As I’ve been leveling my priest I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the amount of healing spells I have. On my druid, I seem to have the perfect number of healing spells to fill up all my click-bindings but on my priest, I’ve run out – and I’m not even 80 yet. Out of curiosity I dug through wowhead to compare how many spells each of the healing classes has and how they differ in function. If you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team, continue reading:
Each healing class a slow, cheap, small heal; a fast, expensive, small heal; and a slow, expensive, large heal.
In each case, paladins get the biggest heal in the category, followed by priests. The druid direct heals are the smallest, but both Nourish and Regrowth get other benefits. Shaman heals are also boosted by other abilities.
AoE and Multi-target Heals
Druids multi-target spells are HoT-based. Efflorescence isn’t technically a spell, it is a area-based healing ability that procs from casting Swiftmend. Tranquility is a good emergency heal when a number of people are low on health.
Paladins bring something new to the game with their AoE. For these spells, the paladin’s position and facing are very important in order to make the most of the heals.
Disc priests get one substantial group-based heal, a small area-based heal and a big emergency heal.
Holy priests get the widest variety of multi-target heals. They get all the spells a disc priest has plus a smart-heal and an area-based healing effect.
Shaman get a targetted smart heal that jumps to four players, a totem that provides passive healing to their party, and an area-based heal.
Druids get two extra HoTs to supplement their basic and AoE heals. They also get a medium-sized instant heal that is dependant on a rejuv or regrowth being up on the target. They have the ability to remove poisons, curses and magic.
Paladins have two instant heals and Beacon of Light, which heals the selected raid member for 50% of the healing the paladin does on anyone else. Through Beacon and Protector of the Innocent (talent), paladins are always healing three people at once. Paladins can remove poison, disease and magic.
Priests get a little bit of everything: a HoT, a shield, a spell that heals themselves and one other person, and a spell that jumps from person to person as they take damage. Disc priests get Penance, a channeled spell that heals a single target 3 times in rapid succession, and can also heal with Smite if specced into Atonement. Holy priests get two instant heals; one they can use on anyone and one they can only use on themselves. They also get Lightwell, which is placed on the field and lets others heal themselves. Priests can get rid of diseases and magic.
Shaman get a combination instant heal/HoT in Riptide, which also acts as a boost to most of their other spells because of Tidal Waves, and another instant heal which buffs their next spell. They also get Earth Shield, which has multiple charges and will heal the target it is placed on whenever they take damage. Totems are also a big part of being a shaman and they can provide all kinds of different buffs, party healing or damage mitigation. Shamans can get rid of curses and magic.
Druids are a little light on cooldown abilities – they have one cooldown that increases their healing and modifies some of their spells to make them stronger. They also have an emergency heal that can be used to make another healing spell instant. For mana regen, they have Innervate which can be cast on themselves, or given to someone else.
Paladins have a variety of cooldowns. Two output cooldowns increase healing, haste and crit. They also have a huge emergency heal with a long cooldown and three different cooldowns that mitigate damage on the raid. Divine Plea gives mana return at the cost of healing output.
Disc priests have a spell that makes their next heal free and more likely to crit, a spell that decreases spell cast times and mana cost and, if specced into it, also have a spell to increase their healing output that is based around using smite. They have two damage mitigation spells, one for a single player, and one for a group that is area-based. Hymn of Hope returns mana to the people in raid who need it most and Shadowfind restores mana to the priest. Leap of Faith is a ‘get out of stupid’ card that can be used on another player.
Holy Priests get an output bonus with Chakra, which modifies and strengthens some of their other spells. Guardian Spirit will increase the healing on one raid member and prevent them from dying. Like disc priests, holy priests also get Hymn, Shadowfiend and Leap of Faith.
Shaman, like druids, are also a little light on cooldowns. Their emergency spell makes a heal instant. They also have a spell that lets them continue casting spells while moving. For mana regen they have Mana Tide, which increases the spirit their party (which increase mana regen for healers), and if they are specced into Teluric Currents, Lightning Bolt provides mana return for the shaman.