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Restoration Shaman – PVE Healing Zanzil in Zul’Gurub – 4.1

Posted on: Jun 08, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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The fourth boss in the troll city of Zul’Gurub is Zanzil.  The troll necromancer has three cauldrons which must be used properly in order to survive the fight.

Zanzil Trash

There are two packs of trash prior to the Zanzil boss fight.  The first pack is a couple of casters surrounded by a swarm of zombie trolls.  The tank is the only one who needs to use the red cauldron to get the Burning Blood buff.  DPS should AOE the trash.  The casters can be killed or interrupted while being killed.

The second pack consists of two Gurubashi Berserkers.  Both will target random party members and begin to chase them.  While they fixate on players, the targets should run away while the rest of the party kills them.  After some time, if they are not yet dead, they will change target and begin chasing another party member.  They can’t be tanked and will chase their target until the timer goes off or they die.  Using Zanzil’s nearby Frostburn Formula buff from a blue cauldron will help with these mobs.  If the tank and dps have the buff when the berserkers are pulled, they should focus on one and freeze it, then kill it.  Then they can freeze the second berserker and kill it.

For healers, the main thing to note is the use of the fire cauldron.  If a player gets the fire cauldron buff, he will be able to do AOE fire damage to everyone in the area of effect, including himself and other party members.  Only the tank will need to get the fire cauldron buff and it’s only needed for a swarm of zombie trolls on the path.  However, most players will probably click the cauldron which will result in extra damage for the group for you to heal through.

Zanzil Tactics – The Cauldron Boss

The tank should pull Zanzil to the center of the room.  The cauldrons will then all be reachable by every party member, regardless of which cauldron will be needed.  As a healer, you can start at the green cauldron and keep the green cauldron buff on yourself the whole time. (See Healing Tips, below.)  You can also call out which cauldron for the team to get as you won’t need to run.

Zanzil casts two spells.  One is Voodoo Bolt, which is interruptible and does around 35K damage if it hits a player.  Assign someone to interrupt the Voodoo Bolt – the tank is a good option for the task.

The other is Zanzili Fire which does arcane damage in a line and is not interruptible.  The line goes in the direction Zanzil is facing and continues across the boss area.  The fire stays on the ground and will burn anyone who stands in it. It looks like green fire and is easy to avoid.  He shoots it at a player in a straight line.  Invariably at least one party member will get hit by it and need at least 60K healing if they move from it quickly enough.  If they stand in it, they will die.

Using the Cauldrons to Defeat Zanzil

Blue Cauldron

This is the frost cauldron which gives the Frostburn Formula buff.  When Zanzil uses the blue Zanzil’s Resurrection Elixir, he  resurrects a Zanzili Berserker. A ranged dps should use the blue cauldron.    A player with the blue cauldron buff who hits the Zanzili Berserker will temporarily freeze the big troll in place, stopping its ability to do huge amounts of melee damage to its target while it’s frozen.  They don’t have a lot of health but they do need to be killed quickly.

When the Zanzili Berserker isn’t frozen , it will be chasing one player who should stop everything to kite them until it is either frozen or dead.  Players should kill the Berserker before the next phase.  If they don’t kill it before the next phase, they should still keep hitting it until it is dead.

The ice cauldron can only be used once.  If the Zanzili Berserker isn’t killed before the freeze effect wears off, the player who is targeted by it will need to kite it.

Red Cauldron

This is the fire cauldrom, giving the Burning Blood buff.  When Zanzil uses the red  Zanzil’s Resurrection Elixir, he  resurrects a group of Zanzili Zombies. The red cauldron buff should be used.  As with the trash, the red cauldron buff causes AOE fire damage on the zombies as well as any party members in range.  It isn’t necessary for everyone to get the red cauldron buff.  Melee dps and possibly the tank are the only ones who should be getting this buff.  Once the zombies are down, the red cauldron buff should be dispelled to avoid the extra damage it causes to the group. As healer, you don’t ever need to get the red cauldron buff.

Green Cauldron

This is the poison cauldron, which gives the Toxic Torment buff.  When Zanzil casts Zanzil’s Graveyard Gas, the area fills with the toxic green gas. The party must then use the green cauldron to mitigate the nature damage by 90%.   Keep in mind that it’s really hard to see Zanzil’s Fire during this phase.

Shaman Healing Tips

As a healer, you won’t need the fire cauldron buff or the blue freezing cauldron buff.  You can stand near the green nature damage cauldron and make sure you always have the poison resistance buff.  This will make it easier to concentrate on healing, and if necessary, moving from the fire and kiting the Zanzili Berserker.

If you find yourself needing to run and heal, either if you’ve wandered from the green cauldron or else you’re having to kite the big troll, use Spiritwalker’s Grace.  If you need to run fast, use your instant ghost wolf.  Don’t forget to use Nature’s Swiftness at any time if you need it.

Most of the damage in this fight can – and should – be avoided.  You’ll need to heal the tank, heal extra during the zombie swarm/red cauldron phase, and heal everyone during the green fog phase since even with the green cauldron buff, they will take some damage.

If you run out of mana, use your Mana Tide Totem.  Also, you might be able to Lightning Bolt every now and then to get mana back if you have the Telluric Currents talent.

If people keep dying, please make sure to help them.  Melee on the red cauldron, ranged dps on the blue cauldron, everyone on the green cauldron.  Assign or direct people if there is any confusion.  If people grab the wrong cauldron, feel free to cleanse them of it, especially if they are grabbing the red cauldron incorrectly.  If someone has low health and grabs the red cauldron buff, they will kill themselves.

