WoW Cataclysm: Healing Enhancements

Posted Tue, Feb 08, 2011 by Mem

Healing is, without a doubt, one of the hardest and most demanding jobs in World of Warcraft. This fact is even more prominent now after the massive changes Blizzard has brought to healing with the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Because of this it’s essential that healers always be on the top of their game. In order to achieve this all healers must be sure to have the best and most effective enhancements on their gear at all times.

Before giving you the standard list of must have healing enchants for Cataclysm, it’s important to first understand why certain enchants will be better for healers than others. What it comes down to is simple; Combat Ratings, or as they're more commonly referred to, stats. Different kinds of healers value stats (Intellect, Spirit, etc) on different levels. Some healers such as Holy Paladins will rely more heavily on a stat like Critical Strike than their Holy Priest counterparts. However, despite the fact that all healers will value stats differently, healers are essentially all looking for the same basic stats. You will never see a healer looking for Agility or Dodge on their gear.

These stats can then be carried over and used for all the healing enhancements you will need including enchants, gems, and even consumables. Below is a list of the stats important to healers and what they do:

  • Intellect
  • Haste
  • Spirit
  • Critical Strike
  • Mastery
  • Stamina


With the release of Cataclysm Intellect now not only provides players with additional mana, which is very important considering that most healers are finding themselves out of mana (OOM) more and more often. But it is now also is the primary source of a healers Spell Power, which increases the amount a heal actually heals for, and also provides healers with a slight increase in Critical Strike which increases the chance that your heals will do even more healing than they normally would.


Haste provides healers with the ability to cast their heals faster. A faster cast time on a longer heal could mean the difference between life or death for a party member, or even the healer themselves. Haste does have a downside, because the faster the healer casts heals, the quicker that healer will burn through their mana pool. Keep in mind that each healing class has an “ideal” amount of Haste. After this magic number is reached Haste becomes somewhat useless and other stats can and should be focused on. For a more detailed look at Haste and how it factors into heal over time (HoT) spells in particular, be sure to read Haste Explained: How it Affects HoTs and DoTs.


Unlike the days of old, Spirit simply increases the healers mana Regeneration while not casting and doesn’t do much more outside of that. While some healers may find that certain talents (such as Holy Priests) will help make better use of Spirit, most healers will find that the gear they pick up will have more than enough Spirit on it to provide them with adequate mana regeneration. If not, healers do have the option to Reforge pieces of gear if needed. Enchanting and/or Gemming for Spirit is not necessary unless there is no better option.

Critical Strike

Critical Strike Rating does precisely what it says it does, gives the healer and increased chance to crit when casting spells. This applies to both damage and healing spells. However, with its unreliable throughput this stat will come out as a low man on the totem pole for most healers.


A new stat implemented in Cataclysm, Mastery does something vastly different for every class and spec. Because of this Mastery’s importance will vary from class to class, however, this stat should not be totally overlooked by anyone. To see what Mastery provides your particular class simply bring up your talent panel in game and click the “View Summaries” button found at the bottom of the panel or check out a basic overview of Mastery for each class right here at Ten Ton Hammer.


Stamina, while seemingly unimportant for healers, is something we all need. Stamina increases the overall health of the healer and because of this provides the healer with a longer lifespan. Remember, a dead healer is helping no one. Thankfully Blizzard foresaw the fact that while Stamina is something every healer needs it shouldn’t be something they need to focus on. As you gain better gear, your Stamina levels should automatically go up, so unless your gear level is much lower than it should be for your current content level, you should always have enough of this particular stat without gems or enchants.

Remember the above list is in no particular order and depending on what healing class you choose to play will determine how important each of the above stats is for you. With a basic understanding of the above stats and what they do, it should make it far easier to pinpoint healer enchants and other item enhancements and discern why they are best for you.


Slot Enchant

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