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What Healer class should I play in Legion?

Posted: July 3rd, 2016, 8:12 am
by Galenos
This video by Proper Bird gives a nice summary of the healing classes in legion.
Obviously numbers will change and opinions differ.
Keep in mind Im not saying she is an expert, but I like her raid guides, and it a timely discussion. I am still forming my own opinion and would love to hear peoples thoughts.

I found this comment interesting in response to a question regarding Disc:

Random guy:
"You know that moment in progression where you start thinking about dropping a healer for a dps, or can't decide between sacrificing a dps for a 4th healer or vice versa? That is where Disc is meant to come in.
For Challenge Modes, Disc should be really strong in theory, but I'd rather not see it dominate or feel 'mandatory' - it's just when trying to speed run, the added damage should give it the edge against other healers.

The intentions of each spec, in regards to their design: (I'm ignoring numbers for the sake of distinction) Holy Priest is the pure healer, i.e, no niche, just the traditional healer with no real weaknesses, but no real strengths either; Resto Druid is the mobility king; Resto Shaman is the burst king; Holy Paladin has a melee niche and a few utility quirks, and MW is the triage spec, heals for everyone.
The only reason I mention this, is that Legion is meant to be about class fantasy and spec theme, so it would be a shame if they let it go to waste by slacking on the tuning side of things - especially with how many things they can actually use to tweak numbers now."

Proper Bird reply:
"I recognize that niche for discipline priests but as it is now and looking at pure possibilities in burst potential I don't think that's the only place for discipline.

Discipline can shine when there's large bursts of predictable damage so we can set up our attonement buffs accordingly and save perhaps light's wrath for it which has amazing HPS potential as it is. If we're just going for bosses where you need a bit of healing and a bit of dps disc simply will not cut it. At least for our guild it's generally just a choice in do we drop a healer or not. Very rarely do we end up in a situation where you will want just a bit more dps but still a bit of healing. Old mistweaver monk worked like this before they nerfed Chi Explosion and we actually used my monk in this way too, for a total of 2 fights 1 of which didn't really require it in the end anyway.

So if discipline is only viable in such situations we'll not be brought to many fights at all. But the truth is I don't think that's where our real strength lies. A good discipline priest will have to learn each fight even better than most other healers because we rely entirely on having our attonement set up well before the damage happens so we can cover the biggest amount of people in the very short window of time we have until attonements start dropping off. So say for example, you know some extreme damage will happen in about 15 seconds so you start applying attonement to the raid and have your Light's Wrath and penance ready to go the moment the damage hits. This will bring most of the raid up to a healthy percentage immediately after the damage happened.

Of course we can't heal like this throughout the entire fight because our mana would never be able to handle it so we have to be smart about when and where we want to spend the biggest chunk of our mana. But that's hopefully what will make discipline rewarding to play. Realising that your "cooldown" in the form of well placed attonements and a large damage nuke got the job done when it really mattered.

Bit of a wall of text but I hope you understand. Discipline isn't just half a healer and half a dps. We can be a full healer but at the cost of a lot of mana. I feel like the biggest "weakness" of discipline right now is that they're just not very fast at all. 40% is our only speed buff and it kind of sucks as the bridge boss made me realise when I was one of the only classes that couldn't make it to the end before the orb exploded and I HAD to use a warlock portal. And of course one of the main reasons I put discipline down as a wild card is that IF their tuning ends up the wrong way we could be either the king of healers (again) or an absolute no go on progression at all times. But that's a numbers game and we'll have to see, balancing both damage and healing at the same time I can imagine is just a very difficult thing to do.

Re: What Healer class should I play in Legion?

Posted: July 3rd, 2016, 12:14 pm
by Akaina
A couple quick things about Mistweaver, I'm sure her co-healers just didn't mention them to her or she thought they were too "in the weeds" for an overview but here they are.

Mistweavers got really really upset when they took our melee immunities away and gave them to pallies, totally understandable considering all of our attacks are melee except one. It went through a few iterations but MW is now immune to all ranged abilities that would risk wiping melee instantly. Think chain lightnings, the shadowfel burst on archy, and such. MW does, however, still have to deal with mechanics that take a few seconds to fall off and create a mess. Think Mark of the Necromancer type abilities. Going forward this will be a mess with constant requests to "fix" mechanics that Bliz either forgot to add to the immunity list or the community thinks monks should be immune to.

