Good news everybody! Today we'll get down to raid heals as a shaman. As a shaman it's important to know that your healing style switches with different fights and even throughout the course of any given fight. Your basic set-up will remain the same, but your spell selection and totem drops will change.
Your general set-up involves casting ES on either the MT or the OT if he seems to be taking more damage. Make sure you have Earthliving weapon on yourself and your water shield. Your general totem drops will be Strength of Earth or Stoneskin (depending on raid comp), Flametongue, Healing stream or mana spring and Wrath of Air. Always check with other shamans in your raid to coordinate totem drops. Also, be sure to flask up and get your well-fed buffs.
Now that you are prepared for the first pull, how do you heal it? It's fairly simple really. For single pulls w/o large amounts of raid damage you'll want to Riptide anyone taking a quick damage spike and follow up with Lesser Healing Wave while always keeping ES up on your tank. Once large amounts of raid damage starts we really shine! If there is a fairly large group of melee Riptide the tank and spam Chain Heal. Keep an eye out for ranged and throw them Lesser Healing Wave as needed. If some of them are grouped feel free to toss Chain Heal their way as well. Following these simple rules will actually keep you on top of the meters even against Droods when the raid damage is hot and heavy a well played shammy is king!
It's important to be raid aware as well. Be sure you know your individual fights and your roles during them. If you don't know what you should be doing ask! Or, better yet look the nights fights up before the raid and watch videos at sites such as Tankspot. Ask before boss pulls when the raid leader wants Hero and pop it on time! If there is another shaman that isn't healing they should normally take responsibility for Hero, but if they don't you must make it happen. Make sure you are prepared with proper add-ons as well. Deadly Boss Mods, Big Wigs or Deus Vox are necessities! Other add-ons can be important as well and don't be "that guy" without vent. Everybody hates "that guy".
While that covers some basic info I'll go ahead and break down a specific encounter so you can see how Shaman heals change throughout a fight. We'll go over Lady Deathwhisper. The fight starts with a series of adds coming in waves while she's behind a shield. The damage is not too intense during this phase you will mainly be cleansing her adds de-buff and topping people off with Lesser Healing Wave. Be aware that the melee groups may occasionally be clustered enough for a quick Riptide and Chain Heal. After the shield goes down go stand near the tank. Keep an eye out for the ghosts and pop Hero. At this point keep Nature's Swiftness with Healing Wave available for anyone taking spike damage and spam Chain Heal until she's dead (more dead?). This kind of gives you an idea of how healing changes during the course of an encounter. Anyone needing advice about a specific fight, please leave a comment or drop me an email. I'll answer any questions asap :)