my least favored Priest healing spells. And I think it’s much stronger than Riptide.

      If you’ve got the Glyph of Power Word: Shield (which does a nice smack +heal component on your instant spell) it becomes amazing – if you spot a DPS start to do something bad (like stand in fire) you can Shield them as they lose a bit of health, heal them to full via the glyph, and buy them time to get out of the fire or whatever.

      As for Power Infusion there’s no right or wrong – use it for yourself unless you have way more mana regen than the situation calls for and in those instances give it to someone else during a boss fight. But I think if you already feel overwhelmed by the number of spells you need to come to grips with, just macro it in with Penance or Renew or something.

  22. KazgrelNo Gravatar says

    The thing I’ve found that helps me is to remind myself when the proverbial poop hits the fan, “trust chain heal”. Unfortunately, this only works well when you’re rocking a healthy amount of haste (which 4 piece T8 a year ago really helped with), but when you’re able to trust CH to save the day, then you know you’re where you need to be gear-wise.

    Even though others tend to think I do great as a resto shaman, I disagree because 90% of the time I’m hitting my CH key, heh. I do have reasonably decent raid victories under my belt where I was resto, though…so I guess I’m doing something right. o.o

    I still prefer to blow things up as elemental, though…been that way ever since I rolled my original shaman (when wow was ~4 months old). Now that it’s a viable spec, here I am. :-P
    .-= Kazgrel’s last blog: Hiatus Aftermath, and Cataclysm Spoilers Galore =-.

  23. RestogirlNo Gravatar says

    Serious problems healing with a resto shaman perhaps not try and heal with another char either since resto shaman is very easy to heal with.

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