Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide

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Welcome to our Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE guide. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Restoration spellcasting, including talents, spells, totems, stats, gearing, and more.

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide

Shamans have always been the jack of all trades and masters of nothing class. Since our arguably overpowered apex in Sunwell, Blizzard has taken extreme care not to let that happen again. So, contrary to other classes, there is no one proper way to play Resto Shaman, but a set of vaguely defined roles in your raid that seem to work well. You will rarely do one of these roles alone, but knowing about them will help you identify spots where you fit.

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Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Talents

Before you continue reading, closely examine what each recommendation means. This will give you an understanding of what will happen next in the article:

Restoration Tree

Talent NameRecommendationAnalysis
Ancestral ResolveRecommendedIt is optional at first, but it gets better and better towards the end of the content, where heavy raid damage occurs.
Tidal FocusRequiredMana efficiency matters much more in Cataclysm than it did in LK. The significant efficiency boost is challenging to overlook.
Spark of LifeRequiredA straight 6% boost to healing without any problematic conditions to meet. The additional healing received stacks multiplicatively (with 3 points, self heals are increased by 21.9%).
ResurgenceRequiredBetter replacement talent for Improved Water Shield. It’s still our staple mana regeneration talent for all PvE content. It provides much more mana throughout a typical fight than Mana Tide Totem by allowing mana regeneration to scale with a crit rating.
Totemic FocusRequiredLonger Mana Tide alone is worth this talent. Fire Elemental gets increased to 2:48.
Focused InsightSkipThe original guide recommended this, but since then, it has mostly fallen out of favor. If you want to overcharge a heal, Unleash Elements does that job without needing to spec into it, but it does not work on Healing Rain.
Nature’s GuardianSkipMainly a PvP talent. It’s too situational to fit in a raid-centric build.
Ancestral HealingRequiredIt is mainly helpful in reducing incoming tank damage but is also situationally applicable to the raid. Chain Heal will often bounce to or be chained through tanks, making this pickup a no-brainer. Ancestral Healing and the Priest version (Inspiration) will overwrite each other, allowing maximum coverage.
Nature’s SwiftnessRequiredIt is required to provide clutch healing to targets in critical health. It can also cast a spell while moving, and Spiritwalker’s Grace is on cooldown.
Nature’s BlessingRecommendedDue to a bug, this only gives 15% at the moment. This talent is useful if you are a tank healer or casting Chain Heal through the tank. This talent drops off in effectiveness dramatically if you are assigned to heal the raid.
Soothing RainsRecommendedIt is highly recommended for any shaman filling a raid healer role; it has very little use for a tank-healing Shaman. Remember the role you generally fill when choosing to take or skip this talent.
Improved Cleanse SpiritRecommendedIf you never have to dispel magic effects, you can skip this talent. For most shamans out there, however, this is a mandatory pickup.
Cleansing WatersOptionalRequires Improved Cleanse Spirit. It is more of a PvP talent, and not many dispel fights are out there. The decrease in mana cost is nice, though.
Ancestral AwakeningRecommendedRequires 2 points in Ancestral Healing. While decent in 10mans, it’s lackluster in Chain Heal and Riptide heavy 25mans. Expect 5-9% of your healing in 10mans and 1.5-3% in 25mans.
Mana Tide TotemRequiredOur primary means of burst mana regen. Note that the mana regen effect works on raid members, so make sure all the healers are in range when you drop it.
Telluric CurrentsOptionalThis talent is a constant source of discussion. Taking it means drastically adjusting your play style. Read the section later on for details.
Tidal WavesRequiredThis talent is the cornerstone of shaman healing. It provides a solid HPS and HPM boost to Healing Surge and significantly increases the HPS and general usability of Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave.
Blessing of the EternalsOptionalWith two talent points, the Earthliving HoT will always apply on targets below 35% health. This talent is one of the weaker healing talents in the tree, as even on raid damage-heavy encounters with this talent, Earthliving rarely surpasses ~10% effective healing. Still, the throughput boost is worth the talent point investment, and skipping it should only be considered if you generally heal tanks rather than the raid. Note that the proc chance will only be increased to 21.25% with Chain Heal. On 10mans, you will probably get even less mileage. If you are still a raid healer, spend your points here.
RiptideRequiredA single target, instant cast heal on a short cooldown, creating a more powerful Chain Heal to handle incoming burst damage better. Riptide is an incredibly versatile spell, and there is never a good reason to skip it.

