Evaluating Resto Shaman with World of Logs

The second part of my updated Guide to Evaluating Healers with World of Logs focuses on Resto Shaman. Thank you to the amazing Vixsin of Life in Group 5, who reviewed the post and shared her wealth of Shaman knowledge with me.

(This post may be easier to read, with less squishy pictures, over on the guide page).


Here are specific things to look for when analyzing resto shaman logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Shaman are versatile healers who can do well at either tank or raid healing. They really excel on fights where people are grouped up and they can make the most of spells like Healing Rain and Chain Heal. Though Shaman do not have a huge assortment of healing spells to choose from, they a lot of buffs and cooldowns they need to manage throughout fights.

Healing by Spell

World of Logs - Shaman healing doneSpell selection – Is the shaman using the appropriate spells?

Resto shaman heals include: Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Riptide, Unleash Life, Earth Shield, Healing Stream Totem, Healing Tide Totem, Restorative Mists (from the cooldown Ascendance) and passive healing from Earthliving and Ancestral Awakening.

Top Spells

A shaman’s top spells will vary by fight, assignment and raid size.

In a 25-man raid, a Shaman’s top heals will generally be Healing Rain, Healing Stream Totem and Healing Tide Totem. On fights where the raid is tightly grouped Chain Heal will be up there, while Riptide will be higher on fights where people are more spread out. Earthliving and Restorative Mists can also provide a sizable amount of healing.

If the Shaman is assigned to tank heal, you should see more direct heals, like Greater Healing Wave, used.

In 10s, where tank vs. raid healing assignments are less stringent, Shaman will likely cast a variety of both single-target and group healing spells. Because there are fewer people to stack up in 10s, Healing Rain and Chain Heal will not account for as much healing as they do on 25, and you will likely see Riptide and Greater Healing Wave accounting for a lot of healing.

For any assignment you should also see healing from Earth Shield and Unleash Life, though they are unlikely to provide more than a few percent of overall healing.

Overhealing

Spells like Healing Rain and Earthliving will cause Shaman to be fairly high on overhealing, this isn’t something to be concerned about.

Notes on specific spells:

Unfortunately, the Healing Done and Buffs Cast tabs don’t give much useful information on many important Shaman spells and cooldowns, so use of the Log Browser is often needed. I’ve provided query strings that you can paste into the Log Browser to find the spells you’re looking for. Just remember in each one you need to replace the name “ShamanX” with the name of the Shaman you’re evaluating.

Earth Shield
Earth Shield should be up on a target all the time (more information in Buffs Cast section). The shaman’s direct heals are more effective on their Earth Shield target.

Healing Surge
Due to the high mana cost, Healing Surge should not be used as a staple heal. When it is used, it should have low overhealing compared to HW or GHW, otherwise the Shaman is wasting mana.

Unleash Life

WoL - Shaman-Unleash-Life
Unleash Life provides a small, mana-free heal and buffs the Shaman’s next direct heal by 30%. Healing Rain is included in this, so you should see Shaman casting Unleash Life before each Healing Rain. If Unleash Life use is low (or absent) there is a problem. Check the number of direct heals for Unleash Life – though use will vary per fight, you should be seeing at least 2 direct heals per minute of fight.

If you want to dive a little deeper, you can also check to see if the shaman is casting Unleash Life before Healing Rain in the Log Browser. Paste the following query (be sure to replace the Shaman’s name):

[{"spellNames": ["Healing Rain"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}, {"spellNames": ["Unleash Elements"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Then you can check the timestamps to see if Healing Rains immediately follow Unleash Elements casts.

Healing Tide Totem

WoL - Shaman Healing Tide Totem
Healing Tide Totem is an optional talent but because it is a very powerful cooldown, it’s what most Shaman will use on most fights. You should see a significant amount of healing from it on each fight. The number of heals the totem will do is dependant on haste levels when it is dropped (and is a little buggy, I believe), so there’s not an exact number of ticks you can look for. It will generally heal between 25-35 times per use.

HTT has a 3-minute cooldown and Shaman should be trying to get maximum use out of it.

Healing Stream Totem

WoL - Shaman Healing Stream Totem
WoL displays the healing from this very strangely. The Crits and Direct Heals columns are showing the same heals. The Ticks column is showing the number of non-crit heals. To get the total number of ticks from this, you need to add the numbers from the Ticks and Direct Heals columns. Like Healing Tide Totem, the number of times Healing Stream ticks is dependant on haste. You should generally see about 9 ticks per cast.

This is a powerful smart heal with only a 30 second cooldown, so you should see it cast often. If a Shaman’s healing is low, not using this spell enough is often the problem.

