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Posted jaimex on 01 March 2014 - 04:51 PM
Also, even though atm I don't have a sp, I still feel I know enough about my old main to post a guide, esp. since the current sticky is 3 patches out of date. The rest is just copy/pasta after this point with the required changes
Hi there - as the other guide is now outdated and it doesn't look like Neyz is active anymore I decided to put this together. As neyz also said in his guide, I am by far not one of the best priests but a lot of changes have happened since 5.2 so I want to give a rough outline. I'll also be copying vanguard's format as it looks clean. So without further ado, let's begin.
Shadow Guide (5.4.7)
Important Changes for Shadow in 5.4.7
Leap of Faith no longer has a positional/facing requirement.
Shadow Word Death does 15% more damage
Shadow Word Pain does 25% more damage
Feathers are now a 80% speed boost
Psyfiend now has 75% less health, and no longer benefits from haste
Increased Resi to 80%
Shadowform no longer reduces damage taken by 15%, but increases armor by 60%
VT now deals 20% more damage
Shadow Apps cannot be killed anymore
FDCL now has a additional 5% chance to proc for shadow
Dark Binding is now baseline
Reflective Shield now reflects 70% of the damage absorbed, up from 45%
I have highlighted the really important changes.
Clear winner here for me is psyfiend. Previously I chose void tendrils but as I faced more and more teams I found psyfiend is just better. I recommend using a shield macro for it, which I will cover in my macro section, and it is just as unkillable as last patch. Use psyfiend agressively vs non hunter teams, out of range of melee if needed, or defensively vs hunters as you can put your psyfiend just over a hunter trap and the psyfiend can 'eat' the trap. The only time I recommend void tendrils would be say vs a dk/rogue/priest that has no way out of roots OR if you are playing with a melee easily peeled like a dk and you want to train something, can be useful to root a resto shaman if you are playing Unholyplay for example. Otherwise it is not worth it. Likewise, never take mind control as shadow in 3s.
As before, I think there is a real dominant choice here. Since 5.4 feathers are now a 80% increase in speed, which makes you effectively immune to slows if you use it correctly. Feathers + guise is overpowered for getting fears on healers. Time your guise/feather with the end of a hamstring/chains of ice and sprint and you can cross the map ridiculously quickly. I would take phantasm vs mage teams that train you in conjunction with the fade glyph, when you don't have freedom on your team (i.e godcomp.)
This is arguably the tier where you have the most choice. As mentioned above, FDCL now has a 20% chance to proc every time your VT ticks. This means theoretically every 5 ticks of your VT you will be granted one spike proc! Although, sometimes dependent on comp I personally believe insanity is still 100% better. If I am playing either godcomp or Melee/Sp/Rshaman I play insanity as the small burst windows in stuns are very important. Dotcleaves and RNG Damage comps I prefer spikes though.
One real choice here, that is spectral guise. Not only is this very good for getting fears, if you time a shield/feather with this you can get away from most melee easily (read: not warriors). The other two are just not worth it as shadow as both are affected by battle fatigue.
It looks like there is a pattern here, isn't there. Once again, clear choice is DI. Power infusion can be spellstolen/the long cd doesn't work well with most of our partners. If you play with a mage, it could be semi viable if you turtle until you have 3 orbs and global in the first deep, but I personally do not see PI being viable.
Divine star. The amount of lockdown in the game and the long cd/mana cost of halo means getting VTs and the consequent mana returns means it is nearly impossible to stay high mana if you play halo. Also, considering the interrupts and the ability to cast divine star when locked out makes it a great 'ohshit' heal along with pom for around 70-80k if both crit.
Glyph of Prayer of Mending
Glyph of Fade
Glyph of Inner Fire
Glyph of Inner Sanctum
Glyph of Mass Dispel
When to which glyph:
Inner Fire; always take this when there is a melee on the opposing team.
Inner Sanctum; always take if you are vs a double caster team or melee/caster with no better 3rd glyph.
Mass Dispel: Use vs mage/paladin teams that you do not need anything else. Can also be useful vs warlocks who play dark bargain.
Mind Blast: Very useful if your team has no slows and no better 3rd.
Enchants / Gems / Reforges
Shoulder: Greater Crane Wing Inscription
Back: Greater Intellect
Chest: Glorious Stats
Bracer: Super Intellect
Gloves: Greater Haste
Belt: Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs: Greater Pearlescent Spellthread as anything except for human, if you are human (1% extra spirit) go for Greater Cerculean Spellthread
Boots: Pandaren's Step
MH: Jade Spirit/Spirit of Conquest
OH: Major Intellect
Red: 320 Haste
Yellow: 320 Haste
Blue: 320 Haste
Meta: 665 Resi + 775 Power / 3% Crit and Intellect
6% Spell Hit (Spirit) > Haste > Crit > Mastery
Use the mooncloth gloves as they give haste instead of crit and get your 4 set via the other satin pieces.
Neck: of Alacrity
Back: of Cruelty
Bracers: of Prowess
Belt: of Meditation
Boots: of Alacrity
General Playstyle Tips
Stay in Inner Fire and Shadowform 100% of the time.
If your healer is getting trained, position yourself far away from him, say between two pillars so you can grip him out of trouble.
Prioritise casting mind blast over casting dots for most comps (prio dots for shadowplay/boomy sp though.)
Keep Prayer of Mending and Shield on cooldown on the other team's target.
Try and fear resto shamans early to get tremor out of the way!
If you are playing insanity and land a 3 orb, but get a mind blast proc at the same time, use it before you start channelling insanity, this provides more burst.
Do not mind blast into a immunity/deter or reflects. These do not grant shadow orbs. Same goes for Shadow Word: Death.
These are in no particular order and are just taken in the order they were in my /macros tab.
1) Healer Shield
/cast [@HEALERNAME] Power Word: Shield
2) Dps Shield
/cast [@DPSNAME] Power Word: Shield
/cast power word: fortitude
/script SetRaidTarget("zehjune", 6)
/script SetRaidTarget("yournamehere", 8)
/script SetRaidTarget("freshfreefly", 5)
/script SetRaidTarget("johnyblaze", 1)
/script SetRaidTarget("foxius", 2)
4) Shackle (This also shows the tooltip of your Tier 6 talent.)
/cast [@mouseover] Shackle Undead
/script n_vt=GetSpellInfo(121135); n_pf=GetSpellInfo(110744); n_dm=GetSpellInfo(120517)
/run SetMacroSpell("shackle", GetSpellInfo(n_vt) or GetSpellInfo(n_pf) or GetSpellInfo(n_dm))
5) Level 15/Psyfiend Macro (Note, the macro must be called '15 Talents' for this to work.)
/cast Void Tendrils
/cast Dominate Mind
/script n_vt=GetSpellInfo(108920); n_pf=GetSpellInfo(108921); n_dm=GetSpellInfo(605)
/run SetMacroSpell("15 Talents", GetSpellInfo(n_vt) or GetSpellInfo(n_pf) or GetSpellInfo(n_dm))
/use grevious gladiator's emblem of tenacity
7) Healer Pom
/cast [@HEALERNAME] Prayer of Mending
8) DPS Pom
/cast [@DPSNAME] Prayer of Mending
9) Healer Grip
/cast [@HEALERNAME] Leap of Faith
10) DPS Grip
/cast [@DPSNAME] Leap of Faith
11) Focus Horror
#showtooltip Psychic Horror
/cast [@focus] Psychic Horror
12) Focus Silence
/cast [@focus] Silence
13) Shield Self
#showtooltip fear ward
/cast [@yournamehere] power word: shield
14) Purge Focus
/cast [@focus] Dispel Magic
15) Psyfiend Shield
#showtooltip Prayer of Mending
/cast [harm] Mind Blast
/cast [help] Power Word: Shield
1. Godcomp. Simply the best for a sp atm. But gl finding a mage :P
2. Shatter (Godcomp with hpala or shaman) imo hpala is better atm, but shaman works too. Mage, once again, is hard to find.
3. RPS. Very good control and survivability with the resilience buff. Will degrade over time with more and more gear.
4. Shadowplay. Easily t1 this patch once everyone gets gear. Spread pressure is insane, similar to cata.
5. WPS. Extremely high burst with nice swaps. Pretty strong.
6. FPS. Not sure, haven't played this/against it but heard it was pretty strong so.
Good Spriest Streams
Not many priests stream right now, but among them are
twitch.tv/talbadar - occasionally plays his priest
twitch.tv/khryl - occasionally streams.
http://www.twitch.tv/jahmillionaire - Jah <3
And that is it. I know it was a little long, but I hope you have learned something from it. Good luck & thanks for reading! As I said, I haven't played shadow for a bit so I probably missed something. Feel free to point it out :D
Posted BalanceRexxar on 21 June 2013 - 01:29 AM
0.0) Additional Help
1.6) Gemming & Enchanting
2.1) Class Synergy
2.2) Monk Comps
2.5) Monk Streams
2.6) Rated Battlegrounds
If there is something I forgot to include in the guide or something I explained poorly feel free to whisper me in game and I'll answer your question, if I don't I'm either in a game and didn't see or afk, if I don't and you have to go you can just send a mail or try when I'm out or not afk.
Toon Name: Balance
Hello there! My name is Steve, in game I am known as Balance. I made this guide for Windwalker monks in 5.3 and 5.4 and am updating it for 5.4.7. I updated it early just because I know not much is changing and am able to foresee what will change and how it will impact what Windwalkers do. Things you should know about me is I got Rank 1 (Duelist) in Season 13 and Rank 1 Gladiator in Season 14. I love to answer questions and appreciate any feedback you give me.
I sometimes stream World PvP, RBGs, BGs, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, and anything in between. You can follow me at twitch.tv/balancerexxar
These are your primary damaging abilities. You use jab and expel harm to build Chi to use your other abilities. You use expel harm when you aren't at 100% HP or can't jab anything. You also need to keep Tiger Strikes buff up at all times. You need to use Rising Sun Kick off cooldown. Fists of Fury is situational, you may use it to peel or control. I often use it after a Leg Sweep or Ox Wave for damage and control. It can do a lot of damage when channeling on a single target with stacks of Tigereye Brew up.
- Fists of Fury, Fists of Fury is also a high damage ability but you can stun and entire team with it and they can't trinket it most of the time because you will just re-apply the stun when they do.
- Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Ring of Peace Leg Sweep and Charging Ox Wave are just stuns which is a control, Ring of Peace is a AoE disarm and silence.
- Paralysis, Paralysis is one of the best peeling abilities in the game, a ranged 4-6s incapacitate can lock down mages and other classes on their deep freezes, demon soul, shadow dance, and other high damage cooldowns and such instantly.
