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[WoD] Restoration Shaman Changes

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The Giant Resto Shaman Changes Thread


This thread is the official Shaman section thread devoted to tracking known changes in Resto Shaman mechanics, spells, and talents. We're going to track the interesting changes in particular; talents are top of the list.


Contributions to the list are welcome, just comment below!


You can find the Elemental version of this thread here:

[WoD] Elemental Shaman Changes


And you can find the Enhancement version of this thread here:

[WoD] Enhancement Shaman Changes


If you have covered any of the below on your blog, and would like a link or think you deserve Theorycrafting credit, simply post below or send a pm to Stoove.


The changes are laid out as follows;


  1. Alpha Level 100 Talent Additions
  2. Other Talent Changes
  3. Levelling Perks (91-99)
  4. General Healing Changes
  5. Restoration Specific Changes
  6. Removed Spells
  7. Other Changes to Resto Shaman Abilities
  8. Other Resources
  9. Frequently Asked Questions




L100 Alpha Talents

Revealed at Blizzcon were the new talents for Shaman which will be acquired at level 100. They have been covered by; Stoove in his blog Talented Shaman in WoD (original Blizzcon Alpha), and Vixsin on Life in Group 5.


1. Rainstorm - Condensation Totem

Condensation Totem - 1 minute 15 sec duration, 30 sec cooldown.
Summons a Water Totem that collects 25% 5% of all overhealing, and grants it to the Shaman as Spell Power towards their next Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Chain Heal, Riptide, or Healing Surge. 
Known Features
  • This talent does not allow exponential spellpower gain.
  • It is possible (theoretically) to use Chain Heal to gain the equivalent of over 120k spellpower from this talent [out of date - maths done with the 25% version].
  • The amount of spellpower gained depends heavily on your spell choice, and on overhealing.
  • The talent is likely to scale very strongly with stats, making it a highly attractive late-expansion talent.
2. Storm Elemental Totem
5 min cooldown
Summons an Air totem which calls forth a Greater Storm Elemental, which hurls gusts of wind at the caster's enemies. Each gust does damage to the enemy, and then heals allies within 15yds for 100% of the damage dealt, split evenly.
Known Features


  • We don't know of anyone who has theorycrafted this talent yet.


3. Reach of the Elements - High Tide
Chain Heal also bounces to all targets affected by Riptide and no longer diminishes with each bounce.
Known Features
  • The number of extra bounces will be capped at three regardless of Glyph of Riptide.
  • Chain Heal will pick its regular targets and then additionally up to three Riptide targets; (Usual) + (Up to 3 RT targets); players will not get two bounces.
  • You will still always want to cast Chain Heal on a damaged Riptide target.



Other Talent Changes


Echo of the Elements




Your spells and abilities have a chance to trigger Echo of the Elements. Echo of the Elements causes your next short cooldown spell or ability;
Riptide, Healing Rain, Purify Spirit
to not incur its cooldown.


Known Features

  • This will allow you to cast two Healing Rains simultaneously. (The rule for one-HR-at-a-time has been removed).


  • Dayani originally covered this change and some of its consequences (regarding double Healing Rains and extra Riptides) in her blog post "Double Your HR, Double Your Fun".


Primal Elementalist


Known Features

  • Now interacts with Storm Elemental.


  • We don't know of anyone who has theorycrafted this talent yet.


Ancestral Guidance


Known Features

  • Replicates 20% of all damage and healing (down from 40% damage and 60% healing).
  • This is a significant reduction to the power of Ancestral Guidance for Restoration.



  • 4/4/14 - Updated with the changes to talents announced since the Blizzcon Beta.
  • 6/4/14 - Added in modifications to existing talents.
  • 19/4/14 - Added in change to AG.
  • 23/4/14 - Corrected cooldown and time values for Condensation Totem.

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Levelling Perks

Levelling perks are modifications which you will gain as you level between 91 and 99. They add functionality to some of your spells. We're going to split them into three categories - Direct Healing, Indirect Healing and Non-Healing perks.


They have been covered by: Vixsin on Life in Group 5.


