They have a unique way to play that many people enjoy.
Healers can heal hurt allies, bring downed allies back into the fight, or even bring the dead back to life.
They can also help their group in a lot of other ways.
Some healers can get rid of status effects or levels of exhaustion, and they can also help in a number of ways to reduce damage.
When choosing a healer, it’s important to think about what your party needs, but you should also pick a class that you’ll enjoy playing.
This list will help you choose the right healer for your group and yourself.
There are three main types of healers in D&D: main healers, support healers, and off-healers.
- Main Healers
- Support Healers
- Summing Up: What We’ve Found?
These characters specialized primarily in healing. They can heal both the whole group and specific people.
They are very useful for keeping their group alive, and that is what they plan to spend most of their time and money doing.
Most subclasses capable of main-healing can also specialize in a support healer role by choosing a balance of damage and healing spells.
Cleric: Life Domain
Most people think of a life cleric when they think of a healer in D&D. Life clerics are the best at healing throughput of all the classes.
Clerics can use all of the best healing spells in D&D, from the essential Healing Word to spells like Prayer of Healing that heal a lot of people quickly.
They can also use Revify to bring back allies who have died and Lesser Restoration to get rid of status effects.
The Disciple of Life feature of the Life Domain makes all of those powerful spells heal more, giving you a flat HP bonus that goes up as your cleric level goes up.
With Channel Divinity: Preserve Life, you also get a big extra heal for the whole group.
If you want to play a healer in D&D, life cleric seems to be the best choice. Still, there are some very good reasons to think about going to a different healer.
Instead of just dying when they reach 0 HP, player characters in D&D can make “saving throws” against going unconscious or dying.
This means that filling up the HP of party members isn’t as useful as it used to be because characters with low HP aren’t at immediate risk of dying.
Some DMs use house rules to make it more painful to get to 0 HP. Life clerics really shine in these games.
Cleric: Grave Domain
In D&D, healing does the most good when it is used on characters who are down.
Grave clerics can use all of the very powerful cleric spells, and Circle of Mortality makes sure that these spells heal for as much as they can when it really matters: when they are used on allies with 0 HP.
Most D&D players are familiar with the yo-yoing death save dance that these clerics are good at.
In practice, this will usually mean that they can heal much faster than life clerics.
Druid: Circle of Dreams
Druids also make excellent healers.
They can’t use important cleric spells like Aid or Prayer of Healing, but they can use Healing Word, Mass Cure Wounds, and Heal.
Druids can use polymorph, which, despite what you might think, is a very powerful way to save allies who are close to dying.
If you turn a friend with low HP into a 136hp T-Rex, enemies won’t be able to kill them.
Healing Spirit is also a great way to heal your party members and keep them in good shape between fights.
Druids can also use Goodberry, which, with a little bit of preparation, lets everyone in your party bring back downed allies.
This is important especially if you get knocked down to 0 HP as the main healer.
Goodberry is a druid spell that lets the user make ten berries that can be used to heal 1 HP each.
All druids can heal in a strong way, but Circle of Dreams druids are a little better than the rest because the Balm of the Summer Court lets them heal in more places.
You can also save allies from dangerous situations with Hidden Paths.
Bard: College of Lore
Bard is the third most important healing class in D&D.
Bards can use Healing Word and Mass Cure Wounds.
They can also use Polymorph, just like druids.
With Additional Magical Secrets, a Lore Bard can learn spells from other classes, like Cleric and Druid.
This lets them add the best spells from those classes to their own.
Plus, they can use “Cutting Words” to stop a lot of damage from happening without using any spell slots.
Bard: College of Glamour
Glamour bards don’t get any extra healing or support skills on top of what a normal bard already has.
But they do deserve to be mentioned because of what they do in games with a lot of roleplaying.
In battle, a glamour bard can act as a healer, and outside of battle, they can help out with roleplaying.
A glamour bard will sing about the heroic things their party has done, which will make NPCs like them more and fix relationships that were rocky at first.
Another great choice for the main healer is an alchemist.
Healing Word, Aid, and Mass Healing Word are all powerful healing spells that alchemists can use.
They can also get rid of status effects by casting Lesser Restoration for free.
Alchemists’ Experimental Elixirs and Infusions give them a lot of extra ways to help, like healing.
With some planning, you can use these to give your party magic tools and potions for any situation.
Alchemists can make Elixirs with the spell slots they have.
These are potions that can do things like heal you or let you fly for a short time.
Infusions are made by all artificers, and they add magical effects to items.
For example, a piece of armor could be infused to give it more AC.
Sorcerer: Divine Soul
Divine soul sorcerers are good main healers because they can use all of the spells from both the cleric and sorcerer spell lists.
Not only can divine soul sorcerers choose the best spells from both lists, but they can also use Twined Spell to heal two people at once instead of just one.
Sorcerers can change their spells in many ways with Metamagic. Twinned Spell is a useful Metamagic option because it makes your single-target spells work on two targets instead of just one.
The biggest difference between a divine soul sorcerer and a cleric is that you only know a few spells.
