Tag Archives: shaman

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

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:

Basic Heals

Each healing class a slow, cheap, small heal; a fast, expensive, small heal; and a slow, expensive, large heal.

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Slow, cheap heal Nourish Holy Light Heal Heal Healing Wave
Fast, expensive heal Regrowth Flash of Light Flash Heal Flash Heal Healing Surge
Large, expensive heal Healing Touch Divine Light Greater Heal Greater Heal Greater Healing Wave

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

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
No cooldown Light of Dawn

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Chain Heal

Healing Stream Totem

Short cooldown

Wild Growth


Circle of Healing Healing Rain
Medium cooldown Holy Radiance Holy Word: Sanctuary
Long cooldown Tranquility Divine Hymn Divine Hymn

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.

Other Spells

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman



Renew Renew Riptide
Direct heals Swiftmend

Holy Shock

Word of Glory

Binding Heal



Binding Heal

Desperate Prayer

Holy Word: Serenity


Unleash Elements

Absorbs Power Word: Shield Power Word: Shield
Other Beacon of Light Prayer of Mending

Prayer of Mending


Earth Shield


Debuff Removal Remove Corruption Cleanse

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cleanse Spirit

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.


Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Output boosts Tree of Life

Avenging Wrath

Divine Favour


Inner Focus

Power Infusion

Emergency Nature’s Swiftness Lay on Hands Guardian Spirit Nature’s Swiftness
Damage mitigation

Hand of Protection

Hand of Sacrifice

Aura Mastery

Pain Suppression

Power Word: Barrier

Mana return Innervate Divine Plea

Hymn of Hope


Hymn of Hope


Mana Tide Totem

Lightning Bolt*

Other Leap of Faith Leap of Faith Spiritwalker’s Grace

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.

Out of My Element

Earlier this week I did ICC 10 on my shaman to fill in a healing spot in a guild run. I haven’t played seriously on my shaman in over a year. I’ve been to ICC a couple times, but haven’t really gone past the Plague wing. Still, I figured that it would come back to me as I played and as soon as I started remembering to drop my totems and cast Bloodlust (I tend to forget those things when I haven’t played for a while), I’d be fine. However, I found that after a year of basically ignoring my shaman and healing on my druid only, the healing style was very foreign to me.

I really felt the difference once we got to Lich King. On my druid or hunter I’m completely comfortable and can watch the fight and call things out in addition to healing/dps. I was asked to lead the LK fight on my shaman and I did an absolutely terrible job. I had to dedicate all my concentration to what I was supposed to be doing and really didn’t have the capacity to call out instructions to the raid. I felt kinda useless. Playing on my shaman really made me miss my HoTs. Casting a Chain Heal seemed to take forever. Having to stop moving to cast bewildered me, one instant spell just isn’t enough. I’m sure the 8 pieces of gear I’m wearing from Ulduar and Naxx didn’t help much either.

I guess the moral of this story is that I love my druid. 🙂

How do people live without Swiftmend?


Over the last couple months I’ve been a little bored in WoW, as many people seem to be. I am quickly running out of things I want to do on my mains. Last week I decided to dust off my alts and did some questing and random dungeons for a bit of a change. I’ve never been that into alts. I like to build up my main as much as possible, but was never willing to spend a whole lot of time on secondary characters. Now that I’m actually playing my alts, I’m really having a blast.

One of my goals before the xpac is to get a 4th character to level 80, but I don’t know who it will be. There are a few contenders:

Penthesilia – Level 77 Draenei protection warrior

Penthesilia - Draenei protection warrior

My warrior has a bit of an advantage, being the highest level of my alts. She’s also a tank, so the quick queue times for randoms are very nice. Except for a brief stint as Arms in BC, Penth is all prot, all the time. Leveling prot from 1 – 60 was…interesting. Who am I kidding? It was horrific and I must have been some kind of masochist to do it. Now I find leveling as prot quite enjoyable. It’s fun to shield slam my way through mobs and be able to take on whole packs at a time. Prot warriors also have a lot of abilities to use. I like pushing lots of buttons.