Direct Healing

  • Improved Chain Heal - Increases the healing on the primary target of your Chain Heal spell by 50%.
  • Improved Earthliving Weapon - Increases the direct heal from using Unleash Elements with Earthliving Weapon by 50%.
  • Improved Healing Wave - Increases the healing from Healing Wave by 20%.
  • Improved Healing Surge - Increases the healing from Healing Surge by 20%.
  • Enhanced Unleash Elements - Unleash Elements causes you to gain 30% movement speed for 4 seconds.

Indirect Healing


  • Improved Riptide - Reduces the cooldown of Riptide by 1 sec.
  • Improved Healing Rain - Increases healing done to targets in your Healing Rain by 10%.
  • Improved Tidal Waves - Increases the cast speed reduction and critical strike chance of the Tidal Waves effect by 10%.
  • Improved Reincarnation - Increases the health you Reincarnate with by an additional 50%.


  • Improved Lightning Bolt - Increases the damage dealt by Lightning Bolt by 20%.

Thanks to MMO Champion for reporting these.



  • The boost to the initial target heal means you will always want to target someone on low health.
  • The change to Tidal Waves will allow us to use Unglyphed Riptide rotations much more easily.


  • Stoove covered how Chain Heal behaves on average on his blog.
  • Dayani looked at Chain Heal's initial bonus in her "mini" post on her blog.



General Changes

Several huge changes were announced for Shaman in the 6.0 Alpha Patch Notes update [Blizzard Official Post](4/4/2014). However, the biggest changes are all-round changes, and those that affect Resto Shaman are noted below;


Stat Squish


Item levels are changing in Warlords of Draenor, so you will have a lower amount of damage and healing going out, as well as lower health. This applies universally, and creatures' power will change accordingly.


Healthpool Increases


At the same time (for PvP reasons), health pools are doubling after the item level squish. Healing and damage are not doubling. This is intended to make PvP less bursty, but it will have consequences for PvE as well and is expected to push us towards a more Triage style of healing.


Scaling Changes


Healing spells will no longer have a base healing; the heal will be entirely determined by your Spellpower.

  • Healing will now scale roughly in line with the scaling of health pools as WoD goes on, so the healing styles should be less liable to change between tiers.
  • This will make theorycrafting somewhat simpler.

Mana regen is being changed; healers will have a higher base mana regen but a lower increase in regen with Spirit.

  • We will see a more stable style throughout the raid tiers of Warlords of Draenor. This is supposed to mean no more thirsty healers in the first tier and spam in the final tier!
  • Spirit's value is expected to decrease as a result of this change.

Intellect will no longer increase your Critical Strike chance.

  • This will make theorycrafting somewhat simpler.

Haste Breakpoints


Haste breakpoints are being removed! Instead of steps in healing at specific values, the extra healing you gain from HoT spells will scale linearly with Haste. This removes the gearing strategy of hitting a specific Haste breakpoint.


  • Periodic damage and healing effects now dynamically recalculate their damage, healing, Critical chance, multipliers, and period on every tick.
  • Recasting periodic damage over time and healing over time effects that are already on the target now extends those effects to up to 130% of the normal duration of the effect.




The changes have been well covered by;


Comment below with your thoughts and they could end up on this list!






  • 4/4/14 - Added the general changes section with Dev Watercooler and Patch 6.0 Alpha Patch Notes information.
  • 23/4/14 - Added more resources for discussion.

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Restoration Specific Changes


In addition to the general changes, talent additions, and perks, there have been some significant changes to Restoration Shaman in the latest 6.0 Alpha Patch Notes.


Spells Removed

Some of our spells have been removed, for different reasons. Firstly, we will cover the changes to our mainstay heals.


Main Heals


Healing Wave has been removed, and Greater Healing Wave has been renamed Healing Wave. The healing style has been changed to reflect a general choice between High Efficiency (slower) healing and Low Efficiency (more immediate and higher throughput);

  • Shaman Higher Efficiency: Healing Wave, Riptide, Healing Rain
  • Shaman Higher Throughput: Healing Surge, Chain Heal
  • Healing Wave will cost approximately half that of Healing Surge, but do roughly the same healing.
  • Smart Heals will now randomly pick their targets, prioritizing players over pets and also prioritizing damaged players over those at full health.
  • There is no longer a cap on the number of Healing Rains which the Shaman can place (HR still has a cooldown).

