Mythic+ Healer Rankings: A Tier List for Dragonflight (Patch 10.0.2 / Season 1)
From the weakest to the strongest specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward shaping the seasonal "meta" of Mythic+. The Healer specialization rankings provided for Dragonflight's first season of Mythic+ are based on the pure healing strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, damage and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of leading up to the season's start and beyond.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary prior and during Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. There are often moments of tier set and class tuning, as well as talent changes and secondary stat scaling that will impact the placement 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 first rankings among past seasons on multiple classes. I have worked hard on preparing for Season 1 of Dragonflight, 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 Dragonflight 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, theorycrafters across all specializations, and my own empirical evidence.
To begin with, this Tier list will exclusively focus on the first Season of Mythic+ in Dragonflight. There will be 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 representatives of the class in the community. Moreover, this Tier list will take into consideration every impactful class change and tier set tuning before and after the start of the season.
It is important to note that opinions might vary and that is completely okay, but remember to be respectful when providing feedback as the sole purpose of this tier-list is to help the WoW community with their choice of main or alt each season.
This tier list is entirely based on healer performance in Mythic+. The factors that are considered are HPS and DPS output, external cooldowns, utility, durability, 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 season. 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, if having fun is your main drive when you play Mythic+. The list will be updated as much as it requires before and after the start of each season.
Important Note for Season 1 of Dragonflight
This tier-list is based on the assumption that you have your 4-piece tier-set present at all times. Places can vary drastically if this measure is not taken into consideration, as our main purpose is to showcase which specializations will become the best months before the season hits its peak.
Healer Tier List for Season 1 of Mythic+ in Dragonflight
Below you can find the full rankings for Healers slots in Dragonflight 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.
- Preservation Evoker (S-Tier)
- Restoration Druid (S-Tier)
- Holy Paladin (A-Tier)
- Discipline Priest (A-Tier)
- Holy Priest (A-Tier)
- Mistweaver Monk (A-Tier)
- Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
DPS and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for Mythic+ in Dragonflight, please click the links below.
Full Healer Class Rankings
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Preservation Evoker received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Preservation Evoker 2pc bonus enables their empowered spells to increase Reversion's chance to critically heal by 25% for 6 seconds. In addition, the Preservation Evoker 4pc effect will give Reversion's healing to have a chance to cause their next Living Flame to be cast instantaneously and deal 20% increased healing or damage, stacking up to 2 times. Preservation Evoker is in the commanding position to become one of the best healers in the current meta, with one of the best offensive profiles (both in single-target and in AoE) among all healers, competitive HPS, amazing utility, and top-notch mobility. On top of this, they can provide Fury of the Aspects to their team, which is incredibly valuable to have. There is nothing else to add, except that they have earned a well-deserved S-tier.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Preservation Evoker is the first hybrid-Healer, having most of its healing spell having a 30-yard range (as opposed a fully-ranged healer having 40-yard ranged abilities most of the time). Its healing style is more about direct heals rather than heal-over-time effects (unlike Restoration Druid) with some of their signature abilities being Dream Breath, Echo, Reversion, and Spiritbloom. Their major healing cooldown is Dream Flight and a small personal cooldown that restores Mana and health is Emerald Communion. They can remove all Magic and Poison debuffs with Naturalize. They also have unique external defensives, the first being Time Dilation which works similar to a Brewmaster Monk's Stagger, and the second being Rewind, a strong party-wide cooldown. If you enjoy high mobility healing specializations that have a healthy mixture of direct heals and heal-over-time effects with a hint of a great damage profile, this spec is for you.
Utility: The Evoker class comes quite strong out of the gates, with one of the best party-wide utilities in the game. They have access to a combined Bleed, Poison, Curse, and Disease dispel with Cauterizing Flame (this is an additional dispel outside of their regular one), a mass-root effect with Landslide, a knockback racial ability Wing Buffet, a knock-up racial ability with Tail Swipe, party-wide area-of-effect damage reduction with Zephyr, and access to a mass stun effect in the form of the Terror of the Skies talent. They also have an ability to fly with an ally, known as Rescue (which is quite useful if your party member is out of position and you can save them a few seconds of relocating), access to a brand-new utility with Oppressing Roar and an AoE Enrage Dispel with Overawe, if talented. They also have Fury of the Aspects, which is another form of Bloodlust, party-buff with Blessing of the Bronze, and a talent choice to restore Mana to a 1 chosen ally with Source of Magic. They also have access to a hybrid-ranged interrupt. Evoker further has the power to let you use your major movement ability without causing it to go on cooldown (and it will let you use it if it is already on cooldown) if talented into Time Spiral, so this can help a lot of classes that have limited mobility.