Do not however dispel the cauldron buff unless they are hurting the group.  With some addons, it is tempting to dispel quickly.  In your eagerness to help the group, you could end up killing them.

The most common mistakes people tend to make are standing in the line of fire, especially during the green fog phase where it’s hardest to see and during the green fog phase if they are too far away to get the nature cauldron buff.  To avoid the fire, have people always stand behind the boss.  If he turns when he casts the fire, they can move away and avoid it.

Use Bloodlust/Heroism during the green phase as you can get the most damage done on Zanzil at this time.

With a little coordination, this fight is fairly simple.   The hardest parts come from people standing in the fire, Voodoo Bolts not being interrupted, and the cauldrons not being used properly.

Restoration Shaman – PVE Healing Kilnara in Zul’Gurub – 4.1

Posted on: May 17, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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Now that you’ve gotten down Venoxis and Mandokir, your group will be heading toward Kilnara, the Panther Boss.  You find her area by going down the hill from Mandokir’s area and turning right.  It’s a temple structure on the eastern section of the Zul’Gurub map.

Healing the Kilnara Trash Mobs

The groups here are tough and you will want to use some crowd control (CC).   If your group elects to do without CC, it will be very hard on you to heal and even if you survive, you will probably lose one or two people.  You will also have trouble with mana depletion.  If all goes well, make sure the tank lets you have a drink to fill up the mana tank before continuing to the next group.

The best way to do this is to CC the casters.  They are the healers and can make the fight go much longer than it needs to.  Sap, sheep, and freeze trap can all be used.  Every class has some form of CC now, some better than others.

You can hex if needed, but unless you are hit-capped, which is unlikely and usually unnecessary for healers, you might miss.  Mobs can also break out of hex even if they don’t take splash or area of effect (aoe) damage.  With a one minute cooldown (cd) on hex, you won’t be able to re-apply it if hex breaks early.

Also important for healers here, each trash mob contains two panthers.  The panthers leave bleed effects on randomly attacked players.  These will need to be healed through until they wear off.  Individual bleeds aren’t too bad, but multiple bleeds on one player do stack up and can kill them.

Keep healing players with the bleed effect even after the fight.  Make sure you keep them alive, then drink, THEN you are ready for the next pack.  If your party rushes through this, you are making it too hard on everyone, but especially on yourself as healer.

Healing the Kilnara “Panther Boss” Fight – Phase One

Kil’nara is a caster with a room filled with panther adds.  They will not attack the party until they are engaged during this part of the fight.  Kilnara should be ignored until all or most of the panthers in the room are dead.   She will be casting Shadowbolt, which the tank should interrupt as often as possible since they cause unnecessary damage for you to heal.  Use Wind Shear if you like, although you will probably be focused on healing.  DPS will be on the adds so they won’t be focused on the boss to get the interrupts.

In phase one, her humanoid form, she will also cast Lash of Anguish often.  When it hits, it only does 1 shadow damage, but then it does around 20K damage every second for 10 seconds.  A priest’s shadow resistance buff or a paladin’s resistance aura is helpful here as the lash cannot be interrupted.

Another spell she casts in phase one is Tears of Blood.  This can be interrupted as well.   It is an area-of-effect (AOE) spell which causes around 10k damage to all enemies within 12 yards of the boss.  If she isn’t interrupted, you will see a trail of glittering blood streaming from her eyes to the target.

She will also cast Wave of Agony, which cannot be interrupted.  It looks like a

Healing the Kilnara “Panther Boss” Fight – Phase Two

Kilnara switches to panther form at 40% and all the panthers who are still alive will attack the group.    The panthers will randomly charge party members and leave bleed effects as they did on the Kilnara trash mobs.  Multiple bleed effects can be a problem. Kilnara has increased haste in panther form.

Additional Healing Tips for the Kilnara Boss Fight

If your party has trouble with this fight, make sure all of the panthers are dead before Kilnara changes form.  If the tank is having trouble staying alive, advise him to use his cooldowns.  Use your own cooldowns as soon as you need them, particularly Nature’s Swiftness and Mana Tide Totem.

The tank will probably take the most damage at the beginning of the fight with the panthers leaving bleed effects.  You need to keep him alive.  If he isn’t well-geared or is slow to pop his cooldowns, your group may be in trouble.  The panthers will also jump around the room, leaving bleed effects on other players which you will need to heal. The tank can control how many panthers he takes on at a time.  Make sure he doesn’t grab too many for what the group can handle.

When Kilnara changes form, she makes a sort of earthquake, shaking the temple, causing rubble to fall and some damage for you to heal through.  Party members should move from any damage so they don’t lose extra health.   At this point, Kilnara is engaged in panther form and there should be few, if any, panther adds left alive.  This phase is much easier to heal through.

Restoration Shaman – PVE Healing Bloodlord Mandokir in Zul’Gurub – 4.1

Posted on: May 14, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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With 4.1 going live, Restoration Shamans now have the added challenges of healing a new dungeon. The new Zul’Gurub is filled with bosses and mini-bosses. It is a level 85 heroic dungeon with bosses dropping level 353 epic items.

You’ll need to have an average item level requirement of 346 to join the dungeon queue. To finish the entire dungeon, be prepared to spend 2-3 hours.

After Venoxis – the Mandokir Boulder Hill

Once your group has successfully downed High Priest Venoxis, you will leave his area and go up the hill. Be careful, however! There is a very steep hill with huge boulders hurtling down it. If you just run up the hill, you will probably be squashed, receiving around 30,000 damage and a knockback effect.

