Now that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has officially been launched, you might be wondering which healer to level up to be competitive in either PvP or PvE action. While no new healer specializations or classes were introduced with the latest expansion, the previous ones should suffice in helping you decide what you’d like to play.
We’ve compiled a tiered ranking to help you get a head start in the latest expansion so that you can either complete Mythic dungeons or raids easily or engage in high-ranked competitive PvP arenas. Here’s our list of the best healers in both PvP and PvE for players in the current Shadowlands expansion.
Discipline Priests appear to be the strongest healers in Shadowlands. Their unique way of healing through dealing damage makes them a great partner in the arena that can easily flex between shielding or dealing damage and healing instead. The addition of a couple of abilities combined with Legendaries and Covenants will only make Discipline Priests stronger.
One great ability that’s been added in the latest expansion is the Hearthstone card “Thoughtsteal,” which allows you to use a spell from your victim alongside stopping them from using it for the next 20 seconds. It can be a game changer if you steal a spell such as Iceblock, Divine Shield, or another important cooldown.
The Mistweaver Monks haven’t changed much compared to Battle for Azeroth—and that’s a good thing. They’re one of the most efficient healers and have been for the past expansion. Their kit was, is, and will remain strong unless Blizzard nerfs them. They can survive burst damage easily and top up their allies in seconds.
But they’re not bringing much to the offensive aspect of the game. Though they’re great healers, Mistweaver Monks don’t do damage. So if you need to help your teammates do damage in the arena or battleground, they’re going to be out of luck.
Restoration Shamans’ playstyle has remained mostly unchanged compared to Battle for Azeroth. While they did receive some higher mana costs, that’s compensated by Mana Tide Totem, which should restore a lot of mana. Most tools added in Shadowlands are aimed at making Restoration Shamans better at PvE. They remain a decent pick to round out your arena composition but they shouldn’t always be your first choice when deciding on a healer.
Druids are getting some nice abilities back, such as Overgrowth and Nature’s Swiftness, but their way of healing relies on putting up a lot of healing-over-time effects for longer periods of time. Due to the current meta being focused mostly on burst and killing targets fast, Druids can’t really do much. As a result, they struggle to survive and can’t keep up with the damage done by most DPS classes right now.
Paladins were strong during Battle for Azeroth due to borrowed power mechanisms, such as the Heart of Azeroth, Corruptions, and Azerite Traits. They were tuned perfectly for those powers, and by losing them, Holy Paladins were taken down a notch.
By bringing back Holy Power as a resource, Holy Paladins are now restricted and can no longer spam spells like before. You’ll need to manage the Holy Power bar cautiously to be able to top off your arena partners or battleground teammates.
The best healing specialization in two-vs-two arenas was hit just as hard as Holy Paladins. The Holy Priests lack in most departments compared to their Discipline counterpart. They don’t bring a lot of damage, shield, or utility overall to be counted worthy. The design of this specialization to cast slow heals isn’t made for the PvP environment considering you need to be swift and decisive if you want to be successful. By sitting in the same place and casting long heals, you’re setting yourself up to get either crowd-controlled, silenced, or interrupted.
Discipline Priests reign supreme both in PvP and PvE. Their utility and unique way of healing makes them perfect in the upcoming dungeons and raids. The ability to do a lot of damage without sacrificing healing is crucial, especially early on during progression weeks when most players are undergeared and every small increase of DPS matters. The ability to shield entire dungeons and raids with Rapture remains a positive aspect of Discipline Priests and a reason why they’re so sought after for competitive PvE.
Restoration Shamans look to be great in the upcoming PvE content. Their AoE heals will prove useful in the upcoming dungeons and raids due to how many damaging AoE effects there are. One of the most crucial abilities Restoration Shamans bring is the Spirit Link Totems, which allows raids to easily equalize their health pool if things go bad and give healers enough time to heal everyone back up.
While Holy Paladins lost a lot of their power in Shadowlands, they’re still one of the staple healers that you want for a raid. Holy Paladins bring a wide array of tools to deal with some mechanics, such as Divine Protection, Blessing of Sacrifice, Lay on Hands, or Devotion Aura.
While Monks are one of the best healing classes in PvP, their fate in PvE is completely different. They lack ways to top up entire raids since they mostly focus on single-target healing effects. They haven’t received many tools compared to other classes in Shadowlands and will be required only for fights where there’s a lot of single-target damage.
While Restoration Druids should, in theory, be some of the best healers in PvE due to the nature of their healing output, they’re mediocre when compared to other healers such as Discipline Priests or Restoration Shamans. They don’t bring a lot to the table from an offensive perspective, so you’ll be just stuck being a HoT bot most of the time.
Holy Priests are at the bottom of the barrel both in PvP and PvE. While they have a wide array of tools to deal with mechanics in dungeons and raids, they can’t top the utility that Discipline Priests usually bring. The ability to deny heavy damage with the shield spam from Discipline Priests makes Holy Priests obsolete. By bringing a Holy Priest, you might get a little more healing output at the loss of a lot of damage that a Discipline Priest could do instead.