Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tossing Heals - Talent Builds by Salanthe

I was invited to my first Naxxramus run a few days ago as a healer, so I was forced to sit down and think seriously about what talent build to use. I've been kicking some ideas around since I first saw the new shaman talent trees, but I haven't posted anything worthwhile yet. Here's my attempt at it and I'd be very interested in some feedback.

After looking over the shaman talent trees, it looks like Blizzard tried to increase a shaman's effectiveness as a main tank healer. Talents like Riptide, Tidal Waves, Healing Way, Earth Shield, and Improved Earth Shield complement each other very well to make a shaman good at single-target healing. This is particularly useful for five mans and has made us, in my opinion, very good five man instance healers. A glyph that works well with this style of healing is the Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave.

There are also a number of talents that work very well to increase our effectiveness as raid healers. Earthliving Weapon, Blessing of the Eternals, and Ancestral Awakening work to spread healing across as much of the group as possible. There are a couple of glyphs that assist in this style of healing, such as Glyph of Chain Heal and the Glyph of Earthliving Weapon.

Blizzard gave shaman some very good tools for main tank and raid healing. We are effective at both instead of specializing in raid healing. Even our Tier 7 set bonuses benefit both styles, rather than promoting one over another.

Talent point distribution is a problem though. While it seems as though Blizzard has made every effort to prevent a shaman healer from being pidgeon-holed in one style of healing, we end up choosing one style through our talent builds. Thus, I've come up with a couple talent builds - one for AoE/raid healing and one for main tank/five-man healing and by using the corresponding glyphs that I mentioned previously, you can optimize your abilities to fit each style.

Restoration for main tank / five-man healing or this if you don't care about threat reduction. This is the jack-of-all trades talent build. It promotes a more dynamic and exciting healing style, where you rely less on chain heal and more on Riptide, Healing Wave, and Lesser Healing Wave to get the job done. Earthliving weapon is icing on the cake and not the bread and butter of your healing.

Restoration for AoE/raid healing (aka the Earthliving build). This is my favorite talent build because I am enamored with the elegance of earthliving weapon. It is designed for chain heal spam and spreading the earthliving HoT over as much of the raid as possible.

Your choice between builds depends on what sort of healing you do most frequently and what meshes well with your style. Shaman can be main tank/single-target healers or AoE healers with either talent build.

1 comment:

Dead Cookies & Company said...

Hey There nice post just what I was looking for :).

So far I agree in most of the talents for Raid healing, I'm just no using Healing Focus anymore and put 2 point on Thundering Strikes and left one in the air atm...

I need to test it tho, so I'll be back with the comments on the experience on a week or two.

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