A Word About Lay on Hands

I have a lot of comments to respond to, I know. I’m sorry! Responses coming Soon(tm) to a blog near you.

I did want to mention something, however.

Last night, I did a 10-man Blackwing Descent run. More new people in for Magmaw, to get a handle on it, then a lot of Omnotron attempts.

On the entire night, trash included, I hit Lay on Hands 10 times.

I never used to use Lay on Hands on myself for mana regen back in Wrath of the Lich King. And with its crazy cooldown of 40 minutes to an hour, back in the day, along with the fact that it drained ALL your mana for using it, I didn’t use it very often at all in Vanilla and Burning Crusade. I’m sure I used it a bunch of times in raids and stuff, but I only have one really strong memory of using it in Burning Crusade and that was well-documented in our Vashj kill video when my LOH crit the tank for 15k and it was only 9% overheal.

But I used it a lot last night. I probably used it more last night than I would have in three weeks of Wrath raiding.

Used properly, it’s an amazing tool. You can pop it on someone, anyone, who’s about to die and half of that will transfer to your Beaconed target, which is great. Sometimes you have to use it on your Beacon itself, sure, but you can save two lives with one keypress a lot of the time. Plus, appropriated glyphed for it, it’s on a 7m cooldown and you get 10% of your maximum mana back.

I used to think that having to use Lay on Hands had meant that I had screwed up. That my inattention had meant that my target had gotten that low. To use Lay on Hands felt, to me, as though I had failed.

Not the case, not in Cataclysm. In fact, it probably was never the case and that’s just my own neuroses talking. I never hesitated to blow it when I thought my targets needed it, but I always felt as though things could have gone better to prevent my using it.

Now, I love Lay on Hands more than I ever thought possible. It is NOT an indication of failure — at least, not yours. It’s an indication that you are in a tight position and you used the tool best suited for the job. Using Lay on Hands is almost always a great thing to hit. With a 7m glyphed cooldown, with the mana you get back from it, there’s almost never a downside to using Lay on Hands.

So use it more. EVERYONE should use it more. Paladin tanks especially — do not hesitate to pop it unless you need to bubble or BOP something off during a fight, since Divine Protection no longer causes Forbearance.

The moral of the story: Using Lay on Hands should be a point of pride; that you used The Big Heal when you had to. So make sure you’re using it!

15 Replies to “A Word About Lay on Hands”

  1. Fantastic post. I need to make one for RD, because (as you noted) LOH has made a huge flip-flop for tanks. From worthless to awesome!

    In Wrath, LOH was useless (and dangerous!) as a tanking cooldown. A full heath bar was worth about 2 seconds of life, and locked us out of our only major cooldown. Doubly worthless. I click-bound it, took it off my bars, and only used it on recent B-rez targets.

    In the days of Cataclysm, things are all turned around. A full health bar – a 150k heal – is worth a huge amount of time, and a huge amount of healer mana. AND Forbearance is off. I can’t tell you how many times LOH has been perhaps my most valuable cooldown in a heroic, when the healer is down, or having a lot of trouble.

    It’s back on my bars, and I love it dearly. . Like you said, the only reason why we’d avoid it is if we expect to have to bubble something off or bubble-tank an enrage timer boss. Otherwise, it’s a damn nice spell to have around.

    I’m glad to have it back. LOH is a classic pally spell, and it’s perfect as an emergency spare life in the world of Cata damage and healing.

  2. Excellent post, Kurn. I agree with you that Holy Paladins, myself included, need to use this more. I have noticed that I have been reaching for it frequently during heroics, and yet I don’t think I cast it more than two or three times in Wrath. It’s a fantastic tool, made even more so because of the colossal health pools that we have now.

  3. Agree. I had ignored the LoH glyphs remembering how little I’ve used it, but have to admit to using it several times recently. With mana tight on some fights, I think the mana-back glyph is like getting an extra pot. Thanks for pointing out the heal-2-targets part, didn’t think of that. I read on EJ that it will grant double mana returns by LoH’n yourself, but my test was during the heat of a wipe on Atramedes and just felt woefully small. I still find I tend to reserve it for that oh-s*** moment, but might work the whole 2-target thing in more regularly. Great tip for thought.

  4. I always hate it when I hear people say “I don’t want to use my cooldowns unless I REALLY need it!” when they’re on the brink of death.

    Hate hate hate.

  5. I have to say, LoH seems overpowered. I’m playing a bear tank, and my friend plays a holy pally (pretty much only 5-man heroics for now). I can always tell when he pops LoH, because suddenly my health bar goes from empty to full.

    I don’t know of any other healer or tank that has that potent of a heal. Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch is a joke, at maybe 10-15% of a life bar (on a 3-min cooldown). I assume the same is true for Shaman’s NS. I suppose Priests have something like Guardian Spirit that at least prevents the tank’s death.

    Maybe it isn’t as crazy in raiding content. But for 5-mans, 7-min means it is pretty much up for every boss, and if anyone is low, you can spam 5+ Divine Lights to get them back up, or do it in a single GCD.

    Though certainly I would prefer it if they buffed Nature’s Swiftness instead. (Your next cast is instant, has no mana cost, and heals for 2x, etc.) Most guides I’ve read recommend talenting out of NS, because it just isn’t enough burst if you *really* need it, and it doesn’t see much play if you are truly triaging.

