Shaman Healing Blows My Mind

So, my “all growed up” baby shaman finally reached 1k gold and got herself a resto spec.  I’m not abandoning elemental just yet, but I did find myself wanting to explore healing outside the druid class.

Granted, I’m not 80 yet, only 73.  So I don’t have all the spiffy gear, but I have almost all the spiffy talents.  And some of the glyphs.

First Reaction


This is totally different. 

Incredibly exciting and totally different. It’s exhilirating, actually, I’m on edge.  Because I have no clue what I’m really doing, and yet…I’m doing it!

I’m speaking from mainly a tree druid perspective, with maybe a little bit of the disc healing I did on my baby baby priest.  So I’m used to bouncing around the room with HoTs or shields and passively healing or mitigating.

First Group as Resto: DTK

The boomkin died in the first black hole, but the only one that was my fault was the warlock died in King Dred.  I could have casted LHW and maybe she would have lived (not topped off, but living still), but I paused and went for CH instead.  Oops.  But the boomkin brezzed her (and had given me an Innervate earlier when Mana Tide was on CD), and they were both nice about it.

Lessons Learned

  • Earth Shield is kinda like PW:Shield + Rejuv…I think

It’s got a certain amount of time and a certain amount of charges (PW:S absorbs a certain amount, but also lasts for only so long), but it heals over time in ticks (Rejuv).

Earth Shield needs to be click-casted on Vuhdo.  I kept clicking the totem timer wayyyy too much.  Either this or rearrange Vuhdo + TotemTimers so it’s not annoying.

  • I overheal too much, and it sucks my mana.

Druid mana, oh man, druid mana is like infinite most times.  Shaman mana is…actually a limited resource.  I dropped my Mana Tide totem early on, and it surprised me, since I’ve heard of MT as a mini-Innervate.

My druid almost NEVER uses her Innervate. o.O  However, I’ve noticed I overheal on my tree, too.  Maybe it doesn’t matter in 5mans, but it’s probably why I won’t raid with Conspiracy on Ama.

Right now, my LHW hits for about 2.5k.  I kept casting when the tank was only down about 1.5k.  I toned it down towards the end, started waiting until he was more -2k before I started to cast a heal.  I kept having more mana by the end of pulls after I did this, so I’m guessing it’s good.  (However, I also started using Mana Stream instead of Healing Stream.)

But waiting to heal, well…I was doing nothing a lot.  Should I DPS?  Or just save my mana and /dance with the tank?

  • I forgot about Riptide.  I also forgot to refresh my Water Shield and my Earthliving Weapon halfway through the instance.

I put it on my bar and then I went and never used it. /facepalm.

I facepalmed because I didn’t notice either self-buff-enchant-thing had fallen off until we were almost to the last boss.  I was SO GOOD at refreshing both my personal shield & my weapon when I was rocking elemental.

Also, the Shields Up! addon I had been using…o.O it changes when you go resto!  There’s the name of my Earth Shield target and then two numbers…“Omg, what do the numbers mean?!!” was my first thought.  Of course, this only occurs in combat (so far), so it freaked me out a little.

My personal solution to “refreshing shit I need” is either a color change via Vuhdo or a Power Aura.  Maybe both.

  • Chain Heal is NOT “Wild Growth for Shamans.”

I can tell, it’s going to take me a few dungeons to master this one.

See, WG is easy to visualize.  You pick a person, and then draw a circle in your mind and try to get as many people as possible inside that circle.  Soon it becomes cake to pick the person in the middle.  Sometimes you get to be the middle — like a 5man with 2 ranged, you use yourself so you can hit everybody.

Chain Heal?  Nuh-uh. It’s totally different.

I was in a group with a pally tank, a rogue, a warlock, and a moonkin.  2 ranged, so on a tree I go split the difference and WG myself and everybody typically gets splashed.  I tried it with CH, and it would hit one other person if it bounced at all.  However, it’s pretty spiffy for melee near the tank, let me tell you.  That rogue got healed with CH for most of the instance.

WG is predictable: if I cast it on a melee, it’s going to hit the people in melee range.  If I cast it on me, it’ll hit ranged, and depending on where I’m standing, it’ll hit some of the melee.  I think Chain Heal is confusing me because I don’t really know (yet?) where it will bounce.