The boulders can be avoided. As a healer, it is best to stay with the tank because when he reaches the top, he will engage the mob who was throwing the boulders. You could wait until the tank has engaged the mob and the boulders have stopped falling in order to run up the hill without danger, but the tank – and possibly any unlucky dps – will likely be dead.

Mandokir Trash

Your group can just dps the trash here if they are able to. Be warned if they take this approach – you will probably need mana breaks between each group as the healing is much more intense without crowd control. If your party uses crowd control, the groups will be very easy.

The cauldron for the trash mobs is a Frost Cauldron which helps with the crowd control (CC) if your party needs a little extra assistance.  If a party member has the frost cauldron buff and hits a mob, it will freeze it.

Healing the Bloodlord Mandokir Encounter

Players will be killed during the fight as a planned mechanic, so don’t blame yourself if someone dies.  You still need to heal people and to keep them alive when you can.  As a healer, you can also be killed and will have to wait for one of the spirt priests to resurrect you.

There are 8 Chained Spirits, so there can be up to 8 deaths with free resurrections.  Each time someone is resurrected, Mandokir goes up a level and his damage increases.  If you use all of the resurrections, he will be very hard to survive as he will be able to one-shot most tanks.

Additionally, Mandokir’s raptor, Ohgan will kill the spirit priests reducing the number of times people can get a free resurrection.  The party will need to kill Ohgan, then hit the boss.  Mandokir will resurrect Ohgan, and the party will have to kill the raptor again.

Mandokir puts Bloodletting on a random player, which drains 50% of the player’s health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds.  Mandokir gets healed for the amount he drains.  Do not heal the player until after the Bloodletting is done unless the player gets below 5K health.  The lower the player’s health is, the less total health Mandokir receives from the drain.  When Bloodletting is over, be ready to heal the player up very quickly.

The other main mechanic is Devastating Slam.  A triangle shaped wedge of the  ground will rumble, spikes will emerge, and the area will turn red.   You will have time to run out of the area before it does damage.  If a player doesn’t stop what they are doing and move immediately, they will be caught in it and likely die.

More Healing Tips for the Resto Shaman

The tank is immune to the one-shot kill mechanic, but as the healer, you are still vulnerable to it.  Expect you will get hit at the worst possible time and heal like crazy.  Keep everyone at full health, use your heals over time and your totems.  Earth shield should always be on the tank, keep using Riptide and Unleash Elements.  Healing surge is also good in this fight.

Do not worry about mana here.  If you don’t die, the party should need little emergency healing.  If you do die, your health and mana will be brought back to full when the troll priest resurrects you.  As long as the dps is doing their job, this is a fairly easy fight to heal.  The main thing is to be aware of the mechanics and to remain calm even though it feels like failure to have people in the party suddenly die.

The early part of the fight, before Mandokir gets a chance to level much, should be easy healing.  Feel free to put some damage on Oghan or the boss if you feel comfortable with the fight.  Be aware that each time he yells, “Ding!” that his damage will increase and your healing will have to increase as well.

Restoration Shaman – PVE Healing Zul’Gurub’s High Priest Venoxis – 4.1

Posted on: May 07, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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With 4.1 going live, Restoration Shamans now have the added challenges of healing a new dungeon. The new Zul’Gurub is filled with bosses and mini-bosses. It is a level 85 heroic dungeon with bosses dropping level 353 epic items.

You’ll need to have an average item level requirement of 346 to join the dungeon queue. To finish the entire dungeon, be prepared to spend 2-3 hours.

Starting Zul’Gurub

Before you get to High Priest Venoxis, also known as the Snake Boss, you will encounter some challenging trash mobs. Starting the instance, you’ll notice a path shrouded in green fog and filled with neutral mobs. If you attempt to run down the path and across the bridge you will die.

Notice a green cauldron, Zanzil’s Cauldron of Toxic Torment,  just beyond the quest givers. Click on the cauldron and you’ll get a debuff called Toxic Torment. It decreases nature damage by 90% and lasts for 30 seconds.

However, you can’t click the cauldron until the mob next to it has died. Be ready to heal as some groups pull the mob before you’ve even had a chance to get through your loading screen. The NPC you are killing will randomly select targets to give additional nature damage to. You’ll have to heal through it.

Once the mob is dead, you can finally click the cauldron. After you get the debuff, you have time to mount up, ride down the path and across the bridge.

Healing and Handling the Venoxis Trash Mobs

The trash mobs use two abilities that will also be in the Venoxis boss encounter. They are Toxic Link and Breath of Hethiss.

Toxic Link looks like a green line between two random players.  The two players need to run as far away from each other as possible while avoiding other players.  If the ranged (including yourself as healer) spread out, the mechanic becomes much easier.  If two melee get the Toxic Link, they will need to be aware and run away from each other and not towards any of the ranged.  When Toxic Link has been broken, a Toxic Explosion will occur causing AOE damage to nearby allies.  Toxic Link which is not handled properly will cause huge amounts of damage and may cause a wipe.

Breath of Hethiss is used by the large snake mobs found just prior to encountering Venoxis.  The ability is a cone-shaped AOE of 25,000-30,000 nature damage per second.  Survive this by clicking on a handy green cauldron in the area and get another 90% nature resistance debuff.  The tank should pull the adds toward the cauldron.  As a healer, make sure you constantly have the debuff as it only lasts 30 seconds.  Any dps who doesn’t have the debuff will die, so either tell them to get the debuff or resurrect them after.

Healing during the High Priest Venoxis Fight – Phase One

If you know what to avoid and how to do it, this fight is pretty easy to heal.  It certainly helps if your party also knows what to do and how to avoid unnecessary damage.  The mechanics used by the trash will also be used while fighting the Snake Boss.

