Evaluting Restoration Shaman with World of Logs

This is part of a series about using World of Logs to evaluate raiders.

First, thank you to my guildmate Entropia, and RandyLite who reviewed this guide and taught me a couple new things about shaman.

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.

Healing Done

Shaman are versatile healers who can do well at either tank or raid healing. They really excel on fights were 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 spells to choose from, they have a number of buffs and cooldowns they need to manage throughout fights.

Player Details

Healing by Spell

Is the shaman using the appropriate spells?

World of Logs - Shaman healing doneResto shaman heals include: Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Healing Surge, Riptide, Unleash Life, Earth Shield, Healing Stream Totem and passive healing from Earthliving and Ancestral Awakening (if specced into it).

Top Spells

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

The main single-target healing spells are Greater Healing Wave, Healing Wave, Riptide and occasionally Healing Surge.

The main raid heals are Healing Rain, Chain Heal and Earthliving. The more grouped up the raid is, the stronger Healing Rain and Chain Heal will become. In 25-man raids on fights that require stacking up, these 3 spells can make up 60, 70, even 80% of the shaman’s total healing. Riptide will usually be next for healing done. If the raid is spread out, you will see more single target heals and Riptide will be higher.

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.

For any assignment you should also see healing from Earth Shield, though it’s unlikely to provide more than 10% of total healing.

Spells that may not account for much healing include:

  • Unleash Life: This is a small, instant heal which provides a buff for your next direct heal. How often it’s used is a matter of personal preference, but even if it’s cast often, it’s unlikely to make up more than a couple percent of overall healing. UL will likely be used more in 10s than 25s.
  • Healing Surge: With a high mana cost and output that was recently reduced Healing Surge is very inefficient. It can be used when a fast heal is really needed, but is unlikely to be a staple healing spell.

Notes on specific spells:

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 (due to Nature’s Blessing). When you click on Earth Shield, you should see the healing done to the Shaman’s main target.


World of Logs - RiptideRiptide has a 6 second cooldown and should be cast as often as possible. Look at the number of direct heals from Riptide. You should see 9 or 10 direct heals from Riptide per minute of fighting. For example, on a 5-minute fight, you want to see close to 50 direct heals from Riptide. Uptime of the HoT is also important (more information in the Buffs Cast section).

Healing Stream Totem

World of Logs - Healing Steam Totem

Healing from this totem shows up on the Healing Done screen as a ‘pet’. Providing your raid has a non-resto shaman or a paladin for the mp5 buff, resto shaman should always be dropping Healing Stream Totem. The Active Time of the totem should be close to 100%.

Ancestral Awakening

This is an optional talent. Those shaman who do a lot of single target healing should have this in their spec. This only procs from direct heals, so raid healing shaman will get little extra healing from AA.

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 castEarth Shield – Earth Shield should be re-cast whenever it runs out and should have an uptime close to 100%.

Water 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. This should be kept up as much as possible with an uptime above 90%.

Ancestral Fortitude – This talent reduces physical damage taken after being critically healed by the shaman. Since any heal will proc this effect (Healing Rain, Earthliving ticks) this should have a high uptime, around 90%. If the shaman is assigned to a specific target, you can look at that person’s Buffs Gained screen to see the uptime of Ancestral Fortitude on them specifically. Uptime on a single target will likely be less, around 50-60%.

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 slightly lower (Chain Heal will consume any existing Riptide HoT from its primary target) but should still be around 70% or higher.

Tidal Waves – Tidal Waves triggers when Riptide or Chain Heal is cast. Since Riptide should be cast on cooldown, you want to see Tidal Waves uptime be at least 65%.

Earthliving – Every heal has a chance to trigger Earthliving. The more multi-target spells used (Healing Rain, Chain Heal) the higher the uptime on Earthliving will be. This is not really something that can be controlled by the shaman. 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.

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 every fight, and should be used often on movement-heavy fights. There are some exceptions, such as Alysrazor, where this is redundant.

Nature’s Swiftness – This spell makes your next healing spell an instant cast and has a 2-minute cooldown. If the shaman has this in their spec it should be used on every fight.

Focused Insight – This is an optional talent, which reduces the mana cost and increases the effectiveness of your next heal after casting any shock spell. Though there’s no target uptime or amount of times this should be used, if the shaman has specced into it, they should be using it at least a few times on every fight (the most optimal time to use it is before every Healing Rain cast).

World of Logs - Shaman power gainsTelluric Currents – This is an optional talent in the resto tree which causes Lightning Bolt casts to restore mana. If the shaman has this in their spec you should see mana gained from Telluric Currents under power gains.

