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Resto Theorycrafting in WoD

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Hey fellow Shamans,


I am looking to get into doing some theorycrafting analysis for healers in WoD and since I am a resto shaman at heart, I will be starting with them. I have a few questions and I hope some more experienced players can lend me a bit of guidance to get me started. 


In order to properly evaluate a classes healing ability, I need to know all healing spell power coefficients/mana costs/cast time etc. Is wod.wowhead the best place to get this information? It shows the tooltip for abilities but I know that the tooltip doesn't always show all the relevant information.


Does the Improved Chain Heal perk (+50% healing on initial target) influence the size of the bounced chain heals? Like if without perk it heals for 100,90,81,73 (a 10% drop each jump), does the perk make it heal for 150, 90, 81, 73, or does it go to 150, 135, 121.5, 109.35?


How exactly does Riptide's bonus to chain heal stack with improved chain heal, and how does it effect the subsequent jumps of chain heal? Are the all buffed if initially on a Riptided target or just the initial target?


For Healing Stream Totem, the tooltip says it heals every 2 seconds for 15 seconds. With the new partial tick mechanism, will it get a partial tick for half the normal amount at the 15 sec mark when it expires? Also, how does the Rushing Streams Talent modify it? Wowhead says the only thing that changes is it now heals 2 targets every 2 secs instead of one, but still has the same spellpower coefficient. Is this correct? What about the 15% increase healing?


Also, Earthliving Weapon, it passively increase out healing by 5%, how does that stack with other % increase like Riptide on Chain Heal or Improved Chain Heal. 


Since I am not on beta, how much mana do we have at lvl 100? How much is out base regen and how much spirit/regen from spirit do we get in the gear tune for heroic raids?


Thanks for any help or guidance you can give me!

Edited by Mazukon

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Stoove is your real champ for this, but I'm going to throw out how things work as I know it.


Chain Heal's perk should only be boosting the first target heal.  So you'd see 150, 90, 81, 73, etc.  I'm not 100% on this, but I'm fairly sure.


Riptide's interaction works itself in last in 99% of cases.  So it would change that 150, 90, 81 to 187.5, 112.5, 101.25.  Typically it's Player --> Buff/Debuff.


Yes, if you had 0 haste, you'd get 7 ticks, then a partial half tick as it expires.  That is assuming there's no latency weirdness for creation/expiration delay.


At 100, we have 160000 Mana.  Base regen will depend slightly on your race.  With a Pandaren, I'm at 784 spirit, which offers me 963 Mana Regen per second (or 4815 MP5) or 0.6% per sec.  I added 64 spirit for 848 total spirit, which offers 989.4 Mana Regen per second (or 4947 MP5). Thus, adding 1 spirit seems to be about 0.4 Mana Regen per Second (or ~2 MP5).  Water Shield also adds 326 MP5.


For reference, a Healing Wave costs 3312 mana, Healing Stream Totem costs 2752 mana, and Chain Heal costs 8960 mana.  If Healing Wave takes 2.5 to cast, you'll need 6624 MP5 or 742 extra Spirit (after Water Shield) in order to be mana neutral casting it.

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Thanks for the info Hybrys, I was able to use some of that to do what I think is a pretty good starting analysis of Elemental Blast vs Primal Elementalist for mainly single target healing. I am a little unsure of where to post it though, should I start a blog and post it there? Its fairly long (2000 words with various tables) so I don't think a forum post would be the best way to present the info.

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Thanks for the info Hybrys, I was able to use some of that to do what I think is a pretty good starting analysis of Elemental Blast vs Primal Elementalist for mainly single target healing. I am a little unsure of where to post it though, should I start a blog and post it there? Its fairly long (2000 words with various tables) so I don't think a forum post would be the best way to present the info.

Forum posts really are a good avenue, even for large contributions like that.  I'd heavily suggest posting it here, and then on TotemSpot.  Especially on TotemSpot, they'll give you some real in-depth feedback.

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My goal is to numerically evaluate the resto shaman playstyle and understand how different talent choices and secondary stats will affect this style and its effectiveness. To do this, I am going to try to establish a type of baseline “rotation” for healing. I know that this is not something that many healers think about since a “rotation” is more often used for DPS or tanking roles. Nevertheless, I feel I can create a solid model of healing which I can use to see how talent choices and secondary stats will function for us. I have started with a single target healing model since it is simpler and I plan to make it more robust to accommodate raid healing and even a hybrid of these roles. Also I am assuming there is no overhealing, which is obviously not a valid assumption in many cases, but I think we can still gain valuable insight even with that assumption. I do plan to tackle that issue later, perhaps once we know more about damage patterns in the fights and our interactions with other healers in the raid.