Defensives: Evoker has a unique passive, Tempered Scales, which will make them mitigate more Physical damage, and access to Obsidian Scales, a 1.5-minute cooldown that provides 30% reduced damage for 12 seconds, which you can further bolster if you talent into Obsidian Bulwark.
Mobility: To top everything off, the majority of their playstyle will be based on instant spells with some exceptions, further complemented by Hover if needed. Speaking about being mobile, they have their own version of dash with Verdant Embrace, which has a 30 yard range just in case they are required to quickly reposition.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Restoration Druid received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Restoration Druid 2pc bonus increases critical healing chance of Rejuvenation, Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Efflorescence, and Tranquility by 8%. In addition, the Restoration Druid 4pc bonus will make their Efflorescence critical heals increase the healing of their next Wild Growth by 5%, stacking up to 5 times. Lifebloom critical heals also reduce the cooldown of Nature's Swiftness by 2. Restoration Druids are looking amazing going into the season; with one of the best damage profiles (both AoE and single-target), spot-healing, and group-healing, they are a contender for the top spot. This will be a close battle for the top, but it will truly come down to how much value Restoration Druid can bring to the table, or in other words, is their utility be suitable to be "meta' worthy? I cannot really point out any flaws of this spec except that other healing specializations might have better party-utility than them or if Mark of the Wild is already present, but they are pretty much on par if not ahead in any other department.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Restoration Druid has one of the more unique playstyles in Mythic+ across all healers, with most of its focus based on heal-over-time effects like Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Wild Growth, Lifebloom, Swiftmend, and much more. In addition, they have one of the shortest external-defensives in Mythic+ with Ironbark, which is a great source of single-target mitigation for anyone in danger. Their major healing cooldown is Tranquility with some minor cooldowns being Nature's Swiftness and Flourish. On top of this, if they ever decide to contribute to the overall group damage, they can do it with Cat Form — "cat-weaving" is the most popular way to do DPS as a Restoration Druid — or in caster form DoTing all the targets with Moonfire and Sunfire. Historically, Restoration Druids have always performed well and I believe they will do amazing this expansion too.
Utility: Restoration Druids have a great utility toolkit for Mythic+, with their signature external defensive cooldown of Ironbark. Druids also have a raid-wide buff added in Dragonflight with Mark of the Wild (available to all specs), which provides additional value to the already-strong utility toolkit. Some of their utilities include Hibernate, Stampeding Roar, Remove Corruption, Soothe, Mass Entanglement or Ursol's Vortex (depending on the talent choice), Renewal, Cyclone, Mighty Bash, or Incapacitating Roar (depending on talent choice), Typhoon, Innervate, and much more. Going forward to Dragonflight, Restoration Druids will also have the option to talent Skull Bash, which gives them an interrupt. This will make them even stronger in Mythic+, though keep in mind this is quite a "pricy" talent and you might not go down that route. Druids are also one of the few classes that have access to a stealth ability with Prowl, allowing them to do any skips without using an Invisibility Potion. Moreover, they have access to Rebirth, a battle-resurrection that is limited to only a few specializations in the game.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Outside of their great utility, Restoration Druid has a quite strong defensive with Barkskin being only a 1-minute cooldown, followed by great passive mitigation from 25% on-demand Stamina with Bear Form and 6% permanent damage-reduction from Thick Hide (if talented in the class tree).
