Restoration Shaman Healing Spell Summary — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Restoration Shaman in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.
1. Restoration Shaman Spell Summary
If you are new to Restoration, it is recommended you read this before proceeding! In this section we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialization, and how they interact with important cooldowns. If you have played this spec before or have already achieved a level of comfort playing this spec in a practical environment, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.
2. Main Resource for Restoration Shaman
Your main resource as a Restoration Shaman is Mana. Mana is restored periodically in combat through your Mana regeneration, and you are also refunded a percentage of maximum Mana from your spells by your Resurgence passive. Some of your spells have a high Mana to healing ratio, meaning their output when compared with their cost is very high compared to other spells in your kit. These spells typically provide more convenience, or have faster cast times allowing you to potentially save lives. Learning to select the right spell for the right situation in order to properly conserve and spend Mana at the correct times is very important to playing a Restoration Shaman skillfully.
3. Healing Spells for Restoration Shaman
These healing abilities are available no matter what talents you chose, and form the bread and butter of this specialization.
Riptide heals for a moderate amount instantly, then continues to heal the target over 18 seconds. This is one of your staple spells, as it is a very efficient investment of Mana and has a lasting effect. Riptide also triggers your Tidal Waves passive, which is helpful for spot healing.
Healing Stream Totem is an efficient totem that heals an injured ally in your group periodically and lasts 15 seconds. It should be kept on cooldown as it is very cheap and provides significant passive healing .
Healing Wave is an efficient heal with a slow cast time. You should cast this to heal single damaged targets whenever they are hurt but not in danger of immediately dying. Having Tidal Waves available reduces the cast time of Healing Wave by 30% which removes its slow casting time drawback.
Healing Surge is an inefficient heal with a fast cast time. You should cast this to quickly stabilize allies that are about to die, but avoid it otherwise, as repeated casts quickly empty your Mana pool. Having Tidal Waves available increases Healing Surge's critical chance by 40%, causing it to likely heal for a large amount.
Healing Rain is a very efficient AoE heal, placing a zone with a 20-yard diameter that heals up to 6 allies standing inside of it over 10 seconds. Its efficient but slow nature makes it the ideal spell whenever there is, or will be, AoE damage incoming but no one is in immediate danger of dying. Avoid casting Healing Rain if allies will be moving out of it before its full duration.
Chain Heal is great for burst AoE healing. Casting Chain Heal launches a beam that bounces between 4 targets, its healing being reduced by 30% per bounce. Chain Heal also prefers to bounce to the most injured allies in range, and is one of the few spells of its kind that has no cooldown. This allows you to use it as many times as needed, whenever needed, only limited by your remaining Mana pool.
4. Healing Cooldowns for Restoration Shaman
Healing Tide Totem is your main throughput cooldown. This totem is placed beneath you and pulses periodically, healing all members within 40 yards for 10 seconds. Healing Tide Totem is mainly used to counteract very high incoming group damage periods.
Spirit Link Totem is one of the most unique abilities in World of Warcraft. Spirit Link Totem has a 20-yard diameter, reduces damage taken by everyone inside by 10%, and redistributes the health of everyone inside every second such that they have the same percentage of maximum health. What makes Spirit Link Totem so powerful is its flexibility: you can use it to instantly save a single target taking deadly damage by forcing the sharing of this damage among nearby allies, or to survive deadly group damage by combining it with personals / immunities and other healing cooldowns. Notably, using Spirit Link Totem and Darkness together allows the group to gain Darkness's theoretical 20% damage reduction benefit without the risk of unlucky deaths.
5. Utility Spells for Restoration Shaman
These non-healing abilities are available no matter what talents you chose and, while they do not provide any healing by themselves, can reduce incoming damage massively — by interrupting powerful enemy spells, for example.
Purify Spirit removes all curse and magic effects from a friendly target on a 8-second cooldown. This can often allow the purified ally to survive otherwise deadly situations and usually lowers the damage intake of that ally.
Purge removes one beneficial magic effect from an enemy target. This is very useful when pursuing kills in PvP and in BfA dungeons where there are a lot of non-boss enemies with very powerful magic buffs that should be removed.
Spiritwalker's Grace lasts 15 seconds and allows you to cast while moving for its duration. You can activate Spiritwalker's Grace while casting. This ability is your solution to high movement phases that also have high incoming damage.
Ghost Wolf turns you into a ghostly wolf, allowing you to run 30% faster while active and preventing you from being slowed under 100% movement speed. Using any other spell while in wolf form will transform you back. Ghost Wolf can help you deal with dangerous mechanics faster and, when combined with Earthbind Totem, allows you to run away from nearly any non-boss enemies in the game.
Astral Shift grants you 40% damage reduction for 8 seconds on a 90-second cooldown. This ability is used both to reduce deadly damage you know is coming to manageable levels, and as an emergency button when you take unexpected bursts of damage.
