Mythic+ Healer Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands (Patch 9.2.5. / Season 3)
From the strongest to the weakest class and specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward shaping the seasonal "meta" of Mythic+. The Healer specialization rankings provided for Shadowlands's third and final Season of Mythic+ are based on pure healing strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of the season.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary prior and during Season 3 (Patch 9.2.5.) of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. There are often moments of Covenant, class tuning, and secondary stat scaling that will impact the placing of the specs.
I am Petko, a competitive Mythic+ player, known to be pushing the boundaries of High Mythic+ with several World first and Europe rankings among the seasons on multiple classes. I have worked hard on preparing for Season 3 of Shadowlands, spending numerous hours per day examining each and every class and spec in a dungeon environment. This Tier list will continue to be updated as much as it requires over the course of Shadowlands and it will also focus on what the "meta" will look like as it stabilizes. Along the way, this Tier list will also be supported by various professional Mythic+ players with high credibility in the community.
To begin with, this Tier list will primarily focus on the third Season of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. At the beginning, there will be also no Warcraft Logs rankings added nor simulation data for the majority of the classes and specs. As a result, this Tier list will be solely based on empirical evidence of the current state of the classes' performance in Mythic+ from my own point of view and the point of view of the group of players testing those classes who are among the best representative of the class in the community. Moreover, this Tier list will take into consideration every impactful class change and Covenant tuning.
This tier list is entirely based on healer performance in Mythic+. The factors that are considered are HPS and DPS output, external cooldowns, utility, and mobility.
A Final Warning
It is important to understand that this Tier list is NOT permanent and it will be due to change with upcoming changes and tunings over the course of the expansion. I have always advocated to the "bring the player, not the class" motto, meaning: value the player skill more than the class itself. This Tier list should NOT discourage you to play whatever you enjoy the most, as I have always been playing "off-meta" classes and happened to have really good results in an actual Mythic+ environment. The list will be updated as much as it requires and if something is under-performing now, it could become meta due to a hotfix as well as the opposite.
Important Note for Season 3/Patch 9.2
This tier-list is assuming you have two Legendaries equipped and both 2-piece and 4-piece tier set bonuses active. This means at the very beginning of the season we are likely to see similar classes or specs being popular from Season 2, but quickly after obtaining your second legendary, this is what the tier-list should look like. Finally, always check the tier list after every major update; there are always changes toward the tier-list, which I will account for as fast as possible.
Healer Tier List for Shadowlands Season 3 of Mythic+
Below you can find the full rankings for Healers slots in Shadowlands Mythic+. We encourage you to further read and understand why some classes are placed lower or higher than expected, with several factors taken into consideration.
Work in progress Last update on Jun 08, 2022
I have also created a video to complement the rankings presented here, which you can watch below if you would rather not read instead.
DPS and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for Mythic+ in Shadowlands, please click the links below.
Full Healer Class Rankings
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Holy Priest received no changes going forward to the rest of Season 3. And honestly if they did I would have been quite surprised, unless they were nerfs. Currently the best healer in Mythic+, Holy Priest provides both the DPS and the HPS requirement from a healer to be considered "the best". On top of this they have great party utility, with the only flaw being no strong group damage-reduction ability (like Discipline Priest's Power Word: Barrier or Aura Mastery coming from the Holy Paladins), but hey, you cannot be the best at everything, right? Rightfully, remaining on the S-tier list.
The main strength of Holy Priest comes from their high healing output in heavy-HPS encounters. The spec also has the ability to cast spells upon death through Spirit of Redemption, a feature exclusive to Holy Priest. Moreover, Holy Priest provides several useful tools and group utilities such as Holy Word: Chastise, Mass Dispel, Power Infusion, and Leap of Faith. In addition, Mind Soothe can sometimes be a deciding factor in a dungeon, if you wish to skip a pack without getting in combat. Holy Priest also provides the party with the external cooldown Guardian Spirit, which can be used as a "cheat-death" on its benefactor. The spec can further excel by providing a purge with Dispel Magic and the Censure talent can act as an optional single-target stun. Finally, Priest is one of two classes that can readily negate the Bursting affix with Mass Dispel which makes them extremely valuable.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Although Restoration Shaman did not receive any changes leading to this patch, they remain one of the best healers this season. This is due to their great damage output, amazing utility, and the flexibility to fit within any composition by being the only healer with an interrupt — Wind Shear — which solves a lot of group problems.
Restoration Shaman's biggest weakness in Battle for Azeroth was its damage output and lack of a strong external cooldown for the tank outside of their Spirit Link Totem. Since then, Blizzard has partly changed the core build of the spec for Shadowlands. Restoration Shaman is the best spec at coming back from a critical situation, or healing very high, consistent damage as long as the targets are close to each other. Restoration Shaman is the only healer with an interrupt through Wind Shear, and also has the ability to self-resurrect upon death with Reincarnation. Tremor Totem, Earth Elemental, Capacitor Totem, and Cleanse Spirit are among the most-used utilities of the Shaman. Overall, it is the best healer specialization in Mythic+ with the best damage output and among the highest HPS. The lack of strong external cooldowns can definitely make some fights really tough, however.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Restoration Druid received no further changes this patch. Although they remain competitive in the current meta, they are one tier behind from being the best healer but are versatile enough to fit within any team composition.
Restoration Druid are currently considered a decent choice going forward to Season 3 of Mythic+, with an average damage output and a great HPS profile. Restoration Druid's utility is one of the best compared to the rest of the healers, providing Ursol's Vortex, Cyclone, Soothe and Stampeding Roar. Restoration Druid's external cooldown Ironbark is among the shortest external cooldowns in the healer scene, making it extremely effective. Their ability to sustain group HPS while doing damage is what really makes them stand out. Moreover, Restoration Druids are the most mobile healers in Shadowlands and the only healing spec with combat resurrection in the form of Rebirth. They have great passive mitigation and possess one of the shortest defensive personal cooldowns with Barkskin.
