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Raid Rx: What's a good raid healing makeup?

Matt Low

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. What's the ideal raid healing team for 25-man raid groups?

As your guild starts acquiring better and better gear, you'll soon come to the conclusion that you can scale down the amount of healers that are needed in a raid. On several boss fights, your raid can get away with as low as 5 healers. In fact, 5 healing a raid is the norm now. During Burning Crusade, a majority of raids set up healing teams of 6-7. In Wrath of the Lich King, there's been more of a shift towards increasing the DPS. Nowadays, healers are far more equipped to handle the different forms of incoming raid damage.

10 mans are a different story. I remember when I first started the original 10 man instances like Karazhan and Zul'Aman, my raid group had to 3 heal it. That's partly because we didn't have the spell power or mana regeneration to plow through it.

25-man healing

So what's the ideal raid healing composition then? The standard healing setup that I personally run with consists of:

  • 2 Priests
  • 1 Druid
  • 1 Shaman
  • 1 Paladin

I should add that both Priests are different. One is specced Holy and the other is specced into Discipline. The reason for the uniqueness of each healer is fairly self-explanatory. I like being able to tap into the strengths and abilities that each healing class has to offer and it does allow for an enormous amount of flexibility in assigning heals.

So who handles what? It largely depends on the encounters at hand. The standard makeup involves 1 Paladin and 1 Disc Priest on different tanks. The other Priest, Shaman and Druid tend to handle whatever raid damage is incoming.

If we're facing off against an encounter that requires a bit more heavy duty tank lifting, the Resto Shaman or the Druid will switch to a tank healing spec and use the required set of glyphs to do so. It works out fairly nicely. I can have up to 4 different tank healers (although that's absurd and has not been necessary yet) and any combination of raid healers.

10-man healing

Healing 10-man groups is slightly different. The requirements aren't quite as stringent and you can practically get away with any combination of healers. For new encounters and the like, I strongly suggest using 2 tank healers and 1 raid healer to get through fights. As your raid continues to get more gear and the like, you can gradually drop down to 2 healers only that consist of 1 tank healer and 1 raid healer.

Some examples:

  • Holy Priest, Discipline Priest, Paladin
  • Druid, Paladin, Discipline Priest
  • Shaman, Paladin, Druid

Also, don't be afraid to use the Discipline Priest in a raid healing role. Yes, it's going to sound weird because they're better off healing 1 tank. But it can often times be beneficial to add a Discipline Priest and stick them on raid healing. That's because of their extra strength, and easy casting Shields when the first wear off.

In any case, don't fret too much about what healers to bring in either 25-player instances or 10-player instances. Raid leaders, do your best to work with what you have. While some classes and setups are optimal for doing certain things, it pays off extensively to have a super and well rounded healing group. Even something as strange as 3 Holy Paladins will work (I've seen it).

Screenshot courtesy of WoW Screenshots.

Want some more advice for working with the healers in your guild? Raid Rx has you covered with all there is to know! Looking for less healer-centric raiding advice? Take a look at our raiding column Ready Check.

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