Enhancement Tree

Talent NameRecommendationAnalysis
Elemental WeaponsRecommendedThe passive benefits do not scale with gear, but the improved Unleashed Life portion does. Required to get down to Tier 2.
Focused StrikesSkipRestoration will never use Primal Strike in a raid situation. Skip.
Improved ShieldsReccomendedImproves both our mana regeneration and the efficacy of Earth Shield. Even those rare Shaman who choose to go down the Elemental tree should pick up this talent.
Elemental DevastationSkipIntended for Enhancement Shaman. Skip.
FlurrySkipIntended for Enhancement Shaman. Skip.
Ancestral SwiftnessRecommendedIt is virtually mandatory for any Shaman. This talent’s run speed is greater than boot enchants and can help you avoid raid-wide damage quicker and easier. It also reduces the moving time, letting you get back to healing ASAP. Note that this talent makes Ghost Wolf an instant cast; now that Ghost Wolf is usable indoors, this talent gives all Shamans a powerful escape mechanism. You need a perfect reason not to put 7 points in enhancement for this talent. Unfortunately, there are reasons for that.
Totemic ReachOptionalIf your totems are often just out of range of the raid members, this talent could help. Especially on fights like Staghelm or Ragnaros, an increased radius of your Healing Stream resistance aura might be helpful.

Elemental Tree

Talent NameRecommendationAnalysis
AcuityRecommended3% crit are 3% crit. Taken. 
ConvectionOptionalIt can help to provide better mana returns from Telluric Currents. Only take it if you need to get into Tier 2.
ConcussionOptionalAt a certain point, it will get you more return from Telluric Currents than Convection, but it will not affect shocks for Focused Insight.
Call of FlameSkipRestoration rarely cast Lava Burst or Fire Nova in a raid situation. Leave this talent to the DPS Shaman. Skip.
Elemental WardingOptionalThis is a strong talent, and if you want to give up Ancestral Swiftness for it, you’ll likely have a reason.
ReverberationSkipIt can be helpful; you must give up too much better stuff to get down here. Skip.
Elemental PrecisionOptionalAgain, this is a vital talent, as 2 points will get you near or over the hit cap for purges, dispels, Focused Insight shocks, and Telluric Currents Lightning Bolts. Read later sections for insight on this talent. 

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Glyphs

Prime Glyphs

Glyph of RiptideRecommendedThe increased time will make your Riptide one of your best HPM heals. On 10mans next to required.
Glyph of Earth ShieldRecommendedOnly skip this if there is no chance you will ever have your Earth Shield on a tank.
Glyph of Earthliving WeaponOptionalIt is next to required on 25mans. It is worth less on 10mans, whereas Earhliving will contribute less to your overall healing.
Glyph of Water MasteryOptionalThe flat boost to mp5 is about the same as the extra cost of casting unglyphed Riptide more often (citation), but if you can do without Earth Shield or Earthliving, use this.
Glyph of Lightning BoltSkipIt is very situational and useful for pure mana battery DPS builds. Skip only if you know exactly what you are doing.
Glyph of Unleashed LightningSkipIn theory, it’s nice to charge mana while moving, but there is no fight where you have to move for so often and so long to justify a prime slot.

Major Glyphs

Glyph of Chain HealRecommendedHit 3 targets, and the glyph will make Chain Heal stronger than before (citation). Why would you cast Chain Heal if you don’t hit 3 targets?
Glyph of Healing Stream TotemRequiredMany encounters feature elemental damage, and you will most likely cast Healing Stream Totem even without this glyph. Only skip this if your 10mans raid has no paladin and favors Concentration Aura or Mana Spring Totem.
Glyph of Ghost WolfOptionalYou’ve got instant Ghost Wolf? With this, you’ve got a better instant Ghost Wolf.
Glyph of Healing WaveOptionalIt is precious early on but diminishes on heroic encounters, where you will be casting fewer and fewer Healing Waves. Also, note that druids don’t like it if you heal yourself over 50% on Chimaeron.
Glyph of Stoneclaw TotemRecommendedIt is valuable if you want to shield yourself from a predictable burst and very mana-efficient unless you have to recast another Earth Totem afterward.
Glyph of Lesser Healing WaveOptionalIt’s very situational for Conclave of Wind to be heroic, but not worth the trouble otherwise.
Glyph of HexOptionalIt is helpful while gearing up in 5mans but utterly useless in raids.

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Stats

Stat Ratings

If you must have stat ratings, use these. But keep in mind that if you do, you only fool yourself. There are no stat ratings.

Spell power83
Haste rating60
Crit rating60
Mastery rating60

If you are smart enough to read this sentence, consider these values arbitrary (see the stamina value). The gist of resto shaman gearing is still the same as in the first section. Don’t wear clothes or leather because the 5% bonus to intellect is so strong. Get set bonuses if they are strong. Get a higher item level because those items have more intellect. Prefer spirit items because you will have more spirit than reforging for the spirit. If this sounds easy to you, well, it is. The hard job is choosing your favorite secondary stat. And for that, you will not get an easy answer. Do read on.


