Dragonflight Healer Rankings: Vault of the Incarnates Raiding Tier List (Patch 10.0.2)

Last updated on Nov 22, 2022 at 15:27 by Impakt 27 comments

World of Warcraft has never been perfectly balanced, and Dragonflight is no exception. Some classes are better than others at the high end for raiding, and inevitably, a meta will exist. This ranking is based on the viability and strength of the various healing specializations for the first season of raiding in Dragonflight.


About the Tier List

February 5 update: Class balance has improved substantially thanks to multiple tuning passes since the season began. Hopefully this continues, as almost every class/spec is now viable and quite competitive in the right circumstances. Restoration Shamans notably are still quite weak, but hopefully will receive further attention soon.


This RAIDING tier list is CONSTANTLY EVOLVING — It CHANGES and IS UPDATED as often as necessary to account for tuning and balance changes.

Hello! I am Impakt, the raid leader of the North American guild "BDGG", or Big Dumb Golden Guardians. We finished Sanctum of Domination as the second-best guild in North America, and at World 4th. We are prepping hard for the new raid tiers in Shadowlands, and this list reflects how we are currently feeling about the various classes and specializations for progressing the new raid tier in Patch 9.2, Sepulcher of the First Ones. In addition to our own experience, this list was created and will continue to be update in consultation with raiders of other top guilds.

This tier list is entirely based on Healer viability for the new raid in Patch 10.0 of Dragonflight, Vault of the Incarnates. To understand exactly why these rankings are the way they are, you first need to understand what will be valued inside the raid. For healers, we value healing throughput, cooldowns, DPS output, and other utility.

While the traits that make a character valuable in a raid have not changed much, there are two incredibly important new factors to consider.

  • Raiding now has a new gearing system, the same group loot system that exists in Classic WoW. This completely changes how your raid should view loot and class distribution. Having a varied raid comp is more important than ever to make full use of all loot drops. Even more so, if you stack too many classes on specific armor types or tier tokens, those classes will gear up significantly slower than if you have a well-balanced raid composition.
  • Because of the new talent trees, classes now have the freedom of choice to decide how to build in various situations. However, this also means that certain classes are forced into specializing in either AoE or single target for different bosses. For healers, this can also mean specializing into either healing or dealing damage.

A Final Warning

It is incredibly important to emphasize that just because a healer is low in the tier list, it does not mean that you should ignore it completely. For the vast majority of cases, you should choose to bring the better player, not the better class. That does not mean you never need to think about your raid composition, just that most of the time player skill will be more important than the difference between classes, assuming you already have the required raid buffs. All being on a lower tier means is that, all else being equal, those specs will be less desirable for the raid based on current tuning.


Dragonflight Healer Tier List for Vault of the Incarnate

Below is a quick summary of the full rankings that we have detailed on this page. While this gives a good outline of the standings of the healing specializations in comparison to one another, we recommend reading the full rankings to understand why certain specializations are ranked as they are.

  1. Preservation Evoker (S-Tier)
  2. Holy Paladin (A-Tier)
  3. Mistweaver Monk (A-Tier)
  4. Restoration Druid (A-Tier)
  5. Discipline Priest (A-Tier)
  6. Holy Priest (B-Tier)
  7. Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)

DPS and Tank Class Rankings

If you are interested in our other rankings for the Season 1 Raid in Dragonflight, please click the links below.


Full Healer Class Rankings

Healer balance is actually quite good going into the first tier of Dragonflight, except for Restoration Shamans. The difference in power for the damage done and defensive cooldowns brought is significantly less than it has been previously, and perhaps even more importantly the specs without damage reduction cooldowns have actually gained some massive buffs to their healing throughput. While there are slight differences, ultimately healer choice will come down to personal preference for the vast majority of guilds: play what you are most comfortable with.




Preservation Evoker

February 5 update: As the final and most important boss in the raid, Raszageth is the perfect fight to showcase Evoker's toolkit. The combination of Evoker's healing throughput, cooldowns, and versatility has made them the strongest healer throughout the Season without question.

Important Utility: Blessing of the Bronze Icon Blessing of the Bronze

Preservation Evoker has exceptional burst healing output along with a unique array of defensive cooldowns. They are one of the best healers in the current meta, with an excellent offensive toolkit (both in single-target and in AoE), competitive HPS, amazing utility, and top-notch mobility. Their 30-yard range is a slight detriment, but is only even noticeable on very specific bosses and can be played around. The most notable thing about Evokers is how absolutely dominant they are on Raszageth, with almost the perfect toolkit needed to get your raid through the pinnacle encounter of the tier.