- Spear Hand Strike, Spear Hand Strike is our kick. I don't recommend using it for the 2 second silence but if you're on a mage who is spamming ice lances into a deep freeze you might as well. It has also proven useful when killing Priests because of their bubble, if they are bubbled at 11% and coming out of a stun I like to use it to try to get them 1% or however much needed lower so I can Touch of Death. I also use this ability on warriors when they are close to 10% coming out of a stun to prevent them from using Rallying Cry so I can touch of death before they get it off. Warning: This ability has a slight delay for when the silence is applied to use it around 0.25-0.5s before you want the actual silence to go on.
- Spinning Fire Blossom, Spinning Fire Blossom without the glyph is a 50 yard range 2 second root if you can land it. It can prove difficult but possible. It is very underused and can help you get back on your target and save a roll or two.
- Flying Serpent Kick, Flying Serpent Kick is an AoE 4 second 70% slow, it can be used to slow players. It is one of our high mobility cooldowns so use it wisely.
- Disable, Disable is a spammable slow & root, it is similar to how Improved Hamstring used to work, if they are slowed already when you re-apply it it will root them, you can spam this slowing a lot of people for a long amount of time.
- Grapple Weapon, Grapple Weapon can be used to disarm your opponent, on certain classes it will shut them down. It is a ranged ability making it one of the best disarms in the game.
- Fortifying Brew, this ability can be very useful, if you're facing a team with an execute you can use it to avoid that or just use it before taking large amounts of damage to reduce it, it's basically an Ironbark + a self Rallying Cry on a 3 minute cooldown. This ability combined with healthstone and expel harm can prevent you from having to use Karma or Diffuse magic a lot of the time.
- Detox, I use this ability just about off CD against Death Knight teams to remove their diseases. I also use to to remove rogue poisons like Crippling Poison and Paralytic Poison before stacks are high enough to stun you. The best use of it it to remove Devouring Plague against priests who play Insanity effectively stopping a major part of their burst, another game changing use is to get Wyvern Sting off your teammates so they don't have to trinket.
- Crackling Jade Lightning, this ability is mostly used for fun or to keep people from leaving combat to avoid re-stealths, drinks, etc. It also can get spell reflects from warriors.
- Nimble Brew, It is crucial that if you play a Windwalker monk you have an "out" which is a way to get out of CC to be able to use Touch of Karma or Diffuse Magic. Rotating cooldowns between your trinket and Nimble brew should allow you to always have a way to karma.
- Provoke, This is one of my favorite abilities. Most people see the taunt and think, "Oh it's just PvE." They couldn't be more wrong. Whenever I see a grounding totem down, I taunt. It is off the GCD, has no cost, and destroys it. It also keeps rogues in combat going for stealths or healers going for drinks. It also gets spell reflects and my favorite use for it is to taunt pets. Those pesky hunter pets see me taunt them and chase after me behind a pillar where I then fists of fury it to death. I bolded this because it is the most underused ability by monks.
- Storm, Earth, and Fire, this is another great ability. It has few purposes outside of PvE but it is in fact useful. The primary use to to stop drinks and re-stealths from healers and rogues. By the time a rogue or healer gets it off them it's been a good long while and the re-stealth probably never got off because we stopped them ourselves. Another use it for RBG's just throw them on random targets and start using Spinning Crane Kick or Rushing Jade Wind for decent AoE damage and fantastic flag spinning. Something to note is that if you get your Rising Sun Kick debuff on another target from you clone that extra 15% damage only applies to that clone and doesn't help your damage.
- Zen Meditation, also very useful for it's grounding totem like effect. I most often use it right before a healer gets trapped to put it on to me. It is also very useful to eat Chaos Bolts, Deep Freezes, Cyclones, Fears, Polymorphs, Repentance, and all sorts of nasty things you don't want on a low teammate or healer.
- Transcendence, this ability is pretty standard. Put it down behind a pillar at the start of a game, put 3 healing spheres on it port out when you're in trouble, sometimes reverse port back to get to a target if they are near it, not to much to it. Be sure if you're on Blade's Edge or Dalaran Sewers Arena to have this up before chasing after someone who jumps. Make sure to keep track and have this at whatever pillar the fight is taking place mid-game.
I am only going to discuss a few races because some races are just horrible to be as a monk such as Tauren.
Humans: Human's racial is Every Man for Himself. This ability replaces the use of the commonly used Insignias purchased for conquest. This allows a new trinket to take place of the Insignia. That means you could have a Battlemaster's trinket or a Badge instead. It probably isn't worth using PvE trinkets because when you use two PvP trinkets you gain a significant amount of resilience. This means that you need to compare a 2nd PvP trinket to the other racials of the other races to determine what is better. Another benefit of being human is the Sword Specialization that allows you to get increased expertise from using swords.
Night Elves: This is the best race you can be if you are a Mistweaver on Alliance because you have Shadowmeld. You probably know this but if you don't it's important for you to know that if you use this ability the same time another ability hits you it acts as if that ability never hit. For example, if you Shadowmeld right as a mage finishes casting Polymorph it will act as if the mage never casted it on you. This is very good to prevent being Crowd Controlled (CC). There is also Quickness which can prove to be game breaking if you dodge something like a 6 second Kidney Shot while a teammate is very low, the odds are not in your favor but miracles do happen.
Orc: They have several racials that benefit the monk class. The first one is Axe Specialization, which has the same benefits as the humans allowing them to get extra expertise. The second racial is Blood Fury, which is a nice damage bonus. The third is Command which is unknown if it affects Xuen or your clones via Storm, Earth, and Fire but if it does then it is a minor overall damage bonus but a bonus nonetheless. And the last racial is Hardiness which can be combined to be Powerful Primal Diamond to have all stuns reduced by 25%. This is the main reason I went Orc on my own monk. Having 25% stun reduction allows monks to be able to get a Paralysis or Fortifying brew off in between Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot openers by rogues which can save Nimble Brew and Trinket which is huge versus RMD, RPS, RLS, etc. I think Orc is the best horde race.
Undead: This is best healing race in the game because of Will of the Forsaken. They also have Shadow Resistance which is decent against classes like Warlocks, Death Knights, Priests, and Rogues (with Shadow Blades up). They also have Touch of the Grave for extra damage and healing throughout the game, which is minimal but it's something. And of course Cannibalize our favorite ability to disgrace your opponent after slaying them. This could be the best race or the worst race. For example, if all you face all during your queue session is Rogues and Death Knights you will never have to use your Will of the Forsaken where you could be Orc instead. But overall with how many priests and warlocks are in the game As for Windwalker, orc is better overall because WotF puts your Insignia on cooldown which is very important because of how important trinkets are for monks, you die very easily in CC and I found myself not using Will of the Forsaken a lot just to save me from putting trinket on cooldown.
Blood Elf: Blood Elves racial is Arcane Torrent. Although this is all they provide, it is a handy ability if you do a lot of world PvP, 2v2, and even in 3v3 occasionally. Not only does it provide a 2s silence it gives you a free chi which can sometimes allow you to get another RSK, Blackout Kick, or Fists of Fury without having to Jab right before. If you're horde your going to be better off as Undead or Orc though.
Dwarf: Probably one of the worst races you can go but I have my alt one as dwarf because I love the little guys! It isn't completely useless though, Stoneform allows you the remove all diseases, poisons, and gives you a 10% damage reduction. So, if you are able to use this RIGHT before you get stunned and take a lot of damage it could save you. The main reason I ever use it though is to get out of Wyvern Stings from hunters, since it is a poison only a few healers can dispel it and it is a significant CC, therefore if you use your racial to get out it can save you from having to trinket which is huge. Dwarves also take 1% less frost damage so that is good because mages are everywhere, not to mention they also have a Mace Specialization which allows you to get extra expertise.
Glyphs in 5.4.7 are generally the same with very few expectations. Your go-to glyphs are italicized and the ones that can be useful are normal. Also, there is no way I can tell you what to pick against everything because this post would be massive so you need to take into account what you are playing and who you are facing to decide which glyphs to take.
Glyph of Touch of Death: This is a glyph that needs to be taken against every comp you face and play with. Being able to touch of death without using Chi is very important. A lot of times a target isn't under 10% for 1-2 globals so you really have one chance to get it off and if you have to jab or expel harm 1-2 times to get the chi they are probably dead or above 10% already. I recommend this glyph all of the time.
Glyph of Touch of Karma: Since Touch of Karma is our best defensive cooldown complained about so much I'm surprised it hasn't been nerfed. This glyph gives it a 20 yard range. This is extremely valuable seeing how without it you'd have to be in melee range to get it off and most of the time you need to get it off there is a slow on you and you can't get to the target. Even if there is double melee training you I recommend this glyph all of the time because of how essential it is to get it off exactly when you need it.
Glyph of Paralysis: This glyph allows you to safely paralysis a target without DoT effects breaking it. Depending on what comp you're playing you may or not need this, although we monks ourselves had a DoT from Blackout Kick, it rarely breaks out paralysis and we really only need this if your teammate has DoTs.
Glyph of Detox: This glyph is useful in the 2v2 bracket when playing Healer, WW monk because the only DoT monks have is blackout kick which doesn't last long and unless you're trying to paralysis the target you just blackout kicked it shouldn't break from damage. This means we can take this glyph over glyph of paralysis to keep some pressure off of us against one of the more popular comps, Healer, DK. It can also be used against Rogue teams to heal yourself a minor bit by removing Paralytic Poison or whatever poison they happen to be using.
Glyph of Nimble Brew: This glyph can also useful because of the heal it provides, if you use Nimble Brew to prevent dying it can help but if you are using it offensively it probably won't help much.
Glyph of Sparring: This glyph can be used when the team you're on has no DoT effects and preferably when you are facing a team with a wizard on it, it really depends on what you're playing and who you're facing so you need to decide what's best yourself.
Zen Flight: I've died a lot from falling so this is my savior. I have it bound to "U" just because it's somewhere I can get it but not super needed.
Blackout Kick: I use this glyph just because of the little extra damage it provides, the healing it provides is minuscule. Also since I use glyph of paralysis a lot the dot doesn't affect it.
Tier 1 - Mobility
Celerity, Tiger's Lust, Momentum. These are your options. Out of my thousands arena games as a monk so far I have never used anything but Tiger's Lust. The other options just don't compare to it. With Tiger's Lust you can; get yourself out of roots, sprint teammates to escape, sprint teammates to better positioning, to help your teammates get out of roots and slows, or just use it on an FC so make them go faster. In my experience, I mostly have played with several shamans and something important to know about Tiger's Lust is that it stacks with things like ghost wolf so shamans can easily escape melee by getting Tiger's Lust and activating ghost wolf adding up to a total of 110% movement speed.