To give your party 30 seconds of extra nature resistance, be sure to click on the cauldron just outside the Snake Boss’s room.  Everyone having the  Toxic Torment debuff will give your group a quick edge to reduce damage and make healing the party a bit easier, especially if anyone is new to the fight and needs a little time alive to get used to the mechanics.

High Priest Venoxis starts the fight as a troll, in his humanoid form.  He can be tanked at the bottom of the stairs, facing away from the group.  The tank will need to interrupt a channelled cast called Whispers of Hethiss.  If it’s not interrupted it looks like a green beam hitting a random player.

One of the new mechanics he gains in this phase include the maze he draws on the ground with neon green poison, called Venomous Infusion.  You can stand in the safe non-green parts of the maze, but you want to avoid touching the poison walls of the maze.

The Toxic Link mechanic will continue, so if you are linked run away from everyone else as quickly as possible.  No player should continue to hit, cast, or heal things.   Run through the maze until the Toxic Link is broken and heal through the AOE damage.

Healing during the High Priest Venoxis Fight – Phase Two

High Priest Venoxis uses Blessing of the Snake God to change into serpent form.  He deals 100% more damage and removes the ability to dodge or parry. He no longer uses Toxic Link or Whispers of Hethiss.

In this phase, he uses Breath of Hethiss, which you will remember from the trash mobs outside his room.   The tank needs to keep Venoxis pointed away from any of the players and to move out of the way to avoid the Breath of Hethiss damage himself.  With no cauldron providing a 90% nature damage reduction buff at this time, the tank may have to pop cooldowns to survive if he gets caught in the breath.

Before and after he casts Breath of Hethiss, he will also create a Pool of Acrid Tears.  Anyone standing in the pool will receive massive damage.  The tank should drag the boss from the pool before the breath, then avoid the breath, then pull Venoxis from the pool after the breath.

At the end of the phase, he will go up the stairs to his altar and send three beams of poison green light, called Bloodvenom, at three random people.  The bloodvenom tendrils move slowly but you must avoid them.  Run through the maze to avoid all damage. If you have to make a choice between getting hit by a beam and going through a maze wall, choose the maze wall as it’s less damage.  If everyone stacks up as Venoxis goes to his altar, you can all run together through the maze to avoid the tendrils.  You do not want to drag the tendrils to anyone else causing them extra damage.

After he finished Bloodvenom, he will be exhausted and suffer from Venom Withdrawal.  Make sure the team knows to save their cooldowns for when Venoxis becomes exhausted.  He goes up to his platform, rests, and takes 100% extra damage for only 10 seconds.  Use Bloodlust here.   His health should go down fast and the quicker he dies, the less challenging the healing will be.

Special Tips for Restoration Shamans

As a restoration shaman, you can pop either your Resistance Totem to mitigate nature damage or you can place your Healing Stream Totem if you have glyphed it so that is heals as well as acts as a Resistance Totem.  This is also an excellent fight to use Spiritwalker’s Grace for healing on the run, instant heals such as Riptide, Earth Shield, Unleash Elements from Earthliving Weapon, and Nature’s Swiftness with a Greater Healing Wave.  You also should have the instant ghostwolf ability, Ancestral Swiftness, to allow you to run away from the green beams, stop and do a quick heal, and run again.

I have done this fight with the tank dying fairly early due to a mistake with the Breath of Hethiss/Pool of Acrid Tears.  The melee dps died quickly also.  The two ranged dps and I were able to stay alive for a very long time by avoiding damage.  One of the ranged died, leaving a shadow priest and myself to down the boss.  The tank joked that he wasn’t needed, but the lesson of this fight is to avoid unnecessary damage.  Being at range makes the fight much easier.  Encourage the ranged dps to stay spread out and at maximum distance from the boss. Tanks and melee will have a harder time avoiding damage.

This is a fun fight for restoration shamans, one in which we can really shine.  With our mail gear, our shields, our totems, our ability to heal on the run, and Bloodlust, we have a fairly easy time healing this boss, even if people in the party make mistakes.

Restoration Shaman – Cataclysm PVP tips – 4.0.6

Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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Many shamans who are good at PVE encounters, questing, normal dungeons, heroics and raiding, begin to look at PVP for something different. However, the concept of PVP is players killing players. How does a healer fit into PVP? Will you have to re-spec to enhancement or elemental if you want to PVP?

If you are new to PVP, be assured that you can stay a healer and use your PVE restoration spec. There are a couple of talents you could switch out, but until you are confident at PVP, you might as well stick with what you know.

Shamans are very powerful in PVP.  We wear mail and most of us carry a shield.  We can take some damage, we have Earth Shield to protect ourselves or our teammates, and we have totems to help our side win.

One of the best parts of PVP is that healers are rare. Because of this, healers get a lot of gratitude and love from most battlegrounds.

Starting PVP as a Restoration Shaman

First off, assuming that you have no honor points and no PVP gear, you will want to start doing some PVP to accumulate the honor points which will be exchanged for PVP gear. You might be nervous going into a battleground with PVE gear and your PVE spec. Don’t worry. Mostly it’s just healing people, like in PVE.

Find guild mates or friends who like to PVP. If you go with them, they get a personal healer and you have someone to follow around and heal. Some type of program such as Ventrilo, Teamspeak or Skype is useful for PVP especially if you can set it up so you won’t need to do a push-to-talk key bind.  Working together makes PVP more successful and more fun.