Mobility: Restoration Druid's overall playstyle is quite mobile; since a healthy portion of their playstyle is with instant heal-over-time spells, they can freely swap positions without being punished. Druids of any spec also have a talent to increase their movement speed by 15% with Feline Swiftness. In addition, they can choose to talent Tiger Dash or Wild Charge to gain extra mobility if they are in combat and need to move as quickly as possible.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Holy Paladin received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Holy Paladin 2pc increases their Critical Strike chance by 4% for 10s when they use Holy Shock. In addition, the Holy Paladin 4pc grants their Holy Light, Flash of Light, Light of Dawn, Word of Glory, and Bestow Faith a 6% healing increase and their critical hits increase the damage or healing of their next Holy Shock by 20%. Holy Paladin is in an exceptional place in the current state of the game, as their overall value for the team is higher than ever. With multiple defensive and offensive external cooldowns, an immunity, great mob control, and an amazing damage profile, you are looking at one of the potential "meta" contenders for all healer specializations. The only minor drawback is the lack of a great HPS outside of their cooldowns, but that is a feature worth ignoring considering the complete package of the spec.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Holy Paladin's playstyle will consist of building Holy Power through abilities like Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, or Hammer of Wrath and spending it on abilities like Word of Glory or Light of Dawn. Meanwhile, their damage spells are a mix between Melee ( Crusader Strike and Consecration) and Ranged ( Holy Shock), so depending on the situation they can choose exactly how to approach it. They have one major offensive cooldown with Avenging Wrath (though it can be used as a defensive too), with minor cooldowns like Divine Toll/ Seraphim depending on their talent choices. Holy Paladin has a lot more cooldowns than what is listed here; read the text down in the utility section for a full description.
Utility:> Holy Paladin has historically always been one of the strongest healers (performance-wise) in Mythic+. They have great party-wide offensive and defensive utility; one of them being Aura Mastery, which will change depending on what Aura they have and is most commonly used in combination with Devotion Aura to further enhance it and increase its damage-reduction value to 15% for 8 seconds. In Dragonflight, they will gain access to several brand-new utility spells, increasing their overall value to the roof! First, they will gain access to an interrupt with Rebuke and a new external-cooldown talent with Blessing of the Seasons. Blessings work in a unique manner, as the ability has 4 options based on a cycle: Blessing of Summer, Blessing of Autumn, Blessing of Winter, and Blessing of Spring. They will have an option to either use Beacon of Faith or Beacon of Virtue, both extremely valuable depending on the dungeon. Having the Rule of Law talent choice can make their healing spells have a 60-yard range (most of their healing spells have 40 yard range), even though they are considered a "melee healer". In addition, they can choose to have Turn Evil if their team needs an additional crowd-control effect, and also the option to have Lay on Hands, a quite powerful single-target healing spell. Going into Dragonflight, all Paladin specs will even have access to a baseline combat-resurrection ability with Intercession, making their utility even better. They also have the option to remove Magic, Disease, and Poison effects with Cleanse and access to Blessing of Protection, which can be used both offensively to prevent someone from taking the tank's threat, or defensively by offering immunity to Physical damage, and Blessing of Sacrifice as incredibly useful party-wide utility available for all Paladin specs Blessing of Freedom is another utility spell that will improve their quality of life in Mythic+, and Tanks will love them for it. To top it off, let us not forget that they have great mob control for a healer, with an option between Blinding Light (AoE disruption) or Repentance (a strong crowd-control ability), depending on the talent choice. Having access to single-target stun with Hammer of Justice can help them control any mobs considered dangerous, especially the casters in Mythic+. With all this in mind, Paladin is looking better than ever going into Dragonflight.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Holy Paladin has one of the shortest defensive cooldowns in the game with Divine Protection, if Unbreakable Spirit is talented. In addition, Paladin is the only healing specialization that has an immunity in Divine Shield, which is highly valuable in Mythic+.
Mobility: One of the major concerns for Paladins has always been their limited mobility, being bound to Divine Steed. Luckily that has been improved going forward to Dragonflight if you choose the Cavalier talent in the general Paladin tree.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Discipline Priest received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Discipline Priest 2pc bonus will make their Power Word: Shield increase the effectiveness of their next direct damage or healing spell by 10%. In addition, the Discipline Priest 4pc bonus will make Penance increase the strength of their next Power Word: Shield by 60% of its damage or 18% of its healing. Although having one of the best external-defensive and offensive cooldowns for Mythic+, Discipline Priest struggles in the HPS department without their major cooldowns. They have a great damage profile, which will help them contribute to their team's overall damage. One other major drawback is that they are one of the healing specializations without an interrupt, which holds immense value in Mythic+. There are not any major flaws of the spec, outside of struggling to heal heavy HPS spots, but simply other healing specializations placed above them are better in some of the departments, with some providing better utility, better HPS/DPS, or better survivability. Still, they are a solid contender for the top and get a well-deserved A-tier.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Discipline Priest has one of the more unique healing playstyles across all healing specializations thanks to Atonement simply forcing them to do effective damage to contribute towards overall healing. Of course, in critical situations they also rely on direct healing with Power Word: Life and Power Word: Shield covering the majority of the spot-healing, which means they still rarely cast Penance or Flash Heal. The more knowledge you have in Mythic+, the better it will be once you get to play Discipline Priest, since you will know exactly where you will need more healing, meaning you can pre-mitigate some using their powerful shields. Discipline Priest is a highly skilled specialization that has a high skill ceiling; done correctly, they become unstoppable!
