How To Improve As Restoration Shaman — Shadowlands 9.0.2
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Restoration Shaman in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Understanding The Basics of Healing
Certainly, the very first step to becoming a good healer is to understand exactly what a good healer is and compare that ideal to your own gameplay. Our Healing and UI Guide is tailored to give you a detailed, if light on class specific details, idea on how to go about healing. This includes tips on how to setup your User Interface and a list of recommended add-ons, so you can make quick, accurate healing decisions in the heat of a PvE encounter or PvP match.
Correctly Managing Mana
If non-healer specializations generally play with self-sustaining rotations, healers are expected to run Mana marathons against the encounters they face. When your Mana expires you become unable to do burst healing, which can be fatal to your group. Excessive use of expensive spells such as Healing Surge and Chain Heal will quickly drain your Mana pool, and as such they should be used sparingly, when targets risk dying within the next global cooldown or two if you do not. For Restoration Shaman, healing spells with a cooldown attached are some of the most efficient and should be used as often as possible in order to do good healing while keeping Mana reserves high. It can also be worth it to use raid cooldowns early into the fight if they will not be required to get past a difficult damage phase, in order to conserve Mana.
Also, remember to keep Water Shield up at all times, so that you can benefit from its bonus regeneration!
Having Low Downtime
One of the biggest difficulties healers have is respecting the golden rule of Always Be Casting. While you should not always be casting healing spells due to the Mana / overhealing concerns explained above, you can continue casting cheap damage spells while waiting for healing to be required. It sounds simple enough, but in practice it can be tricky to pull off, and in some circumstances you even have to break this rule. There is not any magical advice that can help players both respect the rule or show clearly when it is right to break it. It simply comes with experience and most importantly, knowing the encounters. Analyzing your own logs can be quite helpful, ideally recording your own gameplay and reflecting on all the time you are spending doing anything that is not casting spells. Did you really need to move there this early, did you have to interrupt this cast, did you need to Ghost Wolf to get there in time?
Ideally, whenever you need to move, you should take advantage of your instant spells. Unfortunately, this requires foresight, good timing, and sometimes luck in order not to lose damage / healing while trying to gain some. You nearly always want to use your short cooldown heals as soon as they show up, but try to use the time while you are locked by the global cooldown of instant abilities to move so that you will not have to move as much later.
Using All Your Abilities
Restoration Shaman is well known for its great utility or, in layman's terms, having a huge amount of situational buttons to help crowd control enemies / avoid crowd control on allies, as well as direct and indirect damage reductions. Learn about each of these spells with the help of our spells and talents pages and keep an eye out for encounter mechanics where you can shine by using them! Also, a lot of people die with Astral Shift off cooldown. If there is any possibility of you dying from what is going to hit you next, you should always use whatever defensives you have available.
Analyzing Your Mistakes as a Restoration Shaman
While perfect play is very hard to achieve, when it comes to identifying and improving your mistakes, combat logging / reviewing is very helpful. If you wish to get an easier to understand overview of your combat logs, we recommend the website WoWAnalyzer — it will analyze them for you and give you a report detailing how you did on some of the problems above and more.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands launch.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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