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Posted Eviaax on 09 May 2014 - 01:12 PM
Posted ROKMODE on 01 May 2014 - 05:45 AM
Everyone, please read what professor nadagast has written here. I get really tired of people comparing their class tools like a bunch of whiny faggots(edgy language, please don't infract me diziet).
Posted Lolflay on 19 April 2014 - 05:09 PM
It's just fucking hilarious that all of the sudden they decided to nerf Druid synergy with most of the classes they want to play with, rofl.
Priests have always brought the offensive playstyle + dmg to the team
Shamans have always brought insanely strong healing and utility to the team, and were oftentimes #1 choice for the prolonged game playstyle as they're consistent during the whole match
Paladins have always brought insanely strong cooldowns during which nothing can die, and were always used for rushdown comps
Monks apparently bring really solid safety factor, as they're pointless to swap to, and insanely strong healing output, they rival a shaman with their consistency
Druids always brought CC and decent healing - with CC part gone, nobody in their right mind would want to play with a druid over a monk or a shaman.
What Nadagast said is completely true, there needs to exist a clear diversity and purpose amongst healers, this homogenization bullshit is getting way out of control.
Posted Capstone on 19 April 2014 - 02:41 AM
i think the way cyclone has worked with fear in cases of wizards has been extremely powerful at almost no risk. in most cases where wizards grow extremely powerful defensively and still have offensive ability based on control (s8 MLD, early s12 god comp, LSD today) it's usually always based on the idea that whenever anyone isn't immune to either fear or cyclone, you can just throw it at them and it's good. cyclone is undispellable, which makes it extremely easy to cross with, doesn't remove dots or heal, so there's no downside for putting it on someone, and it blocks incoming healing, so even a low target can be cycloned while you wait to get something on someone else. the same is true for fear, except it's dispellable (kind of with UA) and the target takes damage with it on. it's worth restating that it doesn't matter if these comps (today, LSD) are good or not - it's about how the powerful the CC is relative to how hard it is to set up and how it affects the other team's ability to play the game, which are both major concerns with cyclone in its current implementation
wizards having cc chains that punish a team for an extremely long period of time for a single mistake have been an issue with the game since MLD became strong in wrath, and i believe that two spammable CCs that have little to no downside are a culprit. there are other ways to fix this, like making cyclone wipe dots or heal the target it hits, but this is a more intuitive, less intrusive way of doing it. cyclone was previously on DR with blind and was changed to accomodate the state of the game, and it was a change for the better given the strength of priest/rogue at the time.
this change also presumably nerfs the amount of instant, consecutive CC that RMP/RMD have on a single target. maybe encourages using blind or cyclone on dps instead of (sometimes) exclusively for the healer. there's a lot of stuff i don't like about WoD, but if we can reduce the amount of CC available to wizards, and add more strategy to the way it has to be used, i'm an advocate
Posted Hackattack3 on 19 March 2014 - 01:39 PM
Much thanks for all your contributions to the community.
Posted Capstone on 17 March 2014 - 07:15 PM
1. is the lack of competitive atmosphere in blizzcon, the only LAN event in WoW left, due to disinterest or incompetence? the last tournament was held without regionals and was held in a patch other than the one the teams qualified in, where the best NA team that came out a. didn't have to run the gauntlet of other NA teams in an invitational and b. won the lottery of the team that transferred over to the next patch so much so that they didn't drop a single map to any other team. the tournament before that was held with teams that did not qualify in the same expansion that they played in. this means that everyone was playing a game in its most primitive, poorly balanced state possible, and the competition was based on which classes were good in the madness that was 5.0, despite qualifying in another expansion
2. blizzard put new arenas in this expansion, which was good. stairs were added to blade's edge and dalaran. these are things that the pvp community has by and large requested for a long time. can we expect to see more new arenas? an arena veto system (which is already implemented for battlegrounds)? how much time, relative to creating an environment as massive as, say, ulduar (tuning all new bosses, vehicles, item stats, models of new items and bosses, etc) does it take to create an arena (room with 2-4 pillars)?
3. there are always balance whines about what's overpowered and what's not, which class is easy and which isn't, etc., and i usually hate them - previously, classes have had marginally different difficulties and pretty standard viability. this is not the case in mists of pandaria. many players who play the game for arena are picking up specific classes (i am looking at you, hunter and elemental shaman) specifically for use in arena and ease to learn and having immediate success comparable to or better than classes they have played for several years. these classes are undeniably simplistic relative to others and disproportionately effective at what they do for the amount of effort required to pick them up. i wrote a post here about my immediate transition to and success with hunter, in which i received 2400 rating on the first day of arena, and 2500 in under 100 games. i believe veev chronicled a similar success story in season 13 live on twitch.tv. my question is this: is this by design? are these classes designed like this so that anyone can have success in arena, or is it just a massive oversight that the amount of work required to be passable as one of these classes is so low relative to others (this is truly, in my mind, a problem that did not exist in previous expansions)?
4. it seems like the number of titles rewarded relative to the playerbase has increased based on the way that eligible players are calculated in the new ladder system. is this intentional? if not, is the criteria for rank 1 and gladiator titles going to change?
5. it's my understanding that MLG is open to possibly bringing WoW back into the circuit for a season. i know one of the biggest obstacles with SC2, a well established blizzard game with a lot of history that struggled to stay in MLG was obtaining blizzard's license (the tournament host cannot do many things without first obtaining a license to host the tournament from blizzard). at some point, MLG dropped SC2 temporarily and cited the license as one of the reasons. first, is WoW subject to the same licensing agreement? second, if we're talking about revitalizing the tournament scene, would blizzard be open to letting a large tournament structure like MLG host WoW without obstacles to give it at least one shot at revival?
