Dragonflight Healer Rankings: Amirdrassil, the Dream's Hope Raiding Tier List (Patch 10.2)
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 guide will try to explain and rank the viability and strength of the various healing specializations for the current patch.
Disclaimer: This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out throughout the season.
About the Tier List
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Holy Priests have turned out even worse than predicted during the early days of the raid, as their Mana and throughput are both relatively weak. Holy Paladins have adapted to using a casting-heavy build that is currently performing extremely well on the meters and they still kept their utility intact, giving them a rank raise.
Finally, Restoration Shamans are seeing no play in RWF, but are also outperforming our low initial expectations so far and thus will get a rank raise, while Restoration Druids are unfortunately seeing very little play and relatively low healing numbers compared to their peers.
The rankings below reflect the predicted Amirdrassil raid meta and will be updated over time as more hotfixes and patches hit the live servers.
To understand why these rankings are the way they are, you first need to understand what is most valued in a raid setting. For healers, we value healing throughput, cooldowns, DPS output, and other miscellaneous utility.
A Final Warning
Just because a healer is currently low ranked in the tier list, it does not mean that it is not viable or that it will not become much better after balance changes. Also, excellent players will always be deserving of a raid spot, regardless of their specialization.
The main exception is when you require a specific healer to bring utility that is needed for a particular encounter (such as Rescue for low mobility classes), or one of the main raid buffs, such as Mark of the Wild, Power Word: Fortitude, or Devotion Aura.
Dragonflight Healer Tier List for Amirdrassil, the Dream's Hope
You can find the summarized healer tier list below, but make sure to also check the individual section for each healer in order to understand our ranking reasoning and specialization perks.
- Discipline Priest (S-Tier)
- Holy Paladin (A-Tier)
- Mistweaver Monk (A-Tier)
- Preservation Evoker (B-Tier)
- Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
- Holy Priest (C-Tier)
- Restoration Druid (C-Tier)
DPS and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in other rankings for the Season 3 raid in Dragonflight, please click the links below.
Full Healer Class Rankings
As the raid to world first unfolds, the healing meta becomes clearer, and this new list should more adequately display the current state of things. Regardless, we will be continuing to monitor and update the healing tier list as new hotfixes are deployed or new playstyles developed.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Discipline Priest is looking as strong as predicted, being the only healer to have multiple copies of in the RWF rosters while also displaying great healing, damage, and utility, thus being deserving of the top tier rank.
Healing Throughput: Discipline can have strong throughput but has difficulty with spot healing in raids as it is tied to predictable burst timings driven by its short cooldowns. On the upside, it has frequent raid burst healing windows enabled by Atonement spreading from Power Word: Radiance and multiple single-target applicators, such as Renew and Power Word: Shield, which makes it a strong healer against periodic raid burst damage patterns.
Cooldowns: Discipline has a very powerful healing cooldown in Power Word: Barrier, which offers massive damage reduction, but only inside its small area of effect. Rapture is also a strong cooldown for both emergency spot healing and ramp setups. Post-revamp, Discipline can easily amplify its Atonement healing with Shadowfiend, as many of the old cooldowns are now baked into it. Finally, its tank external is Pain Suppression, which provides a large amount of damage reduction for its target.
Damage Output: Discipline Priests tend to bring the strongest healer DPS in-game due to their rotation heavily involving the use of DPS abilities for Atonement healing (which includes multiple DPS cooldowns) and the Power Infusion cooldown, which is a significant raid damage gain when used well.
Utility: Discipline Priest has good utility, as they provide the Power Word: Fortitude raid buff and the DPS buff Power Infusion mentioned above. Their Mass Dispel, even post-nerf, is also often invaluable in raid encounters and, while more niche, Leap of Faith can be a lifesaver in some situations.
Defensively and mobility-wise, Discipline Priest might be the weakest healer of all, with only Desperate Prayer, Fade (with Translucent Image), and Angelic Feather to help out in those areas.
