Resto Shaman Talent Specs
Are you a new resto shaman and looking for a talent spec in patch 3.3? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Right now, our talent tree is frankly pretty boring. We have a pretty clear “cookie cutter” build for most of our talents. Resto shamans like to argue, I’ve noticed, so we get pretty worked up about where those last 3-6 talents should go. But really, there’s only a couple viable options, and it’s not going to make a ton of difference which one you pick. What WILL screw you up is if you miss some of the really important talents.
Here’s my current spec on the Wowhead talent calculator: Wugan’s Spec. [EDIT: Linked fixed. I’m dumb, but not enough to take Totemic Focus]. Other people tend to call this a 0/16/55 spec. I’ve always found that terminology a bit confusing, because it’s not like that tells you which enhance and resto talents I picked, but oh well. You could have an 0/16/55 spec that takes different talents, but as you’ll see below, I don’t recommend it.
In my opinion, the only filler in my spec is Elemental Weapons. Frankly, it’s not a very good talent, and only adds a small amount of spellpower that does not scale well at all. Everything else in this spec needs to be taken if you want to be a complete shaman healer in my book. I’ve seen resto shamans without Nature’s Swiftness (really, you don’t want another instant heal?), Ancestral Healing (you don’t want to reduce incoming damage?), and Thundering Strikes (who doesn’t want 5% more crit?). I suppose if you always heal with a disc priest you could rationalize skipping Ancestral Healing, but there’s not a lot of other places to put your talents.
If you need pushback protection, you can put those three points in Healing Focus, and end up with this 0/13/58 spec: Wugan’s Old Spec. I’m a bit paranoid about spell pushback. I swear I noticed a little bit of it on Dreamwalker last night, so it does still happen in a raid environment. When you do get spell pushback, it’s often coming at a time when you really can’t afford to take more time to get your casts off, and thus I don’t think Healing Focus is a bad choice at all. What’s the point of stacking up to 1200 haste rating or more when spell pushback adds another second to your casts? Again, Elemental Weapons adds very little spellpower. I may switch back to this spec sometime soon.
Another valid option is to take two points out of either Elemental Weapons or Healing Focus and put them into Improved Reincarnation. This will let you Ankh every 15 minutes, at higher health and mana. This means you come back more often, and are more useful when you do, because you’ll actually have some mana. On a progression night, you may very well be in for 18-20 wipes, or more, and this talent will give you an Ankh in pretty much every attempt. Given the alternatives, that’s not a bad option if you do a lot of progression raiding, so here’s a Wipe Night Spec.
Finally, some shamans still avoid the Healing Way talent, and come up with this 0/16/55 spec. According to wowpopular.com, this is actually the most popular resto shaman spec right now. Unfortunately, it’s not really the best spec at this point in the game. In earlier patches, this build made sense, and people have apparently been slow to update their talents.
Healing Way improves your Healing Wave by 25%. There was a time when we didn’t cast Healing Wave outside of our Nature’s Swiftness macro. When that was true, this talent was not worth the points. In 3.3, however, you should be using your Tidal Waves procs to reduce the cast time of your next two Healing Wave spells by 30%. That’s a ton of bonus haste for your Healing Wave, and will help even if you are a fresh 80. If you are fairly geared, the two piece T10 set bonus gives you 20% more spell haste after casting a Riptide.
Using either or both of these speed boosts means you can throw out huge heals in very short amounts of time. Think 20k+ Healing Wave hits on two different raid members in about 2 seconds. That’s just a huge amount of burst healing that I wouldn’t want to lessen by passing up Healing Way for a weak talent like Elemental Weapons. Think consistently large heals on the tanks during rough damage phases, when Lesser Healing Wave just isn’t topping them off. Elemental Weapons sure isn’t adding 25% to your Healing Waves in this situation.
Mana is rarely a problem these days in raids, whereas tanks getting killed in one or two shots can be a very real problem. Don’t ignore Healing Wave, and thus don’t ignore Healing Way. Even as a fresh 80 in heroics, the ability to save the tank with a big heal is extremely important, and worth your three talent points, in my usually not very humble opinion. Your mana pool won’t sustain repeated Healing Waves, but when you do cast them, you want them to count.