Utility: Discipline Priest is one of the few Healing specialization that has 3 forms of dispel: Dispel Magic, Purify Disease, and Mass Dispel. They have 2 strong external-defensive cooldowns in Pain Suppression (single-target damage reduction) and Power Word: Barrier (AoE damage-reduction), in addition to their strong absorb cooldown Rapture. Priest is the only class in the game that can provide a party-wide 5% Stamina buff with Power Word: Fortitude, which makes them unique. All the Priest specializations have access to an incredibly strong external cooldown with Power Infusion, which can be used offensively or defensively, depending on the situation. Since the introduction of the new talents in Dragonflight, Priests also have access to the Twins of the Sun Priestess talent (previously a Shadowlands legendary effect), which increases the overall damage of the party. To add to Priest's utility, let us not forget their iconic Leap of Faith spell, helping their teammates escape dangerous situations or reposition without losing valuable uptime, and Shackle Undead, which has limited use depending on the mob type. Having Mind Soothe can help their team save an Invisibility Potion, if they are planning to skip a pack. Mind Control / Dominate Mind are spells that can be useful in Dragonflight dungeons; as we have previously seen, there is always something you can "cheese" with those abilities.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Discipline Priest's defensive toolkit will improve going forward to Dragonflight. Outside of their iconic defensive cooldown of Desperate Prayer (which now can be improved if they talent Light's Inspiration, the spec will have the option to talent choices like Protective Light, Angelic Bulwark, and Translucent Image, having a 10% damage reduction every 20 seconds (if talenting into Improved Fade); not to mention that it can also remove all snare effects on themselves if they have talented Phantasm, which makes Fade quite a strong short defensive cooldown.
Mobility: Priest's mobility is not the greatest, but having plenty of their spells as instant-casts allows them to reposition without sacrificing much of their performance. In addition, they can opt to talent Blaze of Light, which will bump their movement-speed when using Penance by 25%/50% and even stacks with Angelic Feather. Having Angelic Feather can also help not only themselves but their team as well, in addition to the Body and Soul talent which fits their healing playstyle and adds extra movement speed.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Holy Priest received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Holy Priest 2pc bonus grants a 1-second reduced cast time and extra 2 seconds of Holy Word cooldown reduction to Heal or Prayer of Healing upon casting Prayer of Mending. In addition, the Holy Priest 4pc effect will grant them 10% Critical Strike chance for 6 seconds when Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctify finish their cooldowns. Holy Priest remains a solid choice for the upcoming new season of Mythic+, with the primary focus being their incredible HPS profile. They have great raw damage, one of the best external offensive damage cooldowns in the game with Power Infusion, and a strong single-target external defensive with Guardian Angel. One of the major disadvantages of having Holy Priest is that they do not offer any damage-reduction ability to their team, which is highly valuable in Mythic+. Further tuning can definitely change their current placement, as I believe the only salvation for this spec is to assign more power into their already-strong offensive toolkit (more raw damage)!
Playstyle and Cooldowns: The majority of the spec's playstyle relies on direct healing spells instead of heal-over-time effects. They might not have such strong external defensive cooldowns, but they have the ability to outheal any incoming damage. Depending on the situation, Holy Priest can use their Holy Words defensively with Holy Word: Serenity and Holy Word: Sanctify spot-healing a single member or doing AoE Healing, respectively, or offensively with Holy Word: Chastise. Some of their signature healing abilities are Prayer of Healing, Heal, Flash Heal, Divine Hymn, Renew, and Prayer of Mending. It is important to note that any direct healing spell will also add a heal-over-time effect based on the value of their Mastery: Echo of Light. During healing downtime, they will be contributing to their team's overall damage with Smite, Holy Fire, Shadow Word: Pain, and Empyreal Blaze, if talented.