The only disadvantage of having a Restoration Druid in your party is the inability to compete in DPS compared to the healer specializations ranked above them. Raw damage power can have a significant influence on the speed of the key. Purely for that, Restoration Druid are rewarded with being in the A-tier list.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Holy Paladin received no changes going forward to the rest of this season. However, keep in mind, the current version of Holy Paladin is quite good, considering they are one of the few healers that can go Necrolord and be efficient, which as always, brings flexibility to the party. Outside of their amazing group utility, they are also the only healer with an immunity making it extremely attractive for the higher-end keys, as well as for mid to low keys. Finally, one of the main reasons why we do not see this spec be considering "meta' is that their damage-profile is not as competitive compared to the specs placed above them.
Holy Paladin is notorious for having one of the best cases of late-game-scaling with secondary stats in the healing scene. This means that the spec will improve as the season goes on and better gear becomes available. Holy Paladins do have great damage output compared to the rest of the healing specializations, and are also the only healer with an immunity through Divine Shield. Their toolkit is also great and has several external cooldowns for the party such as Aura Mastery, Blessing of Sacrifice, and Blessing of Protection. Moreover, Holy Paladins have passive party-wide damage mitigation with Devotion Aura.
Their main disadvantage comes from the lack of healing output outside of their cooldowns, making it extremely hard to heal any heavy incoming damage without any preparation. Another disadvantage is low mobility outside of Divine Steed. Finally, being a Melee healer can make some encounters significantly harder.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Discipline Priest did receive minor buffs in the form of Blaze of Light now increasing the damage of Smite and Penance by 30% (previously 15%) which is not enough to change their current tier-list placement. As always, the spec has a great toolkit and party-wide utilities, but now that both Restoration Druid and Holy Priest received major buffs going into Season 3, damage is no longer a strong argument of why Discipline Priest should be placed above them. That, combined with less HPS and a mediocre tier set, will push Discipline Priest down the rankings.
The specialization provides one of the best external party cooldowns in a Mythic+ environment with Pain Suppression and Power Word: Barrier, making it perfect against heavy-HPS fights while still maintaining high DPS. The overall output of Discipline Priest is mediocre, but to compensate for that they have an amazing utility toolkit. They also carry Power Word: Fortitude along with Power Infusion, which can directly benefit the DPS players in the group. Moreover, Priest is one of two classes that can readily negate the Bursting affix with Mass Dispel which makes them extremely valuable.
Discipline Priest's main disadvantage is its raw healing output in a dungeon format. While they are a versatile spec with high mobility and damage output Discipline Priests have trouble sustaining continuous high HPS due to its highly cooldown-dependent playstyle.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Mistweaver Monk received no changes going forward to this patch. The spec has been in the dust for quite awhile now and there has been no effort to "fix" their core issues ever since the launch of the expansion. And no, I do not refer to their damage-profile, which is not as bad as people think it is. It is the lack of a strong external single-target defensive cooldown, or party-defensive cooldown, which both helps the tank to survive or the group from wiping. Their raw HPS is amazing, but just that will not be enough to propel the spec anywhere higher than B-tier for now.
Mistweaver Monk provides one of the highest raw HPS outputs out of any healer currently in Shadowlands. Their "spot"-healing is among the best, but with the cost of a lower damage output compared to the rest of the healing specializations. Other disadvantages of the spec are having no external cooldowns to provide to the party other than Life Cocoon and no party-wide damage reduction abilities to help in hard encounters, making Mistweaver a less viable pick. Indeed, while they do provide Mystic Touch which increases the party's Physical damage done by 5%, there is no significant DPS bump they can offer. Mistweaver Monk offers great utility such as Tiger's Lust, Leg Sweep, and Ring of Peace. They also have strong mobility with Roll and Transcendence as well as in-combat crowd control from Paralysis.
On a more positive note, Mistweavers are one of the few specializations that can readily negate the Bursting affix with Revival which makes them somewhat valuable. Mistweaver Monk will also still be a decent choice for any group with a Melee-heavy composition that can benefit the most from Mystic Touch.
Mythic+ Dungeon Difficulty Rankings
For a full ranking of the relative difficulty of the different Mythic+ dungeons based on the current week's Mythic+ affixes, please check out our guide below.
- 08 Jun. 2022: Major changes based on the most recent build for Patch 9.2.5.
- 12 Apr. 2022: Major changes based on the most recent Patch notes.
- 17 Feb. 2022: Added a new layer on the healer tier-list.
- 16 Feb. 2022: New round of spell and specialization tuning based on the upcoming 9.2. patch.
- 28 Oct. 2021: New round of spell and specialization tuning based on the upcoming 9.1.5 patch.
- 15 Jun. 2021: Tier list updated based on the 38872 PTR build for Patch 9.1.
- 19 Mar. 2021: Guide updated based on the latest patch notes (9.0.5.)
- 31 Jan. 2021: New round of changes to all healing specializations based on the most recent Build (37176).
- 13 Jan. 2021: Guide requires no changes after recent tuning changes based on the most recent Build (37142).
- 14 Dec. 2020: New round of class and spell changes.
- 07 Dec. 2020: New round of class adjustments.
- 16 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes.
- 09 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36512).
- 30 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36401).
- 24 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36294).
- 12 Oct. 2020: Second round of updates based on continued Discord feedback.
- 08 Oct. 2020: First round of updates based on 36165 Beta Build.
- 08 Oct. 2020: Holy Priest and Holy Paladin changes.
- 07 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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