Season of Discovery (SoD) Mage Healer Build Guide & Best Runes

wow season of discovery mage healer build
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: November 9, 2023
  • Updated: February 1, 2024
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Healing is a completely new role for mages in World of Warcraft, although players have often speculated about what a mage healer build could look like. In Season of Discovery, Rune Engravings give mages access to some new abilities that make this build possible.

Build Summary

Mage healing is made possible entirely by the new Runes added in Season of Discovery, two of which allow you to apply the Temporal Beacon effect to your party members.

With this buff active, any arcane damage you deal will be converted to healing on targets with the buff. This is similar to how the Discipline Priest works in later expansions of World of Warcraft, but with the timey-wimey flavor of the Preservation Evoker from Dragonflight.

You’ll apply Temporal Beacon to a single target with Regeneration or to an entire party with Mass Regeneration. Then you’ll start blasting: usually Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles, and perhaps some Arcane Explosion if you’re facing a large crowd of enemies. You’ll gear for damage because your damage will also increase your healing while the reverse is not true.

A great thing about this build is that you will be able to swap between healing and pure damage by just changing your runes – no need for a respec. You can use most of the same gear for both roles as well. Even as a healer, you’ll contribute a significant amount of damage to your group. The downside is you have fewer tools for spot healing than other healing classes. You don’t have any hots or shields that you can put up in advance either, so spikes in incoming damage can be troublesome. It’s also really easy to blow through your mana and have nothing left in the tank when you need it most.




This rune allows you to apply Temporal Beacon to a single target. You will need to have either this rune or Mass Regeneration in order to be able to heal, but you don’t need both. Regeneration is usually the better choice unless you know you’re going to be doing a lot of raid healing. This ability’s channel heals for a decent amount, so it’s good for topping up an individual party member who has taken extra damage or doing some healing when there are no targets to attack. It’s not very mana efficient, though, so you don’t want to cast it too often. Usually you’ll only use it when you need to refresh Temporal Beacon on the target.

It’s worth noting that channeled abilities leave their buff/debuff instantly, so you have the option to cast this and immediately cancel it if all you want to do is reapply Temporal Beacon. You would miss out on the spell’s direct healing that way, but there may be situations where it makes sense to quickly return to your damage rotation so you can heal other targets or finish off an enemy.


You can use this rune instead of Regeneration if you’re going to be taking Mass Regeneration. The Mass Regeneration & Enlightenment combo works best in a situation where you want to do a lot of steady raid healing. You’ll do extra damage and healing when your mana is above 70%, and you’ll regenerate more mana when it’s low. That’s a pretty solid all-around buff. But in current content, Regeneration and Living Flame are the better combination, since damage tends to be spottier and you don’t have many cooldowns to use in an emergency.


Arcane Blast

This spell will be the core of your rotation, and in the current meta, you’ll pretty much always want to use it. Getting a feel for how to use this spell is the key to playing a Mage healer well. If you cast it four times in a row, the fourth cast will have a 525% increased mana cost, but will net you 60% increased damage and healing. So if you’re willing to dump some mana, you can ramp up for some heavy healing this way. Most of the time you’ll just use it once or twice and let the debuff fall off before you cast it again.

Rewind Time

This is your version of Swiftmend, except that it doesn’t consume your Temporal Beacon when used. It’s unfortunate that it uses the same slot as our near-mandatory Arcane Blast rune because Mage healers are sadly lacking in cooldowns and this is a good one. As it currently stands, though, you can’t afford to miss out on Arcane Blast, so this rune will have to sit unused.


Living Flame

This ability does Arcane damage, so it works with your Temporal Beacon. It also does a lot of DPS and therefore a lot of healing. You’ll want to line this up so it hits as many enemies as possible. To do this, target an enemy on the opposite side of the pack from you so the flames have to pass through the group. Save this ability for when you need some big emergency heals or just need a breather to refresh your Temporal Beacons.

This spell scales with both Arcane and Fire damage. Our Dual Spell Schools Guide explains more about how this works.

Mass Regeneration

This rune allows you to apply Temporal Beacon to an entire party. You should only use this rune if you’re going to be doing a lot of steady raid healing. Otherwise, you can use the single-target Regeneration rune and save this slot for Living Flame.

As with Regeneration, it’s worth noting that channeled abilities leave their buff/debuff instantly, so you have the option to cancel this mid-channel it if all you want to do is reapply Temporal Beacon. You would miss out on the spell’s direct healing that way, however.

Arcane Surge

You’ll almost never want to use this rune as a healer. It will completely drain your mana bar, and while you get some increased regen afterward, that won’t do much at this level. There’s a chance it could be useful for a big burst of damage/healing, especially if you are able to use Evocation right afterward, but that’s a niche situation that doesn’t seem to exist in current content. You might be able to have some fun with this in PvP, however.

Talent Build

season of discovery mage healer arcane build
Talent Calculator

Talent options at level 25 are very limited. You won’t have access to some of the most powerful abilities in the Arcane tree, and there’s nothing worthwhile for you in the Fire or Frost trees.

