Our baseline talent picks:
Level 15 talents – Defensive
This is a rather important tier for us, considering we lack a personal cooldown and only have our Ankh/Reincarnation to save us.
Nature’s Guardian: This is the more passive approach and it can be useful if you’re not trying to avoid abilities that will almost certainly kill you. Say you are at 40%, and you get hit by an ability because you are either behind on healing, or standing in the wrong direction. This ability will not necessarily save you in that situation.
Stone Bulwark Totem: A small absorb, and the subsequent smaller absorbs, are not really gonna save your life in a tight spot. It does have a lower cooldown than Astral Shift.
Astral Shift: A 40% damage reduction, this cooldown is great for mitigating incoming attacks from bosses at certain points. It is a great tool for surviving almost any situation. It has a higher cooldown than Stone Bulwark Totem.
Level 30 talents – Utility
Frozen Power: A single target root on a 6 second cooldown is not really needed in any raid encounter. Usually you want a root on multiple targets, or you could use a freedom totem.
Earthgrab Totem: Can be used on some encounters where you have to root multiple targets at once, but it is very rare that we see it used in this instance. Be aware that when mobs are rooted, the tend to melee nearby targets. It is not as much of a problem in this instance, but more a general property of rooted mobs.
Windwalk Totem: Our very own freedom totem to clear all movement impairing effects, this totem is by far the strongest of the three options in this tier, can be used on a lot of bosses to ensure that you and your raid reach your target destination on time.
Level 45 talents – Output/Utility
Call of the Elements: Resetting the cooldowns on your shorter totems can be very useful and in theory it can math out to be an increase because you will get an additional use of Healing Stream Totem, but it will force you to run to the spot where you want to drop for example Spirit Link, Capacitator or Earthgrab Totem.
Totemic Persistence: You should never really pick up this talent since you rarely drop down two totems of the same element at the same time. It can be used to have Healing Tide up with Healing Stream but you will only have that in very specific cases and it won’t benefit you much.
Totemic Projection: This is the almighty utility for your totems. It will allow you to throw around your totems as you please, giving you a lot more freedom with Spirit Link and min-maxing the use you get from Healing Tide and Healing Stream by uprooting them and moving them with the group.
Level 60 talents – Output
Elemental Mastery: A raw throughput talent and if picked up it should be used together with a cooldown to give it some additional “umpf”. It loses its value easily, because shamans don’t have 2 minute burst cooldowns to pair this with.
Ancestral Swiftness: This will give you an instant cast to toy around with. You can use it to plan ahead, by using it on an instant healing rain on the move. You can also use it as a throughput cooldown by popping it after having finished a cast to get another cast off instantly.
Echo of the Elements: The most versatile of the three, since it will give you more uses of your important spells. Having additional charges of Riptide and Spirit Link will make a difference on a lot of bosses. The double charges are a bit more forgiving for resto shamans that are still getting the hang of a fight, or if you are not 100% comfortable with using Riptide as soon as it comes up.
Level 75 talents – Output
Rushing Streams: It will give your Healing Stream Totem a lot more value and it is passive. Generally, this should be picked because it is just straight up stronger than the other two in most scenarios.
Ancestral Guidance: Is not really worth picking up because it just lacks behind the others in raw numbers.
Conductivity: Getting a longer duration on Healing Rain can be beneficial on some fights, especially if your group is all neatly stacked up. It will free up some mana, from not having to recast the spell every 10 seconds and it will also give you “casting time”, that you can then put into other spells.
Level 90 talents – Output/Utility
Unleashed Fury: Can be considered in rare situations where strong single target burst healing is required.
Primal Elementalist: The buffs gained by your elementals, would be the reason for picking this talent. Fire Elemental grants 10% increased healing and Earth Elemental will give a 10% healing increase and 20% damage reduction.
Elemental Blast: The spirit gained by this spell is reason why it is considered the strongest of the three. There would have to be some special circumstances to not pick this talent. You can always find ways to pump out more mana and ultimately that is why this talent beats the other two options systematically.
Level 100 talents – Output
Cloudburst Totem: Same principle as the resto druid shroom in Mists of Pandaria, but far behind in actual power in comparison. This talent is not worth taking simply because it is a situational gimped spell and it’s just not on par with High Tide… far from it.
Storm Elemental Totem: Same goes for this talent, it is simply not strong enough to compete with High Tide and mostly because it is also situational.
High Tide: Granting additional bounces to Chain Heal and removing the diminish in power for each bounce is just too good to pass out on, especially considering that you will spend most your time spamming Chain Heal. You shouldn’t forget the synergy it has with our current 4p, only adding to its value.