Way of the Totem

Archive for November, 2008

Shamans and 5 man / heroic healing.

by on Nov.11, 2008, under Uncategorized

Welcome to today’s installment of Way of The Totem. Today I’d like to discuss healing 5 mans and heroics. With Wrath of the lich king coming up in the next couple days, you’re about to find yourself doing a lot more solo questing and healing the 5 man dungeons for quests and XP. Even at 80, until all your buddies catch up and you ford into Naxx, you’ll find yourself doing some mighty fine heroic 5 mans. This post is going to also be geared mainly for those, like me, who are going to level as restoration.

First topic of discussion is going to be glyphs. Until you hit 80, you are only going to have 2 major glyph slots available. With that in mind I would like to suggest the two following glyphs.

Firstly is Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave Use: Your Lesser Healing Wave heals for 20% more if the target is also affected by your Earth Shield.

If you think about it for a few seconds this one is a no brainer. You’re going to have Earth Shield up on the main tank pretty much all the time, with this glyph, your LHW hits for roughly the same as your healing wave. What this means for you is that A. for less mana you get your big heal and B. the cast time on LHW is lower by half a second to HW which means more heals in less time. With a lot of the new fights making the healers move, this becomes your mainstay heal.

The second glyph I’m going to suggest is Glyph of Water Mastery Use: Increases the passive mana regeneration of your Water Shield spell by 30%. This one’s pretty self explanatory though, more mana regen = gooooooood

Lastly I’d like to add a minor glyph in here. Glyph of Water Shield Use: Increases the number of charges on your Water Shield spell by 1. To me this is a must, and the reason will be because of the talent spec I’m going to suggest.

Glyphs at 80 are really going to depend on your focus. but you can keep the ones you have already and just add another major to the mix. For 5 man / heroic healing I highly suggest adding, either Glyph of Mana Tide Totem or Glyph of Earthliving Weapon


With all the goodies in restoration its a really really tough choice sometimes on what to pick. For 5 man / heroic healing this is what I would suggest for when you start out at 70.


Let me explain some of the choices here. First lets look at the talents chosen in enhancement.

Ancestral Knowledge is very important for a couple reasons. Firstly, like I said in one of my previous posts, intellect has become much more important to us as of the patch. Wrath will make this even more important. This talent helps you get the most of your replenishment buffs from hunters, shadow priests and ret paladins, so that you always have mana and you are always healing. This talent also helps to maximize the effect of Mana Tide Totem. All around for the 5 points you spend in it, you get so much more back for longevity and reduced downtime. No reason not to take it.

Improved Shields Increases the damage done by your Lightning Shield orbs by 15%, increases the amount of mana gained from your Water Shield orbs by 15% and increases the amount of healing done by your Earth Shield orbs by 15%. This is a must have for a couple reasons. Firstly it increases the amount healed by Earth Shield which means less active healing you have to do (this is good for mana and the nerves of healers =P) it also increases your regen from water shield, Combine this talent with the glyph and you are cooking with gas to keep that regen up.

lastly in enhancement I took Enhancing Totems (I only took 2 ranks for now though )Your tanks and physical dps will love you for this talent, and so will your mana. It helps increase your tanks str and agility. If you have a warrior/paladin that helps their shield block as well as their dodge. The more damage they mitigate, the less you have to heal them, the more you can heal the dps of the group. win win if you ask me =)

Now to talk about the restoration talents, well… more to talk about the ones we didn’t take.

After the patch Healing Grace Simply feels too much like bloat. You honestly just don’t need it. With the changes to tanking last patch, tanks generate, regain, and keep aggro even better then they did before. You should come nowhere close to ganking due to healing aggro, and if you do, you have Wind Shock to help put them back on the tank.

Focused Mind
and Nature’s Guardian are just a tad pvp specific for my taste. Having leveled to 80 already and having done the instances available, it’s my opinion you really don’t need these talents, at least not yet. That may change with later content but for now it would just be wasted points in my opinion.

Healing Way I didn’t take because with LHW glyphed I wound up using that much much more then healing wave, making the talents bonus useless to me. again the points to me were much more useful spent elsewhere.