Other Spells


Spells in general have been "pruned" - abilities are being removed in order to reduce button bloat and to improve the feel of how some classes play.


Changes to healing abilities;

  • Ancestral Awakening has been removed.
  • Healing Wave has been removed.
  • Greater Healing Wave has been renamed to Healing Wave.
  • Healing Tide Totem is now available only to Restoration Shaman.


  • Flametongue Weapon is no longer available to Restoration Shaman.
  • Frostbrand Weapon is now available only to Enhancement Shaman.
  • Lava Burst now replaces Primal Strike for Elemental and Restoration Shaman.
  • Magma Totem is now available only to Enhancement Shaman.
  • Rockbiter Weapon has been removed.
  • Stormlash Totem has been removed.
  • Water Shield is now available only to Restoration Shaman and replaces Lightning Shield.



Discuss what you think about these changes in the comments below, and the best points will be added to the list here!


These changes have been well covered elsewhere by; .




  • Stoove began to cover "average healing" of Chain Heal and its interaction with Mastery on his blog.
  • Vixsin looked at the Resto toolkit after spell removal on Life in Group 5.


Other Resto Changes & Additions


There have been numerous other changes to Resto Shaman abilities;


Healing Spells

  • Chain Heal now heals each chain target for 15% less than the previous target.
  • Unleash Life no longer increases the healing from Healing Rain but its direct healing has been increased by 100%.
  • Healing Stream Totem healing has been reduced by 50%.
  • Earth Shield now heals for 40% of Spell Power, rather than 2,554 + 62.3% of Spell Power.
  • Glyph of Chaining no longer adds a 2 sec cooldown to Chain Heal.
  • Tidal Waves now grants 30% Crit chance to Healing Surge and 20% Cast Time reduction to Healing Wave (down from 30%).
Mana Cost Changes
  • This section was removed because it's honestly easier to just look the information up on WoWhead.

Other Spells

  • Glyph of Totemic Recall now only increases the mana returned from recalling your totems by 25% (down from 75%).
  • Mana Tide Totem now increases the Spirit of allies by 50% (down from 200% of the Shaman's Spirit). It remains unchanged (200%) for the Shaman activating the totem, and it still ignores temporary Spirit buffs.
  • Earthliving Weapon now increases healing done by 5% (instead of increasing healing Spell Power by a flat amount).
  • Conductivity is no longer triggered by damaging spells for Restoration Shaman, or by healing spells for non-Restoration Shaman.
  • Telluric Currents - Your attunement to natural energies causes your Lightning Bolt spell to restore 1.25% of your maximum mana instead of costing mana.
  • Earth Elemental deals 90% less Auto Attack damage but generates 1000% more threat.
  • Tidal Waves now reduces the cast time of Healing Wave by 20% (down from 30%).
New Passive Effects
  • Mastery Attunement (New) - You gain 5% more of the Mastery stat from all sources. Shaman - Restoration Spec.



Discuss what you think about these changes in the comments below, and the best points will be added to the list here!


These changes have been well covered elsewhere by;




  • We do not know of any theorycraft on this subject yet. Let us know if there is anything good out there!

Other Useful Resources


Here is a list of other resources which have covered changes in various things so far;


Blizzard Entertainment

MMO Champion


Sentry Totem




  • List of useful resources for Theorycraft, WoD changes, and Resto Shaman in particular.

It's Dangerous to Go Alone

Life in Group 5




  • 4/4/14 - Added Alpha Patch Notes for 6.0.
  • 6/4/14 - Added note on Healing Rain cap change
  • 17/4/14 - Added mana cost changes reported on MMOC
  • 23/04/14 - Added Life in Group 5 to the list of resources
  • 25/4/14 - Added Mana Cost changes and some extra things reported on MMOC.
  • 25/5/14 - Added changes to Earth Elemental and Tidal Waves reported on MMOC



I want my blogpost / theorycraft / newscoverage mentioned here: More than happy to add your link! Get in contact with Stoove via Twitter or pm. The comments are not the place to ask for it, and comments to this effect will be deleted.


