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Resto Shaman Grid Setup

February 18, 2010

There are many great guides out there for setting up Grid. Marcie Knox’s article on is perhaps a bit dated now, but is a great introduction to the addon.  You can find a great list of Grid posts on BobTurkey’s site.  Or you could always just Google it.  I’m not going to go over the details of configuring the addon, because that has already been done so well elsewhere.  Instead, I’ll focus on what I find to be a good Grid setup as a resto shaman.

Grid is complicated, so you’re going to need to spend an hour or two getting used to how things work.  If this sounds too hard, then I guess you’re stuck with Healbot or VuhDo (which may be just fine, I don’t know).  However, I really enjoy tweaking my UI, and Grid in particular, because it makes me think through what information I need to see, which helps me be a better healer.  Once you get hooked, you are going to be constantly tweaking your Grid setup for maximum performance.

When tailoring your Grid setup for a resto shaman, your guiding principle should be displaying all the information you need, and none of the information you don’t.  Here are the top 10 things I want to see with a glance at Grid:

  1. Character names and classes
  2. Health totals
  3. Incoming heals
  4. Range indicator
  5. Raid debuffs
  6. Who has aggro
  7. Poison, Disease and Curse information
  8. Riptide HoTs
  9. Ancestral Fortitude
  10. Raid marks

Here are some things that you very easily could display in Grid, but I choose not to:

  1. Mana/energy bars for each raid member (possibly helpful for mana tide, not worth the clutter for me)
  2. HoT trackers (I just don’t need this info.  I assume the druids are hotting everything up, and heal accordingly)
  3. Priest or paladin shields (sometimes relevant, but again, I assume a disc priest is shielding)
  4. Earth Shield (I prefer to just look at the tanks and/or TotemTimers to see if my ES is up)
  5. My target (I can already tell who my target is through other parts of my UI)

Getting all this information on Grid takes a bit of setup time, but it’s worth the hassle.  In addition to the standard Grid addon, I use several additional modules to add flexibility.  GridRaidStatusDebuffs adds an icon to the center of Grid to display important raid debuffs, such as penetrating cold on Anub’arak or instability on Sindragosa.  I’m not sure how I ever played without this addon, as it really helps to keep track of raid debuffs to guide your healing priorities.  Make sure to update it often to get all the relevant debuffs for each encounter.

GridStatusRaidIcons allows me to see a miniature raid icon for any marked players, which can be very helpful when you raid leader calls out “heal square” or “X run to the ranged.”  GridIndicatorSideIcons allows me to place icons at the top of my Grid frame, which is where I prefer to place raid icons.  GridIndicatorText3 allows me to add a third line of text to Grid, which I appreciate for aesthetic reasons.  These are all the additional Grid modules that I need, but you can get crazy and add a ton of info to your basic Grid setup.  Just do a search for Grid on and see what’s out there.

Here’s how my UI looks in a 5 man heroic dungeon (click for a larger version).  It is still a little in flux, but I’m generally happy with how it looks and functions:

For now, I just want to focus on Grid.  I have it set up in the middle of my screen, below my character and his cast bar.  For the longest time, I played with Grid floating freely on my screen, and I’d usually place it just to the left or right of my character.  However, I’ve found that this position leaves the middle of the screen clear to improve my raid awareness, while allowing me to easily see what’s going on with my character and focus mostly on healing.

The one downside of having Grid in this location is that I need it to always take up a set amount of space.  I have it set to a constant 25 man setup.  I don’t need anything larger, since I rarely do battlegrounds.  If I really need to see pets in a 25 man raid, I can extend the size out a bit, since the actions bars to the right of Grid are not critical.

Let’s take a closer look at Grid itself:

I like to keep the center health bar colored by class so I can easily see who I am grouped with.  Some healers like to set these to green  bars, or have them change colors as people lose health, but I find this unnecessary.  The death knight here is an example of what I like to see from my DPS: no aggro, no debuffs, full health, just doing his thing.  The next player down is a boomkin.  You can see that his health is just below half based on his center bar.  The icon in the lower left tells me that he has a poison, disease, or curse that I can remove.  The center text icon lets me know that it is a poison.  If this was a raid, I would see raid debuffs in the center text as well, very similar to the poison icon here.  The rogue is in a similar position to the death knight, although in his case you can see that he’s about to receive an incoming heal of around 7.3k.  I’m not sure if I was mistakenly targeting him with my chain heal, or it was an estimated bounce from the druid, but I find this estimate of incoming heals very helpful, especially on a raid tank.  It will show estimated heals from all healers, not just yourself.