This next one I’m sure plenty of people will yell at me for but I didn’t take Improved Chain Heal Here’s why. I had this talent as I did when raiding at 70, and while leveling and doing the 5 mans and heroics, I found I used it less and less and less in favor of lesser healing wave, healing wave and riptide. I threw out the occasional chain heal, but circumstances usually called for a different heal. I figured the points would better be served somewhere else (see Enhancing Totems)

Another I didn’t take at 70 was Blessing of the Eternals again purely for point conservation.

at 80 a spec more like this


This spec lets you do well in 10/25 mans as well as 5 mans. Very versatile, allows you to fill multiple roles at once. As you can see I’ve filled in a couple of the talents taking BoTE and Filling in Enhancing Totems and Elemental Weapons to get a little more bang for my buck, capping out Ancestral Awakening and taking Improved chain heal. That’s going to be my run for utility shaman healing spec at 80. This spec allows you to chose your role based on what glyphs you decided to use.

Healing tips for 5 mans.

Chain heal has a long cast time, in the 5 mans you mostly won’t have 2.5 seconds to sit and wait for it to wind up. Instead use Riptide to proc Tidal Waves, and keep tossing out LHW (if you have it glyphed) or HW. Using your LHW and riptide will eat up some mana, but with your totems, glyphs and Talents you should wind up w
ith most of your mana comming back very very quickly. Chain heal should be used as a situational heal, AoE bosses in which you have all melee or all casters. When laying down totems, make sure to tailor it to your group. The only ones you’re going to want down constantly are mana spring and flame tongue, those are your “selfish” totems =P. Keeping them down, keeps your healing up and keeps the group up. the other two slots, play with depending on group needs and composition. Make sure you have totems on your bars, or a mod that lets you swap them out quickly so you change them on the fly, and that’s pretty much it.

I will probably edit this for more information for you as the day permits.


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Thoughts on talents.

by on Nov.08, 2008, under Uncategorized

Come patch time we got some really really really nice talents in the restoration tree, many of which allowed us to be a lot less of a one trick pony. Here’s my thoughts on these changes =) As an added bonus, click the image of the talent for a link! I know, I’m considerate like that =)

Cleanse Spirit:

7% base mana; Cleanse the spirit of a friendly target, removing 1 poison effect, 1 disease effect, and 1 curse effect.

This is made of win. It takes care of 3 of the 4 debuffs in the game and costs the same as remove disease and cleanse poison, but with the added benefit of decursing too! Hot damn, if you are resto, and not taking this…. Re-roll. This gives us a way to help priests/druids/mages out and it helps eliminate 2 buttons that you can use on your bars for something else. Plus for the cost is the same as casting either remove poison or remove disease, so this removes 3 things for the cost of one. WIN!

Tidal Waves:

(at rank 5)You have a 100% chance after you cast Chain Heal or Riptide to lower the cast time of your next 2 Lesser Healing Wave or Healing Wave spells by 30%. In addition, your Healing Wave gains an additional 20% of your bonus healing effects and your Lesser Healing Wave gains an additional 10% of your bonus healing effects.

This is really made by someone who plays a Shaman healer. You’re going around spamming chain heal or tossing around some riptide lovin, suddenly someone takes a ton of damage that looks like its gonna kill them. In the past if natures swiftness was gone then you’ve got nothing left but to watch in vain as they die horribly as you wind up some 2.5 second heal. Not so anymore, this talent pushes the cast time on HW down to 1.6 secs for me, and LHW down to 1.0. Add in a heroism and yeah. .6 cast on LHW and 1.1 on HW makes for some sexy sexy healing. Using this talent I made one hunter in our guild very very happy =)

Tidal Force:

Increases the critical effect chance of your Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave and Chain Heal by 60%. Each critical heal reduces the chance by 20%. Lasts 20 sec.

