Dragonflight: Plans & Thoughts

Howdy, folks! November is always a busy month for me. I’ve spent some time attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel for National Novel Writing Month, as per usual. (Let us not discuss how close or far I am from that goal.) I’ve also spent time running Wrath Classic dungeons with my brother, Fog, and have recorded a bunch of them. (The first is my breakdown of holy paladin talents in Wrath, but the rest are all videos of me running dungeons, mostly with Fog.)

So, I made the decision to buy Dragonflight, because… dragons, hello! Not even to just be a dracthyr evoker (we all know I love my hunter and paladin too much to seriously look at another class), but to see if WoW can keep me in “present times”. I had purchased Shadowlands and promptly hated everything about it. I hadn’t even finished the starter quest on Kurn, that’s how much I hated it. Apart from anything else, the level squish — which I understand on a logical level — really pissed me off. Why? Because, excuse you, Blizzard, Kurnmogh of Eldre’Thalas had been level 60 since sometime in 2005, thank you very kindly. The thought of levelling to 60 again was just absolute crap. It’s such a psychological blow. Even though I completely understand that levelling to 130 (from level 1!) is stupid. I really do get that. Logically, I know a level squish had to happen. But for someone who spent THIRTY DAYS IN-GAME trying to get Kurn to 60 (and yes, that’s how long it took me the first time around), it really sucked to think about grinding out those 10 levels from 50-60 again. Like a LOT.

It still sucks. And so, perhaps out of nothing beyond spite (and perhaps a little greed), I have Kurn at 60, Madrana at 60 and five other alts at 60 (including a dracthyr evoker). My army of alts and I are ready to jump into Dragonflight tonight (in about three hours, as I write this), and I am ready to make ALL THE GOLD. I have skinning/LW on Kurn, JC/alch on Madrana, Herb/Inscription on the dracthyr, Herb/Mining on my shaman, Mining/Tailoring on my mage, Alch/Enchanting on the priest and, hilariously, Blacksmithing/Engineering on my warlock. In my defense, the warlock was a boosted character from like… Mists (?) whom I decided to add BS/Eng to because those were the professions I lacked. I still find it hilarious that I have a warlock with those professions, so I decided to keep them on that toon.

Levelling during this elemental invasion event has been fascinating. I didn’t tend to join groups. Rather, as healers (priest and shaman, specifically), I greatly enjoyed just dropping heals like Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Circle of Healing, etc, on the people doing damage. It was so much more fun, IMHO, than running around dropping Blizzard or Rain of Fire. Also, what the hell, soul shards are the worst. hahaha. I eventually figured out how they work, but it made me wish for the old days of soul shard bags instead of them as a secondary resource. And does life tap no longer exist for destro warlocks??? I actually ran out of mana sometimes. Too much Rain of Fire, I guess. Anyway. That was a painful, like, 18 (?) levels. Though I do have to say, even with the nerfs (and yes, they are nerfs!) to the heirlooms, I gained like 5 levels chewing through 1.5 levels worth of rested. That was disgusting and I loved it.

Madrana got boosted to 60 so I didn’t do a lot of invasion stuff with her, although I did enough to get most of the 252 gear. I also got to try out this fancy new talent tree. First, yay talent trees!!!! Second, oh god, talent trees!!! hahahaha! I had some fun reading through things. I think I have a workable talent tree at the moment. The biggest problem for me was not being able to generate enough holy power to cast Light of Dawn, because I wasn’t grouping with folks. I did enjoy that Consecrate finally heals people if talented for it, though. I’ve been wanting that since… Wrath? Cata? Maybe even BC, because I remember not being able to heal through Heroic Magister’s Terrace in TIER FIVE GEAR because I couldn’t heal more than one person at a time. That was a brutal effing dungeon for a paladin. Priest? No issues. But a paladin? At least 1 dead person, guaranteed.

Having said that, healing someone with beacon (in this case, it was me) should be enough to gain a fair amount of holy power. I also specced into Veneration, which means that my Flash of Light, Holy Light and Judgement crits reset the cooldown on Hammer of Wrath and allow it to be used regardless of the health of the mob, and Hammer of Wrath generates 1 Holy Power. I see what they’re trying to do (bearing in mind I’ve missed all of Shadowlands), in that they want paladins in melee. And, quite frankly, fuck that noise. I like standing way the hell in the back. If people like standing in melee, go ahead. I’ll just stand over here.

Also, the holy paladin mastery changed?!? It’s now “Increases healing done by up to X%, based on the proximity of your target.” Obviously, this means if you’re tank healing, you want to be in melee. Again, no thank you. I haven’t done any testing on this, but it’ll be interesting to investigate going forward. In the meantime, I’ve done some running around with the paladin during the invasions and I’m feeling okay with most of my toolkit.

Right, so my plans for Dragonflight include making a ridiculous amount of gold, particularly with Inscription, but also with the profession equipment. Between Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, I have 16 different profession thingies I can make. Then I have Engineering for another 7, JC for another 4 and Inscription for another 3. So I think I’ve got them all covered.

I’m super looking forward to more complexity regarding professions (note to self: remember this when you’re pissed off that you don’t have enough profession knowledge at some point), and am so glad that it’s going to be more interesting than going broke trying to eke out the last five points of your profession. (Having just done that in Wrath, I can’t say I was looking forward to it.)

So, what are you looking forward to in Dragonflight? Anyone healing with a dracthyr? Anyone also looking to corner markets? Tell me what you’re up to!

[Wrath Classic] Oh the failure…

Well, folks, even those of us who have done this expansion before will make mistakes. Here’s the biggest one I’ve made so far in Wrath…

I use Grid and Clique. Actually, that’s now Plexus and Clique. With Clique, you can define various spells to be cast with various mouse clicks and various modifiers on whatever frames you like. So I don’t have it enabled for my player frames (my frame, my target, etc), but I do have it for the Grid/Plexus layout. Using this combination has made me so much of a better healer, I can’t even really express it.

So when I was playing in Classic (and an itty bitty bit in BC), I had my binds all set up. Right click for Holy Light, left click for Flash of Light, Ctrl-4 (thumb button) for Lay on Hands, various other spells bound to other keys.

I noticed, twice, during my dungeon runs, that my various bindings did not all work. “Oh, I thought, I must have misremembered what the bind was.” You can even see me looking at the binds in this video (at about 12:20). Can anyone see what the issue is? Just watch it for a bit. Take a good look. I’ll wait.

Any thoughts? Here, let me paste a close up of my bindings here.

Anyone see it? I didn’t. It took me days to figure it out.

The problem, my dear readers, is that I had not updated my bindings. Flash of Light worked fine. Holy Light did too. Holy Shock and Lay on Hands, all good. And Cleanse and Beacon, too!

But Blessing of Sacrifice, Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom? No. They weren’t working.

I confirmed it in a run with my brother (that’s right, I roped Fog into playing and tanking for me!) when I hit Blessing of Sacrifice (Ctrl-Right Button) and it just didn’t work. And then we were outside the instance testing and testing our frames and threat plates and all kinds of stuff and I’m like “WHY IN THE HELL IS HAND OF SACRIFICE NOT WORKING?!?!” as I slammed the keybind over and over and over again.