Overall, the revamped Discipline Priest can finally unlock its full potential without suffering from an overcomplicated rotation. While it is still not the ideal healer in random player spot-healing-heavy scenarios, Discipline brings a lot of cooldown healing, damage reduction, shields, DPS, and other special utility, which justifies its top place in the rankings, as you can easily bring two in an efficient healing composition.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Despite the many Holy Paladin nerfs, they are making a great showing this patch and almost every raid has at least one, as they are one of the best spot healers and also bring unique utility to the table. Thus, we will increase their relative rank to other healers to reflect their omnipresence in the typical healing roster.
Healing Throughput: Paladins has decent raw throughput, some of which is delivered as absorb shield healing from Barrier of Faith, Greater Judgment, and Overflowing Light, as well as Tyr's Deliverance and Holy Shock, allowing for high amounts of spot healing, which also cleaves off the tank with Beacon of Light and its supporting talents.
Cooldowns: Holy sports a strong healing increase cooldown in Avenging Wrath, a large damage reduction cooldowns for the raid with Aura Mastery plus Devotion Aura, and a fine tank external with Blessing of Sacrifice. Divine Toll and Daybreak can be pressed frequently for large cooldown healing, as well, and Lay on Hands is great for emergencies.
Damage Output: While not as strong as it once was, Holy Paladin still has a decent damage profile, and you can get a lot of damage from your melee swings and rotational abilities such as Judgment. Using Blessing of Summer on the right targets also provide a good amount of damage.
Utility: Holy Paladin sports some of the best unique utility in the game with their Blessing of Protection, Devotion Aura, and Retribution Aura. They can also interrupt on a short cooldown with Rebuke, crowd control with Hammer of Justice, Turn Evil, Blinding Light, and Repentance, and combat ress with Intercession.
They dispel Magic, Disease, and Poison effects with Cleanse, any movement-impairing effect with Blessing of Freedom. Defensively wise, Divine Shield is the only immunity ability provided to a healer class, and they also have plate armor, strong defensive talents, and Divine Protection. Their mobility is mostly tied to Divine Steed, making it one of the few things where Paladins do not excel.
Overall, Holy Paladin still has a very strong kit, and their class rework is still paying dividends, as their melee spec was heavily nerfed but the reworked casting spec came out to carry them to a strong performance in this tier.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Mistweaver Monk is looking great in the raid, being an integral part of the road to world first healing rosters everywhere. It does very high healing, good damage, and more importantly, brings the critical Mystic Touch raid debuff, at a time where Brewmasters and Windwalkers have fallen out of favor in the meta.
Healing Throughput: Mistweaver has excellent throughput and is able to cover all types of incoming damage with its versatile Enveloping Mist and Vivify healing kit. Much of its healing is delivered over time and lacks targeting, such as the healing produced by Essence Font and most cooldowns. Some of their healing also requires being in melee range of an enemy target, especially when looking to convert damage into healing with Ancient Teachings, Awakened Faeline, and Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane.
Cooldowns: Revival is the best-known Monk cooldown, and it dispels everyone while also doing massive healing. Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane and Invoke Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent are strong healing cooldowns with different use cases, and Monk has a lot of short cooldowns such as Faeline Stomp, Sheilun's Gift, and Thunder Focus Tea, which provide flexible benefits depending on the spells you combo them with. Mistweaver's tank external is Life Cocoon, which provides a massive shield and increases healing over time taken by the target.
Damage Output: Mistweaver Monks can do a lot of damage with Rising Sun Kick, Spinning Crane Kick, Blackout Kick, and Tiger Palm. Most importantly, their damage converts into healing efficiently with talents such as Ancient Teachings, Awakened Faeline, and Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane. These conversions create scenarios where dealing damage is the optimal healing strategy and empower Monks to be the top damage-dealing healers in raids.