If you don’t have anyone to PVP with, join the biggest battlegrounds.  You’ll have more people to heal and in the chaos, you will be able to survive longer.  There is also the “kill the healer first” factor.  Once they realize you are a healer, the enemy will try to kill you first.  It’s ok.  Everyone dies a lot in PVP.  Get up and start again.  If you’ve never done it before, don’t panic when you die.  Just stand at the spirit healer until it resurrects you – no need for a corpse run.

The following battlegrounds are the largest and good places to start your PVP experience:

  • Tol Barad – there is a battle every 2 hours or so with the Baradin Hold raid for the winner.  Get into a raid once a week for both PVP and PVE gear drops from the boss, Algaloth.
  • Alterac Valley – 40 players on each side.  If you’re new, just follow the group and heal.
  • Isle of Conquest – 40 players on each side.  Again, generally it’s chaotic, so stay with the group with the most people in it, and heal.

Consider doing the Random Daily Battleground, especially if you have anyone who will join with you.  A win gets you Conquest Points which are like Honor Points but get L365 PVP gear rather than the L352 PVP gear from Honor Points.  You will need hundreds of Conquest Points added up to get anything, but it’s a start and it doesn’t hurt to try.

You will also get more Honor Points if you join the Call to Arms battleground, which occurs each weekend.  The battleground chosen for Call to Arms will be different each weekend.  Remember the weekend starts on Friday!


Which totems are best for PVP?  I prefer using Earthbind Totem for the earth totem, Searing Totem for the fire totem, and Grounding Totem for the air totem.  I have my Healing Stream Totem specially glyphed to also be an all-purpose resistance totem combination so I use that for my water totem.

Since you can have up to 3 different totem set-ups, choose one for your PVP set.  I put mine under Call of the Spirits.  I also have Tremor Totem handy on my action bar as well because when I am running around feared, it’s a lifesaver.

Getting Gear

You’ll be starting your PVP career in battlegrounds, most likely with no honor points and no gear.  Why is PVP gear important?  It comes with this stat called Resilience.  Resilience means survivability in PVP.  It reduces the damage other players will do to you.  The more resilience you have, the less damage will be done to you, the more likely you are to survive.

Before you ever try PVP, you can get crafted gear from any leatherworker who has learned the recipes.  Bloodied Scale Helm, Bloodied Scale Chest, Bloodied Scale Shoulders, Bloodied Scale Legs, Bloodied Scale Boots, Bloodied Scale Gloves, Bloodied Scale Bracers, and Bloodied Scale Belt, are all craftable gear items with resilience.  If you get them all, your resilience just from the gear would be 1279.   Unless you have the gold or extra materials lying around, or else you feel you are dying too much in your battlegrounds, I would recommend getting your PVP gear from Honor Points, which are free for participating in the battlegrounds.

You will find your L352 gear which you can purchase with Honor Points in either the Champions Hall in Stormwind or in the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar.  There are alot of gear options here.  The way I tend to prioritize which gear to upgrade is I replace my lowest level PVE gear first.  So if I have a L346 helm but the rest of my gear is L359, I would choose the PVP helm first.  As I get more honor, I get more pieces of PVP gear because each bit helps.  I also choose the Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity (horde) or Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity (alliance) trinket as soon as possible because it breaks you out of things like polymorph, fear and cyclone – pretty much anything that makes you lose control of your character or unable to do what you want to do.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve had a taste for PVP, you’ll start gaining confidence in your abilities.  With practice will come greater improvement in your performance.  As you get more gear, you’ll continue to do better.  Eventually, you may even try to do Arena.

PVP, as a healer, is a challenge.  However, if you’ve  been healing a while and feel like you can heal without much effort, doing some PVP will provide new interest for you.  It is an aspect of the game which requires you to be able to move quickly and respond to the unpredictability of the opposing side.

Regardless of whether you decide PVP is ultimately for you, the skills you learn doing PVP will improve your abilities as a healer in PVE and grant you insight into a side of the game you might have previously bypassed.

Elemental Shaman L85 PVE Builds – 4.0.6

Posted on: Apr 01, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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Once you’re level 85 and looking to run some normal dungeons, some heroics, or maybe even some raids in Cataclysm, you need to optimize your Elemental Shaman talent build for the most dps you can get. If you’ve mostly been questing and doing the occasional dungeon while leveling, you might want to tweak your spec to make it better as you continue to improve your gear. If you’re switching spec to the elemental talent tree or adding elemental as a second spec, you may need some guidance as well.

Elemental shamans can bring alot to any group. We are ranged dps who can add a little healing in emergency situations. We can crowd control a bit with Hex and Bind Elemental. We can do some decent AOE (area of effect) with Earthquake and Chain Lightning. We can Purge spells from mobs and we can Wind Shear to interrupt many spells. AND we have totems!


The builds don’t vary much as the talents options are somewhat limited. However, an understanding of the reasoning behind the choices of the talents should help you improve your abilities as you play your elemental shaman.  Here are some popular elemental shaman builds.  Lastly, I include the elemental build which I prefer.

The Basic Elemental Build36/5/0

This build includes almost every possible talent choice in the elemental tree except Earth’s Grasp and 1 point in Elemental Warding.  It dips into the enhancement tree for 5 points to get Elemental Weapons and Improved Shields

I don’t think Convection is necessary but some people like it because of the mana reduction.  I would recommend eliminating the Elemental Warding and Convection talents and putting those 4 talent points into something else, like Ancestral Swiftness and Ancestral Resolve.  Elemental Warding seems unnecessary to me in PVE because as a dps you would be putting talent points into survivability instead of increasing your damage output. 