And I paused.

And I looked at the binding again.

The issue is that I had bound Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom. I had not bound Hand of Sacrifice, Protection and Freedom. BLESSING. Of course all of these worked in Vanilla and BC! They were still BLESSINGS then! Wrath’s pre-patch changed them to Hands! And I knew that had happened. I even talked to my brother about them the other night.

AND YET I MISSED THIS. So yeah, your friendly neighbourhood holy paladin has been running around for a few weeks with no Hands bound because she is, on occasion, a dingbat.

Check your keybinds/clique binds, folks.

(PS: Videos with Fog coming as soon as we actually have a run that’s halfway decent to share.)

[Wrath Classic] Gems & Enchants for Holy Paladins

All right, folks, we’re coming up to the launch of Wrath Classic, so this will be an overview of Gems & Enchants for Holy Paladins.

But before we get into it, I did it. I dropped Herbalism and picked up Jewelcrafting and have gotten it to 368, which is close enough to maxed out for me. It’ll be cheaper to get to 375 with Wrath materials, but I’m pretty glad I made the decision to pick up Jewelcrafting. I think it would have super bothered me if I hadn’t. All-told, it wasn’t too bad. The worst part was the mithril. Oh god, the mithril. It was also super expensive at the AH. So I got on Kurn and spent a couple of hours doing laps around The Hinterlands. Yo, that was painful. But it saved me about 300g on the AH. So my total cost was around 800g or so, out of the ~2000g I had. Plus I was able to recoup some costs with leftover mats or things I created.

All right, so gems is probably the best place to start here.

Wrath Classic – Holy Paladin Gemming Strategy

  • Intellect
  • ???
  • Profit

That’s basically the size of it. If you get more intellect, do it. Let’s dive into the details!

Meta Gem Choices & Requirements

Surprisingly, there are a few different meta gems that are interesting.

Insightful Earthsiege Diamond – This is pretty much my top choice of a meta gem throughout Wrath, but in reviewing things, some others look neat, and I’ll get to them. Despite the tooltip, it appears as though this gem restores 600 mana when it procs, which is double the 300 mana it’s thought to give. I’m not sure if they’ve fixed this in Wrath or whatever, but if it does restore 600 mana when it procs, this is great. Bear in mind that this procs on spellcast. Basically any spellcast. Beacon of Light. Sacred Shield. Divine Favor. Divine Illumination. Flash of Light. Holy Light. Etc etc etc. The more you cast, the more mana you get back.

Requires at least 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue gem. Now here’s the thing about meta gem requirements like this. This is all three colours. You can use a single prismatic gem to satisfy the requirements of the meta gem. An Enchanted Tear will grant +4 to all stats, for example, which is (and let’s be fair), super underwhelming. But it alone will meet the requirements of the meta gem! This means you do not need a Reckless Monarch Topaz or a Luminous Monarch Topaz (which are orange) to meet a red gem requirement. Nor do you need a Royal Twilight Opal (which is purple) or a Dazzling Forest Emerald (which is green) to meet a blue gem requirement.

And, most importantly, a prismatic gem does not need to go in a prismatic socket!!! The Eternal Belt Buckle is a prismatic socket, but you can put anything (except a meta) into that socket, and you can put a prismatic gem into any gem socket (except a meta socket).

Let’s look at an example, using the Gear Planner from Wowhead:

In this gear planner example, I have the Helm of Purified Thoughts, the Titanium Spellshock Necklace and the Ferocious Pauldrons of the Rhino and I have the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond in the helm. Let’s look at the other socket in the helm.

It’s a blue socket and the socket bonus is +8 intellect. Now, we can ignore this and drop in a Brilliant Autumn’s Glow, or we can put in a Dazzling Forest Emerald, which is 8 intellect and 4mp5, for example. If we ignore the socket colour and bonus and we put in 16 intellect, we get 16 intellect. If we put in the Dazzling Forest Emerald, we get 16 intellect and 4 mp5. So to me, the right choice for this socket is a Dazzling Forest Emerald as we get the same amount of intellect that we would with a Brilliant Autumn’s Glow plus the 4 mp5. So let’s put that in there and look at the updated planner.

Next, let’s look at the necklace. It’s a red socket with a bonus of 4 intellect. Underwhelming. Putting in a Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 spellpower and 8 intellect) is less intellect than just dropping in a Brilliant Autumn’s Glow. So, 16 int it is and here’s the updated planner.

Finally, let’s look at the shoulders. Yellow socket and the socket bonus is 6 stamina. Also underwhelming. But it’s a yellow socket, so we may as well drop in a Brilliant Autumn’s Glow for the 16 intellect and now we have an extra 6 stamina. Whee.

So here’s the updated planner.

If you hover over the meta gem, you can see we’re missing a red gem. We have not yet activated the meta. If you have no other sockets on your gear, it would be best to put in the Luminous Monarch Topaz into the necklace because it activates your meta. No other reason to do that. But let’s take a look at a more geared person with an updated planner link.

You can see here that there’s not a ton of sockets in this gear. Do we care about +9 stam as a socket bonus on the legs? Nope. Do we care about the +6 spirit on the chest that comes from the socket bonus? Absolutely not. But, if we have to use a Luminous Monarch Topaz anyway, why not take advantage of the socket bonus in the necklace? I get 9 spellpower and 12 int from that gem in that socket, with the bonus. Then, I can add a Brilliant Autumn’s Glow to the Eternal Belt Buckle socket. Doing it this way activates the meta and it gives us the max intellect by getting the socket bonus from the necklace.

So when to use an Enchanted Tear? Well, if you lack sockets, for one. For another, if the bonuses aren’t good enough to put in other gems. The other good thing about the Enchanted Tear is that it will always ensure this meta gem is activated. Always! Swapping gear can mean changing gems and bonuses and sometimes you’ll raid an entire raid week without your meta being activated… So be on top of things for sure and don’t forget to use a prismatic gem if all else fails to activate your meta.

Another meta gem possibility is the Ember Skyflare Diamond, which requires three red gems. You may think this is great, 2% more intellect? AMAZING!!! And you would be kind of wrong. If I had that meta in my gear planner paladin, I’d have less intellect than I have with the Insightful and I’d need to change out some Brilliant Autumn’s Glows for other gems to get the three red gems requirement. So let’s see what that looks like here in another version of the planner.

I’ve changed the meta and the gem in the helm. The gem is now a Royal Twilight Opal because it gets us the 8 intellect from the bonus and it counts as a red gem because it’s purple. I’ve still got a Luminous Monarch Topaz in the necklace. Then, I’ve swapped out the Brilliant Autumn’s Glow in one of the leg sockets with a Luminous Monarch Topaz. This gives me… 9 stam. Why didn’t I go for the socket bonus on the chest, instead? Spirit is useless. Stamina may keep you alive, one day. (I remember being ice blocked on Heroic Sindragosa with like 100 health left. Do not overlook the importance of stamina as a “nice to have” stat.)

So I have a total of 1017 intellect now. And my meta gem is active. And in my prior version, I had 1040 intellect.

