Glyph of Water Shield: Friend of Foe?

Glyphs in Mists of Pandaria saw a complete revamp not just in their interface panel but also in their utility.  Prime glyphs were completely removed and most of Major glyphs got a significant nerf in terms of the advantages they offer. While some still offer a straight off bonus (sometimes not even significant enough to justify occupying a Major glyph slot), most of them introduce a trade-off faction which most of the times is hard to calculate. Glyph of Water shield has already caused a lot of controversy between shamans.

WS Glyph

I am shamelessly quoting myself from my thread over at Elitist Jerks [Resto] Raid Healing 5.1 MoP :
Water Shield gives you a passive 2138 Mp5, but every time a hit will trigger it you will also gain 2928 mana. If triggered every time on ICD, it would give you an average of 4880 mp5. This is unrealistically high, however. Water shield comes with a glyph that reduces its passive mana regen by 15% reducing it to 1817 mp5. On the same note it will increase its on hit regen by 50% making it 4392 per hit amounting to 7320 mp5. In any fight where water shield reliably triggers more than 2.63 times every 1 minute, this glyph will give you a significant boost in mana regen.
Here comes the interesting part and what causes the controversy among Restos desperately seeking for some extra mana. You would think that Water shield glyph would be mandatory since it only needs to be activated 2.63 per min in order to provide better mana regen. It does right? Right?? Wrong answer. This has been a question I have been asking myself since beta came out. The times WS needs to be activated seem very few, however the number of attacks that actually do that was significantly lowered for Mists. And while still supposedly no AoE will proc it, some still does. And while also supposedly direct damage will proc it,some doesn’t. Blizzard is being very liberal with its boss abilities and the categories they fit. The only way to reliably calculate Water Shield gains ( glyphed or not glyphed ) is by analyzing logs. and therefore putting down once and for all the conundrum of whether Water Shield glyph is useful or not.
For my analysis I used World of Logs and an array of what is mostly my kills and top ranked resto shaman kills. While the number of times that WS activates will vary from fight to fight expect that in the table below the numbers show what is mostly the most efficient way to deal with any boss fight , meaning avoiding all the bad. Some we can’t avoid but for those we can consider for the most part they were avoided for calculating purposes. I want to make the table as fair as possible in respect of boss fights and incoming damage. If you have been hit twice as much in a specific fight shown below, you just tanked the floor for more than you should have. It’s by no means an excuse that Water Shield glyph is better in that specific fight or in general. Getting hit just to activate your WS will get you some mana back but you will most likely be spending it in order to get your HP back up.
You can find the table below in downloadable format at Boss List Water Shield gains – Unglyphed vs Glyphed.

WS2

There are 2 columns, one for Normal Mode encounters and on the far right one for Heroic Mode encounters (I will update the post once I have data for the last 3 bosses). Results for MP5 and Spirit columns are tailored for each fight according to its duration. From left to right:
1. Number of times shield was activated
2. Duration of the fight
3. Total mana gains while WS is not glyphed (ticks and passive)
4. Total mana gains while WS is glyphed (ticks and passive)
5. Mana difference (always subtracting Unglyphed WS from Glyphed WS. This means that when the number is positive Glyphed WS is favorited and when it’s negative Unglyphed WS is favorited)
6. MP5  (based on the difference)
7. Spirit (based on the difference)
The results of the table are very surprising and prove that Water Shield glyph not only is not a necessary glyph but in fact in most of the fights it will result to mana loss rather than mana gain. What is most interesting is fights were the difference is very little and using either will result in almost similar results. For readers that might be wondering “Well a gain is always a gain why not just use it for the fights where using the glyph is marginally better? ” I have one answer. Just don’t. Plainly and directly. Don’t. Assign another glyph in its place instead. Anything will be more useful than gaining or loosing 30 or 5 points of spirit or even 150. Remember for the fights where it seems that we are gaining 200spirit (which someone might argue is a useful gain ) ,it only takes a little bit more awareness and either getting hit 2 or 3 times less or the fight to last 15 seconds less to reduce the difference to a point that is again completely irrelevant.  There is no point whatsoever in using this glyph other than The Stone Guard and Amber Shaper and even for those fights consider that using the Glyph of Totemic Recall will reward you full mana upon retracting your HST. HST costs 14100 mana and spending 2GCDs throughout the whole fight will  award you more theoretical mp5 and spirit than Glyph of Water Shield would ever reward  even in its highest mana back.
We can plainly see that in every single occasion it’s better to run without Glyph of Water Shield. Not all glyphs in Mists of Pandaria are supposed to give you an advantage however I have to admit this is one glyph that most of the times puts you in disadvantage. You can safely disregard it and forget of using it as results and continuous testings in all bosses of this tier prove that it’s almost obsolete. I would be willing to say that unless it’s buffed in some way for the next patch we will probably reach the same conclusion also. Personally I am just happy that we don’t have to refresh it anymore. I have already forgotten we can Glyph it.

Heroic Garaj’al the Spiritbinder 25man Resto Shaman PoV

Welcome to Mogushan Vaults Heroic mode for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder in Mists of Pandaria. In this guide, I will run you through everything you need to know about how to best utilize your Resto Shaman spells and abilities for a healing showdown.
You can bring 4 or 5 healers in a 25man raid the choice is yours depending on how high or low your dps is. However using 5 healers will mean that you are generally cutting it short  on tight enrage timer.
TIP : Enrage will hit much like Ultraxion’s enrage which will wipe all of your party instead of targeting solo players. There is simply no workaround of that mechanic.
Garaj’al’s most prominent ability is his Spirit totems which he will summon every 20 seconds. As a healer what you need to know is when is your turn to launch yourself in that circle of 6 yards along with 4 more players and be ready to cross to the spirit world for 30 seconds. While within the Spirit realm you will need to deal with Spiritual Innervation which stacks on healers and DPS. This will be analysed further below.
TIP : Remember that once you have left Spirit Realm, you cannot enter it again for the next 30 seconds or you will die instantly.
Another one of Garaj’al’s abilities healers need to be aware of is Voodoo Dolls. Voodoo Dolls effect will last for 60 sec and will be applied to 3 party members one of which will be the tank. (As soon as the Voodoo Dolls debuff expires from the tank, Garaj’al will cast the Bunisment spell on him, which will send him to the spirit world).   70%  of the damage taken by each Voodoo Doll is also dealt to the other Voodoo Dolls so tank cooldowns are advised as they are the only way of dealing with that damage. Voodoo Dolls cannot enter the Spirit World (such as through the use of Spirit Totems).
TIP : Personal cooldowns such as Astral Shift will not mitigate any damage. Such cooldowns should be saved for when you are entering the spirit world or after Garaj’al reaches 20% of his health. Also remember you cannot enter the Spirit Realm if Voodoo Dolls debuff is applied to you.
The last 2 noteworthy abilities are the Shadowy Attack that Garaj’al will unleash every 8 sec to the tank that has aggro and Frenzy. Upon reaching 20% of his health Garaj’al’s attack speed will increase by 50% and his damage will be buffed by 25% .This will last until the end of the fight.

Preparation

1.For a more in depth analysis of exactly all Garaj’al’s old abilities I suggest reading the following guides.
Garaj’al the Spiritbinder Normal And Heroic by IcyVeins
TIP : Always watch some videos beforehand to be in the know.
2.Videos for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder
Gara’Jal the Spiritbinder 25 Man Heroic  Guide – FATBOSS
Gara’Jal the Spiritbinder 25 Man Heroic  Kill video – by Pure  

Vuhdo Configuation for Voodoo Dolls 

Depending on when you decide to tackle this fight Voodoo Dolls debuff might not show on your Vuhdo. It is imperative that you know which targets are affected as you will need to heal them intensively for 60 seconds. By default Vuhdo will presume that you don’t need extra icons so first thing you need to do is open Vuhdo  ->Debuffs  -> Standard. Click on the Icon and save as demonstrated below. If you want only raid icons to show go ahead and click on the Boss icon also. I prefer it but it might not be for everyone.