Intellect is the primary stat. Get lots of it. And then get more. It directly converts to spell power. It is part of the regen formula and slightly boosts the value of spirit. It converts weakly into crit. It gives you a bigger mana pool, which again boosts your regen.


Spirit is the primary regeneration stat. It’s the most vital stat for that by far. Although it is technically a secondary stat, it is important enough for us to be treated as a primary stat. Acceptable spirit levels for T13 range from as low as 1800 to nearly 4000 depending on your raid size and composition, difficulty, role, and mana management skills. There is no one answer. Get as much as you think you need, then stop.

Intellect and Spirit

You should do so whenever you get the chance to boost one of them. Intellect is derived from item level, so the only way to boost it is to get better gear or gem/enchant for it, the latter of which you should generally do. Spirit is a regular secondary stat and can be reforged, but you should look for gear with native spirit on it. Specific trinkets have strong spirit procs, such as Jar of Ancient Remedies and Darkmoon Card: Tsunami. You will want intellect in those cases where you must decide between intellect and spirit.

Previous versions of his entry recommended Heartsong over Power Torrent as a weapon enchant. They both have a similar budget of around 126-130 stat points, but the Heartsong proc has a higher uptime and is more reliable. It also scales with Mana Tide. As of T13, this distinction is mostly a matter of personal preference, and shamans who will have to play hybrid as elemental will want Power Torrent as their best weapon for both specs.

One exception was to gem and enchant everything possible into the spirit, essentially turning yourself into a mana battery for other healers. This tactic was popular before the purification buff in cutting-edge 25-man raids. The practice was already out of favor in late T11, and the changes to Mana Tide have wholly killed off any value in doing so.


Haste is the primary throughput secondary stat. It comes with the side effect of negative mana regeneration because you will burn your mana faster with more haste. At lv85, we need a 128.057 rating for 1% haste. All direct heals (Healing WaveHealing SurgeGreater Healing WaveChain Heal) are affected directly by haste. For those, it is the strongest thought stat by a large margin. As haste will also reduce the global cooldown, it will fully affect the cast time of all your instant casts.

Hot effects, however, will not scale as well with haste. The hot portion of Riptide and Healing Rain and all Earthliving procs will get additional ticks at specific breakpoints. These breakpoints are affected by Wreath of Air (+5%), being a goblin (+1%), and having Dark Intent (+3%) from a Warlock. These are the first few breakpoints for each combination.

Riptide glyphed: 21 sec


Earthliving weapon duration: 12 sec


Riptide unglyphed: 15 sec


Healing Rain (HR +1 initial tick)


The most prominent are the 608 breakpoints for a 7-tick Healing Rain and the 780/916 for a 5-tick Earthliving. If you are near one of these breakpoints and have a healing style that uses the affected spells, targeting them might be a good idea.

Don’t overestimate these breakpoints. The first ones are strong and easy to achieve, but the 916 breakpoint requires less than 150 HPS. You can almost ignore these, especially on 10-man, where you have less Earthliving uptime. On 25mans, the Earthliving effect will take a larger portion.

For Firelands hard-mode raiders, the 1858/2005 breakpoint of Riptide may be interesting, as Riptide tends to be a large portion of healing 10mans. The significant loss in mastery and crit will mean a massive loss in mana efficiency. With lower gear, these are too hard to achieve and should be ignored. The DOT clipping mechanic applies to our Riptide, though. If you refresh a Riptide with only the last tick remaining, the remaining time will be added to the new Riptide, voiding the breakpoint. If you roll Riptides on one or two tanks most of the time, this dramatically reduces the value of Riptide breakpoints for you.

Aiming for a second Healing Rain breakpoint (commonly 2892 or 3049) for Dragon Soul hardmodes has been suggested, but no actual data supports this yet. 

Note that the goblin racial is 1% haste (1), not haste rating. Ratings get summed up before being converted into a haste percentage, so the racial is stronger than the 128 rating.


Crit is a hybrid stat that affects all heals you have in one or more ways. It also comes with a small mana regeneration component via Improved Water Shield. It will also proc Ancestral Fortitude and Ancestral Awakening. The regeneration component is roughly 3-5 times weaker than pure spirit for comparison. At lvl 85, we need a 179.28 rating for 1% crit. Throughput crit will be generally weaker than Haste and Mastery for spells affected by those but stronger than Haste for single-target healing. Almost all of your spells can crit, though. Still, remember that critting is unpredictable, and you cannot rely on a crit when the tank drops.

Do not overvalue crit-based talents other than Improved Water Shield. A single Riptide on the tank will generally keep Ancestral Fortitude up most of the time, regardless of your gear. Ancestral Awakening rarely exceeds 5% of your overall healing unless you are tank-healing in 10man hardmodes.

