- Author: Luxrah
- Date: November 9, 2023
- Updated: December 2, 2023
- 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.
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 on your party members, any arcane damage you deal will be converted to healing. 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: Arcane Missiles for single target damage, Arcane Explosion for area damage. If you have the Arcane Blast or Arcane Surge runes, you can integrate those abilities into your rotation as well (we’ll tell you how in their sections below). You’ll gear for damage because your damage will also increase your healing.
A great thing about this build is that you will be able to swap between healing and damage by just changing your runes. You can use most of the same gear for both as well.
This rune allows you to apply Temporal Beacon to a single target. Even if you’re assigned to raid healing, you’ll want to have Temporal Beacon up on your tank(s). This ability also heals for a decent amount, so it’s good for topping up an individual party member who has taken extra damage. It is a 3 second channel and costs a fair bit of mana, so you won’t want to overuse it.
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.
You could consider this instead of Regeneration for pure 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.
This is your version of Swiftmend, except that it doesn’t consume your Temporal Beacon when used. You’ll want to have this on hand for most fights unless you’re just a backup healer. Without it you’re very much lacking in options for spot healing.
If you don’t find yourself needing Rewind Time, adding Arcane Blast into your rotation will give you a solid boost to your throughput. How and when you use it will be a matter of how much mana you’re willing to to spend. 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 and let it fall off before you cast it again.
This rune allows you to apply Temporal Beacon to an entire party. Use this to reapply the buff to the group every 15 seconds and then get back to blasting.
You should only use Mass Regeneration if you’re going to be raid healing. Your healing is divided evenly among everyone who has your Temporal Beacon, so if you’re tank healing, having Temporal Beacons up on non-tanks will reduce your healing on the tanks.
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.
This ability does Arcane damage, so it works with your Temporal Beacon. It can be a powerful healing cooldown when there are large numbers of enemies nearby. Unfortunately you’d have to give up Mass Regeneration to use it, but it could be a great option for small group content or PvP.
If you’re tank healing and don’t need Mass Regeneration, this could be a potential alternative. However, you’ll need to be extremely careful when you use it, since it will empty out your mana. It should only be used in an emergency or if you know that you can recover the mana right afterward (such as with Evocation). This spell could be especially useful in PVP.
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.
- Improved Arcane Missiles will help you keep a steady stream of damage and healing by preventing your Arcane Missiles casts from being interrupted.
- Arcane Focus will ensure that your offensive spells hit, which in turn will ensure that you are healing your group.
- Arcane Concentration will let you stretch your mana further by giving you an occasional free damage spell.
- Arcane Subtlety gets our last remaining point for some threat reduction.
Key Spells and Abilities
In single target fights you’ll be spamming this ability as your primary spell, both for damage and healing. It’s a channeled spell, so you’ll need to be careful not to clip it by casting the next one too soon, as this will cause you to miss out on some damage/healing and waste your mana.
For multiple targets, this spell will let you do a lot more damage/healing than Arcane Missiles. It only hits enemies within a 10 yard radius around your character, which can make it tricky to use in some situations.
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 is 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 give your group a heads up, you can effectively get two bars’ worth of mana every boss 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.
If you have the Rewind Time rune, it can be a good way to catch up on healing after you Evocate, as long as the target(s) can survive until you cast it.
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 necessary.
This buff will cause your teammates to take a little more magic damage, but will make your healing effects a lot stronger. You’ll want to have this up on your group as much as possible unless the incoming spell damage is too strong.
Although you’ll usually want to use Amplify Magic to buff your healing, there may be times when you want to do the opposite. 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 healing done, so it’s a judgment call as to which one will be more beneficial in your current situation.
This item increases both damage and healing done, and it also has Intellect on it, but it’s a world drop, so it will be tough to find and may be expensive to purchase.
Obtained from Shadowfang Keep, this shoulder piece has lots of Intellect plus some Spirit. You don’t need the Agility, but it doesn’t hurt anything.
Another piece from Shadowfang Keep with lots of Intellect and Spirit plus some Stamina and Agility.
These gloves are crafted with Tailoring (Pattern), but are BoE and don’t require you to have the profession to use them. They offer a boost to your healing but nothing for your damage beyond a little Intellect.
Another piece from Shadowfang Keep with a good amount of Intellect plus some Spirit, and a little Agility because it’s vanilla and the stats are confused.
This ring can be obtained from The Deadmines. There aren’t too many options for rings at level 25. This one has Intellect as well as some Agility.
You can find this ring in Wailing Caverns. It has lots of Spirit plus some Intellect and Stamina.
You can get this staff in The Deadmines. It has Intellect, Spirit, and Stamina, all good stats for you.
Wands at this level don’t have any stats, so you want to look at their damage. This one has pretty good DPS which also happens to be Arcane damage, which may have some synergy with your build. You can get it in The Deadmines.
Gnomes get Expansive Mind, which boosts your Intellect and makes them the best choice for Alliance mages. They also get Engineering Specialization, which will help you get to those Spellpower Goggles Xtreme a bit faster. Escape Artist and Arcane Resistance are also nice to have, especially in PVP.
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.