The way to add any custom debuff on Vudho is by opening the interface and navigating to  Vuhdo  ->Debuffs  -> Custom, adding the exact name of the debuff you want to track under Enter new Buff or Debuff Name and saving it as shown below.

How to deal with Spiritual Innervation in the Spirit Realm

One of the most discussed matters between healers for this fight due to its ambiguous ingame tooltip. Vixsin from Life in Group 5, was kind enough to shed some light early on to what further testings proved to be the way to handle this buff.  Spiritual Innervation will grand a healer with stacks of spirit which will increase their mana regeneration for as long as the buff lasts which is set on 30 seconds. Mechanics around how we gain stacks are not clear ingame. However testings show that any HoT applied to the target that will add stacks will also refresh the buffs timer and any direct cast heavy hitting spell will apply at least one stack. (If you want to know more about stacks and for all classes? Dedralie over at Heliocentric wrote an excellent very detailed post about this. Trust me, you want to read it). It is important that while in the spirit realm you buff yourself and the DPS that accompany you as they are gaining Spiritual Innervation for DPS, and they are buffed depending of their class dealing increased damage for the duration of the buff. The best way to deal with this is pre HoT everyone ( Rolling Riptides to the team that is to enter the realm and yourself ) and as soon as you are in, start casting Healing Surges to top everyone up. Since mana is not an issue feel free to use as many Healing surges as needed in order to top your team because you only have 30 seconds before you escape Spirit Realm before you instantly die. As soon as any member is on full health a new action button will appear on their interface called Return Soul which will allow them to return to the normal realm. It is advised that you don’t overstay your welcome in the spirit realm and leave as soon as you have enough stacks on you and your DPS.
TIP : Healing Tide Totem and AG do not add or refresh stacks of Spiritual Innervation so if you are opting for this talent use it when your raid calls for it in the normal realm.
TIP : Use Ascendance in coordination with Healing surge  the first time you enter the Spirit realm.
TIP: Dedralie over at  Heliocentric has an excellent guide of how to track your Spiritual Innervation buff by using weak auras. You can find my own Power Auras equivalent  at Resto Power Auras for MoP

Suggested Raid Composition

2 Tanks – 4 Healers – 19 DPS or 2 Tanks – 5 Healers – 18 DPS
TIP : Run with 4 Healers if you are just hitting enrage.

Gear and Reforging Check

For this fight it is suggested that you try and rotate in the spirit realm all your healers at least once. This way you can forgo large chunk of your spirit for secondary stats without feeling the pressure of an empty mana bar.
Talents in MoP and glyphs can be rearranged before every fight so don’t hesitate to play around. For this fight there are 2 different options for sets of talents and it really depends on how comfortable you feel with either of them in correlation with  your gear.
The first set of talents utilizes Elemental Mastery and Ancestral Guidance. By forgoing your additional 5% haste rating you make yourself essentially unstoppable in the spirit realm. By combining the 30% haste of Elemental Mastery with Ancestral Guidance the first or second time you enter the spirit realm and Ascendance the second, you are guaranteed to provide the most stacks for yourself and your party with seconds to spare for when you exit spirit realm. Both of them can be used when Garaj’al is below 20% health and the fight becomes very intense healing wise.Remember for this build you will need to reforge to 3039 haste rating.

The second set utilizes Ancestral Swiftness in conjunction with Healing Tide Totem. The benefits of this set rest to the fact that it’s easier for you to reach your second haste cap at 3764 haste rating empowering this way your HTT and HST with one more tick.
TIP : Best choose Healing Tide Totem talent when you know you can reach enough haste that you will get that extra tick.

TIP : Remember that the first combination requires enough mana in order to be effective, if you are running oom you will find no use for it. The second set requires no mana in order to work.
Below is an example of how your character should look like. Gear, reforging, talent tree and glyphs included.
1. CharDev Example with 477 gear and reforge details for the first set of talents.
Haste in this example is as close to 3039 as it gets. Since you didn’t choose AS you are missing 5% haste , 3039 is the equivalent of 871 with AS. For more detailed info on Haste breakpoints refer to the Haste section of my guide on Elitist Jerks.
Mastery should be above 50% or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you and whatever is left we can safely allocate to crit.
Spirit is little below 7000 ( 6791) since the fight mechanics are such that unless you are unlucky with your rotation you will have enough mana to heal through.
2. CharDev Example with 477 gear and reforge details for the second set of talents.
Haste in this example is as close to 3764 as it gets.You need this much for the extra tick it will provide for HTT and HST. For more detailed info on Haste breakpoints refer to the Haste section of my guide on Elitist Jerks.
Mastery should be above 50% or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you and whatever is left we can safely allocate to crit.
Spirit is little below 7000 ( 6791) since the fight mechanics are such that unless you are unlucky with your rotation you will have enough mana to heal through.
3.Glyphs
You will need Glyph of Riptide for this fight as it is important that you pre HoT every member of the team that will go in the spirit realm before hand. Other than that the choice is yours.
TIP : Glyph of Water shield should not be used for this fight as there is almost no damage to proc it. 

Fight starting in 5..4..3..2..1

As always before tank pulls, make sure you have applied Earth Shield on the tank that will start the encounter and you have prehealed him enough (along with the other tank ) so their health is buffed by 10%. Drop Earth Elemental Totem and have it Empower you followed by Healing Stream Totem. Fill in these 15seconds with Healing surges and riptides to the party members that have been affected with the Voodoo Dolls debuff. As soon as HST vanishes drop Mana Tide Totem for yourself and the rest of the healers. Use the rest of the Elementals as soon as they are available and off CD but remember to keep the last Earth Elemental for the last minute of the fight for the extra 20% damage reduction it will offer you and the extra damage reduction cooldown. Drop MTT on cooldown as well but also remember to keep one for the last 40seconds of the fight when all the healers will need that extra mana. After this the rest of the fight becomes borderline rotational depending on what phase you are.
Spirit Realm. Before you enter the spirit realm make sure you roll riptides to all of the party members that will enter with you. If it’s the first time you enter , depending on what talents you chose either cast Ascendance and start casting Healing Surges to everyone (make sure you start with yourself) until everyone is topped off  so they can leave the realm whenever they want, or push for Elemental Mastery+Ancestral Guidance, thus saving Ascendance for the second time you go in. If you chose the second set of talents start with Ascendance and for the second time you get teleported if you find yourself unable of topping people off drop HTT. Its highly advisable that you don’t however since it neither adds stacks nor refreshes the Spiritual Innervation timer. Try to drop HST instead for the extra help.
Normal Realm. While you are outside there are 2 phases. First the phase that follows as soon as you have exited Spirit Realm. After that for 30seconds you will have infinite mana so cast as many Healing surges with Riptides as you can. Once your buff fades you enter a semi conservation phase, where you will heal Voodoo Dolls with Greater Healing Waves, cast Unleash Life before casting any Healing Rains, and using any cooldowns you might still have to help out with tough healing patches. Remember the more adds are still alive in the Spirit realm, the more damage they deal to random members out in the normal realm aside from the damage Voodoo Dolls will apply to specific targets.
Frenzy. When Garaj’al enters Frenzy phase, nobody will enter the spirit realm again and he will stop spawning totems. This part of the fight is very healing intensive since Garaj’al’s damage is buffed by 25% and his attack speed by 50%. Note that you will need to have all your cooldowns ready for this final part of the fight in order to keep the raid alive. Supplement with Chain Healing the tank that has aggro ( earth shield and riptide will buff your chain heal by 20% on the tank and 25% overall ), and cast buffed Healing rains on cooldown.
This concudes this guide for Garaj’al the Spiritbinder HC .Enjoy the fight and happy looting!

