Shaman Healing Guide: Heroic UK

June 14, 2009

Introduction

Heroic Utgarde Keep is arguably one of the easiest of the heroics.  With a team of experienced party members to surround yourself with the instance should go by pretty easily.  Just get yourself a defense capped tank and a decent set of DPS who preferably know the boss fights and your on your way to a pretty carefree heroic run.  Like with my Nexus suggestion I feel that 1600 is a solid number for starting most heroics but you can probably make due with 1-150 less than that.

Trash Mobs

Most of the trash in this instance consists of Vyrkul and undead with a few dragons and wolves along the way.  Luckily these Vyrkul don’t hit as hard as their angrier brethren in Utgarde Pinnacle.  There isn’t much special you really need to do here.  Watch for picking up more than one group on a couple tight knit fights and you should be fine just running with a riptide+2LHW combination on most encounters. 

The first section of the instance will consist of groups of Vyrkul, pull them carefully as to not aggro the entire first hall and you should be fine.  The next room is the same deal, a couple groups of Vyrkul in close proximity – this will lead you to your first boss (Scroll down for boss strategy).

 Next is the “dragon room”.  Make sure when you encounter the dragons, that the tank faces them away from the rest of your party as to not get them caught in the cone of their fire breath.  Taking down the dragons first then the Vyrkul generally works best.  Clearing left half of the room and leaving the right is an easy way to cut some time off of the run.  Next there are halls filled with undead, most of them are non-elite mobs huddled around a single elite.  These halls are a breeze, but you might need to use your cleanse – the totem is a waste, just use the spell on the diseases.  Then some more Vyrkul.  Next will be the boss duo (Scroll down for boss strategy).

After this boss there are more Vyrkul and undead rooms and halls.  Watch for patrols in the rooms with stairs as they usually have a Vyrkul with a pet dog moving up and down them and at one point there will be a roving group of Geists in a room with a set of stairs and some Vyrkul gatherings, Vyrkul stand in your way for the rest of the way to the final boss of the instance (Scroll down for boss strategy).

Additional:  For the most the instance is groups of Vyrkul in between bosses.  So long as you take the CASTERS down first, you won’t have a problem, but they can really hurt your party especially if it’s melee heavy as they do a sort of corpse explosion type spell.

Prince Keleseth

This is the first and easiest boss of the instance.  The strategy is pretty simple.  Have everyone stack up on the tank, the only exception would be a hunter as they need a minimum distance to do adaquate damage, but even they should be standing as close as possible.  If you have a paladin tank this fight is a breeze, all they have to do is keep concencration down, but other tanks can do just as well.  The reason you stack is that there are going to be waves of trash skeletons coming at you in groups.  They are more annoying than dangerous, but if they get onto a soft class you can lose them pretty quick.  The best bet is that you draw them all into one area so the tank can just swipe them up as they keep attacking the boss.  The other reason is that since there are in fact waves of mobs coming at you while you combat this boss you will have adds getting pieces of DPS as well as yourself from time to time and spamming chain heal makes easy work of it when everyone is standing right on top of each other.  The only other quirk of the boss is that he will ice block random party members and the ice needs to be broken for them to be able to do anything again, this is very key if they ice block you – the healer, or rarely the tank.

Dalronn the Controller and Skavard the Constructor

This is probably the most interesting fight but can also be the most painful if your group isn’t up for the coordination challenge it can present.  The basic idea behind the fight is that you are fighting two bosses at once.  One is a caster who fires shadowbolts and the other is a melee who hits pretty hard.  When you kill one, they come back as a ghost version of themselves, the difference between the ghost and the actual version is that the ghost has random aggro tables, so ocne you kill it they will essentially attack whoever they want.  Which is why you want to take one boss to 10 percent health, then switch to the other boss and kill him, then go back to the first and finish him off.  It’s a DPS heavy fight because of this.  An additional note that your group should know is that the melee (Skavard) will do a charge move hitting people who are farther away and this resets his aggro table, meaning the tank will have to retaunt and gain more aggro after he does this.  However, there is an easy way to get around this and that is to have your group in tight around the fight so he doesn’t have the space to initiate his charge.  The second strategy is to kill one or the other and hope they don’t wipe you while they’re running around in ghost form.  This is easy in normal UK, but in heroic it will rarely work unless you have over-geared DPS in the group.

Ingvar the Plunderer

The final and arguably the most difficult boss of the instance is Ingvar the Plunderer.  You will exit the keep into an outside area of the instance which you will clear of Vyrkul on your way to him.  Feel free to show off your Ghost Wolf form in the mean time.  The battle area you will fight Ingvar on is a circular area with  pillars around the inside of it.  These can be used as key strategic advantages during the fight.  You will want your casters at max range and near the first set of pillars you will see as you enter the area.  These will help in case your tank doesn’t know what he’s doing.  If you have shadow resistence buffs available, go ahead and take them.  There are two phases to this fight.  You kill Ingvar once and he will respawn and come back for a second round as a Scourge version of himself – meaning this is the hard phase.  The first phase is pretty simple, he will do an AOE that does less damage the further you are away from it, which is why your casters are at range.  It is a weak AOE so this isn’t a big deal just yet.  Once you down him he will lay there for a while and will be rez’d by a Valkyree, when he coems back to life he unleashes a big AOE so don’t stand near him.  When the tank picks him back up he’ll pull him to the furthest side of the circle away from the ranged.  Now when he does his AOE (Dark Smash) it will be legitimate so your melee will take cover behind the nearest pillar.  The key is that the tank tanks him facing the wall, not the group.  The smash is mostly a cone so there shouldn’t be much damage being caused if they do this right as he stops in place once he starts casting.  If your melee get behind a pillar they will usually take no damage at all.  The main threat as far as damage goes however is his floating axe he will summon, it whirlwinds for a ton of damage and your tank should be tanking him away from it once it spawns.  If it catches a soft melee they will basically die right off the bat.  The save bet to heal this fight is to keep your tidal waves buff up from Riptide so you can keep everyone topped off with quick LHW’s.  Keep earth shield on the tank and everything else should be fine.  It’s not a healing intense fight unless the rest of your party members are failures.  There is also a shout debuff he casts that will cause havoc if you are casting when it hits, so keep an eye on Ingvars timers.  Deadly Boss Mod add-on really helps with this timing.