To see how many times the spell was cast, use the Log Browser, paste the following query:

[{"spellNames": ["Healing Stream Totem"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Spirit Link Totem

World of Logs - Shaman Spirit Link and Steon Bulwark

This is another powerful cooldown that should be used on any fight. It has a 3-minute cooldown. To tell at a glance if it was used, check the general Healing Done tab. It will appear as a pet under the Shaman’s name. To see how many times it was used, you’re going to have to use the log browser:

[{"spellNames": ["Spirit Link Totem"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Stone Bulwark Totem
Stone Bulwark is an optional talent. It has a 1-minute cooldown and should be used often if the Shaman is taking damage. To tell at a glance if it was used, check the general Healing Done tab. It will appear as a pet under the Shaman’s name. To see how many times it was used, you’re going to have to use the log browser:

[{"spellNames": ["Stone Bulwark Totem"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Mana Tide Totem
Mana Tide is another important cooldown, not just for the Shaman, but for the rest of the healers in the raid. The only way to see how many times it was dropped is with the Log Browser. Mana Tide has a 3 minute cooldown and should be used as much as possible.

[{"spellNames": ["Mana Tide Totem"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Call of the Elements
Call of the Elements is a talented 3-minute cooldown that resets the cooldowns on all totems will a cooldown of 3-minutes or less. It should be used as much as possible so the Shaman can get in extra uses of Healing Stream and Stone Bulwark, as well as utility totems like Grounding or Tremor on certain fights.

The only way to see how many times it was used is with the Log Browser:

[{"spellNames": ["Call of the Elements"], "eventTypes": [6], "sourceNames": ["ShamanX"]}]

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a shaman is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

World of Logs - Shaman Buffs Cast

Earth Shield – Earth Shield should be re-cast whenever it runs out. However, on fights with heavier raid damage, the Shaman may prioritize other spells over refreshing this. Look for uptime of around 80% or higher for raid healers. For tank healers, uptime should be close to 100%.

Ancestral Vigor – Whenever a Shaman heals a target, the target’s maximum health is increased. Since the Shaman should always be healing, uptime should be close to 100%.

Riptide – If the shaman is tank healing, Riptide should have an uptime close to 100% overall. You can look at the tank’s Buffs Gained screen to see the uptime of Riptide on them specifically. When raid healing, uptime will be lower but should still be around 70% or higher.

Tidal Waves – Tidal Waves triggers when Riptide or Chain Heal is cast. Since Riptide and Chain Heal are two of a Shaman’s main spells, you want to see high Tidal Waves uptime. If focused on the tank, uptime should be over 90%. If focused on the raid it will be a bit lower, but should still be over 70-80%.

Earthliving – Every heal has a chance to trigger Earthliving. The only thing to look out for is that there is healing from Earthliving present. If it is absent, or extremely low, the shaman has likely forgotten their weapon enchant or it has run out in the middle of the fight.

Ascendance – This is a major cooldown that copies and distributes all healing done by the Shaman for 15 seconds. It has a 3 minute cooldown, and should be used often.

Spiritwalker’s Grace – This spell allows the shaman to cast while moving for 15 seconds. It has a 2 minute cooldown, it should be used on movement-heavy fights.

Astral Shift – If the Shaman didn’t spec into Stone Bulwark Totem, they will probably have this. It has a 2-minute cooldown and reduces damage taken by 40% for 6 seconds. It should be used when they’re taking a lot of damage.

Ancestral Swiftness – This spell makes your next healing spell an instant cast and has a 1-minute cooldown. If the shaman has this in their spec it should be used frequently.

Elemental Mastery – Another talent on the same tier as Ancestral Swiftness, this increases haste by 30% for 20 seconds and has a 2 minute cooldown. It should be used often.

Ghostwolf – This allows Shaman to move faster and how often/if it’s used will depend on the fight. You should see it used on a fight like Blade Lord, but not so much on more stationary fights like Wind Lord. If a Shaman is not using this, they are missing some opportunities to get around/out of bad faster. However, they also shouldn’t be using it too often as you can’t heal while in Ghostwolf.
Fire/Earth Elemental – If the Shaman is using the talent Prime Elementalist, an Elemental should be dropped once per 5 minutes of fighting (Fire Elemental can be dropped once every 3 minutes if glyphed). *See end of section for for more on this*

WoL - Water ShieldWater Shield – Water Shield provides passive mana regen along with mana return when the shaman is hit by an attack or critically hits with a healing spell. If it’s up all fight, you won’t see it in the Buffs Cast table, but the active mana returns will show up under Power Gains.

Telluric Currents – This is an optional glyph which causes Lightning Bolt casts to restore mana. If the shaman has this glyph you should see mana gained from Telluric Currents under power gains.

Other things to look for:

World of Logs - ReinforceWorld of Logs - Reinforce
If the Shaman has specced into Primal Elementalist their Elemental can channel a healing buff onto them. If you check the Buffs Gained tab, you should see the buff Reinforce (if an Earth Elemental is dropped) or Empower (if a Fire Elemental is dropped). This has a maximum uptime of 60 seconds per Elemental cast, the aim is to have it up as long as possible.

3 responses to “Evaluating Resto Shaman with World of Logs

  1. Great post as always, thanks a lot! :) Those log browser strings are really good stuff.

    But Arcane Mages shouldn’t benefit from Mana Tide Totem, since it gives spirit and they don’t have any combat regen. Or did I miss something about those sneaky Mages?

    • Actually…I have no idea how Mage regen works. But I’ll believe you and take that part out. I think it was Hymn that I was thinking about for giving Arcane Mages back mana anyway.

  2. Pingback: Resto Shamans’ Best Practices for MoP (and their WoL queries) | Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog