PvE Restoration Shaman Stat Priority & Reforging

PvE Restoration Shaman Stat Priority & Reforging
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 23, 2024
  • Updated: May 23, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Restoration Shamans don’t have any significant stat caps to aim for and instead must focus on maintaining a balance between mana regeneration and throughput.

When choosing gear, you also need to be aware of your new Mail Specialization passive ability that was added in Cataclysm. It’s no longer worth it to wear Cloth, Leather, or Mail armor pieces, even if their stats are better. You gain a significant amount of Intellect by wearing full Mail armor, and Intellect is your most valuable stat.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Spirit
  3. Haste to soft cap
  4. Mastery
  5. Haste beyond soft cap
  6. Critical Strike

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Resto Shaman as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Spirit is the primary mana regeneration stat for all healers in Cataclysm, with MP5 being removed. The amount of Spirit you actually need comes down to how comfortable you feel with your mana pool. Once you get to the point where you are not burning through your mana on a typical fight, you may want to consider dropping some Spirit in favor of throughput stats.

Haste is the most valuable throughput stat for Resto Shamans up until the point where you reach one of the soft caps. Even then, Haste is almost as strong as Mastery since it not only speeds up your casting time, it also speeds up the time on your global cooldown, allowing you to cast your instant spells faster as well. The downside of prioritizing Haste is that it increases your throughput by speeding up the timeline of your spells and not by adding anything to them, so you’ll be healing more but also spending your mana faster.

The soft caps are the points at which Haste will give you an extra tick from your HoTs over their duration. Here are those caps and the HoTs they affect:

When calculating your Haste, keep in mind that you will have 5% Haste from your Wrath of Air Totem. The 12.5% cap will be the standard for Phase 1, with the next two caps being more of a target for higher gear levels. You need about 128 Haste Rating for every 1% increase. It takes 916 Haste Rating to reach 12.5% with one of the raid buffs above (780 if you’re a Goblin).

Mastery is your next best stat once you have reached the soft cap for your Haste. Each point of Mastery improves your Deep Healing, increasing the healing you do on targets whose health is lower. This makes Mastery especially strong in difficult progression content when there is plenty of urgent healing to be done. Compared to Haste, Mastery offers a direct increase to your output without requiring you to spend more mana.

Critical Strike is almost as good for Resto Shamans as Mastery, and may even surpass it in easy content when healing requirements are low, but at that point you don’t really need the extra throughput anyway. You’ll generally want to replace your Crit gear or Reforge it to something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your healing output.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Restoration Shamans will want to Reforge any Critical Strike on their gear to Spirit or Haste. Once you are comfortable with your mana, you can even start to Reforge some of your Spirit to throughput stats.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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