Classic Restoration Shaman Healer Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Restoration Shaman Healer Healer, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving while doing PvE content in WoW Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Restoration Shaman rotation.
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.
While they are extraordinarily powerful, explosives such as Goblin Sapper Charge will not be detailed in the rotation. Usually, you will want to use them as soon as the tank has solid threat on the target. The main exception is when you are facing multiple or particularly dangerous (such as enraged) enemies at some point in the fight. Saving explosives to carry you and your group through these moments (and possibly do a ton of AoE damage in the process) is probably worth it.
Healers do not have a formal rotation. As such we will display a priority list, instead:
Spell Priority for Restoration Shamans
- Use Lesser Healing Wave as an emergency heal for players about to die.
- Remove dangerous debuffs from group members as soon as possible. This includes preparing for Fear effects with Tremor Totem.
- Keep your group-buffing Totems active and in range of group members at all times.
- Keep Ancestral Healing and Healing Way, if applicable, on the tank at all times.
- Use Chain Heal to heal group damage and Healing Wave to heal single-target damage, otherwise.
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.
Advanced Totem Usage
Mana Tide Totem can be rotated mid-fight to groups who need Mana, as it only takes 12 seconds for its full effect to take place.
Tremor Totem, Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem should all 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.
In order to keep healing throughout a long fight, and to avoid overhealing in general, it is a good idea to downrank your spells when heavy healing is not necessary. As an example, Rank 1 Chain Heal gets the same benefit from Spell Healing as Rank 3, but is much cheaper.
Spells that can be learned before Level 20 gain a smaller benefit from Spell Damage and Healing, making them less efficient to downrank. This is why Rank 5 Healing Wave is recommended for efficient single-target healing. Rank 4 is learned at Level 18, and is thus penalized, making Rank 5 the first rank that fully utilizes your gear's Healing Power, while still having a relatively low Mana cost.
The best ranks to use for some of our core spells are:
- Chain Heal Rank 1 for efficient group healing and Rank 3 for maximum area of effect healing throughput.
- Healing Wave Rank 1 for quick and cheap Ancestral Healing and Healing Way buffing, Rank 5 as a medium-sized single-target heal, and Rank 10 as a huge single-target heal, usually used with Nature's Swiftness.
- Earth Shock Rank 1 for Mana efficient interrupting.
In general, utility spells are good targets to downrank. Also, consider that sometimes, instead of constantly using lower ranked spells, it can be more efficient to simply stop casting for a while, in order to regenerate Mana from Spirit due to the 5-second rule.
If you want to calculate exactly how much gain you get from downranking, try out this tool, by Oskar Holmberg.
Totem Twisting is an advanced Shaman technique that aims to keep both Windfury Totem and Grace of Air Totem effects active on your group at all times, even though using one of the Totems will automatically despawn the other.
When you use Windfury Totem, its weapon enchant is applied to your group's weapons for 10 seconds. During this period, you can use Grace of Air Totem / Tranquil Air Totem and still keep Windfury's effect. However, in order to keep Windfury's enchant active, you need to cast Windfury Totem, followed by your second Air Totem of choice every 10 seconds, which has a huge Mana cost.
This Mana could have, instead, been spent on healing spells, so the decision to Totem Twist requires some consideration of the length of the fight and of how much healing you are required to do in it. When unsure, play it safe and conserve Mana until it is clear that will not need it by the end of the encounter, which is usually also the best time to Totem Twist for Warriors, who will be using their cooldowns and Execute for heavy damage.
- 03 Aug. 2019: Added information on the Spell Damage and Healing penalty when using spells learned before Level 20, as well as further Totem Twisting insights.
- 02 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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