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Healer Spec Shadowlands Outlook and Pre-patch Rankings

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It's the healers' turn as our guide writers give us a look at what the specs will be like in the Shadowlands, and we also take a look at the final pre-patch week HPS rankings as well! Starting with the 95th percentile, Holy Priests still dominate, but the other specs are all pretty close to each other.

Data by Warcrat Logs.

The all percentiles look is slightly different, as Resto Shamans poke past Disc:

Data by Warcrat Logs.

And then we're on to the Shadowlands part, as our experts give some thoughts on each spec:

Holy Priest by Niphyr:


Holy Priest continues playing to its strengths of strong reactive group healing in Shadowlands. We are in a unique situation where our Covenant abilities are quite low-impact at the moment, making the decision which one to use much more open than many other specs, with all 4 Covenants looking like viable options. This is also true for our various Legendaries, with no single Legendary providing an exceptional improvement on performance. Our playstyle will remain very similar to our BFA playstyle, with some small increases to Heal Heal and Flash Heal Flash Heal slightly improving our spot healing. One of our biggest complaints is the lack of impact and variety our new Covenant, Legendary and Conduit powers provide, but hopefully this is something that is addressed in a future update.

Restoration Shaman by Seksi:


Restoration Shamans look great in Shadowlands - our ability set has expanded compared to BfA and the current tuning is favorable towards Shamans being well represented in all types of content, even Mythic+! All Covenants have their own niches, with Necrolord being notable for enabling a new playstyle and Night Fae being the only one with significant design issues remaining. We have some good Conduits that affect the rotation while giving out a strong payout for meeting their conditions, and our Legendaries, while on the boring side, provide strong support for the rest of the kit.

Overall, if Shadowlands launches in the exact state that Beta is currently on, Restoration Shamans will have their most open ended end game path ever, with a large amount of viable, personal preference dependent choices, and strong performance in all types of content.

Discipline Priest by Clandon:


Discipline's playstyle is remaining largely the same with the addition of a few new tools/talents. For Mythic Plus, the addition of Mind Sear Mind Sear gives Discipline a solid AoE DPS option, which remained a weakness in Battle for Azeroth. Mind Soothe Mind Soothe gives Discipline the potential to contribute to interesting Mythic Plus Skips, along with multiple changes to affixes, including Bursting Bursting being Mass Dispel Mass Dispellable, which gives the spec a much appreciated boost. Discipline also has access to Boon of the Ascended IconBoon of the Ascended from the Kyrian Covenant, which is poised to have a fairly large impact in comparison to some other classes or specializations.

In Raids, Spirit Shell Spirit Shell, while it isn't good enough to overtake Evangelism Evangelism's spot as the default pick, will surely see situational play. In a similar manner to Mythic Plus, Mindgames IconMindgames from the Venthyr Covenant is looking to have a fairly large impact on their overall contributions as well.

With these listed changes and more, expect to see Discipline just as often in Raid and potentially more so in Mythic Plus as we enter Shadowlands.

Mistweaver Monk by Dhaubbs:


As we move into Shadowlands, the majority of the power increase that Mistweavers are going to receive will be coming from our Legendaries, and gaining Enveloping Breath Enveloping Breath at level 58. Covenants represent a modest increase to our power, but not as much as other classes. Learning how to effectively use Enveloping Breath is crucial to your success in the new expansion.

When to comes to Torghast, Mistweaver is a relatively powerful spec. The health of the mobs in the tower scale differently for different roles - for healers it's set at 50% that of normal. Usually this wouldn't be a big deal, since healers deal less damage anyway, but by the end of a run most of your damage will come from the Anima Powers you collect along the way. Not only that, but there are several "on-hit" powers available, and through the use of spamming Spinning Crane Kick Spinning Crane Kick, Mistweavers can proc these powers multiple times per GCD, on multiple targets, indefinitely.

As it stands there are still a number of bugs that affect Mistweavers, specifically our Legendaries, so it is probably a wise idea to wait to craft them until Mythic Castle Nathria opens.

Restoration Druid by Torty:


The main role of a Restoration Druid in Shadowlands raiding remains as a strong cooldown oriented throughput healer with good survivability and tank healing. We are getting Convoke the Spirits IconConvoke the Spirits, which can work well with some of our other cooldowns like Incarnation: Tree of Life Incarnation: Tree of Life and Flourish Flourish. While our cooldown-oriented style becomes better, our weaknesses still remain: lack of a damage reduction cooldown and low overall damage output may put us a couple positions down in priority. You can overcome some damage issues with aggressively using Convoke for DPS with Heart of the Wild Heart of the Wild, but not all.

Holy Paladin by Mytholxgy:


Some of the last Beta changes gave Holy Paladins increases to Light of Dawn Light of Dawn, Word of Glory Word of Glory, and Holy Shock Holy Shock healing, as well as mana cost reductions to Crusader Strike Crusader Strike. We've been fairly weak throughout Beta but these last couple weeks of buffs will help the class significantly. While we won't be the powerhouse in Mythic+ that we were throughout BfA and Legion, we will still be a strong choice for Raiding in Shadowlands because of our utility and Devotion Aura Devotion Aura.

We are still behind other healers in throughput, which hurts our viability in both Mythic+ and Raiding, so I wouldn't be surprised if we saw minor tweaks to this in the next couple weeks, but no major gameplay changes are expected. Overall, we are in an okay place and are capable of competing at almost any level of play, we just don't fall into the top 2 healer category that we've been use to for the last couple of patches.

Shadowlands arrives in just over a day, so get your healer spec picks in! You can also check more opinions on performance in Shadowlands for tanks here and DPS specs here (in last week's rankings).

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