This is a new mini-series based on synergies in 10-man raiding.  Primarily, this is looking at a composition of roughly 2 healers (possibly 3, depending on how your guild does in smaller groups) through some of the 10-man Ulduar content (not including hard modes).

So, why would you as a Discipline priest, want a Restoration shaman as a buddy for healing?

Pros:

  • Earth Shield plus Prayer of Mending is a fanastic combination for a quick burst of healing on a tank while you’re focused on keeping up an almost dead DPS or even yourself.
  • A Shaman is a single target healer with benefits (see Chain Heal).
  • Totems are hot.  Mana Tide is a savior for high mana pools.
  • Riptide is a nice instant heal to have to soften a heavy hit for a Penance or GH (depending).
  • Ancestral Awakening (Restoration shaman talent that heals a person with the lowest health within 40 yards with an amount of the heal done that triggered a crit).
  • If your Restoration shaman buddy dies, Reincarnation can solve that problem!
  • Also, doesn’t hurt to have a Heroism/Bloodlust if you don’t have any other shaman.

Cons:

  • Few HoT opportunities: Renew for a priest and Healing Stream totem as a shaman are the only true HoT-like spells.  This is kind of the biggest issue as there are fewer cushions for our heals.  Prayer of Mending, Power Word: Shield, and Renew can help… but none of them have the strength like a Restoration druid can provide.
  • One small issue that can come up is no Totem of Wrath, so you may get less spell power from the Flametongue totem that your friend can drop.
  • As a Discipline priest focused on mostly tank healing, you can’t always keep up many others.  We have few tools when multiple people are taking heavy damage without hitting the Red button (this being Divine Hymn as of now): Shield spam, Renew spam, Flash Heal spam, a slow Prayer of Healing (even with Borrowed Time, it still takes at least 2.83 seconds to cast one without any haste rating — still includes the inherent haste from your talents)… none of these are very efficient and if you’re two healing, this is not great.
  • … also, Shaman have limited (like us) instant casts and when those are on cool down, we have to hope nothing terribly bad happens.
  • Our raiders must remember that PoH and Chain Heal have some ranges, if they are not within distance, they won’t get healed.  Alternatively; we have to be careful on what we target.

Of course, this is all just… conjecture.  But based off of observations, I think Restoration Shaman are one of our better pairs.  We benefit more, and our negatives are really all things we may experience with other healing classes.

All in all, love your Restoration shaman anyway!

(Hi Michelle!)