Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shaman healing is more then just chain healing.

Flashback to the night The Burning Crusade was released, I had just gotten home from Walmart and installed the expansion while taunting my guild mates in vent who hadn't gotten the game yet. I decided to make a shaman and run him around Stormwind instead of leveling him just because I could and because everyone else who had a shaman was busy actually leveling in the starting zone for the Draenei. Clearly being the first shaman in SW, Westfall, Redridge, and Darkshire was more important then actually leveling. I leveled as enhancement until 60 when I switched him to resto and raided for the rest of the expansion as a chain healing shaman. With this new expansion and dual specializations I decided to level my shammy to 80 as elemental and switch to resto for raiding. Now with the introduction of the Icecrown Citadel raid, I've had the luck of being able to get into several ICC pugs and been even luckier to get gear from these instances. Now as a resto shaman player, I see so many other shaman doing things that just make me shake my head and wonder why they are doing it wrong.

So I think this entry will be half rant about nub shamans and half helpful tips to reduce these bad habits people form. Will it work??? Don't know, but I suppose we'll see.

1. Shield less Wonders.
First off...Resto Shaman that are wielding a staff instead of a 1h and a make me sad face. Shaman have no agro shed abilities other then death. That means that unlike Paladins who can hand of salvation themselves or bubble, Priests who can fade, and Druids who can shadowmeld; a resto shaman that manages to agro either a boss or a random mob has no ability to reduce their threat. What does this have to do with a shaman with a staff? Well...caster shields wont help you tank a mob, at least not past mid 30s anyway. But they do have two very important stats that can help you out in case of agro! First off is armor, which reduces the amount of physical damage you take. My shaman currently has 15.8k armor, which reduces the physical damage he takes by 50.94%, not quite enough to survive a boss beating on me but enough to be able to take a hit or two from a mob in a heroic. The second stat on the shield will be block. While not as important as armor for taking a hit blocking will mitigate at least a portion of the damage you take. This also applies to paladins since they also should be wielding a shield.

2. Incorrectly gemmed/enchanted
I've seen this a lot in the random pugs I run, shaman gemming for spirit or enchanting their gear with agility/str/ap. I wish I was joking about this by the way. I tried for a while to explain to a shaman that the epic trinket he was so proud of was completely and utterly useless for him.
As a shaman you should be gemming for SP > Haste > MP5 > Crit > Int more or less in that order. Haste is slightly better then SP but I'd say personal preference if you want to stack it over SP. If you are gemming or enchanting your gear for anything but those five things then you need to regem/reenchant your gear.

3. Totem Hoggers
Shaman are given totems as proof of how awesome they are. You should always be dropping your totems to show the world your awesomeness. There are some who refuse to drop totems or worse drop totems that don’t benefit the group/raid. This means dropping magma totem instead of flametongue, not dropping cleansing totem on a boss that poisons/diseases people, or even repeatedly dropping mana spring after being asked to drop healing stream so that wisdom can be buffed. When you get into a raid/group you should take a quick second to look at what classes you have in the group.
Few quick tips:

  • If its mostly casters then clearly you should be dropping wrath of air and its mostly melee then windfury is your air totem.
  • If you have a Death Knight in the group then drop Stoneskin because the DK's horn of winter does the same thing as your strength of earth totem but doesn’t stack with it.
  • Like I mentioned above, two pallies means everyone should be getting kings and either might or wisdom in which case you should be dropping healing stream as your mana stream will override wisdom.
  • Also mentioned above, if the boss poisons or diseases then cleansing totem is where it’s at. It will save you a gcd that you'd waste cleansing the group that you can instead use to heal everyone.
  • Watch where you drop your totems. Dropping them in the path of a pat will agro them onto you and if you're tank isn’t quick to pick them up, you'll be one pwnt shaman.
4. Chain heal is not your only heal! In The Burning Crusade a shaman could by in a raid by casting chain heal and nothing else. With this expansion a shaman that only casts chain heal will quickly find that his target is either dead or that he is now out of mana. Chain Heal is still our most efficient heal but its not our only heal. In a group where only the tank is taking damage a lesser healing wave or even a healing wave can do the job just as well if not better then chain heal. If time is of the utmost importance, like lets say that the tank is near death then chain heal is the wrong spell to cast. With a 2.5 second cast time, a quick lesser healing wave followed by a riptide and THEN a chain heal will pop up the dying tank. Chain heal is still awesome...but please...think of your other healing spell.

Well for the moment that is all I can think of habits shaman should be quick to avoid picking up. If I come up with more I'm sure we'll see another post with more ranting and raving.

1 comment:

  1. Wooooooo Shaman healing infos.

    I know what you mean with seeing people not correctly gemmed and enchanted. It only takes a few minutes to check the internet for some guidelines on how to gem and enchant and it really does make a difference to your performance.