Messing with the gems and gaining 2% intellect granted me a net loss of 23 intellect. 2% of like 1000 intellect is 20 intellect. This is not as huge as you think it might be, at least not at this point in the expansion. Let’s say you have roughly 30,000 mana (~1700 intellect), you’re still only getting 34 more intellect with that gem. At 15 mana points per 1 intellect… that’s 510 mana. Not ideal, not when you can get 600 mana back every time the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond procs. So definitely rule out this one.

Relatedly, the Beaming Earthsiege Diamond is also no good. 2% intellect is greater than 2% mana because Divine Intellect, which increases our intellect by up to 10%, is based on intellect and not mana. If given a choice, as a holy paladin, to pick something with intellect or mana, please pick intellect!

Tireless Skyflare Diamondrequires at least 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue gem. 25 spellpower and a minor run speed increase? You must think me mad! But no, I’m not. Minor Run Speed Increase is a game-changer in this game. I’ll get into that a little more with enchants later on. Long story short on this one, though, it’s easy to activate (one Enchanted Tear), 25 spellpower ain’t bad, and run speed is godly. This is also likely to be cheaper. So don’t completely rule this one out, just know there are better ways to get run speed and Earthsiege is still better.

Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond, requires at least 2 Red gems. Well, 11 mp5 doesn’t wholly suck, but the Earthsiege is better for mana regen. (The procs mean about 50-75 mp5 depending on how much you cast.) But what about that 3% increased critical healing effect? That means it doesn’t “proc”, it just adds 3% healing to any critical heal. Probably best-used for a disc priest (what with their fancy shields). But what about us paladins? Let’s do some math!

In my crappy healing gear at level 70, my Flash of Light will hit for about 1579 and will crit for about 2428. Holy Light hits for about 5000 and crits for 7331 or so. Holy Shock hits for 2267 and crits for 3288. So let’s look at these numbers if there was 3% additional healing to the crits.

Spell   Normal  Crit      3%
FoL     1579     2428     2501
HL      5000     7331     7550
HS      2267     3288     3387

So the difference on FoL is roughly 73, HL is 219 and HS is 99. Note that this is a very small sample size and results may vary, etc, etc. What I’m saying is that 3% additional healing to crits is not presently a lot. Again, this may change later in the expansion, but at the start? Nope. Not this one.

And that’s it for gems and metas and such. Basically, do whatever you can to activate your meta gem, ignore any socket bonuses that don’t give you at least 16 intellect after you put in a matching gem (unless it’s to activate your meta gem) and go forth and enjoy your intellect.

Oh, and if you’re a blacksmith and have extra bracer and glove sockets, MOAR INTELLECT!!! (You also have more flexibility to activate your meta.)

Wrath Classic – Holy Paladin Enchanting Strategy

Shockingly, this is largely the same as gemming! Intellect! All the intellect! Is there more intellect? Please, give me more intellect!

Okay, here’s the gear planner link for the enchants.

Helm: Blissful Mending because 20 crit rating is not quite even 1% crit and 10 mp5 is just more reliable and useful.
Shoulders: Master’s Inscription of the Crag for the same reason as above.
Cloak: Ugh, these are awful choices. If you’re not a tailor or engineer, gotta go with Speed (15 haste)
Chest: Powerful Stats (+10 to all)
Wrist: Exceptional Intellect (+16 int)
Gloves: Exceptional Spellpower (28sp)
Belt: Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs: Sapphire Spellthread (50sp/30 stam) because spirit is useless
Boots: Tuskarr’s Vitality (15 stamina and minor run speed increase) because run speed increase > all other stats. It is SO much easier to dodge the lava wave on Sarth, or do the Heigan dance, or dodge the crash in TOC, or any number of other things. GET RUN SPEED. Engineers have Nitro Boosts, but it’s on a 3m cooldown which may not be enough for some of these scenarios. Personally, I would rather a persistent run speed increase than one on a cooldown.
Rings: If you’re an enchanter, greater spellpower is the way to go. If you’re not an enchanter, you cannot enchant rings.
Weapon: Greater Intellect (30 int)
Shield: Greater Intellect (25 int)

Whew. And that’s it, folks. Next post about holy paladins in Wrath will cover T7 gear that you want.

In the meantime, I wish you a pleasant time in Northrend. See you out there in Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra!

[Wrath Classic] Professions and Decisions

In Vanilla WoW, I had a hunter named Kurnmogh. Kurn was my main. Did everything with him. I was a skinner and leatherworker and got Finkle’s skinner and skinned Core Hounds (when people would remember to loot their bloody hounds!) and I enjoyed farming Black Dragonscales for the Black Dragonscale Mail set…

And I created a paladin, Madrana, and decided she should get herbalism and alchemy.

When Burning Crusade arrived, I elected to drop alchemy in favour of jewelcrafting and drop skinning in favour of mining. So Kurn would supply Madrana with ore until I could afford to just buy ore outright.

It worked nicely but I swapped Kurn back to skinning to supply my own leather for leatherworking.

Classic WoW saw me actually change things up. I rolled a hunter, Kurnmogh, who was a miner and an engineer. And Madrana became… an herbalist and alchemist. Okay, so I didn’t really change things there. But I didn’t pick up JC when BC Classic came out. So now, a week away from Wrath Classic, I’m sitting here with mining/engineering and herbalism/alchemy on my two level 70 toons. I also have a level 62 toon who is also an herbalist/alchemist. (Sue me, I like transmutes in the later expansions.)

While perusing the various pieces of gear available for holy paladins, I deliberately skipped out touching things that are available to people with specific professions.

And then, this weeekend, I was going through the professions and found… the Figurine – Sapphire Owl.

Okay, to be clear, it’s not like I didn’t know about it. As a JC through from BC to present day (even if I don’t actually play retail much), I knew about the Sapphire Owl. I used the Sapphire Owl in Wrath.

I didn’t remember how good it was until I looked up the stats. +42 intellect? Two sockets? Add 16 int in each and you have a trinket with 74 intellect that will restore 2340 mana over 15 seconds every five minutes. Now the mana restoration isn’t all that amazing, let’s be fair. A Runic Mana Potion is basically double that. And, later in Wrath (Ulduar, while facing Vezax), I remember having a mana pool of over 30,000, fully buffed, with a Flask of Distilled Wisdom. So, like, 2340 mana is not the selling point. The 74 intellect is the selling point. I even used that trinket (along with my Pendant of the Violet Eye) for that fight, because it’s all about the size of the mana pool.

So now I’m looking at my toons… Kurn is 70 and mining/eng, Madrana is 70 and herb/alch and my priest is 62 and herb/alch.

So maybe I should make Madrana a JC…

I’m not going to be able to afford a Darkmoon Card: Greatness. I will probably make myself a Mercurial Alchemist’s Stone, but there are no other trinkets with any intellect on them in Phase 1. The next phase, Phase 2, has two nice trinkets, one from Algalon, and one from Mimiron. In Phase 3, there’s Tears of the Vanquished, off the Black Knight in TOC, which all of my lowbie healers used. But in Phase 1? Just the Greatness card and the Figurine.

But am I even going to play that much?! No idea. So not sure if it’s worth it!

