Monday, February 27, 2012

Guildie Guest Voe - Resto Shamans for Dummies - Chapter 1: Intro

Voe joined our guild during 4.2 (Firelands) and hasn't looked back since.  Love him or hate him, you can't miss the fact he's an excellent healer, and I asked him to put together for me a little how-to for the budding resto shaman.

RESTO SHAMANS FOR DUMMIES
Chapter 1: Intro
A Voe perspective

Let’s get this straight, a shaman isn’t the first class I’ve healed with. I have been around since the vanilla days. Back at level 60 when I PvPed on my priest as shadow and healed 40 mans in shadow spec. Back at lvl 70 on a holy paladin when flash of light spam was cool. Back at lvl 80 once again on my paladin healing away at whatever end content I could step foot in.

Now in Cataclysm after quite a bit of away time from the game I decided to level my shaman, not so much to dps but to heal. I hadn’t healed on a shaman before, I liked the idea of having totems, bloodlust, raid healing ability as well as solo tank healing if needed. When thinking about making a comeback I sat down long and hard and thought should I step out of my comfort zone, and roll a tank class... But Voe prevailed.

Furthermore, I knew joining the end game raiding again as a badly geared dps class I would find it hard to fit in anywhere, and as usual everyone needs healers. It’s been the case since vanilla. So with a chance from Fue and a few raids in bad gear, I think my ability to heal with a class that was “nerfed” really opened a few eyes. Now being one of the pillar healers within Frostwolves I’m going to jump into some depth about the shaman. A few pointers on how I heal, how I look at fights, what I look for during encounters. Really everything I do whilst we pound our heads against new bosses.

So let's begin.

Healing isn’t something a person does without the love, the passion and the challenge knowing that without you in the raid people WOULD be dead. To me healing is the best aspect of the game. You get to sit and see the entire fight, the screen is open for you to see every mechanic, every individual person doing their role.

More importantly you can see exactly what other healers are doing right or wrong. I think out loud which tends to shit a few raiders within the guild, but i do believe with my thoughts out loud do help others who aren’t as forth coming and really rely on things being yelled out so they don’t get hit by the fire wall, don’t over heal a target with too many stacks, know when to stack, when to spread and when to pop cds. I have always had the ability to talk, not just in WoW but in all aspects of my everyday life, so by doing this in game I had hoped it brings out the best in players.

All things being said I try my best to not come across as a know it all dick that steps on peoples roles, I believe I have improved in my time with frostwolves with my “foot in mouth syndrome”.

Healing As A Shaman

Forget whatever you have been told about shamans. To me, out of all the classes i have healed with they’re the most fun. You have quite a bit of utility and heal for EVERY situation. I don’t just press 3 buttons for a fight. I use the following buttons on my keyboard

1. Riptide
2. Healing Wave
3. Greater Healing Wave/NS
4. Chain Heal
Q. Unleash Elements
E. Earth Shield
X.Drop totems
`. Cleanse Spirit
V. Healing Surge
C. Ghost Wolf
F. Healing Rain
G. Wind Shear
R. Totemic Recall
T. Spirit Walkers Grace
Z. Blood Fury (Orc Racial)
H. Water Shield/Earthliving Wep

My H key is macroed so that I can hit it twice and cast them one after another. I am not a clicker,I use my keyboard to cast all my spells, the only use my mouse is to scroll over targets to heal, dispell etc. Natures Swiftness is macroed to Y Key for that quick heal on someone.

The best advice I can give you is, keep riptide up on 3 targets at once, general rule of thumb is main tank off tank and another melee, as they tend to take the most damage. In doing this not only will you keep hots on those targets you also have a chance to proc Earth Living Hot on the target as well as Ancestral Awakening/Healing which reduces damage taken by 10% and increases the targets HP. This to me was one of the best buffs given to a resto shaman, furthermore everytime you crit heal with Water Shield up you regen a certain amount of mana depending on what spell you crit with. Which is why you should always keep it on. NO questions asked.