  • Nature’s Swiftness is a familiar cooldown, but Tidal Force isn’t.

When am I supposed to pop Tidal Force? Do I need to make a macro for it?

I feel like I need to switch up my UI a bit. My buffs, like totems, for example, are more centralized in what I need to pay attention to.

Second Group: Nexus

Warrior tank, ret pally, rogue, mage.  Only my second time healing as a shaman and I got complimented on my healing! /claps /squee Also, we had a newbie ret paladin who tanked just a little bit at the beginning.  She died a few times, but it was all good.  I’m getting better at mana management, I think, though I’m still going kind of OOM every few pulls.

Things I think I did better:

  • I keybound Earth Shield to right click on Vuhdo.
  • I also redid my interface a little, to center my action bars around my totem timers, and then arranging Vuhdo and my cast bars so they weren’t in the way of each other, but still not blocking the screen.
  • I waited a little bit to start casting in 2k chunks.
  • I remembered to use Riptide.
  • I also figured out the Shields Up! numbers: the left/blue one was the number of charges on my Water Shield, the right number was the number of charges on my Earth Shield.  Now if only I can get a big enough number to remember when Earthliving Weapon falls off.
  • 2 melee made chain heal easy, plus the mage got in close a couple of times.  I’ve also had it bounce off me, so maybe it is actually possibly to use myself as a bounce-positioner!  Chain Heal also does more on the first cast, then less on each bounce.  It’s not like WG where everybody who’s hit gets the same amount.  So I learned to cast it on the person I wanted to heal the most out of the cluster.
  • I almost used Nature’s Swiftness on Keri.  But then I died because I was typing out “jump” to the newbie ret pally, and of course, I got shackled right after.  /dumb.  But I reincarnated and dropped Mana Tide and potted up quick, and we killed her! 😀
  • I learned in the Keri and the Telestra (mage chick) fights that shamans suck for healing while moving. I mean, Riptide and that’s like…it.  Bwuh.  As a bouncy tree, this is depressing.

Things I think I need more work on:

  • I don’t totally understand the relations between the healy buffs yet. Like how Nourish is made stronger by how many HoTs you have?  Yeah, I don’t know if Ancestral Fortitude does anything like that, but I don’t really understand what it does ANYWAY.  Besides heal stuff, yeah, I got that.
  • Chain Heal. It’s still more guessing than me confidently casting it.  WG is almost gut-cast now; I hope I can get to some level like that with CH.
  • Mana management. Even though I know I’m below cap level so I am probably supposed to run out of mana, but still, it’s something to get in the habit of doing.
  • Learning what my CDs do.  Specifically that Tidal Force one.
  • I might move my action bars and totem timers to the right and move Vuhdo down into the center bottom.  But I do like Vuhdo being near the middle of the screen because it forces me to pay attention to crap I’m in versus getting tunnel vision.
  • Figure out a Power Auras or my weapon enchant. Or find a suitable position for the TotemTimers tracker that doesn’t fully annoy me.


I LOVE shaman healing so far. Yeah, I’m only a few dungeons in, and yeah, maybe I’m not so great, but ohmigawd, this stuff is FUN, people.

I’ll likely be scouring some shaman blogs to read up on this stuff.  Particularly looking for information about the spells shamans use and some use with healing with Vuhdo.  Gear, pffffft, that can come later in 7 levels.

Shaman Healing Blows My Mind

13 thoughts on “Shaman Healing Blows My Mind

  1. Glad to see you’re liking the world of the Shammy. 😀

    Chain Heal always goes to the next person in range of the target (12.5 yards, which continues to amaze me how much reach that is) that has the lowest health. So if the tank is at 50%, a rogue is at 60% and a DK is at 80%, and you CH the tank, it’ll go to the rogue next, then the DK. Try to always cast it on the lowest person and then let the spell figure out the rest.

