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Restoration Shaman Healing Spec, Builds, and Talents (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated Yesterday at 20:30 by Seksixeny 1 comment

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Restoration Shamans in World of Warcraft BfA 8.0.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Restoration Shaman guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About our Author

This guide has been written by Seksixeny, Restoration Shaman and general healing expert. He has raided with all healer specializations since vanilla, and currently plays on Group Therapy with his shaman. While you can routinely find him participating in discussions across all healer discords, he is particularly active on the restoration channels of Earthshrine and in Ancestral Guidance. You can find him for questions / suggestions there; make sure to tag Seksi#5191.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Torrent Torrent Undulation Undulation Unleash Life Unleash Life
30 Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements Deluge ? Deluge Earth Shield Earth Shield
45 Spirit Wolf Spirit Wolf Earthgrab Totem ? Earthgrab Totem Static Charge ? Static Charge
60 Ancestral Vigor Ancestral Vigor Earthen Wall Totem Earthen Wall Totem Ancestral Protection Totem ? Ancestral Protection Totem
75 Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Graceful Spirit Graceful Spirit Wind Rush Totem ? Wind Rush Totem
90 Flash Flood Flash Flood Downpour Downpour Cloudburst Totem ? Cloudburst Totem
100 High Tide High Tide Wellspring Wellspring Ascendance Ascendance

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets for Restoration Shaman

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. Raid / Large Group Talents

The talent setup below is a good starting point for raiding. It is highly recommended you read the individual talent points as this specialization, in particular, is highly situational with respect to talent choices. This build in particular aims to maximize your ability to group heal and recover from mistakes that cause unexpected raid damage.

2.2. Dungeon / Small Group Talents

The talent setup below is a good starting point for dungeons. While Restoration Shaman talents for dungeons are less open than raid ones, the optimal setup depends on both your group composition and the dungeon you are clearing. This build in particular aims to maximize your ability to keep the tank and other focused targets alive by boosting your single target healing.

3. Level 15 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Torrent Torrent Undulation Undulation Unleash Life Unleash Life

Level 15 talents offer a boost to sustained healing.

Torrent Icon Torrent is a fine choice for all situations, as it gives your Riptide Icon Riptide a little more direct healing. It can be helpful for quickly getting low health group members back up to safe levels, and given Riptide is already one of your most efficient heals, odds are you are casting a lot of Riptide already. The only problem with this talent is that it is not as powerful as the other two in their niches.

Undulation Icon Undulation's performance depends on how much of your total throughput consists of Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave / Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge casts. If these 2 spells are your main healing source, then this talent is easily the best choice on the tier, otherwise you should probably take a different talent in this row. This is the best talent on the tier for single target healing.

Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life provides a great boost for a Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal oriented build, as you can reliably increase Chain Heal output by 45% with a single global cooldown / negligible Mana cost. Unleash Life's targeted heal component is quite decent as well. This ability should be used on cooldown, and its buff spent on Chain Heal whenever possible. If the buffed Chain Heal would cause heavy overheal, you should instead use it on Riptide Icon Riptide as it improves its healing over time component as well as its direct heal. This is the best talent on the tier for group healing.

4. Level 30 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements Deluge ? Deluge Earth Shield Earth Shield

Level 30 talents also offer a boost to sustained healing.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements allows you to save instant spells for movement periods without losing throughput. The extra Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst charge makes Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge nearly always grant you an extra Lava Burst rather than just shortening its remaining cooldown and making it instant, thus increasing your single target DPS. This is a great all around talent that works in all situations.

Deluge Icon Deluge empowers your Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal significantly, as long as the beams hit allies inside your Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain / with Riptide Icon Riptide. While that makes it potentially great for group healing, both Healing Rain and Chain Heal have significant Mana costs and positioning restrictions. This means that you should only use Deluge in fights where there is significant group damage happening while the group stacks together inside Healing Rain.

Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield can be thought of as a very long duration Riptide Icon Riptide that can only be on one target at a time and also boosts your healing on the target. This means you should use it whenever your focus is on healing single targets that are taking a lot of damage, usually the case in dungeons and PvP.

5. Level 45 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Spirit Wolf Spirit Wolf Earthgrab Totem ? Earthgrab Totem Static Charge ? Static Charge

Level 45 talents offer / enhance utility tools.

  • Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf causes you to gain 5% increased movement speed / damage reduction every second while transformed into Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf, stacking up to 20% of each.
  • Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem places a totem up to 30 yards away that lasts for 20 seconds and roots enemies within 8 yards for 8 seconds. Enemies that were previously rooted by the totem are slowed by 50% instead, while inside its effect.
  • Static Charge Icon Static Charge reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem by 5 seconds for each enemy it stuns, up to a 20-second cooldown reduction maximum.

Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf is a good choice whenever you need that little extra damage reduction / speed to deal with encounter mechanics or when extra crowd control is not required.

Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem allows you to root enemies for a long duration. This is very helpful against melee non-boss enemies or when dealing with certain encounter mechanics.

Static Charge Icon Static Charge allows you to stun large groups of enemies more often, which is typically useful in dungeons or large scale PvP.

6. Level 60 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Ancestral Vigor Ancestral Vigor Earthen Wall Totem Earthen Wall Totem Ancestral Protection Totem ? Ancestral Protection Totem

Level 60 talents are a mix of throughput and utility tools.

  • Ancestral Vigor Icon Ancestral Vigor causes targets healed by Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave, Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge, Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal — any bounce hit counts — and Riptide Icon Riptide's direct heal to grant their targets 10% increased maximum health for 10 seconds.
  • Earthen Wall Totem Icon Earthen Wall Totem can be placed up to 30 yards away and redirects a flat amount of damage taken from nearby allies to the totem, which has the same total amount of health as you. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Ancestral Protection Totem Icon Ancestral Protection Totem can also be placed up to 30 yards away, lasts 30 seconds and grants two effects to allies within 20 yards of the totem: 10% increased maximum health and the ability to reincarnate at 20% health and Mana by consuming the totem. Players who took over 200% of their maximum health in damage as the killing blow cannot reincarnate with this totem and reincarnating does not count towards the combat resurrection limit. It has a 5-minute cooldown.

Ancestral Vigor Icon Ancestral Vigor is the most flexible choice of this row and works well in any situation. Your highest priority with this talent is to ensure it is running on the tanks and other priority targets at all times to grant them additional survivability.

Earthen Wall Totem Icon Earthen Wall Totem is good for reducing frequent incoming damage on a stacked group of allies. Since it only absorbs a small, fixed amount of each individual attack, it is not recommended to use against enemies that deal slow, powerful attacks.

Ancestral Protection Totem Icon Ancestral Protection Totem is the best choice whenever you plan to intentionally have one ally die to bypass encounter mechanics, just be mindful of the 200% maximum health killing blow limit. It should also be picked whenever your group is consistently struggling to keep everyone alive through a short, specific part of an encounter, as its effect is extraordinarily powerful.

7. Level 75 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Graceful Spirit Graceful Spirit Wind Rush Totem ? Wind Rush Totem

Level 75 talents offer / enhance utility tools.

  • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian heals you for 20% of your maximum health whenever your health falls below 35% — this happens before the hit that takes you below 35% health — with a 45-seconds cooldown between activations.
  • Graceful Spirit Icon Graceful Spirit makes your Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace a 1-minute cooldown and increases your movement speed by 20% while Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace is active.
  • Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem summons a totem up to 30 yards away for 15 seconds that increases the speed of allies within 10 yards by 60% for 5 seconds. The speed buff is continually refreshed as long as they are within range. It has a 2-minute cooldown.

Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian is a small, but completely passive self-healing ability that can potentially save your life if you expect to be taking large hits while above 35% health — keep in mind it will never save you from hits that deal your maximum health in damage or higher due to the heal happening before the damage event. It can also heal you when you are, otherwise, unable to do so — due to being crowd controlled in PvP, for example.

Graceful Spirit Icon Graceful Spirit should be your go-to talent in situations where you need to be able to move while healing more often than once every 2 minutes, and if you do not require any of the other two talents to survive / deal with group movement.

Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem should be your go-to talent in situations where your group requires a group movement speed buff.

8. Level 90 Talents for Restoration Shaman

Flash Flood Flash Flood Downpour Downpour Cloudburst Totem ? Cloudburst Totem

Level 90 talents offer a boost to burst healing.

  • Flash Flood Icon Flash Flood reduces the casting time of your next healing spell by 20% after you consume a charge of Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves.
  • Downpour Icon Downpour heals up to 6 allies in a large targeting circle when cast. It has a variable cooldown that ranges from 5 seconds (hit nothing / no effective healing done on hits) to 35 seconds (6 hits with effective healing done).
  • Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem replaces Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem when talented and places a totem beneath you that stores 25% of all healing and overhealing done while active. This healing is released up to 40 yards around you — not the totem — at the end of its 15-second duration, with a 30-second cooldown on the totem itself.

Flash Flood Icon Flash Flood significantly increases your average casting speed as long as you are spending your Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves regularly. This is very beneficial for both single target and group healing, but will require more Mana to achieve the same group healing benefits as the other two talents.