Trinkets – If the shaman has any on-use trinkets, or useful racials they should be used as much as possible. Compare the cooldown to the amount of times used.

Other things to look for

A couple important abilities will not show up in Healing Done or Buffs Cast, so the Expression Editor comes in handy.

Mana Tide Totem  – Mana Tide increases the spirit, and therefore mana regen, of anyone within range. It has a 3-minute cooldown. Shaman should be maximizing its use to provide as much regen to the raid as possible.

To see how often Mana Tide was dropped use the following query:

sourceName = “nameofshaman”
and (Spell = “Mana Tide Totem”)

Spirit Link Totem – SLT is the shaman’s 3-minute raid cooldown, it equalizes the health of anyone in range and reduces damage taken for the duration. Though its use will often be prescribed by the raid/healing lead, you can check to see how often it was used.

To see how often Spirit Link Totem was dropped, use the following query:

sourceName = “nameofshaman”
and (Spell = “Spirit Link Totem”)

Stoneclaw Totem – If the shaman has glyphed Stoneclaw Totem (which gives them a damage absorb shield), they should be using it when they are taking damage.

To see how often Stoneclaw Totem was dropped, use the following query:

sourceName = “nameofshaman”
and (Spell = “Stoneclaw Totem”)

12 responses to “Evaluting Restoration Shaman with World of Logs

  1. Excellent Blog! Nice and straight forward! Thank you

  2. Jas, thank you for this! I am currently trying to evaluate a new shaman healer in our guild and I know very little about shaman healing! The one thing that has me quite baffled is the HPS shows quite low, but the % healed is disproportionately high!

    This article will help, thank you!

  3. Hey Jasyla – quick note about the Resurgence talent. The amount of mana return is based on the spell that you crit with. Spells that return mana on crit are: GHW, HW, HS, RT (initial heal), UL, and CH (any hit)

  4. A couple of things to note:
    – Be careful when looking at the uptimes for RT, Ancestral Fortitude and Earthliving, because they reflect overall uptime values. Which is to say, any time that *any* player in raid has one of these effects on them, then it will count as active time. Ancestral Fortitude uptime matters much more on the tank than it does on the raid.
    – If your shaman is glyphed for Stoneclaw Totem, you will need to look through Expression Editor to find how often he is dropping it. Sourcename=”Name” and spell=”Stoneclaw Totem”
    – Beware of looking at overhealing as an indicator of “bad play”. Because of the crit potential of GHW, it can oftentimes clock 40-50% overhealing even if the shaman is not guilty of spamming or poor spell choice.
    – Be sure to look at the uptime of Surging Tides (Resto’s 4pc T11 bonus) or Flametide (2pc T12) bonus. “Good” performance will see the former at >60% uptime, while the latter should equate to >350mp5.

    Lastly, when reviewing logs (and this isn’t specific to shaman but applies to healers in general), I always look at two additional things: damage taken and amount of healing done on tanks. Healers especially can get away with taking a ton of excess damage and simply healing ourselves through it, when in reality, we should be the lowest on non-rng damage taken.

    • Hi Vixsin, thanks for your insight.

      I completely forgot about Stoneclaw Totem, I will add that to the post. I’ll also reword the part about overhealing on GHW and tell people how to find uptimes of AF/RT on specific targets. I didn’t address any gear-based bonuses because not everyone will have them. I’ve got more information about checking healing done on targets and avoidable damage taken in my big WoL guide.

  5. 10’s perspective – GHW overhealing should be low.

    Sorry I wasn’t around for the call to help on twitter.

  6. Hi Jasyla!
    Great guide you’ve created here 🙂

    I just wanted to add that shamans healers aren’t just there for healing…damage is also a big part of being a resto shaman, especially when progressing against heroic bosses. If there is any type of mage in the group, flametongue totem becomes useless because it doesn’t stack with arcane intellect’s +6% spellpower. This leaves all damage-based fire totems open for use, and if a group (more in 10mans) is having trouble making a tight enrage, that fire totem hitting the boss for the whole fight could make the difference. On some fights (heroic zon’ozz comes to mind) just my totems alone can pull 5k dps without me doing anything at all, which comes out to be a whole bunch of damage for doing absolutely nothing.

    -Tijera, leader of Freelance (on your server! :D)

    • Thanks for commenting Tijera. That is a very good point. The main reason I didn’t go too much into totem selection was that it is so dependant on raid comp, Fire totems can be quite useful though for helping with damage.