For anyone playing a holy paladin seriously, though, I highly recommend Alchemy and Jewelcrafting as professions. Engineering is interesting too, if only for the haste tinker on gloves, which you can use every minute. Early in the game, the haste will be useful, but could be overkill later in the game when you naturally hit having a 1s global cooldown.

The reason I stick with alchemy is the mercurial stone that is a solid trinket to start with and gives you 40% more mana per mana potion. Instead of ~4300, we’re looking at about 6k mana per potion with the stone equipped. That is not bad. Plus, you get the Mixology perk, which is super nice.

If you decide to power-level alchemy or JC, check out the guides at wow-professions.com.

So, what do you think of my choices? What are you going to enter Northrend with as your professions? Let’s hear it!

[Wrath Classic] Pre-Raid Loot

Friends, Raiders, Paladins, lend me your ears! Or, well, I guess eyes, really, right? Anyhow, here is my pre-raid loot list for Wrath Classic. Please bear in mind that it’s not a “BiS” list, for the most part. The reason for that is that Wrath opening tier content isn’t very difficult and you can definitely get through large chunks of it with some crappy gear. Looking back, the only fight I actually struggled on with my crappy gear was Sartharion with three drakes up. Basically, don’t worry if you don’t get a ton of this gear. Aim for it, but don’t wig out if it doesn’t happen, okay?

My stat priority is:

  • Intellect: Always the best stat for us. Adds to our mana pool, adds to our spellpower, adds to spell crit. Intellect is tops.
  • Haste: In later tiers, paladins will argue over haste versus spellpower. In Tier 7? Just pick up haste.
  • MP5: Unlike retail (or Cataclysm and beyond), holy paladins have no real benefit from Spirit. MP5 is part of how we regenerate mana. What’s good about it is that it’s consistent. If you always have 85 mana per 5 seconds regenerating (as an example), you will always have that regenerating. That’s why I rank it slightly higher than…
  • Crit: 30% mana back is sad-making, especially after having 100% during Vanilla and BC. Still, this is a regen (and a throughput) stat. However, unlike mp5 and haste, it is inconsistent. You can have some really lucky or really unlucky streaks, which is why they give us Divine Favor, so that we can force that crit heal when we need to. Yes, on average, you’ll have more regen and throughput with more crit, but it’s unreliable.


Additionally, I will prefer plate to mail, leather or cloth on this list. If a lower armor class is on the list, let the appropriate classes have a shot at it first. Don’t be a jerk.

Oh, and no PVP gear, either. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not go healing in dungeons with PVP gear. (Or tanking. Or DPSing.)

Finally, avoid hit and spirit. Period.


Yo, let me say that our plate choices here are not great. We’ve got three main choices, barring engineering options:

Faceguard of the Hammer Clan: Drops in Heroic Ahn’kahet from Jedoga. The worst of the three options, as it lacks a meta gem slot. Still, if you can’t get the other two…

Helmet of the Constructor: Drops in Heroic Utgarde Keep from Skarvald. Decent, but nothing to write home about. You can ignore the socket bonus, just make sure you get the meta gem requirements met. (More on gems and enchants in another post.)

Helm of Purified Thoughts: Feel like grinding some rep? Sure hope so! This is available when you become exalted with the Argent Crusade. The socket bonus is more intellect, so you may want to consider that.


Slightly better options here, especially if you can afford the JC neck.

Amulet of Dazzling Light: Drops off Anomalus in Heroic Nexus. Strictly average, but meh, better than nothing. (And, trust me, you will be hanging out in Heroic Nexus a lot, unless you’re super lucky.)

Lattice Choker of Light: Available from the badge vendor in Dalaran. Nothing to write home about, but better than the Amulet above.

Titanium Spellshock Necklace: Stat-wise, this isn’t too different from the other two… but it has a socket. Add 16 int there and this comes out ahead by a wide margin.


I feel like Blizzard hated us over a decade ago and still hates us…

Ferocious Pauldrons of the Rhino: More plate, dropping from Gortok Palehoof in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Bonus: they have a socket, so this is effectively 60 intellect.

Dark Runic Mantle: This BOE set of cloth shoulders drops out of Heroic Halls of Stone and have a socket, which makes this worth about 60 intellect. Plus they have haste, so I’d put them just above the Pauldrons.

Spaulders of the Violet Hold: These mail shoulders drop off Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold. LET A RESTO OR ELEMENTAL SHAMAN TAKE THEM. If there is no resto/ele shaman in your group, grats. These come in at 58 intellect after gemming, but they have haste! So grab these if you can.


Yowza. Legitimately two choices prior to raiding.

Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape: This comes out of Heroic Oculus, which are two words that make me shudder violently. If you are exceedingly poor, this is your choice. Otherwise, pony up for…

Wispcloak: Some farming of eternals, some other mats, a Frozen Orb, and go to your friendly neighbourhood tailor. Or just go to the AH.


Lots of choices here, so I’ll just stick to the top four.

Ornamented Plate Regalia: Drops from Ymiron in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle and has two juicy sockets. That’s 92 intellect on this puppy.

Insect Vestments: This leather chest drops from Anub’arak in Heroic Azjol-Nerub. Please, let druids take this over you. That said, gemmed up, this provides 92 intellect as well, plus a tasty bit of haste!

Drakewing Raiments: This cloth chest drops from Drakos the Interrogator in Heroic Oculus. (shudder) Let cloth-wearers get this before you, please. That said, gemmed up, this will give you 101 intellect and a chunk of haste.

Robes of Crackling Flame: This cloth chest is a purchasable reward when you hit exalted with the Kirin Tor. Yes, it has less intellect than the other two options here, but it has 42 haste, 104 spellpower and 33mp5 which should make up for it. Plus, you’re not stealing from a clothie.


Again, lots of choices (unlike, you know, Tier 11 in Cataclysm content…), so here’s a few choice ones.

Azure Cloth Bindings: These cloth bracers drop from Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold. Nothing to really write home about. Let a clothie have them before you take them, folks.

Limb Regeneration Bracers: These mail bracers drop from Prophet Tharon’ja in Heroic Drak’Tharon Keep. Let a resto/ele shammy have these before you snag them, please. The haste is very nice.

Bands of Fading Light: Plate bracers! That have a socket! And haste! What sorcery is this?! Grab them from Dragonflayer Seer in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Despite being blue, these are just a little weaker than the Limb Regeneration Bracers and they have a socket, which is really very nice and makes this the winner in terms of total intellect. There’s more spellpower on the LRB, and slightly more haste, so this is kind of a toss-up, but at least a shammy won’t ninja this from you.


Web Winder Gloves: These BOE plate gloves are a zone drop in Heroic Ahn’kahet and should be easy to snag on the AH. No socket, but they have haste.

Grips of Fierce Pronouncements: Are you exalted with Wyrmrest Accord? Check out these mail gloves which you don’t have to fight over with a shaman! Just a bit more intellect than the WW gloves above and no haste, but some beefy mp5.

Traditionally Dyed Handguards: These cloth gloves have a socket, with a non-crappy bonus that you’ll easily activate with a 16 int gem in there, so this is effectively 69 intellect and 48 haste. They drop from General Bjarngrim in Heroic Halls of Lightning. Please let a clothie get them before you.


