Lodur’s Final Thoughts Before 3.1

Lodur’s Final Thoughts Before 3.1


I’d like to condense my final thoughts on the Restoration Shaman Changes so far, since the patch is imminent at this point and shouldn’t be too far off.

The hottest topic for Shamans as of late has been the Blessing of Wisdom and Mana Spring Totem stacking change.  Understandably we were all a bit shocked by this change. This is pretty much taking the stars out of alignment for us. I know I reacted harshly to it first in my post Shaman and Paladins Mana Buff Get Hit! . This was before I got a chance to actually test it out as well as sit down and think about it.

Lets talk about mana regeneration from an encounter design standpoint. In a raid how often do you run out of mana now? For me I know it’s never unless a lot of other healers bite the dust and I have to pick up the slack. How often do you have to use mana potions? I think I’ve used 5 total in about 8 weeks, and those were on heroics. That’s with moderate gearing, not even a heavy MP5 set. That’s honestly not good for designers. In order to compensate for ungodly amounts of healer mana developers tend to make encounters with more widespread raid damage instead of other much more fun mechanics. Personally I’d rather have fun mechanics, I like variety! (read as less Whack-a-Mole plx!)

Raid wide we lose 109.2 MP5 from this change and I can tell you from testing it, it’s not that bad. I’ve spent a lot of time on various iterations of Lodur on the PTR testing the changes out, doing raids, seeing how regen was affected… and to be honest it really wasn’t affected as majorly as many people think. Right now on live I can end a fight like Kel’thuzad or even Sartharion with drakes with around 50% mana, and that’s with chain casting. On the PTR I was ending with about 35%. Honestly it’s the difference of a mana potion.  We’re not really going to see a shift too dramatically. Rejoice! We are the mana base line!

There is also another great part of this for Shaman in general that I’d like to take a moment to point out. There was a discussion about totems and macros and such on PlusHeal and a very interesting point came up. A lot of shaman over there refer to our water totem as our swing totem, and I agree with this. The water totem slot is our most versatile of the lot and tends to get the most use. By changing the way mana regen stacks it allows us to take a Blessing of Wisdom, and then use our water slot for something other then just Mana Spring. Healing Stream totem is getting a buff through talents that makes it a very attractive choice (AoE hot? yes plz!) and lets not forget our brand new Cleansing Totem that will take care of both poisons and diseases. With the new change we wont have to sit and worry about taking away mana regen by dropping a poison cleansing totem or what have you. I found the ability to not have to worry about having Mana Spring down all the time was like a weight lifting from my shoulders. I have a feeling once you guys see it in action you’ll feel the same =D

Here’s a recap of the Patch Notes relevant to restoration Shamans.


  • Ancestral Awakening: This talent now accounts for your ineffective healing, rather than effective.
  • Ancestral Healing and Healing Grace have swapped places in the Restoration talent tree.
  • Cleanse Spirit now has a new icon.
  • Mana Tide Totem: This spell no longer costs mana.
  • Restorative Totems: Reduced to 3 points, down from 5. Increases the effect of your Mana Spring Totem by 7/12/20%, and increases the amount healed by your Healing Stream Totem by 15/30/45%.
  • Riptide: This spell has a new icon.
  • Tidal Force: Now has a new spell effect.

General Shaman Changes

  • Bloodlust/Heroism: Cooldown reduced to 5 minutes, but Sated and Exhausted now last 10 minutes.
  • New! Earth Elemental Totem: The summoned Earth Elemental should now have significantly more health and slightly more armor.
  • New! Fire Elemental Totem: The summoned Fire Elemental should now have moderately more health and mana, and its damage scaling has been increased. In addition, the Fire Elemental’s spells now cost less mana.
  • Flametongue Weapon: Bonus damage from spell power now based on weapon speed. Slower weapons will benefit more from spell power.
  • Frostbrand Weapon: Damage increased by approximately 20%.
  • Mana Spring Totem: This totem has been redesigned. It now provides the same mana benefit as Blessing of Wisdom to the entire party or raid, but is exclusive with that effect.
  • Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem have been merged into “Cleansing Totem.” Cleansing Totem pulses every 3 sec, down from 5.

Another item was the change to Heroism / Bloodlust. The change is that the debuff and the cooldown are being flipped around. Cooldown has been changed to 5 minutes and debuff has been changed to 10 minutes. At first this seems like a big hit from the nerf bat, and at first I thought so too, until Matt and I had a great conversation about it. Heroism / Bloodlust is an optional raid buff, unlike replenishment which Blizz feels is a mandatory buff. Encounters are not tuned with you having one every try in mind. It’s a raid leaders shot gun buff, on Sarth 3D we use it to burst down the second drake for an example. It’s something you use when you really need to have something dead and fast. The change allows for you to use it more inline with progression fights. Lets say you pop it, and you die. Dying clears the debuff but if the ability is down and you don’t have another Shaman, fat lot of good it’s going to do you. This will allow groups that only have 1 Shaman to always have this buff available when learning fights. I think this is actually a good thing.