    Mana Issues: Water shield + Improved Water Shield & Tidal Waves talent + Riptide (for Tidal Waves proc) + LHW = Much larger flow of incoming mana. While Chain Heal is fun, it’ll suck mana dry. Kicking off some of those Water Orbs with some boosted crits for LHW will help. (My tip for remembering the Water Shield? After healing everybody, tap my Water Shield hot key. Every time. Regardless of how many orbs I still have. It doesn’t cost anything to cast, so why not? Just make sure you’re doing it every break in heals you get. Less you might need that GCD)

    As for Tidal Force? Tidal Force + Natures Swiftness + HW macro = Great Panic Button. Mine is actually a big red button off to the side of my bars.

    As for Keri and Telestra – Healing Stream totem. It works wonders in those fights.

    Welcome to the world of Shaman Healz! 😀

    1. I now have a TF+NS+HW panic button, thanks! I think I might want a TF+NS+CH one, too, but I’m not sure yet. I’m only in 5mans.

      Once I hit 80 and now that I’m a) acquiring good gear and b) have some idea of what heal to throw out, I’m not losing mana as much. But I did find refreshing my water shield when I can, no matter if I have 4 charges or 1, that really does help.

      Thanks a bunch! 😀

  2. I agree about tidal force + ns + heal = OH CRAP button. I have 2 macros for this. One is TF+NS+HW and one is TF+NS+CH (because sometimes there’s a few people who need immediate help).

    As for going from druid to shaman… I just couldn’t do it. That says a lot since resto shaman was my main all through BC. But I couldn’t handle being “powerless” to do much, short of pre-casting, until someone actually took damage. That’s why I am a druid/discpriest.

    Power auras is really useful for water shield and riptide off cooldown, though I’m not sure how to do it for a weapon enchant either. Though honestly, the weapon enchant shouldn’t fade too terribly often, so the sprong “weapon enchant faded” should clue you in. I’m not quite sure whether the “sprong” and message I get is from totem timers or shields up, as I use both.

    Now some shaman power auras stuff:

    And some shaman spell etc guides linked here:

    And some vuhdo guides (though non shaman specific):

    (scroll down a little for the vuhdo section)

    1. Thank you so much for the guide linkage. I’ve been using a bunch of those.

      It is different trying to heal after the bar goes down, not before, and I find myself casting Riptide a lot like I would Rejuventation, even though it’s more of a Regrowth (heal + heal over time), just instant. But I think it’s helpful because I know to let Riptide do its job, and then I can begin to gauge how much damage will/might be incoming so I can pop the right heal just as it comes in. I’m still too early and too late most of the time. 😀

      I got the weapon enchant to work, finally. I think I just hadn’t checked “invert” or some option.

  3. My Horde main was a resto shaman at the beginning of WotLK. It was a lot of fun at first. It was much different than druid healing. However, as I played it more, got better gear and then they buffed Chain Heal to a ridiculous amount, I found it got less fun. Plus, being a shaman doesn’t allow me to run and jump around the field like a spaz while tossing out heals, which I dislike.

    Tidal Force is something I never figured out. I think I ended up dropping it from my spec after a while, as I never really found it could be used to save the day.

    1. I do miss my jumpy tree. But I’ve found that busting out Fire Nova is fun, so it makes me more focused on totem placement better (so I can drop all 4 such that the fire totem is in the middle of tanking).

      Chain heal, at the moment, is the best giggle I get out of healing. It’s annoying when people move as I cast it, such that I only get one link off.

      But then they make up for it when a melee gets knocked back and halfway through the knockback he gets in range of some other melee and I get the full 3 links. 😀

  4. Right, I am preparing a Vuhdo for resto shamans post, but here is a quick summary of how I have my keybinds for Vuhdo

    1) Left click = Lesser Healing Wave (use shift to make it BIIIIG Healing Wave)
    2) Right click = Chain Heal
    3) Mouse wheel – up=one purge type spell and down= the other
    4) Middle/Mouse wheel click = Riptide

    I use the ‘buff monitor’ functions for earthshield, although it can get fiddly because I also use totem timers. This means when it falls off, if I click on the assigned guy it will autocast earthshield on the guild.

    I’m really bad at using those lovely cooldowns. They tend to sit on my bar and not get used ><

    It is really fun – I adore switching roles now, although Elemental will remain my first love.

    1. Elemental is totally fun, I just practice more out of dungeon for that. As a result, I have questing ele gear and the better dungeon resto gear, so I want a bit morroe gear on both sets before I start checking boths heals or dps for the dungeon option.

