Been playing Restoration for about 4 seasons so I think I'll chime in on this one...Restoration Shamans are unique healers in many different aspects but primarily because Restoration Shamans are the only healer without an "oh-shit!" button (Barkskin for Restoration Druids, Pain Supression for Disc Priests, and Bubble for Holy Paladins) or a usable defensive cooldown while stunned. For this reason alone, you'll always be a great hot-swap target, especially vs. heavy stun teams such as those that include a Retribution Paladin or a Rogue. For S7, and mainly the popularity of heavy burst teams such as Wizard's Cleave or Beast Cleave, it's HIGHLY suggested that you run at about 1,000 Resilience and at least 23,500 - 25,000 HP (this holds true for every Shaman comp). I've found that to gem more then 1,1000 Resilience begins to sacrifice too much stamina but to dip to 900 results in some incredible critical hits from Destruction warlocks, in particular ones that have access to 258 gear and can end your life if the critical strikes provide him the opportunity.
Now a full Relentless gear will provide you a safe amount of base Resilience/Stamina but you'll end up gemming some more in order to keep your set bonuses but remember that anything past 1,100 Resilience is overshot. At the same time, you shouldn't over gem for Stamina because s huge base health pool will disappear without the proper damage reduction, especially vs. UA Locks whose dots will eat your health pool alive while doing full damage to another teammate.
For both Restoration and Elemental you need a base of 110 Spell Penetration in order for your purges not to be resisted and wasting precious globals/mana. Three Stormy Majestic Zircon (see below) with 35 Spell Penetration to cloak brings you up to exactly 110. Again it's helpful to keep a balance between your Resilience/Stamina but if you're more comfortable with running with a higher health pool then gem more towards stamina and reversely, if you prefer more damage reduction then gem for more Resilience but I highly suggest you stay within the stated parameters (1,000 Resilience/23,500-25,000 HP). If you plan on being an offspec Elemental Shaman, I still suggest you keep the minimum Resilience rating but gem Spell Power in every other available slot because of how well Spell Power stacks with Lava Burst.
(This is because you're usual the focus target
, especially in 5s).
As for your meta, I've personally used Insightful Earthsiege Diamond and Powerful Earthshatter Diamond as an Orc and a Tauren and in both cases I've found the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond to provide a significant amount of Mp5 over even a short match. However, for those who aren't in full Relentless gear it's suggested that you use the Powerful Earthshatter Diamond, especially if you're an Orc, in order to adjust for your lack of Resilience/Stamina.
Please note that these suggestions are only for the 3v3 and 5v5 bracket due to Blizzard removing 2v2 Gladiator standings.
Now there's a long standing debate between gearing for full Mp5 (Ringmail) or full Critical (Mail) (Haste no longer plays a significant factor due to the haste given by Riptide and Lesser Healing Wave already having a base 1.5 second cast time) but a general consensus I've gathered is you should gear depending on your comp. If you're going to be running a comp that's designed to last longer then three minuets, or a comp not designed to beat the opposing team in the opening Bloodlust or shortly after, such as Double Healer Warrior, then it's more beneficial to gear for Critical gear because without significant Riptide abuse you should be able to keep up your mana pool. Remember though that for gearing full Mp5 gear you significantly reduce your capabilities as playing Elemental for your off-spec!
For which pieces, I see most people, including myself, running 3/2 in order to have the two set bonus (100 Resilience!) but I've found that 5/0 pays greater dividends vs. caster heavy comps such as Spell Cleave so if possible then you should pick up both and swap around accordingly.
As stated previously, LHW spec relies heavily on keeping up the riptide +Critical. Although this is entirely possible, a lot of the time I've found you can't keep hitting someone with riptide just to gain the buff because enough pressure is being put out that if you're not healing they will fall. Personally I swear by the HW build, it makes healing through massive damage manageable and despite it not being cost effective in the long term, I can safely say that 1/5 games includes a large HW save, particularly vs. a rogue/x combo where you've manage to fake cast the kick.
I use 0/13/58 which is a mana/survivability build that sacrifices Critical talents for other tools such as Nature's Guardian. My comp, Retribution/BM/Restoration, makes me a very appealing swap target. Depending on what you're planning on running, you should change the talents around accordingly. For example as RLS, a comp which has two much sexier swap targets then yourself in most situations, I've swapped the 4 points out of Nature's Guardian for Thundering Strikes and then took out the 4 points to spec to Mana Tide for an additional 3 points into Tidal Waves. Because of the very heavy-burst capabilities in this comp I traded some survivability and mana tools for more ability for more damage. Remember, the way how you spec has a direct correlation on how you gear. Whatever you feel comfortable going into the Arena with is what you should be using, the suggested numbers are simply what I've found to be successful vs. most teams.
My survival/mana spec:http://www.wowarmory...313541120331251
<3 Blowi, it's about time you got this out.
S3 - Lady Vashj/Kael'thas Sunstrider.
S4 - Illidan/Brutallus.
S5 - Gladiator 2v2/3v3/5v5 (US-Cyclone).
S6 - Attendance Boss (US-Cyclone).
S7 - Gladiator 3v3 x2 (US-Vindication/Emberstorm).
S8 - Gladiator 3v3/5v5 (US-Cyclone).
Previously known as Strygwyr from Bloodscalp-Cyclone, Dionysus from Earthen Ring-Vindication, Stryg from Rivendare-Emberstorm, and Lvblol from Blackrock-Bloodlust.