Healer Rankings / Tier List for Phase 3 of Wrath of the Lich King Classic
While DPS in Wrath have different power levels, which determine to which extent you want to stack them, all healers and tanks are welcome in Raids and Dungeons, as they all have unique benefits that are worth learning about.
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 rankings.
Healer Rankings Summary
Below you can find a quick summary of the current PvE healer rankings:
- Holy Paladin (S-Tier)
- Discipline Priest (A-Tier)
- Restoration Druid (B-Tier)
- Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
- Holy Priest (B-Tier)
In order to further understand the reasoning behind these rankings, we would recommend you read the rest of the page, as that is explained in more detail in the next few sections.
DPS and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in other PvE role rankings for Wrath, check the following links:
Healer Ranking Details
When sorting out the rankings for healers PvE, 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.
- Utility — non-healing abilities that the healer brings that are useful to the raid, such as Divine Sacrifice with Divine Guardian, or Rebirth.
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.
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
While all healers can do a lot of healing, Holy Paladins are by far the best at tank healing with Beacon of Light and Mana management, having the Divine Plea + Seal of Wisdom combo to fully replenish their Mana every minute, if need be.
They are also the only healer with a raid-wide damage reduction cooldown: Divine Sacrifice plus Divine Guardian, which allows you to survive mechanics you could not otherwise. Finally, they are the best holders for Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings due to having the highest overhealing potential and the ability to funnel it to the tank, where the shields will always be useful.
These perks combined are the main reason why Paladins are both the best healer and the main option to bring more than one of, enabling Divine Sacrifice coverage of most dangerous mechanics and constant tank healing.
Holy Paladins are also the only healer that is mostly focused on single-target healing, with all other healers having a raid healing profile, especially Discipline Priests and Restoration Druids who specialize in blanketing the whole raid with efficient healing from Power Word: Shield and Rejuvenation. Thus the ideal raid composition will typically run multiple Holy Paladins.
You will also want at least one Shaman in every raid group for Bloodlust / Heroism, and Restoration is a great choice, as it can fit into almost any healing composition due to its versatile spell kit, making it a S-Tier pick if you need Bloodlust in your group and there is only a healer spot left.
- Throughput — S-tier — Holy Paladin single-target healing is second to none in WotLK as long as they can cast freely, which most fights will allow. What makes them the best is the way Holy Light healing can be massively amplified by Beacon of Light and Glyph of Holy Light, while its high Mana cost can be covered by 1-minute Divine Plea + Seal of Wisdom combos;
- Utility — S-tier — Divine Sacrifice with Divine Guardian is the best way to live through hard raid damage, and blessings such as Hand of Protection are great in multiple scenarios, from keeping people who pull aggro alive to facilitating tank swaps and removing bleed debuffs. You also want multiple Paladins for full Judgement debuff coverage and their blessings are the smoothest way to keep some raid buffs such as Blessing of Wisdom up on all players.
Holy Paladins bring some of the best group utility in Wrath with their blessings, have great single-target healing, and are extremely tough with their Plate armor and Divine Shield last resort. Even their traditional lack of area-of-effect healing is improved in Wrath through Beacon of Light and Glyph of Holy Light and they enjoy infinite Mana from Divine Plea + Seal of Wisdom, making them hands down the best PvE healer and the only one worth having more than one of.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
The only A-Tier healer, Discipline Priest, is a must-have in every raid due to its unique ability to provide absorb shields with Power Word: Shield. This allows it to act as a powerful raid healer, and also increase the effective health pool of other players in preparation for high raid burst damage. Finally, it also provides extra resources for itself and other players with Rapture.
Its main weakness, which prevents S-rank, is that you cannot stack shields on the same player due to the Weakened Soul debuff left by Power Word: Shield, which heavily limits tank healing capabilities, and also prevents other Discipline Priests in the raid from stacking their own shields on the same target, making any extra Discipline Priests in the raid much weaker than the first.
