Sunday, February 3, 2013

Healing As Enhancement

If you're just now returning to the game, or if you're leveling an enhancement shaman for the first time, you may be wondering "How the heck do I heal?" Enhancement healing is relatively simple, yet can seem a bit complex at times to the untrained shaman.


Some of you old-timers may be wondering about where the heck Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave ran off to. Well, both of these spells have decided to get permanently hitched to our restoration brothers and sisters, effectively dumping us. That's right, our only actively cast healing spells are now Healing Surge, Chain Heal, and Healing Rain. I see you giving Healing Surge the stink eye; try not to judge it quite yet, it's more potent than it looks.

Please note that I will only be covering the spell modifiers (mainly talents and glyphs, not necessarily procs/secondary stat scaling) that directly effect healing. There are several other glyphs/talents that boost resistances and help to dispel, but I will not be including those within this article.


Unless you're hard casting Healing Surge for some odd reason, this spell is more than adequate for the pinch healing that you'll need during leveling/soloing/raiding. Trust me, this spell has been saving my shaman butt for months now. Check out these modifiers that makes Healing Surge more potent for us.

Modified by:
1) Maelstrom Weapon - For each stack of Maelstrom Weapon, Healing Surge will both cost less mana and heal for greater amounts.
2) Healing Storm - This glyph will cause your healing done to be increased by 20% per Maelstrom Weapon stack.
3) Echo of Elements - This talent can cause your Healing Surge to "echo," effectively casting Healing Surge a second time without any extra effort from you or resource cost. Both the original spell an the echoed spell can crit independently.

Might not be so bad, eh? Now let's break down some of our other healing abilities.


Chain Heal is not a spell commonly cast by an enhancement shaman unless said shaman is within proximity of several raid mates and their healers are struggling. Remember, it is your job as a dps to do damage, not play healing hero. In the event that your healers are oom, you may use Chain Heal and Healing Rain as last ditch efforts to save your raid team long enough to make a kill. If you need to save yourself in the event that you accidentally stood in the bad though, use Healing Surge. Chain Heal doesn't heal for a ton single-target, and can unfortunately only bounce so far.

Modified by:
1) Maelstrom Weapon - For each stack of Maelstrom Weapon, Healing Surge will both cost less mana and heal for greater amounts.
2) Healing Storm - This glyph will cause your healing done to be increased by 20% per Maelstrom Weapon stack.
3) Echo of Elements - This talent can cause your Chain Heal to "echo," effectively casting Chain Heal a second time without any extra effort from you or resource cost. Crits will behave as if you had cast Chain Heal twice, meaning they'll do their own thing regardless of what the original spell did.


Much like Chain Heal, Healing Rain is not a spell commonly cast by an enhancement shaman unless said shaman is within proximity of several raid mates and their healers are struggling. Healing Rain can help to stabilize a group's health, though overall doesn't do a ton of healing. Remember, it is your job as a dps to do damage, not play healing hero. In the event that your healers are oom, you may use Chain Heal and Healing Rain as last ditch efforts to save your raid team long enough to make a kill. If you need to save yourself in the event that you accidentally stood in the bad though, use Healing Surge.

Modified by:
1) Maelstrom Weapon - For each stack of Maelstrom Weapon, Healing Rain will both cost less mana and heal for greater amounts.
2) Conductivity - Causes the duration of Healing Rain to be extended when certain abilities are used; more on this later.
3) Healing Storm - This glyph will cause your healing done to be increased by 20% per Maelstrom Weapon stack.

Patch 5.4 Edit: Healing Rain is no longer affected by the glyph Healing Storm. Due to this change, Healing Rain's effectiveness has been severely nerfed for Enhancement.


Healing Stream Totem
This totem has been a healing staple for us shaman for quite some time now. While it has had a bit of a makeover since Cataclysm, this totem can still put out a good little bit of healing. Currently this totem is a single target smart heal, and prefers to target those in the shaman's group who have the lowest health. The Mists of Pandaria version only lasts for 15 seconds at a time and has a cooldown, but said cooldown is relatively short (30 seconds). If you're in dire need of a second Healing Stream Totem, and fast, you may reset the cooldown if you're specced into Call of the Elements (3 minute cooldown on this talent).

Modified by:
1) Call of the Elements - Resets the 30 second cooldown on this totem. Usable once every 3 minutes.
2) Rushing Streams - Causes your Healing Stream to heal two targets (up from one) for an increased healing amount of 15% per tick.
3) Totemic Persistence - Allows you to have up to two totems per school activated at the same time (Healing Stream + Healing Tide = Whoa totem healing, Batman)


Healing Tide Totem
It's a totem and it's a "major" healing cooldown! As of patch 5.4, Healing Tide Totem is now a baseline ability for all of the shaman specializations, as opposed to being a talent choice prior to this patch. More healing utility for us, huzzah! This bad boy is great for re-stabilizing the raid in a pinch, or even saving your own butt in a soloing situation.