Heroic Spine of Deathwing 10man Resto Shaman Pov

Welcome to Dragon Soul Heroic mode for the Spine of Deathwing. In this guide, I will run you through everything you need to know about how to best utilize your Resto Shaman spells and abilities for a healing showdown.
A lot of new goodies for the heroic version of this fight. You can bring 2 or 3 healers in a 10man raid the choice is yours depending on how high or low your dps is. The reason behind that is that in the heroic version of the fight the Burning Tendons, have so much life that you will need to dps them down twice before the plate explodes. This has a lot of ruminations for your raid.
Aside from all the additional damage that you will have to deal with AKA (as taken from Icy Veins )
• Grasping Tendrils (10-man/25-man)  now deal 12,000 damage per second in 10-man difficulty and 13,000 damage per second in 25-man difficulty, up from 6,000 and 6,500 respectively. Additionally, Grasping Tendrils now slow movement speed by 50%, up from 35%.
• Searing Plasma (10-man/25-man) now deals 12,000 damage every 10 seconds, up from 10,000. Additionally, it now absorbs 280,000 healing in 10-man difficulty and 420,000 healing in 25-man difficulty, up from 200,000 and 300,000 healing respectively.
•  Fiery Grip  now deals 90,000 damage every 3 seconds, up from 60,000.
• Superheated Nucleus (10-man/25-man) now deals 30,000 damage every 3 seconds in 10-man difficulty and 35,000 damage every 3 seconds in 25-man difficulty,, up from 15,000 and 17,500 respectively.
• Burst (10-man/25-man) now deals 14,000 damage in 10-man difficulty and 28,000 damage in 25-man difficulty, up from 10,000 and 20,000 damage respectively.
you will also be confronted with the following new mechanics :
Degradation  is a stacking debuff that is applied to all raid members each time a Hideous Amalgamation is killed. The debuff reduces the target’s maximum health by 5% per stack. It has an unlimited duration and it cannot be dispelled. Note that the debuff is only applied when a Hideous Amalgamation is actually killed, and not when they are disposed of through a Barrel Roll.
Blood Corruption: Death is a dispellable debuff that will regularly be placed on random raid members. It has a 15 second duration, at the end of which it will wipe the raid. When the debuff is dispelled, it jumps to another nearby target, retaining its remaining duration. After a varying number of dispels, it will mutate into a different debuff ( Blood Corruption: Earth) when jumping to the next target.
Blood Corruption: Earth is almost identical to Blood Corruption: Death. The only difference is that when this debuff runs out, the target receives one or two stacks of Blood of Neltharion. The amount of stacks depends on how many seconds were left on the Blood Corruption: Death debuff at the moment when it became Blood Corruption: Earth. Blood of Neltharion.  is a beneficial stacking debuff that reduces all damage taken by 20% per stack. It can stack up to a maximum of 2 times per player. This debuff’s purpose is to counter the negative effects from Degradation.
Everything that applies for the first plate applies for the rest of the plates only things are getting harder and harder mostly because for every Hideous Amalgamation that you kill, you get a stack of Degradation which effectively lowers all your raids health pool by 5%. Killing 2 Amalgamations every plate landing on the second plate will find you with 10% less health and landing on the third one will find you with 20% less health. By the time you blow up the last Amalgamation your raid will be at 30% less health making it harder and harder to keep your raiders alive.

Preparation

For a more in depth analysis of exactly all Spine’s of Deathwings old abilities I suggest reading the following guides.
1. Guides for Normal Spine of Deathwing
Spine of Deathwing Normal by Type H for Heals 
Spine of Deathwing Normal And Heroic by IcyVeins
TIP : Always watch some videos beforehand to be in the know.
2.Videos for Heroic Spine of Deathwing
Spine of Deathwing 10Man Dragon Soul Heroic FatBoss 
Spine of Deathwing 10Man Dragon Soul Heroic LearnToRaid

How to deal with dispelling

As a Resto Shaman you might be called to the task of dispelling. Generally its better if one healer is responsible for dispelling the new Blood debuffs. Resto Shamans have amazing tools to deal with dispelling while generating enough mana back to last them through the fight as will be explained later in this guide.
The way to handle with the new debuffs is to immediately dispel Blood Death until it has mutated to Blood Earth. Given the fact that once Blood Earth expires it leaves back the Blood of Neltharion buff, its imperative that you try and get both of your tanks 2 stacks of Neltharion buff as soon as possible. Again the way to do that is to keep dispelling Blood Earth until it lands on one of your tanks. After you have secured 2 stacks of the buff to each of them you can move on and let it naturally expire to the rest of your raid. I try to apply at least one stack after that to each of my raiders choosing the weakest one to start with. If you find you simply don’t have time or mana, you can opt out but when a member has 2 stacks you should dispel it in favor of someone with zero.
TIP : Blood Corruption: Earth used to mutate back to Blood Corruption: Death if it was dispelled enough times. This was hotfixed or hushed away at some point so you don’t need to worry about wiping your raid. Once Blood Death has mutated to Earth it will never mutate back again.
TIP : For this fight specifically it’s very important to be able to properly handle Blood Corruption: DeathBlood Corruption: Earth  AND navigate yourselves successfully in a way that you will land Blood of Neltharion  buff to the appropriate targets as soon as you possibly can. Blood Death and Blood Earth both will show on top of your Vuhdo depending your configuration but Blood of Neltharion and especially its stacks will not. The way to easily deal with dispels is the following :
Add a distinct color on your raid frames to help you identify and separate Blood Death that will wipe your raid with Blood Earth. Vuhdo will recognize them both as debuffs and assign then with the same color, making it harder for you to identify them in the heat of the moment. I chose to color Blood Death black and left Blood Earth as it was. Below is a screenshot of how my Vuhdo looks like :

Notice that both of my tanks have 2 stacks each of Blood of Neltharion ( stacks are showing in the middle of each players frame ) and how there is one Blood Death already applied on one of my fellow healers. This way its easy for me to know immediately what kind of debuff is applied to which raider , who to dispel and in which priority. Below is my Vuhdo configuration needed to achieve these 2 effects.

Blood of Neltharion is not currently included in the default Vuhdo buffs. You can easily bypass this by adding it yourself. On the panel below simply click on the Enter new Buff os Debuff Name field and type Blood of Neltharion. Make sure the rest of the properties match the screenshot below and click on Save followed by Okey.

Suggested Raid Composition

2 Tanks – 2 Healers – 6 Dps  or  2 Tanks – 3 Healers – 5 Dps. This depends on how strong your healers are or how strong your dps is.

Gear and Reforging Check

For this fight any mastery oriented gear will do again. Personally though I retained my 2005 haste rating since my gear allows me to sustain that haste while stacking enough mastery.
Equip your talent tree with Telluric currents to get mana back as well as do damage and Focused Insight to be able to amplify your healing throughput. Remove all points from Enhancement tree to facilitate more mana gain adding the rest of the points to the Elemental tree as seen below.
Instant ghost is not needed for this fight and if you are in charge of dispelling you will need to amplify your mana back from Telluric currents as much as possible. Be sure to add maximum points to Improved Cleanse Spirit and Cleansing Waters. Don’t be afraid to drop points from Ancestral Awakening , since you will be mostly running with Healing rains on CD you will barely get an procs of that. On my kill AA only contributed 1.6% of my total healing. Also the difference between adding 2 points to Cleansing Waters is about half of your mana pool. While I was specced out of it after I was finished with my dispelling I was left with barely 30% of my mana, whereas spending 2 points on that talent left me with 60 to 70% of my mana.
 Below is an example of how your talent tree should look like.