Elementals are getting buffed, which is long overdue. This will bring them back up to something a little more useful then were they currently are. I know my Fire Elemental when I break him out on Sarth adds doesn’t really do a whole lot and tends to run out of mana fast. Which his damage scaling more and cheaper spells he’ll just be that much more useful. Earth Elemental getting a health increase is also really good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped him to make a get away only to have him die so fast it doesn’t matter that I dropped him at all.

Bottom line here is we really made out this patch. We didn’t get godly buffs, but we avoided the nerf bat and remained largely unchanged. The changes we did get will actually help our utility to a raid, and can be looked at as buffs in a way. The Mana Spring totem change really benefits us more then it hurts us. It gives us a bit more freedom to roll around totems. I am looking forward to this patch for many reasons, not least among them Ulduar.

What about you? How do you feel about the imminent patch?

Till next time, Happy Healing.

As always feel free to follow on twitter http://twitter.com/LodurZJ And don’t be afraid to ask questions using direct message there or the contact form here on the site!

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.


  1. Totemshock says:

    I actually think less of water as a swing totem than earth or air. Partially that’s because I like to be different, and partly because of the way things end up. The only time mana spring isn’t up is for fire resist or cleansing… but in 25s cleansing totems don’t really save me that much time cleansing as most of the time the debuffs aren’t in my group.

    With talents my strength of earth totem is stronger than Horn of Winter, and takes less refreshing on most fights (grobulus gets kited too far… but other than that…), stoneskin is unique to shamans, and the other utility earth totems actually have real utility in raids (well maybe not stoneclaw…).

    With the amount of encounters invovling nature damage (posions, diseases, lightning charges, slime proximity aoe, grobbulus clouds…), and the fact that my regular 25 man group has another resto shammy, I often end up dropping nature resist totem instead of wrath of air. In fact… I’ll drop it even without another shammy providing wrath of air because mitigation for all that nature based aoe damage equals raid heals that don’t need doing (also generally my job as a resto shammy).

  2. Glad to see you’re approaching this with a better perspective. I think it’s safe to say Shamans will be the least affected by the changes of 3.1 in terms of mana regen among healers.

    That said, I think you missed the point of the Bloodlust/Heroism change. It got changed because regardless what Blizzard says, it is required. The change wasn’t just made to prevent it from being used twice in a raid, it was also made so that raids that had only a single shaman could guarantee it would be up for every single attempt. After all, it makes no sense to do one attempt on Sartharion then to have to either 1) wait or 2) wipe because Bloodlust/Heroism isn’t up yet.

    Veneretios last blog post..Back to Basics: Tanking Stats

  3. Bloodlust/Heroism is both a nerf and a buff.

    The nerf being that you cannot use it once every 5 minutes on longer fights with 2 or more shaman.

    The buff being you can use again (between wipes or resets) with only one shaman, just not on the same try…unless your dps is really really slow, lol.

    Blizzard is such a mixed bag of tricks!

  4. @Veneretio: Actually that was the point I was trying to make about Heroism / Bloodlust. I like that it was made to be available for it to be up more often after deaths etc.

  5. I agree. Of course one could argue that avoiding the nerf bat could be rephrased as “boring patch with a minimum of tweaks”. But that’s just semantics. I wrapped up my thoughts about 3.1 , including my thinking on glyphs and T8:


    As far as bloodlust goes I have to agree with veneretio. Especially hard modes are designed with bloodlust in mind. The change coming with 3.1 is very insignificant and 1 bloodlust per fight should be really more than enough. But as veneratio pointed out: blizzard wants bloodlust available in every single attempt. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another class getting the bloodlust buff in an upcoming patch. It’s homogenization time, baby!

    Speaking of homogenization: 3.1 will also make riptide less unique, as both druids and priests can get an instant part to their extremly powerful HoTs. Combined with the very situational 2pcT8 bonus and the horrible riptide glyph I feel like blizzard wants us to push towards using riptide whenever it comes off cooldown, when in fact it is still not so great in terms of HPS/HPM.

    And the last thing I still feel needs blizzard attention: improved watershield. T8 is crity heavy, so we will see even more procs than now. But I still feel the system is not so clever. Whenever we chain spam chainheal, IWS is useless. Whenever we heal a single target, it sometimes procs likes crazy, draining me of all orbs and leaving my without a watershield in hectic situations. To prevent that I often refresh the watershield whenever I feel my target might not die. But if I was playing on my priest I’d be precasting heals and stopcasting instead of wasting gcds on ws-refreshment, making me a much more reliable single target healer.

    All in all I don’t mind being the sucky baseline for mana regen. I just think IWS is not very fun and gcd hungry, and stacking mp5/INT on gear and sometimes proc a ws orb is very much inferior to mana regen of all other healing classes. Maybe not as bad as I think in numbers, but surely in terms of fun.

    To end not all to negative: ES glyph is great and 4pcT8 is huge.

    drugs last blog post..Addons: The LDB post

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