Beta Talents, Take 2

There was a new beta build released last night, so you get a new post about it from me today.

Upon selecting the holy tree to place your talents, according to this latest beta build, you get:

– Holy Shock
– Meditation (Allows 50% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.)
– Healing Bonus (Increases the effectiveness of your healing spells by 10%.)
– Spiritual Focus (Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light by 70%.)

The first thing to do when faced with the talents is to read everything in holy and everything in the first two tiers of prot and ret. There’s a lot of reading. Here are some of my thoughts.

Holy Tree

Tier 1

Sanctified Light (2) : Accessible to prot and ret, this talent is attractive for increasing Judgement crit chance, but is also good for us for 12% increased chance to crit on Holy Shock and Word of Glory — which is that Holy Power instant heal I discussed yesterday. More crit is almost certainly a good thing.

Divinity (3): Check it out, two less talent points to gain 1% extra healing (3 points/6% instead of the current 5 points/5%). Nice.

Judgements of the Pure (3): Since this is also accessible to prots and rets, I suppose that I can live with losing my 6% haste. I don’t want a ret pally smashing me in the face 15% faster, do you? I would prefer this to be a deep holy talent back to 15%, of course, but the last beta build had this on Tier 2 and now they’ve made it more accessible to everyone by putting it in Tier 1. So I can say goodbye to my 15%.

Tier 2

Clarity of Purpose (3): After years of seeing “0.5” seconds off various casts, Clarity of Purpose seems awkward. .3 seconds off Holy Light and Divine Light? I’m concerned too, because Light’s Grace is nowhere to be found. Anyways, still a talent that seems like we should be taking it.

Improved Lay on Hands (2): Hasn’t changed, still a great raid-saver.

Healing Light (3): 12% bonus healing to FoL, HL, Divine Light, Word of Glory and Holy Shock. Yes, please. I like that this is actually 22% more effective than our prot and ret cousins, due to the Healing Bonus you get just for being holy.

Tier 3

Now we get into areas that the other pallies can’t touch. This is our domain entirely.

Illumination (3): Non-bloated Illumination stays. Three points that are probably well-worth the mana return. Again, bumping this back to 100% or even 60% would be my personal preference. Alas!

Divine Favor (1): Despite the Divine Illumination icon, this is our old, dear friend. No-brainer here, even if it weren’t linked to other talents down the line.

Infusion of Light (2): A change! Holy Shock crits reduce Holy Light’s cast time by .75/1.5 seconds. So let’s see if I’ve got this straight. 2.5 second base cast time for Holy Light. -.3 seconds = 2.2 seconds. = 1.5 seconds = .7 second cast time on Holy Light after a Holy Shock crit, before Judgements of the Pure and before haste gear/raid buffs?

Anyone else think they screwed up and meant to put Flash of Light in there? That seems way too good, although I’d miss my instant FoL.

Enlightened Judgements (2): No-brainer, let’s get that extra range.

Tier 4

Beacon of Light (1): I’m sure this isn’t the right Beacon of Light spell. It says “each heal” and isn’t limited to certain heals. I expect this to be changed.

Speed of Light (3): Har, har, cute name. :P 30% spell haste for FoL, HL, DL, lower cooldown on Healing Hands and an increase in movement speed when we cast Healing Hands. I don’t see a downside.

Sacred Cleansing (1): Gotta grab this to ensure you can dispel Magic!

Tier 5

Aura Mastery (1): Again, worth getting even if it didn’t lead to anything else.

Denounce (2): PVP talent, it looks like. A free, instant Exorcism anytime you get a Holy crit.

Improved Concentration Aura (3): Same as today. Again, a little boring if not for use in PVP.

Tier 6

Tower of Radiance (3): Aha, another way to generate Holy Power and a reason to cast directly on your beacon target! I don’t know what the percentages are, but I would assume 33/66/100%?

Blessed Life (2): 5/10% chance for attacks to cause half damage. PVP talent in Cataclysm as it is in WotLK.

Tier 7

Light of Dawn (1): 21% of base mana, instant cast, 30 second cooldown, Send a wave of healing energy before you, healing all friendly targets up to 30 yards away for 1.

Well, assuming it’s for more than “1”, yowza. This might actually be a worthy 31-point talent.

I went to my RL friend the resto druid’s today, but she hadn’t patched in a couple of builds, so I didn’t get to mess around with beta. Maybe this weekend, though. In her words, though, just by the description, Light of Dawn is “OMG SO OP AND SO UNFAIR!” hahaha.

Okay, so let’s look at prot and ret and talents that may help us out there.