Tier 2 - Healing
Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, Chi Burst: These are your options. Again, nearly all of my arena games have been using Chi Wave other than experimenting with the others. Zen Sphere's damage and healing doesn't compare overall and often breaks CC. Chi Wave does a significant amount of healing and damage, it has a low cooldown, it does magic (nature) damage so it isn't greatly affected by armor, and it is single target so it shouldn't break CC but sometimes it hops to someone in CC but it is still worth it to take. Chi Burst may be viable from what I hear. It is twice the cooldown of Chi Wave but does a significant more amount of damage. I'd still probably stick to Chi Wave because of it's short cooldown and the fact that it is instant and doesn't have a cast time like Chi Burst. If you plan on playing with a hunter I'd recommend using Chi Burst.
Tier 3 - Chi
Power Strikes, Ascension, Chi Brew: For all of 5.3 Ascension dominated this tier, power strikes still doesn't compare to Ascension and Chi Brew but Chi Brew became the new best talent because of this change...
Chi Brew now restores 2 Chi, has a 45-second cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes), and generates 2 or 3 stacks of Tigereye Brew. Maximum of two charges.
Now what this means is that you have around a good chance to get 6 stacks out of the gates if you use both off the bat which is incredibly good. And if you cast Fists of Fury before the gates open it will only take 1 chi to get 1-2 more stacks, so after you use 1 chi you have the potential to have 8 stacks. This is why I use this over the others. Since the mastery change we have reforged into haste which increases our energy regeneration, and with all the CC in the game we rarely have enough up time to be out of energy.
Tier 4 - Control
Ring of Peace, Charging Ox Wave, Leg Sweep. Your most common pick is probably going to be leg sweep. There is a lot of controversy on which is the best but it really comes down to what you face, how you use them, and what you prefer personally. I'll compare them here...
Charging Ox Wave: Charging Ox Wave is a ranged stun that has a travel time, for example if you paralysis someone then depending on how far you are away from who you shot the Ox at it will vary on how long it takes to be affected by the stun. You may be hesitant to using it because it only lasts 3 seconds but the way I look at it you can use it whenever you want because of its short cooldown and the fact that it is ranged. If you wanted to leg sweep the healer you'd have to get to them to use it, but with Ox wave you can maintain your uptime on them and still get the stun off and that 2 second difference is probably equal to or more than how long it would take to get to the healer and leg sweep them then get back to you target. It also is very easy to use, many people try to lead their shots but that isn't how it works. To land a stun on someone you need to use it for where they are at there current location. I have an example of how it is deceiving in this video. Excuse my lag, again I can't stream or make videos because of my terrible computer.
Leg Sweep: This is the more commonly used talent in this tier because it lasts longer and can be used for going for kills. I personally think that it really depends on you like and play. If you play a composition of something like Shadow Priest, Monk, Healer then I would recommend using this because of being able to use Devouring Plague into this stun followed out by silence. Use this one if you want to be able to lock someone down for the kill.
Conclusion: Leg sweep is usually the one to take just because of how good it is and how it lines up with Fists of Fury. It can be unreliable a lot because of lag, dodge, and parry but if you are able to get it off it is much better than ring of peace or charing ox wave.
Tier 5 - Survival
Healing Elixirs, Dampen Harm, Diffuse Magic.
After a long season I have a lot of thoughts on Healing Elixirs and Diffuse Magic. I'm not even going to talk about Dampen Harm because it is absolutely worthless.
Healing Elixirs: So for healing elixirs I have come to the conclusion it is truly based on what you face. If you are facing KFC healing elixirs will prove immensely more beneficial than Diffuse Magic for the hunter damage, it allows you to run around and self heal when you have to. I wouldn't recommend using this against dot cleaves either, just because it helps out with healing I find that a lot of the time it is off CD and just sitting there not healing you when you need it to. So I would say take this against teams that are mostly physical damage or have small magical burst damage.
Diffuse Magic: After a season of wizards and cleaves I had to swap specs a lot. For many teams I took Diffuse Magic because of how much magical damage they do. Even though you might think Healing Elixirs is better for things like LSD (Ele, Aff, Resto Druid) you're wrong. Being able to basically grant yourself immunity on a minute and a half CD for 6 seconds is incredible, although it will be a little tougher on your healer it could prevent you from having to use Touch of Karma, this means you'll have twice the major defensive cooldowns you would that if you were healing elixirs. Not to mention Healing Elixirs is often random and procs at worthless times a lot of the time. I also use this against teams like RMD (Rogue, Mage, Resto Druid) because of the high burst mages have, rogues have weak damage outside of their burst so healing elixirs will only help you when you are being bursted on which it then heals you for 15%, but if you were to use Diffuse Magic you could stop around 50 to even 60% of your entire health by taking 90% less magical damage from a mage blasting ice lances at you.
Again this tier requires you to decide what is best and you need to judge what to take yourself.
Tier 6 - Damage
Rushing Jade Wind, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger, Chi Torpedo. Always Rushing Jade Wind. Xuen gets kited, long CD, breaks CC, Chi Torpedo sucks, RJW does more damage. Use it when you're bursting but don't use it so much you don't have energy.
First of all, to gem correctly you must know what stats you want. There are dozens of way to gem a monk based off of each and every slot and which gear you have. I'll repost the monk armories if you just want to copy one of theirs instead of experimenting to find the perfect setup on your own. Anyways, what most monks are doing now stat wise is...
Crit > Haste > Mastery. The reason of this is that when we get a critical strike we can do insane amounts of damage. Therefore, Crit is the best stat, haste is the second because our Mastery is not very good. Our mastery has a chance for us to get an extra stack of Tigereye Brew, if you were to stack mastery it would only give you a small % of getting an extra stack which isn't as good as being able to jab more if you have more haste.
Yellow: Deadly Vermillion Onyx
Shoulders: Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Greater Haste
Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor
Weapons: Dancing Steel and Glorius Tyranny. If you can't get 2200 for the Glorius Tyranny enchant then buy a Living Steel Weapon Chain. You should also have 3 weapons. Two with dancing steel and one with either Living Steel or Glorious Tyranny. The reason behind this is because if you face a team without disarms then the effect of those other two enchants isn't as good as the one from dancing steel.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Similar to gemming and enchanting, every monk has slightly different stats. But almost all of them are within a few %'s of each other. Most monks range between...
These number will change by the end of the season so try to scale it up with the new gear we get.
Hit: As close to 3% as possible.
Critical Strike: close to 50%
Haste: 15% or higher
Mastery: 40% or less
After experimenting with 3% expertise I found that on very rare occasions healers like Paladins and Shamans can "block" a leg sweep or Spear Hand Strike which can throw off a game. So it's better to be safe than sorry so 6% expertise will make it so that doesn't happen.
Again, 3% Hit > 6% Expertise > Crit > Haste > Mastery____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Professions can vary depending on what race you are. For example, if you are human you will be using a On-Use PvP trinket as well as an Insignia. And since you have the On-Use trinket the Synapse Springs you get from engineering wouldn't be as good because they share 10s cooldowns with each other, I'm not saying it's bad but I feel like there are other professions for human that is better than engineering. So here it is.
Humans: Tailoring + (Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Jewelcrafting. [All of these give +320 Agility in some way.)
Everything Else: Engineering + (Tailoring, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Inscription, Jewelcrafting. [All of these give +320 Agility in some way.)
I know a lot of people want to know what the absolute best way to gear, reforge, gem, talent, glyph, professions, etc. without having to go through a huge guide like this so I made this category dedicated to monks who I believe to be educated on the class and know how to personalize their monk to make it as deadly as possible. Here they are...
- Venfuki @ Tichondrius
- Smoove @ Tichondrius
- Galaxyfist @ Tichondrius
- Smexual @ Tichondrius
- and mine Balance @ Rexxar
I know that everybody has their own personal keybindings and I understand that it isn't likely that anyone will change based on what I have to say here but I feel like it needs to be said.
My keybinds are bound in an effective way. I have each ability bound to a great bind that allows me to do a lot of things, get places, and pop cooldowns. I'll explain after you look at this picture.
This picture shows how all my damaging abilities are bound to my naga. This allows me to use my QWE keybinds to move and I use my right thumb to deal all my damage. The purpose of this allows me to hit all of my damaging keybinds with being able to keep up with my target by using my strafes and move forward binds. I feel like if I had those abilities on other keybinds I would have conflict with doing damage and moving.
I also have my mobility keybinds such as roll, tiger's lust, and flying serpent kick to keybinds close to my movement binds.This allows me to keep moving accurately towards my target while using mobility keybinds so I don't end up rolling off to the side of them.
If you're new to monk try changing your keybinds to get to your mobility binds as quick as possible and have your damaging abilities not collide with being able to move.
In this portion of the guide I state my personal opinions which has been altered by personal experience and the thoughts of others. If you disagree with any of my opinions in this category please post a comment on your experience with the comp on why it works and why is doesn't. Thank you.
Important Information: I believe that anything played by good enough players has the potential to get good rating. Don't be discouraged by my opinions on a comp and decide not to play it, try it out and prove me wrong if I think it isn't good. Anything is possible.
Mage: This class is one of the worst you can put with a monk on paper. Every single CC you and the mage has DRs. But surprisingly, it works quite nice, it may be because mages are so good right now or maybe the comp just works. It plays similar to warrior mage, even though warriors lack CC and their stuns DR with mages deep freeze the high damage of the two classes makes the comp work nicely. Therefore I think this comp is pretty good because monks also have high damage, you just have to be careful on who is casting polymorph and who is paralyzing what.
Stuns: Deep Freeze with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Polymorphs / Incapacitates: Polymorph and Paralysis
Silences: Counterspell Silence with Spear Hand Strike blanket silence.
Roots: Frost Nova and Pet Freeze with Disable Root.
Rogue: This class isn't good with monks because both have lots of stuns. Rogues damage isn't very consistent if they are subtlety which most are. Their burst revolves around Shadowdance letting them stun and silence things all over. The problem they share with monks is the DR on stuns. Although, just like everything it does have potential to get rating but would be much harder than if a monk played with a better class.
Stuns: Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Silences: Garrote with Spear Hand Strike blanket silence.
Incapacitates: Sap and Gouge with Paralysis.
Priest: This is a really fun comp to play. Although it isn't a common monk comp it has great potential. Some downsides is that your priest has to be very good for it to succeed. But if you and your priest are able to connect on a target at the same time other enemies are CC'd the damage is unreal and you almost always get a cooldown.
Disarms: Psychic Horror with Grapple Weapon.
Silence: Silence with Spear Hand Strike blanket silence.
Warrior: Warrior monk would be a low tiered monk comp because of the things each class brings to the table. Although both classes have high amounts of damage they both lack CC. Monks work better with a cast that can provide peels and offensive CC.
