Assessing Healing Specializations in the Amirdrassil Raid Meta: Patch 10.2 Tier Rankings
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In the world of World of Warcraft, perfect balance is a rarity, and the Dragonflight expansion is no exception. Certain classes excel in raiding scenarios, giving rise to a prevailing meta. This guide aims to assess and rank the effectiveness and strength of various healing specializations in the current patch.
As of the October 31st Patch 10.2 update, Holy Paladins and Holy Priests have experienced multiple nerfs, leading to a one-tier reduction in their rankings. In contrast, Mistweaver Monks have seen substantial improvements and have largely evaded healer nerfs. Discipline Priests have undergone significant changes, significantly enhancing their viability. Preservation Evokers, with their high healing per second (HPS) build largely unaffected, are also benefiting from a powerful tier set, enabling them to contribute considerably higher DPS. On the other hand, Restoration Shamans and Restoration Druids have been heavily nerfed and now find themselves at the bottom of the tier list, albeit not by a wide margin. Further buffs in the future could potentially raise their standings.
These rankings are based on our predictions for the Amirdrassil raid meta and will be updated as more hotfixes and patches are implemented on live servers.
To comprehend the rationale behind these rankings, it's essential to grasp what holds the most value in a raid setting for healers. Key factors include healing throughput, cooldowns, DPS output, and additional utility.
It's crucial to note that a healer's current low ranking on the tier list doesn't imply their lack of viability or potential for improvement following balance adjustments. Exceptional players will always have a place in raid groups, regardless of their specialization.
An exception arises when specific healers are needed to provide utility for particular encounters, such as Rescue Icon Rescue for low mobility classes, or when they offer essential raid buffs like Mark of the Wild Icon Mark of the Wild, Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude, or Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura.
Amirdrassil Raid Healer Tier List: Evaluating Healing Specializations in the Dream's Hope
Here is a summary of our healer tier rankings for the Amirdrassil raid, along with detailed explanations for each specialization's placement and unique strengths:
- Discipline Priest (S-Tier)
- Preservation Evoker (S-Tier)
- Mistweaver Monk (S-Tier)
- Holy Priest (A-Tier)
- Holy Paladin (A-Tier)
- Restoration Shaman (B-Tier)
- Restoration Druid (B-Tier)
Please refer to the individual sections below for in-depth insights into our tier ranking rationale and the advantages of each specialization.
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Comprehensive Healer Class Rankings
The state of healer balance is in constant flux due to the substantial changes introduced in Patch 10.2. We anticipate ongoing hotfixes in the foreseeable future. Notably, the significant nerfs applied to Holy Paladins and Holy Priests are expected to prompt a substantial shift in the meta away from these two specializations, which have played pivotal roles in raids since Season 3 of Shadowlands. However, it may take some time for guilds to adapt to these changes, leading to these classes being more prevalent early on in the meta compared to what this tier list currently reflects.
Full Healing Class and Specialization Rankings in Amirdrassil raid
S-Tier - Discipline Priest
In the latest Patch 10.2 update, Discipline Priest underwent a significant rework, resulting in a more user-friendly playstyle and a substantial increase in DPS. Despite ongoing damage nerfs in hotfixes, Discipline Priest remains a formidable contender, positioning itself as one of the premier healers in Patch 10.2.
Healing Throughput: Discipline Priests boast commendable throughput, albeit with some limitations in spot healing during raids due to their reliance on predictable burst timings dictated by short cooldowns. On the plus side, they frequently offer burst healing opportunities for the raid thanks to Atonement propagation from abilities like Power Word: Radiance and the application of single-target spells such as Renew and Power Word: Shield, making them highly effective against periodic raid burst damage patterns.
Cooldowns: Discipline Priest possesses formidable healing cooldowns, including the formidable Power Word: Barrier, which provides substantial damage reduction within a limited area. Rapture is another potent cooldown, versatile for emergency spot healing and ramp setups. The revamped Discipline Priest can enhance Atonement healing with Shadowfiend, consolidating many previous cooldowns into this ability. Furthermore, Pain Suppression serves as their tank external, offering significant damage reduction to its target.
Damage Output: Discipline Priests stand out with the highest healer DPS due to their rotation's incorporation of DPS abilities for Atonement healing, which includes multiple DPS cooldowns. The Power Infusion cooldown significantly boosts raid damage when utilized effectively.