A common misconception is that Haste is more valuable for Telluric Currents. Haste is slightly better in spam situations, but in actual combat situations, the time gained through Haste will seldom be enough to get off another lightning bolt. You will only start casting heals again faster and gain no extra mana.


Mastery is a throughput stat that grows stronger the lower the health of your healing targets is. If your target is at 1 HP, you will get the full benefit out of your Mastery, and at 30%, you will get 70% out of your Mastery. Healing someone at 90% health will get you only 10% out of your Mastery.

A common misconception is that Mastery makes your heals smarter and thus saves mana. This is incorrect, as you will spend that mana anyway, but you may have to heal less later. The smarts stay with you. Also, remember that if you keep healing someone, you will get only half the benefit out of your Mastery because healing on the target when near full will cancel your Mastery gains when healing near death. At lvl 85, we need a 179.28 rating for 1 mastery.

Since Mastery scales with the percentage of health the raid has, it is possible to calculate breakpoints of health levels where 1 mastery rating equals 1 rating of other stats. The rough breakpoints for Mastery to beat the other stats were further updated for spell coefficients:

Health BreakpointComment
66.7%Crit with modifier 1 (multi-target)
46.7%Crit with modifier 1.6 (single-target)

Spells with a .95 crit modifier are all spells affected by Ancestral Awakening, as the extra 30% crit healing equates to 1.5 * 1.3 = 1.95. In spells, crit for 200% instead of 150%, so the single target multiplier is 2 * 1.3 = 2.6. These breakpoints are not fixed and will move down a little with higher-level gear.

Note that these are purely based on throughput. The mana returns from crit, and the additional cost for haste is not included.

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Haste, Mastery, and Crit

Just to be clear: No stat is terrible. No, not even crit. All three are very close for Shamans.

Finding your favorite of these three depends on a lot of factors. As opposed to other classes, there is no easy HEP chart anymore. Every stat has its strengths and weaknesses. Regarding raw throughput, haste beats both mastery and crit on average. Mastery gets the strongest stat when everyone is low, arguably when you need big heals. Haste burns your mana faster; crit returns mana, and mastery is neutral but does nothing for Telluric Currents. Many effects do not scale with haste or mastery.

The following is a list of situations where combinations of stats have proven useful. All of these will value intellect higher than everything and spirit over everything else until “enough” for the current content is reached.

Stat PrioritySituation
916(780) haste > masteryThis priority is often promoted in guides. It takes the first breakpoint for every HoT and reaches very high mastery levels. It is very effective and perfect if your raid is often low.
2005(1858) haste > restThis aims for the second breakpoint of Riptide. The significant haste level will give you perfect burst healing even when the target is not low. This can be good for Beth’tilac, where the raid will get healed to full quickly until it’s too much to take for the healers. Your high haste levels will also enable fast snipe and tank healing when Chain Heal is not applicable, like on Baleroc. A downside is that this requires perfect gear only if you sacrifice spirit.
mastery = critPure tank healers will value efficiency over everything else. Since Earthliving and Healing Rain do not contribute to tank healing, the haste breakpoints are meaningless. Mastery will boost your healing when needed, and high crit levels will give you 100k+ healing when you need it more often. Although crit will stay random, a crit will allow you to delay your next heal, thus saving mana. It is very powerful if played with a druid who can roll a lifebloom on your tank.
916(780) haste > critOn farm raids, players will play better than before, and the raid will rarely drop to low health levels. This devalues mastery to a point where crit is a better substitute.

At this point, you will have to make your own decisions. Run a few raids, create a log, and look at your spell composition. Have an open eye for the health levels of your raid. If your raid is topped quickly after incoming damage, your mastery is better spent in crit. If you struggle to keep your mana up, you should reduce haste and take more efficient stats. If you struggle with people dying before your heals land, maybe you need more haste. If your Earthliving is only 5% of your overall healing, you may ignore the 916(780) breakpoint.

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Items

Meta Gems

There are currently three meta gems available.

GemEffectThroughput Estimate*Regen Estimate*
Burning Shadowspirit Diamond3% crit effect, 54 intellect??
Ember Shadowspirit Diamond54 intellect, 2% inital mana66hps54-84mp5
Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond3% crit effect, 54 crit??
Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond3% crit effect, 54 spirit140-200hps42-44mp5 + 7mp5/player
Insightful Earthsiege Diamond21 intellect, ~65mp526hps~74mp5

* – These estimates are rough and should give you an order of magnitude. Don’t quote them without doing the math for your gear, raid, and target boss.