Protection Tree

Tier 1

Toughness, nah. Seals of the Pure? Meh. Improved Hammer of Justice, ick.

Tier 2

Judgements of the Just, not really for holy.

But wait!

Protector of the Innocent (3): +6% healing to those the Aura covered and -3% damage to you, personally. Maybe not a bad idea. That extra healing probably doesn’t stack with what was Tree of Life aura, although they don’t seem to have a persistent healing increase aura anymore. However, the resto druids don’t look anywhere near finished — Swiftmend is what they get when they spec resto and it’s still a talent in the tree.

Not a bad idea here, though. If there’s no prot pally or ret pally taking this, this isn’t bad.

Guardian’s Favor (2): If I’m speccing for Protector of the Innocent, I am definitely grabbing Guardian’s Favor. I love this ability.

Retribution Tree

Tier 1

Eye for an Eye, not for holy.

Rule of Law (3): Ooooh. Now this is interesting. 5/10/15% increased critical strike chance on Holy Light and Crusader Strike. Huh. Definitely something a holy paladin wants.

Crusade (3): Increases the damage and healing of Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Templar’s Verdict and Holy Shock by 10/20/30%. Interesting. Probably want to grab this since it looks like Holy Shock will be a key part of our toolbox.

Tier 2

Improved Judgement, probably not for holy.

Conviction (3): Gives you a 1/2/3% bonus to damage and healing for 30 seconds after causing a critical effect from a weapon swing, spell or ability, stacks up to 3 times. Sooooo… just by critting, you want to give me 9% extra healing? Uh. Okay!

Pursuit of Justice (2): Run speed is always good, but you can just enchant your boots. Dealer’s choice here, really.

So, having looked at all of those talents, here’s what I predict the optimum PVE Holy Paladin build will look like, depending on the % chance to generate Holy Power from Tower of Radiance:

32/0/9 – This drops .2 seconds from your Holy Light and Divine Light instead of .3 seconds and also only goes 2/3 for Tower of Radiance in favor of getting all the healing skills in ret. Conviction is just stupidly good if there’s no internal cooldown on it. Rule of Law will help to make up for the ever-so-slightly longer HL cast time by adding 15% crit to it and since Holy Shock is clearly going to be very important to us, 30% extra healing from it in Crusade is probably going to be very important.

I imagine a prot support tree would be more support/utility-oriented:

31/10/0 – This would pick up two fillers in prot (Seals of the Pure and Improved Hammer of Justice) just to grab Protector of the Innocent for a raid buff and Guardian’s Favor for utility.

Anyways. My thoughts. What are yours? What build would you go with? Would you choose another entirely?

10 Replies to “Beta Talents, Take 2”

  1. Sadly, Beacon isn’t as good as it seems — instead of being limited to two spells, like in the last build, it now transfers just 50% of our healing to the Beaconed target.

    I mourn the loss of Divine Guardian, but am intrigued by the option of snagging conviction from the ret tree. I leveled as ret and can still remember the glee I felt after reaching that talent and getting the little glowy hand animation. I wish that they’d bake the 5% more healing into Aura Mastery (+ Devo Aura, most likely), but if you run with a Protection Paladin there’s no reason to spec down into Prot.

    I believe the only other change I saw is that they’re scrapping Seal of Wisdom and rolling Light/Wisdom into “Seals of the Pure.” Ghostcrawler later calls it Seals of the Innocent, so that all may be in flux and will probably switch around our glyphing choices something major. Glyph of Holy Shock (assuming it remains) looks pretty awesome for the future. Not that everything isn’t up in the air since this is a beta. ;)

    Things I like: Speed of Light (Hurray Borrowed Time and situational sprint!), not having to spec into Divine Light, More Healing Options

    Things that make me nervous: No Divine Illumination to be found, the 30 second cooldown on Light of Dawn and Healing Hands, the lack of ways to utilize Holy Power outside Word of Glory, Beacon getting neutered down to 50%

    Because I’ve already indicated that I am shallow and pleased by in-game animations, someone has captured what Light of Dawn currently looks like on the beta servers:

  2. It’s possible Paladins might be healing in Melee range, in which case Enlighted judgements might be overrated (except for the Spirit to Hit conversion). Maybe only 1 point invested there to free take somewhere else. Also, I miss reactive judgements. I thought that would have been a fun play-style/talent setup.

  3. Speed of Light is definitely a better “funny” talent name than Nom Nom Nom. Clearly, Blizz prefers paladins to druids. ;)

  4. Just for the record, I saw a blue post somewhere that Divine Illumination is indeed gone forever. Which makes me sad.

    The Light of Dawn animation is awesome, btw. I love it!