Below is an example of how your character should look like. Gear, reforging, talent tree and glyphs included.
CharDev Example with 404 gear and reforge details
Haste in this example is as close to 2005 as it gets.
Mastery should be above 19 or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you.
Spirit is little below 3300 (counting the proc from  Heart of Unliving) in order to have plenty to meet your needs.
All items used are from Normal and Heroic Dragon Soul.This is how my character looked like when I got into the fight, you might go into it with more of less gear. As always, if your gear is different just apply the rules above for potential reforges.

Fight starting in 5..4..3..2..1. Pull.’

First Plate. Before you start the fight make sure to earthshield the tank. As soon as you cut off the cinematic drop your totems and use any shock spell of your choice to any  Corruption . Drop a healing rain in between the stacking side where your raid will perform a roll and riptide any member affected by Searing Plasma .(More and more will be affected always start by casting a riptide on them if its of cooldown.) After casting healing rain start relocating to the stacking point and make sure you are gripped. Cast another shock spell to any corruption and depending on your timing either cast another healing rain at your location and drop spirit link totem or vice versa. At that point the rest of the healers will be probably be using their raid cooldowns too. If you are responsible for dispelling get ready to dispel from 1 up to 4 Blood Corruption Death from your team.
TIP: Before starting dispelling, make sure you have 10 stacks of spirit procs from your Heart of Unliving trinket if you have it, and drop your mana tide totem. It will help you as well as the rest of your healing team regenerate as much mana as possible while save you a lot of mana too. Using this method I am left with more than 70% mana after I am done with dispelling if not even more.
The Blood Death debuffs, will all start at 15sec and every time you dispel them that time will decrease. The debuffs will not all start at the same time but very close together so make sure to always dispel the one that has the least time left. At this point you need to concentrate at first getting rid of any Blood Deaths as they will cause an instant wipe if their timer runs out. As soon as they start mutating to Blood Earth you will need to try and dispel them from every member they might jump to until they land to any of your tanks and let them safely expire there. When they expire they will leave each one stack of Blood of Neltharion buff.Once you have 2 stacks on each of your tanks you can let Blood Earth expire in any member of your choice.
TIP: Its very hard to get both of your tanks to have 2 stacks each at the first plate but doable. However if you are straggling for mana make sure the tank that is responsible for tanking the bloods has priority and also make sure that you wont get to the third plate without having 2 stacks in each tank since they will require more and more healing.
Use your Spiritwalker’s Grace to take advantage of the 4pc bonus that will give you extra haste and begin a rotation of
1. Casting lightning bolts to the Amalgamation your tank is tanking while,
2. Making sure you keep up with his earth shield
3. Your own water shield
4. Recasting any missing or destroyed totems
5. Casting riptide on cooldown if possible on any members that just got the Searing Plasma debuff or the tanks if everyone is off the loop
6. Throw any shock spell of your choice at the Amalgamation and cast either healing rain or greater healing wave to whichever member has the highest stacks of Searing Plasma. You will be able to rotate through those 2 if you keep your cool. Note that of course you can break this theoretical rotation at any given point that a) any member is gripped for more than they should since you will need  to shock heal them to keep them alive, b) if for some reason the tank needs extra healing.
Keep following all of the above up until the first Amalgamation explodes. As soon as it does your dps will kill the last Corruption thus landing you with a Blood Death debuff to dispel. Be ready for it but at that point you don’t need to panic like before , if you handled 4 earlier this one will seem like a walk in the park. If you used your Spiritwalker’s Grace when I suggested earlier then you will have it again shortly after the first round of handling one of the Burning Tendons. Continue as above until the second Amalgation exlodes and deal with one more Blood Death dispel.
TIP: Try and dispel as much as possible and experiment at the first plate where healing is not as intense. You will notice the difference as soon as you step on the second and third plate when you will need to heal more and you wont have to deal with as many dispels.
Second Plate. Same exact logic as with the first plate with 2 differences.
1. You will notice that its much harder to keep your raid alive while rolling. Make sure your timing at dropping spirit link totem is on the spot.
2. There will be one less Blood Death to deal with since now there are only 3 Corruptions to kill.
3. You might get a delayed Blood Death debuff applied so I suggest waiting a few seconds before popping your Spiritwalker’s Grace. You want to take advantage of that haste in order to get as much mana back as possible and wasting it while you are dispelling will reflect on your regeneration.
4. Overall dealing with Blood Deaths will be easier because a.) They are less and b.) You will most likely have already dealt with applying stacks to the tanks so as soon as they mutate to Blood Earth you will not have to worry about them anymore.
Third Plate. The hardest plate to handle since you will have 20% reduced health pool and an immense amount of bloods that are threatening to either kill your tank or get out of aggro control. Be ready to heal fast whomever needs it and try to always be in control of the Searing plasma debuffs. It’s very easy to lose a member that is gripped at this point due to the fact that he wasn’t knocked out fast enough while having a high amount of time still remaining on his Searing plasma debuff along with his 20% or 25% reduced health pool. Be on the lookout for any bloods running towards you and if this happens run towards the tank that is supposed to tank them in order for him to take aggro of you. As always remember you need to dispel an additional Blood Death when the Amalgamation dies.
This concudes this guide for the Spine of Deathwing HC .Enjoy the fight and happy looting!
I will leave you with a screenshot of my UI while in fight for a better understanding of how important it is to configure your Vuhdo before hand. Numbers are flying and generally its chaotic so the easier you make it for yourself to successfully dispel without errors the better it will be for you and your raid.

Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn 10man Resto Shaman Pov

Welcome to Dragon Soul Heroic mode for Warmaster Blackhorn. In this guide, I will run you through everything you need to know about how to best utilize your Resto Shaman spells and abilities for a healing showdown.
Once again Blizzard is not failing to fail us at what a heroic version of a fight should actually entail. Bring back Ragnaros HC! That was an amazing idea. In any case lets get back to boring funship. You are now faced with the fact that, besides everything that is going on around you, flames are spurring under your feet that eventually npc’s will extinquish. Of course, the ship is after all being attacked. What is more Goriona will also land on second phase. Other than that, its another day at Dragon Soul as usual.
Strategy-wise this is yet another heroic fight where you need to drop one healer in favor of one dps. Be prepared to discuss your raid cooldowns with your fellow healer and your tanks. You will need to rotate them for every Twilight Onslaught that Goriona lashes at you.
TIP. There are reported bugs of the fire visually stacking on the deck while physically is not doing any damage. It’s hard to guess where those patches would be making stirring around them very difficult. A solution is to reset the mode to Normal and then set it back to Heroic. This will momentarily fix the bag but it’s bound to be back with a vengeance. Also, you can’t switch back and forth instantly , you need to wait 5 min, so take your regular breaks on those resets.
While not many things change you need to be careful of how people absorb those Twilight Barrages, since now they are placing a 15 second debuff on players that increases shadow damage taken by 50%. This debuff can stack. So always put 2 people on each one that don’t already have it. It’s easier than it sounds. You don’t actually have to absorb that many.
TIP. Do not absorb any before any Twilight Onslaught unless you have to and absolutely avoid any Blade Rushes from  Twilight Elite Dreadblade and Twilight Elite Slayer adds.
During phase 2, Goriona will land and she needs to be tanked. She has two abilities during this phase:
  •  Twilight Breath (10-man/25-man), which is a standard frontal cone breath attack;
  •  Consuming Shroud (10-man/25-man), which is a debuff that Goriona regularly places on a random (non-tank) raid member. The debuff absorbs a moderate amount of healing (100,000 in 10-man and 150,000 in 25-man). Any healing done to players affected by the debuff is also mirrored as damage to the entire raid (except for the player affected by the debuff, who does not get damaged). For example, a 5,000 heal on the player will deal 5,000 damage to each raid member.
TIP. You will want to utilize as much as possible of your AOE heals for this phase.Healing rain is excellent since you can position it to include all 10 members of your party if not at least all the ranged that will be stacked on you. Move in unison avoiding Shockwaves.Put down 2 markers that will be at the far edges of your healing rain.These will serve as the outmost points where your raid will stack. When a shockwave hits one just move to the other.