Ancestral Swiftness is a wonderful ability, allowing a shaman to turn instantly into a ghost wolf.  Every shaman should have this.  It’s useful in many raid fights, such as Atramedes, Omnitron Defense System, and Al’Akir where movement speed is a huge help in surviving the raid mechanics.  It’s incredible in Halls of Origination’s first boss as you get the switches down and get back to the first boss.  It’s great for pvp and a benefit when you happen to find yourself behind the rest of the group and want to catch up fast.

Another Elemental Build32/9/0

In this build, Earth’s Grasp is chosen, which is primarily considered a pvp talent.  Earth’s Grasp can be very useful, such as in the Magmaw fight when getting down the lava parasites.  Most people won’t want the talent just for situations such as this, but you may find yourself using it often.  Just remember to have Earthbind Totem up if you put points into this talent.

If you don’t use this talent, consider placing the talent points elsewhere, such as Reverberation thereby reducing the cooldown of shock spells, such as the often used Flame Shock. You could also replace Elemental Warding instead of Earth’s Grasp. 


I recommend keeping Totemic Reach and Acuity even though some people might consider them to be optional talents. Totemic Reach helps the whole party or raid as they spread out as well as yourself if you have to move around during an encounter.  Acuity increases your damage by increasing the critical strike chance. 

One More Elemental Build31/7/3

This build has the least number of talent points in the elemental tree and dips into both the enhancement tree and the restoration tree to fill out the spec.  It skips Earthquake as well as Feedback which I think is a mistake. 

I also don’t see the point in taking Spark of Life since healing as an Elemental Shaman is something that will be done as a last resort in most cases, not something you will be expected to do.  I think this build is probably used most by shamans who pvp as well as pve.  If that’s your playstyle, then you might like this build.

My Current Favorite Elemental Build32/9/0

This build has most of my favorite talents.  I am tempted by Earth’s Grasp because I can see fights where it would be useful.  However, I’ve passed on it for the time being.   I don’t need Convection because I’m not running out of mana.  I trust my healers to cover me for the damage I might otherwise avoid by skipping Elemental Warding

Reverberation is nice because it reduces the cooldown of the shock spells which is key for increasing dps, especially since Flame Shock and Earth Shock share a cooldown and will sometimes both need to be used quickly. Reverberation also reduces the Wind Shear to a 5 second cooldown which can be great when you’re on interrupts.

How to play as an Elemental Shaman

If you’ve taken Fulmination and Lava Surge, as talents as you should, your rotation will look something like this:

  1. Before you start dps, you should have buffed yourself with your Lightning Shield.
  2. Flame Shock should always be up.
  3. Lava Burst as soon as it’s available, as often as it’s available.
  4. Earth Shock when you have 9 Lightning Shield charges.  You can do so with 7 or 8 but the best dps will come from using it at 9 charges.
  5. Lightning bolt all the rest of the time.

Keep in mind that Flame Shock and Earth Shock share cooldowns so you will want to watch these carefully in order to avoid losing Flame Shock on your target.

You won’t be using Chain Lightning or Earthquake on single targets.

Don’t forget your totems!  Searing Totem or Fire Elemental Totem should always be active as they provide the same spellpower buff as Flametongue Totem.

Restoration Shaman Enchants, Gems, and Consumables – 4.0.6

Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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Be the best healer you can be!  Find your optimal talent build and co-ordinate it with the best enchantments, gems, and consumables you can acquire and afford. 

There will be raids in which having every possible advantage will mean the difference between getting a boss down and wiping.  Also, you do not want to be the player who comes unprepared – unenchanted, ungemmed, or with no raid food or flasks.



Head: Arcanum of Hyjal 

These are sold by Provisioner Whitecloud (requires revered with Guardians of Hyjal)

Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone 

These are sold by D’lom the Collector who is the Therazane quartermaster and requires exalted with Therazane.  If you’re only honored with Therazane, get Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone - and work on the Therazane daily quests!  There are some achievements (not to mention gold) to be had while doing them, so consider it multi-tasking. Don’t forget to wear the tabard while doing dungeons to help you hit exalted too. 

If you are a scribe, get Felfire Inscription.

Chest:  Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats 

This is the expensive version requiring Maelstrom Crystals. The +5 to all stats is not worth 3 Maelstrom Crystals unless you’re overflowing with gold.     

Enchant Chest – Mighty Stats is the less expensive version.  

If you’re still having mana issues, try Enchant Chest – Exceptional Spirit.

Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle – provides an extra socket so you can equip another gem.

Legs:  Powerful Ghostly Spellthread 

For shamans who are hoping to upgrade their leggings, try  Ghostly Spellthread. These are fairly affordable now.

Feet: Use Enchant Boots – Haste.


Wrists:  Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect 

This is expensive and needs Maelstrom Crystals.  

If you’re a leatherworker, an inexpensive and hugely better option is the Draconic Embossment – Intellect

Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Spirit is nice if you need more spirit and mana regeneration.  

If you prefer haste, go for Enchant Bracer – Speed.  

Hands: Enchant Gloves – Haste is the best option for hands.

Back: Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect is my preference.  

You could also go with Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike, but as intellect increases both the mana pool and the critical strike, I prefer the intellect increase. 

Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Heartsong  

It is better than Enchant Weapon – Hurricane but they are both good.  Heartsong increases spirit and Hurricane increases haste, so choose the stat that is more valuable to you.  

Off-hand: Enchant Off-Hand – Superior Intellect 

Ring: Enchant Ring – Intellect  

It is an enchantment available only to enchanters who have the skill at 475 or higher. 

Other professions may provide additional enhancements to your gear.  Be sure to research the professions you have in order to utilize your soulbound bonuses.  You may even decide that one profession or another provides such great bonuses that it would be worthwhile to switch professions.  Leveling a profession can be expensive and time-consuming so be certain you are up for the challenge before doing so. 




