Season of Discovery Phase 2 Shaman Healer Build Guide & Best Runes

shaman healer (1)

While the most powerful healer in Classic may be lacking some of its most important tools, Restoration Shamans are still an absolute powerhouse of a healer, with many incredible tools at their disposal. Instead of being the masters of AoE healing they are at 60, we focus on very strong single-target healing and an array of niche situational totems.

Build Summary

Our gameplay loop is fairly simple. We want to keep our totems up, typically Strength of Earth or Stoneskin Totem, maintain Water Shield on ourselves, and be ready to heal any large chunks the tank takes.

Because of the long 3-second (2.5 talented) cast of Healing Wave, we generally need to be casting and canceling our casts a lot of the time. This allows us to quickly heal whenever needed but without the extreme mana cost of just spamming Healing Wave. If you aren’t able to get a Healing Wave out in time, substitute with a Lesser Healing Wave.

We can also take advantage of downranking our Healing Wave, at the cost of Spell Power Coefficient. This can be a vital tool for healing smaller hits and keeping your tank topped to avoid sudden deaths.

Along with this, you want to utilize your Totems effectively. If you have aggro, you can drop Stoneclaw Totem or Earthbind Totem to buy yourself time. During most fights you will want to keep Stoneskin Totem and Healing Stream Totem down, as well as Searing Totem for some damage. If the enemies Fear, throw down a Tremor Totem. If they Poison, throw down a Poison Cleansing Totem. If the damage doesn’t warrant Stoneskin Totem, swap to Strength of Earth Totem for a bit of bonus damage for your melees.

Runes

Chest

Overload

Gives your Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Chain Heal, Healing Wave, and Lava Burst spells a 50% chance to cast a second, similar spell on the same target at no additional cost that causes half damage or healing and no threat.

This is an incredible boost to our Healing Wave output, without costing any mana. Unfortunately, Healing Wave is a pretty big heal, meaning this runs a surprisingly high risk of overhealing your target. On the other hand, any time you would actually need more than one Healing Wave, this can very easily come in clutch.

You can expect this to be even more powerful as the Phases progress and we are given our beloved Chain Heal.

Healing Rain

Selects the area 15 yards around target player, and heals all of target player’s party members within that area for 15 every second.

This is our other option here, replacing the powerful single-target healing brought by Overload with a functional AoE heal. This is placed on top of your target, healing that player’s party members within 15 yards. The low range of 15 yards combined with only effecting your targets party means this does require some specific planning and considerations before casting, but in optimized groups, this can be an incredible tool to drop on an at-risk melee group for passive healing.

Gloves

Water Shield

The caster is surrounded by 3 globes of water, granting 1% of your maximum mana per 5 sec. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, 4% of maximum mana is restored to the caster. This expends one water globe. Only one globe will activate every few seconds. Lasts 10 min. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at any one time.

This slot has no competition, as all the other options are purely for DPS. Water Shield provides us some much-needed mana regeneration, passively giving us 1% of our maximum mana every 5 seconds, even while casting. Additionally, anytime we are hit, even by a stray AoE, we get 4% of our maximum mana back at the cost of one charge.

We always want to have this running, as it is our best way to sustain our mana.

Legs

Earth Shield

Protects the target with an earthen shield, reducing casting or channeling time lost when damaged by 30% and causing attacks to heal the shielded target for 100. This effect can only occur once every few seconds. 3 charges. Lasts 10 min. Earth Shield can only be placed on one target at a time and only one Elemental Shield can be active on a target at a time.

A long-time favorite for Restoration Shamans, Earth Shield gives us a healing option we can cast before damage, instead of after. Unfortunately, this is not shaping up to be incredibly strong in Phase 1, but it is still very valuable if we choose to bring it.

For most situations, you will simply place this on your tank, refreshing it whenever all 3 charges have been used. In rare situations, you may want to place this on yourself or another caster, taking advantage of the 30% pushback protection it provides, instead of just the healing. It is also important to consider that using this on a Shaman tank may cause some friction, especially if they are bringing Water Shield, as they will overwrite each other.

Ancestral Guidance

For the next 10 sec, 25% of your damage is converted to healing on up to 3 nearby party, and 100% of your healing is converted to damage on your most recent Flame Shock target.

This is a bit of an oddball for us. Ancestral Guidance will deal damage to a single target equal to 100% of your healing done. You are able to choose the target yourself with Flame Shock, but it will only deal damage to the target with the newest Flame Shock.

This gives us a very strong DPS burst option, especially with how powerful Healing Wave and Overload are together, but the other Runes in this slot are very valuable, so the choice may not be so easy.

Shamanistic Rage

Reduces all damage you take by 20% and you regenerate mana every second for 15 sec. Mana regenerated per second is equal to 15% of your Attack Power, 10% of your spell power, or 6% of your healing power, whichever value is greatest. Your party and raid members within 40 yards will also receive 20% of the mana you receive this way.

The final option in our most contested slot is another way to regenerate mana, as well as a minor defensive cooldown. Shamanistic Rage regenerates a good amount of mana every second for 15 seconds. The downside is that this mana is based on either our Attack Power, Spell Power, or Healing Power, choosing whichever is highest. In Phase 1 we will not have much of any of these stats, meaning this will give us a very limited amount of mana compared to for example an Enhancement Shaman.

We can get around our low stats by dual-wielding weapons and putting Rockbiter on both, giving us a very significant amount of Attack Power free of charge. Grab this if you need the extra mana for a fight, if not, the other two options will likely be better.

