Restoration Shaman Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jul 22, 2024 at 03:10 by Seksixeny 48 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Restoration Shaman changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Restoration Shaman in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Restoration Shaman. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Restoration Shaman or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Restoration Shaman: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Restoration Shaman. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Restoration Shaman spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within Beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Restoration Shaman, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.


The War Within Changes for Restoration Shaman


Core Changes

Restoration Shaman has finally received a powerful raid buff in Skyfury Icon Skyfury, as well as major improvements changes to its talent tree, which is now mostly composed of 1-point impactful talents such as the new Spouting Spirits Icon Spouting Spirits, Tidewaters Icon Tidewaters, Downpour Icon Downpour, and First Ascendant Icon First Ascendant, to name a few of the best new tools available!

The Class tree also received some changes, removing much of the fluff that had to be taken for minor healing gains and adding new defensives such as Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem and Primordial Bond Icon Primordial Bond, much improved access to the mobility node that includes Gust of Wind Icon Gust of Wind, and a new choice node for Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem which provides niche, but potentially fantastic utility with Jet Stream Icon Jet Stream and Ascending Air Icon Ascending Air.


Systems Changes

Besides the Core Changes explained above, The War Within is also bringing a new Hero Talent Tree system, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion, which will cause Shaman playstyle to slow down drastically in the first tier as Critical Strike levels are reduced dramatically, leading to much lower Mana gains from Resurgence Icon Resurgence.

On the other hand, the first Restoration Shaman Tier set seems aimed at speeding gameplay by making Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves more effective, allowing for quicker rotations and including a Mana reduction effect to let your Mana last through the quicker casting.

Restoration Shaman gets to choose between the Farseer and Totemic Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.


Hero Talent Trees for Restoration Shaman in The War Within


Farseer Hero Talents for Restoration Shaman

The Farseer Hero Tree Talents are all about spawning ancestor-friendly NPCs which can heal or deal damage based on what spells you are using. You can spawn them with Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life or Undulation Icon Undulation through Call of the Ancestors Icon Call of the Ancestors, with Riptide Icon Riptide with Routine Communication Icon Routine Communication, on despawn with Ancient Fellowship Icon Ancient Fellowship, and through Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness, which is a slightly more powerful version of Nature's Swiftness Icon Nature's Swiftness.

Gameplay-wise, you will mostly just be playing normally as you already want to use the low-cooldown activators Unleash Life Icon Unleash Life or Undulation Icon Undulation (especially powerful with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave spawning multiple Ancestors at once) and Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness as much as possible, but there can be some extra value to delaying some of their uses slightly in order to have as many ancestors as possible out for when burst healing is required, as they only last 6 seconds baseline. You will also be able to save a regular talent point in Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements by taking Elemental Reverb Icon Elemental Reverb instead, as the vast majority of the power is in the first Riptide Icon Riptide charge.

Power-wise, expect a solid all-rounder that further amplifies your burst healing potential but as ancestor healing is not considered your healing, there is no synergy with existing talents such as Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance, Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem, and Ascendance Icon Ascendance, which is a large downside considering current Restoration gameplay patterns.

Defensively, Farseer is extremely weak as both Natural Harmony Icon Natural Harmony and Earthen Communion Icon Earthen Communion are among the worst defensive talents present in any Hero tree currently.

Overall, Farseer is expected to be a great Mythic+ and small group content tree, as the Ancestors can contribute DPS when healing is not needed and are more useful in single target and spread healing scenarios than what Totemic can offer with its Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal and Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain focus.


Totemic Hero Talents for Restoration Shaman

The Totemic Hero Tree Talents bring a new active ability, Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem, which replaces Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain and casts a 24-second duration Healing Rain around the totem, which can be moved instantly frequently with Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection.

Gameplay-wise Surging Totem frees a lot of time that would otherwise be needed for Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain recasts and thus lets you use the rest of your kit more often, at the cost of having even more of your healing potential tied to the small radius of Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain than usual.