This is one talent point, no reason not to take it. Think of it this way, right now in t6 I’m rolling with a bout 22% crit after the patch when some lovely mage gives me a buff, or I have a boomkin I’m at 27%… That’s a lot for a healer, and it’s damn good. Combine that with the talent above. 87% chance to crit? Hot damn, I’ll take that with gusto! I think that pretty much says it all.


(at rank 2)Heals a friendly target for 849 to 919 and another 885 over 15 sec. Your next Chain Heal cast on that primary target within 15 sec will consume the healing over time effect and increase the amount of the Chain Heal by 25%.

Some shamans don’t like this talent but for them I don’t have anything I can say to them except BAH!. This talent (which just got some buffed lovin) is really really nice. It’s an instant heal for close to 2k when you factor in your spell power. It can crit. It turns into a HoT for 15 seconds and it buffs chain heal. Using it in a 5 man, 10 man or 25 man can save everyone a lot of time, hassle, oh and can help keep people from dying. That’s always a plus right? Since its instant cast it gives us an awesome heal on the move talent. Great for when your MT goes charging in snap the heal off and it will apply a HoT for 15 seconds. You can also use it on a member of melee whose taking some damage and let it tick a few times before tossing in a chain heal. Oh And it buffs chain heal! Sweet deal huh? I love me some shaman swift mend.

Now look at those 4 talents. They just scream synergy. All of them go together very very very well and allow you to have more complex spell rotation other then just spamming one damn button. Each has generic and situational applications allowing us to effectively use all of the heals in our arsenals. I love no longer being a one trick pony!

Another interesting talent is Improved water shield.

(rank3) When you gain a critical effect from your Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave or Riptide spells, you have a 100% chance to instantly consume a Water Shield Orb.

I’m not 100% fond of this because I’m of the camp that the most precious commodity shamans have now as a healer is our Global Cool Down and I hate having to recast water shield and waste the 1.5 seconds to be able to heal again. I should say that this talent is amazing for 5 mans, especially with multiple pack pulls and things that don’t give you a lot of time to sit and drink or that don’t let you spend enough time out of the 5 second rule. In a 5 man heroic, it’s well worth the GCD as, when glyhped and if you talent spec to improved shields this is a free 800+ mana as it’s consumed. Not shabby when you don’t have another healer to rely on or much downtime.

Thats my thoughts for now on that. Thanks for tuning in. =)


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Restoration since the patch

by on Nov.06, 2008, under Uncategorized

In order to help signify which post is about what, each of my posts will be accompanied by an icon in the upper left side, usually a totem. For restoration we’ll use mana tide totem, elemental we’ll use totem of wrath and for enhancement we’ll use the iconic storm strike.

Well, if you’ve read the patch notes, or have played the game in the last few weeks, you’ll know that a lot of things have changed. I’m going to talk about a handful of them here now. Everything I will be posting about from here on out will be things true at level 80 as well.

The first change is the move from +damage / + heal to +spell power. A lot of people saw their +heal on their character sheet get cut down to almost half and freaked out. Not to worry, you’re still uber powerful, it’s just the math is different. If you want to figure out what your + heal in the old system would be, multiply your current spellpower by 1.88. That will give you a pretty close number to what you had prior to the patch. This is important and all math we run will use this modifer to figure out the effectiveness of spells. So remember

+1spell power = +1.88 healing

The second thing I want to talk about is the change in mana regen from raid / party buffs. Our mana tide totem has always regened a percentage of our mana, so thats nothing new to us, however the new buff replenishment it replenishes 0.25% of maximum mana every sec. “Why is this important to note?” you might ask. It becomes important to us because it causes us to balance stats a little bit differently now then we are used to. Before the patch we would stack;

+heal > +mp5 > +int

in that order (at least that was how you should have been doing it IMO =P). After the patch maximum mana pool becomes a lot more important. Because of this you’ll have to start thinking about gems and enchants that not only keep a healthy dose of +mp5 and +int to keep yourself topped off in a raid.