Spell Calculations

The first order of business is to evaluate the spell power coefficients, cast time, and mana costs of all the healing spells in our arsenal. I gathered all of this data from wod.wowhead.com by looking at the tooltips for the various spells and compiled them into a spreadsheet. The most common pieces of information I will use is listed below. (Note: these are beta numbers and subject to change at any time, if there are major changes I will try to redo the analysis with the updated numbers)


% Spell Power (total)

Mana cost

Cast time/GCD (s)


SP/cast time







Healing Wave






Healing Surge






Unleash Life






Healing Stream Totem







*=In practice we can maintain 100% uptime on Tidal Waves so this cast time is 2.0 sec with 0 haste.
**=Also due to Tidal Waves we will gain a 30% crit chance on Healing Surge, so its SP will be considered at 344.4*1.3 = 447.4. It also refunds 243 mana on average due to Resurgence.

(I will abbreviate Riptide=RT, Healing Wave=HW, Healing Surge=HS, Unleash Life=UL, and Healing Stream Totem=HST)


Looking at these basic spells, they are balanced just like we expect them to be. Riptide is our most efficient heal for the mana, with Healing Stream Totem being a close second. Healing Wave is also fairly efficient in terms of mana but is low on throughput. Healing Surge has a very high throughput, but is almost 3 times worse at heals/mana than Riptide. Unleash Life is quite poor on both counts, but it has the benefit of buffing out next healing spell by 30% which is not captured in this table.


The first thing that we should take away from this is that Riptide should be cast as much as possible which thanks to the new perk, that means once every 5 seconds. It is very efficient for both its cast time and its mana, so we need to make the best use of it. While this analysis is mainly for single target healing, I will assume each Riptide can be placed on another target to not overwrite the healing over time effect and lose healing. Similarly, Healing Stream Totem should be used as much as possible. While not immediately obvious from this table, Unleash Life should also be used regularly for reason I will explain shortly.



One of the nice things about using Riptide on cooldown is that is can break up our time into discrete 5 second segments that stat with a Riptide cast and end right before the next one is cast. Riptide gives us 2 charges of the Tidal Waves buff and after its GCD is up, we only have 3.5 seconds until the next Riptide should be cast. Until we get to higher Haste levels, it will only be practical to fit 2 cast time spells into this 3.5 second period. Assuming 0% haste, what types of combinations can we fit into a 5 second rotation?


Here are a few choices that I think are interesting:


Riptide + Healing Wave + Healing Surge (1110% SP for 12,013 mana, or 0.924 SP/mana)

Riptide + Unleash Life + Healing Wave (870% SP for 7808 mana, or 0.111 SP/mana)

Riptide + Unleash Life + Healing Surge (1005% SP for 10,893 mana, or 0.922 SP/mana)

Riptide + Elemental Blast + Healing Stream Totem (679.5% SP for 5088 mana, or .133 SP/mana)

Riptide + Elemental Blast + Healing Surge (765.5% SP for 8717 mana, or 0.878 SP/mana)


As you can see, the Unleash Life + Healing Wave combo is very efficient for the mana, while the Unleash Life + Healing Surge is slightly less efficient that the Healing Wave + Healing Surge combo but the difference is negligible so choosing between the two should come down the amount of healing you need since there is a 105% SP difference between the two. Elemental Blast and Healing Stream Totem should be cast as often as possible so we should try to do this combination any time that we can but since they have longer cooldowns, that particular combination will only come up about once every 30 seconds whereas the Healing Wave + Healing Surge combination is always available.


A quick note on Elemental Blast: in WoD, EB will grant 1000 Spirit for 8 seconds in addition to the 500 crit/haste/mastery/multistrike that it will give. For this post, I will just be considering the 1000 Spirit aspect of the spell and will get more in depth into the other stats buff at a later time.


Now that we have a few “building block” rotations, lets compile them into slightly longer 15 second rotations. These chunks of 15 seconds are useful because Unleash Life has a 15 seconds cooldown, Healing Stream Totem has a 30 second cooldown, and Elemental Blast has a 12 second cooldown which is means rotationally, it makes sense to fit it in every 15 seconds.


The two that make sense to me are the following: (alternating due to HST’s 30 second CD)

1)      RT + EB + HST ,  RT + UL + HW , RT + HW + HS   (2660% SP for 25,152 mana, or 0.105 SP/mana)


2)      RT + EB + HS ,  RT + UL + HW , RT + HW + HS                (2746% SP for 29,024 mana, or 0.095 SP/mana)


Let’s assume that for the entire fight, we are just alternating between these two rotations. Once again, I know it is a simplification and ignores our big cooldowns like Ascendance and Healing Tide, but I think it will provide some insight. The next step is to figure out how long we actually can maintain this rotation due to mana constraints. To do this we are going to figure out our mana budget for a typical boss fight. I got this idea for a mana budget from Hamlet’s post here. (http://iam.yellingontheinternet.com/2014/02/11/healing-theory-part-6-the-mana-economy/) I highly recommend reading all of the posts in the series, they are all very informative, and part of what inspired me to start this analysis.