Bear in mind that all belts can have Eternal Belt Buckle, which adds a socket to it!

Sjonnir’s Girdle: Drops from Sjonnir the Ironshaper in Heroic Halls of Stone, to no one’s surprise. Without a socket, this isn’t as great as another belt could be, but it’s got some beefy mp5, so if you’re struggling a bit with mana, this isn’t a bad choice.

Girdle of Ice: On the other hand, this belt has a socket. So if we gem it with 16 int and then add the belt buckle, we’re looking at 76 effective intellect. Too bad it’s got crit on it, but it’s not bad. It drops from Ormorok the Tree-Shaper in Heroic Nexus. (Again, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time there.)

Magroth’s Meditative Cincture: I probably could have just ignored the other two options because this is what we want. A bunch of int with the socket as well as the belt buckle, plus haste? Yes, please. This one.


There are a lot of legs we can wear, but these are the two that really stuck out to me.

Shardling Legguards: Plate legs off of Krystallus in Halls of Stone, and they have a socket and haste. Not a bad choice by any means.

Leggings of Protective Auras: Two sockets and a ton of haste on these plate legs mean you’ve effectively got 100 intellect on them. Drops off Ley-Guardian Eregos in… Heroic Oculus. (shudder)


Sabatons of Erekem: Theoretically, these plate boots drop off one of the random bosses (Erekem) in Heroic Violet Hold. If they do, you’re looking at 73 int and a bunch of mp5, so not awful. That said, the chance of seeing the boss they drop from is low and then seeing the boots drop is… well, you may be luckier than me! That said, there are other, easier options for boots.

Sandals of Crimson Fury: Are you exalted with The Wyrmrest Accord? Then you can buy these cloth boots with 66 effective int and some nice haste.

Revenant’s Treads: No socket here, but at least they have haste and you can probably find them on the auction house or get mats for a leatherworker to craft them for you.


Good gravy, so many rings.

Signet of the Kirin Tor: If you’re rich, this is pretty great! If you’re not rich, keep reading.

Signet of Hopeful Light: Here’s hoping (haha, get it?) that you’re exalted with the Argent Crusade to pick up this ring with a nice amount of intellect and haste.

Annhylde’s Ring: This ring with haste on it drops from Ingvar the Plunderer in Heroic Utgarde Keep.

There are some other options, but these are some of the best-itemized ones, I think. You could also look at Band of Guile, which is not (to my surprise), an agility ring. It drops in the chest in Heroic Culling of Strat. It’s basically equivalent to Annhylde’s Ring, so these four options should be plenty.



Basically, if you can swing it, you need Darkmoon Card: Greatness. I mean, you don’t need it, but holy cow is it nice. Other options:

Spark of Life: From Sjonnir the Ironshaper in Heroic Halls of Stone. Haste and some mana regen? Not bad.

Je’Tze’s Bell: Northrend world drop, so check your AH!

The Egg of Mortal Essence: Vendor trinket, so you should be able to grab this.


Gavel of the Brewing Storm: You can get this 1H mace if you’re revered with Wyrmrest Accord.

But… Remember I said you’d be spending a lot of time in Heroic Nexus? This is why.

War Mace of Unrequited Love: Off Keristrasza in Heroic Nexus. Good luck and godspeed to you, paladin.


Now listen, I have always preferred shields. I don’t like being smacked in the face by a boss, thank you kindly, so we’re just going to look at shields. 3 options right off the bat, in rough order of preference:

Facade Shield of Glyphs: Drops from Krik’thir the Gatewatcher in Heroic Azjol-Nerub. It’s better than no shield, IMHO.

Zom’s Crackling Bulwark: This is a BOE shield that is a Heroic Ahn’kahet zone drop. Reasonable stats, too.

Protective Barricade of the Light: Vendor shield. It has more of a variety of stats than Zom’s, which is why I would value this a bit more, but hey, if you get Zom’s, don’t worry about this and buy something else.


… like your libram! You will basically be using Libram of Renewal for the entire expansion. 113 mana off the cost of Holy Light is just too good. I think if you stick with the Holy Light playstyle, you’ll be using it all expansion and if you go with a spellpower/FoL build, you might want to use one of the PVP librams that increases spellpower for Flash of Light.

Next time…

We’ll discuss enchants and gems and all that kind of “fun” stuff! In the meantime, what do you think about these gear choices? Comments? Questions? Have at it!



[Wrath Classic] Holy Paladin Talents & Glyphs

I may not have played in quite some time, but I played the heck out of this expansion. So if you’re playing Wrath Classic (and I’m still wondering if I will), here’s a look at possible talent trees for you!

I should note that I am overwhelmed with nostalgia when looking at this calculator! (And, for the record, I’m using the Wowhead WotLK Classic Talent Calculator.) Also, in re-reading at least one of my blog posts from… 2009, it says that some failadin I was in a dungeon with had Blessing of Kings and improved Blessing of Kings in their spec — but that doesn’t exist in the calculator? Stuff from 13 years ago is a wee bit fuzzy. I presume some of the balance/quality of life changes are going to be live from the start?

Levels 70-80

Okay, so I’m assuming you’re healing your way to 80 primarily by way of dungeons. If that’s the case, here’s a good build to start with:

52 / 5 / 4

It’s not pretty, I know, I know, but I like having Aura Mastery and 2/2 Enlightened Judgements for the range even at level 70. I am the type of healer who stands wayyyy the hell in the back, much like I did as a hunter. There are so many great talents you can’t even touch yet, which is of the sad-making. Still, let’s go over these, shall we?

Holy Tree: 52 points

5/5 Spiritual Focus is a no-brainer, because as soon as you swap to Concentration Aura, you don’t get any pushback at all on spells. Way better than the damage bonus granted by Seals of the Pure.

5/5 Divine Intellect is next. Intellect is your main stat, period. No ifs, no ands, no buts. Anything that increases your intellect is worth it.

3/3 Healing Light increases the amount healed by your heals. Another no-brainer to take.

0/2 Unyielding Faith because this is largely a PVP talent, especially as it’s so low in the holy tree. Don’t get me wrong, it has its uses, but skip it for now.

5/5 Illumination is still worth it because mana back from a crit is still mana back from a crit.

2/2 Lay on Hands is a yes for me. It adds a big bonus to physical damage reduction and reduces the Lay on Hands cooldown by 4 minutes. (I had to actually look it up. The base cooldown for Lay on Hands is 20 minutes. If you get 2/2 Lay on Hands and use the Lay on Hands Minor Glyph to reduce it by an extra 5 minutes, you now have an 11 minute cooldown on Lay on Hands.)

1/1 Aura Mastery is my choice here, but you don’t super need it. That said, it should help out in The Nexus with the frost stuff at the end, when paired with Frost Resistance Aura. Any fight that fire, frost or shadow resist comes in handy, this is where you can use Aura Mastery. I still lament the fact paladins don’t have a nature resist aura because oooooh, Halls of Lightning would suck much less with it.

2/2 Improved Blessing of Wisdom is my choice, if only because I like to make sure I have one of my preferred buffs. If you’re running with an elemental shaman who’s going to drop improved Mana Spring Totem reliably, this may not be super necessary.

