Totem Talk: Restoration Shaman mana regen and spell priority in Legion
Healing as a Restoration Shaman — or anything else — in World of Warcaft after the most recent patch can be a bit daunting. Before Legion comes, we’re working without one of our biggest tools: our Artifact weapon. Tanks are taking more damage, our talents and abilities have been reworked, and stats on our gear have changed.
But while we’re waiting for Legion, we can start to get some practice in with spell priority and how DPS rotations will work in to actively healing. I figured I would talk about a couple of items I keep getting questions about: mana regeneration and spell priority.
Where has all the Spirit gone?
One of the first things you noticed after the patch drop, I’m sure, is that spirit as a stat is gone. We now have a flat value of mana regenerated every 5 seconds, or Mp5, based on our maximum mana. We get 4.0% of our max mana: currently 6,400 Mp5. While at first glance this may seem like a bad thing, honestly it’s for the better.
With the static value, we know what to expect and can pace our healing efficiently. We no longer have to worry about getting a specific drop or crafted item in order to heal. Along with this change there will be other mechanics in place to ensure we can get access to mana when we need it.
Mana potions will still be available for use, with new versions in Legion. Resurgence is a passive that regenerates a percentage of our max mana whenever certain healing spells crit: 1% from Healing Wave; 0.6% from Healing Surge, Unleash Life, and Riptide; and 0.25% from Chain Heal. This may cause us to favor crit a bit more in the future. Items or abilities that reduce spell cost will also be highly prized for healers. There are already a number of them in the game that you can pick up.
Another option is to weave in damaging spells. Lightning Bolt is free, and Flame Shock as well as Lava Burst are relatively cheap. They’re cheap enough that we can cast them and still make a net profit on mana when we weave all three together. While not required, I have found that weaving in the occasional lightning bolt or damaging spell is far more fun than doing nothing while waiting on mana. Take time and get used to this now if you can.
Spells and cooldowns
Gone are the days of healing rotations. Spell Priority is where it’s at. Luckily for us, after the recent patch, spell priority is relatively simple. Riptide should be cast whenever it is not on cooldown. If you have Echo of the Elements, endeavor to have both charges consumed if you can.
Healing Stream Totem should be used on cooldown. Using Echo of the Elements gives us two charges of HST, which we can then chain together after one expires. Healing Rain should be used whenever you can target multiple group members. The larger the clump the better. If we chose the talent Cloudburst Totem, this should be used on cooldown. The amount of healing this does is surprising, and has proven to be quite useful.
Healing Wave, Healing Surge, and Chain Heal should be used according to need. General single target healing, HW is fine albeit slow while Healing Surge is fast but expensive mana wise. It should be reserved for periods of large single target damage. Tank healing in dungeons may require us to lean on this spell between tank cooldowns. Stack Chain Heal and Healing Rain when your group is standing near enough each other to be affected by Healing Rain. These are just general rules of thumb, but at least give you an idea.
For cooldowns, at least right now, we only have access to a few. Healing Tide Totem, Spirit Link Totem, and Heroism / Bloodlust. HTT and SLT are 3 minute cooldowns and should be used during heavy periods of damage. While HTT affects a pretty substantial range, SLT requires players to be standing close. The damage reduction from the spell can be used in place of a true tank cooldown as necessary. The ability to place SLT at range helps us in this regard.
There are also several talent options available in this category. Earthen Shield Totem is a minor cooldown that allows damage mitigation every minute. Keeping this in melee and on the tank every minute can greatly improve group survivability. Ascendance falls into the major cooldown category. I recommend using it in the same manner as HTT and SLT for large group damage spikes. Ancestral Protection Totem is also a major cooldown at 5 minutes. It should be reserved for use on tanks for increased health and the chance to resurrect should they die.
That should help at least a little bit with navigating through the new healing world in front of us. One parting thought: until Legion releases expect tanks to sometimes feel a bit squishy. Just as we are learning how to adjust to our new limitations and toolkits, so are they. Don’t let this discourage you.
We have some cooldowns to help in some of those situations. If you notice tanks dying in dungeons, consider picking up another major cooldown to attempt to help mitigate the damage. I know Ancestral Protection Totem has saved a dungeon group a couple times for me already.
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