Modified by:
1) Passive talents that only Restoration has which boosts all of their healing, including totems.
2) Haste plateaus, which Enhancement doesn't shoot for.
3) Totemic Persistence - Allows you to have up to two totems per school activated at the same time. (Healing Stream + Healing Tide = Whoa totem healing, Batman)


Ancestral Guidance
This particular talent currently offers us dps shaman types the biggest bang for our talent point...assuming we can swat at things. Ancestral Guidance yields the highest output while we are in our Ascendance form, though please keep in mind that tying the two together may result in a complete waste of Ancestral Guidance, unless there's an increased damage taken and received phase, such as the gas phase on Will of the Emperor normal mode. For soloing purposes however, if you happen to pop AG while in Ascendance, you could very well see yourself go from nearly dead to full very quickly. Stormstrike/Stormblast, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Chain Lighting, the initial impact of shocks (meaning NOT Flame Shock's tick, just the impact when you first cast it), and Fire Nova all essentially become means of healing through this talent for a short duration.

Modified by:
1) The use of dps cooldowns in conjunction with this ability.


Conductivity
This talent has received a major overhaul with patch 5.4. Conductivity now extends the life of our Healing Rain by 4 seconds each time Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock, or Stormstrike is cast. The Healing Rain has a maximum duration of 40 seconds. Between this change and the removal of Healing Rain from our Healing Storm glyph, this talent has pretty much become useless for us Enhancement types.


Feral Spirits
That's right, even our wolves heal us! Just us though, they really don't like anyone else. Every time they attack, 150% of the damage they deal heals both them and us. Pretty neat, eh? But that's not all! If you have Glyph of Feral Spirit in, they deal another 40% in healing, which is to say pretty darn potent. Yeah that's right, our wolves aren't just a little damage cooldown that looks all flashy, but they're also a fairly decent self healing cooldown as well. Pretty hard to take us down when we have our wolf pals out!

Modified by:
1) Glyph of Feral Spirit
2) Mastery - The Feral Spirits attack using a spell called Spirit Bite, which deals nature damage. Due to our Enhancement Mastery, the more mastery we have, the stronger our wolves will attack. The stronger their attacks, the more healing we receive.
3) Battlegear of the Witch Doctor (4pc) - Tier 15 (Throne of Thunder) The cooldown of your Feral Spirits is reduced by 8 sec each time Windfury Weapon is triggered.
4) Assurance of Consequence - This is a trinket that comes from the Sha of Pride in Siege of Orgrimmar. Our wolves are one of the cooldowns affected by this trinket.


Glyph of Flame Shock
You will personally be healed by 30% of the damage your Flame Shock does. If you were to spread your Flame Shock via Lava Lash and had multiple Flame Shocks rolling at once, you'll receive healing from those Flame Shocks.

For single target, this glyph isn't all that powerful. However, in situations where you're able to spread your Flame Shock around, it does a decent little bit of healing. I find myself running this glyph often enough (though generally one of the first I switch out if utility calls) because hey, extra passive healing is always nice.



That's everything we have currently. So let's break it down into simple terms, going by what is typically specced for and glyphed:

Personal/Single Target Healing: Healing Surge, Feral Spirits, Healing Stream Totem, Flame Shock (with glyph)
Party/Raid Healing: Chain Heal, Healing Rain (not ideal), Healing Stream Totem, Ancestral Guidance (or Healing Tide Totem)
Healing Glyphs: Feral Spirit, Healing Storm, Flame Shock

Also, don't forget your professions and racials. If you're an herbalist, Lifeblood can help you out in a pinch (plus the extra haste is pretty neat) and if you just so happen to be a Draenei, Gift of the Naaru can restore 20% of your (or a friend's, or Tsulong's) health to you (or your friend, or Tsulong even) over the duration of 15 seconds. Can't beat free healing!


I hope this article has helped you out some, even if it is rather lengthy. Remember, enhancement shamans have a ton of healing utility within our bag of tricks, so there's no need to feel helpless if you're hurting!

3 comments:

  1. Great article! I found your blog thru Pretty Fly Draenei. Nice to see a fellow Enh Shaman around :)

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    1. Thank you kindly! It's always nice to meet a fellow enhancement shaman ^_^

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  2. Shamanic Healing is very essential for mental health and sound mind

    Removing Entities

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