0/3 Improved Concentration Aura, just because we don’t need the improvement to be virtually unstoppable at casting, short of an actual stun or interrupt.

0/2 Blessed Hands makes me sad to skip just because I love Hand of Sacrifice with all of my heart and soul. But it’s something to pick up as you gain levels.

1/1 Divine Favor? Yes please! Guaranteed crit on your next FoL, HL or HS? Glorious. This was part of my “oh shit!” toolkit for ages. You need to run but the tank is about to die? DF, HS, instant Flash of Light, boom! (Instant Flash of Light? Yes. Patience, I’m coming to that.)

3/3 Sanctified Light is, uh, good. Holy Light and Holy Shock increased crit percentage chance by 6%? Bigger heals, more mana back.

0/2 Pure of Heart is more of a PVP talent, although I do have vague recollections of trying this out on Yogg Saron…

5/5 Holy Power means all your Holy spells increase their crit chance by 5%. Cheap of them to make us spend five points here, but yeah.

0/2 Purifying Power, as this is, again, more of a PVP talent or a talent for a niche fight… like Yogg Saron. (SO MUCH CLEANSING, OMG. Fadorable? Are you out there? WTB your dispells, even now.)

1/1 Holy Shock. Well, I’d be shocked (haha) if you didn’t take this one.

3/3 Light’s Grace is absolutely key, especially later in the expansion when we’re just dropping Holy Light bombs. That half-second is absolutely key and is the difference between your target living through Saurfang’s Mark or Algalon’s attacks or Sindragosa’s parry-hasted attacks. Trust me.

0/3 Blessed Life is more of a PVP talent again, except it also doesn’t entirely suck on some niche fights.

5/5 Holy Guidance is amazing and is yet another reason to stack unholy (hahaha, get it?) amounts of Intellect.

0/3 Sacred Cleansing is another PVP talent, but again, this is freaking amazing on Yogg Saron. (I’m sure there are other cleanse-heavy fights this expansion, but clearly Yogg made an impression on me. hahaha.)

5/5 Judgements of the Pure. Oh, I had a love/hate relationship with JotP. Love it for the haste, because that is super overpowered and awesome. On the other hand, finding a global to even judge something, anything, was sometimes really hard. (Twin Valks in TOTGC, Algalon, Saurfang, etc.) Still, this is sick in the face and you should endeavour to have like 95%+ uptime on this, no joke.

1/1 Divine Illumination because who doesn’t want a sweet throughput cooldown that will reduce the mana cost of all spells by 50% for 15 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown?!

2/2 Infusion of Light. So when I was talking about Divine Favor earlier, I was like “why do I remember having instant-cast Flashes of Light?!” This is the reason why. Divine Favor forces a crit. Infusion of Light means that after a crit Holy Shock, your next Flash of Light cast time is reduced by 1.5 seconds, making it instant. The way these three spells/abilities complement each other is just beautiful. (If you don’t need the instant FoL, it boosts your HL crit chance by 20% for the next cast, which makes another great “oh shit!” tool.)

2/2 Enlightened Judgements. Well, okay, this isn’t necessary, at least not at 70. But like I said, I like to stand waaaaaay the hell in the back and this allows me to judge something from wherever I am, basically.

1/1 Beacon of Light. Oh, Beacon of Light. I have such feelings about you. But obviously take it. And enjoy the 100% heal transfer.

Protection Tree: 5 points

Can you guess? :D Yes, 5/5 Divinity is what we want here right now. All healing done to and by you is increased by 5%.

Retribution Tree: 4 points

I go for 4/5 Benediction here. Why is that? Because it reduces the mana cost of all instant cast spells.

“But Kurn, that’s silly,” you might say, “we only have Holy Shock as an instant cast spell!”

Nope, we have: Judgements, Sacred Shield, Blessings, Beacon of Light (yo, that’s 35% of base mana, folks!), Aura Mastery, Cleanse, Divine Favor, Divine Illumination, Divine Plea, and, oh yeah, Holy Shock. (I’m probably forgetting some.) When you’re casting like mad(rana? haha) and your Sacred Shield needs to be refreshed AND your Judgements of the Pure need to be refreshed AND your Beacon is falling off AND your mana is low, you’ll be really glad you have points here. This is probably the first thing I’d max out at 71.

Kurn’s Suggestions for Talents to 80

  • 71: Max out Benediction
  • 72-73: You may or may not want to start putting points into Improved Blessing of Might. It really depends on what your group looks like and such. I like improved blessings myself, so I’d probably drop 2/2 in there. If you don’t need Imp Might, because you’re always with a warrior who’s keeping up Battle Shout or whatever, look into 2/2 Guardian’s Favor in the Prot tree, because we want to get a little further down there.
  • 74-76: If you went for Guardian’s Favor, get 3/5 Anticipation. We do this to open up the third tier in protection, which holds Divine Sacrifice and Improved Righteous Fury. If you went for Imp Might, that’s cool, now go for Guardian’s Favor and a point in Anticipation. (Why Anticipation and not Divine Strength or something else? Because healers have an unfortunate habit of getting beat on by angry mobs. Anticipation is straight-up chance to dodge. If you’re facing the mob, they’ll have a slightly harder time hitting you, which may allow you to bubble/hearth or cast Divine Intervention on someone to save a wipe.)
  • 77-80: 1/1 Divine Sacrifice and 3/3 Improved Righteous Fury if you have the points. If not, get Divine Sacrifice and 1/3 Improved Righteous Fury. Why Improved Righteous Fury? You should not use Righteous Fury all willy-nilly, but on fights with persistent auras and few to no adds, this is godly. I used this on Heroic Sindragosa… and other fights, I’m sure.

Level 80: Raiding Spec 1 (no DG, no Imp Might)

This spec presumes you have access to the equivalent of Improved Might, either through another paladin (a ret or prot) or a warrior. It also presumes it’s not a gimmicky fight that requires a ridiculous amount of cleansing or where Divine Guardian would come in super handy.

54 / 12 / 5

Basically, here, I just fill up Blessed Hands, then get Benediction topped out and add Divine Sacrifice. DS is not a bad cooldown on its own, but Divine Guardian is superior.

Level 80: Raiding Spec 2 (Divine Guardian)

This makes me sad because oh the things we cut out to have DG!

52 / 17 / 2

Like it hurts to drop to 2/5 Benediction. If your mana is suffering too much, you can steal from Enlightened Judgements for a point there and, depending on the fight, might want to get rid of Aura Mastery. This allows for a 2/2 Divine Guardian build. In Wrath, I would typically use DS/DS (it was DS/DG, really) in Heroic Putricide, on Heroic Valks, Heroic Sindragosa… yeah, it came in handy. You can also steal from Imp Wisdom if you have a reliable improved mana spring totem available.

Level 80: Raiding Spec 3 (CLEANSE ALL THE THINGS!!!)

59 / 7 / 5

Here, we drop to the basics in Prot and Ret, going with 5/5 Divinity and 2/2 Guardian’s Favor and 5/5 Benediction so we can go all in on:

2/2 Pure of Heart. This only affects you, but I don’t know about you, when there’s some curse on me and I can’t decurse, it’s happy times if it doesn’t last full duration.