6. is the idea of TotG totally scrapped? is there any hope of getting any in-game tournament system in WoD (warcraft 3 had one on battlenet 10 years ago)? if it is scrapped, what about the other titles and rewards that were going to come with TotG to create an incentive to play arena?
7. why do rated battlegrounds offer a higher cap than arena? do people interested in rbgs inherently deserve more points every week? if the idea is to promote people playing both, why not balance the cap so that your total cap is based on both your combined arena AND rated battleground rating?
8. gladiator mounts used to reward the character with 310% riding skill, and they don't anymore. if i get gladiator on my alt, i can't even ride the mount unless i buy 280%, and even then i don't get bumped to 310%. is this intentional? if so, what made blizzard change their decision?
9. is the 8 second dispel mechanic staying?
Posted Regent on 17 March 2014 - 09:07 AM
While it is cool that Holinka (and formerly GC) did talk to people on twitter, I think the game could really benifit from someone who's sole job it would be to support the community. Patrol the WoW official PvP forums, have accounts on the popular fansites and gather information from them. Work on things like getting special ingame titles for tournament wins. Working to setup tournaments, and help the community setup ones. Being the liaison between the players and the devs.
If memory serves me right, they were actually looking for someone for this position at one point, but I guess it never went through. I really think it should be someone who has at least a decent past with Arena though and knows the community fansites/etc (Blizzard has a weird tendency to put people in positions they have no experience with eg. Jay Wilson)
Also, as a side note, I really think health pools shouldn't have been normalized. It kind of ruins the fantasy experience when heavy plate wearing warriors and cloth wearing mages have the same health and armor. I really want the game to go back to having melee be tanky but maybe less damage and ranged being really squishy but good damage. This is painfully evident in RBGs where many times the ranged people aren't worth attacking since they are tankier than the melee.
I also want less CC breaks, but more things to avoid it. Old tremor totem, deathing polys, saccing CC, etc. Any chance of that coming back?
Posted Regent on 16 March 2014 - 08:29 PM
Hello, and welcome to the first trial run of "An Arena Junkies Cooperative Initiative" (also known as AAJCI) outlined here:
This is a serious thread where we post concerns about the current state of the game, and suggestions for the future.
To participate, simply post your argument in this thread (hopefully backed by statistics or strong logic). You are allowed to offer additions or discuss ideas posted, but they must be well thought and more than one line.
This thread will be heavily moderated, and will be locked midweek in preparation for the voting thread. Feel free to go through the thread and rep any posts you agree with, as it will factor into them being chosen to be voted on.
This is a really good opportunity to get our concerns voiced, so lets try to keep it civil.
Posted wodeta on 15 March 2014 - 02:08 AM
Probably running this, but even so they were super questionable.
I don't need sham rage outside of orbs, so everytime they used orbs, i used it also because i needed mana. i was oom the entire match from the kitting and purge spam.
And i also don't see how that was the problem since my hunter was dying both games.
We lost because they had pressure the entire match, so we couldn't go in and get traps and from there it's an snow ball and we probably should've targeted lock more because blazzing speed+gate+blink.
Posted Regent on 12 March 2014 - 07:50 PM
Problem: High rated WoW players are frustrated with imbalances in gameplay, but tend to complain aimlessly instead of working together to provide a strong argument. Blizzard doesn't have a good pipeline through which to communicate with the experienced arena community. While Holinka does have an active twitter, the platform is severely limited in length and can be confusing to use.
Proposal: Every week, starting on monday, a thread will be put up where players can go and post questions or points of discussion. On Wednesday, the top posts from that thread will be put into a new thread with a poll. The AJ community will then vote the top 5 questions/discussion points.
We approach holinka (some mods here know his personal contact info possibly?) and ask for him to commit to answering the 5 questions every week sometime between friday and sunday. Once he answers, the Q&A will be posted to the news feed on the front page of AJ. Then on monday the process starts over.
The Goal: To generate better discussion of the game, while limiting ourselves to the things we find most pressing. To better the relationship between players and developer(s). Reduce the general complaining seen on Arena Junkies (we are all guilty of this.) Five questions a week is not a large commitment, but would be very helpful in increasing the dialogue.
If anyone has suggestions on how to improve the idea, let me know!
Posted Rhee on 04 March 2014 - 06:17 PM
Hi there! I’m Rhee the shaman, and while I’m pretty new to the PvP scene of WoW, I believe I have found success in the shaman perspective of arena combat, allowing me to have ethos for a guide!
My first ever arena season was Malevolent season, where I played a hunter to around 2200 rating. Watching popular shaman streams like Flubbah, Kollektiv, and Cdew inspired me to play one!
My first season as a shaman was Tyrannical, where I found some success – achieving 2400+ rating as shatterplay – but I had to AFK mid-season, which resulted in an absence of any titles. First full season was Grievous, where I achieved 2600 rating and R1 playing numerous comps, and I was very privileged to play with many talented players to get to this level.
Enough talking, lets get to business!
This is pretty much the “Cookie Cutter” talent build to be an effective shaman. With the exception of the level 30 and 45 talent choices.
I’ll provide a rule of thumb, where you SHOULD swap out the “Cookie Cutter” talent for the circled ones above, and explain why.
