Restoration Shaman Healing Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (MoP 5.4)

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General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Restoration Shamans in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Restoration Shaman guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewers

For 10-man raiding, this guide has been reviewed and approved by Zetian, who raids in MCO, one of the most efficient 10-man guilds in the world (top 100 with a 13-hour a week schedule).

For 25-man raiding, this guide has been reviewed and approved by Sonie, one of the best Restoration Shamans in the world, who raids in Method. You can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Nature's Guardian Stone Bulwark Totem Astral Shift
30 Frozen Power Earthgrab Totem Windwalk Totem
45 Call of the Elements Totemic Persistence Totemic Projection
60 Elemental Mastery Ancestral Swiftness Echo of the Elements
75 Rushing Streams Ancestral Guidance Conductivity
90 Unleashed Fury Primal Elementalist Elemental Blast
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents have been designed with your own survival in mind.

  • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian will proc every time you receive a damaging attack that brings you below 30% health (although not more often than every 30 seconds). When Nature's Guardian procs, it immediately reduces your threat towards your attacker and increases your maximum health by 25% for 10 seconds (when the effect ends, your health percentage is preserved).
  • Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem is an Earth totem on a 1-minute cooldown that grants you an absorption shield for 30 seconds.
  • Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift reduces damage taken by 40% for 6 seconds. It has a 90-second cooldown.

Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift usually is the talent of choice here. Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem is viable when you need to absorb small amounts of damage for 30 seconds and Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian can be quite powerful in fights where you often take damage that brings you below 30% health, but its effect has the downside of not being controllable.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents have been designed with crowd control and utility in mind.

  • Frozen Power Icon Frozen Power causes your Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to also root the target for 5 seconds.
  • Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem summons a totem that remains in place for 20 seconds, rooting every enemy within 10 yards for 5 seconds, after which time their movement speed is reduced by 50% (for as long as the totem is up and the enemies are within 10 yards).
  • Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem grants immunity to movement-impairing effects to all party and raid members within 40 yards. The effect lasts 6 seconds. Note that it also removes movement-impairing effects that are already applied on players.

Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem and Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem are the best choices, depending on which one will be the most useful to your raid. Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem is basically a raid-wide version of Hand of Freedom Icon Hand of Freedom and can be useful on many encounters. There often are other classes that can do a better job than Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem, so the opportunities to use it are rather limited.

Frozen Power Icon Frozen Power suffers from only being useful on a single target, but in that particular case (rooting a single enemy) the short cooldown of Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock makes Frozen Power better than Earthgrab Totem.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents have been designed with totem cooldown and mobility in mind.

  • Call of the Elements Icon Call of the Elements, which does not trigger the global cooldown, resets the cooldown of your totems that have a base cooldown shorter than 3 minutes:
  • Totemic Persistence Icon Totemic Persistence allows you to summon a second totem of the same kind, without destroying the first. It does not work with Fire totems and you can only have the effect active on a single kind of totem at a time. This means, that you cannot have, at the same time, two Earth totems and two Water totems.
  • Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection enables you to relocate your totems to a new location. Casting this spell does not trigger the global cooldown.

Call of the Elements Icon Call of the Elements is your default choice here, especially since Patch 5.4 introduced Rushing Streams Icon Rushing Streams as a new Tier 5 talent that you will most likely be taking. Call of the Elements will not work on totems that have a 3-minute cooldown. So you will mostly cast it for Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem, and Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem, or Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem, in order to use them twice in a row.

Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection is very useful for dropping your totems at a different location than where you are standing or when you have to move all the time. For example, if the raid is spread out, you can place Stormlash Totem Icon Stormlash Totem, Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem, or Healing Tide Totem Icon Healing Tide Totem in the middle so that everyone benefits from it.

Totemic Persistence Icon Totemic Persistence can be very useful when you are struggling to find good opportunities to use Mana Tide Totem Icon Mana Tide Totem without losing out on Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem ticks or when you want to have both Healing Tide Totem Icon Healing Tide Totem and Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem up at the same time.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents have been designed to improve your performance.

  • Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery increases your haste by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 90-second cooldown.
  • Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness gives your next Nature spell an instant cast. It has a 1-minute cooldown. Ancestral Swiftness also passively increases your spell haste by 5% and your melee haste by 10%.
  • Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements gives you a chance to duplicate your spells that do direct damage or healing.

Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness is one of two possible choices for Restoration Shamans, as you can combine it with Greater Healing Wave Icon Greater Healing Wave to create an emergency heal (see our Ancestral Swiftness macro). Also, it greatly helps with reaching the higher haste caps.

If you are going for the 12.5% haste cap, you can forsake Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness and choose Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery. Elemental Mastery can be used to give you an additional tick of Healing Tide Totem Icon Healing Tide Totem if you macro those two abilities together. The same applies if you can easily reach the 30% haste cap without the 5% haste from Ancestral Swiftness.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements does not give you enough control over the additional healing that it provides and should therefore be avoided.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents give you a new healing cooldown or a new healing mechanics.

  • Rushing Streams Icon Rushing Streams causes your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem to heal two targets at once for 15% additional healing.
  • Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance causes you to heal up to 3 nearby injured party or raid members for 40% of the direct damage or 60% of the direct healing you do for 10 seconds. This ability has a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Conductivity Icon Conductivity is a passive ability that causes you to increase the duration of Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain when you cast direct healing and damaging spells. However, this cannot cause Healing Rain to last longer than 40 seconds.

Rushing Streams Icon Rushing Streams is the default choice here.

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance should be used when you need a temporary increase to your healing throughput, for example on Malkorok where burst healing is very useful.

Conductivity Icon Conductivity should be used when the raid is stacked and takes constant, moderate or high raid-wide damage, but there are no fights that require this in the Siege of Orgrimmar.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents have been designed to give you a choice between doing more healing or contributing more DPS to your raid.

