Shadowlands Healer Mythic+ Popularity for Pre-Patch on

Shadowlands Healer Mythic+ Popularity for Pre-Patch on

We’re continuing to go over the Mythic+ participation statistics on for DPS, Tanks and Healers over the next few days. We’re continuing with healers today and comparing the participation of Healers in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch versus BFA Season 4, with some of our Class Writers commenting on why things may have changed.

Want to see the previous article on Tanks? Click below.

Tank Mythic+ Popularity for Pre-Patch

Disclaimers and Source

The data for this article was taken from the Statistics. We’re taking a look at specific 2 key levels for this article, +15 and +25, which will hopefully show the popularity of specs trying to get their weekly chest versus forming a high key Meta.

However, there are many more statistics and graphs that you can look at on including:

  • Runs by Spec & Key Level
  • Total Number of Runs Recorded by each Spec
  • Total Number of Runs Recorded by Key Level
  • Detailed Look at Spec Performance
  • Weekly Top 500

Make sure to head over there and give it a look! Mythic+ Statistics

The idea of this series is to give an idea of spec popularity in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch for Mythic+ compared to BFA Season 4. It’s interesting to see what specs are popular in Mythic+ content at various keystone levels but with an extended longer-than-usual Pre-Patch, this may help inform you on what specs are performing well in Mythic+ at higher keystone levels if you enjoy playing what is performing the “best”.

With Pre-Patch, players may be trying out different specs, gearing alts or playing other characters for any reason.

  • For Keystone Levels 2 through 15 Keystones, the popularity of these specs are likely more indicative of what players are trying out or gearing up in the Pre-Patch since every class and spec is able to do a +15 Keystone
  • For Keystones above +15, the popularity of these specs will start to trend towards being more indicative of what the perceived meta is in the Pre-Patch.
    However, very high keys (around +30) will have very few runs and the data will be skewed to the few groups that play them.
  • In general though, specs that are considered underpowered are generally played less and tend to appear less in popularity charts, making them appear weaker than they actually are.

Lastly spec representation will be skewed based on the Affixes. The two weeks of Pre-Patch haven’t had any affixes that would greatly benefit or hurt any class, but this week’s Bursting Week would probably skew the data towards Priests.

Remember that Pre-Patch data may not be indicative of balance in Shadowlands or Shadowlands Season 1 due to the current lack of Shadowlands systems such as Legendaries, Conduits, Soulbinds and Covenant abilities. There are also Essences and Azerite Traits which some specs benefit more than others from, which will not be present in Shadowlands.

This post is not suggesting classes that are “good” to play in Shadowlands. The purpose of this post is to look at the popularity of classes in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch, which is longer than expected due to Shadowlands delays.

For more information on specs in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch, check out our Class Guides!

Check out our Class Guides below, now updated for the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

Healer Popularity In the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

This section shows you the Healer popularity for the first two weeks of the Shadowlands Pre-Patch according to compared to their popularity during BFA Season 4.

Healer Popularity at Mythic +15 in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

This is the Healer Popularity Chart for Mythic 15 Keystones.

Spec Pre-Patch Popularity BFA Season 4 Popularity Change
Restoration Druid 30% 34% ↓ 4
Discipline Priest 17% 8% ↑ 9
Restoration Shaman 16% 11% ↑ 5
Holy Paladin 16% 24% ↓ 8
Mistweaver Monk 12% 14% ↓ 2
Holy Priest 9% 9% – 0

Healer Popularity at Mythic +25 in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch

This is the Healer Popularity Chart for Mythic 25 Keystones.

Spec Pre-Patch Popularity BFA Season 4 Popularity Change
Restoration Druid 41% 56% ↓ 11
Discipline Priest 19% 5% ↑ 14
Holy Paladin 18% 31% ↓ 13
Restoration Shaman 14% 4% ↑ 10
Mistweaver Monk 7% 3% ↑ 4
Holy Priest 1% 0% ↑ 1

Healer Writer Comments on Popularity

Restoration Druid

This section was written by our Restoration Druid Guide Writer, Jaydaa on why the Restoration Druid popularity has dropped but still remains at the top.

Although Restoration Druids have lost some representation especially at the high end of Mythic+ keys in the Shadowlands pre-patch, we still remain the dominant M+ healer. Because Restoration Druids received only minor changes in Shadowlands, the loss of representation is most likely attributed to players experimenting with other healer changes in the pre-patch rather than any significant nerfs or changes to our playstyle or M+ toolkit. After a nearly 9-month long Season 4 and a largely stale meta, players are likely experiencing a ton of fatigue and just want to try something new. Now’s the time to experiment, especially outside of a proper M+ season. Notably, Restoration Shamans and Discipline Priests have significantly increased representation after these specs received a few meaningful changes to their toolkits dramatically improving their performance in M+. Hopefully, we continue to see these increased levels of representation at the highest levels of M+ in Season 1 of Shadowlands.