(WORK IN PROGRESS)

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For the Shaman Noob: A Starter Guide

March 3, 2009

I’ve been getting quite a few hits on my blog that are from general informational searches.  Things like rotations, “noob guides”, etc.  Due to the popularity (hit wise) of my Nexus guide, I’m going to try to keep putting guides out that will hopefully be helpful to a lot of Shamans out there looking to heal.

Introduction

This guide is my attempt to cover a lot of general information that will help new Resto-Shamans, or just some Resto-Shamans looking for some general information to help them succeed or simply get a different outlook on the class from someone else’s perspective.  Remember these guides are from MY perspective and are my opinion on the class, they aren’t set in stone, nor will they always reflect what a lot of other Shamans think.  So read and take it in knowing that.

Table of Contents

  1. Rotations
  2. Statistics
  3. Tips & Tricks

I. Rotations

  • 1-39

Your primary heal for 1-39 is going to be your Lesser Healing Wave, much as it is through the entire game.  However, you will lack your Chain Heal until 40 so you really don’t have anything else to choose from other than your regular Healing Wave.  Lesser Healing Wave should be all you need to be honest, most of the content up until 55 is really easy now days.

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave

You will get your Nature’s Swiftness in your mid-late 20’s probably which is still a good back up plan when things are getting hectic when combined with a regular Healing Wave.

  • 40-50

Thing will get a little more fun at 40 once you get your Chain Healing spell and can do some multi-target healing.  But your rotation is situational like any other healing class.

Melee Groups:

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Chain Heal

Regular Groups:

Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, (Chain Heal Ranged Group), Lesser Healing Wave

You’ll want to basically spot heal the melee if you only have 1-2 (with tank) no need to waste too much mana on Chain Healing unless the melee are getting hit hard by AOE’s.  Use your chian heal on yourself and the other casters who should be close enough to get hit with it as well.

While targeting your main tank I’ve found that the above rotation is a pretty safe bet when you have a melee group and are fighting a group of mobs.  It’s pretty mana intensive but you will keep your group alive for sure.  You will hardly ever have to cast this hard on this level instances, you should be able to sporatically cast your LHW and keep your tank up with an occasional Chain Heal during fights with AOE damage.

  • 51-68

Healing will be much more intense from about 55 and up when you are starting to heal the Burning Crusade instances and have Riptide in our arsenal.

Regular Group:

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave

Remember your Riptide speeds up your next two castings of Lesser Healing Wave by a lot.  So it’s key that you keep Riptide’s “Tidal Wave” up for quick LHW’s – it’s going to be key to your rotation for the rest of your Shaman’s forseeable future.  It’s amazing for spot healing when you need to keep a DPS or your tank topped off and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have Tidal Wave up 80-90 percent of the time unless you are in a really hectic situation and need to heal a lot in a short period of time (boss fights, over-pulls). The following rotation is a safe bet if you need to cover AOE heals with the same rotation modified.

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Chain Heal, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide…

  • 68-80

Not a lot will change between the 58-80 range to be honest, you’ll be using your Riptide + LHWx2 a lot to keep focus heals on your tank, with a regiment of Chain Heals tossed in when AOE damage is avid or you are heavy on melee in your group.  So long as you use your arsenal correctly and get your patterns straight and have a keen situational awareness nothing should be too hard for you.

  • Heroics

Heroics at 80 (or 70 as a 70) are when things are going to need to be varied and will start getting tough for the first time in all honesty.  You will have to put Healing Wave into your rotation a lot when you are FIRST starting heroics trying to get higher +Heals.  When your tank’s HP is dipping hard and you need to keep him up…

Emergency Healing:

Riptide, Lesser Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, Riptide, Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Healing Wave

The quick boost of heals at teh beginning of the rotation should keep him up despite damage taken and keep him at least even, then the Healing Waves should catch him up to full HP.  I recommend you use this a lot when you are first getting into the tougher heroics like Utgarde Pinnacle because your LHW just isn’t going to heal enough at first to keep a tank up when you are below 1600 Bonus Healing.

For normal situations in heroics you aren’t going to stray far from your Riptide+2LHW rotation, though a lot of fights in the heroics are going to be AOE intensive and you will simply have to resort to a Chain Heal spam rotation with a Riptide tossed in for good measure (and increased heal on the next Chain Heal on that target).

Such As:

Riptide, Chain Heal, Chain Heal, Chain Heal, Riptide…etc

As you can see, once you get Riptide, it is going to be used a lot – so find it a good spot on your action bars.

  • Raids

In raids your Chain Heal is going to be focused on a lot more though for single target healing nothing gets better than your Riptide+2LHW.  Depending on what roll you take on your rotation will vary.  The main focus is going to be looking and seeing where everyone is positioned, especially if you are going to be the raid healer (rather than MT/OT heals).

As a raid healer, chain heal is going to be your main focus, even if one person has taken damage, you may as well toss a Chain Heal on them just in case.  As a single target healer you will focus on LHW’s and keeping Earth Shield and Riptide up.  A big focus is going to be trying to recognize who is standing where and by who during your raid healing time.  So that you can strategically cast your Chain Heals to heal the max amount of needed targets.  If you’re lucky the raid will recognize that by standing close to you not only do they get easy heals but they also get totemic buffs.  Spot healing with Riptide and the quick LHW’s make this easy as well.

Statistics

What statistics do I need to concentrate on?  Why?  Sigh!

Yes, I know.  Things can be complicated in the world of min-max MMORPG’ing.  And it doesn’t get any easier the higher you get.  But, I’m here to help as best I can, so read on!