  • Unleashed Fury Icon Unleashed Fury upgrades your Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements by making it further increase the effectiveness of your next single-target heal by 50%. Technically, it applies a buff on yourself, Unleashed Fury Icon Unleashed Fury, which increases the efficiency of your next single-target heal by 50%. It is different than Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life, which Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements applies on yourself. If you combine the two effects (i.e., if you cast your next single-target spell on the same target as Unleash Elements), your next single-target heal will be 95% more powerful.
  • Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist causes your Earth Elemental Totem Icon Earth Elemental Totem and Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem to deal 80% more damage. They become regular pets (although they are not permanent) with abilities.
    • The Earth Elemental automatically casts Angered Earth Icon Angered Earth, Pulverize Icon Pulverize, and Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin. If you instruct it to, it will channel Reinforce Icon Reinforce on you, which will decrease the damage you take by 20% and increase the healing you do by 10%.
    • The Fire Elemental automatically casts Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast, Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova, and Immolate Icon Immolate. If you instruct it to, it will channel Empower Icon Empower on you, which will increase the damage you deal by 5% and increase the healing you do by 10%.
  • Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast is on a 12-second cooldown and will enable you to maintain a 66% uptime on a buff that changes randomly each time you refresh it: +3500 Critical Strike Rating, +3500 Haste Rating, or +3500 Mastery Rating. For Enhancement Shamans, the buff can also be +3500 Agility. The ability also deals a bit of damage every time you use it.

Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist is the only real choice here. The Reinforce Icon Reinforce and Empower Icon Empower buffs are extremely good. Make sure to use macros to ensure high uptime on these buffs.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

Glyph of Healing Stream Totem Icon Glyph of Healing Stream Totem adds a damage reduction component to your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem spell, which can be useful if your raid will be taking Fire, Frost, or Nature damage when you need to use Healing Stream Totem. This glyph is recommended for so many fights that it could be considered to be a mandatory glyph.

For your other glyphs, you will most often choose from the following list.

In addition, there are several major glyphs that can improve your healing throughput (or your DPS) in very specific situations.

  • Glyph of Cleansing Waters Icon Glyph of Cleansing Waters causes you to also heal the target for 4% of your maximum health after dispelling a harmful Magic or Curse effect. This glyph will be useful when you have to decurse or dispel players.
  • Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem Icon Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem reduces the cooldown and duration of your Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem by 50%. This means that your Fire Elemental Totem will have a duration of 30 seconds (down from 1 minute) and a cooldown of 2 minutes and 30 seconds (down from 5 minutes). This glyph may be situationally useful in a fight that does not allow you to DPS uninterrupted for 1 minute. Prior to Patch 5.4, this glyph was more potent, because it gave your Fire Elemental Totem a 3-minute cooldown, allowing you to line it up with other cooldowns.
  • Glyph of Grounding Totem Icon Glyph of Grounding Totem turns Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem into a damaging ability that reflects a harmful spell back to its caster.
  • Glyph of Healing Wave Icon Glyph of Healing Wave causes your casts of Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave to also heal you for 20% of the healing they do. This glyph might be useful early on in the expansion when your mana regeneration will too low to enable you to spam anything else than Healing Wave.
  • Glyph of Telluric Currents Icon Glyph of Telluric Currents restores 2% of your mana when you cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt. Note that thanks to your Spiritual Insight Icon Spiritual Insight passive ability, your Lightning Bolt will never miss. This glyph is mostly useful when you want to deal a lot of damage on the boss.
  • Glyph of Totemic Recall Icon Glyph of Totemic Recall causes Totemic Recall Icon Totemic Recall to return the full mana cost of any recalled totems. This can be very useful to recall your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem for a free totem. It is also good practice to use this glyph to call and recall your Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem and Earth Elemental Totem Icon Earth Elemental Totem. Finally, if your legendary meta gem procs while there is nothing to heal, you can use Magma Totem Icon Magma Totem and later recall it for a free 12,660 mana.

Finally, there are major glyphs that bring more utility to your spells.

  • Glyph of Capacitor Totem Icon Glyph of Capacitor Totem reduces the charging time of your Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem by 2 seconds. This means that it will stun all enemies within 8 yards after 3 seconds (instead of 5 seconds, without the glyph). This can be useful if a pack of enemies needs to be controlled rapidly.
  • Glyph of Ghost Wolf Icon Glyph of Ghost Wolf makes you less susceptible to movement-hindering effects while in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf form. This glyph can be useful in fights where you have to travel through areas that slow your movement speed.
  • Glyph of Healing Stream Totem Icon Glyph of Healing Stream Totem adds a damage reduction component to your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem spell, which can be useful if your raid will be taking Fire, Frost, or Nature damage when you need to use Healing Stream Totem.
  • Glyph of Hex Icon Glyph of Hex reduces the cooldown of Hex Icon Hex by 10 seconds, which can be useful if you are assigned to crowd-controlling adds.
  • Glyph of Purge Icon Glyph of Purge causes your Purge Icon Purge spell to remove 1 additional Magic effect from an enemy target, but adds a 6-second cooldown. It can come in handy if your raid ever needs to simultaneously remove 2 Magic effects from a boss. Note that in most cases, it may be better to just let Mages Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal the effects.
  • Glyph of Wind Shear Icon Glyph of Wind Shear increases the cooldown of Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear by 3 seconds, but increases the school lockout duration it causes on the target. This glyph can be useful if having a 15-second cooldown on Wind Shear will not hinder your interrupting duties.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

Minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic. Only Glyph of the Lakestrider Icon Glyph of the Lakestrider might come in handy, as it enables you to walk on water while you are in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf form.

10. Changelog↑top