Whether you are new to healing as a restoration shaman in Cataclysm or you have been healing all along, you can do your best healing by choosing the talent build that works best for you. Be realistic about your role as a healer. Are you going to be healing L85 dungeons and heroics? Will you be mostly raid healing? How good is your gear? If you aren’t sure, try a talent build that appeals to you and test it out. You can always re-do your talents at your trainer.
Remember, your role as a healer may change. As you improve your gear, you may need to change your talents too. Don’t forget to consider your build after major patches as patch changes can affect your healing effectiveness as well.
Level 85 Dungeon Build for Restoration Shamans – 3/7/31
This standard healing spec is especially good for new healers, whether you are trying restoration for the first time on your shaman or you are still new to healing in Cataclysm. You will want to avoid casting spells like Lightning Bolt or using the talent Telluric Currents. Your focus will be on healing and staying alive while you get comfortable as a healer and get some gear to be able to raid.
Make sure you take Improved Cleanse Spirit and Cleansing Waters. Then cleanse when you can. Decursive is an add-on that makes it very easy to cleanse. It’s easier for the healer to cleanse than for the dps because we are constantly watching everyone’s health.
The Acuity talent from the elemental tree provides an increase to crit. The more you gear, the less important crit becomes, so this is a nice talent for entry level healers.
Do not ignore the usefulness of Ancestral Swiftness. It may seem as though it does nothing to help you heal, but the instant ghost wolf ability can keep you alive. Keep your ghost wolf spell on your action bar. Practice using the ghost wolf as you run and when you quest or do daily quests.
Level 85 Raid Build for Restoration Shamans – 0/7/34
This raid build is one of the most popular. Consider taking Focused Insight. While considered primarily a pvp-type talent, if used properly in dungeons and raiding, you can increase your healing effectiveness by 30% while reducing your next heal’s mana cost by 75%. If you cast Earth Shock, for example, and then Healing Rain, the mana cost of Healing Rain becomes greatly reduced and even more effect with each tick.
If you won’t be casting any Shock spell, consider using Nature’s Guardian instead of Focused Insight. It reduces your health while giving you increased survivability.
Level 85 Raid Build for Restoration Shamans featuring Telluric Currents – 7/2/32
When you are comfortable healing and your average item level is at least 346, you may want to try a build with Telluric Currents. This build is wonderful when you need to get more mana and have time to cast Lightning Bolts. Even if you’re not comfortable certain restoration talents like Ancestral Swiftness for this build which is particularly effective in 25 player raids, consider trying a build including Telluric Currents to see how you like it.
Bosses you could use Lightning Bolts to activate Telluric Currents and gain mana while doing a little dps:
- When Magmaw in Blackrock Descent is slumped and the raid is at full health, you can zap a few lightning bolts onto the boss to do a little damage and regain mana.
- Rohash in Throne of the Four Winds. Any time you find yourself not needing to heal, you can toss a lightning bolt and get some mana back.
- Omnotron Defense System in Blackrock Descent, especially Arcanotron.
If you are trying out this or your own Telleric Currents build, be especially raid aware and see which bosses you can effectively use this talent. It’s a really nice challenge if you’re finding healing a little boring and want to put a new twist on things. Some healers who try this out find it improves their overall healing output for raiding.
Choose the talent build that most appeals to you. Remember, it’s easy to switch talents so you can test out new combinations and ideas. With a little trial-and-error you’ll discover the build which most exemplifies your favored playstyle so you can be the best healing shaman you can be!
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