5.4 and Your Resto Shaman: Understanding your changing patch-notes

tumblr_m71c1xlCkk1rt8r0to1_500Apologies dedicated reader.  I’ve been on vacation and just now have been able to summon up the motivation to write this column.  Honest, it’s not you, it’s me.   However, in my absense it seems the patch notes have solidified to a great degree and are approaching a release candidate.  So let’s take a look at what we’ve got here.

We have some serious buffs on the way folks.  Yay!

  • Chain Heal’s effectiveness will no longer decrease with each jump (up from a 30% reduction to healing with each jump).
  • Healing Rain’s radius has been increased to 12 yards (up from 10 yards).
  • Purification now increases the healing done by Healing Rain by 100% in addition to the ability’s current effects.
  • Riptide’s mana cost has been reduced by 25%.
  • Conductivity has been redesigned. Casting Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Chain Heal, increases the duration of Healing Rain by 3 seconds. Damaging an enemy with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock, or Stormstrike increases the duration of Healing Rain by 3 seconds.
  • Healing Tide Totem is no longer a talent and is a baseline ability for all Shamans. Additionally, this totem will now heal 12 raid members (up from 5) when used in a 25-player instance.Stone Bulwark Totem’s initial damage absorption shield now absorbs an additional 33% in damage.
  • New Talent: Rushing Streams. Rushing Streams replaces Healing Tide Totem talent, increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once.
  • Totemic Restoration has been replaced with a new talent, Totemic Persistence.
  • New talent: Totemic Persistence. Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time.
  • Unleashed Fury – Earthliving Weapon effect now applies to the Shaman, not the target.

Let me break things down a bit.

1. Healing Tide Baseline

This change has been long overdue.  You cannot expect a resto shaman to choose anything other than a massive raid save cooldown if given the option.  flooding-ohio-waterjpg-d8ade2547c0d229aBlizzard finally realized this and bit the bullet to give it to us baseline.  In fact, all specs get it.   The side benefits of this change are that Blizzard now feels obligated to buff it to be in line with the other healers’ CDs  like Tranq and Revival (before, they stood behind the ole’ “It’s only a talent, doesn’t need buffs, mmk”) and that a new talent was added in it’s place.

  • New Talent: Rushing Streams. Rushing Streams replaces Healing Tide Totem talent, increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once.

This talent is super!  It takes one of our highest HPS abilities and buffs it by 15%, then doubles it!!  So yeah,  it’s good.

2. Spread Healing Stuff

Geyser_SprinklerThe Chain Heal change is actually about a 15% throughput buff for the spell.  Couple this with the change to the glyph (it now adds only a 2 second CD instead of 4),  and you have yourself a bonified spread heal ability in our toolbox.  Blizz also tried to help with riptide by reducing the penalty from the glyph to only a 75% reduction of the initial heal (used to be 90%) in exchange for making it instant.  However, this is still not enough to get shaman using it.  Pass.  Why are shaman one of the only classes with these types of poor trade-off glyphs?  If they want us to use the thing, trade the up-front heal with a stronger and faster hot.  This would prevent it from being OP in PvP and would also make it viable for PvE.  Till then, no one’s gonna use it Blizz.

The new Rushing Streams talent will make a solid impact on our constant spread healing.  I admit though, adding more passive smart healing to our class seems like the easy way out.  Here’s hoping they have more substantial plans for 6.0, but if not, at least our numbers look decent thus far.

Alternately, one could choose Ancestral Guidance for a large spread healing CD.  Now that we don’t have to choose between it and HTT, it becomes a real possibility.  Though I believe  Rushing Streams may be a little too good to pass up.  Conductivity though, seems to be a loser on this tier.  Hm, do I choose throughput, throughput, or QoL?  Not a real choice I’m afraid.

3. Stacked Healing Stuff

You’ve got to hand it to Blizz; they are a tenacious bunch.  No matter how often they hear that Resto Shaman do not WANT their alleged “stacked healing niche”,Viteo-Outdoor-Shower-Pad-540x370 they refuse to give up on this turd-with-lipstick ( that is the expression, right?) idea.   Last tier resto shaman ended up dead last, not only on spread healing fights, but also on the stacked healing fights (all 3 of them) that we were supposed to be so very good at.  Blizzard feels this is a huge tragedy so they buffed our stacked healing, then buffed it more, then buffed it again for good measure.  It is now a HPM gain to cast Healing Rain even on only one target.  Good balancing Blizz (j/k, you know I luv u baby).   They increased the radius of healing rain by 2 yards and buffed it’s throughput by 100%.  That was not a typo. 100%.  This illustrates how desperate they are to make it seem as if there is even a need for a stacked healing specialized healer in the modern game (there isn’t, but they’ll wait till 6.0 to aquiesce).  Why do they continually use healing rain as the dial to adjust resto shaman throughout?  Please, pick anything else!!!!!   Also, it seems strange that they were extremely concerned that Chain Heal would be used constantly, only to buff healing rain in such a way that it will be used constantly, even on just 1 target!!!   Nah, the truth is, they want shaman weak at spread healing.  They are dedicated to the myth that there is a spread and stacked healing niche in this game.  The truth of the matter is that spread healing is the way the game is going.  Stacked healing is a relic of the past.  It will continue to decrease, and shaman healers along with it until Blizzard turns around on this pants-on-head concept of the “stacked healing niche”.

4. Quality of Life

Charts_Survey-change-in-quality-of-lifeConvenience; It’s always good.   We had a pretty solid QoL change this patch and one that won’t really affect us.

  • Unleashed Fury – Earthliving Weapon effect now applies to the Shaman, not the target.
  • New talent: Totemic Persistence. Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time.

UF was a stupid talent for Resto Shaman.  It rquired you to remember who you last unleashed on so you could be sure to cast a single target heal on them within 10 seconds. Hopefully they weren’t healed up to full because if so, grats on the wasted talent.  This change gives us some versatility.  You can unleash on whomever, then cast a single target heal on anyone with the full buff.  This will make it quite good for fights with heavy single target healing, should they ever exist…..   Till then, my elementals will still be peeing  on me every 2.5 minutes.  Totemic Persistence though is a nice QoL buff that we’ll actually get use out of.  No longer will I have to clip my , now godly, HST to drop Mana Tide or HTT.  Nice!!

Final Thought

Overall, this patch adds some solid buffs to resto shaman, and though they may not have been all spread healing buffs like we’d hoped,hqdefault I feel they will increase our throughput in SoO enough to make us a viable healer in each fight.   My read on this is that Blizzard wants to do a complete overhaul but decided not to do it this patch and will instead do it in 6.0.  I don’t think they can stand behind the mythical “stacked healing niche” much longer and remain credible.

I guess we shall see

>luvbacon<

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