Restoration Shaman Healing Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Restoration Shaman in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
1. Talent Choices for Restoration Shaman
|15||✓ Torrent||✓ Undulation||✓ Unleash Life|
|30||✓ Echo of the Elements||✗ Deluge||✓ Earth Shield|
|45||? Spirit Wolf||? Earthgrab Totem||? Static Charge|
|60||✓ Ancestral Vigor||✓ Earthen Wall Totem||✓ Ancestral Protection Totem|
|75||✓ Nature's Guardian||✓ Graceful Spirit||✓ Wind Rush Totem|
|90||✓ Flash Flood||✓ Downpour||✓ Cloudburst Totem|
|100||✓ High Tide||✓ Wellspring||✓ 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 and 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.
- Level 15: Unleash Life
- Level 30: Echo of the Elements
- Level 45: Spirit Wolf
- Level 60: Earthen Wall Totem or Ancestral Vigor
- Level 75: Nature's Guardian or Graceful Spirit
- Level 90: Downpour or Cloudburst Totem
- Level 100: High Tide or Wellspring
2.2. Dungeon / Small Group Talents
The talent setup below is a good starting point for dungeons. The optimal setup depends on both your group composition and the dungeon you are clearing.
- Level 15: Undulation
- Level 30: Earth Shield
- Level 45: Static Charge
- Level 60: Earthen Wall Totem or Ancestral Vigor
- Level 75: Nature's Guardian or Graceful Spirit
- Level 90: Flash Flood
- Level 100: High Tide or Ascendance
3. Level 15 Talents for Restoration Shaman
|✔ Torrent||✔ Undulation||✔ Unleash Life|
Level 15 talents offer a boost to sustained healing.
- Torrent increases the initial heal from Riptide by 30%.
- Undulation causes every third Healing Wave or Healing Surge to heal for an additional 50%.
- Unleash Life heals a friendly target for a moderate amount and increases your next direct heal's potency by 35%.
Torrent is a fine choice for all situations, as it gives your 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's performance depends on how much of your total throughput consists of Healing Wave / 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 provides an extra instant heal and strong boost to your next direct heal. This should usually be used on Chain Heal, as you can reliably increase Chain Heal output by 35% with a single global cooldown / negligible Mana cost. This ability should be used on cooldown — note that it can be used in Ghost Wolf without transforming you back — and its buff spent on Chain Heal whenever possible. If the buffed Chain Heal would cause heavy overheal, you should instead use it on Healing Surge or 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 and quite decent for single target as well.
4. Level 30 Talents for Restoration Shaman
|✔ Echo of the Elements||✘ Deluge||✔ Earth Shield|
Level 30 talents also offer a boost to sustained healing.
- Echo of the Elements grants an additional charge to Riptide, Healing Stream Totem (or Cloudburst Totem, when talented), and Lava Burst.
- Deluge causes Chain Heal to heal for 20% more on targets that have Riptide or are standing within Healing Rain.
- Earth Shield places a buff on the target that automatically heals them, up to 9 times per Earth Shield cast, whenever they take damage. It also increases your healing on the target by 10% but cannot be active on more than one target at once.
Echo of the Elements allows you to save instant spells for movement periods without losing throughput. The extra Lava Burst charge makes 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. It also allows you to place up to three Cloudburst Totem in a row, although only one can be active at a given time. This is a great all around talent that works in all situations.
Deluge empowers your Chain Heal significantly, as long as the beams hit allies inside your Healing Rain / with Riptide. While that makes it potentially great for group healing, both Healing Rain and Chain Heal have significant Mana costs and positioning restrictions. All considered, this talent is not currently recommended in any situation.
Earth Shield can be thought of as a very long duration 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||? Earthgrab Totem||? Static Charge|
Level 45 talents offer / enhance utility tools.
- Spirit Wolf causes you to gain 5% increased movement speed / damage reduction every second while transformed into Ghost Wolf, stacking up to 20% of each.
- 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 reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem by 5 seconds for each enemy it stuns, up to a 20-second cooldown reduction maximum.
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. Due to its general flexibility, it is the recommended talent to take when you don't have a specific use for the other options.
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 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||✔ Earthen Wall Totem||✔ Ancestral Protection Totem|
Level 60 talents are a mix of throughput and utility tools.