Utility: Discipline Priests offer valuable utility, contributing the raid buff Power Word: Fortitude and the DPS enhancement Power Infusion. Despite the nerfs, Mass Dispel remains an essential tool in raid encounters, and Leap of Faith can be a life-saving utility in specific situations, albeit more niche.
Defensive and Mobility: In terms of defense and mobility, Discipline Priest falls on the weaker side among healers. They have limited defensive options, including Desperate Prayer, Fade (with Translucent Image), and Angelic Feather.
Overall, the revamped Discipline Priest has simplified its rotation and unlocked its full potential. While not the ideal choice for situations heavily reliant on random player spot healing, Discipline Priest excels in providing cooldown healing, damage mitigation, shields, DPS, and unique utility, justifying its place in the current tier rankings.
S-Tier - Preservation Evoker
In the recent Patch 10.2 update, Preservation Evoker encountered notable changes, particularly to Temporal Anomaly, which now limits the application of Echo to 3 targets instead of 5. While this adjustment significantly impacted the Echo playstyle, the Emerald Blossom approach, known for its potent healing, remains largely intact and stands as one of the most powerful healing builds in the game. Additionally, the new tier set 2-piece bonus, Evoker Preservation 10.2 Class Set 2pc, not only enhances healing capabilities but also contributes to a substantial DPS increase in AoE situations, solidifying Preservation's position as a top-tier healer in terms of raw HPS.
Healing Throughput: Preservation excels in burst healing, particularly effective against raid-wide damage with frequent Essence Burst-powered Emerald Blossom casts, further amplified by Cycle of Life. The use of Temporal Anomaly allows the creation of multiple Echoes, replicating Spiritbloom, Dream Breath, or Verdant Embrace (which activates Lifebind for additional healing when followed by high self-healing abilities like Emerald Communion). However, Preservation struggles with spread healing due to Emerald Blossom mechanics and may face challenges in responding to unexpected damage, as its spot healing is relatively weak without proper setup.
Cooldowns: Evoker relies heavily on cooldowns, ranging from the potent yet infrequent Rewind to the adaptable Stasis. Emerald Communion becomes effective with high Lifebind counts, while Zephyr offers substantial damage reduction with a limited target cap. Time Dilation delays 50% of the target's damage on a short cooldown, serving as an external cooldown.
Damage Output: Preservation Evoker boasts significant AoE damage potential, particularly with the Evoker Preservation 10.2 Class Set 2pc bonus unlocked. They can also deliver impressive single-target damage by synchronizing Ancient Flame-empowered Living Flame with Emerald Blossom casts, potentially generating more Essence Bursts for repeated combos.
Utility: Preservation offers a range of niche yet occasionally indispensable utility. This includes Blessing of the Bronze raid buff, the enduring healer buff Source of Magic with Potent Mana, and the crowd control effect of Landslide. Rescue allows for player repositioning, valuable in encounters with powerful knockback mechanics. Time Spiral serves a similar purpose, facilitating raid mobility even when personal mobility abilities are on cooldown. Zephyr, in addition to its damage reduction, provides a movement speed increase.
Evokers possess the ability to remove Magic and Poison effects with Naturalize, and Cauterizing Flame can eliminate bleeds, curses, and nearly all non-magic debuffs, with particular significance in encounters featuring high-damage bleeds.
Defensively, Preservation ranks among the weakest healers but compensates with two personal cooldowns: Obsidian Scales and Renewing Blaze, both with relatively short cooldowns. Evokers are adept at handling movement and knockbacks due to their innate double-jump mechanic and the Hover ability's short cooldown.
In summary, Preservation Evoker thrives as a cooldown-oriented healer, often having a response for every significant incoming damage source. While its sustained healing may not be the best, Preservation remains impactful during cooldown downtime, thanks to tier bonuses and the potent Emerald Blossom into Living Flame combo. Notably, Preservation offers flexibility in resource allocation, whether prioritizing DPS or healing based on the situation's demands.
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S-Tier - Mistweaver Monk
In the latest Patch 10.2 update, Mistweaver Monks received substantial buffs, retaining their unique Mana Tea system—an invaluable asset in a patch marked by significant healer Mana sustain nerfs. As a result, Mistweaver's ranking has ascended to S-rank, building upon their already robust foundation. Their versatility has improved further, with Revival's dispel functionality now surpassing Mass Dispel post-nerf.
