World of Warcraft: Druid healing vs. Shaman healing

As I’ve been shaping my Shadowlands roster, I realized that I wasn’t content with having two Draenei on the team. One as my Death Knight was fine, but another as a Shaman felt kind of redundant. So I scrapped her (at level 27) and started over with a Dwarf instead. 27 levels is nothing right now with the 100% XP boost going and the ability to hop in dungeons instantly as a healer.

Healing dungeons is definitely how I’m going to be leveling her, because there’s nothing faster or more convenient at the moment. And it can’t hurt to learn the ins and outs of healing with a Shammy, which is something I haven’t really done a lot of in the past.

In fact, in all of my time playing World of Warcraft, I’ve only ever really been a dedicated healer on a Druid. Priest? Nope. Monk? Nope. Paladin? AHAHAHA no. I’ve just loved the HOT-heavy approach to preemptive healing in this game, and I hope that I don’t come off as too conceited when I say that I’m actually a pretty good druidic healer.

But yeah, as I’m learning, Shaman healing is a different ball of wax. Well, it’s not hugely different; it’s kind of a hybrid of various healing styles. There’s a smidge of heal-over-time with Riptide, some preemptive shielding, but a big part is simply figuring out whether to use slow, efficient single-target heals, slow chain heals, or faster but less efficient single target heals. At least in the first few dozen levels; I haven’t gotten my full toolkit yet.

Chain heal is very interesting to me and I’m becoming quite partial to it — especially in boss fights. I like how it will automatically bounce around to the second- and third-most wounded targets, helping to keep a whole group afloat when more than one person is taking damage. And it’s nice to throw down an AOE healing totem for some extra insurance.

I guess the biggest difference right now is in cast times. With the Druid, most of the heal spells are insta-cast, which gives me the feeling of throwing spells left and right. With the Shaman, it’s slower and more intentional. 2.4 seconds of cast time might sound like nothing, but in a fight, it can be brutally long, especially if I’m in the middle of a cast and suddenly I’m standing in the fire or I need to switch from single- to multiple-target heals.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to learn it all over the next 120 levels. My goal right now is to heal about three dungeons a night, which is netting me gobs of XP and some nice gear to boot.

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