Ancestral healing is a talent in the second tier of the Restoration tree for Shamans.
Increases your target’s armor value by 8/16/25% for 15 seconds after getting a critical effect from one of your healing spells.
The buff that is placed on your target is called Ancestral Fortitude.
This is one of those bread-and-butter resto talents – but at first glance it’s a little underwhelming. Most of the time it will proc randomly (since you can’t really predict crits), and so you’ll probably only see it if you track buffs that you’ve cast on your target. It’s a helpful little buff, and paired with Tidal Mastery farther into the tree, will bounce around the raid quite nicely, but to be honest, at first I wasn’t sure it was worth the three talent points.
Why is this talent so good? Well, have a look at a little bit of math:
- BossRAWR hits for 20,000 raw physical damage.
- Your tank has 16,000 armor
- When BossRAWR hits your tank, he will take 8,556 damage (because 16K armor is 57.22% damage reduction against a level 73 boss).
- Now, let’s give your tank this buff, increasing his armor to 20,000 (and his damage reduction to 62.58%).
- When BossRAWR hits him for 20,000 raw damage, your tank will now only take 7,484 damage – a difference of 1072 points (or 12.5%).
And 1000 points is quite a bit! Unfortunately, since crits are random, the application of this buff will be random…
Unless you force it to proc.
There are definitely situations where forcing this to proc is a good idea. Fortunately, it will proc off ANY healing crit. So you can use rank 1 healing wave (1 second cast, 18 mana with Resto talents) to force an Ancestral Fortitude proc.
Obviously, during a major raid healing situation, you don’t have the spare global cooldowns to spam rank 1 healing wave on a tank – but before a fight, you might. And for bosses that do high physical damage, especially where there is a fair amount of position shuffling before the fight, having your tank sitting pretty with an extra 25% armor will take some of the stress off the healers. Your tank will take less damage off the bat, giving you and the rest of the raid just a few extra seconds grace period to settle in for the long haul.
Bosses that I try to start the fight with this proc up are:
- Prince Malchezzar
On some of those fights, I might have a small chunk of downtime where I don’t have to worry about raid damage unless someone is stupid and stands in the cleave (in which case, I probably won’t be able to save them anyway). If the fight is going well, I might pop a few rank 1 healing wave spells on the tank, just to give the chance of it proccing – especially if I’m in a caster group with a boomkin or an elemental shaman and can take advantage of some extra tasty crit.
Obviously, top priority isn’t to keep this buff on the tank, it’s to keep the raid healed, but if I do have that downtime, especially on hard hitting bosses, it’s a nice little buff to throw up there.
It doesn’t stack with Inspiration (the priest talent that does essentially the same thing) or other Ancestral Fortitude buffs. It also will not proc off Earth Shield, because Earth Shield is a *shield* and not a healing spell. Healing Wave, Lesser Healing Wave, and Chain Heal all will apply the buff though, and if chain heal crits on all three targets, all three will get the buff.
AND NOW YOU KNOW! So as always – good luck, have fun, and may the Loot Fu be with you!
*Blizzard promotional artwork for Burning Crusade – Concept Art of Nagrand
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