Healer PvP Rankings / Tier List for TBC Classic
With TBC, comes the introduction of the Arena, inside which 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 matches occur. Doing well in the arena will increase your team's rating, and the higher you go, the more points will be gained upon the weekly reset. These points can then be used to buy arena gear, which mirrors PvE gear in item level, but with some item budget allocated to Resilience and PvP oriented set bonuses.
We will be ranking each healer class available in TBC below, alongside a short explanation on the reasoning behind its position. This list will be kept updated as TBC progresses, in order to always reflect the current meta healer ranks.
Feel free to also consult our PvP DPS rankings page if you are interested in learning more about your potential DPS partners in the arena, or our guides on compositions in each bracket (2v2, 3v3, and 5v5) to learn which kinds of teams best suit your class.
PvP Healer Rankings Summary
You can find below a quick summary of the current PvP healer rankings:
In order to further understand the reasoning behind these ranks, we would recommend you to read the rest of the page, as that is explained in more detail in the next few sections.
PvP DPS Rankings
If you are interested in the DPS PvP rankings for WoW TBC, check the following link:
PvP Healer Rankings Details
When sorting out the rankings for healers in PvP, we are primarily concerned with two things:
- Throughput — the ability of a healer to do a lot of raw healing, for a sustained period of time while under pressure.
- Utility — non-healing abilities that the healer brings that can be used to help your team (Bloodlust) or disrupt the enemy team (Earth Shock). This includes the amount and quality of personal defensive tools, such as Druid's slow/root breaking shifting abilities.
We will rank each healer on both of these categories and further elaborate on how they come together to create the current ranking for the class.
Keep in mind that this rating is focused on 2v2 and 3v3, where Druids and Priests shine the most but, as explained down below, if you want to focus on 5v5 instead, invert the rankings and decidedly bring a Holy Paladin and / or Restoration Shaman, as the match is likely to be decided before Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection and Bloodlust are over.
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
- Throughput — S-tier, Druids heal primarily through instant casts, which means most of their heals cannot be interrupted. It is also very difficult to Purge their heals over time because of Subtlety and even if you succeed, Lifebloom will burst heal the target, anyway. This heal over time healing style, combined with multiple ways to crowd control enemies and escape from slow/root effects, means they can sneak out to drink quite often, which makes their Mana sustain the best in arena.
- Utility — S-tier, besides their class buff, Mark of the Wild, Druids bring all kinds of crowd control and defensive utility imaginable, on top of significant damage pressure through limited investment into the Balance tree. Cyclone and Entangling Roots are short casts without a cooldown which can be used often through a match to keep enemies away from your team or to setup kills, and a small investment into the Feral tree brings Feral Charge which can be used to get away from pressure and also to interrupt.
Druids are the most meta healer in TBC Arena due to their lack of weaknesses, especially in the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets. They have a wide array of healing, damage, defensive and offensive utility options and a high skill cap, making them a great healer to roll if you intend to focus on PvP!
- Throughput — A-tier, just like Druids, Priests have a lot of instant casts they can rely on to do good healing while being focused, such as Prayer of Mending, and they also have decent Mana efficiency. They lack Druid's escape tools, however, which makes drinking or escaping when being focused much harder, and can also struggle against offensive dispels due to most of their healing capabilities being either dispellable or interruptible.
- Utility — S-tier, being the only healer that can both offensive and defensive dispel brings a lot of flexibility to the Priest's group. Mass Dispel, Psychic Scream, Power Infusion and Pain Suppression are also great abilities which can turn games around in a heartbeat, and the infamous Mana Burn is a win condition by itself. Priests also have significant burst damage potential with Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death, which doubles as an anti-crowd control tool when expertly used.
Priests are very flexible healers which can do well in any composition or arena bracket. Their main weakness is their bad mobility, which often prevents repositioning, but their powerful instant casts and ability to pressure the enemy team with damage, Mana Burn or both are not to be underestimated. Because their throughput is really good when they are not being let down by their sub-par mobility, we will still rank them as S-tier, overall.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
- Throughput — B-tier, as Earth Shield is the only significant instant heal available, leaving the Shaman vulnerable to interrupts and Curse of Tongues in particular. Totems are also very vulnerable to totem-stomping macros, especially from pet classes. Lesser Healing Wave is powerful, but expensive, forcing Shamans to be aggressive in order to end games before Mana becomes an issue, which they are fortunately well suited to do with their powerful utility tools.
- Utility — S-tier, as Bloodlust, Windfury Totem and Purge give them a strong aggressive edge, while their ability to remove poisons and diseases, alongside Tremor Totem and Grounding Totem, keep their group and themselves out of crowd control and able to ramp up the pressure on the enemy team.
Shamans are one of the weaker classes in the 2v2 and 3v3 bracket due to their throughput limitations. This being said, Bloodlust and Windfury Totem allow Shaman teams to have the highest burst damage potential available, and many games can be ended before the abilities of other healers get to shine, especially in the 5v5 bracket where the strong points of Druids and Priests are not as obvious.
- Throughput — A-tier, as Paladins have great Mana efficiency are are able to dispel all harmful effects on allies except for curses, often minimizing damage before even having to do any healing. They also have great single target healing, with one important caveat: needing to cast all of their main heals. This means they are very susceptible to Curse of Tongues and interrupts, and will often have a hard time healing in the arena.
- Utility — A-tier, as Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Freedom, Hammer of Justice and all the auras are top-notch utility for both surviving and setting up kills. Divine Shield is the best defensive in the game, effectively making you completely immune to both damage and crowd control for a lengthy 12 seconds, although it can be removed by Mass Dispel.
Paladins bring both great single target healing and group utility, which would make them a top PvP class if it was not for their reliance on casts (and proximity to target, in the case of Hammer of Justice) to get it all done. Ultimately, while a Paladin is the ultimate 5v5 healer where, ironically, it is one of the few healers that usually gets to cast freely due to Divine Shield, it has too few offensive tools to support a quick kill in the smaller brackets while lacking the instants required to keep up against teams that are good with their interrupts and crowd control.
- 03 Jun. 2021: Guide created.
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