Use Earthgrab Totem VS Rogues, or Warriors, or Monks, or DKs (Who are NOT paired with a Mage)
Ex) Monk / Spriest / ShamanEx) Rogue / Warlock / Shaman
When used effectively, Earthgrab totem can save your life when the enemy players attempt to make a swap on you.
It disrupts the melee from making contact with you, buying you precious time to react appropriately. And it also disrupts the enemy team’s offensive cool down coordination. While the caster can still hurt you with his cool downs, the melee will have to suffer delay on his cool downs.
Against rogue / warlock or shadow priest teams, you can drop this totem when the rogue attempts to make a swap to you with a vanish or a step + shadow dance combo. It pulses, so dropping it when you know that the rogue is running at you with vanish up will root him in stealth when he gets near you, hopefully wasting his dance or shadow blades uptime.
Against warrior or monks + caster teams, it’s a lot easier to make use of this totem as you can visually see the swaps. Simply drop it when the monk or warrior gets near you and ghost wolf away!
I NEVER swap out Windwalk Totem verse any mage compositions because the freedom aura is simply too good for defensive and offensive reasons. Even against Rogue + Mage, I suggest you use Windwalk even though Earthgrab is extremely potent against Rogues.
This level 45 talent is really up to you. I personally never spec into it because my logic stands that double healing stream, grounding, tremor, freedom, and earthbind are just too good to give up.
However, when used effectively it can help your team out tremendously as you have absolute control of your totems.
If your team can use more CC, “throwing” Capacitor Totems can help your team out in that aspect.
Most shamans do not go this route, but Burbery, who is an extremely successful shaman always specs this, and is really known for this play style, so don’t be scared to try it out and adopt it.
These are set as my “Default” glyphs, and I’ll briefly go over the reasoning beyond them and when I switch glyphs out for specific comps.
Glyph of Totemic Vigor: This glyph basically protects your totems from being easily destroyed, but keep in mind some melee like warriors can destroy it fairly easily. It complements Healing Stream Totem well since its your largest source of healing, and protects it from being one shot.
Glyph of Ghost Wolf: Basically allows you to kite well when enemies target you. Shamans get targeted a lot, and this glyph is a must have when it comes to kiting and surviving.
I will rarely switch these two out, as I believe they are needed for my own survival.
Situational Glyphs (That I swap Healing Stream Glyph for)
I will only swap out Healing Stream when there isn’t a mage, ele shaman, or death knight on the opposing team.
Glyph of Capacitor Totem: Great glyph to use against cleaves that will hit you mainly. Extremely potent against double melee teams as the stun is easy to land.
Tip: This glyph with Earthgrab Totem is a secret weapon of mine when it comes to dealing with melee + caster comps that will try constantly to make a deadly swap to you.
Ex) Against Rogue / Warlock, drop Earthgrab Totem first for the root when the rogue connects with you, step forward a bit, then drop Capacitor Totem so the rogue is not in range to kill it. Watch him get helplessly stunned and then smile since you lived!
Glyph of Cleansing Waters: Okay glyph to use against DoT cleaves such as Boomkin / Warlock / Healer, or Ele Shaman / Warlock / Healer. The small heal scales with vigor so try to keep riptides up on your whole team and this glyph can go a long way when you need to dispel Unstable Affliction.
Glyph of Hex: Okay glyph to use when the other team does not have a de-curse for your hex, or if your team is lacking CC. I don’t use this glyph that much because usually I will be occupied enough to have Hex back off cooldown when I really need it. But it can be extremely effective if your partner’s CC is roughly on the same cool down as Hex with this glyph.
People ask this all the time when I tune into fellow resto shaman streams. But the point is that it really does not matter, and you should test different stats out as I did to find your niche. I’ll go over some popular stat choices.
Pure Crit: Crit rating scales extremely well with shamans because our heals tend to be only potent when they crit. Also, a riptide provides us with a crit bonus for our next two healing surges, so crit rating scales well in that sense as well. We also get mana back when we crit heals!
Pure Intellect: The theory behind this stat choice is so that when you don’t crit, that your heals actually move your partner’s health bar. I rarely see shamans go this route anymore because the amount of crit rating you lose is not really worth it.
Mastery: Some shamans will pick up mastery as their main stat, not really common, but there are successful shamans who go this route. Our mastery basically makes us heal more when our partners are lower, which scales well in my opinion with your passive healing through totems.
My stats revolve around intellect, crit, and spirit. I found that as full crit I sometimes go OOM due to RNG. If I crit, I will top someone off, but if I don’t my healing surges won’t do anything, forcing me to spam surges that quickly burn my mana. So my theory in this build is to have some intellect and spirit to compensate when I don’t crit at all. I’m extremely comfortable with the amount of healing I do when I don’t crit, and I’m never OOM during my arena games, even when it goes to dampening. Also, I like intellect for passive healing via totems since they do not have a passive crit modifier like healing surge.
But… do what you want! Test everything out and see what you like. I think I’ve tested every possible stat combination out there, and this is what I found to be most effective to my play style.
-How to be an effective Resto Shaman-
Shamans are great when it comes to keeping their team-mates up with potent healing and support. Our toolkit, mainly Wind Shear, Grounding Totem, Windwalk Totem, and Tremor Totem allow our partners to stay out of CC and sustain offensive pressure by disrupting the enemy team.
