BEGINNER SERIES: rotation guide while leveling


So you want to level a resto shaman? Awesome! We are here to help you through the process. In our beginner series, we explain the core concepts behind the resto shaman, how the spec evolves and provide you with hands-on tools to get started.

 

Your rotation at:

 

Rotation at level 15

 

Your healing rotation:

Keeping Riptide up on your tank(s) is never a bad idea, as they take damage constantly. Healing Surge is expensive to cast, which is why (at a high level) you will start using Healing Wave. Know that it can drain your mana if you keep casting it, and the fight lasts a long time. However, you are not very likely to encounter this problem while levelling.

 

Your DPS rotation:

If no one in your party is taking damage you can help out by dealing damage to enemies.

Flame Shock and Lava Burst cost mana to use. This won’t affect you much during the early levels, but it can add up later. Know that mana is a resource you can run out of. Once you are in long-lasting fights requiring you to perform a lot of healing, you might want to rethink casting expensive damage spells. In those scenario’s you can always cast Lightning Bolt, as it costs no mana.

 

Using Utility:

Shamans have a strong utility kit. As a healer, using your utility properly will reduce the amount of damage taken and prevent deaths.

 

Movement:

I’m sorry, but right now you’re dreadfully slow. Don’t worry, you will learn movement speed increasing abilities at level 16 (spell) and 30 (talent).

 

Talent selection:

You will have received a talent option at level 15.

Give both Torrent and Undulation a try. Torrent empowers the initial heal of your riptide, and undulation quickens the cast of your third healing surge (and healing wave at level 24). Both are passive, making them great picks for beginners. Start by using torrent. Should you find that you struggle to keep the tank alive (having to spam him with healing surges), you could swap to undulation. The third option (Unleash Life) is a spell often combined with chain heal, which you learn at level 20. Chances are you will find yourself more regularly having to spot / single-target heal, than having to AoE heal, which is why torrent and undulation are probably a strong leveling pick.

 

Rotation at level 40

 

Your basic healing rotation:

 

Weave (fill) with:

  • Healing Wave (slow to cast and cheap on your mana)
  • Healing Surge (fast to cast and expensive on your mana)
  • Chain Heal (mana expensive AoE heal) if multiple group members are taking damage. Make sure people aren’t spread too far apart as the Chain Heal won’t bounce to another target if they are. Be careful with using this spell since it’s mana intensive.

 

Healing Wave and Healing Surge heal for exactly the same amount. The only trade-off you make is, whether you can afford to make a slow cast and whether you can afford the relative mana spend of healing surge.

You will find that if you cast Riptide on cooldown, and fill with Healing Wave/Surge, you will play into Tidal Waves. Therefore, this flow of alternating spells is important. Be cautious not to get stuck into casting the same spells many times in a row (this will drain your mana). You acquired the Tidal Wave passive at level 34. It is one of the core concepts behind resto shaman healing. 

Chain heal is amazing, but it comes at a cost. It is expensive on your mana and it has bounce restrictions. Since it is expensive on your mana you should only cast chain heal when multiple group members taking damage. Chain heal only jumps to 3 (later 4) targets. It also only jumps when targets are in range (15 yards). If people are too spread out, chain heal won’t be effective as it won’t jump to them.

 

Dealing damage:

In addition to the spells you had at level 15 you have now also gained a passive called Lava Surge. This passive has a  10% chance to reset the cooldown on Lava Burst and making it an instant cast.

 

Using Utility:

Learning to use your utility is a great skill to start practicing once you feel comfortable healing, at level 40 you have the following utility spells available to you:

  • Purify Spirit this ability allows us to dispel friendly targets of magic and curse effects every 8 seconds. It’s important to get into the habit of dispelling early since it’s a core part of a healers job in a dungeon (and later raid) environment. Debuffs can often tick for large amounts of damage, root someone in place or even crowd control them so it’s vital to make sure you can clearly see who has debuffs on them in your party so you can dispel them quickly.
  • Wind Shear is a ranged interrupt on a 12-second cooldown. Use this to interrupt enemy spell casts.
  • Reincarnation is a passive ability you learn at level 26. It allows you to resurrect yourself should you die once every 30 minutes.
  • Earthbind Totem use this totem to slow enemies.
  • Spiritwalker’s Grace allows us to move while casting for 15 seconds. Use this spell often since it’s a direct increase to your healing output.
  • Ghost Wolf is our mobility spell. It turns us into a wolf and increases our movement speed by 30%. It can be used both outdoors and indoors and also both in and out of combat.
  • Water Walking allows you and any friendly player you cast it on to walk on water for 10 minutes or until you take damage. Useful in dungeons where you have bodies of water to move across.
  • Ancestral Spirit use this to resurrect friendly players if they die.

