Restoration Shaman Patch 9.2 Changes Analysis and Tier Set Thoughts
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.2 changes for Restoration Shaman affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Restoration Shaman in Patch 9.2: Eternity's End
This page will go over how the Patch 9.2 changes affect Restoration Shamans, specifically how the changes impact the playstyle, best Legendaries, Covenants, etc.
If you are simply interested in what the current changes are for Restoration Shaman on 9.2, you can instead read our full list of changes to the entire Shaman class on our dedicated page below. For an additional list of content present in Patch 9.2, you can also check out our Patch 9.2 Overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.2
- Elemental Conduit (Venthyr Runecarving Power) now also reduces the cooldown of Chain Harvest by 1 second when Flame Shock critically strikes;
- Flame Shock now has a target cap of 6;
- Frost Shock damage increased by 40%;
- Raging Vesper Vortex damage reduced by 35%.
The Elemental Conduit change makes Chain Harvest come out of cooldown significantly faster when you can apply multiple Flame Shocks, improving its value in multi-target fights.
Also, the Frost Shock damage boost makes it stronger as a damage option when moving, but the Raging Vesper Vortex change is a large damage nerf, especially against multiple targets, where it is around a 10% damage loss. Regardless, Kyrian remains the best damage option available in most scenarios.
Best Talents in Patch 9.2 for Restoration Shaman
There have been no PvE or PvP talent changes for Restoration Shamans, though with a new raid and a new season for both Mythic+ and PvP, as well as the new tier sets, High Tide will become a favored talent once again and Unleash Life also gains distance relative to Torrent.
Restoration Shaman Tier Set in Patch 9.2
Within the new Sepulcher of the First Ones raid that will be coming in Patch 9.2, every class will once again earn pieces of a gear set that is uniquely class-themed with its own set bonuses for every specialization. For Restoration Shamans, these set bonuses are:
- Restoration Shaman 2-Piece — Your critical healing increases the critical chance of your next Chain Heal by 2%, stacking up to 50 times.
- Restoration Shaman 4-Piece — Your Chain Heal critical hits reduce the remaining cooldown of one of your totems by 2 seconds. Your Healing Stream Totem, Healing Tide Totem, Mana Tide Totem, and Spirit Link Totem cast a free, instant Chain Heal when you drop them.
Restoration Shaman Tier Set Thoughts
The set is heavily focused on Chain Heal, with the 2-piece bonus boosting its throughput significantly, as long as you use a lot of spells that can crit multiple times per cast such as Riptide, Healing Rain and Chain Heal itself. As these spells are the bread and butter of 9.2 gameplay, getting good value out of this part of the set bonus should be easy and intuitive.
The Restoration Shaman 4-Piece bonus is much more complex and has two major components:
- The free instant Chain Heals when you cast certain totems are where the majority of the set bonus' value lies. These Chain Heals are boosted by effects such as Unleash Life, High Tide, and Jonat's Natural Focus, making them potentially very powerful, especially as you can rapidly cycle through your totems to deal with burst damage.
- Reducing the cooldown of a totem by 2 seconds per critical bounce of Chain Heal is of extremely high value for low cooldown totems such as Cloudburst Totem or Vesper Totem, but of very low value for utility totems such as Tremor Totem. Thus, in order to get maximum value with the current design you will want to delay using long cooldown totems for as long as possible, and avoid using utility totems altogether.
Overall, these are strong set bonuses that return Chain Heal to the center of the Restoration Shaman rotation, even if you opt to still never cast it manually, as your totems will be doing so regularly for you.
You can get great value from this set by just playing as you were used to before 9.2. But, once you have the 2-piece bonus, you can track its stacks in order to avoid going over 100% Critical Strike chance on Chain Heal and use the 4-piece as an extra raid cooldown by chain-dropping your totems during intense damage moments.
Being the last healer in the raid to use healing cooldowns is not as much of a throughput loss when it means you can funnel the cooldown reduction into short cooldown totems and the flexibility of this bonus allows you to focus on using specific totems depending on the situation, such as Vesper Totem when damage is key or Cloudburst Totem for raw healing.
Covenant Changes in Patch 9.2 for Restoration Shaman
Although there were no changes of note to Covenant abilities or Soulbinds for Restoration Shamans yet, as of Patch 9.1.5 players can freely switch between Covenants provided they have obtained the Renowned achievement on any character of their account. This achievement only requires you to reach Renown level 80 with any Covenant.
This means that adapting your Covenant to the content, or even boss, you are doing will be easier than ever, allowing you to benefit from niche tools such as Phial of Serenity's unique debuff removal or the teleportation properties of Door of Shadows and Soulshape.
In addition, Conduits will get more ranks, which increases your power but does not change gameplay significantly.
Legendary Changes in Patch 9.2 for Restoration Shaman
There are no Legendary changes to speak of, but Patch 9.2 will eventually introduce the ability to use two Legendaries at once, although one of them has to be your Covenant-specific Legendary, which means Splintered Elements, Elemental Conduit, Seeds of Rampant Growth, or Raging Vesper Vortex.
Unfortunately Splintered Elements is somewhat weaker than the remaining options, which will cause Necrolord to fall behind once double Legendaries are unlocked. Do keep in mind that Necrolord will stay a healing powerhouse, but it lacks in damage and utility potential.
The remaining Legendaries are all strong in their respective niches, with Raging Vesper Vortex being the best for DPS and Elemental Conduit having great burst area healing with some leftover healing from the Riptides. Seeds of Rampant Growth is also interesting due to its strong synergy with Restoration Shaman 4-Piece for massive Healing Tide Totem cooldown reductions.
Kyrian is likely to be the default PvE Covenant choice of 9.2 once double Legendaries are unlocked, as its area damage benefits suit Mythic+ perfectly and it also brings excellent single-target damage and stacked-group healing for raiding purposes.
- 02 Mar. 2022: Added info on Vesper Legendary nerf hotfix.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Page reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
- 25 Jan. 2022: Updated with the latest PTR changes.
- 15 Jan. 2022: Page added with initial thoughts and information.
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