According to WoW Insider there’s supposedly a trend that resto shaman’s are considered a weak healer, especially in heroic hard modes. There are guilds who say that bringing a resto shaman makes it almost impossible to do blah blah blah achievement.
I have to say that a lot of WoW players love statements like these. They’ll jump all over them and start deleting their resto shamans and level a new priest from 1 to 80, bitching and swearing all the way about how Blizztard screwed them.
My opinion? Shamans are awesome to heal with.
My first full-fledged healer was my pally. He healed a lot of Karazhan alt runs and even a couple of T5 fights. But in WotLK he turned to being /facerolling dps because it was simply too easy and too good to resist. So I levelled a shaman to be my new healer.
To me, a shaman feels like a complete healer. Shamans have tools to fit any situation.
Want a hot? We have riptide, earthliving weapon, and if you’re Alliance, Gift of the Naaru.
Need AoE heals? Meet the original grandpappy of all AoE heals, Chain Heal. It’s mana efficient, intelligently selects targets, can put Earthliving hots on each target and can crit each target independently giving all sorts of yummy side effects like mana refunds from water shield charges, and 40% of the healed amount to the raid member with the lowest health.
Oh noes, movement fight! My Riptide is instant cast every 6 seconds, heals for about 3k upfront (4.5k crit) with a hot after and reduces cast time for my next 2 Lesser Healing Wave/Healing Waves. With the Tidal Waves buff, my LHW is about a 0.9 second cast time and Healing Wave is 1.4 seconds, meaning I can easily cast these on the move. We also have Nature’s Swiftness to plonk instant Healing Waves. Earth Shield also provides passive healing to your target while you have to move.
Tank takes huge spikey damage? Healing Wave hits for about 9k and crits for 14.5k. With the aforementioned buff after Riptide, it has a amazingly short cast time. With the Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave, a LHW on a target with Earth Shield up heals about the same as a non-crit HW. And each crit gives the tank +25% armor, which is pretty much guaranteed when you pop Tidal Force (+60% crit).
Yucky green stuff on the ground! The new all-in-one Cleansing totem meets all your needs, plonk it down and that’s the end of worrying about spending 5 global cooldowns = 7.5 seconds cleansing poison and disease debuffs. The new Purify Spirit is also a all-in-one remover of disease, poison and curses so you don’t need to have separate buttons for all 3 and figure out which debuff is which. Only thing we can’t remove is magic, but we also have Purge which is basically a offensive Dispel Magic to remove pesky buffs from NPCs.
What else do Shaman’s provide? 144 spellpower to everyone in the raid with flametongue. Healing stream totem which ticks for about 400 for everyone in the party like a passive hot. 3% spell haste from Wrath of Air. Group fear removal with Tremor totem (great for Auriaya). AoE snare for adds (XT-002 and Mimiron). A shaman put on interrupt duty in Iron Council makes Mr. Stormcaller QQ. We can even CC with Hex if we needed to. And even though mana management is a joke now, shamans can Innervate THE ENTIRE GROUP with Mana Tide totem.
And last, but definitely by far the most important…. Shamans bring heroism/bloodlust. Now that it can’t be chained, it has lost some of its power but it still remains one of the most powerful unique buffs in this age of “bring the player not the class”.
In all the fights I’ve done in Ulduar, I’ve never felt that shamans were at a disadvantage in any particular fight. Due to the vast array of tools we have, I’ve always been able to handle anything that can be thrown at the raid and make a unique contribution. Movement fights, AoE fights, raid healing, tank healing, resto shamans can do them all.
In comparison, holy pallies have no hots and no real AoE heals (although glyphed Holy Light helps slightly). Druids have no fast big heals once Swiftmend and Nature’s Swiftness are used and their hots need time to tick. Priests are quite versatile too in raw healing but don’t bring as much utility. The other healing classes may give slightly higher output in specific situations, but then they are frustrated in others due to their limitations.
The days of brainlessly spamming chain heal are definitely over (unless you’re in Naxx-25), but resto shamans definitely have the tools to compete closely with any other healer in almost any situation.