 

Talent related rotation choices:

You will have received a talent option at level 30.

The level 30 talents are all about mobility. There is no wrong pick when leveling. Try all of them, and see which one you like best. You can either jump yourself forward regularly, by using Gust of Wind. You can spend a longer time (and more often) moving and casting at the same time with Graceful Spirit. Or you can help yourself and your group members run faster (every 2 minutes) with Wind Rush Totem.

 

Rotation at level 80

After level 80, you don’t learn any new spells. The only changes come from talent choices that will unlock up to level 100, and of course your artifact (development) at level 110. At level 80, all the core concepts of the resto shamans are active.

 

Your basic healing rotation:

 

Weave (fill) with:

 

Your healing cooldowns:

 

Dealing Damage:

 

Using utility:

Learning to use your utility is a great skill to start practising once you feel comfortable healing, at level 80 you have the following utility spells available to you:

  • Purify Spirit use this ability to dispel friendly targets of magic and curse debuffs.
  • Astral Shift is our damage reduction cooldown. Use before you know there is incoming damage or to help mitigate the effects of harmful DoT (damage over time).
  • Purge is an offensive dispel and as such can be used to remove certain buffs from enemy targets.
  • Wind Shear is a ranged interrupt on a 12-second cooldown. Use this to interrupt enemy spell casts.
  • Reincarnation is a passive ability you learn at level 26. It allows you to resurrect once every 30 minutes.
  • Hex use this ability if your party needs another CC (crowd control) ability on a difficult trash fight.
  • Earthbind Totem use this totem to slow enemies.
  • Reincarnation is a passive ability you learn at level 26. It allows you to resurrect yourself should you die once every 30 minutes.
  • Ghost Wolf is our mobility spell. It turns us into a wolf and increases our movement speed by 30%. It can be used both outdoors and indoors and also both in and out of combat.
  • Water Walking allows you and any friendly player you cast it on to walk on water for 10 minutes or until you take damage. Useful in dungeons where you have bodies of water to move across.
  • Ancestral Spirit use this to resurrect friendly players if they die.
  • Ancestral Vision allows you resurrect all dead party/raid members at once.
  • Bloodlust (horde) or Heroism (alliance) increases your party/raid members haste by 30%. This ability is used for boss fights. It provides you with a Sated debuff so it can only be used once every 10 minutes.

 

Movement:

  • Use Spiritwalker’s Grace to cast while moving during fights.
  • You can use ghost wolf to move away from something quick.
  • Depending on your talent selection you can either gust away, use spiritwalker’s longer and more often, or speed up your group.

 

Talent related rotation choices:

You will have received talents at level 45, 60 and 75.

The level 45 talent tier revolves around different totems that allow you to crowd control. You can choose either Lightning Surge Totem which will stun all enemy targets in its radius for 5 seconds, Earthgrab Totem which will root enemies in place for 5 seconds and slow previously rooted enemies or Voodoo Totem which will apply Hex to all targets in its radius this talent replaces Hex. The common choice in PvE content (both while leveling and end-game) is Lightning Surge Totem. Try using this whenever there is a group of mobs. It reduces the amount of damage taken by the group, and often makes it easier to quickly kill a group of mobs.

The level 60 talents revolve around modifying your healing or giving you an extra minor throughput cooldown. Crashing Waves will grant you an extra charge of Tidal Waves when casting Riptide, Ancestral Guidance will provide you with an extra cooldown once every 2 minutes and Deluge will increase the healing done by Chain Heal by 20% to targets within your Healing Rain or affected by Riptide. Deluge is primarily a situational talent used in raids for dungeon healing both Ancestral Guidance and Crashing Waves have its uses, try them both out to get a feel for how they play and when one talent would perhaps be more useful than another. If you are new to the game or to a resto shaman, consider starting with either Crashing Waves or Deluge (passive spells). 

The level 75 talents provide you with different types of group utility. Ancestral Protection Totem gives you an extra combat ress if an ally dies whilst the totem is active and also increases the health of everyone in its radius by 10% for its duration, Earthen Shield Totem will absorb damage equal to your own health and Ancestral Vigor which will give your target a 10% increase to maximum health for 10 seconds after you heal them with direct healing spell. All three talents have value in a dungeon setting, try them all out so you can see how the work in action. If you are new to the game or the class, start with Ancestral Vigor as it is an effective passive spell.

Do you have a question? Do you see anything out of date? Please notify us in the comment section below.

This article was written by Dorelei & Nihilith.

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