Now that Antorus, the Burning Throne has been released, it’s important to talk about the state of restoration shaman as well as any changes to our playstyle. While there has been no changes to the base toolkit of restoration shamans going into Antorus, our new set bonuses impact our play drastically and present an extra skill cap to achieve in order to master your restoration shaman.
The 2 piece bonus provides an initial heal on up to 6 allies within the Healing Rain reticle when a cast is completed. This heals for 225% of spell power and scales off versatility and can critically strike. The healing produced by this bonus is called Rainfall. It is important to note that mastery does NOT have any effect on Rainfall. You can think of this bonus as whenever you cast Healing Rain, a Chain Heal’s worth of healing is divided amongst 6 targets in the area.
The 4 piece bonus provides an alternative method of doing spot healing to multiple targets at the same time while being mana efficient. Everytime you cast Healing Wave or Healing Surge, an ally in your Healing Rain will be healed for 40% of the healing done by the Healing Wave or Healing Surge. The healing produced by this bonus is called Downpour. This bonus, like the 2 piece, does NOT scale with mastery on its own. Since the Healing Wave or Healing Surge does scale with mastery, the Downpour healing is calculated off the amount done therefore already has mastery scaling built in. Now this is where things get awkward. Like I’ve said, there is already mastery scaling in the Healing Wave and Healing Surge so there’s no double dipping in the Downpour, but Downpour does scale off healing percent modifiers. This means that versatility not only increases the healing done by the Healing Wave or Healing Surge, but also then double dips into the healing of Downpour. The same thing happens with critical strikes. Downpour has its own critical strike chance.
In theory, you can Healing Wave someone in your raid, and the healing from Downpour on that single cast can be greater than the healing done by the Healing Wave. This healing from Downpour is semi-smart healing meaning that it will always prioritize an injured target over a non injured target. This set bonus also has synergy with the tier 15 talent Undulation providing a larger bonus to the bonus 50% Healing Wave and Healing Surge healing. Even if it results in over healing, it has potential to beat out Torrent due to feeding into our cooldowns.
Both of these bonuses provide feeding into Cloudburst Totem, Ancestral Guidance, and Ascendance. This makes Ascendance a much more appealing talent to take over High Tide since the burst potential is much greater when you pair Ascendance, Ancestral Guidance, Cloudburst Totem together while you have a Healing Rain down cycling through generating and spending Tidal Waves stacks on Healing Surge. Ideally you will want an Innervate for this since you’ll be generating Tidal Waves via Chain Heal and both Chain Heal and Healing Surge are very costly. A typical cast order I use for this burst setup would be to generate two stacks of Tidal Waves via Chain Heal or Riptide. Then drop Cloudburst Totem (you can be generating your two Tidal Wave stacks now as well). When there’s about 11 seconds left on Cloudburst Totem cast Healing Rain on a clump of injured allies. Spam a macro that has Ascendance, Ancestral Guidance, and Velen’s Future Sight all macroed together (call for Innervate here). Cast Gift of the Queen if available, then two Healing Surge, followed by rotating Chain Heal and Healing Surge.