Your prioritization now is something like this

+spellpower > +mp5/+int > +crit

spellpower is still the most important. You want to hit non crit healing for as large as you can so that’s a no-brainer. The mp5 /int balance is going to be the tricky part. Right now at 70 running at unbuffed no totems no water shield 310.00 out of casting and 169.00 while casting, with a 11.8k mana pool. This may not seem like a lot, but with the changes in tanking, we spend a lot more time out of the 5 second rule unless it’s a particularly painful boss fight (see: Illidan, Muru, and Kiljaden) add in totem and water shield and that number goes up to a nice right respectable ammount. Now I know what you are saying “but thats now at lvl 70, that’s going to change come wrath!” well, honestly, as someone who was in the beta and healing on a shaman at 80… no it doesn’t really change. In pvp gear at 80 my mana regen was only slightly better then what I just posted 330 ooc and 190 wc. With gemming for int to get the most of replenishment I was able to heal 25 mans without going OOM. Just keep in mind as you’re leveling that you might want to toss a few of those +int gems in the bank for later =)

As far as talents with the overall changes, we’re going to find ourselves going back into enhancement at least a little bit to pick up ancestral knowledge and imp shields.

That’s it for now. More to come later

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Patches love the shamans!

by on Nov.06, 2008, under Patch Notes

Last couple patches shamans got a decent chunk of lovin, here’s the patch notes for shamans from the last couple patches, in the next post I’ll start with a bit about some of these changes.

World of Warcraft Patch 3.0.3:
* Bloodthirst: Percentage of damage from attack power raised from 45% to 50%.
* Flurry: Now grants the proper number of charges when it triggers.
* Improved Fire Nova Totem: Increases the damage done by your Fire Nova Totem by 10/20% and your Fire Nova totem has a 50/100% chance to stun all targets damaged by your Fire nova Totem for 2 sec.
* Lava Burst: The base damage has been increased by approx. 10%.
* Maelstrom Weapon: Tooltips corrected to correctly describe the chance for this talent to be triggered.
* Riptide: The initial heal amount has been increased on ranks 3 and 4 and periodic healing has been increased on all ranks.
* Stormstrike: Other shamans can no longer consume charges of your Stormstrike, and each shaman can have their own stormstrike on the victim.
* Storm Reach is now called “Elemental Reach” and now includes Lava Burst.
* Thunderstorm: Mana gain has been increased to 8%.
* Tidal Mastery: Now correctly applies its critical strike bonus to Earth Shield.
* Tidal Waves will now also proc with Riptide.

World of Warcraft Client Patch 3.0.2: Echoes of Doom:

