Evaluating Your Raid Team: Restoration Shaman

Let’s face it, if you don’t know how to evaluate your raid team, you can’t help them improve.  While many systems are available, new raid leaders, guild masters, and concerned raiders often struggle with how to interpret the massive amounts of data services like World of Logs offers.

This came to my attention recently when whatisboom sent out a message on twitter asking for some help evaluating a raid member’s performance.  A quick look revealed a couple of things that may need improvement, and since talking to that member, his performance has improved.

So, in order to create a resource for those of you new to, or confused by data parses, I begin this series on evaluating your raid team.  Still seeking contributors for data on certain classes and roles.

Restoration Shaman

My assignment was raid healing, with emphasis on back-up for tanks heals as needed.

First we’ll look at Healing done on to see where my heals were distributed:

The first two characters in our list are tanks, and they received almost half of my healing.

Arthura is the only other tank–in this fight he was on the opposite side of the room from me–and he received proportionally less healing.

Otherwise, my healing was spread fairly regularly throughout the raid.

Note: feel free to click-through for a full report

In the next part of our evaluation, you’ll want to look at your shaman’s spell choices.  While shamans can be capable tank or raid healers, their glyphs and spell choices do change based on their role.  Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at the spells restorations shamans have in their arsenal.

Healing Wave is similar to other healers large heal–it has a long cast time, and limited benefits unless glyphed.  Lesser healing wave is a faster, mana-efficient alternative.  Chain heal can be used to heal tanks or the raid at large–when the initial target has riptide the effect (healing) is boosted, and when glyphed will hit up to 4 targets.  Riptide is an instant cast heal (about the same healing power as lesser healing wave) with a dot attached and a cooldown of 6 seconds.  Earth shield is an activated hot which has 10 charges and will protect the target for 10 minutes.

This is my data from Lady Deathwhisper (25-man) that lasted approximately 10 minutes.  I died a minute before the fight completed:

Lesser Healing Wave and Chain Heal vie for dominance on this particular fight.  To be honest, they probably vie for dominance on most of my fights, but I haven’t done a raid analysis ’til now.  Now, why am I casting those two spells when Healing Wave packs such a big juicy punch?  My assignments and glyphs!

Chain heal’s job in my repretoire is to top up a large number of raid members with one cast.  However, it is a massively slow spell to cast–2 seconds with raid buffs and Wrath of Air totem–and players are not always obliging in where they stand.  This is where lesser healing wave comes in.  With it’s 1.2 second cast time, I can quickly heal the same amount of damage on two specifically targeted players, ensuring that I don’t lose a vital raid member on a bad chain heal bounce.  Chain heal’s base is 1200-1400+my 2800 spellpower, meaning I’m getting my full health per second.

Healing Wave is the next big spell on my list, and honestly, I’m not happy to see I cast it as much I did.  Unglyphed, healing wave does very little for me that lesser healing wave does not–for the same cast time I could have released two lesser healing waves that would have garnered similar healing output, and perhaps, with less over-healing.

Looking at all three spells, my over-healing ranges 44-48%.  While I would prefer it to be lower, honestly, I have no problems with my current over-healing.  I don’t have mana issues, so over-healing is a non-concern for my current content.  If I was attempting hard-modes or struggling with mana during fights, then this number would take a high priority.

For maximum efficiency, I should be casting Riptide every time it is available–this will become even more vital as I pick up the T10 set which increases my haste.  For a 10-minute fight, I should have 100 or so riptide casts, and I have 45.  This tells me that I need to markedly improve my up-time.

My last major spell is Earth Shield which has 8 charges per cast.  At 70 heals, I actually did a pretty good job of maintaining it, since the max casts would have been 75.

All other heals on the list are procs that I don’t have much control over–either talented abilities, or an item (Echoes of Light is from Alathor’s Abacus for example.)

Just a note before we finish, for a Healing Wave glyphed shaman, I would expect to see completely different priorities, as well as different healing assignments.  Healing Wave shamans are tank healers, and should have 50%+ of their healing directed at a single target.  While earth shield and riptide usage should be the same, Healing Wave will be their top priority, and most heavy spell, with some lesser healing waves.  Chain heal will only rear its head on heavy melee fights, and only when it benefits their tank primarily, and the rest of the group secondarily.


18 thoughts on “Evaluating Your Raid Team: Restoration Shaman

  1. I look forward to seeing our DPS post, if you are going to have one. Maybe you can tell me why the mage in my guild is soo damn much better than I am.

    We can stay alive the same amount of time and he can get 1k more DPS than I. With almost 100 more AB's over the 7 fights we did last night. I am thinking I am a little too defensive; I maybe move before I absolutely have to or move to far. As a healer, do you mind if I stay in the ooze for an extra second or two and finish my AB and maybe get off an Missile Barrage?