I don’t care what people say about mana tide, I try to use it as many times as I can throughout a fight, I can usually get about 3-5 mana tides off depending on what fight. In saying this I rarely have mana issues because of this, just use it when you feel necessary, always try to have it up in “oh Shit” moments especially with the T13 two piece which decreases the cost of healing spells for 25 seconds after you use it (this is amazing).

Totems

I Really only use the following totems depending on who is the raid and what buffs are needed

Earth: Strength of Earth or Stoneskin Armour
Flame: Flametongue
Water: Healing Stream totem/Mana tide when its up
Air: Wrath of Air, Windfury or Spirit Link Totem

Our situational spells are (SLT)Spirit Link Totem and (SWG)Spirit Walkers Grace, both these spells are good in their own right although i think SLT should be buffed to last about 10-12 seconds, just IMO.  And with the T13 4 set bonus SWG is awesome it increases haste and also lets you move while you cast healing spells this is great once again for situational times during all boss fights. For example
running to get your crystal in Ultraxion, you can heal while running to get the crystal and heal while running back.

I think I have covered most spells you would use as a resto shaman I'll share with you my main rotation to give you an idea of when i use spells etc.

I use Riptide on CD, this is always on 3 targets unless I'm being lazy, always use Unleash Elements on people not only is this a cheap heal it also makes your next heal 30% bigger! The other benefit of using Riptide is it makes the next two healing waves/greater healing waves 30% less cast time and increases their crit chance, this buff is also given whenever you chain heal. This should be kept up as
much as you can which you will achieve by keeping Riptide up on 3 targets. Healing Wave and Chain heal are the shamans AOE beast heals, chain heal is mana efficient, Healing rain isn’t... In saying this if used well you can conserve a lot of mana, I see a big rookie mistake with some shamans using healing rain when it isn’t needed, when a chain heal would have sufficed.

Only pop Healing Rain when raid damaged is crazy spastic, holy shit everyone is taking so much damage, heal them now... Which funnily enough seems to be most heroic fights LoL?

I don’t want to bore you with every situation as a resto shaman and what healing you need to do and when because everyone heals differently, but as mentioned above use the spells when they’re needed keep HoTs up on the main damage takers then just use whatever heals the situation needs. I use all the buttons I have mentioned above, although healing surge rapes your mana is a great quick heal to get people up, as well as greater healing wave works well with Natures Swiftness (next heal is instant) incase someone almost dies.

In an overall summary of what I have talked about, Shamans are amazing to heal with. They bring utility, raid balance, raid buffs with totems and bloodlust as well as the versatility of having off specs to dps if needed. (Although i never get to do that much these days. Not to sure why :P)

Shamans are easy to heal with once you have grasped the finer detail of their spells and when to and not to use differing spells. If this gets an ok review I'll be more than happy to jump into serious depth as to what specs to use, what stats to have etc. For now this is a quick intro into my world as healing as a resto shaman.


Enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. Honestly, I don't know if it's the changes to the class over time, or the game in general, but my Resto Shaman is 63ish and in leveling her through healing I've found it much less frantic (literally for lack of a better word) than a Priest. I find as a Priest healer, I'm watching my group far more than with my Shaman. As I say, could be coincidence for all I know.

    But you're absolutely right about healing being awesome. Tell me there's nothing better than avoiding a wipe that should have happened, simply because your healing ability was THAT good.

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  2. I agree with what you were saying about your shaman at lower levels, i went from 0-62 enhance then went eley/resto so i could heal dungeons and quest at the same time without having to build two sets of gear. I remember hitting 85 and there was so much chatter about how bad shammies are at healing etc, i scoffed a bit at first but the more ive played it the more i fell in love with the game style and the class itself. Its not the BEST healing class or the BEST dps class but its definately up there which is what i enjoy most.

    Voe

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  3. Nice overview Voe, really covers the resto shaman design well. ;-)

    But you missed the most important button in your repertoire ... the vent "push to talk" control :p.

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  4. Great guest post Voe.

    Ayelena

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  5. so if I follow your shamanistic ways I can become a good healing shaman too?

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  6. Aww faithy id sure hope so.
    Ps you called me good =D

    Voe

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