Stuns: Shockwave, Warbringer, and Stormbolt with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Disarms: Disarm and Grapple Weapon
Death Knight: Death Knights are similar to warriors in the fact that they have little CC but are very good at training. Just like warrior monk, death knight monk would have a problem of little CC allowing a healer to heal through damage that otherwise could get cooldowns, certain healers would be a lot better for thing comp than others, E.G. Priest is probably better than Shaman, it has some good potential to do insane unhealable damage though so CC may not matter.
Stuns: Remorseless Winter, Asphyxiate with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Roots: Chains of Ice w/ Chillblains with Disable Root.
Paladin: This class just like every class is viable to a certain extent. I have yet to try this recently but I did give it a go in 5.3, although 5.3 was very bursty I am not going to let that affect my opinion on this comp. I believe this comp could work decently. The only problem this comp could have is the CC. If the paladin took Turn Evil (fear) and cast it on the healer it may prove to be the thing that DK monk or War Monk doesn't have, the extra CC. I encourage people to try this comp and let me know how it works.
Stuns: Hammer / Fist of Justice with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Incapacitate: Repentance with Paralysis.
Warlock (Affliction): Warlocks are the best class a monk can run with this patch. The amount of CC warlocks have is so great combined with their damage it allows monks to go on whoever they want and just do as much damage as possible. A monk on a healer while a warlock is fear spamming the other 2 members with dark soul up it is very hard to heal through.
Warlock (Destro): The other viable warlock spec that Windwalkers can play with is Destruction. The comp doesn't take too much to play generally, a lot of the time the warlock is tanking damage and the monk sets up the kills, then outside of that you have double coil chaos bolt and that speaks for itself, all in all, it's a very powerful comp.
Stuns: Shadowfury with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Warlock Pets: share DR with Spear Hand Strike blanket silence and Grapple Weapon.
Hunters: Hunters are a very good class to go with Windwalers, after playing it myself I believe survival is much better for the comp than markmanship. If the monk uses incap instead of trapping and the hunter throws down Frost trap to get Lock n Load procs you can do some incredible damage.
Stuns: Intimidation, Binding Shot, Pet CC, with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Silences: Silencing Shot with Spear Hand Strike blanket silence
Incapacitate: Freezing Trap with Paralysis
Disarms: Snatch with Grapple Weapon
Shaman (Enh): I really haven't personally tested this comp out or seen it at high ratings so I can't vouch for its success or failure but based on what I know about enhancement shamans I would say it is a decent comp. With the right healer it could have just enough CC and sustained damage to have a chance against other high pressure comps. A full CC on a healer with ascendence up with the monk popping stacks of Tigereye brew could prove quite deadly.
Shaman (Ele): This comp is one of the higher tier WW comps because it's a shaman. Shamans are pretty hard to kill so they don't require much peels, also they have high damage output which in combination with Windwalker monks make it very deadly.
Stuns: Capacitor Totem with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Polymorph / Incapacitate: Paralysis and Hex
Druid (Balance): Balance druids work alright with monks, it is nearly as good as some of the other comps monks can play but it isn't the worst by far, since monks mostly die in stuns, druid are able to do certain things to help them live for just a few seconds to be able to get out such as, disoriet, NS clone, and typhoon. They also provide good offheals and overall its a solid comp, if you get a starsurge crit and rsk crit at the same time something could easily die.
Druid (Feral): I have yet to play this comp but I could see it being decent, it would be similar to kitty cleave in the fact that you just run something down, have little CC, and just overall is just easily beaten by certain things.
Stuns: Bash, and Maim with Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Fists of Fury.
Roots: Entangling Roots with Disable Root.
This will category shows which comps I think are most successful.
Windwalker + Warlock
Windwalker / Hunter (All Specs)
Windwalker / Priest (Shadow)
Windwalker / Shaman (Elemental)
Windwalker / Druid (Balance)
Windwalker / Mage (Frost)
Windwalker / Druid (Feral)
Windwalker / Death Knight (Unholy)
Windwalker / Mage (Fire)
Windwalker / Mage (Arcane)
Windwalker / Rogue (All Specs)
Windwalker / Warrior (All Specs)
Windwalker / Paladin (Retribution)
Zen Meditation Macro
/cast !Zen Meditation
- I use this macro so if I spam my keybind for Zen Med it won't cancel the channel by mistake, that is what the "!" does.
/cast Fortifying Brew
- Although it is safe to macro healthstone into your fortifying brew, you should still have JUST the healthstone somewhere keybound by itself.
/cast [target=party1] Tiger's Lust
/cast [target=party2] Tiger's Lust
/cancelaura Stampeding Roar
/cancelaura Body and Soul
/cast [target=Balance] Tiger's Lust
- These are my party sprints and my self sprint, I also have just the spell bound to shift-Y for bg's and stuff but for arena this is what you should use. Also you can't Tiger's Lust yourself when Stampeding Roar or Body and Soul is on you so if you're rooted you need to cancel them to escape.
- Every melee class needs one of these.
/cast [target=focus] Paralysis
- Just focus paralysis.
/cast [target=focus] Grapple weapon
- Just a focus disarm.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cast [target=focus] Spear Hand Strike
- Your basic focus kick with a cancel aura Spinning Crane Kick because in case let's say a priest Spectral Guises and you need to hit him out so you use SCK and he's out and starts to cast but you need to kick but you can't because of SCK, that's why the cancel aura is there.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cast Touch of Karma
- I died more often than I like to admit because I was spinning before I could karma (mostly on big mob pulls outside of arena) but it doesn't hurt to have it in arena. I also have cancel aura BoP on there because sometimes if you are facing a melee and caster and a paladin BoPs you, you are unable to karma and die to the caster.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cast Spear Hand Strike
- Same thing as the focus one.
- I've been playing monk since they came out, I'm not 100% sure if you can still auto-attack after a paralysis but it used to happen, better safe than sorry.
/cancelaura spining crane kick
/cast touch of death
- This is a pretty important macro, I've heard that when you target last target it registers the 10% faster so your ToD will go off but I can't confirm it, it doesn't effect it in a bad way so might as well have it. And the crane kick just because if you're spinning and miss your chance to touch of death it could cost you the game.
/cast Rising Sun Kick
- This makes your Xuen attack the target you are attacking.
/cancelaura Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cancelaura Rushing Jade Wind
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
- I'd rather have a separate macro to get rid of clones than waiting for global on actual ability.
- Warning: If you're not facing the Psyfiend or there isn't one out it will paralyze your current target, be careful when using this macro to avoid removing dots from your target or wasting Paralysis.
/cast [target=party2] Detox
- This is pretty important to avoid your team being owned by DK dots, Devouring Plague, Paralytic Poison, and Wyvern Sting.
- This macro allows you to throw a clone on your focus, I mostly do this to get my Rising Sun Kick debuff up on them before I swap so I am immediately doing 15% more damage.
Here are some extremely useful addons for WW monks.
ChiBar: This addon lets you have a chi bar that you can freely move around, make it bigger or smaller, vertical or horizontal, and many other options.
Nameplates Modifier: This basically adds a percentage to the default blizzard name plates. This is the most important macro WW monks can have because of how crucial it is to get Touch of Death off at the precise moment.
Everybody wants to see some WW monk PvP. Since that is hard to come by I'll link you to a couple of channels that may show some WW monk PvP, I can't guarantee that they will but here is where you might find some. I also put mine in there in case I ever stream.
Posted Bigmoran on 25 February 2014 - 04:19 PM
I really hope I can earn the respect of all whiteknights. Apologies to Dibzz, Irub, and Benjiown.
Posted Trillebårtom on 21 February 2014 - 12:17 AM
I really think the mods need to step it up on getting rid of toxic people!
Would really love to see AJ be more useful!
Posted Nadagast on 21 February 2014 - 12:09 AM
Trolling and assholery puts AJ on a downward spiral. People troll/asshole-it-up, which leads to less people using this as a forum for serious/reasonable discussion, which leads to more trolling, etc. AJ always was and continues to be the most popular place for new players to get into the PvP scene. Any community relies on new members to sustain itself--by making this place a wasteland we are doing nothing but ensuring our own demise.
Before you post a reply or topic, ask yourself: am I being an asshole? If you are, change your post to take a more educational tone. If you're feeling heated about something, take some time to cool off before replying. Don't immediately assume someone is trolling you, some people are just not very knowledgeable. Worst case, if you reply in a calm educational manner, you've posted something informative for the hundreds or thousands of lurkers who will view your reply. These are generally newer PvPers, and anything you do to help sustain them as arena players helps all of us.
On any set of forums, it's easy to forget that almost all of the people reading it are lurkers, who will never make any posts. Lurkers cannot be trolls, they can't be assholes, they are just here to learn or read interesting things. Post interesting, informative content. Post drama if you want, but don't be an asshole. Fuck the trolls, post for the lurkers.
Posted Takenotezz on 25 January 2014 - 01:33 PM
A. A 1500 shaman
B. An idiot.
These changes will make caster teams harder, which shamans have no problems with currently. What shamans do have problems with are melee cleaves and getting trained.. I think that shamans should get some sort of spell like a druids ironbark, on a 45-1minute cooldown. When shamans can free cast, they do some of the best healing in the game. When playing vs teams that train you, you cannot free cast, and rely on earth shield, riptide and healing stream. Having an ironbark-like spell would help deal with Rogue Mage, kitty cleave, tsg, etc. It would also provide something to help mitigate damage for your teammates because you don't bring much to the table other than a passive mastery buff and 10% spell haste. This would also increase the skill cap of shamans, using this ability before cc, for swaps, knowing when to use it and when to save it for yourself, etc. I would take this buff for the shear ground and tremor nerf anytime.
(The ironbark like spell being for restoration only)
Posted Jahmilli_ on 04 January 2014 - 12:35 AM
That's exactly the problem. That is the reason there are only 3 comps on ladder. The only comp that can deal with RMX/WMX is SGX... and the only comps that can deal with SGX are WMX/RMX. It all starts with reducing the control shamans and cast debuffs have over casters, and then followed up by reducing damage modifiers. Once both issues are addressed, there will be a much more diverse ladder and more active, enjoyable and (for lack of a better word) "skilled," game play.
edit: there are FEW exceptions
Posted Jahmilli_ on 03 January 2014 - 11:57 PM
Infact nerve strike alone slows down the tempo of the game more than goat since it affects physical damage classes AND casters and the uptime, while not 100%, is every single rogue stun DR'd or not. I would estimate my fox get's CCd more than a rogue does since its not getting dispelled, it doesn't have cloak, and it doesn't have any mobility other than auto attacking and running to targets.
Every single time im 1/4th DR cheap shotted as a peel, I lose 50% dmg for 6 seconds (and 10% less healing). I'd rather have -30% bloodlust that only affects casters than -50% damage that affects entire team with a rogue who knows how to abuse it.
like I said, yes uptime is less since ultimately you can't have everything stun DR'd all the time, but when its needed for peels it can be abused to slow down the game way more than goat ever could.
