Welcome to today's installment of Way of The Totem. Today I'd like to discuss healing 5 mans and heroics. With Wrath of the lich king coming up in the next couple days, you're about to find yourself doing a lot more solo questing and healing the 5 man dungeons for quests and XP. Even at 80, until all your buddies catch up and you ford into Naxx, you'll find yourself doing some mighty fine heroic 5 mans. This post is going to also be geared mainly for those, like me, who are going to level as restoration.
First topic of discussion is going to be glyphs. Until you hit 80, you are only going to have 2 major glyph slots available. With that in mind I would like to suggest the two following glyphs.
Firstly is Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave Use: Your Lesser Healing Wave heals for 20% more if the target is also affected by your Earth Shield.
If you think about it for a few seconds this one is a no brainer. You're going to have Earth Shield up on the main tank pretty much all the time, with this glyph, your LHW hits for roughly the same as your healing wave. What this means for you is that A. for less mana you get your big heal and B. the cast time on LHW is lower by half a second to HW which means more heals in less time. With a lot of the new fights making the healers move, this becomes your mainstay heal.
The second glyph I'm going to suggest is Glyph of Water Mastery Use: Increases the passive mana regeneration of your Water Shield spell by 30%. This one's pretty self explanatory though, more mana regen = gooooooood
Lastly I'd like to add a minor glyph in here. Glyph of Water Shield Use: Increases the number of charges on your Water Shield spell by 1. To me this is a must, and the reason will be because of the talent spec I'm going to suggest.
Glyphs at 80 are really going to depend on your focus. but you can keep the ones you have already and just add another major to the mix. For 5 man / heroic healing I highly suggest adding, either Glyph of Mana Tide Totem or Glyph of Earthliving Weapon
With all the goodies in restoration its a really really tough choice sometimes on what to pick. For 5 man / heroic healing this is what I would suggest for when you start out at 70.
Let me explain some of the choices here. First lets look at the talents chosen in enhancement.
Ancestral Knowledge is very important for a couple reasons. Firstly, like I said in one of my previous posts, intellect has become much more important to us as of the patch. Wrath will make this even more important. This talent helps you get the most of your replenishment buffs from hunters, shadow priests and ret paladins, so that you always have mana and you are always healing. This talent also helps to maximize the effect of Mana Tide Totem. All around for the 5 points you spend in it, you get so much more back for longevity and reduced downtime. No reason not to take it.
Improved Shields Increases the damage done by your Lightning Shield orbs by 15%, increases the amount of mana gained from your Water Shield orbs by 15% and increases the amount of healing done by your Earth Shield orbs by 15%. This is a must have for a couple reasons. Firstly it increases the amount healed by Earth Shield which means less active healing you have to do (this is good for mana and the nerves of healers =P) it also increases your regen from water shield, Combine this talent with the glyph and you are cooking with gas to keep that regen up.
lastly in enhancement I took Enhancing Totems (I only took 2 ranks for now though )Your tanks and physical dps will love you for this talent, and so will your mana. It helps increase your tanks str and agility. If you have a warrior/paladin that helps their shield block as well as their dodge. The more damage they mitigate, the less you have to heal them, the more you can heal the dps of the group. win win if you ask me =)
Now to talk about the restoration talents, well... more to talk about the ones we didn't take.
After the patch Healing Grace Simply feels too much like bloat. You honestly just don't need it. With the changes to tanking last patch, tanks generate, regain, and keep aggro even better then they did before. You should come nowhere close to ganking due to healing aggro, and if you do, you have Wind Shock to help put them back on the tank.
Focused Mind and Nature's Guardian are just a tad pvp specific for my taste. Having leveled to 80 already and having done the instances available, it's my opinion you really don't need these talents, at least not yet. That may change with later content but for now it would just be wasted points in my opinion.
Healing Way I didn't take because with LHW glyphed I wound up using that much much more then healing wave, making the talents bonus useless to me. again the points to me were much more useful spent elsewhere.
This next one I'm sure plenty of people will yell at me for but I didn't take Improved Chain Heal Here's why. I had this talent as I did when raiding at 70, and while leveling and doing the 5 mans and heroics, I found I used it less and less and less in favor of lesser healing wave, healing wave and riptide. I threw out the occasional chain heal, but circumstances usually called for a different heal. I figured the points would better be served somewhere else (see Enhancing Totems)
Another I didn't take at 70 was Blessing of the Eternals again purely for point conservation.
at 80 a spec more like this
This spec lets you do well in 10/25 mans as well as 5 mans. Very versatile, allows you to fill multiple roles at once. As you can see I've filled in a couple of the talents taking BoTE and Filling in Enhancing Totems and Elemental Weapons to get a little more bang for my buck, capping out Ancestral Awakening and taking Improved chain heal. That's going to be my run for utility shaman healing spec at 80. This spec allows you to chose your role based on what glyphs you decided to use.
Healing tips for 5 mans.
Chain heal has a long cast time, in the 5 mans you mostly won't have 2.5 seconds to sit and wait for it to wind up. Instead use Riptide to proc Tidal Waves, and keep tossing out LHW (if you have it glyphed) or HW. Using your LHW and riptide will eat up some mana, but with your totems, glyphs and Talents you should wind up with most of your mana comming back very very quickly. Chain heal should be used as a situational heal, AoE bosses in which you have all melee or all casters. When laying down totems, make sure to tailor it to your group. The only ones you're going to want down constantly are mana spring and flame tongue, those are your "selfish" totems =P. Keeping them down, keeps your healing up and keeps the group up. the other two slots, play with depending on group needs and composition. Make sure you have totems on your bars, or a mod that lets you swap them out quickly so you change them on the fly, and that's pretty much it.
I will probably edit this for more information for you as the day permits.