- Ancestral Vigor causes targets healed by Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Chain Heal — any bounce hit counts — and Riptide's direct heal to grant their targets 10% increased maximum health for 10 seconds.
- 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 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 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 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 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||✔ Graceful Spirit||✔ Wind Rush Totem|
Level 75 talents offer / enhance utility tools.
- 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 makes your Spiritwalker's Grace a 1-minute cooldown and increases your movement speed by 20% while Spiritwalker's Grace is active.
- 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 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 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 should be your go-to talent in situations where your group requires a group movement speed buff, typically while raiding.
8. Level 90 Talents for Restoration Shaman
|✔ Flash Flood||✔ Downpour||✔ Cloudburst Totem|
Level 90 talents offer a boost to burst healing.
- Flash Flood reduces the casting time of your next healing spell by 20% after you consume a charge of Tidal Waves.
- 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 replaces Healing Stream Totem when talented and places a totem beneath you that stores 30% of all spell 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 significantly increases your average casting speed as long as you are spending your 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 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's power depends exclusively on your ability to grow its stored healing with your other spells — items and Azerite trait direct healing does not count towards the stored healing (although Azerite traits that boost your baseline spells will contribute). 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, Echo of the Elements causes you to have 2 charges of Cloudburst Totem, which can be used, for example, to ensure every Wellspring cast contributes to a Cloudburst Totem's stored healing.
9. Level 100 Talents for Restoration Shaman
|✔ High Tide||✔ Wellspring||✔ Ascendance|
Level 100 talents offer a boost to burst healing.
- High Tide grants 20% extra healing and no decrease after each jump to your next two Chain Heal casts, every time you spend 40.000 Mana. This buff lasts for 25 seconds after you reach the 40.000 Mana threshold, and can thus safely be stored for situations where it is needed.
- 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 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 is the most flexible talent in this row, allowing you to bank powerful Chain Heal casts to counter incoming burst damage, or simply passively increase your throughput. It performs well in most situations and exceptionally in short fights where you can be reckless with your Mana pool.
Wellspring allows for widespread group healing, a limitation Restoration often struggles with. With its relatively low 20-second cooldown, Wellspring works best when the encounter's damage pattern allows you to cast it on cooldown without heavy overhealing. As replacing Chain Heal casts with Wellsprings is an efficient way to extend your Mana pool, longer fights favor this talent.
Ascendance's duplicated healing is only spread into injured allies, which means 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. While Ascendance is very powerful while active, its overall uptime is very low, making it unreliable in most situations. Also, being on the Global Cooldown makes it a very slow "emergency button", as you need to wait at least two Global Cooldowns (itself and the spell it copies) in order to see any benefits.
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% to 30% increase in World Quest rewards at max level.
- 10% to 30% 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Ancestral Gift allows you to cast uninterrupted for 5 seconds after using Spiritwalker's Grace. This is critical when facing one or more opponents who can interrupt you, allowing you to land every spell cast during that window.
- 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, Voodoo Mastery, Electrocute, Cleansing Waters, Grounding Totem, Spirit Link, Tidebringer and 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.
- 10 Dec. 2018: 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.
- 11 Nov. 2018: 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: Changed Deluge to not recommended, Wind Rush Totem to recommended and minor talent recommendation tweaks.
- 28 Aug. 2018: Changed dungeon-recommended talents.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 07 Aug. 2018: 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.
- Kul Tiran & Zandalari Druid Empowered Moonkin Form
- Allied Races: Are Mechagnomes and Vulpera Next?
- Titan Residuum Hotfix: January 16th
- The Story of Xal'atath in Patch 8.1.5
- Patch 8.1.5 Build 28938: Highlights
- This Week in WoW: January 15th
- What's Changing (and Not!) in Season 2
- Bruce (Brawler's Guild Mount) in Patch 8.1.5
- Feral Druid 8.1
- when to use blizzard/aoe as frost?
- Windwalker Monk PvP 8.1
- Unholy Death Knight PvP 8.1
- Survival Hunter PvP 8.1
- Subtlety Rogue PvP 8.1
- Shadow Priest PvP 8.1
- Retribution Paladin PvP 8.1