However, Shamans are weak when it comes to survival and you will always be the weakest link of your comp. Shamans are pretty much susceptible to death in any given moment to any given comp. Therefore, you will need to build the skillset of surviving on top of having effective grounding totems, shears, and the like.
Rule #1: Always pretend you are in trouble.
- As I’ve stated before, we are susceptible to death at literally any given moment because we have no defensives while stunned or silenced.
- Learning to be defensively aware should be your top priority.
- Get in the habit of keeping a mental timer on enemy stuns and silences.
- Get in the habit of constantly checking enemy positioning vs yours. As you get more experience you will able to tell easily when the enemy wants to push up for a swap if you position yourself adequately.
Rule #2: Learn to be preemptive
- Our major defensive cool downs require us having to trinket, so learning not to trinket by being preemptive will substantially increase your chances of survival.
- Practice swapping Earth Shield + Riptide before you get swapped to. It can be hard at first, but trust me even the smallest things like this can go a long way for your survival.
- Practice dropping totems preemptively before the enemy team swaps on you. A fresh healing stream will do wonders before a swap lands, and a healing tide will be even better too.
Rule #3: Don’t panic
- Once you get the hang of managing your defensives and get used to the overall damage of arena, the panic will go away when scary swaps come, but I feel like this is often so easily overlooked when I watch other aspiring shamans.
- If you don’t panic, and look at exactly the offensive cool downs of the other team, you won’t waste unnecessary defensives, and therefore increase your time of survival.
- Using your trinket inefficiently and in panic will most likely lead to a loss.
Rule #4: Have a strong presence
- Opposed to other healers like Resto druids, Hpals, or even Monks, Resto Shamans lack CC as our Hex is on a fairly long cooldown.
- Effective healers (druids, hpals, monks) abuse their ability to CC and definitely pronounce their presence in the arena.
- Mediocre shamans have a defensive mindset because they think our class lack the tools to have a strong presence. Top tier shamans use everything to their advantage (shocks, shear, hex) to disrupt the enemy team and declare their presence.
- Don't waste your hex. Try to look for certain situations so that your hex actually does something meaningful and affect the outcome of the game. An example is to look for hexes on the off-target when the enemy player able to decurse is stuck in a minor CC, even something like a DR stun. Its great to hex an enemy mage's partner especially if he is being heavly pressured because it uses the mage's global. You can also hex to stop important casts when your wind shear is on CD. Hexing a enemy healer when he is low is EXTREMELY potent and not used often. The damage threshold to break a Hex is actually pretty high.
- Look for situations to land a capacitor stun. I always look for a situation to land a triple capacitor if the enemy team is stacking up defensively.
Our Defensives (Listed with importance)
Spirit Link Totem
Healing Tide Totem
Healing Stream Totem
Ascendance / Aura Mastery
NS or Ancestral Swiftness
The idea here is to generally use certain defensives first before using the others as each provides higher percentage of survival. With the exception of healing stream of course as you should be using it almost off-cooldown. Its up there due to its potency as a passive healing source.
So, you should look to use NS frequently when the enemy team has ways to interrupt your cast or when your teammate is hovering around 30~50% for a quick heal. Always look to Unleash Elements into a NS Greater Healing Wave, as NS without Unleash won't heal for anything.
Tip: Against teams that are not spread pressure, but rather single target killers, you can use Ascendance before you NS for the extra heal to guarantee that they will most likely be topped off.
Tip: Against teams with obvious patterned CC like Hunter / Melee / X, you can Ascendance before you get put into a scatter shot, and the healing bonus will be applied to HoTs you have active on your partners. Sometimes against hunters I'll just pop ascendance before I know I will get Scatter Shot and throw an unleash riptide on my partner, and they will have a huge HoT when I'm CCd.
Tip: It is FINE to Unleash Elements + Riptide! Its extremely effective when you need a quick heal before you know you will be CCd because it can crit for around 50k, and provide that big HoT. Its super effective verse spread pressure teams, and I believe its one of the most underrated spell combos shamans can do.
Always try to preserve your PvP trinket by coordinating partner cool downs first as the absence of your trinket just makes you a juicy target for 2 whole minutes. I generally like to hold my PvP trinket until I have to Spirit Link, but of course it all depends on the situation.
The general rule of thumb is that when you use your PvP trinket, use a defensive following right after it.
Some examples are:
Trinket -> Spirit Link Totem
Trinket -> Healing Tide
Trinket -> Aura Mastery w/ Ascendance
Grounding Totem is your best friend when it comes to survival. Spam grounding totem when you are stuck in a stun like deep freeze in an attempt to ground the silence effect that is always followed up.
!!: Grounding Totem will only ground magical effects like Counterspell, Spell Lock, and Silence. Won't work for a rogue garrote. You can also spam Aura Mastery during your stun so that when the effect expires you can immune the silence effect.
!!: In certain situations, you can use grounding totem as a cover from magical interrupts to get a cast off. Do this when in a do-or-die situation (when you obviously don't have aura-mastery). Just drop grounding and cast, and hopefully you can ground windshear or a CS.
If your PvP trinket is on cooldown, and the enemy is obviously trying to kill you soon, and your teammates are out of utility, it doesn’t hurt to be “clutch” as it will most likely pay off. Try to preemptively spirit link, healing tide, healing stream, tremor to increase your chance at survival because once that stun lands you are most likely dead anyway.
Earthgrab Totem is your best friend verse melee caster comps (without a mage) that are constantly looking for a swap to you. Abuse this totem to disrupt enemy melee cool downs. Extremely potent vs. rogues, DKs, and monks.