Most will take Ember Shadowspirit Diamond for its balanced throughput and regen over Insightful. At epic gear levels, the mana gain of Insightful is only slightly better than Ember in a 6-minute fight. Revitalizing provides slightly less mana but is attractive for its superior throughput.


Note: this is only roughly rated at best. All significant trinkets should be present, but only one version will be listed, usually normal mode for epic trinkets and heroic mode for blue trinkets. 

Trinket ilvl Boosts Mana TideComment 
Will of Unbinding390/403/416no
Heart of Unliving390/403/416yes
Seal of the Seven Signs384/397/410no
Windward Heart384/397/410noproc scales with spellpower, procs on hot crits, ~20s ICD (5)
Reflection of the Light384/397/410yes
Bottled Wishes384/397/410no
Foul Gift of the Demon Lord378no
Jaws of Defeat378/391no
Eye of Blazing Power378/391noexpect about 300 HPS, procs from HoTs, 45s ICD, can crit, does not scale with mastery
Shard of Woe379noregen estimate is about 800 mp5 pre 4.3, and about 400 mp5 after
Darkmoon Card: Tsunami359yesextremely strong for it’s item level, on par with the 372 trinkets
Fall of Mortality359/372no1 minute internal cooldown makes it better than Core of Ripeness
Jar of Ancient Remedies359/372yes 
Petrified Pickled Egg365no 
Fiery Quintessence378yes 
Rune of Zeth378/391no 
Necromantic Focus378/391no 
Moonwell Chalice365no 
Mandala of Stirring Patterns359yes 
Tyrande’s Favorite Doll359novery strong for it’s ilvl, 4200/12 = 350mp5. Beware, can open sheep.
Vibrant Alchemist Stone359no
Core of Ripeness359no 
Soul Casket359noalthough not our favorite stats, usable as a healer.
Heart of Ignacious359/372nounlike Jar the Use Effect does not prevent the stacking buff, and a single Flame Shock will keep it up.
Gale of Shadows333/346nocomparable to Heart of Ignacious for healer.
Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon66noanywhere from 0 to 300 mp5 depending on luck.
Tear of Blood333/346no 
Bell of Enraging Resonance359/372no 
Figurine – Dream Owl346no 
Figurine – Jeweled Serpent346no 
Theralion’s Mirror359/372no 
Sea Star333/346yes 
Blood of Isiset333/346no 
Witching Hourglass333/346no 
Lifebound Alchemist Stone359no
  1. This means the trinket has something unique that makes Mana Tide stronger. If you reforge or gem for spirit, that will be of additional worth.
  2. The best scenario is when you can drop Mana Tide while the trinket procs, but don’t be selfish. There are 1-3 procs per fight, which is very random. If I can get dragon regen for Mana Tide even once a fight, that’s 14447 in-combat mp5 for 15s. Subtract 1170 base regen for a level 85 shaman, and divide by 2 for meditation, and that’s 19915 bonus mana from a timely blue dragon mana tide, or ~277 mp5 over a 6-minute fight. At level 85, 1 spirit yields about 1 mp5 out of combat, so 277 mp5 in combat is about 550 spirit.
  3. The bonus on Mythical Mana Potion is about 55 mp5 on a 6min fight. A Mysterious Potion is 82.5 mp5, and a Potion of Concentration is 122 mp5.

Set Bonuses

2pcT11It’s funny at the start and then useless later.
4pcT11Extremely valuable. Depending on your play style, you can expect about 30-70% uptime for the buff. It scales with Mana Tide.
2pcT12Early estimates put this at about 310-350 mp5. It will be stronger than our 4pcT11 for personal regeneration but does not scale with Mana Tide.
4pcT12Highly anticipated in 25mans, 10mans remain skeptical as CH is hard to use in current 10man settings.
2pcT13After using Mana Tide Totem, the cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
4pcT13Restoration, 4P — Increases the duration of Spiritwalker’s Grace by 5 sec, and you gain 30% haste while Spiritwalker’s Grace is active.

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Spells and Talents

Standard Spells

Every healing class nowadays has at least a cheap, a fast, and a large heal. So do Shamans.

Healing Wave

Healing Wave is a cheap heal. Its HPS are weak, but you will quickly reach a spirit point where Healing Wave is essentially free to cast or will even generate your mana. With the Glyph of Healing Wave you will heal yourself for a portion of every Healing Wave, which is especially lovely in heroic 5mans. Unfortunately, the higher incoming damage forces healers in later progression stages to drop Healing Wave mostly in favor of stronger but more expensive heals. This is especially true if you are specced into Telluric Currents as the time you’d be casting a low HPS could be spent to regenerate a little mana.