  • 1-50 (Pre-BC)

Up until a certain level of instances you will be a rag tag healer.  You will wear hardly any mail starting off as most of the good healer gear is Cloth or Leather.  MP5 will basically be non-existent until the higher levels.  The following should be your priority in light of that fact.

  1. Intellect – The larger you can get your mana pool the better – not to mention the SP bonuses you will get in return for stacking Intellect.
  2. Spell Power – Lucky for you they made Spell Power a general stat that covers both damage and healing, so a lot of that DPS gear out there at low levels is just as good for us healers.
  3. Spirit – In response to the utter lack of Mp5 for a long time, Spirit will be your friend, helping you regen mana in between fights and so forth a bit faster and adding to other key statistics as well.
  4. Stamina – Why Stam?  Well at these levels soloing is going to take a lot of your level grinding time, so having the health to deal with mobs before you can simply just pop Riptide on yourself is going to be key.

Not too difficult to understand, if it looks like a healer piece, it probably is.  You will find you wear a lot of cloth up until a certain level.

  • 55-80

When the sky’s finally open and grant you some Shaman gear you will be concentrating on the same stats all the way to 80, that’s the good news.  The bad news is finding the gear isn’t very easy until about 62-65 and most of it’s going to be in instances.  Once you hit Northrend at 68, you will start off with a few nice drops and quest pieces but after the first couple zones you will be cussing Enhance Shamans and Hunters for all of the AP Mail quest rewards.  You will find yourself running instances to make ends meet on the statistics below.

  1. Intellect – This is still the base statistic for anything that pew pews save hybrids like Enh. Shamans and Hunters.  More Int = More mana and Spell Power.
  2. Spell Power – Bonus healing is your friend, the higher you can heal per cast the less mana you will need to cover a tank’s HP as you will have to cast fewer times.
  3. MP5 – Taking the place of spirit as there is actually gear.  Shaman spend most of their life casting, Spirit doesn’t do much in terms of Mana Regenerated While Casting, but MP5 does – which is why it is valuable for Shamans where as it may not be as much for other Healer classes.  The problem is Blizzard haven’t built this need for MP5 into our talent tree save our Water Shield usage. Take a look at your Mana Regen stat, pop on MP5 and then replace it with a Spirit.  Your general mana regen will sky rocket as a result of having the Spirit item on – but your Mana Regenerated While Casting will plummet by comparison to the MP5.
  4. Spirit/Haste/Crit – These are your back up stats.  You don’t need Hit as you won’t be missing your friendly targets.  But Crit helps a lot as well as haste.  Don’t bother worrying about haste until 80, crit is more important.  Spirit is the stat you can look at when you just can’t find MP5 – or simply when an upgrade is just that much better in every other area.

To Be Continued…


Shaman Healing Guide: Heroic Nexus

March 1, 2009

I figured I would start off with the easiest heroics considering this is what most will start with and what most people will end up having the most experience in.

As with all heroics, your tank is going to play a big part in how easy or hard it’s going to be to heal.  You may as well sign the “Wipe Warrant” if he isn’t defense capped (540 at 80) or close to it.  Nexus is doable however, with a new tank.  There are only a few notable difficulties that you should probably look out for.

Introduction:

Let’s start this off with a basic idea of when you should feel comfortable starting heroics.  1600 bonus heals are ideal for starting your endeavors into healing heroic instances.  However, I believe you can make due with around the high 1400 to 1500 range on the easier instances.  Easier meaning this one (Nexus), Utgarde Keep and DTK.  This is a general rule of healing heroics – at least as a resto-shaman, have to know your limits.  Just keep the water shields up, the riptide ticking and the crunk juice flowing.

General Trash:

Trash is pretty easy in this one, though there are several different types as you move through the varied branches of The Nexus.  Your first enounters will be casters and mage hunter hounds – which will silence their targets.  Keep your casters back.  Considering a lot of the damage being done in these encounters are spell-based, your tank is going to take a pretty decent amount of damage, so keep your Riptide up for HOTs and quick Lesser Healing Waves.  There are other groups of 4 casters.  Generally you want to keep the AOE’ers silenced, you can generally help out by interupting them with Earth Shock as you see them casting, but otherwise you should be able to heal through them.  Keep melee up with chain heal if this becomes an issue.

Once you reach the “ice-block hall” this is one of the easier segments.  You’re able to pull 2-4 mobs at a time.  Kill the healers first, the only worry for the most part are the archers, try getting a party member to silence and if that fails have your tank LOS pull around the doorway you enter from.  That is until you get to the Commander (Scroll down for boss strategy).

After this segment it’s mostly mages so keep your interupts on stand by and your chain heal at the ready if your group is melee heavy.  If you have a DK who has spec’d into Anti-Magic Zone, these are helpful but I would save it for the boss fight to come, just focus fire and your group will be fine.  Chain heal is a good idea for spam, to make these encounters easier (Scroll down for boss strategy).

Once you get past the Magus and her mages you will enter an area with Dragonkin mobs and Rifts on platforms.  If you see a Rift with Dragonkin around it you can have your ranged DPS (and yourself) DPS the rift down before you pull to save yourself some trouble, this won’t pull the Dragonkin as they don’t like the Rifts either.  Your tank will likely take some grouped damage dipping into his HP pretty hard when he pulls the 4-dragonkin’s at a time whcih there are several on your way to Anomalus.  So keep your heals running, you shouldn’t need more than a constant flow of LHW’s to keep him that way b ut if you don’t feel comfortable pop your Riptide, do the two quick LHW’s then follow them with a regular HW, then go back to LHW’s (Scroll down for boss strategy).