Red Sockets:  Brilliant Inferno Ruby.   
The JC-only red gem is Brilliant Chimera’s Eye.



Blue Sockets:  Purified Demonseye


Yellow Sockets: Reckless Ember Topaz or Potent Ember Topaz


Meta Sockets: Ember Shadowspirit Diamond






Flasks: Your two choices here are either Flask of the Draconic Mind for intellect or Flask of Flowing Water for spirit.  When you are first doing heroics or raids, go for the spirit flask.  As your gear gets better, the intellect flask will provide more healing power overall. 

Battle Elixir: Ghost Elixir is my favorite battle elixir when I want to boost my spirit.  There are some fights where the raid leader may need to call for a wipe, such as on the first two bosses in Blackwing Descent, and the healers (especially shamans with insta-ghost-wolf) can make it to the raid door without dying.   If you don’t need the spirit boost, consider a crit boost via Elixir of the Cobra.  Either of these should be less expensive than flasks – as long as you don’t die.  There aren’t many good guardian elixirs to pair with the battle elixirs, so you might do as well to get flasks unless you are able to find a good sale, are an alchemist, or have a friend who is an alchemist.



Food: Severed Sagefish Head, with +90 intellect.  When your guild is able to, the Seafood Magnifique Feast will be perfect.



Drums: Drums of Forgotten Kings
Consider these if your raid or party has no druid or paladin.  The druid and paladin class buffs are superior to the drums, however, so don’t bother with them if you have the real thing.


 Follow this guide in preparing yourself for raids or even for challenging heroic dungeons or achievements in heroic dungeons.  If you aren’t a restoration shaman, but you want to show your healer you care and appreciate all the help and healing she brings to the raid, consider giving any of these items to her as a welcome gift.  Don’t forget the blue ribboned wrapping paper


Resto Shaman L85 PVE Builds – 4.0.6

Posted on: Mar 07, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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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!

Healing as a Restoration Shaman Level 85 – 4.0.6

Posted on: Feb 19, 2011 | Author: Savoire

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 Cataclysm has brought many changes to healing, especially to restoration shamans.  Gone are the days of mana regenerating as fast as we could Chain Heal.  Just as tanks have had to learn (or re-learn) how to use crowd control, resto shamans have had to learn (or re-learn) how to manage mana pools while keeping the team alive.  We’ve already had our first patch, 4.0.6, and a week to get used to it. 


Main healing spells are: 

  • Healing Surge- best single target heal per second, uses a lot of mana per heal.
  • Healing Wave- a medium level heal per second for single targets, uses the least amount of mana per spell but is a low heal per mana used.
  • Greater Healing Wave- takes more time than the Healing Wave but gives a larger heal on the single target so it’s a low heal per second with a high amount of heal per mana used.  This has been buffed in the patch and is a lot more useful for raid healing.
  • Riptide- low mana investment, a little heal over time.
  • Earth Shield – usually best on the tank, always keep this up.  This heal often counts for 10-25% of my heals depending on the damage the group is taking.
  • Earthliving Weapon – should always be on your weapon, increasing healing done.
  • Unleash Elements - when Earthliving Weapon is on your weapon, cast this for a nice heal, a healing boost, AND a cool swishy move.  Best used with Riptide before Unleash Elements.
  • Healing Rain – an awesome spell best used in certain situations, such as battlegrounds, raids, and heroics in which the party is grouped close together.  This has been increased from 30 yards to 40 yards, which is in-line with the distance of our other healing spells, making it a little easier to use. When used, everyone standing in the circle of blue healing happiness gets a chance to gain Ancestral Fortitude.
  • Healing Stream Totem – keep this totem out for nice heals all the while.
  • Chain Heal- I almost never used it prior to 4.0.6 due to the low hps and high mana cost.  It seemed to suck the mana out of my tank and leave people needing more heals.  Now it’s looking improved a bit with the patch and I am encouraged to start using it during raids once again.

Heal priorities

When dungeons, whether normal or heroic, keep your totems up, your Earth Shield on the tank, Earthliving Weapon on your weapon, then Riptide and Unleash Elements on the Riptide target.  For big, slower heals, use Greater Healing Wave.  For quick emergency heals, use Healing Surge.  If mana isn’t an issue, keep people topped off with Healing Wave.  By “topping off,” I mean if any member of the group is under 100% health but over 80%, a Healing Wave should do the trick.  If something happens, such as a lag spike, or any surprise which could lower someone’s health dramatically and unexpectedly, they have full health to help them survive.

If you’re not as confident with the timing of your healing, use Healing Wave until you feel comfortable with when to use Greater Healing Wave.  GHW takes significantly longer to cast than a HW.  It’s not a good heal for a tank taking a lot of damage with already low health.  I would use it in a situation such as the tank is at 60% health and being hit.  It is also nice to use as a pre-emptive heal.  If you expect your tank is going to be taking a big hit, but his health is at full or high, start your GHW and it will hit just after the tank takes the damage.  If he doesn’t take the damage, do a little strafe or hop or cancel the spell somehow. 

Greater Healing Wave had its effective increased in patch 4.0.6.  The cost for the mana of GHW was increased by 10% while the effectiveness of GHW was increased by 20%.

Totems and mana regen

 Because mana generally is an issue, using your Water Shield (WS) and your Mana Tide Totem (MTT) wisely is important.  Most dungeon boss fights will last less than 10 minutes so you’ll only be able to use the MTT once.  If I go below 50% mana and the boss is on more than 50% health, I will use MTT.