Preparation

For a more in depth analysis of exactly all Warmaster’s old abilities I suggest reading the following guides.
1. Guides for Normal Warmaster Blackhorn
Warmaster Blackhorn 10Man Normal by Type H for Heals
Warmaster Blackhorn 10Man Normal And Heroic by IcyVeins
TIP : Always watch some videos beforehand to be in the know.
2.Videos for Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn
Warmaster Blackhorn 10Man Heroic Dragon Soul FATBOSS
Warmaster Blackhorn 25Man Heroic Dragon Soul LearnToRaid

Suggested Raid Composition

2 Tanks – 2 Healers – 6 Dps

Gear and Reforging Check

For this fight any mastery oriented gear will do again. Personally though I retained my 2005 haste rating since my gear allows me to sustain that haste while stacking enough mastery.
Equip your talent tree with Telluric currents to get mana back as well as do damage and Focused Insight to be able to amplify your healing throughput.
Instant ghost is a must have for this fight but there is no dispelling needed so feel free to remove some points from  Improved Cleanse Spirit and Cleansing Waters. Below is an example of how your talent tree should look like.

Below is an example of how your character should look like. Gear, reforging, talent tree and glyphs included.
CharDev Example with 403 gear and reforge details
Haste in this example is as close to 2005 as it gets.
Mastery should be above 19 or as close to it as possible for the extra healing it will provide you.
Spirit is little below 3300 (counting the proc from  Heart of Unliving) in order to have plenty to meet your needs.
All items used are from Normal and Heroic Dragon Soul.This is how my character looked like when I got into the fight, you might go into it with more of less gear. As always, if your gear is different just apply the rules above for potential reforges.

Fight starting in 5..4..3..2..1. Pull.’

First Phase.
Drop your totems in the middle of the deck and try to refresh them there or as close as it gets to the middle when they expire or you replace them. Remember to keep your riptides rolling on the tanks or whoever needs it. Shock one of the two adds with any shock spell of your choice and lay on their feet a healing rain. Use greater healing waves to heal up any of your party that didn’t move from the blade rushes (although they really should). Spam lightning bolts in between heals.  By the time the rain is expired the first Twilight Onslaught will have made its appearance. If you are in full mana you are doing this correctly. Shock any remaining adds to get your healing rain amplified and ghost wolf towards the Onslaught.
First Twilight Onslaught. Immediatelly after you are in position start casting Healing rain.If you are designated to use your spirit link totem drop it after having cast your Healing rain. This way you get the most out of both spells. If however you find you don’t have time to do both , start by dropping your spirit link then cast healing rain. Try to coordinate yourself however, you will need the extra ticks from the rain before people spread out of it. As soon as Twilight hits, cast 2 or 3 chain heals starting from the lowest always party member and then move out of harms way. While running as always feel free to cast riptides on CD and unleash life.If your tanks need a boost or another party member cast a greater healing wave. As soon as your healing rain is over spam a shock spell to any add and drop another one on the tanks feet.
Second Twilight Onslaught. As always ghost wolf your way towards it, cast an amplified healing rain and if you have time either refresh riptides or cast lightning bolts. As soon as twilight hits drop your Mana tide totem and your Spiritwalker’s Grace and get the hell out of harms way while you chain heal members. Remember if everyone is safe you want to keep trying to fit in as many lightning bolts as you can, you need to get into the second phase with more than 50% mana.
Rinse and repeat for as many Onslaughts you may get although you shouldn’t get more than 4.
Second Phase.
Stay away from the rest of the dps so you can heal them without getting into any of the nasty pools that Goriona leaves on the ground. Ideally you won’t get more than one however. At this point immediately after the tank taunts her and face her away from the raid you will need to stack as close as you can get to one of your prepositioned marks. At this point rotate between your CDs as soon as they are ready, spiritwalkers grace, mana tide totem, spirit link totem. Drop amplified healing rains to your location and in between your marks so it covers them both. Keep dropping healing rain on cooldown, keep members up with chain heals, heal anyone in danger with greater healing waves and help out the tanks similarly. Save your instant greater healing wave to rescue the tank in need. Things to note. You WILL have to find time to unleash life in between all of this panicked healing but always make sure you do it before casting a greater healing wave. Its very important that you keep spamming any add with lightning bolts so you can keep your mana up. With only two healers this fight is bound to take every bit out of your mana pool.
This concudes this guide for the Warmaster Blackhorn HC healing showdown. Enjoy the fight and happy looting!

Heroic Morchok 10man Resto Shaman POV

Welcome to Dragon Soul Heroic mode for Morchok. In this guide I’ll run you through everything you need to know about how to best utilize your Resto Shaman spells and abilities for a healing showdown.
Morchok has only one main difference from his normal version. When he reaches 90% of his health he’ll go into an early life crisis and develop a multiple personality disorder. It’s not treatable by medication and as you’ll probably have read in many guides like  Type H for Heals or Icy Veins your best option will be to divide and conquer. This will leave you with 2 teams of 5 ( or another set up for 25man ) and probably your team will include 1 tank, 2 healers and 2 dps.

Gear Check

Equip your shield if you haven’t already since Stomp is doing physical damage and your shield , for example Ward of the Red Widow will give you an extra 12201 armor which is equal to about 13.66% increase of damage mitigation bringing you to approximately 53% damage reduction depending on your gear. Your best bet as restoration shaman is to soak the damage with the tank while the other healer and the rest of dps run around soaking the damage from the Resonating Crystals. Fun times. The reason for this is that although as healers we bring a lot to our raid, the one thing we don’t bring is mobility. The less the restoration shaman has to move the more healing throughput he will have. Staying with the tank and having a good communication with him secures you with at least half as running around as you would have to run otherwise. (If your raid leader decides you won’t soak , then buckle up for some tough love )

Preparation Tips and Tricks

Make sure your weapon is imbued with Earthliving Weapon enchant and your Water Shield is up .Know your team and your tank. I suggest running with a good healing addon like Grid or Vuhdo that will keep your groups together. Put Earth Shield on your tank and keep it up at all times ( stating the obvious but ok ).Start overhealing yourself and the tank so that your well spent Ancestral Healing talent points will proc that wonderful 10% damage reduction and 10% maximum health pool increase. After you see you can’t climb more on your health riptide yourself and the tank. As long as riptide is ticking your stacks will never drop thus securing you and the tank an extra 10% damage reduction and health pool increase which will be life altering for this fight. Always refresh both riptides as they are about to expire and a small tip. Refresh the tanks right before you start running out for the black blood phase. This will secure him with the debuff even if he runs the opposite way of you so you don’t have to build it up as soon as you reach him again.

Fight starting in 5..4..3..2..1. Pull.