    At the level I am raiding, these little things make the difference between he and I, I think. In my former guilds this wasn't really an issue, but it is a little more serious now.

    That is the reason I was getting parses anyway; just trying to step up my game and make sure I can bring all I can bring to the raid.

    • This was actually pretty informative to read as a total noob Resto Shaman. I know that I need to step up Riptide, but I've never thought about it being equal in healing power to Lesser Healing Wave and have mentally given it a lower priority I think.

      As for the Mage question I think the answer lies not in standing somewhere painful in order to finish your cast – but in situations where you have a window in which to reposition (Festergut is a good example – you have about 10 seconds to grab a spore and more back into position) you need to choose the time that suits your DPS cooldowns best.

      This might mean you run at the very start of that window, or at the very end, but don't stop casting to move.

      That's my 2 cents anyway 🙂

      • I squealed when I finally figured out riptide, because it's just… awesome. I have a whole post dedicated to it, because it really is (imo) the best heal in our toolbox after chain heal.

        As always, it depends 😛 If you're standing in the beasts fires, I don't care WHAT you're casting, you're going to die whether I heal you or not, and if by some miracle you stay up, that means no one in the raid is healing a tank… spores, minor globs of badness, really, all I ask is that you take a "reasonable" amount of damage–how helpful is that?

        • Festergut is actually good example of my personal improvement. I moved much less last night and got very good numbers. Of course, our top mage is in with the melee and I am one of the 7 in ranged, so his DPS is much higher.

          I have been watching him more and more and seeing how he does it and on our Blood Prince attempts, (we would have gotten them, but it was late) he and I were neck and neck.

          I don't mind someone being better than me, as long as I can improve over time. It is frustrating that right off the bat in new fights this guys can pull 1k more DPS. I mean, he has been playing since beta and I have only been playing since Wrath came out, but still. It's a new fight! Fail a little will ya? 🙂

          As far as the reasonable damage goes, I am also getting the hang of being able to decide what is acceptable; I don't need to be 100% all the time and I have mana shield if it comes down to it. I have like 32k mana raid buffed, all the proper raid replenishment and I can evoce every 2 minutes. It can take a hit.

        • I absolutely love RT, with the ability to heal on the move (outside of natures swiftness) and the buffs it gives to HW (haste), LHW (crit chance) and CH (+heal) it's an extremely versatile spell that i try to keep up on 2 people as much as possible.

          I get the feeling i heal differently than most shaman – i only run 10 man content and we run 2 healers, myself and a holy pally outside of heavy raid damage fights. My top 2 heals are LHW and RT with various other heals showing up somewhere below that. Unorthodox as my healing may or may not be, i think we do well as a 2 healer team especially since healing is generally a free-for-all with no real assignments. http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/exmz533rpvjegq

            • I quite agree, and in fact was about to point this out myself. I've personally fallen in love with Glyphed HW and 800 haste rating as a raid heal in 10-Main raids. It's fast enough after a RT to be worth casting, can be dropped on a tank and make an impact, and will heal most people almost to full. It also means I can worry much less about myself, and so does my healing partner. I particularly found it useful for dealing with Mark of the Fallen Champion if it landed on me. The self heal component was enough to keep me up if I switched to exclusively using HW. I'm also finding it useful for Rotface.

              • I keep promising myself I'm going to keep a stack of Chain Heal and Healing Wave glyphs stacked on my person just for this; however, I generally just end up at the door to the instance going "inscription help please!"

                With a heavy melee group, chain heal is a heavily used part of my 10-man groups (especially in plagueworks); overall however, my experience has been CH for 25's, and HW for 10's, and riptide to rule them all.

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  3. One important thing about shaman HPS: It's directly proportional to how much we cast CH. With 2pcT9 and some 70-80% of our healing done through CH, we can pull impressive numbers. As you rightly say though, pure CH is very rarely our assignment. I think that's important to mention because many shamans still get criticized because of low HPS compared to priests/druids even if what they're doing is perfectly fine, it just won't result in uber-high HPS.

    • Deathwhisper is a weird fight for me to have chosen because it's not an "ideal" shaman healing assignment, especially with me having secondary tanking heal assignments–but I went with it anyway, because I realized, even though I'm built for chain heals, I DO back-up or outright get assigned tanks, so it's a good "blending" look.

  4. Interesting to see it broken down. I honestly don't know that much about shammy healing.

    Can't wait to see what you have to say about the other classes/roles. 🙂

    • People tend to master their own class, but when you get to "raid management" levels you're expected to be responsible for evaluating others as well–while surely not perfect, hopefully they'll help people be more comfortable with giving a gander at others.

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