PvP Restoration Shaman Rotation, Cooldowns, & Abilities

wotlk pvp restoration shaman rotation cooldowns abilities

In this section we will be covering PvP rotation in Wrath of the Lich King and discussing your abilities/spells in further detail.

With how Player-versus-Player combat works in World of Warcraft Wrath of The Lich King, we can’t simplify things down to one single-target or one area-of-effect rotation. While in most cases you will be focused on a single enemy or one ally, there will be many times when you will need to work with multiple targets as well, and a rotation won’t be entirely helpful for preparing to deal with these situations.

Player-versus-Player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to PvE content; instead of a defined rotation you should have a set of strategies. PvP requires fast thinking, fast reactions, and adaptability. Unlike the PvE scenarios, the encounters here are not scripted – you can expect anything from your enemy. However, this does not mean their actions can’t be predictable, depending on their situation at the moment (and yours).

The Restoration Shaman is a hybrid caster class – it provides utility and healing effects for its allies, while impairing the enemies by deploying its trademark totems and purging all of their buffs. A Restoration Shaman has to manage all of this while still making sure nobody on their side dies.

In a basic sense, your job will be to support your allied “carries,” creating a perfect environment for them to excel. You have to offer them utility, defenses, and keep their health pools topped at all times, keeping your partner or your group alive.

Two Kinds of Healing Spells

The Restoration Shaman offers the role of a “hybrid” healer because they can make use of direct healing spells, such as Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, and Chain Heal, as well as healing-over-time spells, such as Riptide and Earth Shield (which should be spammed on cooldown for your allies, at all times).

Crucial Cooldowns

This class also has two very powerful cooldowns that are a must for tough situations. The first cooldown is Tidal Force, which increases your critical chance by 60% for the next healing spell you cast (the bonus chance is decreased by 20% for each successful critical cast). The second crucial cooldown is Nature’s Swiftness, which turns your next castable healing spell into an instant cast.

These two cooldowns can make a massive difference in detrimental situations: for example, when your arena partner is at a critically low health or when you are being targeted by a heavy burst.

You can create a macro for panic situations like these. It would look like this:

Panic Button

/cast Tidal Force
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast Healing Wave

This macro can certainly save your life, especially when combined with the Nature’s Guardian talent.


We will now dwell on the crucial part of the Shaman Class – indeed, the trademark of the class itself: its Totems. The Totems offer similar utility to the Auras of the paladin class, the shaman being originally considered paladin’s counterpart. Of course, there will be distinctive differences between their effects.

While you can place each of them individually, you can also make three presets which will come very handy when particular situations come up: this approach will offer the Shaman extreme versatility and lots of ways to counteract the potential threats.

If you want to use effects similar to the ones that come with Auras, you can place the Fire Resistance Totem, Frost Resistance Totem, or Nature Resistance Totem. You can also cast some empowering effects with the Windfury Totem, Strength of Earth Totem, and Flametongue Totem. Finally, some absorption effects are offered by the Tremor Totem and the Grounding totem.

Most of your utility comes from the proper use of Totems, with an exception of Heroism/Bloodlust, Hex, and Wind Shear. Wind Shear is a highly spammable interrupt effect – use it as often as possible. Bloodlust speaks for itself: use it at the beginning of a burst. Finally, Hex is just a form of Polymorph. However, unlike with a mage, it will not regenerate the HP of the target and it will be harder to break.

There are two totems that can be quite important for a Restoration Shaman: the Mana Tide Totem and the Cleansing Totem. The Mana Tide Totem is extremely useful for buffing the entire group, providing huge mana regeneration. It can further be paired up with the Hymn of Hope, which makes for a truly powerful combo. The Cleansing Totem is a very useful addition in case you do not wish to use your GCD (Global Cooldown) to spam Cleanse Spirit.

Speaking of which, Cleanse Spirit is a new addition to the Restoration Shaman that comes from the Wrath of the Lich King era. It comes with a highly desirable instant-cast Cleanse for all the spiritual guides around Azeroth.

Purge Spell

Sure, your job as a healer is to empower your allies, but you can also help out by annoying your enemies. The Purge spell is great for this purpose: this wonderful ability removes two beneficial effects from the target and is highly spam-able – the beautiful thing about it is that you can cast it instantly.

Some Considerations

As we have talked about previously, MP5 is a huge deal. Effective and constant use of Water Shield will mitigate most of your mana problems. Even so, you must always be watchful of your mana pool, especially when fighting against classes that drain it.

Earthliving Weapon should be your choice for the weapon imbue – this will provide a heal-over-time effect in addition to your normal healing spells.

As a healer, you must understand the fact that you will be targeted by the enemy “carries” – that is, the high-damage burst classes. You lack defensive abilities apart from your totems, making you an easier target; the effective use of your Ghost Wolf ability, as well as your Grounding Totem and Stoneclaw Totem will make a difference between impending doom and victory. The word of the game is “KITE” or, better said, “RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN,” when faced with a threat like that. You will need to hide behind something in order to “Line-of-Sight,” using any element of the environment you can get to.


Now that we have explained your abilities, we will cover a summary of your job as a healer:

Your overall approach to any battle should be maintaining a proper distance between you and the enemies, frequently blending in within the caster line while providing utility for everyone around. Depending on the type of PvP scenario you are faced with, you will have to either stand your ground or kite around the environment to assure your victory.

Never forget to place your totems and to provide HoTs and direct heals to your companions.

In arenas, you will have to mostly kite your way around while maintaining your partner’s health at a maximum level. At the same time, you should be purging your enemies and laying down totems, depending on your position. Since there is a lot of running around and exchanging positions in a PvP scenario, you must not forget to replace your totems accordingly.

With proper practice, you will become a true master of nature and a very skilled healer, desired by many players.


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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