Run with the tank and drop your totems in between the location where Morchok is now and to where the tank will start tanking his split version. This way you get to benefit from your totems as much as possible without having to recast them and lose mana in the process. Have DBM ( or any other raid warning addon ) let you know when the stomp is coming. Depends on your healing assignment but probably you won’t have to heal your tank just yet. Be sure to keep him and yourself riptided and feel free to spend your third riptide at the raid member of your choice.
Tip. Remember you can only have 3 ppl riptided maximum in your raid if its glyphed so if you are unsure of your uptime keep it down to yourself and the tank. Best however to learn to always cast it on cooldown this will give you the most throughput.Fill your time before the first stomp with lightning bolts to keep your mana up ( provided you’ve spent points in Telluric Currents ).
Before the Stomp.Make sure you and the tank are as close to 100% health as you can get.When DBM tells you the stomp is being cast and has between 4 to 2 seconds left on the counter start casting healing rain ( If you have spend talent points in Focused Insight squeeze that in before the healing rain). This will ensure your rain coincides with the stomp timer perfectly thus minimizing your overhealing and saving you some precious mana.
After the stomp.Spam heal the tank who by that time will be gasping for air.There are many ways to do that, an effective one is either use an instant heavy heals macro (check my Resto Shaman Macros post for reference) or cast a riptide to keep your tidal waves up and consume both with Healing surge.Chain heal your group of 5 to as close to full health as possible and proceed to follow the tank and set camp at his location.The trick here is to put your healing rain in such a strategic location that it will include all 5 members of your party everytime you put it down. To that end ask your party to stay close enough and IN healing rain outskirts up until they need to run to take the damage of the crystal. (Now it depends if you are at the Morchok side or the Kohcrom side you will have different set of stomps and crystals. Healing wise the Morchok side is harder due to the fact it has one more additional stomp and one more crystal to deal with ). Be sure to keep your riptides on cooldown and as priority have yourself and the tank at full health before each stomp.Also don’t forget to spam riptide while running and unleash your weapon.I suggest you use unleash at the end of your run and cast a greater healing wave on the tank  if he needs it by that time.
Resonating crystal time.Once the resonating crystal spawns it takes 12 seconds to detonate.Within this time a stomp will occur, all 5 members need to soak that stomp before running to the crystal if this happened to spawn that far. Otherwise the tank is responsible to bring Morchok closer to the Chrystal to make it easier for the party. While Morchok is pounding on the tank try not to panic. Be on the lookout for every stomp and every crystal. Before the stomp make sure you and the tank are as close to 100% health as you can get. Achieve this by casting greater healing waves or chain healing the tank if you can afford to lose his riptide.
Before and after the next Stomp.3 seconds before the stomp cast healing rain and 1 second before the stomp cast greater healing wave on yourself.  Precasting that will land you with an immediate much needed heal as soon as your health drops. While healing rain, riptide and probably other hot procs are ticking on you and the tank chain heal the other 3 members that will already be running for the crystal. Drop healing rain at their location and by then the tank will have dragged Morchok close enough on them for him to be in that healing rain also.Run to his location as soon as you are done casting the rain, chain heal the 3 players that will soak the crystal damage and prepare yourself for the next stomp.If everything looks ok by this time squeeze in one or two lightning bolts and drop your mana tide totem.After it expires replace it with healing stream totem again and keep dropping it on cooldown preferably right before a black phase and right before a stomp.
Black Blood Phase.Repeat as above till the black blood phase. As soon as your feet hit the ground riptide the tank and leg it till you find a secure spot behind pillars. While on the run riptide yourself also and if someone needs little health unleash your weapon on him and start casting lighting bolts at the boss till the black blood phase ends from behind a pillar. Run towards the tank and pop spiritwalkers grace so you can heal on the run. Go through your healing rotation as above but before that make sure you re benefiting from your totems.Check your buffs and recast if needed. When your spiritwalkers grace is on CD heal with riptides and Unleash life. For the people with 4 pc set bonus.Make sure you keep one spiritwalkers grace for when the boss is below 20%.You will need it as soon as Heroism buff is over ( assuming you cast it at 20% of the bosses health ). If everything worked out the boss will be dead and you ll get hopefully a nice new bis neck piece to show off for your efforts.
Tip.For shamans with the 4 pc set bonus. Save your spiritwalkers grace for just before heavy stomps.
This concudes this guide for Heroic Morchok healing showdown.

Tips and quick summary

  1. Have your weapon enchanted, keep water shield on you and earth shield on the tank at all times.
  2. Preheal yourself and the tank for the extra  Ancestral Healing buff and keep riptides rolling on him and yourself to keep the buff going 100% of the fight.
  3. Precast Healing rain 3 seconds before each stomp ( provided you and the tank are as close to 100% health as possible ) and precast greater healing wave on yourself the last second.
  4. Cast Chain heal on the other 3 members while they are running for the crystal and drop a healing rain at their location. Run to the tank and heal him and yourself while preparing for the next stomp.Use a heavy instant heavy healing macro if you can’t afford the casting time or take advantage of your tidal waves that proced from either your previous chain heal or riptide and consume both with healing surge.Throw some extra heals on the rest of the party. Fill your downtime if any with lightning bolts.
  5. Before the first Black blood phase drop mana tide totem and keep dropping it on cooldown after that. Remember to recast healing stream totem after mana tide is exhausted.
  6. As soon as Black Blood phase is active riptide the tank on the run and yourself , unleash weapon to a member than needs it and as soon as you are safe start casting lightning bolts behind a pillar.
  7. Pop spiritwalkers grace on your way back to the tank and prepare for the next black blood phase as above after step 3. Recast your totems if you feel they are too far away from your location.
  8. Pop Heroism on 20% of the bosses health and if you have 4pc set bonus remember to cast it as soon as hero fades.
Note to the wise. Healing is an art, its not about rotation. Also its about collaboration with your fellow healers and your tanks. Be intuitive and expect damage spikes. Make macros for instant heals when in need ( Check my post on Resto Shaman Macros if you need a heads up ) and don’t be afraid to dump your mana but with consideration to what is coming.In between the steps I mentioned of course you need to use your spells to fill in healing wherever needed.Also do I really need to say that you need to be able to know when to keep your tidal waves up so your spells are the most quicker and most efficient? If your instincts are right on spot then you should be able to heal even with low gear. One of my most memorable times on this boss is when I dropped dead like a noob right after the first split. I used my anhk to rez myself which left me with almost 10% of my mana. I still hit almost the same numbers of healing albeit I was sweating the whole fight.And we downed him. It was then that I started to wonder that maybe we re mana spoiled and that we can make due with less if we re smart about our downtimes. I don’t suggest you start a fight with 10% mana though. You don’t want your fellow healers to pop beta blockers just for your fun of it.

Thundering Deathscale Wristguards V Grotesquely Writhing Bracers HC

The contenders :

Lately I m seeing this question hovering a lot around InternetLand and I have to say I find it pretty funny so early in the patch. Is it purely rhetorical for some people or is it actually a necessity to find its answer? My opinion would be that we’re scrutinizing too much sometimes. Both bracers on a first glance look amazing and to be honest you will see little difference in your healing throughput switching between them. The real difference for me lies in their accessibility. In order to buy Thundering Deathscale Wristguards as of now you’ll have to part with around 25k depending on your server. As for Grotesquely Writhing Bracers HC  you’ll need to be in a raid team that will down Warlord Zon’ozz in heroic mode  and you’ll have to be lucky enough to be in the 0.2% of their drop rate. Not to mention you might not be the only shaman in your group fighting for them. So why the premature fuss? My only guess at this point is that players are asking themselves if its worth to spend so much gold to craft the bracers if later there is a much better BiS coming their way. Is this the ultimate showdown of BiS 4.3 Wrists for Dragon soul?
Lets look at the stats first and do some quick calculations.

