Grounding Totem is a Restoration shaman honor talent, available at rank 43. It applies a buff to all party members within range which effectively makes one party member immune to the next spell cast on them, apart from AoE spells. This spell will affect the totem instead, destroying it.
The Grounding Totem is very useful for initially shutting down mages in PvP. Simply to break their first cast, drop the Grounding Totem to absorb their second cast, and should be ready again by the time the mage can cast again.
For a discussion of know when to use the vs. Grounding Totem, see Tremor vs. Grounding totem.
The Grounding Totem is noteworthy when trying to escape a class that has spell based snares, such as a mage's so the shaman doesn't get slowed down when fleeing. Grounding Totems are exceptionally well at absorbing mana drains as they will not be harmed from it Mana Drain but still redirects the spell.
It is possible, though rare, for a Grounding Totem to be able to absorb more than one direct damage spell. This typically can happen if the two spells finish casting before the totem is hit by the initial spell. Being as how spells with a travel time (such as ) do not damage the target until the projectile hits, the totem will redirect any of these types of spells until it takes damage and summarily gets destroyed (after which the Grounding Totem buff will be removed).
Grounding Totems do not tend to work against boss abilities that mind control players (such as those found with Harbinger Skyriss or Baroness Anastari). However, they do work against monster initiated mind controls (such as those found with Spectral Retainer). The same is also true for fear effects, with the Rift Keeper in Black Morass having a fear that can be grounded. Direct damage effects and curses are generally groundable, even if from a boss.
- During Patch 1.6.0 the Grounding Totem was not behaving as designed: it occasionally sucked up spells and effects (even those outside the scope of the totem) as often as they could be applied, rather than once every 10 seconds (it was still being destroyed by the first damaging spell that hit it). This was most noticeable when fighting a rogue in melee and seeing "Crippling Poison fails. Grounding Totem is Immune" appear in the combat log for every time you were hit. This has since been fixed.
- Grounding Totem is an Uncommon Shaman ability card in the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game's Drums of War set.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Changed into an honor talent for Restoration. Duration reduced from 15 to 3 seconds, but redirects all spells for the duration. Cooldown increased from 25 to 30 seconds.
- Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): Now protects both party and raid members (up from only party members). Additionally, fixed an issue where Grounding Totem was incorrectly redirecting (monk), (hunter pet), and (death knight).
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Duration reduced from 45 to 15 sec.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Cooldown has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 15.
- Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): Will now properly protect against the spell.
- Hotfix (2009-02-18): "A Grounding Totem is now properly destroyed even if the grounded spell did not do damage."
- Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): This totem is now immediately destroyed upon the first spell it redirects, rather than redirecting a spell every 10 seconds.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Fixed graphical anomalies when using channeled abilities in a group with a grounding totem.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Fixed a bug that allowed some area of effect spells to be "grounded" and/or destroy the totem.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Should no longer redirect area effect spells or be destroyed by area effects spells.
- Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Added