Downpour Icon Downpour does very strong stacked group burst healing and is the best option of this row whenever you can reliably heal 6 allies with it on cooldown and Mana is not a problem.

Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem's power depends exclusively on your ability to grow its stored healing with your other spells. Since it splits the stored healing evenly among hurt allies when destroyed, you want to try and destroy it manually ahead of the 15 seconds limit when not doing so will result in heavy overhealing. Due to replacing Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem, Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements causes you to have 2 charges of Cloudburst Totem, which can be used, for example, to ensure every Wellspring Icon Wellspring cast contributes to a Cloudburst Totem's stored healing.

9. Level 100 Talents for Restoration Shaman

High Tide High Tide Wellspring Wellspring Ascendance Ascendance

Level 100 talents offer a boost to burst healing.

  • High Tide Icon High Tide allows Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal to bounce to 1 additional target, and decreases the falloff penalty with each bounce by 50%.
  • Wellspring Icon Wellspring creates a wave of healing which hits all allies up to 30 yards in front of you, in a wide arc, with a 20-second cooldown.
  • Ascendance Icon Ascendance lasts 15 seconds and causes all of your non-totem healing to be duplicated and evenly split between allies up to 20 yards around you.

High Tide Icon High Tide is the best choice for a reactive group healing playstyle based on Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal. As a powerful stacked group healing spell without a cooldown, Chain Heal allows you to quickly spend your Mana pool to do massive group burst healing when needed.

Wellspring Icon Wellspring allows for widespread group healing, a limitation Restoration often struggles with. With its low 20-second cooldown, Wellspring works best when the encounter's damage pattern allows you to cast it on cooldown without heavy overhealing.

Ascendance Icon Ascendance is the most versatile talent on this tier. As its duplicated healing is only spread into injured allies, you can use it to rapidly heal a single target, when needed, or as a group healing cooldown when combined with your other group heals.

10. PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents that can be used in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at max level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Ability to earn Conquest Points in the outdoor world, which can reward powerful gear every week.

While War Mode can be beneficial to your character progression speed, it also brings significant risks of getting delayed by PvP combat, especially when venturing into the enemy faction's continent. This means that, after the initial leveling phase — where it is almost always beneficial since you mostly level in your faction's continent — you should only have it enabled if you do not mind being dragged into outdoor PvP regularly.

10.1. Restoration Shaman War Mode Talents

In this section we will explain the PvP talents and rank them on their leveling and solo / small group PvE content usefulness.

10.1.1. General PvP Talents

  1. Relentless Icon Relentless reduces the duration of crowd control effects by 20%. This is very useful in general and especially so when dealing with multiple enemies with similar crowd control abilities, which tends to be the case when leveling / soloing / small group PvE content in the outdoor world.
  2. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects. Good for emergencies , but not ideal when dealing with multiple enemies with crowd control abilities.
  3. Adaptation Icon Adaptation automatically removes loss of control effects with a duration equal to or over 5 seconds. There are very few abilities in the game that cause Adaptation to activate, thus its strong potential is rarely realized.

10.1.2. Restoration Shaman PvP Talents

  1. Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem creates a totem beneath you that increases the critical effect damage and healing of your spells by 20% for 15 seconds, on a 40-second cooldown. This totem is great to both increase your healing output and damage output of your group members on a short cooldown.
  2. Rippling Waters Icon Rippling Waters grants you an extra charge of Riptide Icon Riptide and causes it to heal the target when its healing over time component ends, is dispelled or refreshed. Taking this talent allows you to use Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield while keeping 2 charges of Riptide and makes Riptide stronger.
  3. Counterstrike Totem Icon Counterstrike Totem creates a totem beneath you that reflects 100% of the damage caused on allies within 20 yards of the totem back to enemies for its 15 second duration. It has a 45-second cooldown. This totem allows you to contribute significant area of effect DPS when your allies pull a lot of enemies or during PvP situations.

Swelling Waves Icon Swelling Waves, Voodoo Mastery Icon Voodoo Mastery, Electrocute Icon Electrocute, , Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem, Spirit Link Icon Spirit Link, Purifying Waters Icon Purifying Waters, Tidebringer Icon Tidebringer, Calming Waters Icon Calming Waters, and Spectral Recovery Icon Spectral Recovery have their own niches, but are not as generally useful when leveling / doing World Quests with a group as a Restoration Shaman. It is not recommended that you try to solo level and / or do World Quests, as the specialization's talents and ability to DPS is weak, slowing you down considerably.

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