Utility: Holy Priest is one of the few Healing specialization that has 3 forms of dispel: Dispel Magic, Purify Disease, and Mass Dispel. They also have 2 strong external defensive cooldowns with Guardian Spirit (which can be enhanced by Guardian Angel/ Guardians of the Light), and Symbol of Hope, in addition to a few minor cooldowns depending on talent choices, such as Divine Word and Apotheosis. Holy Priest additionally has a unique passive called Spirit of Redemption that enables them to heal even if they die. They can also help with mob control in dungeons if they talent Holy Word: Chastise. Priest is the only class in the game that can provide a party-wide 5% Stamina buff with Power Word: Fortitude, which makes them unique. All the Priest specializations have access to an incredibly strong external cooldown with Power Infusion, which can be used offensively or defensively, depending on the situation. Since the introduction of the new talents in Dragonflight, Priests also have access to the Twins of the Sun Priestess talent (previously a Shadowlands legendary effect), which increases the overall damage of the party. Speaking about introducing new spells, they have gained access to the Void Shift talent, which can prevent any of their team members from dying. To add to Priest's utility, let us not forget their iconic Leap of Faith spell, helping their teammates escape dangerous situations or reposition without losing valuable uptime, and Shackle Undead, which has limited use depending on the mob type. Having Mind Soothe can help their team save an Invisibility Potion, if they are planning to skip a pack. Mind Control / Dominate Mind are spells that can be useful in Dragonflight dungeons; as we have previously seen, there is always something you can "cheese" with those abilities.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Holy Priest's defensive toolkit will improve going forward to Dragonflight. Outside of their iconic defensive cooldown of Desperate Prayer which can now be improved if talenting Light's Inspiration, the spec will have the option to talent choices like Protective Light, Angelic Bulwark, and Translucent Image, gaining a 10% damage reduction every 20 seconds if Improved Fade is talented; not to mention that it can also remove all snare effects on themselves if they have the talent Phantasm, which makes Fade quite a strong, short defensive cooldown.
Mobility: Holy Priest's mobility is not the greatest, but having some of their spells as instant-casts will "buy" them enough time to reposition without sacrificing much of their performance. Having Angelic Feather can also help not only themselves but their team as well, in addition to the Body and Soul talent which fits their healing playstyle and adds extra movement speed.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Mistweaver Monk received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Mistweaver Monk 2pc bonus will increase the healing from their Enveloping Mist, Essence Font and Vivify abilities by 10% on targets with Renewing Mist. In addition, the Mistweaver Monk 4pc effect will make Essence Font and Vivify gain 10% increased healing, and extend the duration of their Renewing Mist on targets healed by Essence Font by 1 sec for each direct heal. Mistweaver Monks are entering Season 1 with a significant improvement based on their previous performance in the last season of Shadowlands. They gained access to new offensive and defensive abilities and more utility, which will push their placing higher. Still, their major weakness remains: they do not have a strong damage-reducing single-target or party-wide external-cooldown in their toolkit, which is very punishing. Mana issues are another major red flag of the spec; possible adjustments in this department will greatly benefit Mistweaver Monks. Their HPS and damage are in great condition, as well as their mobility and durability, but that does not justify the fact that they lack a strong damage-reducing CD. I believe their offensive profile is amazing, especially in mass AoE scenarios, but the whole package lacks in areas where other healers excel better than them.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Mistweaver Monk has always been a "hybrid" healer, as the majority of their healing toolkit — Renewing Mist, Essence Font, Vivify, Enveloping Mist, and more — is ranged-based, but if they want to contribute to their team's overall damage, most of their abilities are melee-based, like Blackout Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Spinning Crane Kick, and Tiger Palm. Most of Mistweaver's abilities provide some benefit to healing now, so they do not really feel like they are switching gears when jumping back and forth from DPS to healing. They now also have access to more offensive options to push their damage even higher with Zen Pulse and Faeline Stomp, in the Mistweaver-only talents. Their major cooldown is Revival, a useful cooldown that also works for Bursting or any other party-wide Magic, Poison, or Disease debuffs. In addition, they have access to one more external cooldown with Life Cocoon, which can save their allies in critical situations.
