So, now that you’re trying to earn that plus sign by getting healer gear, you’re wondering…what exactly do they mean by healer gear? What makes gear for healers?! Well have a seat and we’ll talk about what stats are useful, keep in mind this is written with the intention of being used as a healing only point of view, so we aren’t considering offsepc usefulness!
One of the most important stat you’ll find on any healing gear. If the gear does not have intellect, you do not want this to equip. What does intellect do for you? Currently it provides more mana, it affects your regeneration of mana and it provides more spellpower and critical strike. Going into Mists of Pandaria, it will no longer affect how large your mana pool is, nor how you regenerate mana, but it will continue to provide spellpower along with critcal strike. The most important part though, is if the item doesn’t have intellect it has a stat that doesn’t do anything at all for you. Like Agility or Strength. We don’t want that!
Spirit is a healers best friend. Seriously. You want it! Right now, My druid is comfortable with around 2500 Spirit on her gear, with rarely any mana problems unless things are goign badly. The amount of spirit you need at this point in the game is a personal choice, if you are running out of mana early in a fight and you are not over-healing, you need more. If you are ending a fight with lots of mana left over and people are living fine, you could probably reforge some of it off.
If you find gear with spellpower on it, it is useful, however mostly at maximum level you’ll only find this stat on weapons.
Haste allows your direct spells (non hot/dot) to cast faster, but it also affects HOTs! HOTs last the same duration with haste as without but have the duration between ticks shortened. This means that if you have enough haste your spells can gain extra ticks gaining a ton of effectiveness. Each healing class has different haste “caps” they are looking to hit to where haste is most effective. Priest, Druid, Shaman, Paladin (click your class for a link to that information!).
Mastery and Crit
Mastery and Crit are tricky, because each class has its own flavor based on how mastery is balanced at that point in time. Both are useful, but I recommend reading the class guides from the Haste section, to see what is being suggested for your particular class and/or style.
Those are the stats you should look for as a healer. If the gear does not have Intellect and one of the other stats listed, you should not use it…I’m looking at YOU “of the Gorilla” gear! Once you get to higher levels, that won’t be as much of a problem as it is at lower levels. Always avoid gear that doesn’t have Intellect on it!
As always though, each person plays their character a little different than the next, while I like my spirit level, others may be comfortable with less and others may want more. The important measure of your stats is “did we kill internet dragons without letting people die”. If you are looking for help with gear, I would suggest checking out the forums over at Plus Heal I’ve always found them to be helpful and honest about my questions, while not being jerks about it (it’s scary out there as a new healer!)