    I’m sure that Beacon will be changed multiple times before it’s actually finalized. I’m not going to worry too much about it. But I do like the new talents like this. They make me feel like a real Holy paladin. Besides the fact that I have no other 80, I don’t think I’ll regret playing a Holy paladin in Cataclysm. I was kind of interested in the mechanic of Judging and healing though, that seemed fun.

  5. Walks – Aha! Good clarification to know, re: Beacon.

    I think they’ve made the ret tree very compelling for a holy paladin to spec into in terms of a support tree. I’m interested, for sure.

    I heard it was Seal of Insight, which puts Light/Wisdom together, yeah. As to glyphs, I’m not counting on any of them actually working for a couple months yet. ;)

    I also like not having to spec into Divine Light! I thought it was neat that we could have, but clearly they felt that it was a “must-have” talent. I’m not going to lie, I also like the idea of a situational sprint. God only knows I could use something to get me out of the fire more quickly now and again. ;)

    I’m nervous about the same things you are, but there is Meditation to be aware of; 50% of your mana regen while casting. Maybe that renders Divine Illumination superfluous. Probably not, mind you, but with that and Divine Plea and Illumination… We’ll see, I guess.

    I don’t mind the cooldowns on the AOEs, but I do wonder how else we’re going to use Holy Power or if it’s only Word of Glory.

    AWESOME find, re: Light of Dawn animation. That’s super cool. :D

    Benjy – Given the existence of Enlightened Judgements and the 30-yard range on Light of Dawn, I have to presume that we will mostly be at range, although I imagine we’ll be in melee sometimes, just like we are now. I chill with the melee on heroic Rotface, for instance.

    Reactive Judgements might have been neat, but apart from the PVP-balancing issue, it would be weird to plan for a GCD to judge but, due to some AOE damage, you’ve already judged and it’s on cooldown… And would it have procced JotP? We may never know. :)

    X – I don’t like it. Maybe I’m just a stuffy paladin, but that doesn’t seem too holy-ish. :P

    Kaboomski – Ah, I miss it being my 41-point talent. :( I tend to agree about Beacon, I’m sure it’s going to be changed a lot. I hope they get rid of it, to be honest.

    I’ll have to see how the talents end up when I eventually, hopefully, get into beta, plus I need to check out how the poor hunters look. I feel strongly that if I’m not going to heal on the paladin that the hunters better be kick-ass awesome. Otherwise, maybe a new raiding toon. I do have six 80s at the moment. I just don’t LIKE any of them as much as my hunter and my paladin.

  6. What I kinda liked in the previous build was the synergy between judging and healing. It seems, though, that they have something entirely different planned for us Holy paladins. I do like all the new spells though, it seems we’re getting a nice little toolbox for all kinds of situations. I doubt it will suddenly make us a great raid healer though, but I don’t think Blizzard means to do that anyway.

    Another thing I really like is the apparent comeback of crit as an important stat for Holy paladins. If you consider that healing a tank back to full in Cataclysm won’t be as easy as it is today, crit can be really useful in giving free extra healing power. Besides, it has already been announced that mana will be an issue for healers again. And with Illumination still there, the mana it saves could be quite immense. Sure, it’s still not 60% or 100%, but if you crit often enough, it doesn’t need to be, right?

    I do wonder though, if Divine Illumination is gone, what will become of our beloved 2pc T10 bonus? I’m sure they’ll find a way, but I’m not so sure if it’s something we’ll like as much as we do the current bonus.

    Oh, and even though I’m happy to see a solid support tree in Retribution, I’m kinda sad that the 30% boost to SS from the Prot tree is gone. It would’ve been fun to re-introduce SS as a serious option in mitigating damage (as compared to Disc priest shields perhaps).

  7. And I say “though” too much. I hate not being a native English speaker. It’s really easy to fail like this. I hope nobody minds.

  8. No, Infusion is definitely meant to boost Holy Light. Flash of Light is your emergency “OH GOD OH GOD MUST HEAL NAO” spell now – as strong as a Holy Light, but faster and more expensive.

  9. It should be noted that Pursuit of Justice increases your run speed by more than Tuskarr’s, or the effect on the Arathi Basin boots of yesteryear. By taking it, you can keep, for example, Icewalker or (for engineers) Nitro Boosts (speed cooldown AND a passive 24 crit, preferred to 15 stam in my opinion, in some cases). Assuming, of course, that the amounts in PoJ and speed enchants are the same come Cataclysm.

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