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Healing: Burst, Efficiency and Versatility(?)
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As a tank I typically prefer Druids.
Findings of each class:
Shamans: Easily out of mana if they are forced to spam large heals. Earth Shield and Riptide typically get the job done, though. Totems are a real nice addition, too. As is Bloodlust.
Priests: As a Warrior I hate those absorb shields, but they get the job done. I guess I only played with a Discipline Priest, though. Never was healed by a Holy Priest yet.
Paladins: Very nice healing output, also manage to keep themselves alive if something goes wrong. They get the job done.
Druids: They never seem to run out of mana, and a fully HoT-ed tank will also never die. Throw in the occasional heal to top the tank off and he simply won't die.
As a healer with plenty of heroic and raiding experience (although no hard modes):
Shamans: OOM was an issue for the weeks/months that 3.1 was around. Before 3.1 and after 3.2, mana was/is ridiculously cheap.
Priests: Holy still seems to have the odd mana issue, but nothing serious. Discipline has zero problems with mana but can struggle when trouble hits the group and a lot of output is required in a hurry.
Paladins: Mana's an issue until they have enough crit or mp5, or at least it was this way prior to 3.2. Another class that can struggle in a group-wide emergency, as well as fights involving lots of movement.
Druids: Similar to a shaman and discipline priest, no mana issues. Excellent at keeping tanks at full health. Have real trouble when the $%^& hits the fan.
I still stick with my recommendation, either a shaman or a holy priest for heroics. Other classes can absolutely do the job, and have firm spots in raids, but aren't so perfectly suited to heroics as what these classes are.
For example, take the new Trial of the Champion heroic. There are fights with great samples of fast group damage, as well has heavy tank damage (although no movement-intensive fights). Paladins and Disc Priests have
of difficulty, and Druids do an alright job until you get hit with Argent Confessor Paletress, or phase three of the Black Knight, where again they start to struggle. For a Holy Priest or Resto shaman, this is no more difficult than any other encounter.
Lastly if I had to pick between the two, I'd go with the holy priest. Bloodlust and the totems are nice, but in heroics, for pure survivability, +stam and +shadow protection go a
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