2/2 Purifying Power reduces the cost of your Cleanse etc by 10%. MORE CLEANSING PLZ.

3/3 Sacred Cleansing is sick because it has a 30% chance to increase your cleanse target’s resistance to Diseases, Magic and Poison effects by 30% for 10 seconds. I remember testing this on Yogg where it’s basically CLEANSAPALOOZA and it made a difference.

Level 80: Raiding Spec 4 (Conviction)

51 / 5 / 15

If you don’t need Aura Mastery and want even more crits, look at Conviction in Ret. It increases your chance to crit with all spells and attacks by 1/2/3/4/5%.


Geez, I almost forgot about Glyphs.

… oh lord. I forgot about these glyphs.


  • Glyph of Seal of Light (5% more healing!) / Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (5% less cost on healing!)
  • Glyph of Holy Shock (reduces the cooldown by 1 second)
  • Glyph of Flash of Light (5% extra crit!) / Glyph of Holy Light (splash healing!)

Basically, these glyphs are on a per-fight basis except Holy Shock. I hate using a glyph slot on it but it’s a spell we should be using super freaking often. Unless you are seriously JUST Holy Light bombing, you should have the Glyph of Holy Shock.

As to the others, if your heals are lacking a little oomph, use Glyph of Seal of Light. If you’re overhealing like whoah or are running out of mana, use Glyph of Seal of Wisdom. Remember (and I had to look this up!) that you can judge anything as long as you have a seal up. So you can still judge light if you use Seal of Wisdom or judge wisdom if you have Seal of Light up.

Glyph of Flash of Light vs. Glyph of Holy Light… while it doesn’t matter at the start of the expansion so much, it will matter later on as paladins decide whether or not to sort of “specialize” in spellpower and Flash of Light builds or haste and Holy Light builds. In a 25-person raid with lots of clumped people? Glyph of Holy Light all the way. Otherwise, probably Glyph of Flash of Light.

Also, Glyph of Divinity doesn’t suck — it gives you and your target back mana when you use Lay on Hands. But again, probably situational.


  • Glyph of Lay on Hands: This is the only real game-changer in the minor glyphs.

I would recommend Glyph of Blessing of Kings (cost reduced by 50%, which is handy when you’re the pally buffing kings and someone gets rezzed in-battle), as well as Glyph of the Wise, which just reduces your Seal of Wisdom cost by 50%.

In closing…

I tend to like a deeper Prot build than a Ret build, and I’m big on utility. So if I’m not going to have Imp Might, I’m gonna aim for Divine Guardian in Prot and also have Blessed Hands and Aura Mastery and such if I can eke out the points.

How about you?

Raiding as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Yesterday’s post was about dungeon healing as a holy paladin in Classic. Today, we talk about raiding.

The major difference here is that you are not the sole person healing and responsible for everyone’s health. You have like, 10+ other healers with you for a 40-man raid, and probably at least 4 other people with you for a 20-man raid.

More, you are almost certainly not the only paladin!

As such, the big change here is one of coordination, as well as a subtle shift of responsibility.

Blessing Organization

PallyPower was the gold standard for blessings, back in the day. This allowed you to easily bless everyone appropriately, in coordination with other paladins in the raid, and also kept timers for those buffs. But PallyPower is: a) defunct, b) not going to work anyway because you didn’t have to target people directly to cast on them.

As such, barring any new plugins (please do let me know if any exist!), you’ll have to go old-school on this.

The low-tech way is to write down which class gets which of your buffs. Then buff yourself first and then buff your way down the list of druids, hunters, mages, priests, rogues, warlocks and warriors, as paladins have already been buffed when you buffed yourself. By buffing yourself first, you have a visible timer. When your buff is running out, that’s a great time to rebuff everyone.

The higher-tech way is to use your raid frames to show you the buffs. Whether you use the in-game frames or something like Grid, you can probably figure out how to get them to display. For myself, I’m thinking of giving a yellow border to people who have my buff, but that’ll be something I’ll explore in the future, assuming an addon doesn’t come out before then.

As to who should buff what in a raid situation: make sure if anyone has an improved buff or otherwise talented blessing that they’re casting that one. You have someone who has improved wisdom? Great, they cast that across the raid. Someone with improved might? Same. Someone with kings? Perfect, they cast that on everyone. Let the people with unimproved talents cast Salvation. I definitely suggest you have a paladin channel for pallies to organize themselves here.

What about Blessing of Light?

In a raid situation, most of your paladins are probably going to be healing. That’s sort of what paladins do in raids in this era we’re revisiting. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a prot pally as an off-tank, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a ret pally doing some damage, but, by and large, pallies are used to heal. So if you have a lot of pallies healing, yes, by all means, throw Blessing of Light on the raid, if you’ve got Salvation, Kings, Might and Wisdom covered. Whoever’s blessing Salvation can be the one to throw Light on the tanks at the very least.

Healing Organization

A good rule of thumb is one healer per group and 2-3 healers for the main tank and, if you can spare it, a couple tanks for the off-tank. This depends on the fight, of course. We always liked to have a variety of healers on the main tank — so a priest, a druid and a paladin. You had the priest with the nice, sweet Greater Heals, the druid with Rejuvenation and Regrowth spam, while the paladin would cast Flash of Light pretty much non-stop. Repeat this setup as possible for any off-tanks.

Additionally, there are lots of things to dispel in raids, so it’s a good idea to organize whole cleanses what group. Paladins can dispel all but curses with one click, so even if you have DPS paladins, assign them to a group to dispel so that the priests in the raid can keep healing. Try not to make the MT’s priest do too much dispelling. It’s a lot easier for a paladin to dispel and resume Flash of Light spam.

Speaking of dispelling, mages and druids are the only ones who can remove curses, so yes, even mages are going to need to decurse. Assign each mage or druid a group to decurse and have a backup plan for the main tank’s group in case someone eats it unexpectedly and then your main tank has two curses, a magic effect and a poison on them. ;)

Mana Management

Classic brings with it the concept of multiple potions and such while in combat. That means you can drink a mana potion every two minutes while in combat. But did you know that there are other things that can grant you mana?

  • Dark Rune: This non-bind-on-pickup item drops in Scholomance and is super useful for gaining a bit of mana while your potions are on cooldown. It shares a cooldown with healthstones, but not potions. Also, since there are no soulwells, you probably won’t even have a healthstone, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Demonic Rune: This is a BOP item that drops off of virtually any demon, so it’s much easier to acquire than a Dark Rune, even though it’s BOP. While it basically does the same thing as a Dark Rune, the main difference is that a Demonic Rune can crit when it takes your health away. As such, always be aware of your health when you take it. A badly-timed use of a Demonic Rune that crits can absolutely kill you. That said, it’s shadow damage, so you might want to make sure you have Shadow Resist Aura up.


Of course, there are also other raid consumables. We’re talking Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Mageblood Potion and Nightfin Soup. These are pretty much the basics for a holy paladin. Also, load up on those Major Mana Potions.