Healing Throughput: Mistweavers excel in throughput, adeptly addressing various types of incoming damage with their versatile Enveloping Mist and Vivify healing toolkit. Much of their healing is time-based and lacks specific targeting, with abilities like Essence Font and several cooldowns contributing to their healing output. Some of their healing abilities require them to be in melee range of an enemy target, particularly when converting damage into healing with Ancient Teachings, Awakened Faeline, and Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane.
Cooldowns: Revival stands as a well-known Monk cooldown, offering both dispelling and substantial healing. Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane and Invoke Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent are potent healing cooldowns, each serving distinct purposes. Mistweavers possess an array of short cooldowns such as Faeline Stomp, Sheilun's Gift, and Thunder Focus Tea, providing flexible benefits based on the spells they're paired with. The Monk's tank external is Life Cocoon, granting a massive shield and enhancing healing over time on the target.
Damage Output: Mistweaver Monks can deal significant damage through abilities like Rising Sun Kick, Spinning Crane Kick, Blackout Kick, and Tiger Palm. Notably, their damage output efficiently converts into healing with talents such as Ancient Teachings, Awakened Faeline, and Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane. These conversions create scenarios where dealing damage becomes the optimal healing strategy, elevating Monks to top damage-dealing healers in raid settings.
Utility: Monks bring substantial utility to the table, including the Mystic Touch raid buff and buffs for nearby allies with Generous Pour and Close to Heart. They also possess unique tools like Ring of Peace, interrupt capabilities with Spear Hand Strike, and instant AoE stuns with Leg Sweep. Furthermore, Mistweavers can dispel Magic, Disease, and Poison effects using Detox. However, in cases where Mystic Touch is already covered, their other utility tools may have limited impact in a raid environment.
Defensively, Monks benefit from multiple cooldowns such as the significantly improved Expel Harm, Fortifying Brew, Dampen Harm, and Diffuse Magic, making Mistweaver one of the sturdiest healers when skillfully employed. In terms of mobility, Monks shine with Tiger's Lust, the versatile Roll, and the instant teleportation of Transcendence, effectively addressing knockbacks and other movement-related challenges.
Overall, Mistweaver Monks, though less commonly played, deliver remarkable performance. Their extensive toolkit may present a complexity challenge, but the buffs to their personal throughput, mobility, survivability, and utility position them as a compelling choice for raid groups, warranting serious consideration in every raid composition.
A-Tier - Holy Priest
In the recent Patch 10.2 update, Holy Priests experienced significant nerfs to their area healing capabilities, including reductions to Mass Dispel and Power Infusion. Although single-target healing received notable buffs, the net result in a raid context is an overall decrease in effectiveness, particularly once the Aberrus tier set bonuses are factored out. Symbol of Hope, a Holy Priest's trump card, also faced substantial nerfs, now providing only half of its previous personal cooldown reduction and less Mana recovery. Despite these challenges, Holy Priest maintains a high tier ranking due to its exceptional versatility and user-friendly toolkit, making it an ideal choice to fill gaps in a healing roster.
Healing Throughput: Holy Priests offer commendable throughput and versatility in addressing various forms of incoming damage. Their healing toolkit includes Prayer of Mending, Flash Heal, Prayer of Healing, Holy Word: Salvation, and Holy Word: Sanctify. While not the top-performing throughput healer, Holy Priests consistently deliver solid and easily set-up healing.
Cooldowns: Holy Priests possess potent healing cooldowns in Holy Word: Salvation, Apotheosis, and Divine Hymn, capable of delivering substantial burst healing when timed correctly. Their tank external is Guardian Spirit, increasing the target's healing received and preventing death while active. This ability proves invaluable in situations requiring substantial healing for friendly NPCs.
Damage Output: While Holy Priests can deal notable damage if they allocate global cooldowns to damage abilities, this approach necessitates pausing healing, which is suboptimal. In more challenging content, their damage potential largely relies on using Power Infusion on the right targets during their DPS cooldowns.
Utility: Holy Priests excel in utility, justifying their A-rank placement. Despite Symbol of Hope's post-nerf status, it remains a formidable raid cooldown, especially in well-coordinated groups that synchronize personal cooldowns around its usage. They provide the Power Word: Fortitude raid buff, along with the DPS-enhancing Power Infusion mentioned earlier. Their Mass Dispel proves invaluable in raid encounters, and Leap of Faith can be a lifesaver in certain situations, albeit with a more niche application.