Sorcerers can only learn a small number of spells, and even though you’ll be picking the best spells from the lists of two classes, divine soul clerics will still have more uses.
These characters do the right amount of both healing and harm.
They can heal the whole group or just one person, and when needed, they can heal for a long time.
But these characters don’t just expect to heal.
They also have great tools that hurt or help in other ways, and they only heal when they need to.
In most games, support healers may be the most useful healers.
In D&D, it’s rare for a group to need one person to spend all of their time healing.
Cleric: Tempest Domain
Healing is a very reactive job; you can only heal when your party has been hurt.
The rest of the time, you should find other ways to help the group.
Life and Grave clerics have access to the same great list of spells that Tempest clerics do, but their spells are much more focused on doing damage.
Most damage can be done with Tempest than with any other cleric domain.
In practice, this is great because you’ll always have something useful to do, no matter what comes up in the game.
Your party won’t always need a full-time healer, and often the best way to avoid damage is to end the fight quickly.
The problem is that tempest clerics have to use up valuable spell slots to cast both healing and damage spells, so they have to be very careful about how they use these resources.
Cleric: War Domain
War domain clerics are big, tough fighters with plate armor.
They don’t do quite as much damage as tempest clerics, but there are two clear reasons why they are better.
War clerics can’t cast spells by using spell slots.
Instead, they use weapons to attack.
When things go wrong, war clerics can still use all of their healing spell slots.
War clerics can also play the role of party tank, which is often more appealing to support-focused players than playing a DPS-focused role and may be a good choice if your party is missing a tank.
If you want to be a war cleric, you should know that, unlike other clerics, your healing and damage stats are not the same.
This means that it’s very important to have good roles in wisdom, strength, and constitution.
Paladin: Oath of the Crown
If you want to play as a support-tank healer, Paladin is another great choice.
Paladins can use powerful healing spells like “Aid”, “Heal,” and “Turn the Tide” from crown paladins is a great emergency healer for the whole group.
Lay on Hands costs an action and can only be used in close combat, but it’s still a nice way to heal.
Paladins don’t have important healing spells like Healing Word, but they are good at doing both damage and healing.
Celestial warlocks have a unique theme.
Instead of being devoted to a god like a cleric, these warlocks have more of a business relationship with an angel, unicorn, or another celestial being.
The Healing Light of a Celestial Warlock is almost the same as a slightly stronger Healing Word.
Even though these warlocks don’t have as much healing power as main healers, they can still do a lot of healing where it matters most.
Monk: Way of Mercy
Way of Grace Monks is the only one who can heal without using spells.
All of their healing and damage abilities work in close range, but Unarmored Movement and Step of the Wind give them a lot of movement, making it easier for them to reach allies.
There are a few things that are bad about being a mercy monk, which makes them less desirable as healers.
They can only heal in close combat, and since they don’t have any bonus actions for healing, they always have to take damage to heal.
Mercy monks also can’t heal the whole group until they reach level 11.
Way of Mercy is a good choice if you want a good support healer who can keep melee party members healthy and also do good damage.
These characters focus almost entirely on dealing with damage and can’t heal for a long time.
In a pinch, though, these characters can heal you quickly, which could change the course of the battle or stop a TPK.
Ranger: Horizon Walker Conclave
Rangers are mostly focused on dealing damage, but they can use Cure Wounds to heal other people in a pinch.
This is especially helpful if your main healer has been knocked down to 0 HP and needs to be brought back to life.
Horizon Walker works well here because it lets you get to Misty Step. Cure Wounds can only be used on someone you touch, and Misty Step will let you quickly get to allies who have fallen.
Rangers also help with exploration by leading and taking care of their group on long trips through the wilderness.
Banneret fighters can use Rallying Cry to heal three allies within 60 feet once every long rest.
This isn’t much of a heal, but in an emergency, it can make all the difference.
A fighter will also usually be able to stay alive longer than the other people in the party, and they may even be the last person standing.
In those cases, this ability can stop a TPK that was about to happen.
It’s not clear if abjuration wizards can even be called healers.
Their toolset doesn’t have any traditional heal, but they have a unique way of supporting and reducing damage by reacting.
With the Projected Ward ability of an Abjuration Wizard, you can see when a friend is about to take damage and how much damage they will take.
Then, you can reduce some of that damage as a reaction that doesn’t use any spell slots.
This means that, unlike other healers, abjuration wizards can save allies from damage that would either bring them down to 0 health or kill them outright.
They can do this without losing any of their ability to do damage.
The biggest downside of abjuration wizards is that, at higher levels, wizards may want to reserve their reaction for Counterspell.
This is especially true in hard fights, where players are more likely to take damage that will kill them outright.
In games set in Eberron or other places where Dragonmarks are used, playing a Mark of Healing halfling lets an abjuration wizard use one of their many spell slots to heal.
This can be enough to make abjuration wizards good main healers.
Summing Up: What We’ve Found?
People who love healing have a lot of great options in D&D.
From fantasy mainstays like clerics and druids to unusual archetypes like celestial warlocks, there are a lot of options to get excited about.
You should now have the information you need to choose the best healer for you, your group, and the game you are playing.