Mana Budget Estimate

Since many things are not finalized, I will do a very barebones estimate and thus it will be a moderate underestimate of the true amount of mana we will have for a 6 minute fight.


160,000 base mana

65.2 mana/sec from Water Shield = 23,472 mana

963 mana/sec base regen = 346,680 mana

533 spirit from EB = 533*0.4 = 213.2 mana/sec = 76752 mana


Based on the above rotations we have EB up for 8 out of every 15 seconds, so a 53.3% uptime. For a 360 second fight, this yields a total of 606,904 mana. The numbers for Water Shield, base regen, and spirit’s mana/sec were given by Hybrys on Icy Vein’s forum since I am not in beta.


So even with 0 additional spirit from items, we have 606,904 mana to spend. If we follow the rotations I outlined above, we will use 12*25152+12*29024=650,112. That is actually remarkably close to the mana that we have available and we are not considering the bonus from Mana Tide, Resurgence (other than Tidal Waves crit value), any Spirit from items, or mana potions. We need to get about 50,000 mana from these sources to break even.


Assume we can get that 50,000 mana, we can put out a total of 12*(2660+2746)=64,872% of Spell Power in healing over the course of the fight.


No Elemental Blast

So what happens if we don’t use Elemental Blast? The changes to the mana budget are easy, just remove the regen from EB and we have 530,152 mana over the course of the fight. Figuring out how much healing we lose from the bonus stats is a bit more difficult and something I plan to tackle a bit later.


Instead, on that talent tier we will take Primal Elementalist and use both Primal Fire Elemental’s Empower, and Primal Earth Elemental’s Empower as often as possible. Since they each have 5 minute cooldowns, and using one adds a 1 minute cooldown to the other one, the most we can hope for is 3 minutes out of 6 to have the 10% healing buff.


To fix the rotations for the lack of Elemental Blast, we will instead cast a Healing Wave every time we cast Elemental Blast (except for the three times we will cast the Primal Elementalist Totem).


Rotation 1 becomes


1)      RT  + HST + HW,  RT + UL + HW , RT + HW + HS      (3003% SP for 28,448 mana, or 0.105 SP/mana)


And rotation 2 becomes

2)      RT + UL + HW ,  RT + HW + HS , RT + HW + HS       (3090% SP for 32,320 mana, or 0.096 SP/mana)


Fire Elemental totem costs 8608 mana, and Earth Elemental Totem costs 8992 mana. Since the Earth Elemental has an awesome 20% damage reduction, we will use it twice in our hypothetical 6 minute fight and the Fire Elemental just once. They will replace a spell, so let’s just assume a Healing Wave. This means our total mana expenditure will be 12*(28448+32320)+(8992-3296)*2+(8608-3296)=745,920. This means we are running a deficit of a whopping 215,768 mana!


Our total healing output for this same time will is given by 6*1.1*(3003+3090) + 6*(3003+3090) = 76,771.8% SP



What does all of this mean? I have tried to compare the differences in single target healing for Elemental Blast and Primal Elementalist. In my hypothetical scenario, using Elemental Blast will yield 64,872% spell power in healing at a deficit of 43,208 mana above the bare bones regen rates. Using Primal Elementalist will yield 76,771% spell power but at a much higher deficit of 215,768 mana. The next question I will attempt to answer will be how big are these deficits with respect to realistic stat values? (I assumed 0% haste, 0% crit, and 0 spirit from items) Also if we can overcome these deficits without using spirit from items, how much more healing can we get with other secondary stats instead?


There are a bunch of factors I have not considered in this analysis that will make it much more robust. These include level 100 talents, haste rating, Crit rating (for resurgence’s mana gains), as well as the increased throughput from the buff from Elemental Blast. Also, I have not factored in Earth Shield which I know is Resto Shaman’s main advantage in tank healing. That is mainly because I am not sure exactly how it works. I believe the internal cooldown on the charges has been removed, but I am not sure. If anyone can let me know exactly how that works, I would be happy to incorporate it into my model. I am still actively trying to figure out these factors and will post again when I have more analysis to share.


Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you have any questions about how I calculated something, or if you find any errors, please let me know.


Edit: Looks like forum formatting messed up my table of Spell Calcs at the start, they are really just reposting info that can be found on wowhead so its not that important.

Edited by Mazukon

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