Holy Paladin

Important Utility: Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura.

Holy Paladins excel at high throughput windows during their cooldowns, but are a bit on the weaker side outside of them. Paladin's main strength would be its other strong raid cooldown utilizing Aura Mastery Icon Aura Mastery along with Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura as one of the best damage reduction raid cooldowns in the game. However, with the larger health pools and more sustained damage outputs from raid bosses, that is less important now than in previous tiers. Paladins still bring incredible utility, specifically with Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield. These are going to be quite useful on the later Mythic encounters. Their damage is also quite good, although not as passive or as strong as other healers.


Mistweaver Monk

Important Utility: Mystic Touch Icon Mystic Touch, Generous Pour Icon Generous Pour, Close to Heart Icon Close to Heart.

Mistweaver Monks have exceptionally high healing output, which, combined with their strong damage output, excellent mobility, and decent durability, makes them a strong choice for any healing comp. Previously the lack of a damage reduction cooldown was too big of a gap to overcome compared to other healers, but they do enough throughput that it is more than worth the loss. The most important aspect to consider is whether you need the various unique buffs and debuff that monks bring, as every raid should always have at least one Monk. On the downside, Monks are a melee healer, and in a raid where Melee DPS are quite valuable the extra character in melee can be a detriment.


Restoration Druid

February 5 update: While Restoration Druids are still quite strong, ultimately Evokers have proven to do more throughput with a better cooldown toolkit.

Important Utility: Mark of the Wild Icon Mark of the Wild, Innervate Icon Innervate, Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar.

Restoration Druids have exceptional overall healing output with a solid throughput toolkit, making them an excellent option for any healing composition. They have some of the strongest healing throughput cooldowns in the game. While their overall damage will still remain low compared to specs like Discipline Priest or Mistweaver, there will be an option to power through certain parts of the fight with extra DPS. The biggest downside is the lack of a damage reduction cooldown and steady damage contribution, but their exceptional throughput and strong utility spells more than make up for the downsides.


Discipline Priest

Important Utility: Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion, Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel, Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude.

Discipline Priests are currently one of the most valuable healers going in to Vault of the Incarnates for a variety of reasons. Discipline brings the second best passive DPS contribution out of any healer without sacrificing healing done, which can be a huge asset during early progression when damage will be tight. Discipline offers incredibly strong EHP (effective health pool) increases through tools like Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier and Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, while also retaining some powerful, low-cooldown spells that enable them to setup for high damage periods better than any other healer. While Disc Priests have relatively low overall healing output compared to other healers, when you plan out encounters correctly, Discipline is the best healing spec in the game at dealing with planned periods of intense damage.




Holy Priest

Important Utility: Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion, Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel, Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude.

Holy Priests offer decent healing throughput both in and out of cooldowns, and are average in terms of overall numbers. However, in terms of pure output, they get overshadowed by the other throughput healers on the high end such as Restoration Druids, Mistweavers, and Evokers. Given that Holy's niche is meant to be raw throughput, this is what puts them in the B-tier considering the other lower throughput healers above bring something else such as damaged reduction based raid cooldowns. Holy Priest's most valuable role at the moment is from its damage. If you can afford to lose out on the buffs or throughput, Holy Priests are the highest DPS healers when they weave in damage and also provide Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion. This is a bit more situational, but that can be quite valuable during progression.


Restoration Shaman

Important Utility: None.

Restoration Shamans are the weakest healer by far in raids for Dragonflight, and are almost worth dropping into a C-tier unfortunately. Currently their best niche is the damage they bring, but it is not passive damage meaning they would need to sacrifice a substantial portion of their healing to do it. Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem is still a strong raid cooldown, but their healing output is the lowest of any healer, and they do not bring high throughput burst healing windows in the same way that Discipline Priests do. In short, there are significantly better options than Restoration Shamans right now for healing inside the new raid.



  • 06 Feb. 2023: Updated for patch 10.0.5.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Season 1 of Dragonflight.
  • 18 Aug. 2022: Updated for Season 4.
  • 23 Jun. 2022: Check-in since last update.
  • 25 Apr. 2022: Updated after first few weeks of Mythic.
  • 18 Feb. 2022: Updated for patch 9.2.
  • 06 Nov. 2021: Updated for patch 9.1.5.
  • 04 Aug. 2021: Updated for first couple of Mythic weeks.
  • 13 Jul. 2021: Updated after Heroic week.
  • 24 Jun. 2021: Page added.
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