I would happily give up my fox/goat forever if nerve strike was removed.
EDIT: @Jah: If it is true what you say, that shamans and goats slow down the tempo of the game, is it really unfair to say that there should be something to slow it down? When there are comps like RMD in the game with all the retarded things I mentioned earlier, seems like there should be some sort of way to slow it down or else it would be completely undefeatable.
I've played a number of rogue comps as the rogue... RLS, priest thug, shaman thug, RMPala, RMD, RMP. Granted i'm not nearly as experienced as other rogues but i've played all of them against the best comps and teams. SGX and RLS were by far the easiest and most simple for me to play.
And like I said in my 2nd post, I understand a lot of it is required right now, because of the amount of damage modifiers that are in the game, I think both are out of control. But regardless... I still think its much more difficult and enjoyable to play a faster paced game with a balance of control, burst, and consistent damage, rather than a slower one with much less CC, much less burst, and much more consistent damage. When classes and comps are limited like that it becomes much more difficult to overcome counters and comes down to more of a comp based game more than anything else.
Posted Jahmilli_ on 03 January 2014 - 11:13 PM
You cannot tone down one without toning down the other.
Posted Jahmilli_ on 03 January 2014 - 11:00 PM
The main issue with it is how difficult it is to control, and how little the classes have to do to avoid CC (compared to other comps). People just want simple answers as to why a comp is out of control, and usually those answers come out right as you die, that's when you're most annoyed. "I CANT EVEN FUCKING PLAY MY CHARACTER" or "90K ICE LANCE WHAT A FUCKING JOKE." A lot of people don't really think of what goes on during the entire game, just towards the end when they're dead or about to die. From my experience it seems that most people (mainly casters of course) can't even think of the actual reason why SGX is so miserable to play against, but all of them know that they hate fighting it.
The shaman and the goat PASSIVELY (this is the worst part) make up for some of the biggest weaknesses of EVERY class, (excluding casters). The comp alone is the sole reason a lot of comps are no longer viable, and also the sole reason a lot of classes (mainly physical and healers) are viable.
- RET goat shaman (Ret easily controlled by casters / lacks CC)
- DK goat shaman (squishy / lack CC and mobility)
- FERAL goat shaman (Feral easily feared / very squishy outside of CDs / lacks CC)
- HOLY (Priest/Paladin) goat shaman (Priest and Paladin both easily controlled by casters)
- MONK (WW and MW) goat shaman (MW Monk easily controlled by non warlock/spriest casters, assuming they're undead.)
(WW Monk unique playstyle / very squishy outside of CDs / lacks CC)
- HUNTER goat shaman (Hunter very squishy vs casters / easily feared)
Almost every spec above is NOT viable at a high level outside of SGX.
The hunter alone has enough CC to make up for any that his X lacks, and the shaman alone has enough ways to keep their DPS/Healer out of CC
Goat shaman (especially shaman) is also the bane of any wizard cleave, they are non-existent. The ONLY viable wizard cleaves are ones with shamans, and even those should get demolished by SGX.
The class simplifies and limits any comp its a part of, and any comp it plays against. There is only so much you can do... they lack depth.
Another one of the comps best qualities is how easy it is to maintain proper positioning in comparison to other comps. This mainly has to do with the shaman, and this is also my biggest issue with the class in general. Shamans are an extremely defensive class (If you ever play or watch any 3v3 game go to dampening, 99% of the time there will be at least 1 shaman in the arena), they don't really have any real CC, they are VERY disruptive, and they're the most difficult class to control. It's rare to catch a shaman out of position, because majority of the time there really is no reason to be. That's why I think it's much simpler to play any shaman comp than it is to play nearly ANY other comp in the game.
Being able to effectively use your healer CC offensively while maintaining proper positioning is a HUGE part of your teams success. Many healers and teams struggle with this.
You will not be competitive at a high level in arena without effective fears from your priest.
You will not be competitive at a high level in arena without effective clones from your druid.
You will not be competitive at a high level in arena without effective Hojs/fears/repents from your paladin.
You will not be competitive at a high level in arena without effective incaps/stuns/roots from your monk.
You WILL be competitive at a high level in arena without effective.... 45second CD hexes...... from your shaman.
Shamans do NOT CC, they PREVENT CC. They slow down the tempo of every arena they enter. That's also another reason you won't ever see a high rated shaman comp without some kind of cast reduction spell (Curse of enfeeblement / Goat / Mind numbing) on their team. They need to slow games down and simplify them as much as possible in order to win. That's also why they are so weak against melee cleaves, or just any melee in general. (there is no ability you can press to reverse bloodlust a melee class).
Not to mention they walk in arena with a PASSIVE damage and healing buff to everyone on their team. Grace of Air (3000 mastery)
I'm not sitting here saying it is unstoppable. I am saying that the amount of effort and coordination required to win games, in comparison to every other comp in the game, is much less as Shaman Goat, and I think every goat and shaman would agree that without each other, they wouldn't have nearly as much success in arenas.
Posted Votlol on 29 November 2013 - 11:11 AM
I've been playing resto shaman since season 11, giving me plenty of time to explore almost every composition imaginable for a resto shaman. Over this chunk of time, I have managed to progress through the ladders and gain a lot of experience and knowledge along the way. I was really bored, so I decided to try and put together something like a guide for resto shamans out there of hopefully a wide variety of playing levels. I have a lot of fun discussing mechanics and strategies that have to do with the game, and it's cool to help some people out with advice or some other kind of helpful information. I'm going to make an effort to answer a lot of the common questions I've received in regards to playing resto shaman pretty thoroughly, and I hope to spark somewhat of a discussion about resto shaman where new questions may arise and receive attention.
This is the typical talent tree for a resto shaman, and while you can probably take this set up and use it with and against almost any composition, I am going to take the time to discuss the pros and cons of all the options.
Tier 1 (level 15):
Nature's Guardian is one of the strongest abilities to a resto shaman. One of the biggest weaknesses a shaman has is the lack of options when caught in a stun or silence, and that's where Nature's Guardian comes in. It has a 30 second cool down, and it essentially heals you for 25% of your maximum health (this counts all buffs). While NG is up, it increases your maximum health by 25%, and heals you for this same amount. Once the buff falls off, you lose the extra maximum health, but you do not lose the amount that it healed you. Knowing when NG is going to proc can save you other cool downs, mana, or allow you to use other abilities to prevent NG from procing before you get stunned or silenced, which would be when you need it to proc.
Remember that maximum health includes things like rally, stam buff, and ancestral vigor. If it is optimal, you could get a rally before NG procs, so that it will heal for an extra amount as well as increase your health pool even more.
Stone Bulwark Totem is nice for those situations where you will take a lot of consistent damage, especially if there is going to be a lack of stuns and other CC to keep you from having up-time while an enemy team is attacking you. It has a pretty long cool down, the absorb is dispellable, and obviously the totem is killable. It costs you an earth totem slot, which could mean your earthbind/grab or tremor, and if you come into a situation where you need one of those totems down immediately, it could cause you to have to replace your stone bulwark for them.
Astral Shift can be used while silenced, which is probably the strongest quality of this talent. It is nice if you are going to take most of the damage in a small interval, but its cool down is the longest in this tier.
Tier 2 (level 30):
Frozen Power becomes extremely effective when coordinated with a mage teammate, especially a fire mage (due to their lack of frost nova abilities and reliance on them). It can be more effective than earth grab for gaining distance from enemies, as you can use it much more often, but it is plenty mana inefficient, so be careful in situations where mana is an issue when using this talent. Bear in mind that using earth bind can aid in making this a talent for endless kiting in some situations.
Earth Grab Totem is one of my personal favorite talents. I find it effective for the obvious, helping to get a melee cleave off of you, but also in allowing for more globals and helping to manipulate enemies into cap totems (hex -> earth grab + cap totem). Remember that after the root, earth grab slows the enemy as much as earth bind would, so it is far from useless after its root effect.
Windwalk Totem is the most common choice in this tier. It is essentially an area of effect freedom. It's really nice vs mage comps, for obvious offensive reasoning, but also defensively by negating nova effects which mages often rely heavily on in order to burst. One effective strategy is to try and windwalk before a water elemental's frost nova, as it will immune the nova, but also keep the mage from getting any fingers of frost procs(another essential tool in the frost mage's burst damage kit) from the spell.
Tier 3 (level 45):
Call of the Elements is the only talent in the third third tier that really buffs your healing. On top of that, it also provides a good chunk of utility. Using CoTE to summon healing stream can help out a lot when your team is under a lot of pressure, or it can be used to summon any of the other short cool down totem spells, including windwalk, earth grab, tremor, grounding, earth bind, and capacitor. An important detail to remember is that if you get full locked out by an interrupt spell, you will still be able to cast CoTE, and after doing so, you are able to summon the affected totems, including healing stream, even though the rest of your nature school spells will still be locked out.
Totemic Persistence can be effective when combined with talents such as earth grab, windwalk, and stone bulwark; but most of the effectiveness of this talent is in the ability to use tremor without needing to replace your other earth totem, and to use grounding in the same manner. You can use it to healing tide and healing stream simultaneously, rendering a ton of burst healing from your totems alone, but it doesn't usually outweigh the strength of Call of the Elements as healing tide is generally enough totem healing when you need the extra amount, and you can't always guarantee healing stream totem is off cool down when you healing tide.
Totemic Projection is really strong in combination with earth grab and/or capacitor totem. It allows you to get that extra cc off without over extending. Projection is also pretty good for manipulating the range of your totems. For example, you can place a grounding totem down at an inopportune moment, extremely far away from your enemy team, and then launch it forward when you need it's effect, and using this method you can have another grounding totem ready 10-15 seconds afterwards. It is also nice to launch healing tide / stream away from enemies, or across the map to allies when ranging the enemy CCs or swaps, or when separated due to a lock's gateway.
Tier 4 (level 60):
Elemental Mastery is pretty bad for arena resto shamans. It is a long cool down for what it provides, it is dispellable, its healing throughput calls for you to spend more mana by casting more spells in a shorter time frame, and it is weak because it relies on a situation where shamans need to chain cast quite a few spells, and due to the riptide/tidal waves mechanic, chain casting is not something resto shamans do when casting efficiently or effectively.
Astral Swiftness is the preferred talent in this tier because it allows you to cast CC instantly, or get instant, powerful heals. It has a short cool down, and it also provides you and your team a passive haste buff.
Echo of the Elements can greatly improve your sustained healing output, however it is very RNG based and just not even close to as strong as being able to instantly cast a heal or CC in the most dire moments.