Wind Shear interrupts an enemy target and prevents spells of the interrupted school from being cast for 3 seconds on a 12-second cooldown. Restoration Shaman is the only healer that can interrupt and Wind Shear has the shortest cooldown out of all ranged interrupts. As interruptible enemy casts are, often, some of the most dangerous abilities you will face in World of Warcraft, you should try to interrupt enemies as much as possible, prioritizing the most dangerous casts / ranged enemies that are hard for melee allies to interrupt.
Capacitor Totem allows you to place a totem up to 30 yards away that, 2 seconds after being placed, explodes to stun a group of enemies in a 16-yard diameter for 3 seconds, on a 1-minute cooldown. When facing dangerous trash packs or during PvP combat, 3 seconds can easily be the difference between victory and defeat, especially against Raging / Necrotic or during enemy player DPS cooldowns.
Tremor Totem places a totem beneath you that periodically removes fear, charm, and sleep effects from allies within 30 yards. It lasts for 10 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown. This should be used whenever enemies are casting fear, charm or sleep effects on your group.
Earthbind Totem allows you to place a totem up to 30 yards away that slows the movement speed of nearby non-boss enemies by 50% for 20 seconds on a 30-second cooldown. This can be useful when trying to run away from enemies — while trying to reset Necrotic stacks, for example — or against enemy players.
Hex disables a non-boss humanoid or beast enemy for 1 minute. It has a 10-second cooldown but only one enemy can be hexed at a time. This allows you to fight a smaller number of enemies at the same time or gain precious time to run away / finish weak enemies off in PvP.
Earth Elemental summons an elemental with a large health pool and good non-boss tanking capabilities — its taunt does not work on bosses — for 1 minute on a 5-minute cooldown. Since it costs no Mana, it can be used for a minor DPS increase or as an emergency cooldown capable of distracting dangerous non-boss enemies.
Bloodlust and Heroism increase Haste by 30% for 40 seconds for all group members within 100 yards. This ability applies a debuff to everyone in the group which prevents them from benefiting from other casts of this ability or other classes' equivalent abilities for 10 minutes.
Ancestral Vision allows you to resurrect every dead ally within 100 yards when your whole group is out of combat, which is useful for quickly recovering after a wipe or bypassing some trash packs in dungeons when combined with Reincarnation or other way to self-resurrect.
Water Walking allows your friendly target to walk over water for 10 minutes. While a very niche spell, it can be useful when playing in zones with water, allowing you fast water crossing anywhere.
6. Other relevant mechanics for Restoration Shaman
Tidal Waves reduces the cast time of your next Healing Wave by 30% or increases the Critical Strike chance of your next Healing Surge by 40%. You can store up to two charges of this effect and they persist for up to 15 seconds after you gained the last charge. You can avoid wasting charges by immediately casting Healing Wave whenever you have two Tidal Wave charges.
Resurgence causes your Healing Wave critical hits to return 1% of your maximum Mana, Healing Surge and Riptide critical hits to return 0.6% of your maximum Mana, and Chain Heal critical hits to return 0.25% of your maximum Mana. This means that these spells are more Mana efficient than they might look at first sight, especially Healing Wave.
Lava Surge gives each of your Flame Shock ticks a 20% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Lava Burst and make it instant. This allows you to deal significant DPS easily just by keeping Flame Shock active on the enemies and using whatever instant Lava Bursts you get.
Reincarnation allows to self-resurrect with 20% health and Mana once every 30 minutes. While the long cooldown does not allow you to plan ahead for using this ability, its power to reverse mistakes and potentially turn wipes into kills makes it a powerful tool. Make sure to only self-resurrect when there is no group damaging happening or you might die again instantly.
7. DPS Spells for Restoration Shaman
Flame Shock causes a small amount of upfront damage to an enemy target and leaves a debuff causing further damage over 21 seconds. It has a 6-second cooldown and should always be the first thing you cast when starting to DPS, even against multiple enemies — as long as they will live for Flame Shock's 21-second duration.
Lava Burst deals moderate damage to an enemy target. This damage is always a critical strike as long as the target is affected by Flame Shock. You should cast Lava Burst, when available, before Lightning Bolt while DPSing.
Lightning Bolt deals moderate damage to an enemy target. While it is the weakest DPS spell of a Restoration Shaman's toolkit, it is also the only one that costs no Mana. This makes it a good choice to DPS with for bosses which require all of your Mana pool to be dedicated to healing.
Chain Lightning deals a small amount of damage to up to three enemies who are in close proximity of each other. Against two enemies who are close together, it is preferable to use Chain Lightning over Lightning Bolt. If you can hit all three possible targets, use Chain Lightning over Lava Burst as well. It has a negligible Mana cost, allowing you to use it without impacting your future healing potential.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 20 Jul. 2018: Small clarifications to general text and on when / how to use Chain Lightning.
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