Shadowlands Healer Rankings: A Season 4 Raiding Tier List (Patch 9.2.7)

Last updated on Jun 23, 2022 at 17:32 by Impakt 25 comments

World of Warcraft has never been perfectly balanced, and Shadowlands 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 final season of raiding in Shadowlands.

1.

About the Tier List

August 18 update: Now that we have seen all of the raids in their fated forms, we have confirmed that there is not much in the way of surprises. The one major takeaway is that overall healing output is much more important than in previous tiers of progression — Restoration Druids specifically have been putting up incredible numbers, prompting their promotion to the S-tier.

DISCLAIMER

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 Fated Raids in Patch 9.2.7 of Shadowlands, Season 4. 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.

In Patch 9.2.7, class balance is going to be incredibly dependent on the state of your characters. For this tier list, we will assume that you have 2 legendary items and 4 pieces of your tier set equipped. For almost any comparison between unequally geared characters, a significant difference in item level (10+ ilvl) or tier will usually result in the more geared character being more valuable in raids.

1.1.

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.

2.

Shadowlands Healer Tier List for Season 4 Raids

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.

Work in progress Last update on Jun 23, 2022

  1. Restoration Druid (S-Tier)
  2. Holy Priest (S-Tier)
  3. Mistweaver Monk (A-Tier)
  4. Holy Paladin (A-Tier)
  5. Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
  6. Discipline Priest (B-Tier)
2.1.

DPS and Tank Class Rankings

If you are interested in our other rankings for the Season 4 Raids in Shadowlands, please click the links below.

3.

Full Healer Class Rankings

Healer balance is probably the best it has ever been, or at least close to it. You could easily run any combination of the healers below and do exceptionally well in the Season 4 raids. 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.

3.1.

S-Tier

3.1.1.

Restoration Druid

August 18 update: Restoration Druids do the most healing throughput in the game, without question. Their exceptional raw healing power is incredibly valuable in raids right now, and they can carry the healing on most encounters when played well. Restoration Druids have been bumped up into the S-tier.

Restoration Druids offer exceptional overall healing output with a solid throughput toolkit, making them an excellent option for any healing composition. Restoration Druids specifically offer strong burst healing through their cooldowns, as they have a set of cooldowns they can use together or apart from each other. On top of the usual Tranquility Icon Tranquility and Flourish Icon Flourish, Druids have access to Convoke the Spirits Icon Convoke the Spirits, which is basically another raid cooldown that has very strong synergy with Flourish. In Shadowlands, Druids can also use Heart of the Wild Icon Heart of the Wild to do some solid burst DPS when necessary. While their overall damage will still remain low compared to specs like Discipline Priest or Holy Paladin, there will be an option to power through certain parts of the fight with extra DPS. The biggest downsides remain to be a lack of damage reduction cooldown and steady damage contribution.

3.1.2.

Holy Priest

April 25 update: Holy Priests have surprisingly become S-tier healers thanks to an incredible healing toolkit, as they are one of the only healers that can be freely stacked in a comp and succeed. Their ability to handle spot healing and spread sustained throughput is exceptional. Combined with their significant personal DPS and the ability to use both Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion and Benevolent Faerie Icon Benevolent Faerie on a DPS, Holy Priests are the default choice to fill almost any extra spots in a healing comp.

Holy Priest received some significant buffs going into Patch 9.2, and they now offer exceptional healing output with some of the stronger throughput cooldowns in the game. Holy has been overshadowed by Discipline for a long time not necessarily because it is weak, but moreso because Discipline has been extremely strong when you can correctly coordinate and plan out your cooldowns in a progression setting. However, with the significant buffs to their throughput, Holy could easily see play over Disc on several encounters in 9.2 if given the choice. Holy on its own still brings a solid raid throughput kit, great AoE healing even while spread, and powerful throughput cooldowns with Divine Hymn Icon Divine Hymn and the option of talenting into Apotheosis Icon Apotheosis or Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation. While Holy Priests will not bring the top-tier damage reduction or other types of cooldowns you would see from Discipline, they do bring excellent throughput that could round out a healing composition where you already have other strong raid cooldowns.

Holy Priests also require a special note for their unique cooldown, Symbol of Hope Icon Symbol of Hope. In a tier where personal cooldown usage is so incredibly important, Holy Priests are the only spec in the game capable of increasing their usage for the entire raid.

3.2.

A-Tier

3.2.1.