It also has a heavy Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal focus, mostly because of Lively Totems Icon Lively Totems and Totemic Rebound Icon Totemic Rebound, which heavily benefit from Chain Heal talents and frequent rotational usage. Lively Totem Chain Heals count towards healing multiplier spells such as Ascendance Icon Ascendance, which is a great bonus when compared to Ancestor healing.

Whirling Elements Icon Whirling Elements is another interesting talent which provides various motes with helpful effects that interact with your core kit, including a way for Chain Heal to apply the Earthliving Weapon Icon Earthliving Weapon effect even if you do not have it talented on the regular tree! It is also possible that Cloudburst Totem Icon Cloudburst Totem will lose its longstanding standard pick status due to the combination of Supportive Imbuements Icon Supportive Imbuements, Reactivity Icon Reactivity, and the regular tree Living Stream Icon Living Stream which highly benefits from both.

Defensively, Totemic has the simple Wind Barrier Icon Wind Barrier, which provides a powerful shield every 30 seconds and scales with your maximum health, making it have some synergy with our generally high health pools due to Brimming with Life Icon Brimming with Life, Ancestral Vigor Icon Ancestral Vigor, and Downpour Icon Downpour.

Finally, Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem also doubles all one-time Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain-related healing such as Tidewaters Icon Tidewaters and Downpour Icon Downpour, creating more opportunities for burst healing and allowing you to use your other spells more often!

Thus, due to its reliance on Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain and Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal, Totemic is a great tree for Raiding that doubles down on Shaman burst healing and utility strengths, but also its spread healing weaknesses.


Restoration Shaman Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Restoration Shaman in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Shaman Restoration 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Shaman Restoration 11.0 Class Set 2pcTidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves increases the healing of affected spells by 10%. This is a simple bonus which translates into a straightforward 10% healing increase to some of your core spells such as Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave, Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge, and also Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal, which is often easy to forget about as it used to provide, rather than consume, Tidal Waves in Classic expansions!
  • Shaman Restoration 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Shaman Restoration 11.0 Class Set 4pcTidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves is 80% more effective and reduces the Mana cost of affected spells by 8%. This is a very significant increase in Tidal Waves power and you will want to focus heavily on generating and spending them with your gameplay once you get this bonus.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and do not have significant gameplay impact, as generating and consuming Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves is already how you should be optimally playing, even without the tier set bonuses. Doing it correctly will be much more powerful, while failing to do so will be further punishing.


How Good is the Restoration Shaman Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The 2pc bonus is strong but not overwhelmingly so, as much of your healing comes from unaffected spells such as Healing Tide Totem Icon Healing Tide Totem and Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain.

The 4pc bonus is much stronger, as the 8% Mana reduction is similar in power by itself to the 2-piece bonus, and you also get a freebie with extra Critical Strike on Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge and much faster casting of Healing Wave Icon Healing Wave and Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal, which is especially valuable in the first Season of the expansion when secondary stats such as Haste are at their lowest!

Overall this is a simple yet strong tier bonus which does not change how you play but strongly emphasizes playing correctly, so take it as a great time to hone your Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves management skills!


Restoration Shaman Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Farseer talents and gameplay are tailored towards no-Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal builds and strong even when group heavy spread is imposed
  • +Your burst healing capabilities will become even stronger with the new talent trees, return of the Lively Totems Icon Lively Totems bonus, and Farseer ancestors;
  • +Totemic makes Shaman stacked healing even stronger, with Surging Totem Icon Surging Totem ensuring you never miss out on any Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain casts and Ancestral Vigor Icon Ancestral Vigor being easier to spread than ever through the large amount of automatic free Chain Heal Icon Chain Heals jumping around.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -You will also still be without teleports, immunities, or tank cooldowns, limiting your group utility;
  • -While Farseer helps in this regard, all Restoration Shamans depend on stacked group tools for some of their healing and utility, from Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain to Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem;
  • -Talents such as Tidebringer Icon Tidebringer and Tidal Waves Icon Tidal Waves (especially with the new 4-set bonus) emphasize granting us large Haste bonuses, but none of these reduce the Global Cooldown, making us end up stuck waiting for it to end after casting extremely fast spells.


  • 22 Jul. 2024: Massive update to reflect current Beta state.
  • 18 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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