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CD usage?

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Hi guys :)

I've recently lvl'ed my resto shaman to 90, and is in the process of gearing him up. Normally I raid on my druid (which is also restoration) and I'm looking for a little change up.

So far I'm really enjoying shammy healing, it's fun, fast paced, and totally different than how I play my druid.

The reason I'm making this topic is to ask for advice on how to manage all the great cooldowns I've got as a Resto shaman.

With talents, I've got Ascendance, HTT, SLT, Elemental Mastery and Primal Elementalist.

Beyond HTT (which is very similar to Tranq), I'm having trouble figuring out when to use these.

Right now I've macro Ascendance and Elemental Mastery. This gives me a lot of burst AoE healing, when I pop it. However it drains mana like crazy (haven't got much spirit yet) and I'm not really sure which spells to cast during the duration of the cooldown. Should I just spam GHW or HW, how about RT?

With glyph I can keep pretty good uptime on my elemental's 10% buff, during a fight. Are there any finess to using these, or should I just pop them at the first sign of difficulty? It's not a huge buff, but it's long lasting (even with glyph), which has got me confused as to when to use these.

Also, should I start out with the earth elemental, since it's got the longer cooldown?

Last on the list is SLT. I'm really having trouble with when to use this.

It seems very powerful, but so far I've only really used it to spread out cleave damage when people are not stacking correctly on fights like Blade Lord or Spirit Kings. Rarely I have used it to save a tank, but often the melee group are just a little bit too far away for this to work.

What do you guys use this for?

At the moment I'm still gearing up and doing LFRs, but I'm planing to get some serious raiding done on my shaman, and I would like to be prepared to use my CDs as effectively as possible.

I would be thankful if you guys could share some insights.

If you need it here's my armory http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/zenedar/Astydamas/simple

I'm most likely logged out in elemantal spec, since I use it for questing, but the gear is identical and you should be able to see the talents anyhow. Note that I haven't reforged, gemmed or enchanted yet, since it seems like a waste of gold before I can even get into ToT lfr.

I hope you can help me out, cheers guys :)

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if theres ever a big damage spike where the raid can stack, SLT and ascendance go together really well. if youre not in a fight like that, SLT has a 10% damage reduction, so thats at least something.

for ascendance, if you have a couple riptides out cast healing rain where it will hit the most people you can and then ascend. immediately after you ascend pop your healing stream and you can just sit and let those things do your healing for you and save your mana.

one thing to remember about the fire primal is that he does 30k+ dps, so if you can spare the healing cd just flame shock what you want him to burn right after you throw him down.

Edited by kitsu

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Some tips in response to your questions:

  • Ascendance can be INSANE. The optimal rotation for throughput is Riptide, Healing Rain (precast and buffed by Unleash Elements), Ascendance, Chain Heal x4, recast Healing Rain (esp. with EM up) and Chain Heal your nuts off again.
  • That rotation can be quite mana consuming, so you could do Healing Rain precast, Ascendance, Chain Heal (glyphed), then fill with your regular Riptide/Healing Wave rotation. This is also a decent rotation for when your raid isn't stacked.
  • Popping Spiritwalker's Grace simultaneously with Ascendance can help you get the best out of it, especially if there's a chance that you have to move.
  • Ascendance won't copy Healing Stream Totem's healing, since it's not "yours".
  • It's usually optimal to pop Spirit Link Totem when you're stacked and using Healing Tide Totem OR Ascendance OR Ancestral Guidance
  • SLT is one of those buttons you REALLY want keybound; in fights where I struggle to find a regular use for it, I often can save someone I happen to be close to by fast reflexes!
  • Your Primal Elementals are very versatile, so don't restrict yourself to JUST using them for healing throughput. I tend to find that I can identify a few points in each fight where an extra throughput cooldown would be useful but all the major ones are on cooldown. This is when Primal Elementals can really come into play. An example: we have several Quake Stomps on Tortos that none of the healers can really get with a cooldown, so I use my elemental about 15s before to top everyone, then to facilitate stabilizing the raid afterwards. Really, they're most useful when you can analyse when you're having trouble on progression and use them cleverly. It's something that's difficult to teach!
The key to using most of your cooldowns is good planning - plan when to use them and just do it. It's known as "raid cooldown choreography" :)

Hope that helps! :)

PS: Nice to see you're using the macro I suggested for the ToT Resto Shaman Style thread =D

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Thank you very much, guys! This was just the kind of stuff I was looking for.

It suprised me a little to hear that combining SLT with another cooldown is the way to go.

I certainly see the benefit of doing so, but effectively it means we have one less cooldown than it would seem.

Is it preferred to use it with either HTT or Ascendance? According to your article it would seem that HTT needs the support more than Ascendance. Is that correctly understood?

Regarding spell usage during Ascendance: Stoove suggest spamming chain heal if mana is available.

I take it you don't use the glyph then? Or do you change it from a fight to fight basis?

Thanks to the both of you for your pointers on the elementals, I hadn't even considered using them for dps :P

I do strive to plan my cooldown usage before hand. I'm sort of a leader on our healing team, so I'm used to coordinating both my own and my fellow healers' CDs. However we've never had a shaman on the team, so I have zero experience with the class (beyond lfr).

Hence my questions :)

Btw, are there any specific healer combination that shamans fit especially well with? I'll most likely be raiding with a paladin and a holy priest/resto druid. I wouldn't think it matters much, but maybe you guys know differently?

I really appreciate the pieces of advice from both of you. Thanks alot!

p.s. Hey; "you say jump, I say how high?" You really are becoming a valuable resource to all things healing on this board. Keep up he good work, mate :)

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You're absolutely welcome!

The real benefit to SLT in conjunction with other cooldowns is that it will smooth the healing you do across all players. As tanks keep muttering, smoothness is key to survival. Which you use it with depends on the fight - I prefer to use it with Ascendance where possible because it reduces overhealing. If you're in a nice stacked situation, though, use Ancestral guidance instead of HTT - then you really won't be so worried about smoothing so you can save SLT for Ascendance anyway. The reason that SLT + HTT is attractive is due to the big chunks of healing that HTT deals compared to the even spread of Ascendance.

On many fight, especially spread out ones, I tend to reserve SLT for situational use.

Ascendance is really optimal when you can get your entire raid stacked. In this case, it's better not to use the glyph of Chain Heal. In many fight, though, and especially in 10man, you'll want to use the glyph because stacking isn't common. I prefer using the glyph as a default. I swap it out for Megaera, Iron Qon, and some others.

I heal with a Druid and a Paladin (occasionally a Priest). It's nice, but they tend to beat me to a lot of the healing. I find that I prefer healing with no absorb classes where possible, simply because they don't really mesh with our Mastery mechanic. It's a small bugbear though.

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Blizzard's latest blue posts seem to suggest that they want shaman to always be a sort of niche healer. incredible burst and the ability to fill lifebars back up when they are low complement disc & paladin extremely well. you can fight and gear and smash your fist against every wall you come by to top meters when really, if you want to beat them on healing done, you just have to push their heals into overheals. its not necessary to top meters to be useful. if there are several points in teh fight where a shaman is the difference between life and death, that's why they are there.

its actually a pretty fun mechanic. almost every fight in tot is on the edge between 2 heal and 3 during progression. it lets there be a lot more options for raid comp and can keep fights interesting as you redo content each week.

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