Greater Healing Wave

Greater Healing Wave is the extensive healing. Best single target HPS regardless of Tidal Waves effect. Since the Healing Surge nerf, this will be your primary single target spell once you grow out of Healing Wave. Combined with our mastery, this is one of the strongest single-target spells in the game.

Healing Surge

Healing Surge is fast healing. Designed to be expensive, the recent 20% nerf makes it virtually useless for PvE. Do not cast this spell unless you are sure the extra second to cast a Greater Healing Wave would kill the target and no other healer can help.

Non Standard Spells


Riptide is a talent that gives Shaman instant heal. The duration can and should be glyphed to 21 seconds. If you cast Chain Heal on someone with a Riptide HoT, it is consumed, and the Chain Heal is increased by 25% on all jumps. Only a direct Chain Heal will consume Riptide, not the jumps. Chain Heal from other Shaman will not consume your Riptide.

The 4pcT12 bonus prevents Riptide from being consumed too. For single target spells Riptide gives you 2 charges Tidal Waves, which will improve your next 2 Healing Wave, Healing Surge or Greater Healing Waves. The 4pcT11 bonus will grant you 540 spirit for 6s after casting Riptide, which makes this spell even stronger. Crits from the HoT portion will trigger Ancestral Fortitude. It is our second most mana-efficient spell after Earth Shield. Riptide is one of our strongest heals, and in the current content, you should strive to use it as often as possible for all of its side effects.

Chain Heal

Chain Heal is the Shaman’s signature heal, a very efficient smart AoE heal even if it doesn’t hit all 4 targets. Jumps are based on who is missing the most health (by absolute value), which makes Chain Heal very good for stacking Mastery. If there are no targets in the range below 100%, it will not jump. The heal can jump back to the Shaman if they have taken damage. Chain Heal can crit on any (or all) of the four jumps. The healing done to the next target is based on the non-crit healing done. Crits from Chain Heal will proc Ancestral Fortitude.

Shaman’s Fire and Earth Elementals are guardians and not considered part of the party/raid/group. Therefore, Chain Heal will not bounce to Elementals if you first target a raid member for healing. However, if you first target an Elemental, Chain Heal will bounce to raid members. Many trinkets will proc based on “direct healing spells.” Each jump of chain heal is considered a direct heal. Other trinkets proc are based on “each spell cast.” In those cases, the jumps do not count as separate spells.

There is a known bug with Chain Heal. If Chain Heal jumps back to you on its first jump (the second heal), it will not jump to a third target. Targeting yourself for the first heal is sometimes better to make sure it jumps to two other targets. As a rule of thumb, only cast Chain Heal if you have a decent chance to get the third jump out of it. It is slightly less efficient than single target heals when healing two targets and weak when healing a single target.

Healing Rain

Healing Rain is the other AoE healing ability of Shamans. It is the most potent HPCT spell in the Shaman’s arsenal. Like most HoTs, it gains additional ticks on specific haste breakpoints; see the Haste section for these. Healing Rain works with Focused Insight; it will receive only 24% due to a known bug. Due to another known bug, the initial tick and every tick gained from haste will not receive bonuses from Focused Insight. This is one of your strongest tools if you are on group healing duty.

Unleash Elements

Due to a bug, the following direct heal is only buffed by 16/24% (without/with Elemental Weapons talent) instead of 20/30%. Usually, the wasted global cooldown is not worth the trouble, but it has a niche while moving or when anticipating massive single-target damage. If you have time to plan, you can Unleash, cast a large heal like Greater Healing Wave or Chain Heal, and queue a Riptide before the heal finishes. Your Unleash will then benefit both the direct heal, the direct component of your Riptide, and the HoT portion of your Riptide, making it a powerful combination. Unleashing does not work with Healing Rain.

Earth Shield

How much healing the Earth Shield does is based on the spellpower at the time it is cast, not when it procs. Drop Flametongue and use a trinket to supercharge the Earth Shield before a pull. The healing (and aggro) is attributed to the person who cast the shield starting. In addition, Earth Shields placed on Protection Paladins with the talent Touched by the Light will heal the tank for up to 30% more when they crit. 

Earth Shield healing interacts strangely with talents that boost outgoing healing, like Spark of Life or Divinity of Paladins. The Shaman’s talents buff the Earth Shield as a spell, but each heal itself is again affected by such talents of the shielded player. As such, Paladins, for example, get 6% more healing than Warriors. Another solid reason to shield someone is to get the increased healing from Nature’s Blessing. Due to a bug, this is only 15% instead of 18%, but it’s still worth the trouble.

Other Talents

Shamans have relatively few direct spells compared to other classes but make up for that with additional mechanics tied to these spells.

