all of your questions can be answered very simply with this statement:
The one you play best.
It really is that simple - if you can still make any character you want on the PTR, try them all out, and see which one clicks with you. That's the one you should play.
01/16/2013 03:14 PMThis list of comparisons will not help you. The game changes consistently so it is more about finding a style of healing that suits you.
Posted by Averyhh
01/16/2013 03:47 PMThe effectiveness of a healer is also hard to gauge on his/her own, since in many cases synergy between a raid group is what dictates what healer is more appropriate for what situation.
Posted by Live
These first three posts hit the nail on the head, for me.
I've raided on three healers so far in MoP - my Mistweaver was to be my main so she's got all my current progress, but Iritha was my main through Wrath and Cata, and I love playing her so I got her levelled & geared enough to do fun-time ultra casual raiding... but in the end I've decided the direction Blizz is taking Mistweaver isn't for me, and I've levelled and geared my resto shaman, who'll be stepping in on my guild's progression work starting tomorrow (... since we now have two other priests in the guild, I don't want to bring back Iritha, in a 10man setting).
Anyway, enough about me.
My three considerations, if I were starting a new toon, intending to level it to heal end-game content, would be:
1) Which do I enjoy most? Before I dealt with the evolution of the Mistweavers on live (played one, extensively lvl 1 - 90, on Beta), I had no idea there were healers I wouldn't enjoy (admittedly, I had no end-game experience with any class, any spec, except for Disc/holy/shadow on Iritha).
2 a) Do I know who I'm going to be raiding with? If so, what are the other healers in that group? Granted, by the time you get a toon to lvl 90 and geared to raid, even if you do so incredibly quickly, that reality may already have changed in the guild. But it's a decent thing to consider, if you know the group you'll be raiding with.
2 b) What about OS? Does the class I'm considering have an offspec I'll be interested in keeping up? Raiding is about being as flexible as you can for your raid group.
3) Gear (especially relevant if you know the group you'll be raiding with) - if I play priest, I may have heavy competition for some gear (every healer ends up wearing *some* gear without Spirit on it, and unless you're a pally, that gear is contested. Cloth healers have more competition for healing gear than any other healer); if I play druid or monk, I have less competition for leather gear; if I play shaman, there's even less competition for mail gear (only competition is elemental shaman); if I play pally, as mentioned above, I have no competition for plate gear at all.
... if you really can't figure out which healer you enjoy playing the most, my advice would be priest simply because if one healing spec ends up being less awesome with patch changes, you always have the other healing spec to go to - and also simply for min/max considerations; it's occasionally highly beneficial to be able to go Disc for a certain fight, and Holy for others. Since you're asking specifically about min/max.