- Throughput — S-tier — Power Word: Shield spam before raid damage happens is a great way to smooth out damage intake and what Discipline will be mostly doing. While they do have some single-target healing and decent burst with Penance, the Mana efficiency and HPS of Discipline single-target is questionable, making them better as a pure shield healer.
- Utility — A-tier — the utility of Rapture, Power Infusion, Pain Suppression, Mass Dispel, and Power Word: Fortitude are all great, as is being able to shield people ahead of burst damage events.
Discipline Priests are one of the most unique healers in Wrath, with their raid throughput being almost exclusively tied to Power Word: Shield. This allows them to smooth out raid damage intake while also restoring class resources through Rapture, which is of great value to any raid group.
The main weakness of Discipline is that multiple Priests cannot create Power Word: Shield on the same target due to the Weakened Soul debuff. Thus, you always want one and only one Discipline Priest in a raid group.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
The B-Tier classes, Restoration Druid, Restoration Shaman, and Holy Priest, are jacks of all trades but masters of none. This means they can both single-target and area-of-effect heal but are not the best for either, making them sub-optimal to bring on speed running compositions.
Still, they will be perfectly fine for most content in Wrath and their flexible healing profile is advantageous for dual-spec healing, 10-man content, and when filling in empty spots in a healing roster.
- Throughput — B-tier — Druids have great raid healing with Rejuvenation blanketing, while suffering from ramp-up times on their single-target healing and poor Mana efficiency when forced to heal with rolling Lifebloom stacks.
- Utility — A-tier — while Mark of the Wild and Faerie Fire are likely to already be brought by other Druids in the raid, extra Innervates and Rebirths are always useful, and Revitalize is a unique Restoration Druid buff which increases raid DPS passively from your healing. Druid's mobile healing capabilities and heals-over-time, which can be prepared ahead of damage, are also great in some Raid scenarios.
Restoration Druids do most of their healing with instant casts, and also sport incredible mobility and the unique Revitalize buff (which now avoids hitting non-players), as well as a healing-over-time playstyle which is great to efficiently top people off or prepare for incoming bursts of damage ahead of time.
- Throughput — A-tier — Chain Heal is very strong in Wrath, but it has a lengthy base cast time and requires its targets to be injured, which can be hard when a Discipline priest is covering all raid damage with shields already. Good Tidal Waves usage allows for high single target healing, but you need to be dedicating yourself to it unlike Paladins's passive Beacon healing, making Shaman good at everything but not the best at anything.
- Utility — B-tier — Bloodlust / Heroism applies to the whole raid group but also leaves the Sated / Exhausted debuff in Wrath, which means you only need one Shaman per raid for maximum benefit. Most totems' benefits can also be brought by other classes, other than Wrath of Air Totem which you only need one Shaman for, making their utility mostly redundant for large raids.
Restoration Shamans can bring it all in WotLK, but do so with less efficiency than other healers, making them mostly useful for filling in a last spot or as DPS respeccing to healer when needed.
- Throughput — A-tier, just like Shamans, Holy Priests can do it all, with strong single-target and area-of-effect healing, as well as the new Guardian Spirit tank cooldown. Unfortunately, with Circle of Healing now having a 6-second cooldown and the incredible buffs made to other classes, they are no longer the best at anything.
- Utility — B-tier, with Discipline being one of the most important healers to bring to a raid, it is likely that Priest utility will already be covered, and Holy does not have much of it to speak of.
Holy Priests can do fine healing in every situation and have the most flexible healing kit alongside Shaman, but unfortunately bring lower throughput than specialized classes and very weak utility, making them mostly useful if you need to have another Priest healer and already have a Discipline Priest around.
- 03 Oct. 2023: Updated for Phase 4 with Icecrown Citadel in mind.
- 19 Jun. 2023: Reviewed prior to Phase 3 patch.
- 21 May 2022: Rankings updated for Phase 3.
- 21 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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