WotLK Phase 4 Healer Tier List: Best ICC Healers Ranking in WoW Classic P4

10/1/2023 12:28:21 AM

Phase 4 of WoW WotLK Classic rolling out on October 12th is nearly upon us and we have to talk, not about the Epic cut scene featuring a heroic and very bold Bolvar saving Humanity, not about the Ashes of Al'ar reputation system and the 277 item level ring we will be trash farming week one, but about the healers - more specifically which healers are the best for Icecrown Citadel raid. Bring the right healers to your raid and you could be looking at an early Lich King kill and 284 item-level weapons for everybody, bring the wrong healers and you'll be stuck on normal mode Sourfang for weeks, so let's jump into the Ultimate WotLK Phase 4 Healer Ranking List.

Differences Between ToC & ICC Raids in WoW WotLK Classic

There are big enough differences between Trial of the Crusader and ICC, these differences can change the balance among healers and we need to talk about them before we get to the tier list:

  • The first big difference is that almost every fight is between four and six minutes these are long and 10 fights where a lot of people take damage and need to be topped up if you play a Healer that struggles with Mana and travels the Crusader things are going to be a lot worse than ICC, also during these long fights there are a lot of opportunities to make a small mistake and end up dead, also utility spells like Innervate Battle res and Mana tide matter a lot more than they did in the past. Healing in general feels a lot more difficult than ICC and the raid feels much closer to say a Mythic retail raid than the vanilla fights for the past few years.

  • The second big difference is that your healer gear going into ICC would be terrible. As discussed in old interviews the recommended minimum item level for Icecrown Heroic bosses is 251. Most guilds will be going in with gear between 240 and 250 and doing heroic much earlier than originally designed, not only will your DPS be lower so you'll end up having to heal more for longer, but your tanks will be taking far more damage at the same time. This truly is the hardest raid in Wrath of the Lich King. Most guilds won't even be reaching let alone killing heroic Lich King for several weeks to get new upgrades like Blood Surge, a force that will also take about four weeks which means we'll be running the same Toc gear for the first month.

  • The third big change between ToC and ICC is that there's far more movement, seemingly every fight has some sort of mechanic where you have to dodge a giant bouncing ball or get away from a ghost, there's no question this benefits specific healers like Disc Priest compared to classes that have to stand in place.

WoW Classic WotLK Phase 4 ICC Healer Ranking & Tier List

With that out of the way, let's jump into the Healer tier list. We'll be ranking healers from worst to best in the B, A, and S tiers, there aren't any C tiers for your healers in this phase, it's a phase where every healer has a role, it's just that some healers share roles or they have bigger roles than others.

  • 1Holy Paladin (S Tier)

Holy Paladins are ending the expansion in the way they started, they're the strongest tank healers in the game. With few exceptions, if you have a paladin assigned to a tank and they're able to cast uninterrupted that tank won't die during the fight, your utility is also mandatory for difficult fights like Putricide with things like Divine Sacrifice and Aura Mastery. Holy Paladin even gets better in Phase 4 with their new tier 10 gear, since some paladins were even running tier 8 before this, it's a massive increase in overall stats. The only downside to Holy Paladin in this phase is that most of the fights have a lot of movement, you can't plant and cast as much as you'd like to. Also early on there's so much tank damage that Mana can become an issue, soon enough though you'll be a dominating heal machine that nobody else can compare to.

  • 2. Disc Priest (S Tier)

Disc Priests have two huge advantages in WotLK Phase 4 over all the other healers. The first advantage is that the Lich King weapons finally catch up to Val'anyr since Disc was the only class without Val'anyr, that's a huge win. Even the 271 version of the Scepter of Terenas is absolutely insane for Disc. You also get the highest stats jump in the game by far going from the four-piece T8 to the four-piece T10. The set bonus is mostly to get the free stats and the 5% Power Word Shield increase, but it's still massive. In terms of gameplay, Disc Priest has a blast in Phase 4, plus your Shield scales really well with spell power and you bring big utility to the raid with your hymns. The only downside to Disc Priest is that in the longer fights your Mana will suffer, hopefully, you'll be getting innervates though so it's not a major problem.

  • 3. Resto Druid (A Tier)

Also in the A tier is a surprising newcomer the Resto Druid. Aristo Druid is an Icecrown Citadel that thrives for the first time in all expansion, the entire raid feels like non-stop chunks of raid-wide damage and there's really nobody better at keeping the rate tapped up on fights like Blood Queen. But that's not the best part, Resto Druid really thrives on the hardest fights the fights where you need your healers to be absolutely blasting. On our future side heroic kill, we felt like every heel we put out was having a huge impact, meanwhile, on Sindragosa the AOE healing felt completely necessary. The recent buff to Wild Growth is noticeable here and for the first time ever it feels like an AOE healing monster. Also, we have to remember that in progression, everybody's Mana starved in dying to random mechanics. Enervate is such a massive help for Disc Priest while Battle Res might be the single best spell for progression rating. Plus your tier 10 is a solid jump up to 15 more healing and it really synergizes well with the new fights. The only other Resto Druid had note is that they're really great for dual spec and it would feel fantastic switching between damage and healing it also feels fantastic.

  • 4. Resto Shamans (A Tier)

Resto shamans provide completely insane raid healing on fights like Sindragosa. Plus they arguably scale as well or better than any of the other healers, for example, their tier 10 set bonuses are excellent, the two PCS Riptide giving 20 haste to your next spell cast as well as the four-piece giving a DOT to chain heal crit Targets. This isn't going to be vanilla where you can just stack multiple shamans and blast through the raid. But you can still definitely double up on fights like Sindragosa. Plus you can always dual spec Shaman if you're looking to drop healers after progression is over. We are also a huge fan of their utility like they're Mana tied which is a clutch on long fights. Their Ancestral Spirit seems to get used on every fight, that's the real knock on Resto Shaman and ICC, this is a raid where you have to move every few seconds, so we see a lot of move-related healing loss and higher Shaman deaths than in other raids.

  • 5. Holy Priest (B Tier)

Holy Priest has strong viability in Icecrown Citadel related to keeping the raid top depth similar to Restoration Druid. For example, on the Plague-dog trash you can instantly top the rate up by precasting Prayer of Healing and then Circle of Healing, there's also the utility of getting both the Mana and the healing hymn spells as well. Having a second copy of each of the raids is really nice, especially with the healing of his buff. The Guardian Spirit was your real claim to fame, it's got super high relevance in fights like a witch king or even Sourfang when things get really hectic. The problem though is that Priests really don't do tank healing better than Paladins and they don't do rate healing better than Shamans or Druids, so some of the time you end up heal sniping and you're not really 10 out of 10 in any specific aspect.