I wanted to mention this primarily because if you don't have a mistweaver on your team it has probably been the case that you don't really know how they work (they are so far outside the norm). After pre-patch hits, this really will be the case because even your mistweaver won't know for a while. Hopefully they have good reflexes and roll bound to an easy hotkey as they figure out what bliz has stuck on the immunity list and what not.

Oh and the MW artifact gives the second largest single target CD in the game on a fairly short "CD". I say "CD" because it doesn't have a hard CD but the strength of the spell depends on how many mists you have floating around.... yeah don't ask lol

On Disc I kinda had the same idea as the random guy. There are certain bosses where damage going out to the tanks and raid is really low except for about 30-60 seconds of the fight. Think Xul. I thought this would be a great time to use a disc priest. She makes a very good point in countering that idea and dropping down to just two healers makes that fight go fairly well. My problem with the idea would be actually gearing one. Unless you had your holy priest given gear to build up their Disc set for specific bosses, they would be seriously lacking in their second spec until well into farm. Not to mention the time put into their artifact of course. From what I have heard elsewhere, disc actually does fairly well at low levels of Mythic+ but raids make me feel sad for them. I have hope for them but it is just hope.

I don't really have an opinion on Hpriests at the moment. She mentions mana is a real issue but, not having the beta, I wonder how much worse it is? I would put a lot more stock in that had she played the other classes herself but it is just speculation on my part to say we notice our class deficiencies a lot more than others often do. Beginning of expansion mana issues are fairly normal. The toolkit is solid so we'll just have to wait and see.

On a side note there has been a bird chirping outside my window for the last half hour and it is driving me nuts...

On pallies, I have a hard time believing they won't be highly sought after in Mythic raiding. I put more stock in what she says because she has beta but even if other classes have pretty good single target healing, namely monks and druids, if they are focused full time on the tanks they aren't going to be doing what they are really good at: healing the raid. This is assuming, of course, that the philosophy of damage mitigation and healing has been moved away from the tank and to the healer. We'll have to see how that holds up but judging on how much tanks are complaining, it should be the case for a while at least. I guess my thought for now is that they could probably be helpful on mythic to deal with expected high tank damage but it wouldn't be too hard to get away with not having one.

I think she summed up Shammies pretty well. Their healing is really solid, yay for mastery, and their utility is pretty amazing. A good Shammy will be able to boost the ability of the entire raid to deal with mechanics so that is pretty awesome. That being said, a lot of that utility can be brought by dps classes so I would tamp down a bit in saying Shammies are op because of their utility. This is probably how Bliz is balancing taking things like roar away from certain specs. Not really much more to say about that.

As far as Druids go I think they're pretty much in the same boat they've been in for a while now. They're just amazing all around healers. Monks are in this boat now as well with all the mechanic changes and both are very mobile. If you gave two healers the same name and color on the meters, you could switch them out and I doubt you'd notice the difference. They do their healing rather differently but it would take a pretty extreme fight that locks out certain types of healing to switch one for the other out of need. Along with Shammies they will be the go to healers. I think set bonuses will play a huge part in determining how well the three classes do compared to each other.

In summation, I don't really have a lot of concerns about any spec but Disc. The utility argument is one that is brought up often but I don't think it really holds the same amount of water with healers that it does with dps. So long as the healing classes heal in different patterns stacking one healing class is simply a bad idea. As close as Druids and MW will be, MW can no longer hot up the raid with REM like Druids can. MW however has really strong single target hots, one of which jumps to a new target if it won't heal, and several multi target, direct heals. In essence Druids heal the whole raid slowly while monks burst up 3-6 at a time. With a cap of 4-5 healers, stacking a class is usually more harmful than helpful. There are exceptions and 2 of one class is usually fine, but I don't really see, at the moment, one healer pulling way ahead of the others. We'll have to see set bonuses and trinkets to really tell but, ignoring numbers still being tweaked, healing going into legion looks decently balanced.

Re: What Healer class should I play in Legion?

Posted: July 12th, 2016, 5:43 pm
by Akaina
If you are a healer and are concerned about whether you should level as a healer or dps, here is a really interesting exploration of the topic. It is pretty long but there is a lot of good information in there.

Re: What Healer class should I play in Legion?

Posted: July 24th, 2016, 1:33 pm
by Akaina
As an update to my last comment: MW doesn't feel like it takes too long to kill anything besides elites. On normal mobs and half-ish quest bosses it feels perfectly fine at 680. Considering many of us well above that with some as much as 60 ilvls over that, leveling as a MW shouldn't be difficult at all. Other classes may or may not be fine as well but disc (obviously) is in a really good place.