Defensively and Mobility: Holy Priests exhibit relative weaknesses in terms of defense and mobility, primarily relying on Desperate Prayer and Angelic Feather. However, they possess a unique ability, Spirit of Redemption, allowing them to continue healing after death—a valuable asset in encounters with challenging execute phases.
In summary, Holy Priests' versatility, ease of use, and valuable perks position them as stackable healers in a raid setting. They excel in performing various roles effectively, and their Symbol of Hope and Power Infusion abilities are invaluable assets in challenging encounters.
A-Tier - Holy Paladin
In the recent Patch 10.2 update, Holy Paladins received multiple significant nerfs affecting their Mana, raw healing output, and Blessing of Sacrifice, which now splits 20% of damage instead of 30%. Despite remaining a highly durable class, albeit with diminished effectiveness due to the 40% nerf to Sanctified Plates, Holy Paladins offer substantial damage reduction and excel in tank healing. They possess the unique advantage of having Divine Shield as their immunity ability. However, the continued series of nerfs have allowed other specializations to surpass Holy Paladin in the overall rankings.
Healing Throughput: Holy Paladins provide decent raw throughput, including absorb shield healing from Barrier of Faith, Greater Judgment, Overflowing Light, Tyr's Deliverance, and Holy Shock. These abilities enable high spot healing, also extending to the tank through Beacon of Light and related talents.
Cooldowns: Holy Paladins boast Avenging Wrath as a powerful healing increase cooldown, Aura Mastery and Devotion Aura for significant raid-wide damage reduction, and Blessing of Sacrifice as a viable tank external cooldown. Divine Toll and Daybreak can be frequently employed for substantial cooldown healing, while Lay on Hands serves as an effective emergency heal.
Damage Output: Although not as potent as before, Holy Paladins still contribute to damage output, with melee swings and rotational abilities like Judgment. Blessing of Summer on selected targets can also provide substantial damage.
Utility: Holy Paladins offer exceptional unique utility with Blessing of Protection, Devotion Aura, and Retribution Aura. They can frequently interrupt with Rebuke, engage in crowd control with Hammer of Justice, Turn Evil, Blinding Light, and Repentance, and provide a combat resurrection through Intercession. Their Cleanse ability handles Magic, Disease, and Poison effects, while Blessing of Freedom counters movement-impairing effects. Defensively, Divine Shield serves as the sole immunity ability for healers, complemented by plate armor, robust defensive talents, and Divine Protection. Their mobility primarily relies on Divine Steed, though it is not a standout feature of the class.
In conclusion, Holy Paladins continue to wield a robust toolkit, and their class rework continues to pay dividends. Nevertheless, their numerical effectiveness has been significantly toned down since the rework's introduction, and they no longer dominate the raid setting as they once did.
B-Tier - Restoration Shaman
November 2, Patch 10.2 Update: Restoration Shaman Overview
In the latest Patch 10.2 update, Restoration Shamans experienced significant healing buffs, but also faced Mana and cooldown nerfs. Consequently, the specialization finds itself in a similar position to the previous patch – competent but lacking a distinct strength in any aspect. Additionally, Restoration Shaman is one of the few specializations that does not bring a critical raid buff, further limiting its role in raid compositions and potentially being overshadowed by other specializations.
Healing Throughput: Restoration Shamans offer decent healing across various scenarios. However, they encounter challenges as much of their area healing relies on Healing Rain, which necessitates a substantial number of players being inside the area and taking damage during its duration. Chain Heal is a more versatile spell, particularly when enhanced by Tidebringer, but it places a significant strain on Mana, restricting its usage. A similar issue arises with Healing Wave and Healing Surge, resulting in a toolkit that caters to all situations but excels in none.
Cooldowns: Restoration Shaman possesses several potent healing cooldowns. Spirit Link Totem is renowned for its ability to mitigate healing reduction effects or handle extreme raid damage, especially if it is unevenly distributed. Unleash Life, Cloudburst Totem, Ascendance, Spiritwalker's Tidal Totem, and to some extent, Primordial Wave, all serve as multipliers to healing and can prove highly effective when timed correctly. Healing Tide Totem serves as another valuable healing cooldown, though its potency is lower compared to similar effects from other healers. Notably, Restoration Shamans lack a dedicated tank external cooldown but compensate with Earth Shield and Earthen Harmony's passive damage reduction.
