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Healing Class Summaries

Welcome to the Healing Class Summaries page! We’re going to take you through each Healing Class/Specialization (from here on referred to as ‘spec’) and give you a run down on each one, hopefully helping you make your decision about what type of play style you’d like to go for. Each class is different and some play styles may appeal to you and others may not, so it’s good to get a feel for each one before jumping in.

There are 6 possible healing specs that you can choose from: Restoration (Resto) Druid, Mistweaver Monk, Holy Paladin, Discipline (Disc) Priest, Holy Priest and Restoration (Resto) Shaman. Let’s take a look at each spec and what makes them unique. You’re possibly going to be sinking a lot of time into this character, so it’s best to be 100% sure on the class that you choose (if you plan to only have 1 character, there’s nothing wrong with playing all 5!).

Resto Druid:

Resto Druids are great healers with strong focus on Heals over Time (HoTs), less focus on direct healing spells and some strong cool downs/utilities available to them. Due to the fact that their focus is on HoTs, this means they are versatile when it comes to movement in dungeons or raids, as heals are placed on targets and continue to heal while you (the druid) can do other things (like move). They also have a number of strong cooldowns which can save encounters in a clutch moment, such as Rebirth.

Resto Druid healing is more a proactive role, knowing when damage is coming, who will suffer from it and applying the correct HoTs and using your abilities in anticipation of that incoming damage. You will have to use some reactive spells, such as Barkskin (to save yourself) and Tranquility (to save yourself and others), but the majority of your time will be spent applying HoTs. You do have some cast-time and instant spells.

The Druid in general is a really fun class, with options to also play Melee DPS (Feral), Tank (Guardian) or Ranged Casting DPS (Balance) as an off-spec alongside healing. You also get to shapeshift forms into a Cat, a Bear, Moonkin (a Giant Owl) or a Tree! What more could you want! If you find this play style interesting, head over to the Resto Druid Page to get started.

Mistweaver Monk:

The Monk is the newest class with a healing spec in World of Warcraft. The healing spec of the Monk is the Mistweaver. Since the Legion pre-patch 7.0.3, Mistweaver Monks no longer have the resource “Chi” and since Battle for Azeroth pre-patch 8.0.1, once again have the option of face-to-face combat to heal. The Mistweaver Monk now only uses mana, like other healing classes. The Mistweaver can effectively heal the groups, raids and tanks (single-target).

Mistweaver Monks have some strong healing abilities should damage increase. Some of the strongest heals the Mistweaver has access to includes spells such as Vivify and Enveloping Mist. You will also have some strong cool downs as well, like Revival and Life Cocoon.

Mistweavers are quite mobile healers, with spells and talents to help improve their movement, and they can play both a proactive and reactive healing role.

Additionally, since the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch 8.0.1, Mistweaver Monks can optionally choose to heal their group through the “Fistweaving” – the method of healing allies indirectly through the use of their physical melee attacks.

Besides the Mistweaver healing specialization, Monks can also play as either a Windwalker (melee DPS or damaging role) or as a Brewmaster (a tanking role) as an off-spec. This gives you the option of playing either of the other 2 roles at any time. As the newest class with a healing specialization to be added to World of Warcraft, with its unique play style and vast array of roles available, this class rarely disappoints. To find out further information about the Monk Mistweaver, head to the Mistweaver Monk Class Page.

Holy Paladin:

A Holy Paladin uses their spells and abilities to infuse their targets with light to heal their wounds. If there is an opposite to the way a Druid Heals, it would have to be the Paladin. A Paladin relies strongly on direct heals, a couple of instant cast spells, but mostly having cast times. While somewhat proactive (beginning casting slightly before damage hits), a Holy Paladin will find themselves being mostly reactive to damage.

As a Holy Paladin you’ll use spells like Holy Shock and Flash of Light. A Paladin also has a numerous amount of Buffs and Utilities or cool downs that makes this Healing class very Versatile, such as Beacon of Light and Divine Protection.

