WotLK Classic Restoration Shaman Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Jan 18, 2023 at 12:00 by Seksixeny 1 comment

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Restoration Shaman Healer, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving while doing PvE content in WotLK Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency.



If you have not already, please read the spells summary page. Knowing how each spell and ability works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of the topics discussed on this page.


Rotation for Restoration Shamans

Our recommendations assume you are running one of the recommended talent builds from the talents page and are playing a max level character. If you are still leveling, please refer to the leveling page for a leveling-specific rotation.

Healers do not have a formal rotation. As such we will display a priority list, instead.


Weapon Imbues

As Restoration, you should always use Earthliving Weapon IconEarthliving Weapon on your weapon.


Spell Priority for Restoration Shamans

  1. Use Nature's Swiftness IconNature's Swiftness, Tidal Force IconTidal Force, and Healing Wave IconHealing Wave as an emergency heal for players about to die;
  2. Use Lesser Healing Wave IconLesser Healing Wave for emergency healing if Nature's Swiftness IconNature's Swiftness is on cooldown;
  3. Remove dangerous debuffs from group members as soon as possible. This includes preparing for Fear effects with Tremor Totem IconTremor Totem;
  4. Keep Earth Shield IconEarth Shield on the tank and Water Shield IconWater Shield on yourself at all times;
  5. Keep your Totems active and in range of the raid at all times;
  6. Use Riptide IconRiptide when available;
  7. Use Chain Heal IconChain Heal to heal group damage, consuming a Riptide IconRiptide buff if available and the damage warrants it for extra healing;
  8. Use Healing Wave IconHealing Wave to heal single-target damage.

Mastering Your Shaman

In this section, we will dive a bit deeper into the core mechanics and various abilities of Restoration Shamans. Understanding these topics is an important step to truly mastering the specialization.


Downranking in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

In Wrath, low ranks of a Spell cost the same Mana as the maximum rank, as all ranks cost a percentage of your base Mana. Thus, downranking will just cause you to lose out of potential healing for no benefit, and should never be done.


Advanced Totem Usage

Mana Tide Totem IconMana Tide Totem can be rotated mid-fight to parties who need Mana, as it only takes 12 seconds for its full effect to take place.

Tremor Totem IconTremor Totem and Cleansing Totem IconCleansing Totem should both be dropped when slightly less than 5 seconds remains until the Fear, Poison, or Disease application event. As they remove effects every 5 seconds, this will ensure that these harmful effects are removed as soon they are applied, which is of particular importance for Fears, so that allies do not have time to run out of the Totem's radius.


Cast Canceling

A simple concept which is born from the ease with which you can run out of Mana while casting your maximum rank spells, Cast Canceling is the act of starting a maximum rank spell cast (typically Healing Wave IconHealing Wave) on a target that you predict will be taking damage by the end of the cast (such as the tank) and canceling the cast just before it goes off if the target is not injured enough for the heal to be efficient.

This has two major benefits:

  • You are able to constantly have huge, Mana-efficient heals lined up for the tank well ahead of damage actually happening, allowing you to bypass the large cast time of these types of spells.
  • If the target is not injured by the time you are about to heal, you can simply cancel the cast, allowing your Mana regeneration to continue and saving the Mana of the cast itself.

This has a major downside: since you will be effectively spending a lot of time doing nothing, this can be a problem when there are other targets that would have benefited from having weaker / area-of-effect heals used on them. So this is mostly a strategy for periods of downtime where the tank is the main target being hit.



  • 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 12 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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