Abuse your shocks and I mean it. Earth Shock decreases physical damage done by 10%, Frost Shock slows enemy players, and Flame Shock can be used for reflects, and dark sims. This is probably the most distinguishing characteristic between a successful shaman and a decent one.
Purge will get rid of enemy shaman’s grounding totem or any other similar effects.
Wind shear will “eat” the reflect effect of warriors, but its better to flame shock so that your shear can be used for a cast instead.
If you shear a mage on a polymorph cast, just hex his ass (mage can’t use Counsterspell if you lock them out on poly) if your hex isn’t that crucial to your team’s CC. Often times, mages will just cast a ring of frost after the lockout and you can’t do anything about it. So hexing to stop a cast is extremely good.
Try to fake Counterspell from casters with a casted hex instead of heals. I found that in my experience casters tend to respond with CS for hex rather than a heal.
You can use Call of the Elements (“Totem Prep”) when you are silenced or kicked. Something you can do to save time during a lockout if you see that all your totems have been used.
Memorize the totem placement pattern.
Fire totems don’t matter, but be wary that your Earth Totems drop on your front-right, your Air Totems drop on your bottom-left, and that your Water Totems drop on your bottom-right.
Learn to hide your healing streams behind pillars as decent players will always look to kill them. So just position yourself so that the pillar is behind you to the right and drop a healing stream, which will hide it from enemy LoS. Healing streams work through walls and z-axis too.
- On a map like Blade's Edge with z-axis, you can drop your healing stream or healing tide underneath the bridge to protect it from being killed and it will heal your partners up top.
Since you know that your Tremor Totem (an Earth Totem), will drop on your front-right, make sure to position yourself to get your partners out of fears or wyvern stings since the range on Tremor is only 30 yards. I’ve seen many shamans “miss” their tremors because its not in range, and weren’t aware of the totem’s position.
Same with your healing stream, you can hide your Grounding Totem against hunter teams to protect yourself for 20 seconds from getting trapped. Same logic, hide it behind a pillar so that you are the only one getting protected from the grounding aura, while your partners are pushed up.
Last but not least. Now you know that your Spirit Link Totem will drop on your bottom left, you can “aim” Spirit Link to make sure your partners will get the health distribution.
Ex) Your partner is a bit far from you, and requires spirit link to survive. You run towards him, and you can jump, and rotate your camera around, and strafe in the air so that your left backside is facing your partner to guarantee the Spirit Link to “hit” your partner. This will allow you to link faster since you won’t have to run to him as much. I essentially call this “throwing your link”.
If you are like me and play with around 200 ms never try to shear fast clone or an Unstable Affliction cast unless it’s preemptive.
Against resto druids, study their movement and try to save your grounding. They usually jump or strafe around when hotting because lolinstant, and will usually stop in place when attempting to go for a soul of the forest cyclone or heal. I usually ground quite a few SotF clones vs druids.
If you need to prep your totems for another tremor, make sure to just use and drop all your active totems like earthbind, freedom, grounding, healing stream, and even capacitor. Wasting any of the above is a big no-no. Sometimes I land random Capacitors with this strategy.
Against a rogue, never trinket the first stun unless you want to spirit link, or if you are at the stage of the game where your defensives are limited or you are likely to die. The idea is to trinket the DR stun and then use your aura-mastery to immune the garrote. Be wary though, rogues will triple DR stun you for a kill.
A rogue will always try to gouge your aura-mastery heals. Just pop it, and run the direction the rogue is facing, also spin your camera around like a maniac if you think he is going to sprint or step gouge.
Drop your fire-elemental totem early vs. a rogue to keep you in combat, and thus protect you from saps.
Don't waste healing-stream by just dropping it off-cooldown. Its best to try to drop it before the next CC lands on you so your partners have the stream to heal them while you are CCd. Same logic goes for Healing Tide. I always try to healing stream or tide (based on enemy offensives used) before I get stuck in a long CC chain, so against a hunter I will try to drop these before he even lands the scatter shot, which will be followed up by another stun or a freezing trap, into a silence.
Learn to have a habit of constantly purging. It will improve you tremendously as a resto shaman. Keeping a mage “clean” of buffs will allow you to sometimes instantly purge Presence of Mind, or Alter Time. But learn to be mana-efficient with it as well, purging is high mana-cost.
Use Mana Tide early, and not when you are at 10% mana. 50% to even 70% is a good threshold to pop it when your healing stream is on cool down.
Look for early drinks constantly if your team has the upper-hand in terms of pressure and defensives. Once you leave combat, drop a healing stream, a mana tide, or even a healing tide before spamming your water button. The totem will drop and you will be allowed to drink.
Some macros that I believe are essential as a resto shaman.
Replace the 1 with 2 and 3 for arena 1~3 macros that will aid you.
#showtooltip wind shear
/cast [nomod, target=arena1] wind shear
/cast [mod:ctrl,target=arena1] hex
/cast [mod:alt,target=arena1] frost shock
- Doesn’t have to be this format exactly, but just have your wind shear, hex, and shock for arena 1~3 bound.
#showtooltip Cobo Cola
/click TotemFrameTotem2 RightButton
/use Cobo Cola
- Destroys your fire elemental totem to go for drinks
/cast [@arena1] Flame Shock
/cast [@arena1] Earth Shock
/cast Grounding Totem
/cast [@arena1] Flame Shock
/cast [nomod] riptide
/cast [mod:ctrl, @player] riptide
- I have self riptide bound so that I don’t have to waste time swapping targets to pre-hot myself before a potential swap.
