Patch 5.4: Resto Shaman Changes

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!

Spell Changes

  • 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.

Talent Changes

  • 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.

Totemic Persistence: TIDE ALL THE THINGS

Glyph Changes

  • 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. 😛


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4 Responses to Patch 5.4: Resto Shaman Changes

  1. Jabari says:

    Well, I must say I like the changes so far. 🙂

    Only a flex raid, and my group is awful (laugh), just got the first two and that’s it. Oh well. On the other hand, my healing was insane.

    UF is nice, UF->Rain->Riptide is a set-and-forget massive “shield” on whoever you put the riptide on. UF->Riptide with no Rain is just saying “this tank is not getting hurt any time soon”.

    Stone Bulwark + Earthgrab (immersius black blobs) without worry? Awesome! Tide (either one) during HST is nice, too.

    Still have plenty of cooldowns even with no PE and Rushing Streams.

    On the “bad” side, I have way too much spirit I think. I was barely ever off full – have about 12.5k spirit and a crit build. I even changed my cloak from Darkglow to Lightweave and was still always full. How much spirit do you run that you’re comfortable with?

  2. Jabari says:

    Actually, one more question for you:
    Do all the buffs to Chain Heal make Echo of the Elements attractive again, even for 10-man raiders? (My Shaman is basically a Flex raider right now – we usually get 15-17.)

    Doesn’t Echo proc more often from Chain than most things?
    If it’s more HPS to Chain than Surge with even only 2 non-full-health targets, then Echo would possibly push that to Even Further Ridiculous Levels(tm). I’d hate to go back to being a “Chain, Rain, and Pray” shaman, but if that’s the best then so be it.

    Related, does the crit-mana-restore function off of Echo-ed Chains?

    • Dedralie says:

      Chain Heal has a 21.9% chance to proc Echo of the Elements, which has always made Echo more attractive to Resto Shaman doing content in which Chain Heal is a large portion of their healing done. (I actually don’t know about the Resurgence question, but I’ll look into it soon.)

      The reason I don’t think it’s worth it is that with Healing Rain being buffed to truly ridiculous levels, I don’t think we should be taking a Talent that doesn’t affect Healing Rain. I am currently using Ancestral Swiftness to be able to reach the 30% Haste breakpoint at which we gain our 8th total tick of HR; this is a 14% increase in HR’s throughput compared to a 7-tick HR. I am pretty sure that 14% of HR is going to well outweigh 22% of Chain Heal. However, you can certainly look at your own logs and make that comparison, and see if Echo might be an improvement for your spell usage.

      If you can get to that Haste breakpoint without AS, but you can’t get to the 50% Haste breakpoint no matter what you do, I suspect that Elemental Mastery use to line up with your major cooldowns will still provide more throughput than Echo on your Chain Heal, but here it’s much harder to say.

      If you can reach the 50% Haste breakpoint for a 9th HR tick using AS, then that’s a 12.5% increase to your HR healing over having 8 ticks, and still I’d imagine that in most encounters, 12.5% more HR is better than 22% more Chain Heal.

      Also note that these 30% and 50% Haste breakpoints do affect our HST and HTT as well, and with Rushing Streams talented, HST does a ridiculous amount of throughput. Echo of the Elements does not affect of these spells, either, which means that for most Shaman, the Echo talent does not affect the most significant contributors to their healing.

      I loved Echo for t14, but since the buffs to Healing Rain have made it a ridiculously over-budgeted spell, I just can’t justify taking a Talent that doesn’t interact with it. But again, I’m a 25-player raider, so I’d encourage everyone to do these comparisons on their own logs and see what works out to be the most throughput increase for them 🙂

      (I should totally write a function in my spreadsheets that imports a parse from WoL and lets you analyse what would happen if you took different Talents or changed your gearing. I really should. But man, that would be haaaaard…)

      • Jabari says:

        Cool, thanks. Was more a thought-experiment than anything else. 🙂

        Did SoO LFR last night – my top spells were Rain, then HST, then either Riptide or Chain depending (Tide doesn’t count :P). (Chain is nuts on Protectors and Nourshen. Not so much for Immerseus. Best healing spell for Immerseus: Ghost Wolf. *laugh*). I was amazed how little I used GHW/HW/Surge the whole run.

        Not sure my gear is to where I can go after the next breakpoint yet, just a mix of T15 normals and LFR stuff. 3764->7613 is a big jump. 🙂

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