Utility: Monks have a strong raid buff in Mystic Touch and provide buffs to close allies with Generous Pour and Close to Heart. They also have unique utility such as Ring of Peace, can interrupt with Spear Hand Strike, and instantly AoE stun with Leg Sweep. They can also dispel Magic, Disease, and Poison effects with Detox. Unfortunately, as long as Mystic Touch is already covered, none of the other utility tools are significant in a raid setting.
Defensively, Monk has multiple cooldowns: the massively buffed Expel Harm, Fortifying Brew, Dampen Harm, and Diffuse Magic all contribute towards making Mistweaver one of the toughest healers when played well. Mobility-wise, Monk is also exceptional with Tiger's Lust, the customizable Roll, and the instant teleportation of Transcendence, making knockbacks and other movement-related mechanics easy to solve.
Overall, Mistweavers are surprisingly good for how little they are played, but they also have many buttons, cooldowns, and moving parts in their kit, making them somewhat hard to play well. While they still also lack damage reduction effects for their groups, their personal throughput, mobility, survivability, and utility has finally been buffed to the point where every raid should seriously consider bringing one.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: While Preservation Evoker healing is still very high when using the Emerald Blossom playstyle, it suffers from requiring players to be tightly stacked together in order for the healing to happen. This is not possible in some of the bosses present in the raid, making Preservation fall off occasionally, although its healing and damage potential are still great, overall.
Healing Throughput: Preservation has excellent burst healing, especially against raid-wide damage with its frequent Essence Burst-powered Emerald Blossom casts, further amplified by Cycle of Life. You can also use Temporal Anomaly to create multiple Echos, which can then serve to replicate your Spiritbloom, Dream Breath, or Verdant Embrace (which also activates Lifebind for extra healing when followed up by high self-healing abilities such as Emerald Communion). Their main weakness is lack of spread healing due to Emerald Blossom mechanics and reacting to surprise damage, as their (spot) healing is rather weak when not properly set up ahead of time.
Cooldowns: Evoker is a very cooldown-oriented healer, ranging from the extremely powerful but high cooldown Rewind, to the short "build your own cooldown" Stasis. Emerald Communion is also a decent cooldown when appropriately used with high Lifebind counts. Zephyr has a small target cap but reduces damage taken significantly. Finally, its external cooldown is Time Dilation, which delays 50% of the damage taken by the target on a very short cooldown.
Damage Output: Preservation Evoker has good AoE damage potential, especially once Evoker Preservation 10.2 Class Set 2pc is unlocked, and can also do high single-target damage if you can get into a rhythm of casting an Ancient Flame-empowered Living Flame every time you press Emerald Blossom, which has the added upside of being able to give you more Essence Bursts to repeat the combo!
Utility: Preservation has a lot of niche, but occasionally indispensable, utility. It has a raid buff, Blessing of the Bronze, and a strong permanent healer buff in Source of Magic with Potent Mana. Landslide serves as a mass rooting effect, which can be essential in specific fights. Rescue allows the Evoker to move any player around and is fantastic in encounters with strong knockback mechanics that can be ignored with it. Time Spiral serves a similar purpose and keeps your raid mobile even when mobility personals need to be used back to back. Zephyr has already been mentioned for its damage reduction above, but can also be used for its movement speed increase.
Evokers can also remove Magic and Poison with Naturalize, and Cauterizing Flame can remove bleeds, curses, and almost all other non-magic debuffs. The bleed removal component is especially useful in some raid encounters where only immunities or a Paladin's Blessing of Protection can remove high-damage bleeds.
Defensively, Preservation is one of the weakest healers' baseline but compensates by having two personal cooldowns: Obsidian Scales and Renewing Blaze, which have relatively short cooldowns. Movement and knockbacks are very easy to deal with due to the double-jump mechanic native to Evokers and the short cooldown Hover.