Ancestral Awakening

Each time you crit with Healing WaveHealing SurgeGreater Healing WaveRiptide, or Unleash Life, you instantly heal the raid member with the lowest percentage of health within 40 yards for 30% of the amount healed, calculated after crit and mastery including any overhealing. Ancestral Awakening cannot crit and will not proc Earthliving. The Ancestral Awakening percentage of your healing will seldom exceed 8-10% and will only reach this much if you are purely on the single target duty.

Earth Living Weapon

Make sure that this buff is always on your weapon. Earth Living Weapon causes any direct heals to proc a small hot called Earthliving on the target and gives you a flat healing power bonus.

Riptide, Healing WaveLesser Healing Wave, any bounce of Chain Heal, and any Healing Rain ticks. The proc has no internal cool down and can potentially proc off every such heal, but all Healing Rain and Chain Heal have a significantly reduced proc chance.

Healing Stream TotemEarth ShieldAncestral Awakening, or Glyph of Healing Wave.

Tidal Waves

When you cast Chain Heal or Riptide, you have a 100% chance to lower the cast time of your Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave spell by 30% and increase the critical effect chance of your Healing Surge spell by 25% until two such spells have been cast. This effect will make or break these three spells, so watch it.

Spiritwalker’s Grace

Spiritwalker’s Grace is a cooldown that allows us to keep casting while moving, jumping, or getting thrown around. It may be cast while casting other spells, but a known bug is that Healing Rain will get interrupted when Spiritwalker’s Grace is cast.

Mana Tide Totem

Mana Tide was reworked to affect the whole raid and provide 400% of the casting Shaman’s spirit for its duration. The duration can be talented to last longer, which you should do. In exchange for that, it is no longer affected by “short-lived spirit buffs.” This was done to prohibit popping 2k spirit trinkets together with Mana Tide, but in reality, specific effects still count:

Keep reading if you want to know how much of your spirit will work for other healers. For each 250 spirit on your gear, each additional healer will gain 91 spirit for a boss fight if you put down your Mana Tide on cooldown. So (purely academically), giving you a heroic Jar for 580 permanent spirit affecting your Mana Tide while having 5 other healers in your raid boosts the mana regeneration of your raid by 580 * (1 + 5*91/250) = 1635 spirit.

In case you are wondering, Mana Tides do stack.

Cataclysm Classic Restoration Shaman PvE Guide: Mechanics

What Affects What?

Spell \ affected by/can procMasteryHasteUnleashFocused InsightEarth ShieldedAncestral AwakeningAncestral FortitudeEarth LivingAncestral Vigor (6)
Riptide DirectXXXXXXXXX
Riptide HoTX(1)XXX (2)XX
Unleash LifeXX– (5)XX (3)XXX
Healing RainX(1)XXXX
Earthliving HoTX(1)X
Earth Shield healXX
Healing StreamX
Ancestral Awakening Procs
Cleansing Waters???????
Glyph of Healing Wave?????– (4)– (4)

Base Stats

These are the stats of a naked 0/0/0 Resto specced lvl 85 Draenai Shaman.

Spell Power129
Mana Regen1202
Combat Regen1187 (1171 without Meditation)


Costs include 3/3 Tidal Focus

SpellCostCoefficientCoefficient TalentedBase Heal [1]Base Heal Talented[1]Comment
Healing Surge59460.48310.640248036365
Healing Wave19810.402 
Greater Healing Wave66070.96721.2816960612728
Chain Heal (initial heal)44040.35350.421635154192 
Earth Shield (per charge) [2]41830.19490.206621242252
Earth Shield (total) [2]41831.75411.85941916620268 
Riptide (direct heal)22020.23800.315323633133
Riptide (HoT)0.0750.0994745988 
Riptide (HoT)0.1130.149111181482
Earthliving Weapon (HoT)0.058
Healing Stream Totem (per tick)0.08270.14462858
Cleansing Waters (2/2)32800.282
Healing Rain (per tick)101300.0760.12497541240Soothing Rains only buffs by 24%
Unleashed Life16400.2020.265919962644 
  1. Base Heal means the calculated value with 0 spell power, which is impossible to have in the game.
  2. Talented coefs do not include Improved Shields, as the talent is optional in EP builds. 

Telluric Currents

Telluric Currents has been a perennial topic since it was first announced. The spell concept is simple: you get 40% of your lightning bolt damage back as mana. When asked why they would make such a talent, it was to give Shamans something to do when not healing and not worry about burning their valuable mana with DPS. In reality, however, Telluric Currents does return mana, so casting it with decent gear is an active method of mana regeneration. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the New Talent Trees for Healers Seem to Emphasize a Style of “Mana Regeneration by Dealing Damage.” Is That Intentional? If So, Why?