Why have you not covered X? Likely because I have missed it. Get in contact with Stoove via Twitter or PM, or comment below!


Why have you not included my point about Y in the summary? The Discussion sections are editorialised by Stoove. It's either because he disagrees strongly, because there isn't room, or because he doesn't think it's important enough. If you disagree, contact him personally - comments below to this effect will be deleted.

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Really looking forward to these changes, resto shammy are going to beast yet again. 

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Personally I'm half-excited, half not. Storm Elemental Totem isn't that attractive to me as another fire and forget cooldown, and I don't really like the idea of a mechanic that encourages overhealing (I prefer Triage models really). The Chain Heal talent will be fun, but again it basically makes Glyphed Riptide mandatory. So they're interesting, but I have concerns about the gameplay that will come from them.

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massive update just happened


I'm actively looking for resources to link to discussing the impact of all the changes. Let me know via PM or on Tiwtter!

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Many update.


Such words.



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I'm going to boost a resto, and I'm wondering what two professions should be added.  I'm hearing that the professions are no longer going to be adding a "benefit" (e.g. Blacksmithing extra sockets).  So, maybe it won't matter?

Edited by bangorme

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I'm going to boost a resto, and I'm wondering what two professions should be added.  I'm hearing that the professions are no longer going to be adding a "benefit" (e.g. Blacksmithing extra sockets).  So, maybe it won't matter?


I don't think it will matter, but I'll be sticking with Jewelcrafting/Mining. It's not optimal now, but it won't matter soon anyway ^__^

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Elemental Blast


Known Features

  • [possible] - Also increases the user's Intellect. (Based on the current entry on Wowhead showing Agility for Enhancement)


  • We don't know of anyone who has theorycrafted this talent yet.

I'd just like to chip in and say that it does this on live, it was an effort on their part to make it more attractive to Enhancement.  I think that change was back in 5.2.  (Given the Maelstrom Weapon-related Draenor Perk, it might get even better, actually.)  Unlikely that they'll ever add Intellect to the Elemental version (it's already great), but I could see an argument made for Resto to increase adoption of the talent.

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Updated with Mana cost changes given by MMOC on 17/4/2014. I'll keep an updated list of mana cost changes from MMOC.

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if they close the gap between the dps even tighter than it already is i wonder if people will complain about healer dps. if anyone gets the chance and could log a fight that opens with hero and has all the heal classes all out going for damage before WoD changes, that might be slightly interesting.


what made me think of it was telluric making LB cost zero mana and return some. might have to throw a few bolts now and then next xpac. 

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I went through Dayani calculations regarding high tide, and she's correct. Though there's something else to it, which is not trivial to see at first glance.

What bothers me the most about averages and healing is that it mostly affects meters, while healing shouldn't be about that. So I tried to poke a few holes in Dayani's results (specifically mythic) by trying nifty stuff.

I started to think about a metric that can provide at least some locality (which the mean doesn't provide at all). My search was quite short and concluded on the median, because really it's a good metric when you want to know what outcome to expect more often (instead of what to expect in the long run). And this is where it got ugly.

To cut a long story short, at 4 RT'ed people, it's a LOT better to CH from RT (unless someone is about to die, and a random heal just doesn't cut it). And it's a significant jump from 3 RT'ed people.

At that specific point something happens, CH from RT'ed coincides the mode and median on 0 RT'ed people for regular jumps, thus leaving another three RT'ed folks to get the CH. If on the other hand you CH from a non RT then the median of people from the RT pool is 1, which means that the other three will get a CH as well. This means that usually in both cases you'll heal 4 RT'ed folks and 3 non RT'ed folks, but in the case where you start from a non RT all you do is loose the 25% bonus. Simple as that.

And another thing, I don't think anything but changing how CH benefits from mastery will ever budge the selection of initial target. Dayani's proposition just moves it to the other extreme of always favoring non RT targets, which is the inverse of the current problem. Making CH carry the deep healing coefficient from the initial target will force thought on choosing the right person to start the CH from.

Edited by lynx
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Interesting result there, though I'd like to see a (clear) description on how you got to that conclusion.