Due to the Holy Paladin’s new Mastery in Legion:  Mastery: Lightbringer, which increases healing based on proximity, we’re probably going to be spending a fair amount of time within range of the tanks and melee. Holy Power has also been removed since the Legion pre-expansion patch.

Apart from Healing, a Paladin can also be a Tank (Protection) or DPS (Retribution) spec, giving you many options should you be looking for something else to do when you’re not healing. To find out further about the Holy Paladin, head on over to the Holy Paladin page.


A great thing about being a Priest is always having the option of 2 very different healing specs (as well as 1 DPS spec), so if you get burnt out or tired of a particular Healing play style, it’s as simple as pressing a button and changing specs!

Discipline Priest:

The Discipline (Disc) Priest is yet another very unique style of gameplay. You will need to be both proactive and reactive as a Disc Priest, as you will be using shields (often called bubbles), some strong utilities/cooldowns but most of all some damaging spells to heal your party/raid members.

As a Discipline Priest, you will heal yourself/party/raid members while at the same time damaging your enemies using Atonement and there is no other class or spec that is similar. Disc Priests can “nominate” who they wish to heal by placing Atonement on their targets via a number of spells, such as Power Word: Shield or Power Word: Radiance. Once the Atonement buff is on the target, damage caused to enemies by your damaging spells will also heal those friendly targets that have said Atonement buff. We’ll go into this more on the Disc Priest pages.

Other spells that you will use include such spells as Pain Suppression and Power Word: Barrier, strong damage mitigation spells with cool downs.

The Disc Priest can be quite fun! If this sounds like the kind of play style you’re after, head on over to the Disc Priest Page.

Holy Priest:

The other Priest Healing spec is Holy. This is a spec that focuses on healing throughput rather than through damage-to-healing conversion. This is a heavily reactive healing spec, meaning you and your allies will take damage, and you will need to react to that damage by casting your spells and abilities. Your arsenal includes a vast array of instant, heal over time and cast-time healing spells.

Holy Priests have the ability to perform miracles via Holy Word spells such as the strong single target heal Holy Word: Serenity, or the multi target AoE heal Holy Word: Sanctify. These are strong heal with long cooldowns, however your other healing spells reduce this cooldown via Holy Words.

Holy Priest also has access to a couple of Heals over Time (HoTs) spells that enhance your versatility as a healer: with Renew and your HoT Mastery: Echo of Light, which compliments your cast-time and instant heals very well. The Holy Priest can be viewed as a mixture of all other healing specs.

All in all, the Priest class, both as Holy and as Discipline, can be a strong healer with many unique abilities and some very beneficial buffs. The true beauty of being a Priest is that you can pick and choose between two different Healing specs each with very different play styles.

Interested in becoming a Holy Priest? Head on over to the Holy Priest page to find out more.

Restoration Shaman:

The last Healing class/spec we’re going to look at is the Restoration (Resto) Shaman. Once again, this class has a unique play style which is different to all of the other healing classes, but has a few things that are also similar. To sum up a Resto Shaman: Instant heals; cast-time heals; strong AoE heals; Heals over Time (HoT) and… TOTEMS! That’s right, as a Shaman you’ve got something that no other class has and that’s Totems. Totems provide you with some very cool utility spells to improve your healing and other parts of game play.

A Shaman has some strong Area of Effect (AoE) heals such as Healing Rain and some excellent utility spells to mitigate damage like Spirit Link Totem. A Shaman’s other specs include elemental, a range caster DPS spec focused on casting spells, and Enhancement, a melee DPS spec.

If you’re into the Shaman, find out more about them on the Resto Shaman page!

Now you’ve taken a look at all the healers that are available to you, hopefully you’ve got a grasp of what takes your fancy. If you’ve chosen your healer, not it’s time to choose your Race, so head to the Race & Class Combinations page.

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Originally published on December 4th, 2012 by on HealingWoW.com, Last modified: .

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