| Note: This article is geared towards new players.|
Please keep its contents to those which new players can reasonably understand and use.
A healer is a character who focuses on restoring health and/or preventing health loss in others. Additionally, healers are expected to deal with other maladies affecting teammates, such as conditions and hexes.
As such, it's a basic concept not only in Guild Wars, but in most CRPGs.
Most commonly, healing is done via effects in the Restoration Magic (Ritualist) and Healing Prayers (Monk) lines, although some effects in Protection Prayers (Monk), Wind Prayers (Dervish) and Motivation (Paragon) also heal. All classes have additional self-only healing effects.
While there is no general equipment dedicated to this, there are a large number of skills dedicated to this purpose. Most Monk skills and almost all Restoration Magic skills fit here, making Ritualists and Monks seen as healer professions. Paragons have a large selection of suitable skills too, but can only fulfill some aspects of the role. Dervishes, Elementalists and Rangers also have skills related to healing, but they are not considered healer professions. Mesmers don't have effective heals, but have good hex removal.
- Spike healing skills typically deliver poor efficiency (health gain per energy), but can heal a large amount very quickly and are used to catch spikes, making it the best choice when intermittent—but massive—damage is expected.
- Party healing skills provide the best efficiency if at least four party members are in dire need of healing; but are often slow and do not deliver much health to any one target. A team lacking this is vulnerable to party-wide pressure from degeneration or massive Area of Effect damage.
- Spot healing skills provide efficient yet spammable healing on a single target, and are frequently used in conjunction with Protections to save single targets under constant sustained attack.
- Burst healing skills utilize variable "burst effects"; ranging from "wasteful healing" to insanely "massive healing" in terms of cost-effectiveness.
Most combats come down to a contest between a team's ability to deal damage and their opponents' ability to heal or prevent it. Because winning usually requires a team to kill the opposing team, attempting to simply out-heal the opponents' damage will result in failure. In addition, sometimes it pays greater dividends to protect key targets, rather than simply heal them. Thus, good healing relies on controlling and/or preventing damage as well as restoring health; allies can also help mitigate damage against themselves with techniques such as kiting and the use of defensive stances, and help to heal themselves via self heal skills.
Monks vs. Ritualists
It comes down to your Party's composition, which again should be influenced by the enemy composition. A Monk's Divine Favor provides a flat, very high consistent "spot heal" output, plus excellent "party heal" and "burst heal" in an area; all with very good efficiency per mana spent. Ritualists force party members to stay within an area of a Spirit in order to heal up, and benefits from splitting up your damage intake between earshot spirits. Unlike Monks, Ritualists actually deal fairly good damage that only improves as they bring more Spirits, and additionally helps with decoying and/or absorbing enemy attacks alongside your other combat units.
For a fairly squishy Spellcaster party composition with no dedicated protter, Monks would be preferable to Ritualists, as Ritualists are unable to provide the same kind of healing/protection for a team of low health/low armor professions as Monks can. Using Ritualists means that you will be lacking valuable Protection Prayers skills whose effects cannot be matched by Weapon Spell alternatives. However, in most cases Ritualists will provide more than enough healing, and the goal is only to have just enough—not to have so much healing overkill that you don’t know what to do with all of it. As long as your party members survive and can stay on the offensive, the rest doesn’t matter.
A good recommendation is to stick to Monks as a standard pick, but be aware that there are good reasons for using Ritualists under the right circumstances.
List of staple healing skills
Skills in standard professions
|Spell. Heals for 15...51...60. Heals for 10...30...35 more for each enchantment and hex on target ally. Cannot self-target.||5||1||3||Healing PrayersZ||Prophecies|
|Spell. Heals for 15...123...150. Disables your other Healing Prayers skills (10...6...5 seconds). Cannot self-target.||5||¾||5||Healing PrayersZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals entire party for 30...66...75.||15||2||2||Healing PrayersZ||Core|
|Elite Spell. Heals for 10...130...160. Party members in earshot of your target gain Health equal to the Divine Favor bonus. Disables your Smiting Prayers (20 seconds).||5||¾||4||Healing PrayersZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals you and party members within earshot for 15...51...60 points.||5||1||12||Divine FavorZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 100...129...136% of half your current Health. Lose half your current Health. Cannot self-target.||10||¼||Healing PrayersZ||Core|
|Enchantment Spell. (2 seconds.) End effect: heals for 30...102...120. No effect if ends early.||5||¼||4||Healing PrayersZ||Eye of the North|
|Enchantment Spell. (2...5) seconds. Heals party members for 2 for each rank in Divine Favor whenever target takes damage. Cannot self target.||5||¼||20||Sunspear rankZ||Nightfall|
|Signet. Heals for 15...63...75. Heals for 15...63...75 more if target ally is casting a spell or attacking.||1||8||Healing PrayersZ||Factions|
|Elite Spell. Heals for 5...81...100. Heals for 30...98...115 more if target ally is below 50% Health.||5||¾||3||Healing PrayersZ||Core|
|Spell. Heals all party members for 50...90...100 for each nearby allied spirit. All nearby allied spirits are destroyed.||10||¼||10||Spawning PowerZ||Factions|
|Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...11...14 spirit (20 second lifespan). Affects non-spirit allies within range. End effect: heals for 1...6...7 for each second this spirit was alive.||10||¾||20||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 20...96...115. Removes one condition for each spirit within earshot.||5||¾||3||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 15...63...75. Removes one condition if target ally is under a Weapon [sic] spell.||5||1||6||Restoration MagicZ||Eye of the North|
|Item Spell. (15...51...60 seconds.) You have +10 armor. Drop effect: all party members are healed for 10...70...85.||10||1||25||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 10...82...100. You gain 3 Energy if you are holding an item.||5||¾||4||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 60...156...180. You don't sacrifice Health if you are within earshot of any spirits.||17%||5||1||4||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Elite Weapon Spell. (10 seconds.) Target ally gains 1...12...15 Health each second. 1...12...15 more healing per second while within earshot of a spirit.||5||1||5||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. The spirit nearest you loses 5...41...50 Health. Heals target ally for 5 for each point of Health lost.||10||¼||5||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
|Spell. Heals for 15...51...60. Heals for 15...63...75 more if this ally is under a Weapon [sic] spell.||5||¼||4||Restoration MagicZ||Factions|
Skills in nonstandard professions
|Type||General team roles||Example builds||Hero team builds|
|Damage||Spiker • Nuker||Bloodspike • Bomber • Dagger spammer • Touch ranger • Starburster • Trapper||Discordway|
|Pressure||Lineback||Barrager • Beast master • Cripshot Ranger • Pressure Ranger||—|
|Support||Healer • Protection||Battery • Bonder • Flag runner • Hybrid monk • Imbagon • Infuser • Orders||Sabway|
|Control||Shutdown • Tank||Hexway • Minion master • Perma • Spirit spammer||Mesmer Midline|
|Utility||Caller • Toolbox||Gimmick • Balanced • -Way||—|
|Guide to making a build • Category|