Restoration Shaman Healing Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2

Last updated on Aug 14, 2019 at 18:32 by Seksixeny 23 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Restoration Shaman guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2. Here, you will learn how to heal as a Restoration Shaman in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your output.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Restoration Shaman Healer guide.

1. Restoration Shaman Overview

Restoration Shaman is an extremely flexible specialization that shines when healing groups of players that are clumped together. They have a variety of unique tools to deal with otherwise deadly influxes of damage, such as Spirit Link Icon Spirit Link. Because Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal has no cooldown, Restoration Shamans are one of the few healers that can area of effect heal continuously when dangerous unexpected damage happens.

While mobility is not one of the specialization's strong points, periods of heavy movement can be handled by Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace. It is also notable that Restoration Shamans deal most of their maximum potential damage in the form of instants: Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock and Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge-enabled Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst allow them to put out a respectable amount of damage while moving, without cutting into healing time.

In order to properly play a healing role, you will need more than just class-specific information. To better understand healing in general, we recommend that you read our healing guide.

2. 13 August Changes for Restoration Shamans

Restoration Shamans got a significant boost this reset:

These are all welcome changes that improve our performance in all types of content. While they do not look to be quite enough to make us a contender in the top ranking Mythic+ dungeon groups, expect to see more Shamans contest Discipline Priests and Holy Paladins for a raid spot.

The Wellspring Icon Wellspring change is particularly of note, as this is not a meta talent right now, even though it is not bad, either. This buff temporarily makes it a good competitor with High Tide Icon High Tide for fights where you can use it every 20 seconds for effective healing. Expect High Tide Icon High Tide and Ascendance Icon Ascendance to continue being the dominating talents whenever heavy burst healing is required, however.

3. Patch 8.2 Changes for Restoration Shamans

There were no changes of note to Restoration Shamans in Patch 8.2. There are a few system changes that impact us, however:

4. Restoration Shaman Strengths

5. Restoration Shaman Weaknesses

  • Mediocre sustained targeted healing and no tank cooldowns
  • Mediocre group healing in situations that force a large spread
  • Mediocre mobility, most of a Restoration Shaman's healing comes from spells with high casting times
  • Mediocre survivability, no immunities or very high damage reduction defensive abilities

6. Restoration Shaman Viability in the Current Patch

Most of all, Restoration is a fun specialization with lots of viable talent choices that affect your playstyle. These choices make the gameplay as complex / simple as you want, allowing for your own growth as a player to reflect on the talents you pick as well as your gameplay.

Raid content, such as The Eternal Palace, is where Restoration thrives. Their burst / emergency healing is very strong and allows the raid to recover from mistakes that cause high raid damage. This strength is helped along by their mastery, Mastery: Deep Healing Icon Mastery: Deep Healing, which gains value when healing low health targets. Last, but decidedly not least, they also have some of the best group support tools out of all healer specializations, with Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem being irreplaceable on certain situations.

In Mythic+ dungeon content, Restoration lacks sustained single target healing and a tank cooldown, but it can do significant AoE burst healing with Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal and High Tide Icon High Tide, and do it quite often, as Mana is typically plentiful in this content. This also allows the Shaman to dedicate more time to DPS without worrying about falling behind on healing, helping push clear times significantly. Certain Shaman tools, such as Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem can help you deal with Beguiling Icon Beguiling's most dangerous enemy,Void-Touched Emissary.

Finally, Restoration Shaman is a very strong PvP healer, as it has all the tools to heavily disrupt the enemy team, while supporting its own. It is the only healer specialization with an interrupt, and that interrupt is ranged, with a short cooldown! It has great PvP cooldowns as well, such as Earthen Wall Totem Icon Earthen Wall Totem and Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem, as well as Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal, Ancestral Gift Icon Ancestral Gift and Cleansing Waters Icon Cleansing Waters which are all great in Battlegrounds. This said, Restoration Shamans are very vulnerable to being disrupted themselves, which sometimes causes them to fall behind on healing, compared to other classes with more instant casts at their disposal.