If I haven’t used the MTT and I’m out of mana, I use it and hope I didn’t wait too long.  MTT not only affects your party now, so if you’re in a raid, it will affect your whole raid. The WS should always be up and it’s easy to lose track of it.  If WS gets to 1, pop it up again, just to be sure.

The totems I use as my standard for most dungeons are: Stoneskin, Flametongue, Healing Stream, and Wrath of Air.  I will switch these around based on the group and situational needs.  For example, the Resistance Totem (instead of Healing Stream) is useful with its ice, flame, or nature damage prevention.

Another trick I use for getting mana is Telluric Currents.  There are many fights in which everyone is looking healthy and I am at less than full mana.  Throwing a few Lightning Bolts at a mob gives a small amount of dps and a little kickback of mana.  I’ve gotten huge amounts of mana on certain bosses, such as Magmaw when he’s slumped in the Blackwing Descent raid.


Glyphs will help increase your healing output as well.  The most popular prime glyphs for restoration shamans are:

I would recommend using the first three, unless mana is an issue, in which case, place Glyph of Water Shield in place of either Glyph of Riptide or Glyph of Earthiving Weapon.

Major glyphs to use include:

Final note

 Even though restoration shamans no longer have access to low-mana-cost spells and a seemingly infinite mana pools, we can still heal extremely well.  Keep practicing in normals and heroics until you feel you are capable in your ability to manage healing, movement, and your mana pool.  Soon you will be ready for raiding!

 In many cases, healing a heroic dungeon is harder than healing a raid with your guild, so don’t lose hope if you have a bad pug run.  Some tanks will not wait for the healer to get mana.  If you notice they are running from group of mob to group of mob and you aren’t able to keep your mana up, ask nicely for a mana break.  Since they don’t always listen, I try to manage my mana tank filled by practicing mana-saving techniques throughout the dungeon.

Try to run as many heroics with guild members as possible as you build your confidence and increase your aptitude for healing in a variety of situations.

Best WoW Addons for Rogue and Shaman

Posted on: May 24, 2010 | Author: Skorne

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I thought I would do a quick post to show other players what addons I use to improve my raiding/pvp efficiency and how I basically make my WoW gaming experience easier.


There are a number of addons out there (I get most of mine from Curse Gaming) that I just can’t play without. Below I’ve provided a list of the addons I use while playing my Rogue or Shaman.



Essential addons:


AG Unit Frames - I hate the standard Blizzard unit frames as they are very limited in what you can do with them. AG Unit Frames allow you to manipulate your unit frames however you wish with features such as positioning, resizing and colour coding specific classes and types. Its awesome and I love it because its so simple to configure. Check out the image below to see how they look and were I position my unit frames.


*Note - Last time I updated AG Unit Frames off Curse it had a lot of bugs in it. You can get a bug free version here.


OmniCC - Awesome addon! So simple, yet so effective. It adds text to items/spells/abilities that are on cooldown to indicate when they will be ready to use. I can’t raid or pvp without this one. Essential for those players that wish to master their rotation.


Doom Cooldown pulse - Very similar to what OmniCC does, but instead of adding text to items/spells/abilities that are on cooldown it ‘pulses’ the image of the item/spell/ability in the middle of the screen when it comes off cooldown. Very handy to have to ensure you don’t miss any cooldowns in the heat of battle.


Quartz - Another very helpful addon I use. Quartz enhances display of standard casting bars by allowing you to modify cast bar sizes, postioning, text size, colors etc.


Classtimer - Very simple and essential addon for any situation. It allows you to setup timer bars for your abilities on the screen. You can setup player, target and focus timers.


DeadlyBossMods - If you want to raid and do well, get this addon.


Omen  Threat Meter –  Great addon that allows you to manage your threat level. It has saved my life on many occasions as a Rogue.


Gladius - Awesome for arena. Adds enemy unit frames to arenas for easier targeting and focusing.



Rogue specific addons:


NugComboBar - Can’t play my Rogue without this one. Shows combo points for Rogues. Very light weight and highly configurable.


Combo Points Redux - Essential addon for Rogue pvp (if you’re mutilate). Tracks deadly poison stacks on a target. Similar in appearance to the NugComboBar addon.


My Rogue addons

Shaman specific addons:


Healbot - Makes healing so easy. I wouldn’t want to heal without this addon.


Decursive - Awesome addon that notifies my Shaman when someone needs to be cleansed/purged and allows me to do so with a click of a button.


Power Auras Classic - Such a useful addon. It provides visual cues when you gain/lose buffs, debuffs etc. I use it to provide me with visual cues when my Shaman’s water or earth shield goes down or when my weapon buff wears off.  Check out images below  for an example of my Power Auras. You can also check out this write up about the addon.


Totem Timers - Helps to manage totems, shields, weapon buffs. I primarily use it for monitoring totem cooldowns and range.


Power Auras addon triggered when weapon buff wears off

Power Auras addon triggered when water shield wears off



Non essential addons


Recount -  Serves as an analysis tool by tracking things such as damage and healing done. Not essential but I find it useful in tracking my dps and healing, and seeing how everyone else is doing within the raid.



General addons:


Gatherer - Tracks items you gather and records their locations on your map.

Auctioneer - Scans and tracks auction house data.

Postal - Enhanced mailbox support.

Bagnon – Merges your bags into one.

Gearscore – Lets you know how geared a player is.

Enchantrix – Helps enchanters see what items will disenchant into.

Durability Status – Icon that shows you the durability of your gear.

Poisoner3 – Allows you to apply poisons to your weapons using a small quick menu.


If you have any questions about the addons that I use or would like to discuss a few that you enjoy using please post a comment below. Thanks for reading.