Tier 5 (level 75):
Rushing Streams is the most used talent in the 5th tier.for resto shamans because healing stream is one of the most efficient and effective healing spells available to shamans. This talent makes it heal two targets at once (essentially doubling its healing assuming no overheal) and increases the effectiveness of those heals by 15%, meaning that even if you only have one target that requires healing, this talent is still pretty strong, but obviously it helps a ton for any situation where two targets are not full health. This can be so nice vs mage comps that make a ton of swaps, especially to the shaman; for example, if the shaman and one team mate are both full hp, and the third is 95% hp, healing stream will tick to heal the 95% hp team member, and overheal one of the others, providing them the damage reduction from the glyph, which with some luck will be the target that the mage team makes a swap to.
This glyph / talent combination is amazing for relieving spread pressure put out by a frost mage's frozen orb as well.
Ancestral Guidance is a talent that I personally think is undervalued and underused. It is essentially a weakened version of ascendance, on a pretty good cool down. It's obviously strong for spread healing, but it can outweigh the rushing streams talents especially in situations where healing stream is killed almost instantly every time. The biggest weakness of this talent is probably the uptime that it requires in order to take full advantage of the spell, but even without chain casting, I think this talent is still a lot stronger than its presence suggests.
Conductivity is extremely weak because it requires a ton of hard casting, it limits mobility of your team, healing rain's healing isn't really overpowered enough to make this talent worthwhile in arena, and conductivity doesn't really even compare with the other two choices in the tier.
Tier 6 (level 90):
Unleashed Fury is an amazing talent. For healing, it increases the effectiveness of earthliving's unleashed elements effect, which can be used to increase sustained healing (by UE'ing a riptide [yes it effects the heal over time effect]) or burst healing (when used with a healing surge or greater healing wave). It can also be used with rockbiter's unleash to provide a 40% damage reduction from a single enemy for a few seconds. Finally, if used with frostbrand, unleashed fury causes your UE to give you a 50% sprint for 4 seconds on top of slowing the enemy (remember that frostbrand's effect and unleashed effect are both undispellable, and only removed via freedom spells or similar effects).
Primal Elementalist is nice for earth elemental's shield wall and stun, controlling a pet so that you can use it to possibly eat hunter traps, and for the healing increase and damage taken reduction buffs that they can provide. The pets just do not have strong enough effects or last long enough / have short enough cool downs in order to outweigh the strength of the unleashed fury talent.
Elemental Blast is just all around pretty terrible for resto shaman. Even for damage, it is not as effective as other choices in that talent tier.
I do not plan to be as thorough with glyphs as I was with talents as there are obviously a lot more of them that are not useful almost at all to resto shamans.
These are the most commonly used glyphs for resto shamans in arena. These are applicable for most situations, but there are a couple of alternate options available as well, effective in more specific situations.
Glyph of Ghost Wolf is needed in most situations, otherwise slows are extremely effective, even while in ghost wolf. Some slows are effected by this glyph more than others, but if you are getting slowed and trying to run away in ghost wolf without this glyph, especially while getting trained, you are going to have a lot of trouble surviving or developing any distance between you and your attackers.
Glyph of Totemic Vigor is pretty strong because of how essential totems are to resto shamans. This can deter people from killing your totems, or cause totems to become much more difficult to destroy for certain classes (like affliction warlocks). Most shamans use this glyph in every match up, and it is especially strong for capacitor totem and stone bulwark totem due to the huge health pools it gives them. This glyph also buffs healing stream a ton because if it prevents healing stream from getting 1 shot, healing stream will heal itself (obviously even more effective when combined with the rushing streams talent). Personally, I think this talent as required as it is common, because careful placement vs ranged classes will allow you to prevent the important totems from being killed, usually, and melee targets that instantly go for your totems likely won't be stopped because of a small buff to the totem's health.
Note that the glyph is maximum health, so all health buffs will effect it (rally, NG, ancestral vigor, battle master [if you otherwise will have no use for battle master, you can use it while you healing tide for example, or maybe cap totem, to try and help it live a bit longer for an extra second to tick or explode).
Glyph of Hex is self explanatory, and obviously even better when other glyphs are not useful or when there is only one player able to decurse on the enemy team (or none of course).
Glyph of Healing Stream Totem is extremely good, especially when combined with the rushing streams talent (as explained above) however it is only useful against nature damage, frost damage, and fire damage: so mostly mages, shamans, balance druids, and destro locks (some other classes have damaging spells that deal nature damage (serpent sting) or frost damage (death knight's frost fever / icy touch) but it may not be worthwhile to choose this glyph for those match ups).
Glyph of Totemic Encirclement (minor glyph)is nice because it can confuse and disorient your enemy team, it can allow for an intervene target for a warrior team mate to use for escaping a root effect, but it can also be used for charging, so be careful allowing enemies to use it to close gaps. Note that the fake totems dropped by this glyph do not show up with name plates to enemies, and remember that they can be killed if needed.
Glyph of Rain of Frogs is useful just to try and trick enemies into using their interrupt spell on something that does not actually lock out the nature (healing) school.
Gemming / Stat Priority
There are a few effective options when it comes to gemming and stat priority for resto shaman. In full gear currently, the most common and possibly strongest priority is Int>Crit>Spirit>Mastery>Haste.. Other common set ups put spirit ahead of crit, and sometimes mastery above crit. The effectiveness of the stat priority is really difficult to measure accurately on paper, and it pretty much rolls out to personal preference. The best way to know if a stat priority works out as a healer, is test how it feels, because stat priority isn't as simple for healers as it is for dps, as it is rare that straight throughput outweighs burst healing, and you also have to worry more about defenses and obviously mana.
Most people just pick up the 4 piece resto with the elemental gloves, as this set up provides the most crit and spirit available with pvp gear, with the meditation (spirit) off pieces, and the crit or spirit battlemaster (because shamans are very susceptible to dying) and insignia/medallion trinket.
Most shamans are gemming straight crit chance now. Other viable options are int>crit>spirit; or resil. Meta gem can range between the Stam + stun reduction meta (especially effective for orcs as it stacks with their passive stun reduction racial); the int + silence reduction (still nice for reducing cc, and it provides throughput via int (which also provides some crit)); and the pvp meta which is not as strong as the int metas in throughput, but still nice defensively due to the resil.
Why is crit so strong?
Crit provides shamans quite a bit of mana return due to resurgence (even almost as much mp5 as spirit when spamming the spells healing wave and greater healing wave). Also, crit heals are 100% stronger than non-crit heals, and crit provides 30% more throughput to shamans due to ancestral awakening. With crit trinkets, crit gems, and reforging with crit priority, shamans reach something around 33% crit unbuffed, which is nice in general for heals over time and normal healing spells (healing stream is affected by your crit chance too), but because of tidal waves, healing surge has an extra 30% crit chance, giving it a 63% crit chance with the set up mentioned above.
Crit is great for mana, not only because of resurgence, but also because a crit can mean the difference between having to cast another heal or not, where as other stats do not come close to having the throughput to compete without critting. In other words, if you crit a healing surge or two in a row, you are probably going to top your teammate. If you do not crit, gemming full int or even mastery you will likely have to cast 4-6 surges to top that same teammate.
Note that just because you prioritize gemming crit, does not mean it outweighs int. When you gem crit, you gain 320 of the stat, when you gem int, you gain 160. So if you gem full crit, you are prioritizing 2 crit > 1 int. Jewlcrafter's profession only gems are a tough choice when considering this idea, because a JC crit gem provides 480 crit,
while the JC int gem provides 320 int. The JC gems provide 1.5 x the normal crit gem, and 2 x the normal int gem, so in order to choose which JC gems you choose, you have to decide whether you believe that 3 crit outweighs 2 int or not, because that is the proportion of crit to int via the JC special gems. Of course, it is all preference, but understanding the difference helps to form the preference and makes for an interesting consideration.
All of the profession choices are pretty balanced (aside from mining / herb) but JC and Blacksmithing are the most commonly used and arguably the strongest as they give you the option to gain the secondary stats Crit or resill, which have been two of the most common set gem priority set ups as of late.
The most important and imperative macros are targeting macros (for both enemies and teammates), arena 1 2 3 / focus wind shear, and focus purge. These macros allow you to act more quickly healing, dispelling, interrupting, CCing, and the focus purge allows you to heal your teammates while watching specific enemies for crucial buffs you may need to clean off immediately. Having a /stopcasting command is really nice for wind shear or grounding totem so that you are sure to stop casting and immediately cast those spells the second you need to.
Other optional macros are those such as focus hex, focus frost shock, frost shock 1 2 3, purge target of target, and NS, all of which are not imperative but can make everything more fluid and concise, which is important.
Target Party 1
Target Party 2
Target arena 1
Target arena 2
Target arena 3
Shear arena 1
/cast [target=arena1] wind shear
Shear arena 2
/cast [target=arena2] wind shear
Shear arena 3
/cast [target=arena3] wind shear
Focus wind Shear macro
/cast [target=focus] Wind Shear
Focus Purge Macro
/cast [target=focus] Purge
/cast [target=focus] Hex
Focus Frost Shock
/cast [target=focus] Frost Shock
/cast Wind Shear
/cast [harm] [target=targettarget] Purge
The only addon I think is really important to success as an rsham, or at least extremely helpful, is interrupt bar. There are too many classes with interrupts available to manage all of them or allow each of them to rotate full lock outs on you without resulting in your death.
I do use bindpad though, I find that it is nice for saving all of the macro's and binds I have even though there isn't much room in my macro book or on my action bars.
Most comps work with a resto shaman healing, to some degree, usually so long as you do not class stack (but even then things can sort of work to some extent). The strongest comps for resto shamans right now are probably MLS (tons of CC [peels for the shaman xP]), WLS, RMS, and WMS. Although they aren't the strongest, KFC, Kitty Cleave, RPS, Shatterplay, RLS, Shadowcleave, and more can still work quite well.
Rshamans VS Casters
Shamans have a lot of tools to compete against casters in their kit, however this does not mean they simply "counter" casters in general. If a good shaman is left unchecked, he or she can manipulate the outcome of a match against caster tremendously, however, like in most situations, resto shamans are very susceptible to death in a stun or silence, or simply after being trained. Positioning is the strongest defense shamans have against death, as it prevents swaps, prevents CC, and causes the control the shaman has to be even more effective as good positioning will render enemy players stuck in the open during shear lock outs and hexes, or stuck out of line when shear and grounding are not available.
Try to use LoS in between your control on off targets. Between hex, shear, and grounding, it is extremely difficult to land hard casted CC's onto a shaman (and on top of that you have tremor for when you finally do get feared ).
