I’ll try to keep this pretty short and sweet since I’ve already gone over a lot of this in a previous post, and everything else can be found in my updated Shaman Changes page. So behold, my best attempt at succinctness!
- Healing Rain has a 12-yard radius (up from 10, although the graphic may not have been updated yet) and now heals the 6 lowest-health players in its area of effect.
- Chain Heal’s healing no longer decays with each bounce, which is a 58% buff to its throughput.
- Riptide’s mana cost has been reduced by 25%.
- Ancestral Vigor now lasts 30 seconds.
- Stone Bulwark Totem’s absorption has been buffed.
- Astral Shift now has a 90-second cooldown.
- Totemic Restoration has been removed and replaced with Totemic Persistence, which allows you to have two totems of the Earth, Air, or Water schools active at any time.
- Healing Tide Totem has been made baseline and will now heal 12 players with each pulse in 25-player content.
- The Rushing Streams Talent has replaced HTT in our Talent tree. This Talent buffs Healing Stream Totem’s healing by 15% and allows it to heal two targets each time it ticks.
- Conductivity now extends the duration of existing Healing Rain by 4 seconds (shortened by Haste) whenever the Shaman casts Chain Heal, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Healing Wave. You cannot have two Healing Rains active, and you cannot extend the Healing Rain’s total duration beyond 40 seconds (actually 42, but whatevs!).
- Unleashed Fury now applies the +50% healing buff to the Shaman rather than the target of the Unleash. This is just a quality of life fix.
- Glyph of Chaining now grants Chain Heal a 2-second cooldown in exchange for doubling its bounce range. Combined with the buff to Chain Heal’s throughput, this is now a viable Glyph to address our spread healing weakness.
- Glyph of Riptide now reduces the initial, direct heal by 75% instead of 90%. Still a pretty big meh, IMO.
- Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem now reduces the CD and duration of your Fire Elemental by 50%, up from 40%.
Thoughts on Gearing for 5.4
Because more of our healing has been shifted into smart heals – on some fights, up to 90% of our healing! – which kind of auto-maximise our Mastery contribution, Mastery should be somewhat more valuable in this tier. Haste is also a strong contender, and Resto Shamans may wish to aim for the 13k-ish breakpoint (30% for an additional Healing Rain tick) or even the 15k-with-Ancestral-Swiftness breakpoint (50% for another additional Healing Rain tick).
The Tier 16 set bonuses are:
2-piece: When Earth Shield heals a target, the target will gain 300% of the amount healed as an absorb.
4-piece: Spiritwalker’s Grace will also summon a spiritual version of yourself that will mimic all cast time targeted spells for 15 sec.
The 2-piece is very solid, while the benefit of the 4-piece is situational. For a lot more discussion about these set bonuses, including a lengthy back-and-forth in the comments section, check out my Water(Totem)gate post.