MOP Healing Choices

New Player Help and Guides
Post Limit:
Hello, I am a fairly new player having been on only about 2 months, but during that time I have tried all three major roles (Tank, DPS, Heals) and have come to the conclusion that healing is what I prefer. Now with the release of MOP a lot of the guides I've bought and such are of little help. Now besides my Druid I have little to no experience with the other healing specs and nor do I know how they majorly differ or function.

So down to my question: What are the major differences NOW in the different healers (Disc/Holy Priest, Holy Paladin, Restoration Shaman, and Mistweaver Monk)? And what role (5-man, Raid, PvP) is each best for? And as far as what I am seeking in a healer class, I would prefer one that offers a lot of support spells (buffs, debuffs, Crowd Control), and more AoE heals than single target, and decent survivability.
All healers can heal in dungeons. All healers have buffs, debuffs, CC, and AoE healing. All classes/specs have survivability. That really doesn't narrow down the classes.

In a very VERY generalized nutshell:
Resto druid = HoT spells
Holy pally = direct spells
Disc priest = shielding spells
Holy priest = AoE spells
MW monk = healing through DPS

All healers have a large toolbox of AoE and single-target spells as well as their own class abilities, so it's mostly down to what flavor you specifically prefer.
I'll give you some info on what it's like to holy paladin right now, if that helps:

- not very mobile. We have some instant spells (Holy shock, Word of glory/Eternal Flame, Lay on Hands) but most of our heals have cast times. Now that haste is taking a backseat to mastery as our best throughput stat at max level (until we get... really massive amounts of spirit on gear I guess), some of those cast times are really long. (However, you can spec into a sprint, which is amazing!)

- prefers to stand in melee range to heal. We get mana back from melee autoattacking.

- cooldowns. SO MANY COOLDOWNS. The trick to being a good holy paladin is knowing how to juggle your personal cooldowns. Guardian of Ancient Kings, Divine Favor, Holy Avenger, Avenging Wrath are self buffs on 2-5 minute cooldowns that influence healing throughput.

- We also have a lot of cooldown spells we can use on others: Devotion Aura lowers magic damage taken by the party for the duration, Lay on Hands can instantly bring a party member to full health every 10 minutes. We also have hand spells to help out our party members. Hand of sacrifice transfers some damage taken by a party member to you. Hand of Purity lowers DoT damage taken by a party member. Hand of Freedom makes a party member immune to slowing effects and snares. Hand of Protection makes a party member immune to physical damage (but unable to cause physical damage as well.)

- Although you have lots of cooldowns, you don't have all that many healing buttons. I definitely use more than I used to. (It's not like the olden days of being a dippy bird on the Holy Light button.) But you will sometimes spend fights pretty much just spamming holy light/divine light + holy shock + word of glory.

- Can spec into an absorb shield (Sacred Shield) or to turn Word of Glory into a HoT called Eternal Flame.

- specced into Sacred Shield and stacking mastery, roughly 30% of my healing in dungeons is absorbs.

- Traditionally, holy paladins have been strong tank healers, but we have some AoE healing capabilities now: Holy Radiance, Holy shock after holy radiance, Light of Dawn, and light's hammer or holy prism are all good AoE healing spells, although many have more fiddly positional requirements than more traditional AoE healers will have. (Holy paladins like people to stack up!) We're not as good at AoE healing as we were in Dragon Soul though.

- in PvE the only people who are likely to have more armor than you are tanks. This means you tend to get the odd "so we're going to have you put on Righteous Fury and heal over here to aggro the adds to help the off-tank collect them" jobs in raids. But it also means that if you get healing aggro you might not die as fast as, say, a resto druid would. (Oh our poor resto druid got eaten by adds on the Spine of Deathwing fight so many times.)

- in PvP, you are highly susceptible to CC.

Join the Conversation