Our baseline talent picks:

Talents resto shaman

 

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 TotemCan 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 MasteryA 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 SwiftnessThis 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.

 

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Razorcrab
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Razorcrab

I would love to hear you guys go into more detail on Ancestral Swiftness VS. Echo of the Elements. I seem to remember Dunderz saying during the finalboss interview he went with Ancestral Swiftness for most fights, but he also knew shamans that solely used echo. If your second link isn’t necessarily being used to max efficiency, is it still on par with AS? Would you be able to talk a bit about your personal choices for a selection of mythic HFC fights?

Panda
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Panda

At the heroic, or even the normal HFC level with decent gear and a set bonus, these talents build a powerhouse healer. However there are some things to consider, especially at lower gear levels when new Shamans or more casual resto Shamans do not have the spirit or umph in their gear to carry these talents.

I consider, and I think you may too, the combination of Totemic Persistence and Cloudburst Totem to be extremely powerful.

By using Healing Stream Totem (with Rushing Streams, of course) at the same time as Cloudburst Totem, every 30 seconds the two totems create a synergy, which ups the amount of healing by the Shaman without the mana costs of High Tide. If a Shaman is unable to fully use High Tide due to mana or other restrictions, then this is the alternative.

Another talent that is great at lower levels is Primal Elementalist. Both glyphed and unglyphed a Shaman who either needs a better output or does not effectively use Elemental Blast, for whatever reason, is a decent talent. Used frequently and often the Elementals can also assist with mana management by pushing out extra heals and feeding them into the totem synergy above. Of course this is ONLY beneficial if the Shaman uses the Elementals on cooldown, anything less is really a wasted talent. Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t hold an Elemental for an expected high damage point, just be careful not to get into a situation where the Elementals are always on standby.

As in any class, unused or unusable talents are useless. Be honest with yourself, your gear level and your play style. Use the build that you can actually use from the first taunt until the Boss is lootable. Evaluate your gear and build often.

(NOTE: While I understand the this site is aimed at Mythic raiding, I felt compelled to comment about things that have worked for me as I have moved through the gear levels. I hope the information is welcome and helpful)

Keehn
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We hope this response will shed some light on the situation. We’ve given it a lot of thought since we want the arguments to come out clear. Unfortunately it has resulted in a bit of a wall of text, but looking at your comment, you seem to like these! 😀

Actually, I did a lot of testing with Cloudburst Totem during beta and early WoD. My findings were that your other totems don’t feed into Cloudburst Totem. This makes it a bit pointless to pop it together with Healing Stream Totem. Especially, if you want to explode Cloudburst prematurely with Totemic Recall: it will lose a chunk of its potential value.

Totems are not directly categorized as your own healing. This is also why the leech trinket doesn’t benefit from totem healing.

As for a playstyle, this is an insane amount of complexity you are adding to the class. Especially, if you start min-maxing. You will have to look at each fight, and break it down to sections where dropping Cloudburst will be most beneficial. You then have to keep track of it, and pop it exactly 14-15 seconds before the damage comes in, in order to get the most out of it. This is even more true when thinking of how our Mastery works (lower health targets are healed for more). This is the only way to get this totem even close to on par with High Tide, because it doesn’t require for you to be proactive, but instead you are reactive.

High Tide adds healing to a spell you already use extensively, not to mention how much more fluid it feels to just use High Tide.

As for using Primal Elementalist with low gear, I feel that this is a bit contradictory. If you look at how much we value spirit/mana, even with higher gear levels. The potential regen you lose by not picking Elemental Blast is just not worth the tiny bit of output you gain from Primal Elementalist. Not to mention the mana you actively have to pour into Primal Elementalist.

Let’s try to do some ‘math’. If you just have a 30% uptime on Elemental Blast this equals to an average of 300 spirit gained from it, this equals to ~600 mp5 (mana gained per 5 seconds). Over the course of let’s say a 6 minute fight, we gain 43000 mana from this. Now picking up Primal Elementalist it will require you to also ‘drop’ (cast) the elementals. Fire Elemental costs you 8608 mana and Earth Elemental costs you 8992 mana. Not only will you lose the potential mana gained from picking Elemental Blast, but you would also have to actively spend more mana to gain these buffs.

Glyphing Fire Elemental will only make this more mana expensive. You use Fire Elemental two times during a fight, maybe three if glyphed on longer fights. You will use Earth Elemental once. That is an additional ~35k mana you have to spend, making the actual mana gap between these talents a staggering 78k. Now that is a lot of chain heals you could be casting.

We just used the example of an uptime of 30% of the Elemental Blast buff. Good Elemental Blast management can reach 40-50% uptime easily (increasing with your haste). This strengthens the argument of using High Tide.