Mistweaver Monk

Mistweaver Monks currently do the most healing out of any healer. Their healing output is exceptionally high, which, combined with their strong damage output, excellent mobility, and decent durability, makes them possibly the most valuable healer to bring to raids in Patch 9.2. 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. Revival Icon Revival especially is much stronger now as well, and does substantial raid healing. Mistweavers are excellent at all damage patterns, which makes them one of the better healers to bring if all you care about is keeping your raid alive in the Sepulcher of the First Ones.

It is also important to mention that Monks do bring a 5% Physical damage buff, which could be considered required for most raid groups. You do not have to use a Mistweaver Monk to get it, but if you have no other Monks then picking up a Mistweaver would be a great way to get the buff.

3.2.2.

Holy Paladin

Holy Paladins are still a valuable healer going into Sepulcher of the First Ones, but they have been noticeably nerfed in Patch 9.2. Venthyr Paladins with the Ashen Hallow Icon Ashen Hallow ability are still able to do tank-level damage with virtually no loss in healing capabilities, making them an incredibly valuable asset in Mythic progression where damage is tight. The utility that Paladins bring, specifically with Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, are going to be quite useful on the later Mythic encounters. Finally, Aura Mastery Icon Aura Mastery combined with Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura is still one of the best raid cooldowns in the game as a damage reduction cooldown, which will be quite valuable in Mythic.

The reasons for their drop from S to A-tier in Patch 9.2 are mainly the nerfs that they are about to see. Ashen Hallow Icon Ashen Hallow took a significant damage hit, and Holy is also losing some power on their main cooldown, Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath. Their overall healing output will be perhaps the lowest out of any healer going into 9.2, but their damage and utility are still significant enough that they could easily warrant a raid spot.

3.3.

B-Tier

3.3.1.

Restoration Shaman

April 25 update: Now that the raid has been fully progressed, we now know that almost every encounter has significant movement or spread throughout the fights. As most of the fights are designed to require high sustained HPS, Restoration Shamans are simply a worse choice when compared to healers like Holy Priests or Restoration Druids who excel at that type of sustained healing on spread or mobile raids.

Restoration Shaman is looking to be extremely strong going into Sepulcher of the First Ones, primarily thanks to an exceptionally strong new tier set. They bring one of the best raid cooldowns in the game, Spirit Link Totem Icon Spirit Link Totem, which combined with their other available cooldowns is invaluable on most raid encounters. Restoration specifically has also been putting out some lethal damage output in recent buffs as Kyrian with their Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem, giving them an exceptional offensive build available should a fight call for it.

3.3.2.

Discipline Priest

August 18 update: This is probably going to be a controversial change, but we have chosen to lower Discipline Priest into the B-tier. Everything stated below is still true and accurate: Discipline Priest is incredibly powerful when you put in the planning and coordination required to make good use of your very specific throughput windows. In short, to best utilize Discipline, you need to plan out your healing cooldowns accurately, which requires planning and foresight. While this is reasonable and expected during a normal progression tier, this is the exact opposite of what you will ever expect during Season 4 raid content. Changing raids weekly, rotating affixes, and changes in gear levels mean planning out cooldowns to fully utilize Discipline as a spec is incredibly difficult, and quite frankly not worth the effort in most cases. Most raids utilize other specs for the flexibility and more consistent healing throughput instead, which is nicer to have when you are less confident about what any given encounter will be like.

Discipline Priests are currently one of the most valuable healers going in to Sepulcher of the First Ones for a variety of reasons. Discipline brings the second best 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 Rapture Icon Rapture, while also retaining some powerful, low-cooldown spells that enable them to setup for high damage periods better than any other healer. Specifically, Spirit Shell Icon Spirit Shell when used correctly can almost eliminate the danger that certain mechanics pose even on mythic encounters. With proper setup, Evangelism Icon Evangelism and Rapture allows them to plan ahead and set up to do some of the highest throughput possible out of any healer to deal with high stress periods during raid encounters. Discipline is not the highest throughput healer overall, but their ability to direct significant healing into the moments that matter results in Discipline being one of the strongest and most important healing specializations going into the new raid tier.

Discipline also has another important tool worth noting: Power Infusion Icon Power Infusion. Priests are able to cast Power Infusion on other players when they do not need it themselves, which is a huge DPS increase for some classes. This alone is more DPS than most healing specs contribute to the raid, which makes them even better when coordinated correctly.

4.

Changelog

  • 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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