Yes. In almost any situation, there are periods where heals are not urgently needed 100% of the time. Today, you probably just cast heals anyway if someone takes damage since mana doesn’t matter much. But if mana did matter, the “right” thing to do would be to do nothing. Talents such as Telluric Currents provide an active way to recharge mana while contributing damage.

But, But – I’m a Healer!

So it’s natural (and expected) that we get huffy at the thought of doing something other than healing. Most of us don’t like doing interrupts, we hate doing the crappy kite job (or being the healer who gets to run after the other guy doing the crappy kite job), and our fingers twitch in response to seeing someone’s health decrease by even the slightest of amount. So, how can using a talent like Telluric Currents be viewed as a necessary raiding practice? How can I sit here and ask a healer to cast an LB instead of a heal?

Because the choice isn’t between (a) casting a heal or (b) casting a Lightning Bolt, the choice is between (a) not casting a heal or (b) casting a Lightning Bolt. (Oh yes, I have some Blue backup on this one)

This is where most Resto Shamans go awry with their understanding and application of Telluric Currents. (And maybe it’s since we’re all still struggling to reconcile ourselves to the Cataclysm healing environment after operating in the Wrath world where Always Be Casting was the golden rule). I suggest that if you are a healer who, during an 8-minute fight, never decides not to cast, you’re doing something wrong. If you’re going into encounters with the recommended number of healers, spamming your heart out, and then claiming, “Oh, there was no downtime, ever,” then something is amiss.

Every fight has downtime, either because your healing team creates it or because it’s incorporated into the encounter. As shown in the preceding section, there are plenty of opportunities to include an LB cast into your rotation, but only if you look for them. If you’ve ever cast an HW in a raid because “there’s not much damage going out” or because “I have nothing better to do,” that’s your downtime! But you need to think of it in those terms. You need first to realize that there’s always a choice in front of you as a healer, and one of the options is not to heal. This is what triage is all about.

So, think of TC as another tool. But if you choose TC, you will have to adjust your entire healing style to it because you will have to stop spamming Healing Wave if you have nothing better to do and be ready to quickly switch from DPSing to healing if incoming damage rises. While the quote above comes from a World 150 guild, this does not seem to be limited to certain gear levels, as even on early progression, positive reports were made.

TC will be more complex, so Resto Shaman beginners should first learn the standard style. Remember to consider the additional cognitive load when reevaluating the healing situation on every cast. Every death you could have prevented by not casting lightning bolts will be your fault. Because of this and the mana gain scales with better gear, the Telluric Currents style is often found in high-end progression.

If you do not spec into Elemental Precision, you will have a 17% miss, making the returns from TC less predictable. TC will excel on any fight involving damage buffs, which are currently Halfus (after you have kept your tanks alive during drake burns), Magmaw (exposed phase), Al’Akir (later stages of phase 2 with stack on Al’Akir), and situationally Maloriak (during his brief green phase). TC scales well with both Haste and Crit. Haste scales roughly 1.87 times better than Crit for Lightning Bolt damage. Still, Crit is approximately seven times more effective for TC regeneration as it does not increase the initial mana cost.

Focused Insight

It does not work with Wind Shear, and the shock does not have to hit to proc the buff. It does not work with Earth Shield and Unleash Life direct heal, but it does buff Riptide.

Using FI on cooldown for the sake of using it will likely result in HPS and HPM loss, just like Unleash Elements. It is, however, strong when used before Healing Rain. In this case, the shock exceeds 20k HPCT for a ridiculous 33 HPM. FI charging Chain Heals or Greater Healing Waves is less practical but still engaging in expectation of damage bursts, like the Chimaeron massacre. Remember that you are still losing HPS and HPM here, but defer your healing until needed. Unlike with Unleash Life, you cannot double dip from FI by queuing an instant directly behind a non-instant heal. Due to a bug, FI will only buff the affected spell by 24% instead of 30%.

Our new raid cooldown. Tooltip reads: Summons a Spirit Link Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster. The totem reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. Every 1 sec, the health of all affected players is redistributed, so each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. It lasts 6 sec and 3 minutes cooldown.

It’s an air totem that will spawn in the left-behind position. Keep this in mind when you place it. Totemic Focus affects it, so the real-time will be 8.4 seconds.

The damage dealt by the totem is nature damage. The damage and healing dealt are unaffected by any damage and healing modifiers, including mortal strike effects. This can be abused on Halfus (healing a tank with 98% reduced healing back to full), Chimaeron (getting a tank up again in the last phase), and Cho’Gall (healing dps with 100 stacks corruption).


In conclusion, Restoration Shaman in Cataclysm Classic offers a flexible and adaptable playstyle that can fill various roles throughout the game. By utilizing the appropriate talents, spells, totems, stats, and gear, you can provide excellent value to any team. Feel free to share your feedback and let us know if this guide helped you.

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