After you beat Anomalus up you will have 1-2 more pulls before you enter the “glowy-plant” hallway that leads you to Ormorok the Tree-Shaper.  This hallway is filled with what you might expect.  Glowy-tree stuff.  You will mainly be facing small plants that die fast and are meant to just be annoying and make this hallway as slow as possible without making it difficult.  Pull through them to your real targets (treeants and patrols).  Patrols will be seen a few times on your way, they will be made up of Treeants and a Healer centaur type (dryad) creature.  Kill the dryad first as she is a healer, then take the treants down.  keeping yoru AOE’s up in your group is a good idea to make this hallway easier/faster.  Just make sure you aren’t pulling adds because things are tight and can get hectic quick if you pull one too many giants in with your regular pull.  Giants are the other worry, they can hit hard but for the most part will be straight forward and easy, nothing a LHW regiment can’t fix.  They will do an AOE on heroic mode, so long as you keep your group topped off it won’t be a huge threat (Scroll down for boss strategy).

I recommend saving yourself the hassel of more clearing and taking the shortcut after you take down Ormorok (there’s a ramp off to the right of where you enter his pad that lets you skip a whole branch of the hallway) you should only have to kill one more patrol and possibly a giant on your way back to the center area.  There is only one more Dragonkin patrol you will need to slay (you can avoid a couple roving guards on your way in if you wait them out) who is inside of the room with Keristraza.  Take him down and you’re ready to kill the beast (Scroll down for boss strategy).

The Commander (Kolrug/Stonebeard)

Once you reach the half-way point of the “ice-block hall” you will encounter your first boss.  He is actually pretty easy to heal through.  Make your range stand with you in the arch of the doorway you enter the hall from and have the tank pull him back to the corner ACROSS from you in the ice hall (there is a indention where the tank can stand and you will be looking right across at one another).  Drop your tremor totem out in the hallway so when the Commander fears it will cut them off as they run.  Be sure your DPS is killing the two healer adds that come with him first.  The biggest issue with this is if you have a melee DPS or two along with your tank.  The AOE whirlwind attack the boss does is probably the only threat he has and it can tear soft targets up.  Being able to time your chain heals to cover this is makes this encounter extremely easy so just keep Earth Shield and Riptide up on your tank, keep them topped off with LHW and then be at ready with your chain heal once you you see him start to spin.  You shouldn’t need to queue up more than two of them.  If you have DBM this makes timing your chain heals easy, or simply having experience you should know approximately when the AOE WW happens.

Grand Magus Telestra

This can be the easiest or hardest fight in the instance depending on whether or not your group is on the same page.  You will probably end up using your Natures Swiftness cool-down so try to save it up until this point.  Tell your tank to make sure he picks up all three of the copies when she splits into three.  Your best bet is to either kill them Blue-Purple-Red or Purple-Blue-Red.  I prefer to burn down the Blue to keep the AOE damage down, it can tear up people on heroic mode.  Chain heal is your friend when she splits.  Most people will converge to kill them.  Get the ranged DPS to do the same so they can get caught in your CH bombs.  If you want to be a hero, Earth Shock the blue every time you see Blizzard running down your group’s HP.  You should huddle in the center of the three as well so y ou can self-heal as well.  Use Riptide when she flings you into the air to keep your HP so you don’t have to waste time healing yourself back up when she lets you down, so you can immediately pop heals on others.  LHW to get everyone back up.  As long as you have a competent group this fight shouldn’t be too hard.

Anomalus

This is actually one of the easiest fights unless you are going for the Achievement – I don’t recommend that unless you have a great group.  Get your ranged to gather around you at the ramp where you enter and stay there. Tank and melee will fight int he center of the platform.  They will kill the rifts accordingly and when the rift lands near your little group of ranged members you can cast the CH bomb so it will just heal the small amount of damage they do over time.  The boss itself doesn’t’ do much damage to keeping the tank up should not consist of too much more than keeping Earth Shield refreshed and casting Riptide and the quickened LHW’s afterward.  Remember to utilize your chain heal when the rifts spawn away from you and the melee’s are taking damage.  Like I said, the rifts don’t do that much damage to keeping your guys up through it shouldn’t be hard at all.

Ormorok the Tree-Shaper

This boss is another very easy boss.  The only tedious part is getting to him through the not hard, but annoying, adds in the hallway leading to him.  Be sure your group doesn’t pull tree’s accidentally.  Once you get to him make sure everyone is on his platform to avoid pulling extra plants.  Unlike in normal mode his ice-explosions don’t go out in an X pattern every time, so you will have to be on your toes to dodge it and to watch for your DPS getting launched.  Try to Riptide them before they hit the ground again.  The damage can get a little hectic near the end when he enrages so keeping away to his health and readying your LHW should be sufficient to keep your tank up.  He will do slight AOE damage to other melee so keep them up with a Chain Heal thrown into your rotation here and there.  Little plant adds will become a problem so keep a clear route to the tank and be sure he knows what’s up.  Run them to him if you get too many on you and assign a DPS to plant-duty to keep them dead/off of you.

Keristraza

Your final encounter is a little more technical than the others, but another easy one all the same.  The key idea behind the fight is that everyone has to move.  This isn’t a problem for melee button smashers but for those of us with caster times, management is key.  You will want to stick to Lesser Healing Waves if at all possible.  Make sure you know which direction the tank is going to have her facing, that way you can drop your totems accordingly.  Keep your DPS on the same side so you don’t have to heal across the way.  She casts a DOT on you that gains damage the more you let it stack, it will stack when you aren;t moving and dispell itself when you move again.  So jumping/shimmying is what your entire party should be doing.  I found that if you keep Earth Shield up and Riptide going it shouldn’t be hard, just jump once, cast a LHW, jump again, cast a LHW, jump – and so on.  This should keep the tank up and if you see the tank getting low pop Natures Swiftness and a regular Healing Wave, followed by a Riptide+Jump combo and then another LHW.  It isn’t a hard fight unless you have a hard headed member who refuses to move and wants to take a full on DOT from her.

Base Rotation for The Nexus (Heroic):

You really shouldn’t need to do much of anything other than: Riptide, LHW, LHW, Riptide, LHW, LHW – with a Chain Heal here and there to keep grouped targets taking AOE damage up.  Your backup plan as always is to pop Natures Swiftness and a Healing Wave on your tank if things get a little messy (or a Chain Heal if your entire group is getting pretty low).  I recommend making a macro for that.