Waist

Power Surge

Each time Flame Shock deals damage, it has a 5% chance to reset the cooldown on Lava Burst and Chain Lightning and make the next Lava Burst, Chain Heal, or Chain Lightning within 10 sec instant. Additionally, you regenerate mana equal to 15% of your Intellect every 5 sec.

The first half of the Power Surge Rune is geared entirely towards Elemental Shaman, providing a chance to reset the cooldown on Lava Burst and Chain Lightning with each Flame Shock tick. The second half of the rune, however, grants massive mana regeneration which will go a long way in allowing you to sustain healing throughout an encounter.

Feet

Spirit of the Alpha

Infuses the target with the spirit of an alpha wolf, increasing all threat generated by the target by 45% for 30 min. Limit 1 target.

Spirit of the Alpha can be a huge quality of life increase for your dungeon or raid team when placed on the main tank. 45% threat generation is absolutely massive, and should ensure that no mobs get the chance to attack anyone but your main tank.

Talent Build

shaman sod talents
Talent Calculator

We start by grabbing both Improved Healing Wave and Tidal Focus. Healing Wave is our primary heal, and these both improve it significantly. After which we grab the non-negotiable talent, Totemic Mastery. This increases our Totems range to 30 yards, allowing us to stand back and out of the fight while still having our totems reach the front line.

As we venture further down the restoration tree we pickup critical abilities such as Nature’s Swiftness, making our next healing spell an instant cast, as well as Mana Tide Totem which regenerates massive mana to yourself and your party.

Totemic Focus and Ancestral Knowledge are both strong talents for helping us sustain mana during a fight, but as we are so limited on points these are both hard to justify. Players looking to do more open-world content may want to consider grabbing Ancestral Knowledge purely so they can grab Improved Ghost Wolf, giving them a 1-second cast mobility option.

Key Spells and Abilities

Healing Wave

This will be your primary healing spell throughout Phase 1. Healing Wave is a slow but strong heal that costs a significant 200 mana per cast before talents. This can and in many situations should be downranked, but it is important to remember that using any rank learned before level 20 comes with a significant penalty to the abilities Spell Power Coefficient, making any +Healing bonuses on your gear less valuable.

Lesser Healing Wave

This is your only other healing spell in Phase 1. This is a fast but weak heal. Spamming this will drain your mana very rapidly, but if you to get a heal out ASAP, this is your best bet.

One major downside of Lesser Healing Wave is that it cannot trigger Overload, making one of our best Runes lose a lot of its value if you are casting this a lot.

Cure Disease & Cure Poison

While we cannot dispel Magic effects, we can dispel both Diseases and Poisons. Make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any debuffed group members, it’ll likely be your job to cure them.

Strength of Earth Totem, Searing Totem, Healing Stream Totem

This trio makes up your standard Totem set and should be placed for every boss fight at the very least. Strength of Earth Totem is not a DPS boost for us, but it is a nice boost to melee players. Searing Totem will passively shoot enemies, dealing a fairly small amount of damage every hit, but some is more than none! It is important to remember that Searing Totem only lasts for 35 seconds, as opposed to the 1-2 minutes of your other Totems. Healing Stream Totem is effectively passive Health Regeneration for your party, and while it isn’t a game changer, we don’t really have anything else to use our Water Totem slot for.

Outside of our default setup, we want to use Earthbind Totem, Stoneclaw Totem, Tremor Totem, Stoneskin Totem, Poison Cleansing Totem, and Frost Resistance Totem where appropriate. These all have their own niche and can be invaluable within that niche.

Example Best-in-Slot

BiS lists can vary drastically from fight to fight, even more so as a Tank. There is rarely a one-size fits all solution for any given dungeon or raid, so you will need to find what suits your needs best.

Below is an example of an all-round Best-in-Slot list that you can tweak to fit your individual needs.

Armor

Weapons

Jewelry

Noteworthy Items

Dreamweave Vest

You can get this chest in Razorfen Downs. It is technically a caster DPS chest, but with high int and spirit this chest piece stands out as a powerful mana regeneration option.

Papal Fez

This helmet drops in Uldaman, but is BoE and should be available on your servers auction house. It has some of the highest mana regeneration stats compared to any other helmet in the game, including a whopping 17 intellect. Remember, on top of intellect providing base mana, it also provides regen through our Power Surge rune.

Race Choice

Troll

Trolls have access to the very powerful Berserking racial, scaling with your current health. As a healer, you may struggle to activate the full 30% boost, but sometimes when the stars align just right you can stand in a puddle of bad just enough to get the full boost. Just remember that you don’t want to actually have to waste heals on yourself just to activate the full boost.

All of the other racial available to Trolls are DPS-oriented, providing nothing for healers.

Orc

Blood Fury is unfortunately only Attack Power in Classic, meaning it gives us nothing as a healer. Additionally, reducing your healing received by 50% can very easily be a death sentence. Even the crowd favorite, Axe Specialization, brings nothing to the table for us as we don’t plan to hit enemies with our weapon if we can help it.

Tauren

Bringing nothing to the table for healers, Taurens have Endurance and War Stomp, both of which are decent racials, but neither is useful for endgame PvE as a healer.

 

About the Author

lettara

World of Warcraft veteran of 18 years. Ex world first raider and rank 1 healer. Slayer of dragons. Lover of cats.
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mischkom
mischkom
6 months ago

how about dual wielding some arbitratry onehanders using rockbiter ? Since AP will be your highest stat, you will almost completely refresh you mana every minute with shamanistic rage.

Kardos
Kardos
Reply to  mischkom
6 months ago

Having 2 +9 healing hammers with rockbiter does restore my mana to nearly 100%

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