#showtooltip Water Shield
/cast [nomod] Earth Shield
/cast [mod:shift] Water Shield
/cast [mod:ctrl, @player] Earth Shield
- Same concept as above for earth shield.
#showtooltip Ancestral Swiftness
/cast ancestral swiftness
/cast blood fury
/cast greater healing wave
/script function CompactUnitFrame_UtilShouldDisplayBuff(a,b,c)local _,_,_,_,_,d,_,e,_,f,_,g=UnitBuff(a,b,c)if UnitAffectingCombat("player") then return (e=="player" or e=="pet") and not f and d > 0 and g; else return g end end
- The above script shows your water shield on default raid party frames.
I feel like many beginners tend to clutter their user interface with a lot of information because they are not comfortable with their level of awareness yet. However I strongly recommend keeping it as simple as possible. Using addons is fine to start off, but don't go overboard with it and start with one at a time to get used to them.
Try to keep your field of vision clear so that you can start to be aware of enemy positioning as well as yours and your teammates'.
This is my UI, inspired from Kollektiv's that grants me good field of vision, focus buffs / debuffs, targets buffs / debuffs, my totem frames, and arena 1~3 cast bars.
I hope you have enjoyed the guide, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to message me in-game Rhee-Tichondrius, I’m always willing to help out or message me on twitch at username Rhee1.
Resto shamans are a great class once you get used to its weak points, and is definitely one of the most constantly effective and potent healers in 3v3 arena.
I don’t stream unfortunately, but you should check out these streams for high level shaman content that you could learn a lot from. Practice and watching streams is how I progressed pretty fast too.
Cdew – twitch.tv/cdewx
Flubbah – twitch.tv/flubbah
Takenotezz – twitch.tv/jakenotezz
Eeluminati – twitch.tv/eeluminati
Kaska – twitch.tv/kaskatv
These guys seriously rock, and studying their globals, and trying to adopt them into your play style or imitating them will seriously improve your level of play in no time.
Posted Siuox on 27 February 2014 - 06:45 PM
I'll try to update the guide frequently. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.
There are two talent setups.
I always use this one:
Most of the other Moonkins use this one:
I guess "the other moonkins" chose the first only against Castercleaves. Melby for example doesn't use Incarnation at all. You have to test the talents by yourself and chose what talents fit your playstyle the most.
(see RBG talent build at the end of the guide)
II. In detail
Note: I only gonna explain my thoughts about the talents below.
Check out Lazerchickes guide if you like to have a another (different) POV, too.
- Displacer Beast is the best choice. It grants you great mobility.
- Wild Charge can be good against meeles on e.g. blade's edge. You can place a mushroom on top of the bridge, jump down and jump up again if the meeles are following you:
- Makro for this:
/target Wild Mushroom
/cast Wild Charge
- Cenarion Ward is the best choice, because you can use this talent not only for yourself, but also to help your teammates. You can also use Cenarion Ward when you are (blanket) silenced.
- Ysera's Gift's Heal is too random and not very noticeable. It only heals you for 2% due to battle fatigue, but used together with Nature's Vigil + Rejuvenation the "healing package output" is quite high.
- The t4 talent choice will impact your t3 talent choice, that's why I've put it first:
During the game you might also often have only 1 charge of the treants (maybe I just waste them idk) so you have to save it for root/beam situations and can't use it for peel anyway.
The root breaks quite fast, because you + your warlock normally have dots up on everyone.
If you want to use the treantroot to peel off meeles from yourself (?), you waste damage again and it has 20 seconds cooldown (the glyphed Nature's Grasp only got 15 seconds cooldown).
That are the reasons why I prefer Incarnation over Force of Nature. As always, test the two spells by yourself and decide what you prefer most :)
- If you chose Incarnation, you need Mass Entanglement to beam/root people. If you like cata gameplay you can also hardcast Entangling Roots + Solar Beam :) and chose Typhoon or Faerie Swarm.
- If you chose Incarnation, you can chose between Faerie Swarm and Typhoon. Mass Entanglement is not recommanded, because it has the same DR as the Treant's Root.
- Faerie Swarm is nice for kiting people. I don't like to use so many cooldowns for it.
- Typhoon is nice to interrupt casts or knocking meeles away when they are chasing you or your healer. I would chose typhoon if I were playing with treants
- I used to specc Mighty Bash, but Warlocks are able to specc Shadow Fury since last season which is the more powerful stun imo, because you can stun all enemies every 30 seconds. If you chose Bash, make sure you have a Diminishing Return tracker (e.g. activate the gladius dr tracker)
- Disorienting Roar does not share DR with any of your Ccs in LSD2. You can interrupt casts or use it to cyclone off it. e.g Roar Warrior → Cast Cyclone
- A problem is that your targets have dots up for most of the time, so it will only last ~1 second
- Vortex can be used to kill healers particularly shamans. Might be good if your teammate is a warrior who can stun/slow people
- I always use Nature's Vigil.
- I guess most of the other moonkins use Heart of the Wild against any comps with a meele and Nature's Vigil against Castercleaves.
- If you don't have the extra warlock cooldown from symbiosis, you might also go for Heart of the Wild. It is a huge defensive cooldown, if you use it together with Cenarion Ward or NS Healing Touch.