I'll be adding the median heal value to my CHsim tool (thanks for the idea), and I should also be able to give some statistics on whether different strategies like that will affect average n.o. deaths.

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Hey lynx, interesting result!


I of course realise my analysis was pretty superficial, so it's always great to see others with more sophisticated means expand on things. I hope to try to replicate your results and also incorporate some other analysis taking into account varying damage patterns, but there's a lot more that could be done with this and all of it is likely, I think, to show that the Riptide bonus is just too strong to give up in most situations.


I agree that removing the RT bonus just makes for the opposite situation (when you have High Tide talented at least - when you don't, the decision without an RT bonus is just "who is the most injured and will allow the most useful chain jumps?", which I think is a great metric for decision making personally). Most of my analysis was centered on the sense of "WTF?" I got from reading Celestalon's tweets that evening. He suggested that targeting non-Riptided players when High Tide is Talented is their intended best-practice, and that perhaps "the tuning wasn't there yet", so I wanted to look at what the tuning would need to be to get us to that point. The answer was removing the RT bonus entirely. (I probably ought to have shown the graph I made for that conclusion, maybe I'll edit that in.)


**WARNING: what follows below is hypothetical discussion of lynx's suggestion, NOT a description of how things work now!**


The Mastery suggestion is interesting, but I'll have to think about it some before I decide what to think of it. Just thinking aloud/initial impressions now ...


CH = amount a Chain Heal heals for, raw (without Mastery, RT bonus, etc.)

M = Mastery

D(nRT) = Health Deficit of the non-Riptided player

D(RT) = Health Deficit of the Riptided player


CH on a Riptided player = 1.25*(1+MD(RT))*CH

CH on a non-Riptided player = (1+MD(nRT))*CH


For CH(nRT) to win over CH(RT), we're looking at


(1+MD(nRT))CH > 1.25*(1+MD(RT))CH

1+MD(nRT) > 1.25(1+MD(RT))

Divide everything by M and rearrange to get...

D(nRT) > (0.25/M) + 1.25D(RT)


So you'd have to know your Mastery percentage (which is obviously static unless we end up with Mastery procs on trinkets or gear somehow), and then be able to quickly assess the difference in health percentage of the most injured non-Riptided target and the most injured Riptided target to determine which side of the equation this falls on. This would be a complex decision to make mid-fight, although I suppose a sufficiently advanced WeakAura could be written (or an entire mod) that would identify the best player to Chain Heal off of given their health percentages and clustering position.


Here's a graph of the decision-making process when you have 50% Mastery:


The blue-shaded area is the area in which it would be preferable to heal the non-Riptided target over the Riptided target. You're better off targeting the most injured Riptided player if they are under 60%, no matter how low a non-Riptided player is; if the most-injured Riptided player is above 60%, then you have to decide whether the most-injured non-Riptided player is on low enough health to warrant being targeted.


I actually generated data for Mastery levels from 25%-100%, but abandoned my plan of showing you a 3-D graph; Excel is just balls for that. As your Mastery gets higher, the decision shifts more and more towards injured non-Riptided players, but interestingly, a Riptided player on 30% health or less is always going to win even at 100% Mastery. 


This definitely makes targeting interesting, but I think too complex for players to manage without an addon, since it hinges on two variables - the health of the most injured Riptided target, and the health of the most injured non-Riptided target. Perhaps that's fine, and perhaps it is unavoidable that an addon will be written to predict precisely what player to cast Chain Heal on, and I shouldn't worry about it too much. But while I like complexity in decisions, I'm not sure how I feel about this one.


[Edit: I am suddenly filled with dread that this is all wrong, haha, I always get myself turned about with less-than/greater-than thingies. So I just did a double-check, assuming 50% Mastery, a RT target on 80%, and a non-RT target on 20%, and yay! The math predicts that you'd want to target the non-RT on 20%, and so does my graph. Phew. But I can't shake this worry, so feel free to tear this all apart and find my mistakes smile.png

Edited by Dayani
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Yeah, sure.

