Healer PvP Rankings / Tier List for Wrath of the Lich King Classic
This guide will focus on rankings for the Arena, where 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 matches occur. Doing well increases 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 Wrath below, alongside a short explanation on the reasoning behind its position. This list will be kept updated as Wrath progresses, in order to always reflect the current meta healer ranks.
PvP Healer Rankings Summary
You can find below a quick summary of the current PvP healer rankings:
- Holy Paladin (S-Tier)
- Discipline Priest (A-Tier)
- Restoration Druid (A-Tier)
- Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
- Holy Priest (B-Tier)
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
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 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 (Wind Shear). This includes the amount and quality of personal defensive tools, such as Druid's slow/root/polymorph-breaking shapeshifting 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 3v3, the most competitive bracket where most tournaments are played.
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
- Throughput — S-tier — Holy Paladins have great Mana efficiency and powerful instant-cast healing in Wrath, with Sacred Shield and Holy Shock, as well as the new Beacon of Light which duplicates your healing and is particularly powerful in small group settings where there are less targets that need healing.
- Utility — S-tier — Hand of Protection, Hand of Freedom, Divine Sacrifice, 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.
Holy Paladins bring both great single-target healing and group utility, as well as a lot of defensives which makes them the best (defensive) PvP class. Their main weakness is the lack of offensive options, especially when compared to Shaman or Priest, but even there they can help setup kills with Hammer of Justice and have multiple damage buttons that can be pressed to help with the final percent on an enemy player.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
- 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 Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, and Penance, 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.
Discipline 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.
- Throughput — A-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 is very helpful for Mana sustain.
- Utility — A-tier — besides their class buff, Mark of the Wild, Druids bring all kinds of crowd control and defensive utility (such as Nature's Grasp), on top of decent 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.
Restoration Druids are not the best, but also not the worst healer in Wrath Arena, as they have a very mobile playstyle and decent healing, combined with strong utility. While they struggle against teams who can do high burst damage or constantly remove their healing-over-time effects, they excel against damage over time compositions and when facing low mobility melee, which they can pin down with their multiple root effects.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
- Throughput — B-tier — Earth Shield and Riptide are the only two instant heals available to Restoration Shaman, but they can also proc Earthliving, which helps keeping allies up when direct heals are not possible. Totems are no longer vulnerable to being stomped, as they gain extra health from Stoneclaw Totem and you can drop up to four in a single global using Call of the Elements.
- Utility — A-tier — Bloodlust, Wind Shear, and Purge give Shamans a strong aggressive edge. They also have the ability to remove Poisons, Diseases, and Curses with Cleanse Spirit. Finally, Tremor Totem and Grounding Totem keeps their group and themselves out of crowd control.
Restoration Shaman are offensive healers, and often win not by way of their healing throughput but with clever use of their offensive and disruptive tools, which are especially effective against caster enemies. Bloodlust allows 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.
The main problem with Holy Priest is not so much that it is a very weak specialization in a vacuum, but rather than you could be playing Discipline instead with minimal gear/playstyle changes and have better damage, movement, healing, utility, cooldowns, and damage reduction.
Thus, it would be recommended to focus on learning Discipline if you intend to PvP as a Priest.
- 03 Oct. 2023: Updated for Phase 4.
- 19 Jun. 2023: Reviewed prior to Phase 3 patch.
- 21 May 2022: Page reviewed for Phase 3.
- 21 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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