Welcome to our resto shaman leveling series. In this article we discuss the spells you gain during level 86-90 (Mists of Pandaria). We conclude with an overview of the healing rotation at level 90.
Ascendance. A new pure output cooldown. Ascendance duplicates the (direct) healing you do and redistributes those heals evenly. This means the people around you will be padded extra for an equal amount. Since totem healing does not get duplicated, it is important to have as many direct heals going out during this time: Riptide, Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Chain Heal and Healing Rain. The general strategy is to (perhaps) pre-cast a Healing Rain if relevant, to make sure Riptides are all out and rolling, and just spam as many Chain Heals as you can during the uptime of Ascendance. This cooldown is often paired with Spiritwalker’s Grace to make sure you can keep casting to the maximum amount of spells during the uptime of Ascendance.
Purification. A passive ability. From now on, you will gain 5% more Mastery from all sources. Mastery just became a little bit more important to us now, since we are able to benefit relatively more from the (previously) same amount.
You also have to select another tier of talents. Your options are: Unleashed Fury, Primal Elementalist, and Elemental Blast. Unleashed Fury could be consider in ‘rare situations where single target burst healing is required’ as we defined it in our talent overview page. In Mists of Pandaria gameplay, this was a lot more popular than it is now. Mostly, because you were able to ‘unleash’ Healing Rain. Making it stronger. Since Warlords of Draenor, this no longer works. Meaning this talent is no longer really considered viable.
Primal Elementalist is a talent that gives your elementals additional abilities. Earth Elemental Totem will give you a 20% damage reduction and 10% increased healing for the duration of the channel (you have to activate the channel). Fire Elemental Totem will give you 5% increased damage dealt and 10% increased healing. Elementals have an uptime of 1 minute, and a cooldown of 5 minutes. You can choose to glyph the Fire Elemental Totem, reducing its cooldown to 2,5 minutes, but also decreasing the duration to 30 seconds instead of a minute. Primal Elementalist is typically a talent chosen for burst healing (primarily due to the 10% increased healing).
Elemental Blast is basically your go-to mana regeneration mechanic on max level. On casting Elemental Blast, you will receive 1000 spirit (on level 100) for 8 seconds. Using this on cooldown is close to essential if you don’t want to run out of mana on low gear levels. As you gain gear, this need diminishes slightly. However, as pressure increases on healers (for example progression), you might find yourself keeping up Elemental Blast again to keep up. On top of the spirit buff, you also gain 500 points of either Crit, Haste, or Mastery for 8 seconds. Since this is the only regen ability shamans have, this is usually the default pick. If you get used to casting it on cooldown now, you will be all set for max level gameplay.
Your level 90 healing rotation
And there you have it, level 86-90 of restoration shaman. To conclude, this is what your resto shaman gameplay looks like at level 90 (Mists of Pandaria):
Before starting a fight:
Your healing rotation:
- Riptide (on cooldown)
- Healing Stream Totem (on cooldown)
- Elemental Blast (on cooldown) – for mana regeneration
- Fill with Chain Heal, Healing Surge, and Healing Wave (depending on what suits best)
- If you are bored, full of mana, and your group is stacked: put down Healing Rain
Your cooldown rotation:
- When the whole group is taking continuous damage, use a cooldown:
- When you are moving, use Spiritwalker’s Grace to keep casting – 2 minute cooldown.
- Speed up fights, and help large trash pack pulls by using the haste group cooldown: Heroism / Bloodlust – 10 minute cooldown.
Your dps rotation (when there is nothing to heal):
- Fire Elemental Totem, and if it is not available: Searing Totem
- Flame Shock
- Elemental Blast
- Lava Burst
- Lightning Bolt
- If more than 1 target: Chain Lightning
Excelling at resto shaman gameplay:
- Interrupt casts with Wind Shear
- Prevent casts and damage taken, by stunning a group of mobs with Capacitor Totem
- Remove buffs on enemy targets (if possible) with Purge
- Remove debuffs on friendly targets with Purify Spirit
- Crowd-controlling a dangerous mob by using Hex
- Slow groups of mobs with Earthbind Totem
- Absorb enemy casts with Grounding Totem
- Removing slows on yourself and your team with Windwalk Totem
- Prevent and / or remove sleep/fear/charm effects with Tremor Totem
Modifying your gear to improve your leveling experience:
- Consider putting a spirit enchant on an heirloom item to always have a luxurious mana regeneration. You don’t have to go to extremes with this, but having a little goes a long way.
- Intellect is your first and foremost priority. The secondary stats mastery, critical strike and haste, benefit you. Picking up any of these stats will help in the leveling process. Picking up Mastery will benefit you relatively more (since you gain 5% more from the stats you gather). However, it will not be common for the whole group to be low very often, crit and haste will still be very beneficial as well.