Damage Output: Restoration Shamans possess multiple powerful damage tools, but unlocking their potential often requires specific talents and dedicating many cooldowns to DPS. For example, Acid Rain transforms Healing Rain into a potent damage effect, while Stormkeeper provides burst damage. Talents like Lava Surge and Master of the Elements can enhance damage (and healing) after casting Lava Burst.
Utility: Restoration Shaman is recognized for its extensive utility, albeit with niche applications. Spirit Link Totem can be a lifesaver in extreme situations, and Ancestral Protection Totem's ability to resurrect a player is invaluable for dealing with dangerous mechanics. Ancestral Vigor passively increases raid health, Tremor Totem dispels fear, charm, and sleep effects, Poison Cleansing Totem removes poisons, and Stoneskin Totem mitigates physical damage, among other niche utility options. Restoration Shaman also offers survivability talents like Brimming with Life and Astral Shift, complemented by Earth Elemental, Spirit Wolf, Ghost Wolf, Gust of Wind, Spiritwalker's Grace, and the unique ability to self-resurrect with Reincarnation.
In summary, Restoration Shamans are versatile all-rounders, known for their adaptable toolkit and unique utility. However, their current tuning and performance against Amirdrassil encounters leave them as weaker alternatives to Holy Priests, resulting in their lower tier ranking.
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B-Tier - Restoration Druid
In the latest Patch 10.2 update, Restoration Druids experienced significant nerfs to key abilities like Flourish and Luxuriant Soil. These nerfs were partially offset by increased healing on their baseline spells, such as Rejuvenation and Wild Growth. Additionally, Restoration Druids gained the ability to summon more Grove Guardians with the new Cenarius' Guidance talent, although the healing output of all treants was reduced by approximately 20%. The combination of these changes led to a decline in Druid healing numbers compared to the previous patch.
Healing Throughput: Restoration Druids exhibit high throughput potential and stand out among healer classes by relying predominantly on heals over time, such as Lifebloom and Rejuvenation, to deliver their healing. This approach proves effective in Amirdrassil due to the consistent raid damage in most encounters. Moreover, the ability to cast most heals while moving ensures that throughput remains robust even during the most chaotic raid scenarios.
Cooldowns: Restoration Druids possess potent healing cooldowns, including Incarnation: Tree of Life, Convoke the Spirits, and Flourish. These cooldowns can be used individually or combined to perform burst healing capable of mitigating substantial damage. Additionally, their tank external, Ironbark, reduces damage taken and enhances healing received by the target, making it one of the premier tools of its kind, especially given its relatively short cooldown.
Damage Output: While Restoration Druids can deal significant damage by optimizing talents and utilizing Cat Form or Heart of the Wild, focusing on damage compromises their healing abilities. In raid settings, their damage primarily comes from spells like Sunfire, Moonfire, Nature's Vigil, and their healing cooldowns. However, their damage output is relatively weak compared to other healers.
Utility: Druids provide utility through Mark of the Wild, their own raid cooldown, and Innervate, which can benefit either themselves or fellow healers. They bring Stampeding Roar for a short-cooldown raid-wide movement speed increase and Ursol's Vortex paired with Typhoon to control enemy movements or Mass Entanglement to immobilize foes if required.
Regarding mobility, Druids excel with passive speed gains in Cat Form and burst speed from Tiger Dash/Dash or Wild Charge. They can also execute most of their rotation while moving and at range. Barkskin serves as their primary defensive ability, boasting a low cooldown, and they can transition into Bear Form to enhance their durability.
In summary, Restoration Druids retained their utility and distinctive healing style, augmented by Grove Guardians. However, they endured substantial nerfs to their burst healing capabilities, which were their standout feature in raid scenarios, leading to a decline in their tier ranking.
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In conclusion, the Dragonflight Healer Tier List for Amirdrassil, the Dream's Hope Raid in Patch 10.2 provides valuable insights into the performance and viability of different healing specializations. Whether you're aiming to excel in raiding or looking to optimize your healing gameplay, these rankings offer valuable guidance.
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