The paladin tank is next, and you can see a few things here.  First, the red aggro in the top left tells me that he has aggro, which is good.  Even better is that no one else has a red dot.  If someone does get aggro, I can see it quickly, and send heals their way.  If I feel like it.  The purple box on the top right lets me know that my Riptide HoT is on the target.  The green icon on the lower right tells me that the Ancestral Fortitude buff is up on the tank, reducing his incoming physical damage by 10%.  I can also see that he has a small heal incoming, likely the Riptide HoT.

Yours truly is on the bottom, just doing his thing and getting the heroic healed.  If someone was out of range, they would be clearly grayed out on Grid.  If there were raid marks out, you’d see a small version of the icon in the top, middle of their character box.  With this setup, I’m able to accomplish the ten goals I set out above, and I have a lot of information in a very small space on my UI.

In the next few weeks I’ll try to go over some other aspects of my UI.  For quick reference, here is a list of the main addons that you see above:

  1. Grid (and Clique, which is not seen but critical)
  2. Quartz (cast bars)
  3. IceHUD (heads up health and mana display)
  4. Razr Naga action bar addon (based on Dominos, I believe)
  5. Bison (buffs and debuffs)
  6. Omen Threat Meter
  7. Skada (modular healing and damage meters)
  8. TotemTimers (totem and weapon buff/shield bars)
  9. Prat (chat mod)
  10. ChocolateBar Broker Display and assorted mods (similar to Titan Panel or Fubar, but better)
11 Comments leave one →
  1. Cptkeyez permalink
    February 18, 2010 7:33 PM

    pic of my current ui(with a pro whisper from dreamwalker).

    Ive switched from healbot to grid, to healbot, to grid, and finally back to healbot. I just like the simplicity of it, you get all the information you need, and its a loooot simpler to set up.

  2. February 18, 2010 8:15 PM

    I’m also a grid/clique fan. Our grid setup is essentially the same although I prefer to have the display on the right side of the screen. Maybe that’s a left handed thing! For awhile I struggled with clique because I really only find shift (right/left) and control (right/left) to be easy for me to use. Of course this left me with 4 spells to link to mouse clicks. I did have 2 lesser used spells linked to shift and control middle but I find the middle “wheel” button clunky. Then I had a “duh” moment when I realized I should also use my keybinds. So now I have the e, r, f, c, and x keys bound in addition to 4 mouse keys on clique. Works beautifully. I’m also using bartender which I like. Otherwise I dont have any other UI mods. Although I may take a look at some of the ones youre using. Thanks for an informative post! Sorry for the longwinded comment!

  3. February 19, 2010 7:52 AM

    Thanks for writing this up. I’ve shared it with my guild, and it will be helpful for our up-and-coming shaman.

  4. Rahana permalink
    February 23, 2010 12:31 AM

    Another Grid/Clique healer there, using pretty much the very same setup (although I am not having incoming heals represented in numbers, rather in half-alpha bar for incoming heal).

    I have however RT with duration set to display as center icon, with priority lower than important debuffs. And as well, setting Grid to show green border on target with ES, made by any shaman.

    • February 26, 2010 12:21 AM

      The green border for ES is a great idea. I’m always wondering what to do with the border. On my priest it’s a white border for a shield, which just makes sense to me. Using this for ES should work with my brain once I remember to set it up. 🙂

  5. February 26, 2010 6:58 AM

    What do you think about Vuhdo? I find it very useful and am using it with my “twink-resto-shaman”. I enjoy using it a lot.

  6. Swamp permalink
    February 26, 2010 8:06 AM

    Great post! I’m new to healer UI but am steering a course towards a clique/grid arrangement on my resto shammy and your brief guide gives me some confidence. Wondering about your key bindings.

    My plan is to at first keep it simple, binding 2-4 main spells using shift and ctrl, left and right clicks. Should get me through most heroics… I can action bar click cleanses etc.

    What do you use and do you have other tips on key bindings?

    • February 26, 2010 11:45 AM

      Planning a post on Clique in the near future, and I’ll cover my keybindings there as well. Generally, I’d say make sure they work for you, and bind as much as possible.

      Goodaim, I haven’t used VuhDo myself, but I’ve heard good things. I have recommended it to new resto druids in particular, because I believe it has very good HoT tracking abilities right out of the box. Is that accurate?

      • Goodaim permalink
        February 26, 2010 5:28 PM

        Yes that’s right Wugan – the HoTs are displayed in a very good way – plus you can have extra fields to monitor water shield and earth shield of the tank at a glimpse and put them back on almost instantely – I use Vuhdo for my resto-shaman and resto-druid and am very fond of it.


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