/cast Nature’s Swiftness

/cast Healing Wave (Rank 13)


Guide To Gearing A Resto-Shaman (Part One: Getting Started at 80)

February 18, 2009

Guide to Gearing A Resto-Shaman – Part One: Getting Started At 80

Up until my first level 80 I had never really bothered studying up on just how to gear an end-game bound character.  I just sort of played until things fell into my lap.  But, after getting my Death Knight ready for raiding by running heroics for drops and emblems which help buy epics as well as saving up reputation to buy gear from the 4 major Northrend factions, I felt as though I had really caught on and could do it easily with the help of trusty ol’ atlas loot.  That said, I feel as though for this blog to truly be a site worth visiting there needs to be at least a certain percentage of content that is actually helpful to OTHER Shamans that come in whether it be by accident through Google or on purpose looking for a Shaman-related blog to read.  So I hope this meets that criteria.  I will be working on it and updating this over the next few days (2/18-2/2oish) to get it perfect, hope you enjoy it once it’s completed!

Just remember, the key to gearing yourself is not limiting yourself to one outlet of gaining such things as equipment.  You want to go for drops, reputation gear and at times even AH bought/Skill-made items to get ahead!  Read the whole guide and go from there!

If you have any ideas, suggestions or corrections for these guides please comment or send me an email listed on my “Contact Me” page.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Stats and How To Pick Gear
  • Section One: Where Should I Go & When?
  • Section One/I – Reputation Tabards (First thing’s first)
  • Section One/II – Heroic and Regular Instances (Gauges heroic instances by difficulty and briefly analyzes them)
  • Section One/III-A – Where The Gear May Drop (Normal Instances) (Guide to Gear Locations and Analysis)
  • Section One/III-B – Where The Gear May Drop (Heroic Instances) (Guide to Gear Locations and Analysis)
  • Section Two: Reputation Gear (A guide to the worthy gear that is attainable through Reputation Quartermasters)
  • Section Three: Master Gear List (The Best Gear Pre-Raid Per Equipment Slot According to Myself)

Introduction: Stats and How To Pick Gear

The first thing I think someone should understand when gearing their character is what stats are important to them and why, especially in the final 10 levels of their character, where stats matter the most.  Before those 10 levels you don’t have to be as picky because the content has become watered down over time as skill levels and experience in players goes up and Blizzard tries to speed up the rate in which one can level as they raise the cap.

For a Shaman healer I think the first thing to understand is that while Spirit is helpful to an extent – MP5 (mana per 5 seconds) is more important.  Priests are essentially one of the only classes that really benefit from having a stockpile of Spirit.  However, if you can’t find a piece with Mp5, then spirit is your next best bet – though I suggest you weight he options when comparing gear with high int, and medium int, medium spirit.  As a large mana pool may make up for the lack of Spirit regeneration.  Staman is essentially only important to those who level.   Most gear at high levels has at least some Stamina on it so your health will never be too low.  Once you hit 80, min-maxing is key and having a ton of health in a raid as a healer really isn’t optimal – the reason being is gear with a lot of Stamina sacrifices other stats that you need more such as Intellect, Spell Power and so forth.

So, in my opinion (and I’m sure a lot of Shamans will disagree) the Stats in order of importance go like so:

  1. Spell Power (or Bonus Healing)
  2. Intellect
  3. MP5
  4. Spirit (/Critical)
  5. Stamina (/Haste)

A lot of Shamans are going to put Stamina above Spirit due to the fact that no matter what you do you’re bound to get hit at SOME point in a run, whether it’s a simple 5-man instance or a big 25-man raid.  The fact of the matter is almost all gear is going to have Stamina on it by default.  You’re not going to go into a gear selection, have two pieces for the same equipment slot and pick the one with the most Stamina – you ‘re not a tank.  Spirit is going to be more beneficial – there are very few pieces of Mail gear (or any gear for that matter) that are going to have Spirit and no Stamina – at least not many Blues and above.  Stamina is not something you want to concentrate on even though it helps marginally more than Spirit might.  Armor is another statistic not represented, it does reduce damage taken quite a bit but, it is absurd to even look at the number when considering a piece of armor – which is why I didn’t bother including it on the above list.  As a Shaman you’re wearing the second best gear in the game for mitigation via armor.  Other than Healadins (Holy Paladins) you are the sturdiest healer in the game because of your ability to wear Mail (Paladins get Plate, obviously) in addition many times your shield will add even more mitigation on top of that.  This passive ability to defend is also another reason you can feel safe putting Stamina at the bottom of your list.  You can logically say that you will need less health to survive just as long as say, Druids and Priest healers due to the fact that you will inherently be taking less damage then them.  This is of course all based on physical (melee) damage.

Section One: Where Should I Go & When?

I. Reputation Tabards:

Well, heroic instances at 80 are going to be your bread and butter for a few reasons.  Compared to 70 heroics, your 80 heroics are easier.  They have reconstructed the gear progression flow so that heroics are an big part of getting geared for raids, where as in the past heroics might have been a part but one would generally find themselves in a Battleground before they would be grinding a heroic dungeon.  Another reason is the addition of Reputation tabards.  Unlike the Tabards of old, the new Reputation tabards for the four primary Northrend factions (Kirin Tor, Argent Crusade, Wyrmrest Accord and Knights of the Ebon Blade) aren’t just for looks.  When wearing one of these tabards any reputation gained in a level 80 instance is magically turned into reputation for THAT faction.  All of the instances basically grant you Horde Expedition reputation, which is a default Reputation that really isn’t going to get you anything.  So translating it into something of importance is extremely productive for you.  By 80 instances this not only includes the regular level 80 instances like Halls of Lightning, Culling of Stratholme, Utgarde Pinnacle and The Oculus – but also covers any Heroic instance.  To break it down, a regular instance is going to give you a decent amount of reputation per kill but a heroic is going to triple that making that route your best route.

