Mythic+ Healer Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands (Patch 9.1 / Season 2)
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 second 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 Shadowlands expansion.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary prior and during the Season 2 (9.1 Patch) 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 and a team captain of "The Boys", most recently an MDI summer finalist. I am more 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 2 of Shadowlands, spending tons of 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 second 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.
Healer Tier List for Shadowlands Season 2 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 21, 2021
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 15 update: Despite the 8% nerf to Holy Paladin's damaging abilities, they will still remain the specialization with the highest damage output compared to the rest of the healing specs. In addition, Crusader's Might was nerfed by 33% of its value, making it slower to reset the cooldown of Holy Shock. We still believe that Holy Paladin will remain the best healing spec going forward in Season 2 and only severe nerfs will bring it down.
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 the best damage output compared to the rest of the healing specialization by far, 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.
To conclude, their damage output significantly outperforms any other healing specialization in Mythic+ as of now, making it the most desirable healer.
June 15 update: Discipline Priests received a quite-powerful, new, Kyrian-based legendary known as Spheres' Harmony, which, combined with Mikanikos' Soulbind ability Effusive Anima Accelerator, can fill the gap between "meta" healer and A-tier rank. Having a powerful defensive and offensive cooldown reduced from 3 minutes to 2 minutes can generate tons of damage output which will be further enhanced by the Mikanikos Soulbind. In addition, the Prideful Affix being replaced by Tormented is great news for all Discipline Priest players, as you no longer have to hold your major cooldowns to heal the damage dealt by the Manifestation of Pride and will have a much easier time managing the new Affix.
One of the best-performing dungeon healers, Discipline Priest is definitely a solid pick among any keystone level difficulty, hence its ranking in A-tier. The specialization provides 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 11 update: There are no changes for Restoration Shamans going forward to Patch 9.1 as of now. Their healing toolkit remains one of the strongest in the game, with consistently high HPS which is especially useful against strong healer-focused affixes like Grievous or Bursting. Restoration Shamans can also opt to play more aggressive and gain higher damage output by using the Deeptremor Stone Legendary Power, allowing them to have permanent Earthquake attached to their Earth Elemental. Restoration Shaman's main weakness is lacking a strong tank defensive external, outside of Spirit Link Totem, which gives only 10% damage reduction and has a 3-minute cooldown. To conclude, Restoration Shaman will be one of the best healers going into Season 2 in Mythic+.
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. Its main healing weakness comes from the party members being spread, making Chain Heal and Healing Rain less valuable. Restoration Shaman is the only healer with an interrupt through Wind Shear, and also has the ability to self-resurrect upon death with Reincarnation. Overall, it is one of the best healer specializations in Mythic+ with competitive damage output and among the highest HPS. The lack of strong external cooldowns can definitely make some fights really tough, however.
June 15 update: Restoration Druids received no changes going forward to the second Season of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. Restoration Druids are in the middle of the graph and definitely a good choice, from great utility to passive HPS while actively DPSing because of their heal-over-time abilities. We believe a slight buff to Restoration Druid's core damage build will be able to elevate the spec in the current meta.
Restoration Druid are currently considered a solid choice in Shadowlands with decent raw 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 B-tier ranking.
June 15 update: Holy Priests received no changes going forward to the second Season of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. They have great HPS output, great utility, and an overall quite-solid survivability toolkit. Their main disadvantage is having no damage reduction external ability, except if they chose to go Night Fae which is one of the best form of defensive in Mythic+. Furthermore, their overall damage output is not as competitive as the specs listed above them. We believe with a slight damage adjustments, Holy Priest can really excel in the tier list and potentially become one of the best healers leading into the next season of Mythic+.
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.
Holy Priest is one of the weakest healers compared to the rest of the list, as they provide significantly less damage output compared to the rest of the healing specializations. The spec's mobility is also mediocre, further justifying its placement on the B-Tier.
June 15 update: Mistweaver Monks received several buffs to their core damaging abilities: Tiger Palm Blackout Kick and Rising Sun Kick damage was increased by 10%, followed by a 20% buff on Spinning Crane Kick. Those buffs will definitely assist the spec and fill the massive DPS gap they had in Patch 9.0.5 compared to the rest of the healing specializations. Their core issue still remains, however, just like Holy Priest. They have no strong group/single-target external cooldown that provides damage reduction, which is quite important in Mythic+. Life Cocoon is a great defensive but it does not reduce damage taken and is often consumed quite quickly. We believe if such an ability or Legendary Power is added to the spec, it will elevate the spec in the Healer tier list rankings.
Mistweaver Monks provide one of the highest raw HPS output out of any healer currently in Shadowlands. Their "spot"-healing is among the best, but with the cost of a significantly 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.
- 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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