      I don’t click-heal on Vuhdo, though. I mean, Earth Shield is right click for me (because RC was PW:S on my baby priest), and I have my cleanses normally set up for shift-clicks (L = poisons & diseases / R = curses from my druid, but on shammy it’s the same spell for both).

      I normally target and then press a key to heal. I’ve tried click-healing a lot on my druid and never found it comfortable, but who knows, maybe shammy healing is different enough to make it work.

  5. One trick to shaman healing is to always be positioned such that you don’t have to move, since, as you’ve discovered, there’s not a lot you can do on the move. Still, with a decent amount of haste (900+) LHW’s cast time is really quite short so maybe you could stop for a second if there’s time.

    Chain Heal. Um, dunno about Vuhdo but Grid has a plugin that can show you which raid members are within a certain range of each other, so you get a better idea of where to aim your green laser heal. Other than that, after a time you get good at eyeballing it (zooming out a lot and having your camera more overhead helps here).

    Shields Up: really useful.

    Ancestral Fotitude: pretty much the same as a priest’s Inspiration. Were you thinking of Ancestral Awakening instead? That’s the one that when you crit heal, it then also heals the lowest % health party/raid member for 30% of the critted heal amount. The effect isn’t instant though – the AA heal usually hits about a second after the original one (even though the tooltip says it happens instantly). You get used to expecting it though, and can plan your next heal accordingly.

    Earthliving Weapon falling off: I’m not very familiar with Power Auras, but can’t you set it to show an aura when you DON’T have a buff? If so, just set it to stick up a big green pulsating graphic when EW falls off. Or do what I do and just refresh it out of habit every 5 minutes.

    Tidal Force: is that the one with the crit bonus that has 3 charges and it gets less per charge? I don’t think I’ve ever used that. Guess it makes sense to combine it with NS+HW (or CH), but the cooldown is awkardly long.

    Mana management: gets easier at 80 with some T9 gear etc. Gem for intellect rather than MP5 if you can, though, since it also gives you a bit of crit and, with the Nature’s Blessing talent, also makes your heals bigger.

    Other things to note: spamming water shield relentlessly is a great way to annoy people in your raids.

    Also, don’t forget about the Tidal Waves effect you get when you cast Riptide or CH. Moar crit for LHW, greatly reduced cast time for HW.

    1. Thanks for the tips!

      Vuhdo now has a cluster function that you can make show up with HoT Icons, and it’ll show people within the range of the person with a number.

      I think it’s Ancestral Fortitude I was thinking of. I was looking at the buffs I cast on my target (I have a separate frame for those), and it’s the yellow & red flower-looking buff icon.

      I got my weapon enchant to work for PowerAuras so that it shows a big icon with a rune thingy around it when Earthliving falls off. I also have clearcasting & Tidal Waves with their durations and stacks, and have gotten to the point of juggling so that Riptide or CH is next if I don’t see the TW icon on my screen.

      1. That flower icon thing sounds like the Earthliving proc – a small HoT you apply randomly after a heal (20% chance IIRC) just by having the Earthliving enchant on your weapon. I think Ancestral Fortitude has a sort of blue-grey icon, can’t remember though.

  6. Spiff says:

    I love Power Auras on my resto shaman! One thing that helps me is to match the color of the alert with the color of the spell icon, e.g. the “Gift of the Naaru is available” graphic is orange, the “Earthliving Weapon has expired” graphic is green. Also I have alerts for spells on my left-hand hotbar appear to the left of me, and right-hand hotbar spells appear on the right. Surprisingly this helps even though I use keybinds instead of clicking 🙂

    1. Power Auras is awesome on pretty much any toon, I swear! 😀

      I use similar colors as well. Earthliving is green versus Flametongue’s orange, but they’re the same icon, because they’re both weapon enchants. I have a blue shield around my ShieldsUp! number for when my water shield is about to fall off.

      I also have some Auras similar to my other toons. For example, I borrowed the Innervate Aura off my druid for when I get Innervated or a Mana Tide is dropped. The proc I get off the t9 totem Relic is a haste proc, so it has the same Aura and animation as my Eradication proc on my warlock (except it’s blue, not purple).

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