  6. So so true. I’m currently using both LoH Major Glyphs at the moment because of how powerful the spell is.

    The Divinity glyph is actually restoring 20% of your maximum mana instead of the advertised tooltip 10%, which is just ridiculously powerful. No idea whether this is intended (and the tooltip is just wrong), or will be fixed, but I am abusing it as much as I can while it lasts :)

  7. @Dan
    It gives you 20% mana back when used on youself, on other targets is still 10% mana back, i think its working partially as the WotLK version (when LoH used to give mana also), my guess they will fix this on next patch

  8. Anafielle – Thank you! I was SO pleased when they changed Divine Protection. I still don’t use it often enough myself (and I really should!) but the removal of Forbearance from it is a beautiful thing.

    I actually double-glyphed LOH in lieu of… another glyph, though I can’t remember which, because I found I NEEDED it every 7 minutes in a heroic, sometimes. On the trash, no less. My brother, who plays a prot pally, giggles in glee whenever he has it up and I’m in trouble. He just throws it at me. Now THAT, I consider a failure, if my TANK has to heal ME. ;)

    I totally agree with this, btw:

    I’m glad to have it back. LOH is a classic pally spell, and it’s perfect as an emergency spare life in the world of Cata damage and healing.

    Great way of putting it. :)

    Fannon – Thank you. :) And I absolutely agree; it’s such a useful tool. And it can crit! I love Lay on Hands that crit. It’s a great feeling to heal up someone to full AND see the beacon get topped off, too, because it crit. :D

    Exul – Glad you found the post useful. :) I don’t nearly use it enough for the double heal, but I’m really pleased with myself when I DO use it that way.

    xmolder – I’m hesitant to use CDs of more than 3 minutes as freely as I should. I’m totally guilty of that. I’m pretty pleased that I’m changing my whole LOH mindset, though. :)

    John – Lay on Hands is pretty overpowered. Back in the day, it was an “oh crap!!!” button that allowed you to fully heal yourself (or someone else for your total amount of health) once an hour and it drained all your mana at the same time. It’s gone through several re-workings and while there’s not a lot that’s exactly comparable to Lay on Hands, there are some other talents and such that other classes get:

    – Druids have Tranquility on a similar cooldown, which certainly isn’t the same, instant heal, but probably (I don’t have a parse with a druid tranq in it, I don’t think) heals for about the same total, split up among five people

    – Priests, depending on spec, have Guardian Spirit (will save you from dying) and Power Word: Barrier (raid-wide Pain Suppression) (2m-3m CDs on them)

    – Shammies… okay, shammies get screwed except they have NS and Mana Tide. Neither is really the same as any other ability mentioned, but Mana Tide is just such a strong buff that I can’t even believe it hasn’t been nerfed yet. Maybe they just feel bad for the shammies. ;)

    So yeah, LOH is amazing, but I think it’s more or less in-line with some of the other abilities other healers have at the moment.

    Exul, Dan, Arkhen – That’s interesting. I hadn’t noticed a 20% return. I just tested it out, though. I have 87852 mana unbuffed and just drained my whole mana pool and popped LOH on myself:

    I gained 8785 mana back TWICE, from my Glyph of Divinity.

    So yes, we are currently getting a 20% self-return, I can confirm that.

  9. Ah interesting. I’ll admit that I had only tested it on myself after reading an offhand comment on EJ (which probably had the caveat about only working on yourself, but I likely missed).

    This doesn’t strike me as something that would have snuck through as a bug – it’s certainly different to the 3.3 Divinity glyph which was a static amount of mana returned when LoH-ing yourself. So who knows, maybe it is a tooltip error? It seems grossly overpowered if it is intended, given our mana regen is still well above that of most other similarly geared healers.

  10. Hands down that if used on yourself has an awesome mana restore, but i rather LoH a really wounded target for over 120k (and healing my beacon also) AND getting 9-10k mana back. On the long run you would spend more mana to heal those targets by the same ammount

  11. Now, that’s certainly true. However in a tier or 2 when we are approaching 200k mana or more buffed, I doubt that will be the case.

  12. Nothing specific about the article here that I’m commenting on, but nice journal about your travels from start of cata through to HC dungeons, I’ve not really tried HCs yet….short on time and doing norm dungeon runs :)

  13. It’s not only this. LOH leaves a Huge Mastery shield on a tank. With my small amount of mastery, LoH leaves additionaly > 20k shield.

  14. @kurn: I know I should use it on the dps to get the beacon transfer, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I guess it’s a mental block, but LoH needs to go on me or the Tank, period. Actually, given the mana situation right now I feel a little dirty any time I even toss a DPS a heal that isn’t Holy Light. :)

  15. One thing Kurn. As much as I love LoH on my pally, I don’t think Resto shamans’ “cooldowns” are even remotely comparable.

    If I’m not mistaken, Druids also still have Nature’s Swiftness. It’s nice, but best-case (as a resto shaman, et least) you’ll have it macro’d to, say, Greater Healing Wave. Maybe if you get lucky, you crit some 30k heal or something. With today’s tank hp, that’s really not all that much. It’s nice, but that’s about it.

    Same goes for Mana Tide Totem. It’s cool that it works party-wide, I’ll give you that. But from my experience, without extra spirit from trinkets (be it procs or on-use effects) it’s only somewhere around 5-10k mana. With trinkets, around 15k tops. Well yeah, of course that’s nice. But still not as effective as *instantly* healing almost anyone up to full health and *instantly* gaining 10-20% total mana back. Plus.. you have to be able to stand in one spot for a while if you want to get the maximum gain out of Mana Tide. /sadface

    That said, I’m going to level my paladin soon-ish and I, for one, will not even think twice about not using both glyphs for LoH.

    Oh and btw, Chimaeron sucks :(

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