* All totems are now considered on the “Physical” school, and no longer magical spells.
* Anticipation (Enhancement): Now is a 3-point talent, down from a 5-point talent and now reduces the duration of disarm effects on you by 16/25/50%.
* Ancestral Awakening and Improved Water Shield will now affect Riptide.
* Ancestral Knowledge (Enhancement): Now increases your Intellect by 2/4/6/8/10%, instead of increasing your total Mana by 2/4/6/8/10%.
* Call of Flame (Elemental): Now also increases the damage of your Lava Burst spell by 2/4/6%.
* Call of Thunder (Elemental) now also increases the critical strike chance of your Thunder spell.
* Concussion (Elemental) now increases the damage of your Thunder and Lava Burst spells.
* Convection (Elemental) is now a 3-point talent, down from a 5-point talent. Now lowers the mana cost of Thunder and Lava Burst.
* Dual Wield Specialization will now increase the chance to hit while dual wielding by an additional 2/4/6%.
* Earth’s Grasp (Elemental) is now a tier-1 talent, up from tier-2.
* Elemental Devastation (Elemental) is now a tier-2 talent, up from tier-4.
* Elemental Focus (Elemental): Now also can proc off Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave, and can be used on all healing spells.
* Elemental Fury (Elemental) now requires Elemental Focus as a pre-requisite
* Elemental Precision (Elemental): Chance to hit reduced to 1/2/3% from 2/4/6%, but threat reduction increased to 10/20/30% up from 4/7/10%.
* Enhancing (Enhancement) Totems is now a Tier 1 talent, up from Tier-2.
* Fire Resistance Totem will now increase fire resistance by 130 and lasts for 5 minutes.
* Flametongue Totem is now a flat spell damage totem. All ranks have been modified.
* Flametongue Weapon: Now has a passive spell damage.
* Flurry now increases attack speed by 15/20/25/30/35% for your next 3 swings after dealing a critical strike.
* Frostbrand’s snare effect has been increased to 50%, up from 25%.
* Ghost Wolf’s mana cost is now 13% base.
* Grace of Air Totem has been removed. (Agility has been rolled over into Strength of Earth Totem)
* Healing Grace (Restoration): Healing Way and Ancestral Fortitude are now affected by the dispel resistance portion of this talent.
* Maelstrom Weapon proc chance reduced to 2/4/6/8/10% on critical hit when you deal damage with a melee weapon. Now affects chain heal and no longer affects Lavaburst.
* Improved Fire Totems (Elemental) is now (again) Improved Fire Nova Totem. It now has a 50/100% chance to reduce the movement speed on all targets for 2 sec.
* Improved Lightning Shield (Enhancement) is now Improved Shields, and is in Tier-2.
* Nature’s Blessing no longer increases spell damage from Intellect, and the effect has been reduced to 5/10/15% from 10/20/30%. This is in result of the new spell power system. Players should notice little to no change in the power of the spell relevant to healing spells.
* New ranks have been added of Water Shield, starting at level 20. (Level 20, 27, 34, 41, 48, 55, 62, 69)
* New Spell: Earthliving Weapon – Imbue the Shaman’s weapon with earthen life. Increases healing done by x and each heal has a 20% chance to proc Earthliving on the target, healing an additionaly over 12 sec. Lasts 30 minutes.
* New Talent: Cleanse Spirit (Restoration) – Cleanse the spirit of a friendly target, removing 1 poison effect, 1 disease effect, and 1 curse effect.
* New Talent: Elemental Shields (Enhancement): Increases the damage done by your Lightning Shield orbs by 5/10/15%, increases the amount of mana gained from your Mana Shield orbs by 5/10/15% and increases the amount of healing done by your Earth Shield orbs by 5/10/15%.
* New Talent: Mental Dexterity (Enhancement) – Increases your Attack Power by 33/66/100% of your Intellect.
* New Talent: Tidal Force(Restoration): Increases the critical effect chance of your Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave and Chain Heal by 60%. Each critical heal reduces the chance by 20% and lasts 20 seconds.
* Rockbiter ranks 5 through 9 have been removed. Windfury Weapon is intended to replace Rockbiter at level 30.
* Shapeshifting will no longer cancel Water Walking.
* Stoneclaw Totem: Health of the Stoneclaw totem is increased by 5% of the Shaman’s total health.
* Stoneskin Totem now increases armor instead of reducing physical damage.
* Storm Reach (Elemental): Now also increases the radius of your Thunder spell by 10/20%.
* Strength of Earth Totem now also increases agility.
* The range of all “friendly totems” has been increased to 30 yards, up from 20.
* Tidal Focus (Restoration): Now works with Earth Shield.
* Totemic Mastery talent removed and replaced with “Tidal Force”.
* Totem of Wrath will now last 5 minutes.
* Tranquil Air Totem has been removed. (Threat is being addressed by modifications to the base threat of players and/or “baked” into tanking abilities.)
* Unleashed Rage is now raid wide and increases melee and ranged attack power within 45 yards.
* Windfury Totem is now a flat 20% melee haste totem. All ranks have been modified.
* Windwall Totem has been removed.
* Wrath of Air is now a flat 10% spell haste totem.

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by on Nov.05, 2008, under Uncategorized

Welcome to Way of the totem. I will be trying to maintain this blog based on information gathered from several sources, user/viewer input as well as my own observations. When I pull from another source I will do my best to cite the source with even a link.

I will also try to not limit this blog to just healing. I will try to collect and post elemental and enhancement information as well. For that I will be relying heavily on user / view input, so if you have something feel free to comment or post it. That’s it for now, I’ll work on a first post real informative post tonight for everyone.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy.

~ Lodur.

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