That said, the first thing you are going to want to accomplish at 80 is attaining these fabled Tabards.  Where can you find them?  Their Quartermasters of course…

  • Ebon Blade: Quartermaster is the hardest to find, you will have to complete a quest-line in Northrend in order to turn Shadow Forge into the Ebon Blade stronghold in Icecrown.  Once this is finished you gain access to the Quartermaster within.
  • Argent Crusade: Argent Crusade’s Quartermaster can be found at Argent Vanguard in Icecrown.
  • Kirin Tor: Kirin Tor’s Quartermaster is in Dalaran in the Violet Citadel.
  • Wyrmrest Accord: Wyrmrest Accord’s Quartermaster is on the top level of Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight.

To attain these Tabards you will only need to be Friendly in faction with each.  This task should be easily attainable as you will finish plenty of quests that grant you reputation for each faction as you progress through Northrend.  Anything short can be achieved through Daily quests and turn-in’s.

II. Heroic & Regular Instances:

Once you have your 4 tabards your next step will consist of getting into groups for instance runs.  At first depending on the gear you obtained prior to hitting 80, you will probably find yourself running some normal level 80 instances.  You will get decent rep and be able to replace any questionable gear.

When should I feel comfortable starting heroics?

Like in The Burning Crusade level 70 heroics, there are ranges of difficulty.  The three easiest are probably The Nexus, Utgarde Keep and Violet Hold – so plan on running them a lot to start off.  In order to get started I would suggest trying your best to get up over top of 1200 Bonus Healing.  If you are keeping up with gear as you level this really shouldn’t be a problem.  You can easily have nearly if not over 1,000 +Heals by level 75 with Earthliving Weapon on if you run just enough instances to get the healer Mail drops and trinkets/rings/necks from them.  Combine that with some decent quest rewards and you shouldn’t have to run too many normal level 80 instances to be able to get into heroics.  That said here are some stats I would suggest reaching:

  • 1200 Bonus Heals (1300 if possible)
  • 14k Mana (15k if possible)
  • MP5: 200+ (This is a guess really, your mana regen is a crap shoot depending on what you are running and what classes you are running it with)

With the above stats you should be able to heal the easiest of heroics (as listed above).  However, limiting yourself to three heroics can be debilitating to how much progress you can achieve within a set amount of time.  So if you can get into a group that is willing to give you a chance for some other heroics I suggest you go for it.

Below is the extended list of heroics based on a rough estimate of how difficult they are in my own opinion and experience.  From easiest to hardest:

  1. Utgarde Keep
  2. The Nexus
  3. Violet Hold (Is probably the easiest of the three easiest but if your tank is inexperienced it can quickly become the most grueling)
  4. Gundrak
  5. Drak’Tharon Keep
  6. Culling of Stratholme
  7. Halls of Stone
  8. Halls of Lightning
  9. Utgarde Pinnacle
  10. The Oculus
  11. Old Kingdom
  12. Azjol-Nerub

The above is a loose translation of Heroic instance difficulties.  Depending on your group make-up they may shift a place up or down amongst themselves as well as may be harder for some tasks than others (tanking vs. healing vs. DPS).  Next up on our fair guide is just what drops you should be looking for and in what order!

III-A. Where The Gear May Drop (Normal Instances)

Before you venture into the world of heroics then raids you will need to run a few regular level 80 instances for a few reasons.  One of them is simply rep gain, but on top of that you will find that you will get a few nice pieces that upgrade you to a more suitable stat line-up getting you ready to move up to the next step (Heroics).  Take a gander at the list below for recommended instances and what they drop!

A. Halls of Lightning:

It’s the first “80” instance that you can really run, as early as 76 and as long as you’ve been keeping your gear upgrades up by running various instances on your way up you should be able to handle healing with a nice chain heal/LHW rotation.  In addition there are some viable drops to check out.

  1. Kilt of Molten Golems: An absolutely delightful set of leggings for a Resto-Shaman, MP5 and sexy visual included.
  2. Chaotic Spiral Amulet: This is another “holy”-type amulet with a lofty Spirit count.  But, it isn’t a terrible option if you don’t already have something better for a Shaman.

B. Culling of Stratholme (COS):

  1. Enchanted Wire Stitching: A decent Spirit ring but honestly you should have better rings all around (SP included) by this time from lower instances that actually have MP5.
  2. Treads of Altered History:  These are primarily DPS boots – you should have better ones that drop in VH by this time!
  3. Soul Preserver: One of the reasons this instance is worth running (other than it being really fun).  A great healer trinket!
  4. Buguiling Sceptor: While this is in fact a DPS 1h Hammer, it has a lot of Spell Power on it.  You may find that it’s enough of a boost to replace whatever you have (probably the hammer from the Amphitheatre of Anguish questline), it’s probably personal preference and may be more worth it to those who are running really low on +Heals and just aren’t healing very hard.

C. Utgarde Pinnacle:

  1. Tor’s Crest (King Ymiron): This is a good healer shield based on the fact that there really aren’t many caster shields at this point.  You’re probably going to be sporting your Tharon’ja’s Aegis still from DTK – this will be an all around upgrade even though it’s a DPS shield.
  2. Signet of Ranul (King Ymiron): A DPS caster ring, not terrible but you probably should still have something more suitable by this point.

D. The Oculus

  1. Timeless Beads of Eternos (Drakos the Interrogator): A decent healer necklace that has Spirit rather than MP5 on it – this could very well be an upgrade for many Resto-Shamans out there.  Especially as far as SP goes.

III-B. Where The Gear May Drop (Heroic Instances)

Once you have the amount of +Healing, Mana Regen, Mana Pool, etc that you think is sufficable to start Heroic runs then I suggest that you go in the following order – follow it loosely otherwise you won’t be very productive – take what runs you can, just use this as a loose guide to such things.  The following is a list of key drops within said heroic instances.