Overall, Preservation Evoker is a cooldown machine likely to have something to use on every major incoming damage source. Its sustained healing is not the best, but through tier bonuses and the Emerald Blossom into Living Flame combo, it works well enough to still be significant during cooldown downtime. It is also noteworthy that Preservation is one of the most flexible healers on whether to use its resources for DPS or healing, as the situation demands.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Restoration Shaman is having a somewhat stronger showing than expected in the raid, with relatively high healing numbers, but that is also heavily influenced by the 30-man raids typical of Heroic / Normal week. Thus, we predict they will not be quite as bad as earlier thought, but also unlikely to become a meta healer without further changes.
Healing Throughput: Restoration has decent healing for all situations but suffers from having much of its area healing tied to Healing Rain, which requires a large number of players to be inside and damaged for its duration. Chain Heal is a much more versatile spell, especially with Tidebringer, but taxes Mana heavily, limiting its use. A similar situation arises with Healing Wave and Healing Surge, creating an environment where Shamans have tools for all situations but are not particularly good in any situation.
Cooldowns: Shaman has multiple powerful healing cooldowns: Spirit Link Totem is the most well-known and allows you to survive healing reduction effects or extreme raid damage, especially if unevenly distributed. Unleash Life, Cloudburst Totem, Ascendance and Spiritwalker's Tidal Totem serve as multipliers to your healing, as does Primordial Wave to an extent, and all of them can be very powerful if you are using them at the right time. Healing Tide Totem is also a decent healing cooldown, which has lower potency than similar effects from other healers but also allows you to continue casting during its duration. Earthen Wall Totem is a small but powerful cooldown, especially against many small hits. Finally, and notably, Restoration lacks a tank external, but has Earth Shield and Earthen Harmony's passive damage reduction to compensate.
Damage Output: Restoration Shaman has multiple strong damage tools, but most require taking specific talents and dedicating many cooldowns to DPSing. Examples include Acid Rain which turns Healing Rain into a strong damage effect, Stormkeeper which provides burst damage, Lava Surge for instant damage with Lava Burst and Master of the Elements to increase your damage (and healing!) after each Lava Burst cast.
Utility: Restoration Shaman is known for its many utility tools, but these also tend to be extremely niche. Besides the aforementioned Spirit Link Totem which can occasionally be the only cooldown that works in extreme situations, Ancestral Protection Totem has the unique power of resurrecting someone, making it very useful for suiciding dangerous mechanics. Shamans also have Ancestral Vigor for passively increasing raid health, Tremor Totem to break fear, charm , and sleep effects, Poison Cleansing Totem for mass removing poisons, and Stoneskin Totem against physical damage, as well as many other niche utility options.
Restoration Shaman also has good survivability talent options in Brimming with Life and Astral Shift plus its supporting talents, as well as Earth Elemental or Spirit Wolf, which doubles as a mobility tool. Ghost Wolf and Gust of Wind are the primary burst movement options, but Spiritwalker's Grace can be even stronger, as it allows you to cast while moving. Finally, Shaman has the unique perk of being able to self-resurrect with Reincarnation!
Overall, Restoration Shamans are strong all-rounders due to their versatile toolkit, and can occasionally be indispensable due to their unique utility, but in their current tuning and against Amirdrassil encounters, nothing really stands out, and they end up just being good generic healers, rather than must-haves in a healing roster.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Due to the multiple nerfs received by Holy Priest in this season, its popularity and overall power have drastically diminished, with many complaints being sent about their poor Mana efficiency and low current healing. Their support abilities were also nerfed, making them into true second fiddles to Discipline for the first time since the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid in Shadowlands Season 3.
Healing Throughput: Holy has decent throughput and is able to cover all types of incoming damage with its versatile kit of healing tools, which includes Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing and the Holy Words Holy Word: Salvation plus Holy Word: Sanctify. While it is not the best throughput healer by any means, its healing is solid and easy to set up.
Cooldowns: Holy has some powerful healing cooldowns in Holy Word: Salvation, Apotheosis, and Divine Hymn, all of which can do a large amount of burst healing when used at the right timings. Its tank external is Guardian Spirit, which increases healing taken by the target and prevents death while active. Due to its unique healing-increasing powers, it can be extremely good in situations where you need to heal a friendly NPC for a large amount.