I’ve become much better at tanking instances over the last couple times I’ve played. At first the prospect of tanking dungeons with a group of players I didn’t know was daunting. I was always nervous I would suck at holding aggro or be difficult to heal. I’ve gotten much more comfortable with it now. I rarely forget my cooldowns, and I’ve become quicker on taunts when some fool mage doesn’t understand that the skull over one mob’s head means “kill me first!” I even wait for healer mana before pulling.

Feyyd – Level 76 Draenei fire mage

Feyyd - Draenei fire mage

My mage is fun, but squishy. I’m quite erratic in terms of how well I play my mage. When I’m in a dungeon, I do everything I can to stay alive and help keep others alive. I’m always using my Ice Block, or Frost Nova to keep mobs away. I like to Invis. I even use my Gift of the Naaru to help heal people when I can (I can’t help it). When I’m questing alone though, I’m completely suicidal. I run head first into packs of mobs, pulling as many as I can. I completely forget about my life-saving abilities. I die a lot. I’m definitely more interested in (and better at) dungeons than solo stuff on my mage. It’s fun to DoT up a group of mobs with Living Bomb and watching the explosions go off. Fire good.

Lamens – Level 70 Blood Elf ret/holy paladin

Lamens - Blood Elf paladin

Leveling progress on my Paladin has stalled. I burned through Azeroth and Outlands then arrived at Howling Fjord and lost interest. I’m quite tired of the Northrend starting zones after doing them on four other characters. While I enjoy the utility of the paladin, Lamens doesn’t get played much. Most of my experiences with the low level random dungeons horde-side have been negative. Add 40 minute queues to that, and they become a bit of a chore.

I’m trying to build up my healing set so it’s easier to get into randoms. I healed for the first time last week and it was an interesting experience. The healing style is completely different from my druid or shaman, so it was a nice change.

Apocalyss – Level 33 Draenei shadow priest

Apocalyss - Draenei shadow priest

I created this character a couple years ago, but she was abandoned shortly after. However, my fiance rolled a new druid recently and was looking for a leveling partner. I was happy to oblige by dusting off my priest. I’m really liking it. DoTs are great, I’ve been having lots of fun Psychic Screaming mobs in dungeons and Mind Control is cute too. I also love Power Word: Shield. I can’t wait to get to level 40 and dual-spec Disclipline.

There are only two problems I’m having so far with my priest. First, no AoE until level 75?!? Ahh! Also, there are five different things to buff yourself with every 30 minutes (more often for some) which gets a little tedious. Regardless of those two things, the priest is a lot of fun and it’s nice to play with my sweetie. I predict Apocalyss will level up very quickly.

I also have one alt that is level 80 who I don’t play much:

Hettu – Level 80 Tauren restoration shaman

Hettu - Tauren restoration shaman

One of these things is not like the others…

Hettu was my main Horde character from the beginning of Wrath until midway through Ulduar. I enjoyed shaman healing for a while. Direct, non-instant healing was interesting to master after druid healing for so long. I really liked the Lesser Healing Wave/Riptide spot healing approach. Then came the game breaker. Chain Heal was buffed, and Tidal Waves no longer reduced the cast time of LHW. It now seemed like there was little reason to cast anything but Chain Heal. That was not my idea of a good time. It also didn’t help that my guild usually ran with 7-8 healers, so healing was a little dull. I switched back to my hunter as my main, and poor Hettu was forgotten.


This should so be a druid spell. Common.

Healing Rain (level 83): An area-effect heal-over-time (HoT) spell that calls down rain in a selected area, healing all players within it. There is no limit to the number of players who can potentially be affected; however, there are diminishing returns when healing a large number of targets, much like the diminishing returns associated with AoE damage spells. This should give Restoration shaman another healing tool that improves their group-healing and heal-over-time capabilities. 2-second cast time. 30-yard range. 10-second duration. 10-second cooldown.

We better get something even more awesome.