Or How I learned to Stop Worrying (about overheal) and Love my Chain Heal Button
So, this is the first of two posts covering some aspects of raiding and resto shamans. You can read Part Two here.
Blathering the First (for you who play resto shaman):
Know your strengths: You have Four (count’em) things that you bring to a raid that no other healing class does.
- Multiple Target Healing
Chain Heal Makes You Awesome
Nobody – and I mean nobody – can group heal like a shaman can. Yes, other classes have group heals, and they’re quite useful, but they’re also mana expensive, time expensive, and at the cost of other healing spells. As a healing shaman, you can expect as much as 90% of your healing to come from chain heal on some fights. Why is this? Because Chain Heal is the single most effective healing spell you have if it bounces (and often, even if it doesn’t).
Don’t believe me? Watch this (given 1800 +heal) :
Chain Heal Rank4:
- Costs 413 mana
- Heals for how much?
- single target = 2635. efficiency = 6.4 healing per mana
- double target = 3952. efficiency = 9.6 healing per mana
- triple target = 4610. efficiency = 11.2 healing per mana
Healing Wave Rank 8:
- Costs 418 mana
- Heals for 2680. efficiency = 6.4 healing per mana
- With 3 stack of healing wave: heals for 3163. efficiency = 7.4 healing per mana
What does that mean? Simply put, chain heal rank 4 is ALWAYS better than Healing Wave Rank 8, unless there is *no possible way* that it could bounce to another target, AND you have had time to get a 3 stack of healing way on the target you are healing. If chain heal has even a chance to hit a SECOND target, let alone a third, it outclasses Healing Wave 8. It also outclasses it as a single heal on a target – only going to heal that guy once and move on? Don’t you touch that healing wave button…
Under similar mathematics, Chain Heal Rank 2 ALWAYS (even with 3 stack of healing way!) outclasses Healing Wave Rank 6.
The downside of all of this? Well, sometimes chain heal just doesn’t bounce. Or it bounces to someone with a 12 HP deficit and overheals them for 2K. As a shaman, the little thing in WoW Webstats that measures overheal? It no longer concerns you. Repeat after me:
If I am not going OOM, there is NOTHING wrong with overheal.
Say it again. Don’t you feel better now? Yes, those single target types are all sneering – Hey Anna, look, you have 40% overheal!! <snicker> you must suck! The appropriate response to this is… not publishable in a family style blog. But the short version is that your heals bounce whither and to whom they will. You can’t tell your chainheal not to bounce there or whom to bounce to first. And so, your most mana efficient heal… is also the one with the most potential for overheal. Go figure, right? Obviously you still have to be smart about it – don’t use rank4 when you only need rank2, don’t mindlessly spam unless it’s a boss that requires it, but (especially when raid healing) don’t be so concerned with those overhealing numbers. None of the healing meters are really any good at measuring healing effectively anyway (but that’s another post entirely as well).
(now this little bit is kind of controversial, but… if you’re healing someone, and someone else heals them first, and you’ve got the mana… don’t cancel the heal. If there’s chance the chainheal will bounce to others, you’ve not wasted the mana!)
Of course, all this means that you have to not run out of mana… MP/5 is your friend. Get an enchanter friend to make you some Mana Oil, eat some Blackened Sporefish, and keep around flasks of Mighty Restoration. ( Major Mageblood also works, if you want to combine it with a +heal flask, in raids where you’re not apt to die a lot) Oh. And you should ALWAYS have water shield up. It’s free mana. <3 You also might look into the Spellsurge enchant, especially if other members of your healing team are using it – the more people in a group that have spellsurge, the better it is. (81 healing is never a bad option though, so don’t go running off and redoing all your enchants)
A note about Lesser Healing Wave. You’ll notice that I’ve hardly mentioned it at all. That’s because the only time you should ever use LHW is if the person you are healing is going to die before you get off a chain heal. THE ONLY REASON!! At rank 7, Lesser Healing Wave still only has 5.0 healing per mana spent. That means that if you can spare the extra second to get a chain heal off… you should. I only have rank 7 of LHW on my bars, and it’s off to one side. That’s how rarely I use it in raiding. (PVP is another story, and another post)
Other Stuff That Makes You Awesome
Buffs. You are a walking buff for everyone in your group. There are several ways that your totems of awesome can be used to benefit a raid group. You can even add some extra dodge/avoidance to a tank in a particularly hairy situation.
Shadowpriests will love you, since you increase their mana regen (and as a Draenei shaman, their spellhit, allowing them higher DPS gear if they know you’ll be around), and they will, in turn, be more useful to the other casters. Shadow priest and Resto Shaman is a “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” situation – everyone leaves happy.
Windfury Totem and Heroism/Bloodlust provide any melee group with what essentially can become DPS-crack. They’ll get addicted to having you there, every week, looking for you – asking about their winfury. Why? Because for a fury warrior or a ret paladin you, through your totems, can mean an extra 150+ DPS for them. Windfury is not to be trifled with. Would an enhancement shaman be even MORE DPS? Yes. But you don’t always get to choose what flavor of shaman you get, and even a resto shaman is a significant boost.
Mages/Moonkin. If you can stack a group with a shadow priest, a boomkin, a resto shaman, and two mages, the general DPS of the four casters will go up significantly, your mages will have more mana, and the synergy will be tasty. Like cake. Or pie. Of course, again, an elemental shammy would be better here (for Totem of Wrath), but even as resto you can do a lot towards making this group a nuke happy aggro fest. Just, you know, be prepared to ankh when the mages suddenly do more damage for longer than they’re used to on fights that are aggro triggers.
And of course, Earthshield – it’s like those silly rotisserie commercials on TV. Just set it and forget it! (well, don’t forget it entirely). What other heal can do 200K healing over the course of a night without you ever having to do anything but pop back to the tank every few minutes to make sure there’s still a few ticks left?
The #1 Thing That Makes You Awesome?
Know the fight. Know whether or not that thing over there spits poison, causes diseases, or will do massive amounts of frost damage or fire damage or nature damage to your hapless group. Realize that sometimes you’ll be dropping totems that are NOT conducive to helping your healing – and that you can/will still be a kickass healer.
For example: In the Karathress fight, someone has to tank a shaman. Of course, being a shaman, the shaman add has all the shaman tricks. Windfury and FrostShock being the two that hurt the most. So what do you, the shaman who finds him/herself in that particular tank group for part of the fight? Well, you’re not dropping windfury, that’s for sure.
- Stoneskin Totem – it’s not much, but it helps
- Frost Resistance Totem – Frostshock doesn’t hurt so bad if it gets resisted
- Healing Stream Totem – again, not a lot, but helps
- Grounding Totem – to eat the Frostshocks altogether
That combo, plus earthshield on the shaman-add tank, and you’ll find that your tank is all of a sudden not having so much trouble. Of course, you’re still multi-target/raid healing, hitting the tank with the chain heals as well as the melee and anyone that gets hit with either spitfire or Karathress Shadow Blast.
Situational awareness is the difference between a well placed chain heal that hits three people and saves a melee group and a poorly placed, over ranked heal that doesn’t bounce at all. Know your group – look up from the little green bars every now and again, and learn the fights. Your raid will thank you, and they’ll wonder how they managed without a resto shaman for all that time.
Raid Leaders – I’ll have a post directed at you later. >.>
- Godmodding and Griefing (116)
- On Privacy, Real ID’s and Roleplay (49)
- XX and XY in RP (47)
- Population Disparity (34)
- Tanking Perceptions (33)