(Total Intellect is calculated by adding Raw Intellect + 50int from  Brilliant Queen’s Garnet + Correct Socket bonus +  50int from  Enchant Bracer-Mighty Intellect )
As it derives from the table above its easy to see why there is so much confusion. Although the HC version of Grotesquely Writhing Bracers is boasting some minor upgrades in some stats the real question is. Does the small upgrade in spirit make up for the -5 intellect? And at the end should we go for haste or mastery? To answer to these questions let’s look at the following table to see what changes between the finer lines of cold stat numbers.
This is exactly how much Grotesquely Writhing Bracers HC will reflect on your actual stats compared to Thundering Deathscale Wristguards.

So now the question is. Is it worth it?

As you see from above you get a little boost in health and small boost in mana regen. 14point in battle. Yes.That is it only.
How does loosing intellect reflect exactly in numbers? (As seen in LiG5 )
  • 1 Intellect = 1 Spellpower
  • 1 Intellect = 16 mana
  • 1 Intellect = 0.002% crit (or 648.91 Int per 1% crit)
  • 1 Intellect = 0.08mp5 (through replenishment) + 0.01mp5 (through the regen formula) + XX (through Hymn of Hope, assuming 1 per encounter) + a variable amount through Water Shield procs
Loosing 5 intellect and gaining some health is not so vital for me as a shaman healer. Yes intellect is our base stat so stack it up like its made of gold but when it comes down to judging the slots value by only +5 or -5  then you d better think what you re doing wrong. Secondary’s do matter.So it all comes down in my opinion to how much you value Haste v Mastery. This is a whole other can of worms right there but the simple math behind is the following.
To value haste, 1% haste = you can cast 1% more spells in the same window as before. In other words, 1% haste = 1% throughput.
To value Mastery : (1- Health % required for breakeven) * 2.5% is how much each % of mastery improves healing.
Example : In 100% health: (1 – 100%) * 2.5% = 0. Or 0% health, effectively 1 hp (1-0%) * 2.5% = 2.5%.
That means that at 75% health, you get healed for precisely (1-.75) * how much mastery you have. At 50% health, you get healed for (1-.5) * mastery and so on.
Looking at MAXDps.com you’ll notice how much higher HEP the heroic version wrists seem to have making them seem so much more appropriate for BiS . However you need to take into consideration that MaxDps is only calculating with its own specific algorithms thus not taking into consideration your own specific gear choices, stat choices or reforging. Where do you sever yourselves from cookie cutter calculators over the internet?
Basically the value of haste is greatest when mana is not an issue. So at the point you want to make the exchange you need to ask yourselves. How much mana efficient are you? How much is your haste and what haste cap are you aiming? Don’t just look at the 1.09% healing throughput 1.09%haste is going to give you. You need to look at the rest of your gear and your raiding conditions because its possible if your raid is falling below 70% health,  1.04%mastery is going to give you more throughput and vice versa.So lets say in a raiding environment where you need more mastery than anything else then you should go for the HC wrists.

Conclusion :

Both bracers are Best in Slot for wrists even though they have so much different item level. The choice is yours depending on how much you value your haste or your mastery. As if goes for me. I will maintain my 2005 haste cap throughout all the content and will choose between the wrists accordingly to whatever fits my numbers better.

General Gearing, BiS 4.3 List and Tips : Where to start from and what to pick up down the Dragon Soul road.

I feel I have to make this post as much as to satisfy my slight OCD but also to put some things into perspective. Plus a little something for the reader  ,with the insatiable appetite, who went through my BiS 4.3 Resto Shaman Shopping List and at the end thought. WTF??? And was left wanting for more. In this post I m hoping to cover most of the combinations that would otherwise leave you wondering more time than what you’re willing to spend . Because some people would rather go to the movies rather than browse internetland for small pieces of info that when you bind together, final picture starts to make sense.  Although going to the movies is overrated. While on a first date. Best spend it in bed people. And no I don’t mean alone. Have the first date in bed. And blame it to being lazy.  Yeah…Moving on.
There was one thing I had to say when I first read the blue post on MMO Champion about how the not so secret stash of valor points vendors wouldn’t include tier set pieces. FINALLY!!!! How many people came into the new patch sporting 359 heads? Raise your hands don’t be shy. My finest example is my drood friend ( the one I continuously try to tarnish in this blog ) who after numerous raggy kills in the hunt for the head token and what was more than 30 Beth’Tilac kills for Cowl of the Clicking Menace ended up getting the middle finger from ingame RNG. Cant understand how people keep complaining of lack of sex while playing WoW since blizzard seems to continuously consummate its subscribers relationship. I want an annulment Blizz. Gief a better designed drop algorithm. However the more lewt on the table , the more we’re left wondering of how to distribute our VP most efficiently and even further down the road, how to take advantage of every little nook in order to maximize our healing throughput.

The Story so far down the loot path of Tier 13

This time around Blizzard made it very clear that some dps items would stay in the dps spectrum thus infusing them with Hit Rating as one of their secondary’s stats.So no confusion there, you simply cant choose to equip Opal of the Secret Order, Seal of the Grand Architect, Nanoprecise Cape .
  • Back and Relic :
There are 2 items in the entire patch as of now you can safely spend your first VP on and that’s Woundlicker Cover and Lightning Spirit in a Bottle. So start from there. No boss drops any cloaks or relics for you , neither is a word out for a heroic version of them. Feel free to buy them, enchant them and epic gem them as well if you can afford it.
  • Tier Pieces :
Probably you’ll be playing with Blizzards newest toy , LFR. Although somewhat iffy still when it comes to loot rules ( where an ench shaman can and will probably need on Timepiece of the Bronze Flight though if you do just know you’re being dicks ) , I’d suggest you’d try and get your 4 set pc bonus through there. Casual raiders or not, its worth it. When you get to upgrade your LFR items with normal versions and later heroic ones, keep in mind that mix and matching will still retain your 2 or 4 pc item set bonus. ( Of course at this point any upgrade you get will be good unless you re already equipped with 391 heroic versions from Firelands. )
  • Wrists and Feet :
 When it comes to our own BOE  extravaganza , there are a set of bracers and a set of boots you can buy either in AH or using your alts or leeching of your friends. I wouldn’t suggest you waste your own VP for Bracers of the Spectral Wolf as they are very poorly itemised hence you’d have to change them as soon as possible. Try to get them if you desperately need the upgrade either with gold or using an alt. So either grab Grotesquely Writhing Bracers that drops from Zon’ozz or if you can afford it go for what is BiS for this slot Thundering Deathscale Wristguards from leatherworking Pattern: Thundering Deathscale Wristguards. The Sabatons of the Graceful Spirit are good for starters for you as are Mindstrainer Treads that drop from Yor’sahj.
  • Waist :
For your waist slot you can certainly start from Belt of Ghostly Graces that randomly drops from trash in Dragon Soul. Another BoE , get that from the auction house if you can afford it. However you’ll want to change that as soon as possible with either Girdle of Shamanic Fury that you can buy from the VP vendor, or Girdle of Shattered Stone that drops from Morchok or what is BiS for you in this tier Belt of Shattered Elementium that drops from Spine of Deathwing.
  • Neck :
Jelewry! For the neck slot I’d definitely suggest for you to wait for Morchoc to drop your BiS Petrified Fungal Heart since any pug group can one shot him even if you’re not in a raid group. If you find yourselves after weeks lacking this specific slot use your last VP to buy Threadlinked Chain.
  • Rings :
Moving on to the rings. You can start from Band of Reconstruction if you feel like spending VP points there. However feel free to equip best in slot Ring of the Riven from Hagara and double BiS Signet of Suturing shared boss loot.
  • Main Hand Weapon :
For your main hand there is no VP option. Simply wait for LFR drops and upgrade them as soon as possible with the Normal and Heroic versions. Definitely go for Maw of the Dragonlord from Madness of Deathwing especially for the fights were you stack its proc like it’s a gift from Santa. However Vagaries of Time is also great for you and so is Scalpel of Unrelenting Agony. I wouldn’t recommend using a staff no matter how good it may look on paper comparing to your say Ko’gun, Hammer of the Firelord.
How do those weapons fair up against each other though? The following list should provide with an easy solution for quick reference.

