New healer: Paladin, Shaman, or Priest

85 Night Elf Druid
5300
I've never been a healer before, I normally dps, but I'm itching to make a Tauren healer.

I need help deciding between Paladin, Shaman or Priest. I don't know much about healing, so difficulty of each class would be a factor but I'm willing to learn. Keep in mind I don't plan on doing healing for raids.

Pros/cons of each class (for me) at the moment:

Priest
- As silly as it may sound, picturing playing a Tauren clothy seems somewhat bizarre, and they are squishy
- I do love the bubbles, and some of the other spells I know of

Paladin

- Have you seen how many Tauren paladins there are? It makes me kind of hesitant in wanting to make one
- I like plate armor, and they have good survivability (last I heard)

Shaman
- I'm not fond of totems... They seem clunky
- They seem to be decent dpsers, and healers

I really want a healer which is versatile and can take on other roles too.

Edit: I'll mostly be in 5-mans/10-mans and some Battlegrounds

(TL;DR - Which is the best healer: Priest, Shaman, Paladin - not for raids!)
Edited by Shapey on 12/6/2010 1:33 AM PST
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85 Draenei Shaman
3135
Priests are easily the best 5 man healer. They have a tool for every situation (which is a lot nicer for dungeons than raids) and their drawbacks currently seem to be more raid related. Prayer of Healing, for one, is quite strong right now - upped range, decent efficiency, and secondary effects from both disc and holy associated with it.
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80 Night Elf Druid
1810
12/06/2010 1:25 AMPosted by Shapey
I've never been a healer before, I normally dps, but I'm itching to make a Tauren healer.



Assuming that you DONT want to make another Druid, I have to say that Priest is the nicest, considering they have two Healing Specs - they are definitely more Heals than dps. Yet they still have Shadow which does nice Damage too! I have a Priest myself, and it is definitely a great healing Class. Especially Holy Priest's. You can top the boards easily being nicely spec'd with proper spells included.

I don't really like Totem's either to be honest! I just can't find myself relying on a small little metal object to kill... and heal! Considering you want to be Tauren though, it isn't just metal - it's Wood! Yet, they ARE fantastic healers and you shouldn't have a problem with them. Totems actually can be really good and helpful at times, but, if you don't like the idea, it will probably set it out to be really confusing deciding which to use, and when to switch.


Paladin's in my honest opinion don't actually seem like a healing class I can rely on. I have always been either Ret or Prot. If you want to be dps as well, this may be a good choice, but for healing, I say stick with Priest.


So overall, Priest is the one I admit seems the best at this point.

I really hope this helped, and if it didn't, I am sorry that I wasted your time.


- Shylaa ♥

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90 Human Paladin
13885
Nobody can tell you what class you will find the most fun. I'm amazed at these nonending threads that seem to ask the community "hey, how am I going to have the most fun?"

However, I will address some of your hidden assumptions.


I really want a healer which is versatile and can take on other roles too.

All healers can both heal and dps. Priests, shamans, and druids have caster dps specs, so can change roles fluidly without significant gear investment. Shamans, druids, and paladins can switch to melee dps if you find you get tired of casting. Druids and paladins can tank.



Paladin
- Have you seen how many Tauren paladins there are? It makes me kind of hesitant in wanting to make one
- I like plate armor, and they have good survivability (last I heard)


While it may seem to you there's a lot of tauren paladins, there are still relatively few when you look at overall class balance. Tauren are the second-least played Horde class, and although paladins have been widely popular, the impediment of a race-change fee as well as the general "ugly" factor mean that most paladins (horde) remain blood elf.

Plate armor doesn't mean what it once meant, and at low levels you will find holy paladin survivability nearly indistinguishable from any other healing class.


Shaman
- I'm not fond of totems... They seem clunky
- They seem to be decent dpsers, and healers

Totems are not as clunky as they look on the surface, they simply require setting a keybind to drop your favorite combos. Personlly, I drop all totems on Q and pick them all up with shift-Q. Now that you can glyph into severely reduced mana cost, its no more a hassle than any other start-of-combat buff.

The best thing you can do is roll a healer, and spend 20 levels getting to know it. By the end of twenty levels you'll have a basic idea of how it works.

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