Healer Rankings / Tier List for Phase 1 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 (A-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 Bloodlust/Heroism.
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 Mana management, having the Divine Plea + Seal of Wisdom combo to fully replenish their Mana every minute, if need be. This allows them to do very high healing consistently throughout a fight, no matter its duration or damage intake intensity, and is the main reason why Paladins are both the best healer and the main option to bring more than one of.
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 have one of each healer or drop a Restoration Shaman / Holy Priest for a second Holy Paladin.
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.
- 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 — 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
A-Tier healers, Discipline Priest and Restoration Druid share a common playstyle where they blanket the raid with an efficient spell (Power Word: Shield and Rejuvenation) which covers raid healing requirements while increasing raid DPS through the unique Rapture and Revitalize effects.
While the benefit of bringing a second one of these specs is much lower than the first, it is extremely helpful to have one of each in a raid group!
- Throughput — A-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 spammer.
- Utility — S-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.
- Throughput — A-tier — similar to Discipline Priests, 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 — S-tier — while Mark of the Wild and Faerie Fire are likely to already be brought by other Druids in the raid, 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 invaluable in some Raid scenarios.
Restoration Druids, just like Priests, do most of their healing with instant casts, and also sport incredible mobility and the unique Revitalize buff, 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.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
The B-Tier classes, 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 — A-tier — Chain Heal is still very strong in Wrath, but other healers can now area heal very effectively as well, making this traditional Shaman niche less of a trump card. Their single-target healing benefits greatly from the new talent Tidal Waves but, again, loses out to Paladins with their infinite Mana and Beacon of Light.
- 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 a respec 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.
- 21 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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