A. The Nexus (Heroic):

The Nexus us a great place to start your gearing conquests for various reasons.  Primarily because its one of the three easiest heroics to run.  Secondly it has several drops within it that are cater made for the Restoration Shaman that’s looking to get started in the end-game.

  1. War Mace of Unrequited Love: First off is the best 1h for healers pre-raid and possibly your first purple (epic).
  2. Frozen Forest Kilt: Next is a very nice set of blue leggings that cover all of the major Shaman stats.
  3. Amulet of Dazzling Light: Third is a great shaman healer blue Necklace.
  4. Bands of Channeled Energy: Last but not least is Shaman bound blue wrist piece.

This run is probably one of the only runs that has four clear cut Resto-Shaman drops with the perfect stats setup and ready to go for you.  Take advantage of it!

B. Utgarde Keep

Heroic UK is another easy Heroic but with slightly less payout then The Nexus, which is why it’s B on the list instead of A.  There are really only two drops worthy of a Shaman’s time.  However, you should keep it in your rotation because the drops combined with the Emblem collection from downed bosses really make UK runs worth while.

  1. Dalronn’s Jerkin: First a very important starter piece.  This is one of the rare chest pieces you’re going to get until you save up your 80 Emblems of Heroism for the token chest (covered in Part 2).
  2. Annhylde’s Ring: Next is actually a epic drop from the final boss of UK, however the ring is not totally catered for use by a Resto Shaman, instead of the standard MP5 you have a haste bonus, odds are the ring is good enough to roll need for anyway depending on what you already have equipped.

C. Gundrak

Gundrak isn’t terribly hard, however the if not done right some of the bosses can be a pain which is what puts it above the top three on the easy-list.  However, it is in the top 3 here because while it’s harder in my opion than Violet Hold, it does make up for that with the items received.

  1. Slad’ran’s Coiled Cord: A Rest-Shaman blue belt through and through, mp5 included.
  2. Shroud of Moorabi: The cloak you will find drops here is more of a “Priestly” cloak with it’s Spirit, but I think you will see that you will be hard pressed at first to find a heroic drop that caters to you – this is a decent choice for upgrade unless you already have a nice cloak that better suits your needs.

D. Violet Hold

Violet Hold in my opinion actually deserves the title of “Easiest Heroic” however, it can go downhill and get hard REALLY fast if you don’t have an experienced tank that knows what he’s doing regardless of what boss the instance chooses for you.  Unfortunately the drops in VH while they may be upgrades they aren’t exactly the perfect pieces for a restoration Shaman mostly due to a lack of MP5 on the two items that drop here in VH.

  1. Girdle of the Ethereal: First is the the blue Mail belt.  This is actually a good drop because it has a single gem slot (blue) that can be equipped with a nice MP5 gem to make up for the lack of MP5 on the belt itself.  While the Gundrak belt drop is ideal, this may be the belt you end up equipping first depending on how well you can heal Gundrak.
  2. Zuramat’s Necklace: This is another necklace however I suggest if you have to choose to go with the amulet drop in The Nexus as this one replaces MP5 with Spirit.

E. Drak’Tharon Keep

H DTK is a boss intensive instance that mainly focuses on the bosses of said instance.  Like a tedious arena.  There are a lot of bosses (5 on heroic mode) so this makes for a good badge run.  On top of the badges there are two drops worth noting.

  1. Limb Regeneration Bracers: Another item where Mp5 is replaced by Haste – not completely un-useful and a definite decent upgrade considering it is a purple (epic) set of wrists.  It will be up to you as to whether it’s better for you than the blue wrists that drop in Heroic Nexus.
  2. Talisman of Troll Divinity: This drop is a trinket, something you may really need to replace by the time you hit 80.  Most trinkets at this level are based around procs however, so whether or not they are worth it depends on what you already have and mathmatics that I honestly don’t have the patience to calculate (percent of procs compared to base stats, etc).  This trinket is however, based around a base spirit bonus and a “Use” function that boosts your healing to your target by 58 and this stacks up to 5 times.  This really isn’t a terrible trinket for healers in general, to be able to pop when the damage your tank is taking gets out of hand such as on bosses or big pulls or during “enraged” portions of fights.

F. Cavern of Time: The Culling of Stratholme

H COS is a very entertaining instance and without a decent tank and a group that’s motivated to move around and keep their eyes open it can be a bit intense.   Other than the instance being fun and having a timed option (if you get to a certain part of the instance in a certain amount of time a special boss to kill is there and he drops a drake mount with a 100 percent drop rate, much like timed Z.A.) the instance has a few drops worth mentioning.  Mostly in the way of jewelery.

  1. Necromancer’s Amulet: This neck piece is not as ideal as the drop in The Nexus, but if you can’t seem to snag that one, this is a decent back-up with Spirit instead of MP5
  2. Band of Guile: Another epic ring worth mentioning.  Odds are once again, this ring’s standard of stats will make up for the line-up not being perfect.  Odds are you’ll want to need roll this when it drops unless you’ve snatched something better by then.
  3. Leggaurds of Nature’s Power: First of all let me say that this is an epic drop and I recommend you roll need on it unless you have an elemental shaman DPS’ing in your group.  However, I personally would keep the blue leggings from The Nexus on.  These supply about 100 more mana to your pull and about 30 more Spell Power by comparison, but they lack MP5 – they are for all intents and purposes a Elemental set of leggings.  Not only that but they lack gem slots which the blue pants from Nexus have 2 of (Red and Blue) so technically if you felt you were going to miss out a lot on spell power by not taking them, you could easily have more spell power total coming out of the blues from The Nexus than you would out of these.  So basically you’re really only losing some mana and stamina and what little spell power the 10 more intellect is going to offer (not much).  Additionally these gem slots offer you the ability to gain even more MP5 if you don’t mind the loss of SP.  I would need on these simply because having a purple for as many slots as possible can pay off in the future if you join groups who judge you by color of gear rather than statistics.  A good item to keep in the bank – also a good item to pop out when questing solo.