It is important to prioritize which spells you shear and ground. Grounding and shear shouldn't be used just simply on cool down, but properly in order to put the enemy team behind. Typically it is a good idea to use stops on crowd control spells, but careful not to waste the shear on the third DR polly and then have no answer for the cyclone cast incoming. Other than CCs, there are specific spells to try and negate for each specific class. Some great examples are deep freeze and counter spell for mage; lava burst and ele blast for shamans; chaos bolts and haunts for warlocks (they both cost shards so it's extra good to ground these spells as it wastes the resource); devouring plague or silence for spriests; etc. Something I like to keep in mind is that it isn't always important to slow the caster down, as in shear the lightning bolts, frost bolts, or incinerates. Sometimes it is more important to save the shear for the CC, or the bigger spells. It is nice to wind shear lock out those spells like lightning bolt or poly and follow up with a hex since they are shortly locked on their schools they need available in order to interrupt your hex; so this essentially gives you a "free" hex in their face.
As stated above, it is important, almost essential, to properly time shear and especially grounding, as it can change a game completely sometimes, so make a true effort to avoid simply mindlessly dropping grounding on cool down.
Remember when trying to lock down a high crowd control caster (like a mage) to incorporate your dispell cool down within your grounding and shear cool downs. For example, say the mage casts a poly on a friendly rogue, dispell can be used on the first polly, grounding on the next polly (if you shock the 2nd dr polly sometimes it isn't as good as grounding because the two second lock out tends to deter enemies from relentlessly casting poly on everyone unlike grounding for some reason, lol), wind shear following the third polly cast, and a hex during the lock out... and dispell is ready again. Obviously it is not always cut and dry, but some type of fluid idea similar to this is always good to aim for when attempting to help your teammates maintain uptime and lock down the enemy in order to keep them behind and build pressure.
Some specific tips to remember versus casters are to try and alert your teammates when a follow up fear that you can't stop is coming, or polly, or whatever. Try to avoid wasting tremors when they would actually be wasted (if you have full demonsoul dots and the enemy team isn't even on you, and you just got full feared, why tremor if your teammate isn't in much trouble yet; you could sit 1 or two seconds and the fear is likely to break). Watch for frozen orb, often you can position yourself in route of it when it is going to be used on your teammates and this way you can cause the frozen orb to break the polly on yourself early, careful not to overextend or get swapped to too hard, though. Finally, watch for dots like living bomb, vamperic touch, immolate, etc. when playing against casters to try and get a head start on their swaps. Having earth shield and riptide (as well as ancestral vigor building up) before a swap is always nice. Beware of DR's on yourself for enemy CC's as well, if you just ate full polly and fear dr's all together, and deep is ready, they are probably going to attempt to use it on you since chain CC'ing may not be an option in that situation.
Rshamans vs Melee Cleaves (tsg / kitty cleave)
Most shamans have problems living vs cleaves. Tsg is a hell of a lot easier to live against as an rsham than a kitty cleave, though. TSG lets you actually use roots on both enemies, but you have to still play pretty well in every way in order to barely survive, but it's possible to do so consistently. Don't think of it as kiting though, you are not trying to avoid damage, you should be trying to avoid interrupts. When you earth grab the two full (no dispell or intervene) do not try to run across the map, just move far enough away to where they can't interrupt you (be mindful of disrupting shout's range, the length of the root [do not go so far where they can charge you or just take 1 step forward and kick you]), maybe run a little bit if you are sure that you can get into a position to top yourself, if you're low HP then that means enough time to cast 2-4 healing surges, usually via LOS behind a pillar or wall in order to avoid charge or grip.
CD usage vs the cleaves pretty much should be played by ear. Spend time juking, (don't juke too much play the kick/fake mind game well, it can get you free casts and if you're very smart you can force them to waste interrupts together quite often, like barely out ranging them or barely out of LOS and you know they can get to you before the cast goes of but you're sort of fine, juke as soon as they in range, etc) and get casts off during cc your team provides (roots, shockwave, fear, deep, etc) Try to healing tide large burst during cc, or maybe link the cc (healing tide ticking or link ticking during a shockwave or asphyxiate for example). Remember that you can not live forever no matter what, and so sometimes you need to play offensively (hexing / purging / shearing a healer) to help land the kill, but be careful with your decision making here, obviously. The best defense is often a great offense.
For cap totem I like to use it at times where the player has to either kill it and lose crucial uptime, or eat a stun... Like if a warrior is about to charge (it's barely off cd, maybe i just got a freedom away, idk) i will maybe drop a cap and time it so that they can either hit the cap then charge me, maybe giving me time to get a heal off, hex, or LOS, or they can charge me and get capped followed by spam heals on myself or a full hex out of the cap.
It is often that you have to blow all your cd's really fast vs cleaves, healing tide asendance ns auramastery even all at once. You shouldn't really have to blow all that + trinket or link though, and if you use gate properly it will be enough to top yourself once every time you take it (cc the team with earthgrab or other cc's while you gate + have good positioning of it).
Just remember that one of the weaknesses of a shaman is that you don't make the plays, really, you just react to everything. All you can do to help your team to win is make the best of every situation, and by that I mean if the enemy team plays great while training you there isn't much you can do.
For example tsg can just dispel your aura mastery, interrupt you nonstop between their 3 kicks +1 if they have a shaman, and all of their stuns + charge and grip, they can kil all your totems (earth grab, cap, healing stream, windwalk), they can dispel your ghostwolf, out damage your heals if you could free cast, have 100% uptime between gap closers, ams, intervene, charge, lichborne, etc. So don't get too discouraged if / when you lose to that stuff, it's just the state of the game.
Btw, kittycleave is even harder, especially if you aren't dwarf; the way I like to play it is try to juke the feral all the time (juke the maims, typhoon, skull bash, etc [remember if you have a little distance on the feral they are a lot more easily juked because they get an opportunity to use the skull bash as a kick and gap closer and try to take it) and i try to use earthgrab or windwalk, gateway, and stuns and what not to let me get casts off while avoiding the warrior's uptime on me. I like to have my lock fear maybe during stuns and stuff, or cd's (on the feral mostly, of course), but try and save it for opportune moments where the warrior is stuck away and the feral has interrupts ready, so i can get free casts. Try and coordinate with cross CCs (even something like half fears) on the warrior and what not to get casts off the best you can, and try to get juicy cap totems off as well, especially if your team doesn't have stuns (often you can cap totem, and call of the elements cap again and they won't kill it SHHH xp). Stop the hardcasted clones too, since it's about all you are good for, lol, with your grounding / shear of course.
For those pesky teams that spam kill totems, try dropping searing totem once in a while maybe while you cap totem / healing stream, sometimes it actually helps to confuse them and let you get free casts off once in a while.
Always watch your NG, being able to save it for a good time is pretty nice, don't let your ng proc then get stunned afterwards, because that will either force a trinket + more cd's or hurt very badly. Remember that 90% of the time if you're getting hit, trinket isn't enough. You need to use trinket to do something else usually, like healing tide or link, so beware of that (it's a lot different than it used to be).
Rsham vs Rogue / Mage
Versus rogue mage you are a shaman, so control the mage while you can, and have a good offense; mess up their opener, and punish it quick. Purges, shears, good hex's with cross cc if there are two decurses. Sometimes hex just to stop casts etc, try to hex on a deep maybe, it's all situational.
Rogue mage isn't as reliant on deep as other comps, generally the cheap shotted or kidney'd person is the one who dies and the deep is for cross cc, so keep that in mind.
Obviously use healing stream totem, try to drop it in good places where it won't be killed, stand in good positions so that your team can help you or you can gate / los properly. Try to drop a cap at a nice time as well (healing stream / cap totems right before you get stunned or opened on can be very effective).
Earthgrab vs windwalk is pretty meh vs rmx because the freedom is so nice vs mage offensively (like i said you need to pressure fast because it can force them defensive the entire game, swap healer quickly and let your shaman control the mage while he tries to peel with maybe a fear on rogue) and windwalk can negate pet novas as well as let you escape from the rogue more effectively than a warrior due to no berserker rage for your lock's cc, and the fact that a rogue can't just chase you all day without the risk of ever dieing like a warrior can these days.
I still like earthgrab sometimes though, vs rmx, because it can help avoid fears vs a holy priest (keep eg between you and the priest so the chastise -> spectral -> fear can get negated by rooting them mid route) and because it can be great cc for the mage and rogue both, and allow you to cast without the rogue on you.
If the rogue just trains you mindnumbing + not getting juked can pretty much force all your cds / kill you eventually so punish well.
"Countering" a mage
When a shaman plays against a mage, especially if it is the only dps caster on the enemy team and the shaman is left free reign most of the game, the mage can feel completely countered or dominated by the shaman. Obviously well timed shears, groundings, LoS, and hex's can really mess with the mage, but there is even more. One of the best things you can do against a lot of mage comps (mage / warrior, mage / feral, mage / spriest, mage / lock) is ground the deep freeze. A lot of it comes with experience, but if you manage to ground that deep you or your teammate are free to run around, stop casts, LoS, or even just dispel a lot of incoming damage. Watch for fingers of frost procs, use trinket, look at icicles built up on the mage, and when orb comes out be looking to time a well placed grounding totem in attempt to get that deep. Especially since with glyph of deep freeze, deep is off of the global, it is extremely difficult and unreliable to just ground the deep, but it is a great and simple thing to aim for. Grounding a deep can cause the mage's team to fall behind for 30 seconds to a minute, or even snowball into an easy win against the mage.
Another easy tip against a mage is for when they attack the shaman. Out of a deep freeze, there will generally be a blanket counter spell, so make sure to try and spam spiritwalker's grace (aura mastery) and immune the counter spell that follows the deep.
Cool spell effects xD
Asendance is an extremely good cooldown for resto shamans. Obviously, the extra healing is really nice single target, and for spread healing. Something that is often overlooked, is that asendance's effects are applied to riptide and its heal over time. This includes previously applied riptides. For example, if a shaman has a riptide on all three team members, and a pet even, if he or she uses ascendance and just stands there, or better yet eats a polymorph; all 4 riptide HoTs will have their effects doubled and spread between the allied targets. This makes ascendance so strong, even while CC'd, or without hard casting very much; full hots out and an ascendance healing surge or two is often plenty enough to negate a huge chunk of burst or CD's coming out of the enemy team.
Spiritwalker's grace is originally used to move while casting, and with the 4 piece resto gear it applies an aura mastery effect. The spell can still be casted mid cast, though, obviously off the global. This means that you can often trick enemies into using their interrupts late into your cast because you use the spiritwalker's grace mid way through. Careful to wait too late, though, as this can cause you to use the cool down and gain the buff, but still get locked out. Remember to move around a lot while you are using your aura mastery effect versus players trying to purge you and interrupt you; it only takes one purge to remove the buffs, but if you are moving around and it gets purged, you will stop casting before you locked out because you can't cast while moving without the buff.
Frostbrand weapon imbue causes your melee attacks to slow the target, and UE with this buff puts a slow on them which is undispellable (aside freedom effects); and with unleashed fury the shaman gains a 50% movement speed for 4 seconds that stacks with ghost wolf, which can make for a great get-away, especially in combination with a root on the enemy or a windwalk totem.