I'll use the notation of binomial coefficient n choose k as (n, k)
Lets say x people have RT.
When starting from RT'ed the probability for CH to target n RT'ed people (during the regular jump) is:
(19 - max(x-1,0), 3-n)*(max(x-1,0), n)/(19, 3)

For x=4 it becomes:
Pr(n)=(16, 3-n)*(3, n)/(19, 3)

And the CDF is just summing over n:
Pr(n<=N) = Sum(Pr(n), {n,0,N})

So Pr(n<=0) ~= 0.58, and hence the median is n=0 (and the mode is trivially 0 as well).

When starting from non RT'ed, then:
Pr(n)=(15, 3-n)*(4, n)/(19, 3)

So Pr(n<=1) ~= 0.9
And Pr(n<=0) ~= 0.47
And hence the median here is n=1. The mode is still 0, because Pr(1) = Pr(n<=1)-Pr(n<=0) ~= 0.43, which is smaller than Pr(0). But since its probability is quite close to n=1 it's no longer a clearly distinguished mode.

In the same measures as Dayani used for CH power (instead of the amount of people getting it) the median heal is:
9.375 when starting from RT
7.5 when starting from non RT

Going through the post now smile.png

Thanks for the analysis! Math and logic checks out and is solid.


Yeah, I agree that decision making under this model will be a few steps up. And maybe even a tad too much, but as you I really like added complexity which bares benefits/punishment for correct/wrong targeting.

Though I'm not entirely sure whether a dedicated addon/aura will be required to achieve very good results. I'm basing it on current difficulties dps meets when multidoting with snapshots involved (need to track several variables in parallel). There's an addon (affdots) that makes it a lot easier, but it's not mandatory to achieve excellent results, and I never felt gimped for not using it.

Furthermore, clustering algorithms are non trivial and I highly doubt that anything except the most trivial cases can be implemented efficiently in an addon. So if any addon will exist it's only the one which will use the formula you provided, probably without any spatial considerations added on top of it. This still leaves a lot for the player to decide on.

Edited by lynx
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Updated with the latest Alpha patch notes.


Earth Elemental is now going to be a Threat Boss :D

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I see that the active regeneration mechanics have been removed again.


What did you think of them?  Are you sad to see this change go, or was active regen going to be a pain in your eyes?


I was kind of excited to see a lot of these, but the Shaman one seemed a little bit weaker.  Maybe because it did damage.  I'm still sad to see them go.

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I like active mana regen, but proposed model wasn't as good. Regaining mana through dps is fun only if dps is meaningful or the regen is op, which apparently wasn't. Buffing LB probably posed issues with ele and enh specs, while buffing regen doesn't play well with triage model. So I guess that's why the idea was scrapped or going through a redesign.

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      So the question is, do I switch to the 860 ilvl one? It boosts doomhammer from 887 to 890. BUT i loose 10% attack speed. goes from 40% to 30%. Is it worth it? I feel stormstrike proccs alot and the attackspeed is very useful.

    • By RishardExodusBurrell
      I'm maining Resto Druid in Legion and I've been browsing the forums for advice and hints to improve my healing. I've found lots of information here so I thought I'd give back. One thing I failed to see anyone mention in a lot of the threads I read is the Artifact trait Dreamwalker. People were discussing ways to save mana and ways to improve their healing and I feel this accomplishes both. It's passive but I feel if you were to play close attention to making sure you have rejuv on the targets that have wild growth, you'll get much more healing out of those expensive wild growth casts. We all know the SW>WG>Flourish>EoG combo but if you prep your targets with rejuv beforehand, you can get even more healing out of this bread and butter combo. I just wanted to bring more attention to the trait because I didn't see anyone mention it. Also please feel free to leave any other tips you feel aren't being brought up often enough. Thanks guys.
    • By Ludavyk
      Server: Zul'jin - Horde
      Raid Times: 7-10pm EST - T/W
      Celestial Being is recruiting to round out our mythic roster. The core of our team has Mythic experience including top 50 US experience. Mythic experience is preferred, along with current logs. We raid on a brief schedule and expect people prepared to progress.
      Current Needs:
      Priest - All Specs
      Shaman - Elemental/Enhancement
      Druid - Feral
      Paladin - Ret
      Exceptional players of all classes will be considered, feel free to discuss.
      Please contact for more information.