Restoration Shaman Essences — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Restoration Shaman, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Restoration Shamans
The question of what is the best Essence for healers can only be answered in the light of an encounter's context. Since some of the Essences have very niche effects, they will also have niche applications, which we will try to predict in the section below, updating this guide whenever specific, strong uses are found.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
All major powers directly or indirectly provide an active ability, while all minor powers provide a passive ability. A mandatory Essence is one you absolutely want to have at your disposal, while a situational Essence may be worth acquiring, but will generally be relegated to niche uses. Everything else is mostly forgettable.
As a general guideline, assuming you are not required to use a special purpose Essence for a specific encounter, your Essence choice should reflect the type of content and playstyle you are following. All the essence tooltips below will be linked at Rank 3.
Best Raiding Essences for Restoration Shaman
- Major: Vision of Perfection ( Vision of Perfection)
- 1st Minor: Conflict and Strife ( Strife)
- 2nd Minor: The Formless Void ( Symbiotic Presence)
- 3rd Minor: Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide), Unwavering Ward ( Unwavering Ward) on stacked fights, or Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams), if you lack some of the other recommended Essences.
This is the default raiding setup. Vision of Perfection was already our strongest overall essence in raids, and its 8.3 buff made it even stronger.
If you prefer to avoid the RNG involved with it, try the straightforward Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams), or the additional raid cooldown of Unwavering Ward ( Guardian Shell) or Life-Binder's Invocation ( Life-Binder's Invocation).
While the minor essences listed are the ones that, overall, provide the largest healing increase to Restoration Shamans, consider using Vitality Conduit ( Transference) as well, especially if you lack many of the suggested essences.
Vitality Conduit now shows on the healing meters in 8.3 and, while the overall healing increase you can expect from it after you deduct the health lost by the donors of its health transfer effect is modest, in a raid setting this lost health will generally be instantly healed by Healing Rain and Vision of Perfection procs, or your co-healers.
Best Mythic+ Essences for Restoration Shaman
- Major: Vitality Conduit ( Vitality Conduit)
- 1st Minor: Conflict and Strife ( Strife)
- 2nd Minor: Spirit of Preservation ( Devout Spirit)
- 3rd Minor: The Formless Void ( Symbiotic Presence) for damage or Ever-Rising Tide ( The Ever-Rising Tide) for more healing.
While Mythic+ is certainly not a Restoration Shaman's playground right now, our weaknesses on single-target healing can be mitigated by using a strong single-target essence such as Vitality Conduit (or, alternatively, Spirit of Preservation). The rest of the essences are mostly there for their generic stat buffs.
Feel free to replace any of the above essences you do not possess for Memory of Lucid Dreams or Life-Binder's Invocation, which have their own upsides for Mana conservation and burst healing, respectively.
Best DPS Essences for Restoration Shaman
Sometimes you just want to use whatever Essences maximize your personal or group DPS, while soloing Horrific Visions or in order to meet challenging enrage timers. This is our recommended list for these situations.
- Major for Single Target: The Crucible of Flame ( Concentrated Flame)
- Major for AoE: The Formless Void ( Replica of Knowledge) copying Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Azerite Beam)
- 1st Minor: Conflict and Strife ( Strife)
- 2nd Minor: Whichever you did not take as major of The Formless Void / The Crucible of Flame
- 3rd Minor: Artifice of Time ( Artifice of Time)
If your objective is to maximize raid DPS instead, consider using Worldvein Resonance ( Worldvein Resonance) instead, which will boost the damage of everyone who is also using this essence.
Best Essences for Restoration Shamans
- Vision of Perfection's major power ( Vision of Perfection) will proc a tick of Healing Tide Totem, and while the RNG of this effect is high, it tends to provide a constant, high stream of healing on the raid. Its minor power ( Strive for Perfection) reduces the cooldown on your Healing Tide Totem, grants versatility and heals you slightly when you cast it. This allows you to use your cooldown more often, which is of great value on many raid encounters.
- Conflict and Strife's major power ( Conflict) is alright in PvP, allowing you to keep Ancestral Gift while also using Swelling Waves or Skyfury Totem. Unfortunately, it has little use in PvE, as most encounters do not silence you or require that you keep healing through their silence effects. Its minor power ( Strife) grants a very large amount of Versatility, making it one of the very best minor essences for a Restoration Shaman.