Healing stream Totem is extremely strong: it's mana efficient, heals through walls, heals for a ton (especially when it crits), and with the glyph it reduces damage taken by certain spells. One of the keys to healing stream is placement and timing. It can be pretty effectively used simply on cooldown, however timing it is even better. Using healing stream while you have to move anyway, or while out of LoS of the enemy and about to go in LoS (in order to keep the totem from being killed). Try to use healing stream before you eat CC, including polly and fear, or even kidneys and swaps.
Whenever you hex, offensively, do not aim to just use the spell because you have a little bit of extra time. Especially when the healer is the only one who can decurse on the enemy team, it is important to land good, well timed hex's that line up with your team's burst damage or DR's on other CC's in order to chain them. Sometimes, depending on comp, again, it can be worth it to hex just to stop casts or negate cool downs (situations like where there are two or three who can decurse). Careful not to waste the DR on poly or trap if your team relies on those CCs, because an inopportunely placed hex can end up putting you too far behind to recover sometimes.
Shamans are extremely reliant on hard casting spells, and they are often trained by the enemy team, so it is pretty imperative to become comfortable with managing how you interact with interrupt spells. I find personally that casters are a lot easier to handle than melee. One reason is that a lot of casters blanket rather than try to land the interrupt full (ie a mage blankets you into a pom polly while a deep/orb is happening on your warrior). Casters also have much longer CD's on their interrupt spells, of course, which can be a relief as well. It seems that casters are often easier to trick using specific spells, though.There are those times where you just ate a deep, 3 pollys and overlapped fears, and now a counterspell attempt is most likely coming, as your teammate is hovering around 30%, so you can pretty safely juke early in the cast in that situation, but let's say its a much more safe situation where there isn't much CC on you yet, and not much damage out. If you just begin to go for a hex the mage is most likely going to first instinct try to stop you, especially if that mage is the only decurse on the team, because you won't have hex for a good 40 seconds, but you will cast a bunch of heals regardless of the CS, so that one hex sticks out in the mind more, especially since it effects the player much more obviously by stopping them from doing anything for a few seconds.
If you get a good feel for a caster, and manage to juke them a lot, you can stop casting and drop a grounding and have them counter spell into the grounding totem pretty often. There is also the basic strategy to start casting, drop a grounding, then re start casting quickly and often they will use their interrupt into the totem. Careful, if something like a mage notices your trick, often they will icelance and maybe try to counter you as soon as grounding dies since it is off the global and has no travel time (for mages at least, note that lock cs's have travel time so it's a lot easier to manage). This is another situation where certain spells make it easier to fake them, because if that spell you're casting while they kill grounding is hex, for some reason the mage is more likely to try and cs that cast immediately as grounding falls, because I guess healers must fake with CC ability casts much less often than healing spells. It's pretty tough to explain why / how casting a hex makes such a big difference with how jumpy the player usually is to CS, but based off of past experiences, it is an extremely common occurrence.
Versus melee interrupts, try and get a good feel for how they kick, if you have time. I like to often just go for it, because if you play with the mindset that you just can't no matter what get kicked (even though it's often true, if you get kicked you will probably lose, lol) you can just lose because they wait until the last second to kick or they just decide to hold their kick completely with their brains off. Each player is different, with latency, strategy, how hard they try, etc. so keep that in mind. Remember if you get kicked while you're full HP it's not so bad but if you wait and juke until you're low and they land a kick it is a lot more scary.
Keep in mind that melee often look for sort of two for one opportunities and / or "pro" plays. Warriors will try to off kick you with disrupting shout a lot, and rogues maybe shadow step + kick, most melee with off kicks if they are running by, or just near by; so pay attention and try to juke those things when they are obviously going to go for them. Usually players don't expect you to fake the cast for these situations, because I guess that they are too preoccupied with trying to do something somewhat fancy or impressive, so they are not concerned or considerate of you trying to out play their attempt to outplay. Haha. Another good example of this is after you drop a cap totem, and start casting a surge, they may turn and hit the cap totem to kill it and then turn back to you, thinking you won't fake because you are too slow and nonreactive to them killing the totem so "quickly" so they are less likely to wait for you to juke.
One of the most common examples of what i'm talking about when I say two for one opportunities is like when feral druids are a good distance away from you, and you are casting, they try to close the gap and take a shot at kicking you (+ apply a pesky mana debuff) so they are pretty clumsy with kicks in that situation as well.
It's better to cross CC and get casts off than to just fake yourself to death or waste too much time faking. With two melee, especially two with a lot of interrupts individually, it's sometimes good to fake one (like the feral) then CC the other (warrior) and get casts off. Sometimes look for chances to cast preemptively (knowing they won't kick until at least like 75% through the cast) so you can take advantage of really short 1-3 second CC's on the enemy team by getting the last portion of the cast off during that short CC effect.
Funny jump juke
Often those pesky melee cleaves will tunnel so hard that you can juke them off the edge on maps like blade's edge. It can help a lot by letting you have breathing room to cast. All you do is try and notice that neither you nor the enemy team is slowed, ghost wolf, run at the edge, stop on the edge, and jump in place once. It's pretty funny / beautiful when it happens, and it's nice to get even further away or top yourself before they reconnect. It doesn't usually work more than once or twice in a match though, so be careful not to waste too much time doing it. You can jump off with spiritwalker's grace when it's a good time to aura mastery, so maybe they will subconsciously expect you to jump the next time you run at the edge in the same manner, but don't pop aura mastery just to jump off the edge
Unleash elements (with earthliving), especially with the unleash fury talent, is a huge part of helping a team or a shaman his or her self survive. There are a ton of shamans that just use unleash elements on CD, which performs minimally but sadly, acceptably. UE can save tons of CD's and negate swaps, if used well enough. So sometimes when consistent damage is high, and offensive dispells are low, unleashing for a riptide can be alright. It's pretty good for preemptive heals as well, because the buff applies to the HoT effect from the riptide, as well as the instant heal effect it produces. The buff to the HoT, however, isn't the full percentage that UE normally applies to heals, so keep that in mind. This doesn't negate how strong UE riptides can be, especially when the shaman is in a situation where he or she has to run across the map, or if like an RMP is about to open.
A well timed UE can be the difference between topping someone or not. Reading situations well enough to figure out when a shaman can get a cast off helps to take full advantage of the strength of UE. For example, if a TSG is chasing, and earth grab is dropped, then making it behind the pillar (warrior has no leap) is a sure-fire thing, casting UE on the way and following up with a big healing surge can top the shaman if it crits. In the moments of free casting, unleash elements can be really huge. It's just huge to avoid simply UE on cooldown, and to really make sure to take advantage of the buff. Never unleash and let it fall off before casting a heal, and avoid getting CC'd on it before at the very least a riptide is used with the buff.
Positioning well can mean the difference between life or death, building pressure or not, getting CC'd or not, etc. The easiest concept of positioning to grasp is to not stand in the open, and to pillar, however it's not always that simple. Behind the pillar is where you can avoid things like CC casts, damage, or swaps, but simply standing behind the pillar won't make you immune to all those things. If you stay behind the pillar, sometimes that mage warrior team is just going to blink and leap + charge to you and BAM! Your pillar isn't of much use. It's important to know when to pillar and when to not.
When you're behind a pillar with enemies on you, sometimes your teammates can not get to you or help. The enemy dps are often out of line from them, just as you, so fears, pollys, scatters, CS's, w/e utility your team carries is pretty much void (including leap of faith, off heals) if you are out of line.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, standing in the open the entire game is obviously a very weak strategy as you can be tunneled with damage, CC, and swaps and although your team will be able to help you out, once they are out of help due to diminishing returns or cooldowns, the damage will still be coming because of your positioning, and you'll likely die (or at least have to pop unnecessary cooldowns).
Pillars are fantastic, but it's important to know when to abuse them. When matched against due caster teams, for example, it's nice to be a bit of distance away from the pillar so you can take advantage of wind shear, grounding, or maybe purges, but so long as you aren't too far you can run to the pillar to LOS CC / damage when your tools to avoid them are on cooldown. Sometimes it isn't worth it to run out to wind shear that frostbolt, like when the mage is super far back and to run in and shear would put you in a position to easily be CCd or swapped to, and that frostbolt is often pretty low on the interrupt priority list nowadays.
So for a swap, pillars are amazing for letting you get away. What that means is being near the pillar, so that when the enemy team swaps you can just run away and LOS the follow up pressure (after a step cheap you just make your way out of LOS, or after a deep swap, etc). What this does is keep you in line of your team mates, yet allow you to not only LOS CC consistently, but also prevent the enemy team from tunneling you so much. Some comps can handle just tunneling you anyway, lol, but abusing the pillar properly can help a ton.
When you are tunneled, say by something like a KFC with a melee and a ranged, it takes a lot of practice and experience to know where to stand, from you and your team mates. Sometimes, it's important to come off the pillar a bit so that your team can help with peels and off heals, and sometimes it's important to just LOS that ranged even with the melee tunneling. It's pretty much about when you are going to get stunned or silenced, when you can free cast because you juked interrupts or have aura mastery / earth grab, w/e, and how much damage you are randomly taking. If you know a stormbolt is coming up, and you're hovering around 70%, you might need help during the stun so pulling out into the open a bit for your team is probably a good idea so that they can land fears or pollys during the stun. If you're 100% hp and you think the warrior is about to stun, it might be okay to sit around the pillar throughout the stun without any help. It's tough to read the situations, and tough to say that "you should LOS when this happens" and be specific but it's just important to remember that you can die easier if you're in the open even with teammate's help, but running around the pillar all game might help avoid damage, but sometimes it makes it impossible for your team to help you, which you need at some point.
Remember that taking a melee out of LOS can open him or her up for a swap; warriors don't seem to care usually but rogues or DKs or maybe monks, something a bit squishier can die because they overextend behind the pillar for too long.
It's not always best to play positioned so defensively, though. Sometimes it's important to play at the pillar close to the enemies, and sometimes you are forced to play in the open. Usually you don't want to do this vs comps that are really likely to swap to you and kill you easily, but for example if you are playing KFC vs another KFC, you want to play sort of pushed in, close for your teammates to be able to eat traps when traps come nearly off cd, and sometimes close enough to help CC by shocking the healer or hexxing (maybe your hunter missed a trap or got it eaten). You want to be close sometimes to tremor or dispell stuff when your team needs to play extremely offensive, as certain comps. Positioning aggressively like this can help snowball into a victory as well, like when your play against an MLD, if you got the block really early, and your team still has every CD (maybe you negated the deep orb swap somehow), it can really help to push in and shear some key casts and keep your team as offensive as possible with purges, shears, and dispells, so that you can snowball and force the enemy team so defensive it's nearly impossible for them to recover.