Damage Output: While Holy Priests can do a lot of damage if they commit globals to damage abilities, doing so forces them to stop healing, which is not ideal. Thus, in harder content, much of the damage potential comes from using Power Infusion on the right targets while they are using DPS cooldowns.
Utility: Holy Priest has fantastic utility, which justifies its A-rank: Symbol of Hope, even post nerf, is still a very strong raid cooldown, especially in the hands of coordinated groups that have their personal cooldowns assigned around its usage. They also provide the Power Word: Fortitude raid buff and the DPS buff Power Infusion mentioned above. Finally, their Mass Dispel is often invaluable in raid encounters and, while more niche, Leap of Faith can be a lifesaver in some situations.
Defensively and mobility-wise, Priest is rather weak and mostly relies on Desperate Prayer and Angelic Feather, but it is also the only healer that can keep healing after dying with Spirit of Redemption, which is of fantastic value in some bosses with hard execute phases.
Overall, Holy Priests' perks, ease of use, and versatility allow them to be a jack of all trades, but they suffer from low healing and Mana management tuning currently, pushing them down the ranks.
November 17, Road to World First observation update: Restoration Druid is, unfortunately, looking as down in practice as it looked it would before the raid launch. Its healing is relatively low, utility can be covered by other, more popular, Druid specializations, and there is little hope in the short term outside of new hotfixes reverting some of the harsher nerfs or a new playstyle being discovered.
Healing Throughput: Druid has very high throughput potential, and is unique among healer classes in that it mostly relies on heals over time, such as Lifebloom and Rejuvenation, to deliver its healing. This delivery method works well in Aberrus due to the high amount of constant raid damage happening in most encounters. Most of their heals can also be done while moving, allowing throughput to remain high even in the most hectic of raid bosses.
Cooldowns: Restoration has good healing cooldowns in Incarnation: Tree of Life, Convoke the Spirits, and Flourish, which can be used separately or as part of a burst healing combo, which can heal through high amounts of damage. Its tank external, Ironbark reduces damage taken and increases healing taken by the target, making it one of the best tools of its kind, especially due to its relatively low cooldown.
Damage Output: While Restoration Druids can do a lot of damage if they optimize their talents for it and use Cat Form and / or Heart of the Wild, focusing on damage will tank their healing, which means that, in a raid setting, most of their damage will typically come from the usage of Sunfire, Moonfire, and Nature's Vigil, along with their healing cooldowns. While this damage is something, it is generally weak when compared to other healers.
Utility: Druids have their own raid cooldown in Mark of the Wild, and also bring Innervate, which can be used on themselves or other healers, Stampeding Roar for a short-cooldown raid-wide movement speed increase and Ursol's Vortex plus Typhoon to control enemy movements or Mass Entanglement to completely stop them, if needed.
Mobility-wise, Druid is quite strong with the passive speed gain of Cat Form and burst speed of Tiger Dash / Dash or Wild Charge, on top of being able to cast most of their rotation while moving and at range. Their main defensive is Barkskin, which has a very low cooldown, and they can shift into Bear Form at will to make themselves even tankier.
Overall, Restoration Druids have decent utility and a unique healing style, further pushed by Grove Guardians, but also relatively low healing, especially of the burst kind, making them a relatively weak option currently.
- 17 Nov. 2023: Updates mid road to world first progression.
- 30 Oct. 2023: Reviewed and updated for Patch 10.2.
- 22 Aug. 2023: Updates for this reset's hotfixes.
- 08 Aug. 2023: Updates for this reset's hotfixes.
- 23 Jul. 2023: Further updates considering upcoming hotfixes.
- 05 Jul. 2023: Updated for patch 10.1.5.
- 07 May 2023: Updated for Season 2 of Dragonflight.
- 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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