- You always want to use Glyph of Barkskin and Cyclone. The third one can be rotated.
- Using Nature's Grasp glyph against teams that contain at least one meele to root him constantly if they focus me. Don't use this glyph if you use Force of Nature.
- If I fight two casters + healer I'm using Glyph of Omens, because I don't need the shorter cooldown on Nature's Grace.
- Useful Glyph for RBGs (Stealth Incs etc.)
- I think the main reason for this glyph (for me atleast) is to use stampeding roar without cancelling starfall while bursting when you are trying to chase someone down who's running away from you. So without the glyph it will cancel your starfall if it's active - Sanative
Order to buy gear: 1. Shoulders 2. ProccTrinket 3. Weaopon 4. Offhand 5. Head 6. Chest 7. 8. Free for all
V. Reforging, Geming, Enchanting
- I'm using askmrrobot.com to get the best performance out of my gear
- First: Edit your Weights. Second: press „Optimized“ and do what the robot suggests
- If you don't have full gear yet change the „HASTE SOFT CAP“ manually to 6637
Haste Cap Discussion
- 6% Hit > 10289 Haste > Crit > Mastery > (Haste above the cap)
- 6% Hit > 5273 Haste > Crit > Mastery > (Haste above the cap)
- 6% Hit > 6637 Haste > Crit > Mastery > (Haste above the cap)
Take a look at http://www.arenajunk...-moonkin-stats/ for further discussion.
Shoulders: 200 Intellect and 100 Critical Strike
Cloak: 180 Intellect
Chest: 200 Resilience / 200 Spirit / 80 Stats
Bracers: 180 Intellect
Gloves: 170 Haste / 170 Mastery
Legs: 285 Intellect and 165 Crit
Boots: 140 Mastery & Minor Speed Increase
Weapon: Jade Spirit
Off-hand: 165 Intellect
Way to gem
Blue = 160 Crit + 80 PvP Power / 160 Haste + 80 PvP Power / 320 Crit
Yellow = 320 Crit
Red/Orange = 80 Int + 160 Crit
Belt Bucket = 320 Crit
Way to gem 2
If you prefer Heart of the Wild over Nature's Vigil you might also gem Intellect. You trade ~ 3% Crit for ~ 1200 spellpower. I prefer to have 3% more crit.
Blue = 80 Int + 80 PvP Power
Red = 160 Int
Yellow = 80 Int + 160 Crit
Belt Bucket = 160 Int
Use ask Mr Robot for geming/enchanting :P
The best professions for moonkin are tailoring and engineering.
You can do random 120k starsurge crits if e.g. trinket procc and tailoring procc is up.
Heavy burst at the beginning of a game 200k Starsurge possible.
Usage of Symbiosis cooldowns:
- Unending Resolve: Just use it as a normal defensive cooldown. Sometimes I'm using it to be able to hardcast starfire during my cooldowns, but this might be really risky if your enemies haven't used any cooldowns yet.
- Cloak of Shadows: You can use it to avoid being countered or as a defensive cooldowns e.g. to cleanse dots / avoid magic damage
- Anti-Magic-Shell: I used it to avoid being CCed during my cooldowns and to eat traps or avoid magic damage of course
- Moonkin + Rogue + Healer
- Moonkin + Warlock + rShaman
- Moonkin + Deathknight + rShaman
- Moonkin + Warrior + rShaman
- Moonkin + Mage + Priest
- Moonkin + WW Monk + rShaman
VIII. Damage Spells
It's hard to give any tips by just writing. I recommend to watch moonkin streams and to look exactly what they are doing, when they are doing something and how their positioning is.
This is our main nuke spell. Try to use them on your focus target, too. Most likely in situations where pressure is spread across at least one opponent. It will burn a lot of the healer's mana, because he has to „burstheal“ two targets. It’s also important to use focus starsurges during your cooldowns to spread damage on the whole team.
Try to put dots on at least your „focus“ target (the one you are dpsing) and the enemies’ healer.
In most cases you''ll try to put dots on everyone, especially during Celestial Alignment.
RBGS: I'm only spreading the eclipsed dot among the enemy team, but make sure to have one of the non eclipsed dot up. You dot like this in PVE. Have only tested it in 2 RBGs yet. But you'll have more time to nuke targets if you dont waste too many globals in spaming 4k damaging dots.
In this season you are gonna be more often able to cast one of these spells. Try to cast them as often as possible. Be aware that you cast Wrath during your „Sloar Eclipse“ (brown) and Starfire during your „Lunar Eclipse“.
Use your first starfall before you are using Celestial Alignment, because the cooldown will be resetted. Try to use it in situations where everyone has your dots up.
IX. Tricks and Hints
People will get annoyed if you cc them instantly during their cooldowns or when they try to setup sth. e.g. http://www.twitch.tv...nk1/b/506014289 (sorry for using you as an example) ~ 5h 56 min
- Don't try to heal all the time. More healsupport is needed if your healer is low on mana
- Try to CC enemies who have their 3 minute cooldowns up
- Try to pressure the enemies’ healer as often as possible (switch on him / use focus starsurges)
- Try to get as many Starfires/Wraths off as possible
- Always rebuff Mark of the Wild!