However, do not mistake the decrease in Restoration Druid representation in M+ for any weakness. With our toolkit and playstyle from BFA almost entirely intact including Rebirth, we’re still bringing the heat with a few more toys to play with. In the Shadowlands pre-patch we gained even more M+ utility with Cyclone, Stampeding Roar, and Heart of the Wild. While none of these spells are exactly game-breaking, they’re definitely nice additions to our already strong M+ toolkit. Once Shadowlands launches, we’ll also pick up a few additional perks while leveling that augment some of our strongest M+ spells; Regrowth (Level 52), Ironbark (Level 56), and Nature’s Swiftness (Level 58). With our strongest covenant ability looking to be the versatile Convoke the Spirits from the Night Fae and some decent accompanying legendaries, we’ll likely remain one of the dominant choices of healer in Shadowlands Season 1 Mythic+ unless we see major changes in the coming weeks.

Discipline Priest

This section was written by our Discipline Priest Guide Writer, Jak on why the Discipline Priest popularity has increased in the Pre-Patch!

Discipline has seen an explosion in popularity in Mythic+ in the 15 range but most notably in the 25+ range for keys during the Pre-Patch. There are many reasons for this change including improved community perception from Beta performances, improved flexibility in talents like Shadow Covenant, and the additional Shadow abilities like Mind Sear and Mind Blast that further increase Disc’s heavy damage dealing capabilities. While it does not have Mind Soothe or Power Infusion in the Pre-Patch, Discipline still has exceptional single target healing, especially with essences and azerite still around to further bolster Shadow Mend healing. The new version of Shadow Covenant is an excellent resource to further increase Shadow Mend healing or even to increase their damage in AoE situations by using Mind Sear.

Discipline’s 5 man growth in Shadowlands was recognized early in Beta and has encouraged many high quality players to attempt higher level keys in the Pre-Patch and upon their completion, continue to push farther beyond. When a spec improves in an environment that they’ve been historically lower represented in, there is an explosion of participation.

Holy Paladin

This section was written by Ellesmere, one of the top Mythic+ Holy Paladins in BFA Season 4, on why the Holy Paladin popularity has dropped in the Pre-Patch.

Holy Paladins had the biggest spec overhaul out of all the healers and introduced a lot of great new abilities, but with it has come some pretty glaring issues that are causing problems for us in Mythic+. Right now there are two major issues for us: healing throughput and mana. These are not great problems to have when it comes to solo healing any content.

One of the largest impacts to our healing throughput in dungeons was the Infusion of Light change, which now forces us into using Holy Light for big throughput, but as the cast is so long it slows down our playstyle a lot, which is not great for Mythic+. Another big factor was the Holy Avenger talent change. While it is still strong, it’s doubled cooldown (now 3 minutes) makes our massive burst healing windows we were known for much fewer and further between. The introduction of Holy Power has proven to be fun, but took away from our quick burst healing as now we have to build Holy Power to get the healing we need.

Lastly, the extremely high mana cost on Crusader Strike (same cost as Holy Shock now) has made it so we no longer have a spammable way to throttle or regenerate mana. This is leading to Holy Paladins going OOM in 30 seconds just from DPSing, and forces us into “AFKing” GCDs to conserve mana, which is both terrible gameplay-wise, and also takes away the biggest factor that made us such a strong pick in Mythic+ throughout BFA, our damage.

Restoration Shaman

This section was written by our Restoration Shaman Guide Writer, Niseko on why the Restoration Shaman popularity has increased in the Pre-Patch!

While its not the Damage Reduction ability people were hoping for, having Earth Shield baseline with its new 20% healing increase on the target is a big help when it comes to tank and sustained single target healing, which is something Resto Shamans often used to struggle with. Riptide now having a strong upfront burst helps to quickly react to incoming damage as well – which is good as everything else we have, outside of Unleash Life (if talented), are hard casts. Resto Shaman got improved damage capabilities with buffs to many spells – Flame Shock now ticking every 2 seconds instead of 3 means that we got a lot more Lava Surge procs, which greatly helps getting damage out while healing (note: Lava Surge just got nerfed by 5% in the latest build).

These and the other balance changes definitely helped contribute to Resto Shaman feeling and performing better in M+.

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