7. Changelog

  • 14 Aug. 2019 (this page): Updated to reflect latest class tuning changes.
  • 14 Aug. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added the final mythic boss tips.
  • 28 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait rankings.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Fixed a typo in the gear list.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added mythic boss tips for the first four bosses after killing them.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Recommending Ascendance again as a viable option for M+ Restoration Shaman healing.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added section detailing the power of the staff dropped by Azshara.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Season 3 updates: Beguiling affix details and Essence considerations.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated with Operation: Mechagon and The Eternal Palace bis gear list, added the new trinkets to the tier list and updated their rankings.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Season 3 updates, including considerations on the free PvP talent gained from the Conflict and Strife essence.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait rankings for Season 3.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Updated with new Azerite trait and Essence information.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (this page): Updated for Season 3.
  • 07 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Shifted ranks around based on early live testing.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.2 changes.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): Reworked the text for Patch 8.2.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added new Patch 8.2 traits and updated rankings.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (gear page): Updated the trinket rankings due to the new, improved scaling of non-stat effects. Added Benthic Gear.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Added page.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Updated with the new consumables of Patch 8.2.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Removed mention to PTR testing as the guide is now 100% complete for live servers.
  • 06 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added Mythic Uu'nat recommendations post kill videos.
  • 27 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added Mythic Cabal recommendations after killing it on live.
  • 20 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait rankings.
  • 20 Apr. 2019 (gear page): Updated the trinket rankings.
  • 20 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added a recommendation to use Tremor Totem if a cast of Terrifying Echo will go through.
  • 20 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): Changed the talent build description.
  • 20 Apr. 2019 (talents page): Updated the description of Unleash Life: you can no longer stay in Ghost Wolf form after using it. Minor updates to talent recommendations.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (this page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (gear page): Added Crucible of Storms gear and trinkets, as well as updated the raid best-in-slot list.
  • 09 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added mention to Tremor Totem temporarily dispelling the Mind Control totem at Rastakhan.
  • 02 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated recommended talents based on feedback.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (simulations page): Added Kul'Tiran and Zandalari to the race considerations.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (stats page): Removed mention of Healer Stat Weights, as it is no longer being maintained.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (FAQ page): Added which Loa is best when playing a Zandalari Troll and updated a lot of the text for the 8.1.5 patch.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.5 changes.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Changed the recommended talents for Jaina Mythic and added an explanation to the text.
  • 16 Mar. 2019 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 8.1.5 changes, added new Azerite traits.
  • 14 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Removed mention of the Spouting Spirits and Ascendance combo, as it no longer works in Patch 8.1.5.
  • 14 Mar. 2019 (talents page): Changed the talent description for Ascendance, due to the Patch 8.1.5 changes.
  • 14 Mar. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait ranking for Patch 8.1.5.
  • 02 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added new Jaina Mythic tips.
  • 02 Mar. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added DPS trait ranking.
  • 02 Mar. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added Igneous Potential to the list of recommended Mythic+ traits.
  • 07 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Corrected some typos and updated tips for Stormwall Blockade and Jaina Mythic encounters.
  • 05 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Tweaked some recommendations and added extra input based on live experience.
  • 26 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added profession / crafting recommendations and swapped the recommendations for chest and shoulder Azerite slots in the BIS list.
  • 26 Jan. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added more details on the Reaping affix and a list of the best Mythic+ Azerite traits.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (talents page): Added new options for recommended dungeon talents.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Battle for Dazar'alor gear traits and ranked all traits by the latest theorycrafting results.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added boss by boss guide for Restoration Shaman in Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth, Infested affix was removed and Reaping affix and recommendations was added.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added Battle for Dazar'alor trinkets, ranked them and added the new raid best-in-slot list.
  • 22 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added and ranked the new PvP traits.
  • 19 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Added the new crafted Alchemy trinket.
  • 18 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Added new questions on viability, stat caps, and race choices.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Added the Darkshore Warfront World Boss trinket.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Overflowing Shores Azerite trait to the list of changes.
  • 14 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated rankings and clarified the way Spouting Spirits and Overflowing Shores work in 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes and added FAQ entries related to some obscure Restoration Shaman / Azerite mechanics.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes: High Tide is now a recommended talent for Mythic+ dungeons. Added a detailed explanation on several build types under the talent table.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes, High Tide is now the recommended talent for all types of PvE content. Also added new Azerite Traits to look out for.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.1, Coastal Surge is no longer recommended.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes: High Tide is now a recommended talent for all types of PvE content. Changed High Tide's description to match its 8.1 rework and adjusted numbers on Unleash Life.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and only minor changes were necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): Updated for 8.1 and added a Weak Aura section.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes: new traits added and trait rankings adjusted.
  • 11 Nov. 2018 (gear page): Minor title / BiS table boss link fixes.
  • 11 Nov. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 11 Nov. 2018 (talents page): Changed Cloudburst Totem to recommended for the raiding build and Spirit Wolf to situational so it is clear that its talent row is completely situational.
  • 22 Oct. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talent choices.
  • 22 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated ranks and added information on the new Restoration Shaman spreadsheet.
  • 22 Oct. 2018 (talents page): Changed Deluge to not recommended, Wind Rush Totem to recommended and minor talent recommendation tweaks.
  • 22 Oct. 2018 (gear page): Updated with new layout and the complete information on Battle For Azeroth loot systems.
  • 22 Oct. 2018 (how to improve page): Added new section on healing basics.
  • 10 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Minor typo and talent fixes and added extra tips for Mythic G'huun.
  • 08 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated talent and boss information based on our full Mythic progression experience.
  • 27 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated ranks to reflect hotfixed changes and added choosing gear section.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority and Azerite traits to match other guide pages.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated with new trinket theorycrafting after hotifxes.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated ranks to reflect new theorycrafting information.
  • 12 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Tremor Totem boss information and other tips.
  • 05 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated weapon enchants to recommend Coastal Surge or Deadly Navigation.
  • 05 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Small changes to rankings and typo correction.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Introduced ranking buckets.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added talent cheatsheet.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated ranks to reflect new theorycrafting information.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added two new FAQ entries.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Changed dungeon-recommended talents.
  • 27 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated weapon enchant.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated with trinket and general gear recommendations for the pre-raid period.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Simplified stat priority and updated ratings per 1% based on live testing.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated Azerite traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated ranks to reflect new theorycrafting information.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated some talent recommendations.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Added a short list of the best Azerite traits.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added final missing traits and descriptions and updated ranks to reflect recent hotfixes.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Some PvP missing traits added, updated rank based on new theorycrafting information.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated MOTHER, Zul and Mythrax recommendations.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated Cloudburst Totem storing 30% of healing after the latest hotfix.
  • 07 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated Cloudburst Totem storing 30% of healing after the latest hotfix and clarified items / Azerite traits do not count towards stored healing. Small note on Unleash Life: it can be used in Ghost Wolf.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Corrected a few typos and added a few missing traits.
  • 05 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added page.
  • 05 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added preliminary Uldir guide for Restoration Shamans.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added page.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added page.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Vastly expanded the amount of traits listed and categorized them according to their power in the current Beta build.
  • 03 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Clarified some of the text.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Azerite page.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (Uldir page): Removed Legion content in preparation for BfA.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (spells page): Small clarifications to general text and on when / how to use Chain Lightning.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): General text clarifications and style improvements.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated to reflect Soul of the Farseer now giving Echo of the Elements instead of Flash Flood.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
Show more
Show less