Utility: Mistweaver Monk received an interrupt with Spear Hand Strike, which will strengthen their already-strong mob-control in Mythic+. We must also point out that this is the only class that can provide Mystic Touch (though any of the 3 Monk specs can do it), which can be extremely valuable if you are running a Physical damage-oriented composition. They have access to an AoE stun with Leg Sweep and the unique Ring of Peace ability, providing them with enough crowd-control to help their tank with kiting if needed. They can dispel Poison and Disease effects with Detox and also have the ability to remove all roots and snares (sort of like Paladin's Blessing of Freedom but also giving 70% movement speed) with Tiger's Lust. They have a single-target crowd-control ability in Paralysis, which can be used on any mob-type. They also provide a group-wide buff called Windwalking (if talented), which can help when mounts cannot be used. Speaking about group-wide buffs, they also have the talent options of Close to Heart and Generous Pour (available to all Monk specs) which are additional party-wide auras.
November 18, Patch 10.0.2 update: Restoration Shaman received a brand new tier set for Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. Their Restoration Shaman 2pc bonus grants them 10% critical chance while Healing Stream Totem, or Cloudburst Totem, if talented, is active, and their critical heals have 215% effectiveness instead of the usual 200% as part of the Restoration Shaman 4pc bonus. Restoration Shaman is currently one of the healers with the lowest healing output across all healing specs. Their damage profile endured several sets of buffs, putting it in a much better state than before. Restoration Shaman has great utility, decent defensives, and an amazing playstyle mixed between heal-over-time effects and direct heals. I believe with some slight numbers adjustments, this spec can go much higher than its current placement.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Restoration Shaman is not in a great spot compared to the rest of the healing specializations. The old "Kyrian" build from Shadowlands, which made Restoration so good in Mythic+, is no longer possible due to the removal of Vesper Totem. This took away both offensive and defensive powers of the spec. Yes, they received Stormkeeper as a talent choice, as well as Acid Rain, which makes their damage better, but that alone will not be enough to put the spec to its previous glory. Its playstyle is a mixture of heal-over-time effects mainly coming from Riptide, direct heals such as Healing Wave, and a combination of their external-party cooldowns to keep their teammates alive.
Utility: Restoration Shaman's utility will vary depending on the choice of talents, but for most of the party, they will always want to go with Spirit Link Totem, which is their major cooldown as well; everything after that is optional and I will recommend checking our Restoration Guide on Icy Veins for more information. Their general utility is quite strong, having access to an AoE stun with Capacitor Totem, which can be further enhanced via the Static Charge or Guardian's Cudgel talents, followed by a Curse dispel with Cleanse Spirit, a single-target crowd-control effect with Hex, and a Purge (or a Greater Purge if needed). Of course, one of their oldest abilities is Tremor Totem (which also works on Charm effects), along with the options to choose between Earthgrab Totem and Wind Rush Totem alongside the usual Thunderstorm ability. Ancestral Guidance can help the group with off-heals if there is a high danger situation. They have access to Bloodlust, an AoE slow with Earthbind Totem, and Earth Elemental (which also serves as an extra defensive since it gives an extra 15% health). They will have the option to restore extra Mana to your party-members if needed with Mana Spring Totem, a small auto-heal effect with Nature's Guardian, and the ability to self-resurrect with Reincarnation. If that was not enough, they will gain access to even more utility in Dragonflight through Poison Cleansing Totem and Stoneskin Totem, a Poison cleanse and 10% party-wide Physical damage reduction. To top things off, they have the shortest cooldown interrupt in the game with Wind Shear.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: We cannot go by without mentioning the defensive part of the spec; outside of their usual Astral Shift, they will be able to bolster it, depending on talent choice, with Planes Traveler or Astral Bulwark. They can opt to talent Earth Elemental, which also will increase their health by 15% and reinforce their party in case of danger. In addition, they can have the Spirit Wolf aura if they use the talent; just remember that it results in gaining 1 stack each second.
Mobility: Restoration Shaman is one of the more mobile healers as their healing playstyle is a mixture between heal-over-time effects and direct healing, allowing them to move or change position without sacrificing much of their offensive and defensive capabilities. Their general mobility has improved, with the newly-returned talent of Gust of Wind. They can also use their Ghost Wolf if mounts are not allowed in the dungeon to move from point A to point B much faster. Finally, let us not forget Spiritwalker's Grace, allowing them to cast spells while moving!
- 18 Nov. 2022: Updated with the initial iteration for Season 1 of Dragonflight.
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