We created a questionnaire to investigate how people are playing their resto shaman as patch 7.1.5 and the Nighthold arrive. This provides us with a great foundation to discover what new builds, playstyles, and tricks are being developed during progress. This is part 2 of our analyzing series of our ‘preparing for the Nighthold’ questionnaire. Focussing solely on the current talent selection in raids and dungeons and spell changes.


What talents do you use in RAIDS right now?

We analyzed two different groups: all entries and top 1000 players (raiding progress world ranks). It is important to know that we allowed multiple talents to be selected in the same tier. If someone mentioned they used a talent the relevant purpose (in this case raids), then that talent was registered.



Level 15 talents in raids: direct healing output

Torrent has been a big favorite for a lot of people. The attraction is obvious: you take an instant cast (of which we don’t have too many), with strong padding and an ever stronger initial heal. Then you make that initial heal even stronger. No wonder it is so predominantly used. However, the fact that Undulation (also a long time favorite) doesn’t see as much use is surprising.



Level 30 talents in raids: movement

Personally, I’m impressed with these statistics. Where Gust is always a convenient quick get-away, most of you actually stick to Graceful Spirit for output and uptime.


Level 45 talents in raids: crowd control

While the graphics of the new Voodoo totem are amazing (must be said), there’s not much I have to say here. Preventing casts and damage taken for a long period of time, without the chance of breaking has the clear preference over roots and hexes.


Level 60 talents in raids: output

This graph shows an interesting difference between all entries and top 1000 players. Showing a higher preference for passive talents with the general audience, and a higher preference for the cooldown with 1000k players. On top of that, Deluge sees barely any use in the top of the game. Whereas the general resto shaman base tends to resort to Deluge on occasion.


Level 75 talents in raids: damage reduction and hp increase

This is one of those tiers where every single talent sees some use. Some swear by Ancestral Protection Totem, which takes some getting used to. Earthen Shield Totem is commonly used to pad on specific fights. Top 1000 players seem to see use for that more often, as their %’s are slightly higher. Ancestral Vigor seems to be a common safe bet. Where the overall entries seem to have a higher tendency towards the passive talent. A common pattern, as passives don’t require attention in rotation and cooldown planning.


Level 90 talents in raids: output

A few (Ursoc Chain Heal spam) builds aside, Bottomless Depths was and remains a niche talent. To an extend where it dangles at 2%. Cloudburst Totem is officially a success, surpassing the Warlords of Draenor winner: Echo of the Elements.


Level 100 talents in raids: output

Chain Heal anyone? We had to give up Ascendance as a base line cooldown, and we have been on High Tide all throughout Warlords. Regardless, High Tide has clear preference.



What talents do you use in DUNGEONS right now?

But what about our dungeon builds? While we’re all running mythic+ endlessly, what is the current meta? The same thing applies to the dungeon stats as they did for raids: participants were able to select multiple talents per tier.

Level 15 talents in dungeons: direct healing output

So that’s where that Undulation pick went. As mentioned at the raid section, Undulation has been quite popular. And now it shows why. It is the most popular dungeon talent, surpassing Torrent.



Level 30 talents in dungeons: movement

Not much changes here, Graceful Spirit still takes the lead. But Gust sees increased popularity in general, but mostly with the higher ranked players. Perhaps to escape those one-shot mechanics on the higher levels of mythic +?



Level 45 talents in dungeons: crowd control

I wish I could say something interesting here. But there just isn’t (giggles).




Level 60 talents in raids: output

Well hello there Crashing Waves. Where Ancestral Guidance takes a clear lead in raids, in dungeons it loses some popularity. Apparently, good old-fashioned Tidal Waves play has a place in 5-mans. No Chain Heal spam fest, but proper class play! You can all pad yourself on the shoulder.. if you pick Crashing Waves sometimes that is.


Level 75 talents in dungeons: damage reduction and hp increase

Earthen Shield totem sees a little bit less use. Makes sense. As there are not as many people in a dungeon, as in a raid team. Fewer players to take even fewer mini-hits. All of a sudden the other talents look a lot more attractive. Especially amongst high ranked players, where Earthen Shield Totem saw more use in raids on average, and drops further in dungeons.


Level 90 talents in dungeons: output

Looks like the sun came out and all the cloud(burst)s disappeared \o/. When it comes to dungeoneering, Echo of the Elements takes the lead.



Level 100 talents in dungeons: output

Look at what the tide rolled in… Ascendance! This humor may be getting out of hand. Another drastic swap however, with High Tide dissapearing and Ascendance emerging as an obvious favorite for 5-mans.



A few things stand out in the statistics depicted above:

  • Level 15 talents: Where torrent is taking a clear lead in raids, undulation catches up in popularity in dungeons (even surpasses in the top 1000).
  • Level 60 talents: In raids, Ancestral Guidance is by far most popular. In dungeons, both Crashing Waves and Ancestral Guidance are popular.
  • Level 75 talents: Earthen Shield Totem drastically drops in popularity in dungeons amongst top 1000 players.
  • Level 90 talents: Cloudburst Totem is popular in raids, but Echo of the elements takes an extreme lead in dungeons.
  • Level 100 talents: High Tide is by far the top pick in raids, but Ascendance takes an extreme lead in dungeons.
  • The lower the progress ranking of a player, the more often passive talents seem to be preferred.


These are the (spell and talent) changes in 7.1.5:



Will this change your choice of talents?





What will your new talent selection be?


In raids:




In dungeons:




Will this affect your rotation?

Most people indicated it wouldn’t (93%). However, quite a few people described how their rotation would change (26%). These are the arguments they used:



Or to quote Teá from Darkspear-US:


“I might find a way to Chain Heal less than I currently do.”




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Doreleimaekoerzdearolddavemeesh Recent comment authors
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One thing, Some of your comparisions don’t add up to 100%. If they don’t they are above 100%. A good guide, still makes it weird.


After doing most of Nighthold heroic last night I feel each fight has its own talent use, however sticking to what you know best can also be viable (Like torrent for example, easy and a decent boost). My question now is…what are the best talents for each fight. For example, Scorpion, Anomaly, Krosus….suggest CBT with Unleash Life (since no Echo) and either Deluge or AG. Then fights like Tichondrius or High Botanist, where there was a lot of spread or inconsistent positioning…some talents like Undulation and Crashing Waves became appealing, and Crashing Waves with 2 set might become even more appealing. Any thoughts?


Personally I use undulation for everything along with crashing waves and ascendance for basically everything and top charts . its not the most efficient and i’m sure its due to a lack of teamwork among our healers and not reducing the damage we’re taking, but the first few fights of nighthold and all of EN, its worked for. Especially when you’re trying to get raid mechanics down.
ANyway, i’m sure you guys are further along but I doubt undulation and crashing waves is a *bad* build for any encounter, really.