G. Halls of Lightning

H HOL and HOS are on par with one another, while HOS may tend to be easier than HOL on a marginal level.  This fact couples with the idea that you get a purple belt that proves to be the best Shaman belt until you raid makes it an easy choice to focus on first when deciding between the two.  But, in all fairness if you can heal one you can heal the other.  You will likely excell in this instance up until the final boss as a Shaman healer.  The final boss makes your party move a lot limiting the time you can stand still and cast heals.  Riptide will be key as well as keeping Nature’s Swiftness’ CD up until you really need to pop a Chain Heal.  If your party is smart/experienced this boss can be one of the easiest in the game, if they aren’t then it will fail very hard and very fast making it one the hardest.  All in all you will enjoy yourself if you have the stats to succeed and if you’re lucky the payout will be lovely.

  1. Mail Girdle of the Audient Earth: With MP5, SP and Int. worthy of an epic – you won’t want to pass this one up.  It’s your best belt – it’s a sure upgrade once you get to the point where you can heal well enough for Halls of Lightning runs.
  2. Patroller’s War-Kilt: A DPS mail set of leggings.  You should have something more suitable by this time – but if by some chance you don’t – pick them up.  The crit won’t be worth much but it has a socket (Red) and some decent stats otherwise.

H. Halls of Stone

As I said above – the two are very close as far as which one you really should do first – in my opinion the waist equip puts HOL over the top though by numbers HOS probably renders more viable upgrades than HOL.  This is only a tough instance if you are heavy on melee.  This is of course a problem for healers with very little viable AOE healing – Shamans should be able to cover melee groups pretty well – in fact I welcome them now.

  1. Sabatons of the Ages: This is one of the very few sets of boots that are good for a Resto Shaman so you should definitely put some time into attaining them.  Unfortunately, these aren’t perfect for Resto as they lack any MP5 – they replace it with Haste – I do however prefer Haste over Crit (for super fast LHW’s).
  2. Lightning-Charged Gloves: These are a lovely set of blue gloves ideal for your job as a Shaman healer with a decent MP5 count on top of  the general allotment of other caster stats.  These will hold you over if need be until you can get a set of purple Reputation rendered gloves that I will mention in Section Two.
  3. Spark of Life: The instance has two viable healer trinkets.  This one has two Equip bonuses; a Haste bonus and the chance for a healing (or damaging) spell to have the chance to gain 175 mana every 5 seconds for 15 seconds.  This is actually a decent trinket especially if you’re running low on MP5 as it is but, due to it being in a later tier instance you may already have something you like better and enough MP5 to not need it.  It’s still great because it has the chance to proc this mana regen on any heal, not just criticals.  This is the more suitable of the two trinket drops in this instance.
  4. Forge Ember:  This is the other trinket drop in HOS.  This is more of a DPS drop as it grants you two Equip bonuses as the previous trinket does but, these grant you a crit bonus and a proc that has a chance of increasing your Spell Power (by 512) for 10 seconds.  Good news is like the other trinket this two has a chance of happening on any damaging or healing spell that hits (not crits).

I. Azjol-Nerub

This instance is probably one of the hardest instances.  The first pull is probably the most difficult part but throughout it is a bit tedious.  This is why it makes it so far down the list with ease.  The shield that drops in the instance however, moves it back up a bit… Check it out.

  1. Facade Shield of Glyphs – This is probably only low on the list because I personally suggest you get the Emblem shield first and foremost thus rendering this drop useless – which is why AN isn’t higher than this on the list.  It’s a great Rest0-Shaman blue shield.

J. Old Kingdom

This isn’t as hard as you might think given it’s place on my list as a basic level – I think the hardest part for a healer of any type is the close vacinity of the groups of mobs to one another (one false move and you have 2-3 groups aggro’d instead of one) and the poison and hard hitting small trash. There are various drops that are worth looking at and possibly looting, but it is all clearly filled with crit for DPS.  As mentioned before Crit isn’t all bad, but it’s no replacement for MP5 starting off.   Take a look at these…

  1. Fiery Obelisk Handguards: The purple drop of the instance, perfect for an elemental Shaman with plenty of crit and other such stats.  Not perfect for the Resto Counterpart.  You should already have a purple set of gloves that are better suited at this point.  Still this is a purple and such it’s a great “Need” roll for an offset especially with the dual-spec features in 3.1!
  2. Brood Plague Helmet: Another Elemental drop that is suitable for a Resto-Shaman if they have nothign better. Replacing the crit with MP5 on the mail helmet.  It’s saving grace for the Resto would be it’s 2 gem sockets (red & meta).  You can probably make up some ground with a nice MP5 gem and a nice meta.
  3. Amulet of the Spell Flinger: Following the pattern of the rest of the drops this necklace is high on crit and spell power but lack the key elements making it ideal for a healer.  Might be a good necklace for your PVP set.

K. The Oculus

This instance is incredibly tedious, long and original – yeah I know.  It’s great the first time around and terrible from the second time on.  Unfortunately, it does drop a nice ring and a “eh” cloak.

  1. Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape: Better sported by a Priest or something of that sort – but if you haven’t tagged a nice Shaman cloak by this time – you probably should snag it.
  2. Scaled Armor of Drakos: A primarily DPS chest with critical strike rating and spell power.  Not a bad pick up if you have nothing better.  But you should by the time you can actually do H Oc.
  3. Band of Enchanted Growth: As previously mentioned, this is the ring.  Nice spell power, nice MP5 – take a gander.

L. Utgarde Pinnacle

There’s a good reason this is last.  There’s no real drops for a Shaman worth noting.  Sorry, guys.

Section Two: Reputation Gear

A. Wyrmrest

  1. Grips of Fierce Pronouncements: The best reputation item for the Rest-Shaman.  This should be your first objective when it comes to rep.  So grab your Wyrmrest Tabard as soon as possible!

B. Kirin Tor

C. Argent Crusade

  1. Battle Mender’s Helmet: A critical/SP mail (blue) head piece that isn’t a bad start.

D. Ebon Blade

To be continued…