- The Formless Void's major ( Replica of Knowledge) allows you to use an ally's major essence power, with the downside of incurring a longer cooldown. While this is a niche essence, it also allows you to use some powers that are usually impossible for healers to use, such as Focused Azerite Beam, which can be devastating in burst AoE situations. Symbiotic Presence, its minor power, allows you to boost your stats and those of an ally significantly and usually has great uptime.
- The Ever-Rising Tide's major power ( Overcharge Mana) provides a powerful healing boost on a very short, 30-second cooldown, with the big downside of stopping your Mana regeneration while active. This makes it rarely worth using, but it does have some level of synergy with Cloudburst Totem and other cooldowns, such as Ascendance. Its minor power ( The Ever-Rising Tide) is strong, granting stats, Mana, or both, consistently.
- Vitality Conduit's major power ( Vitality Conduit) provides a Spirit Link Totem-like power, allowing you to designate a target to receive transferred life from its high health allies nearby. This is amazing in Mythic+, where its low cooldown allows you to have a consistent tank cooldown. Its minor power ( Transference) is also of great use, as it passively activates a smaller health transfer effect, with an absorb shield stacked on top, contributing to the stability of your group.
- Spirit of Preservation's major ( Spirit of Preservation) provides a burst heal on-demand that splashes into nearby targets and feeds Cloudburst Totem for extra Shaman synergy. Devout Spirit, its minor power, is a significant boost to your spot healing capabilities, making this a great Mythic+ essence for Restoration Shamans.
Situational Essences for Restoration Shamans
- Unwavering Ward's major ( Guardian Shell) grants you an extra healing cooldown, that trades off healing numbers for being an absorb, and as such able to tackle damage before it occurs, with little overhealing involved. You mostly use it for its minor power ( Unwavering Ward), however, which constantly stacks up shields and a damage reduction on nearby allies, which adds up to a huge amount of healing in stacked encounters.
- The Crucible of Flame is the Essence of choice for single-target DPS, providing the best DPS increase out of all the Essences we can use through Concentrated Flame and Ancient Flame. Use it if extra healing is not required, or if you are focusing on DPSing while waiting to use your healing cooldowns, Battle Shaman style.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams is a strong generic healer Essence, with both powers ( Memory of Lucid Dreams and Lucid Dreams) contributing significant amounts of Mana over a long fight. Shamans tend to not struggle with Mana too much, which makes it a good, rather than exceptional, essence.
- Life-Binder's Invocation provides a solid raid cooldown in the major slot ( Life-Binder's Invocation), with a relatively short cooldown. Its minor power ( Seed of Eonar) grants passive bits of healing. Cooldowns are typically stronger than passive healing, making this Essence a good addition to our already large cooldown kit.
- Worldvein Resonance's powers ( Worldvein Resonance and Lifeblood) create Lifeblood Shards near you for 18 seconds, boosting your primary stat and that of nearby allies also using this Essence. This is a strong effect for a group, which scales well with its size due to increased uptime, and regularly sees use in raids for DPS boosting.
Lackluster Essences for Restoration Shamans
These Essences should only be picked if you have a real, tangible scenario planned for them.
- Artifice of Time's major power ( Standstill) provides a large absorption shield to an ally, which can help in clutch moments, especially in PvP. It does come with a huge 3-minute cooldown, however, which relegates it to specific jobs, such as being the flag carrier's main healer. Its minor power ( Artifice of Time) grants Haste (and Speed, at high ranks) to other players, making it a good option when soloing.
- The Well of Existence stores 15% of your overhealing, which can then be instantly released into a target every 15 seconds with the major power ( Refreshment), or automatically released in smaller amounts with the minor power ( The Well of Existence). This Essence is hard to charge as a Shaman, since we typically do low overhealing, limiting its usefulness.
- Ripple in Space is a very niche Essence. Its major power's ( Ripple in Space) teleport capabilities are very useful to escape otherwise deadly situations, but you are also sacrificing significant amounts of throughput from other Essences for it. Its minor power ( Reality Shift) is also niche, as it requires movement to activate, but could see usage on encounters requiring heavy movement.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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