  • Arcane Subtlety x2 makes it less likely that your spells will be resisted. Resisted spells do no damage and therefore no healing, so that’s definitely important to avoid.
  • Arcane Focus x3 will also ensure that your offensive spells hit, which in turn will ensure that you are healing your group. You only need 3 ranks of this talent to reach the hit cap for Phase 1.
  • Arcane Concentration x5 will let you stretch your mana further by giving you an occasional free damage spell. You’ll want to watch for Clearcasting procs so you can use them for your higher-mana spells.
  • Wand Specialization x2 will let you do a little more damage with your wand when you don’t want to burn mana. Keep in mind that if you have a wand that deals Arcane damage, using it will also heal your Temporal Beacon targets.
  • Improved Arcane Explosion x3 will make your AOE spell deal more damage, and therefore do more healing (although it doesn’t do a lot of healing either way).
  • Arcane Meditation x1 takes our last point as the highest we can reach into the talent tree in Phase 1. This will help us regenerate some mana in combat.

Key Spells and Abilities

Arcane Missiles

You’ll mainly use this spell to reset your Arcane Blast, but it can also be useful for getting some immediate healing out since it’s channeled and will do some damage/healing right away (versus Arcane Blast taking 2.5 seconds to go off). As it’s a channeled spell, you’ll need to be careful not to clip it by casting the next one too soon, causing you to miss out on some damage/healing and waste your mana. There may be times when you want to clip it intentionally so you can cast something else, however.

Arcane Explosion

For multiple targets, this spell will let you do a lot more damage than Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles. It only hits enemies within a 10 yard radius around your character, which can make it tricky to use in some situations. Keep in mind that the healing you get back from this spell is significantly reduced, so it’s not worth using unless you’re hitting a lot of enemies or you just want to deal some damage and don’t care too much about your healing output.


DPS mages can stop and Evocate whenever they are low on mana, but as a healer you will have to be more careful about when you use it. It’s an 8 second channel, and 8 seconds can be an incredibly long time for your teammates to go without healing. This cooldown can only be used every 8 minutes, so you also won’t want to waste it by canceling it early. But if you look for periods of low damage and maybe give your group a heads up, you can effectively get two bars’ worth of mana during a fight.

Remember that you can swap your weapons in combat, and the mana you get back from Evocation is improved by your Spirit. You may want to carry an “Evocation stick,” a staff that has a lot of Spirit on it, which you can swap to when you use this spell. Just remember to swap back afterward.

You can also cast Living Flame before you Evocate to buy yourself some time, or afterward to help you catch up on healing.

Remove Lesser Curse

Since you’re a healer who will be watching health bars already, most groups will probably expect you to be the primary decurser. It’s not a glamorous job, bit it is a necessary one.

Amplify Magic

This buff will cause your teammates to take a little more magic damage, but will make your direct healing effects (from Regeneration and Mass Regeneration) a lot stronger. There may be situations when you want to use this, such as a fight where the damage is primarily physical.

Dampen Magic

This buff has the opposite as Amplify Magic. For extra hard-hitting enemy spells, Dampen Magic can help keep your teammates alive even where your healing can’t do so. But it does also reduce your direct healing, so it’s a judgment call as to whether it’s worth using either of these spells.

Scroll of Reintegration

This is technically an item, not a spell, but I wanted to note it here because it gives you a way to resurrect dead players, which you may need if you don’t have a Paladin, Priest, or Shaman in your group.

Example Best-in-Slot

BiS lists can vary drastically from fight to fight. There is rarely a one-size fits all solution for any given dungeon or raid, so you will need to find what suits your needs best.

Below is an example of an all-round Best-in-Slot list that you can tweak to fit your individual needs. At this level, most players will find that additional mana (mainly from Intellect) is more valuable than Healing or Spell Power.




  • Jagged Bone Necklace
    • You won’t see many necklaces this phase, and this one is your best option. If you can get one from the Auction House, Spectral Necklace (of the Owl/of Intellect) is also decent.
  • Wow Alliance Crest Lorekeeper’s Ring/ Advisor’s Ring
    • You’ll need to get to Honored with your Warsong Gulch faction to get this ring, but it’s well worth it.
  • Signet of the Twilight Lord
    • This ring would be better if it had Intellect, but the Spirit and Spell Power are still great.
  • Invoker’s Void Pearl
    • You want this version of the trinket rather than the straight-healing one, since it boosts both your healing and your damage (with the latter, in turn, boosting your healing as well).
  • Minor Recombobulator
    • Again, trinket options are slim at this level. This one restores 250 mana when you use it, and you don’t have to use it on a polymorphed target.

Race Choice

Wow Alliance Crest Gnome

Gnomes get Expansive Mind, which boosts your Intellect and makes them the best choice for Alliance mages. They also get Engineering Specialization, which will let you get some goggles and other nifty items. Escape Artist and Arcane Resistance are also nice to have, especially in PVP.

Wow Alliance Crest Human

Humans get The Human Spirit, which boosts your Spirit. That’s helpful, but not as good as the gnome Intellect racial. Humans get some other racials that don’t really help you as a mage healer: Diplomacy, Mace Specialization, Sword Specialization, and Perception.


Berserking is a fantastic cooldown for any mage, which makes troll the best choice for Horde. Beast Slaying can give you some extra damage/healing when fighting beast enemies, including the hydra and turtle bosses in Blackfathom Deeps. You also get Regeneration, which can be nice to have. Their other racials are not at all useful to you: Bow Specialization and Throwing Specialization.


You won’t get anything as an undead that will help you as a mage healer, but undead have Will of the Forsaken, which is great for PVP. Their other racials are only marginally useful: Cannibalize, Underwater Breathing, and Shadow Resistance.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
Notify of

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

Great guide, thanks for sharing! Looking forward to release!

Scroll to Top