Weapon / Main Hand

iLvL

HEP

1

Maw of the Dragonlord HC

416

8,619.5

2

Vagaries of Time HC

410

7,679.5

3

Maw of the Dragonlord

403

7,660.0

4

Scapel of Unrelenting Agony HC

410

7,559.7

5

Vagaries of Time

397

6,809.9

6

Maw of the Dragonlord RF

390

6,796.5

7

Ko’gun, Hammer of the Firelord HC

397

6,784.8

8

Scapel of Unrelenting Agony

397

6,683.6

9

Vagaries of Time RF

384

6,046.1

10

  Scapel of Unrelenting Agony RF

384

5,914.7

However be careful of how you utilize this list. Just because one weapon seems to give you more HEP than the other it doesn’t mean that you should just go and disenchant the one you already have. On my WoL logs I can clearly see that in Ultraxion lets say, where all my raid is stacked in front of me, my Maw of the Dragonlord is owning every single other weapon on this list. Its proc is simply devine. It will fair up from 10% to 15% of your healing depending which version you own so lets say you have Vagaries of Time normal versus the Maw of the Dragonlord RF , for Ultraxion you should go for the Maw even though its lower in the list , hands down. So check your WoL or healing Skada meters for specifics of what weapon to use and when. ( I’ve added in the list Ko’gun, Hammer of the Firelord HC for comparison to previous tier )

 Off Hand :

Since there is only one shield Timepiece of the Bronze Flight dropping from Warmaster Blackhorn , whenever it drops for you go for it. I m not recommending Ledger of Revolting Rituals for you , you’ll be stripped from half your armor and in Dragon soul where there is so much physical damage incoming its almost next to an absolute must have.
  • Trinkets :
Lastly the trinket section. Vixsin from LiG5 has a great post explaining this Dragon Soul: The Final Trinket Showdown . All I have to add here is that there are 2 valor point trinkets you may equip also Bottled Wishes and Reflection of the Light if you absolutely need to replace some of yours. I wouldn’t suggest Reflection of the Light since you’ll have plenty of spirit to go already so opt for Bottled Wishes if you want to reach your second haste soft cap of 2005. But for the love of everything that is fluffy replace that with your BiS Heart of Unliving that drops from Spine of Deathwing and Windward Heart shared boss loot.

Final Conclusions :

As a final note. When it comes to replacing your 384 LFR tier pieces with 397 ones or 410 ones I’d suggest you go for Spiritwalker’s Faceguard, Spiritwalker’s Tunic, Spiritwalker’s Mantle and Spiritwalker’s Gloves .Yes its the elemental tier Hands. I know its weird. But our Spiritwalker’s Handwraps suck big time. Best if you go for Gloves of Ghostly Dreams that you can buy from the VP vendor. If you get a Imperfect Specimens 27 and 28 shoulder drop and you feel that you must, then go for our Resto hands. But…I wouldn’t. Use the LFR ones till you can make the change. Its just a waste of a token imo. Your 4pc bonus is worth it so use the LFR ones till you feel safe to make the change trying different combinations. (If you re missing pieces go for the VP ones although I wont personally. The Ghostworld Chestguard is so bad for both specs :-/ . But as always should you find yourselves sporting a 378 for a long long time, by all means feel free to exchange that )
This concludes the preliminary quick gearing list for resto shaman, so now we can immerge ourselves into the possibilities that lie ahead while progressing in Dragon Soul.

CharDev Table Analysis :

(Talents and glyphs included )
If you’ve followed my guide ( or dressed up on your own in a similar way ) then possibly you’re looking like this
What and how to reforge your resto shaman at this point.I’ve reforged down to match my first soft haste cap at 916 and further more using this priority . Haste -> Matery, Haste->Spirit, Crit-> Mastery, Crit->Spirit accordingly. My goal is to get my mastery above 18 and my haste rating as close as 916 as it gets. This way you get all your riptide, healing rain ,earthliving weapon to have one more tick and since you’ll be progressing you’ll want to be spirit efficient. ( However if you feel you can afford to have less spirit feel free to reforge away from items not already reforged to critical rating or mastery rating ). As of this moment I m rolling with :
(Probabilities are that at this point I’ve already upgraded my gear. This example was just a few weeks into patch 4.3 and with only few HC bosses down. If you need an updated view of my gear feel free to check  my Armory. Note to the wise.I might be sporting my DPS os gear. I love running dungeons as ele. )
My spirit is around 2700 I find that I don’t need more and my mastery is hovering at 16 while I ve chosen to hit my second haste cap of 2005. And crit is what is left. This might not be for everyone though. I’ll make a separate future post regarding differences in specs and stats in different raiding environments, group compositions and raiding difficulty progression. As it goes for me (I m currently raiding in a 10man environment) I’ll continue removing spirit as soon as I get my hands on Heart of Unliving and reforging it to mastery and crit depending on the incoming damage in my raid. I m well into Heroics right now and I find this reforging is more than sufficient. (Sidenote. I’, not promising my haste/mastery/spirit balance opinion wont change according to my needs. Let’s say if I find that for my  progression and team I m running out of spirit believe me I’ll reforge down to 916 haste cap, and give all I have to mastery and spirit instead.Do the same. Check your raid, check your mana efficiency, check your master efficiency, put those WOL logs in use or at least your skada logs. )
So what are general rules you should follow regarding reforging for different situations? Take a look at your raid and the incoming damage. If your raid is mostly below 70% best to put more into mastery than crit, if you find it to be above that, feel free to upgrade your crit. Also how far into progression are you? Are you out of mana when you need it even with Telluric Currents then up your spirit a little bit, take it out of crit or see what soft haste cap works for you 916 or 2005. However the more you get into Normal DS gear and HC the more you ll see its harder to reforge haste.
This is how a mid way into progression gear should look like:
This is after lets say farming Normals for 3 to 4 weeks and starting on first HC bosses. There is more mastery in this combination as you ll find your raid more often than not below 70%. Haste is still as close as it gets to 2005 soft cap with a glyphed riptide ticking once more. Its significant for 10 man raids. Since you’re wearing the Spine of Deathwing trinket your spirit regen will be eventually more than 3k but if you feel you need more, take a little out of your Mastery.
Lastly this is what you would call an endgame Best in slot for 4.3 Dragon Soul:
Full on HC gear with full epic gems and enchants. At this point you re probably over spirit regeneration requiremements and mastery so at 2005 soft haste cap your crit is boasting around 20%. Remove from this combination some of the amazing HC gear that you possibly don’t have and reforge some crit into mastery and you ll be laughing at Deathwing progression.
This concludes with my gearing guide about early epics and some examples for progression restoration shaman gearing. In the future I’ll go more into how to properly manage your stats for different raid enviroments and different progression and how to reforge correctly your spirit , haste and mastery accordingly. Good luck with the loot drops btw since it seems all the crappy players get all the luck. Just my observation.
___ A  Resto Shaman blog for the Curious or the Lazy Raider___