- Don't let healer go for a drink! Use your mushrooms to stop them
- Try to use innervate on your healer as often as possible
- Try to interrupt their goes on your healer. I'm always trying to instant clone or beamroot the mage when he deepfreezes/uses orb on someone
- Do the same if he uses alter time
- That said try to always use your beam defensively
- Put dots on their elemental
- No easy kill targets. You can maybe land a kill if dampening is up
- Kill his pet if he has one
- CC them during their Dark Soul → Clone / Solar Beam
- Good kill targets
- Put dots on their pet
- Put a Faerie Fire on them so they can't use Camouflage
- Try to eat their traps
- Not the best targets to kill
- Im using Nature's Grasp (+ Glyph) as often as possible to avoid at least some damage
- You have to support your healer asap if you are playing with a shaman and the dk uses asphyxiate. Cyclone / Beamroot the DK and heal your healer until he tells you that he's safe again
- Good killtargets in 2v2, maybe not the best ones in 3v3
- If they use their first grip on you, try to get away by using travel form. In most cases they will use their second grip. Now use Displacer Beast to get away again
- Kill the Gargoyle
- Always put a Faerie Fire on them
- Try to stop them from restealthing → use your mushrooms
- Instant CC them during Shadow Dance
- Use Disorienting Roar when they use Cloak of Shadows; if they open on your mates
- ALWAYS kill their Healing Stream Totems and Mana/Healingtide Totems
- Elemental and Enhancement Shamans are good kill targets
- Try to destroy their Healing Stream Totem before using Beam/Root
- Kill their Mushroom by meele hitting it
- Try to interrupt Tranquility
- Ferals are „okayish“ targets. Moonkins are nice ones. Restodruids take a lot of damage when you switch on them from time to time
- Retribution: Instantly CC them during their Wings. I NS Clone them → they will trinket in most cases → recyclone them / Bash them.
You just have to survive their cooldowns, otherwise they are not a great danger; good kill targets
- Holypaladins won't die if you don't oneshot them. That said most switches on a holypaladin are a waste of time. Just put them into a long CC chain
- Dot their Xuen (the „white tiger“)
- Put Healmonks into a long CC chain. Really hard to kill. Maybe you can oneshot them during cooldowns via focus starsurge spam :P
- Holy+Shadow: Faerie Fire them so they can't use Spectral Guise; good kill targets
- Holy: Go oom pretty fast; if you are not able to land a kill you should destroy the new Lightwell, but in most cases I don't try to kill it with LSD2. It has too much hp.
Use focus starsurges on them (you might be able to oneshot them during your cooldowns, at least force cooldowns
1. Focus Starsurge
/cast [@focus] Starsurge
Important to nuke healers, allows you to dps two targets more easily
2. (Focus) Beamroot
#showtooltip Solar Beam
/cast [@focus] Mass Entanglement
/cast [@focus] Solar Beam
Important for fast CC on the enemies’ healer. Buggy like Warrior Charge used to be
#showtooltip Solar Beam
/castsequence [@focus] reset=2 Force of Nature, Solarbeam
/cast [@focus] Solar Beam; Solar Beam
thx to Neoh (also check out his vid in the comments below)
3. Focus Cyclone
/cast [@focus] Cyclone
4. Dispels for your Team
/cast [@“YourDPSMate“] Remove Corruption
/cast [@“YourHealerMate“] Remove Corruption
5. Mark of the Wild Rebuff Macro
/cast [@Player] Mark of the Wild
You are always able to rebuff. No problems with someone being LOS or anything similar
6. Instant Heal
/cast Nature's Swiftness
/cast Healing Touch
7. Innervate for your healer
/cast [target=“YourHealerMate“] Innervate
8. Roar Cancelaura Macro
/cancelaura Displacer Beast
/cast Stampeding Roar
/cancelaura Bear Form
Useful if you don't have the Stampede (?) Glyph "equiped".
9. Celestial Allignment + "Instant" Moonfire
/use Grievous Gladiator's Wyrmhide Gloves
/cast Celestial Alignment
You'll instantly apply a moonfire to the target, because CA is not on the global cooldown
10. Incarnation + Nature's Vigil (saves one button)
/cast Incarnation: Chosen of Elune
/cast Nature's Vigil
11. Queue Leave Macro to drop 2s Rating
This is the talent setup I use for RBGs
- Heart of the Wild to support the healers if one of them died
- Vortex for Root/Beam/Vortex
- Force of Nature to defend bases.
- Typhoon to knock ppl from edges / into ring of frosts / interrupt casts / stop tapping
- Use Glyph of Prowl to be able to attack enemy bases faster than normal
How to defend a base:
First of all I don't have that much RBG experience, but this strategy worked out quite fine for me:
- Place Mushrooms around the flag
- Stay on "maximum" range
- if someone starts tapping your base. Use two treants and then press moonfire.
- (Save your mushrooms for smokebomb!)
- Why two treants? A rogue might be able to idk stun you and blind one treant, but if you use 2 you should be 100% fine.
- I use my symbiosis on a Deathknight / Rogue to be able to avoid being CCed.
- If two people attack your base, I instantly use my cloak / AMS after trinketing. And then cast moonfire / treants on both.
If you don't have to defend a base and are allowed to zerg:
- I'm only spreading the eclipsed dot. But make sure to have 1 non-eclipsed dot up
- ALWAYS Cyclone the healer that is not your focus target. You might not be able to to that much damage, but it helps your team a lot more if you keep CCing the other healers.
Try to remember what those guys were doing when you are in the same situation, maybe it will help you to survive / kill something.
You should check out Lazerchicken's (aka Ayrese) Guide, too. Won't hurt to read things written from a different POV and maybe a more experienced POV :)
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 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.