Guildie Guest Spot Voe - Resto Shamans for Dummies - Chapter 2: Abbreviations and Talents

 fc 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.  He's written a second part in his Resto Shaman series and there's still more to come.

Chapter 2: Abbreviations and Talents in depth
Doing it the Voe way

Welcome back people!  I got a better than average response to my first introduction to the Resto Shaman, surprisingly I was shocked that so many people were interested in what I had to say and I was in awe of the positive feedback. 

SO... here we are again. This time I want to start off with a few basic things, for example explaining some Resto Shaman Abbreviations as well as the “cookie cutter” raiding specs that would suit almost any restoration shaman.


Let’s be honest, nothing is worse than reading a paragraph of writing from a class that you don’t have much experience with and not understanding the abbreviations written... In saying that I would love to throw a few out in the open to clear up the “jargon” for the budding new resto shammy or the ones who are just interested in what the hell it is we are talking about =D, so here we go!

HS: Healing Surge
HW: Healing Wave
WS: Water Shield
ELW: Earth Living Weapon
UE: Unleash Elements
HST: Healing Stream Totem
HPS: Heals Per Second
HPM: Heals Per Mana
HOT: Heal Over Time
HR: Healing Rain
ES: Earth Shield
CH: Chain Heal
GHW: Greater Healing Wave
SLT: Spirit Link Totem
OOM: Out Of Mana
SWG: Spirit Walker’s Grace
TC: Telluric Currents
MTT: Mana Tide Totem
WSH: Wind Shear
CS: Cleanse Spirit
RT: Riptide
LB: Lightning Bolt

I really hope that clears up a few of the most commonly used abbreviations in almost any resto shaman conversations, blogs, and or forums you come across. If I have missed any just give me a holler, I’m sure I have, I bet some of you will scroll back up here to understand some of the things im about to crap on about :D


Ok now the fun stuff, in my eyes to be a good healer, dps or tank you need to be specced into the “best” possible tree(s) that will benefit you most. Thankfully for shamans we have one main build that you can adjust slightly to coincide with your play style. Nothing is worse than seeing a well geared player not healing to the best of their potential because of their spec, or gems (which we will discuss later) or even been reforged wrong... I just know there is a confused player behind that screen wondering why the shaman next to then is healing higher. Below i hope to clear the mist the little if not completely.

Below is currently the spec you would more likely see almost any resto shaman using, sometimes it variates slightly but generally this is how your trees should look.

This is the cookie cutter spec mentioned above 3/7/31 I'd suggest anyone new to the class use this spec then adjust it accordingly to your play style. Just a note, this is the spec I use for heroics and seem to heal quite well =D

Most of the spells are self explanatory from hovering over the tool tip from the above link, I'd just like to split the talents up into Must Need and Optional talents from each of the Trees.

  • Acuity: Must Have, simply put it gives you 3% more crit to any of your spells.

  • Elemental Weapons: Must Have, this increases UE by 50% and gives ELW a passive bonus of 40%
  • Improved Shields: Must Have, increases mana gained from your WS orbs and more importantly increases the healing from ES 
  • Ancestral Swiftness: Optional, increases movement speed by 15% all the time, which means you don’t have to get Lava Walker (doesn’t stack with this talent /CRY) on your boots also makes your ghost wolf an instant cast, this is only beneficial to a shaman with the reflexes to use ghost wolf at call in “oh shit flame wall” moments to get out of the way, if this isn’t you maybe you should spec into Totemic Reach ;) 
  • Tidal Focus: This talent is a must Have, reduces healing spells cost by 6% so you don't OOM
  • Spark of Life: Must Have, increases total healing done by 6% also increases healing received by 15% (which rocks for heroics)
  • Resurgence: Must Have, without going into too much mathematical depth here, this talent pretty much means you get mana back whenever you have Water Shield active and crit heal with a direct spell, which is almost EVERY shaman healing spell (except Healing Rain... which would be OP lol)
  • Totemic Focus: Must Have, reduces healing spells cost by 6%, so unless you have super mana and never OOM.. you should still take it
  • Spark of Life: Must Have, increases total healing done by 6% also increases healing received by 15% (which rocks for heroics)
  • Resurgence: Must Have, reduces mana cost of totems by 30% and increases duration by 40%, this is ALL totems MTT and SLT included
  • Natures Blessing: Must Have, increases direct heals on ES targets 18%. The only time you would not take this is if you never use ES which means you're a baddie HAHA
  • Natures Swiftness: Optional, makes next nature spell with a base cast time of less than 10 sec instant, this is good if once again you have the reflexes to use it in oh shit moments, i suggest macroing this to your keybinds and either HS or GHW for that moment. If not don’t waste a talent point
  • Ancestral Healing: Must Have, all crit heals reduces the targets damage taken by 10% for 15 secs, also increases the targets HP by 10% up to a max of 10% of their health. This is awesome as not only does it decrease damage taken it also increase players HP. MUST HAVE!!! /nod
  • Soothing Rains: Must Have, Increases healing from HST by 50% and HR by 30% get it and watch your HST heal for stupid amounts in your healing meters, just make sure to pop it back up after you use MTT... Big rookie mistake there
  • Imp Cleanse Spirit: Optional, this spell now removes a curse and magical effect, i suggest speccing into this if you are doing heroics if not, let another healer dispel and spec 2 points into (Ancestral Resolve)
  • Cleansing Waters: Optional, reduces mana cost of CS as well as heals target for 1317 to 1485 (this can crit) sad thing is this only works every 6 seconds.
  • Ancestral Awakening: Must Have, when you crit heal with a direct heal you summon a spirit to aid you, which heals the lowest % friendly party or raid member within 40 yards for 30% of that crit heal
  • Mana Tide Totem: Must Have, just get it don’t ask why!! If you do ask why... I can guarantee you won't be taken to raids anymore
  • Spirit Link Totem: Must Have, Just get it don’t ask why!! Another one if you don't have guarantees you a spot in group 8
  • Tidal Waves: Must Have, when you cast CH or RT, you gain this effect which reduces the cast time of your next 2 HW or GHW and increases the crit chance of HS by 30%, this is hot i love this talent.
  • Blessing of the Eternals: Must Have, increases the chance to proc ELW HOT by 80% if the target healed is below 35%
  • Riptide: Must Have, i don’t need to elaborate why...

To go along with this spec, some shamans that are doing normal DS still tend to spec into TC because some of the fights have a bit of downtime where they can rape the crap out of their mana pool healing and then on the down parts of the fight spam LB to get mana back. Honestly ive never used this spec before, to do it you take points away from Imp CS and Cleanse Water and put two points into TC.  In heroics you have little to NO time to stop and spam LB to get mana back, the one benefit to this spec is you can keep HR up on cooldown and as long as your 3 RT’s are up on 3 targets you can spend the rest of your time mana regen through TC talent. Good idea I suppose?

Anyway I hope you enjoyed part 2 as much as part 1 and I once again look forward to your feedback, thanks for your time.

Yours faithfully,


  1. Oh, just in the nick! Been enjoying the faster queue times as a resto spec, but really felt like I was "faking it till making it" on that made. Nice to get some professional advice!

  2. Hi, this talent tree was really helpfull. Made my resto shammy way better. Thanks for the tips, much appreciated :)

  3. @Matty - as if you were faking it!
    @Jethro - I'm sure Voe will be happy that he helped you out!


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I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(