There’s also downranking, but I’ll talk more about that in another post. Essentially, it’s the concept of using less-than-max-rank spells on purpose for the purpose of saving mana, particularly in periods of low raid damage. I’ll need to play around with things once I get to a decent level, but in some situations it’s perfectly okay to use, say, Rank 4 of Holy Light for only 190 mana instead of Rank 9 of Holy Light for 660 mana if you just need a small heal of 400-500 health, rather than 1600-2000 health. This really depends on your gear, though. At base levels, Rank 4 of Holy Light is equivalent to (and slightly more expensive than) max-rank Flash of Light. But if you have a lot of +healing… You can see where I’m going with this. In some cases, based on gear, you can do a lot of effective healing with lower ranks of spells.

The Five-Second Rule

Your mana doesn’t regen in combat (outside of any buffs that grant mp5, like Blessing of Wisdom) unless you haven’t spent mana for a full five seconds. One reason a lower Holy Light rank would be more useful than a max-rank Flash of Light is you can more easily interrupt a 2.5s cast than a 1.5s cast. So if your heal is no longer needed, you can hit escape or just move to prevent the cast from going through. This can enable you to hit the five seconds required to allow in-combat mana regeneration. Even a tick or two is helpful on some fights or if you’re a bit undergeared.

Aura Management

If you have at least three paladins, you want a resist aura, plus improved Devotion Aura, plus Concentration Aura and then you’re pretty much good. If you don’t need a resist aura, or there’s a large pack of mobs the tanks need to hold on to, toss up Ret aura.

Seal Management

Pick a seal to judge. Always judge that seal in the raid. You may want to double-up on wisdom and light to ensure that these are always being cast.

Divine Intervention Management

Don’t have all the pallies in your raid cast DI on the same wipe. With an hour-long cooldown, it’s best to spread out Divine Intervention. Decide who uses it in a rotation and make sure you’re clear on it before each pull. If you die before you can cast DI, call it out for the next person. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re deep inside Molten Core, you definitely do not want to have to run back, so DIing someone (preferably a priest or another paladin), is a good time-saver. Just don’t use all of them on the same wipe!

Questions? Bueller?

Well, that does it for this guide on how to raid as a holy paladin in Classic! Am I missing anything? Do you have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Dungeon Healing as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Folks, it’s been a long, long, long time since I healed in Vanilla. Healing has changed so much, and so often, that it’s hard for me to really remember what it was like. I didn’t get a chance to play on beta, outside of the stress tests, so please take my advice here with a grain of salt for now.

I healed dungeons from Scarlet Monastery onwards in Vanilla. Heck, I levelled holy. (Don’t do this, you will regret it when it takes you 12 minutes to kill a Kurzen Medicine Man in northern Stranglethorn Vale.)

For the lower level dungeons, it’s as you might expect – heal the tank and yourself primarily, cleanse people and try not to let them die (but not at the expense of you and the tank), don’t stand in bad.

Once you hit about level 50, it gets interesting, though. The dungeons you’ll be running are also run by level 60s, so things get a bit more challenging — your tanks get hit harder, dots tick for more damage, all that sort of thing.

This is a reasonable level 50 dungeon-healing build:


This is a reasonable level 60 dungeon-healing build:


Both of these builds try to increase your utility by giving you improved Blessing of Might, plus Improved Devotion Aura, plus Guardian’s Favor and decreased Judgment cooldown.

Healing “Rotation”

Fun fact, there’s no healing rotation. You have three, count ’em, three healing spells. You have Flash of Light, which is fast, doesn’t cost much mana and subsequently doesn’t heal for much and you have Holy Light, which is a bit longer to cast, costs more mana but heals for more. Oh, and then every thirty seconds you have Holy Shock.

Now, this doesn’t touch on downranking, which is a more complex subject, but basically, those are your three castable heals. That’s it. No Beacon of Light, no Holy Radiance, no Light of Dawn. That. is. it.

Someone is missing a bit of health? Flash of Light.

Someone is missing a LOT of health? Holy Light.

Someone is ABOUT TO DIE and can’t wait for Flash of Light to cast? Holy Shock, then Flash of Light, then Holy Light. (Or Lay on Hands — see below.)

The Oh Shit Button

Divine Favor is a talent and it is glorious. It forces your next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Holy Shock to be a crit. And, IIRC, it’s not on the global cooldown, so you can macro it to something like:

/cast Divine Favor
/cast Holy Shock

You need a target in there somewhere, but it should instantly cast Holy Shock and force a crit. If you have any on-use trinkets that would be helpful that are also off the global cooldown, you can use them here, too, to chain a nice big instant heal.

Note that Divine Favor does NOT force Lay on Hands to crit.

Seals and Judging

Of course, you also have Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom and you can judge them both. How does judging work? Well, you put up a seal (like Light) and then you judge, then the seal is no longer up. So you would need to recast Seal of Light in order to judge it again. Read the tooltips on the seals to know what the judged effect is. So attacking someone with Seal of Light up gives me, the paladin, 94 health when it procs. When I judge it, anyone attacking the mob who has it on them has a change to get 61 health when it procs. If you’re close enough to attack the mob yourself, your melee hits refresh the duration of the judgment. I’m definitely fuzzy on this — not sure if it’s you or anyone in your group, but I’ll come back to this. I was more someone who stood 30y back and mostly judged from there.

So Seal of Light is nice to judge on a boss because then everyone is attacking the boss and everyone is getting health back. However, Seal of Wisdom is also nice to judge if you have a bunch of mana users (and if you, yourself, are running out of mana). You can judge Wisdom, then put up Seal of Wisdom on yourself again, then attack the mob and get a crapton of mana back as both the seal and judgment will proc.


Contrary to popular belief, Blessing of Kings is not the best buff. It’s Blessing of Salvation. That alone can allow you to live through a not great tank or allows a monstrous DPS to control their threat. Here’s how you should buff people.

Tank: Kings, if you’re specced into it, if only for the boost in stats and stam. If not (as you may not be, given my recommended builds above), give them Blessing of Might or, if they’re squishy, Blessing of Light. This only increases a paladin’s healing done to the target, so if you’re ret or prot in a dungeon and have a priest healing you, don’t buff this. (If you’re in some spec that allows you Blessing of Sanctuary, go for it on the tank.)

Yourself: As a holy paladin, you should give yourself Blessing of Wisdom. You naturally cause less threat than any other healer. If your tank is Not Good with the aggro, give yourself Salvation. However, you have a bubble. You should not need to Salv yourself.

All DPS: Give them Salvation. They may complain. Give them Salvation anyway.

Exception: Hunters! You may instead want to give hunters Blessing of Kings if you have it, or Blessing of Wisdom. Hunters can feign death every 30 seconds to completely eliminate any threat, so they can be in charge of managing their threat on their own. And no, do not give them Blessing of Might, no matter how much they think they want it. It is only good for melee attack power and hunters use ranged attack power. So if they don’t want Salv and you don’t have Kings, give them Wisdom. They do use mana, after all!

How Blessings Work

I think it’s at 60 you get all the Greater Blessings which last 15 minutes. Don’t be cheap. Use the Greater Blessings that use Symbols of Kings. Period. Do it. Not only do you not want to rebuff everyone every five minutes but no one else wants you to pause to rebuff and then drink every five minutes.

Finally, as they worked in more recent expansions, you are buffing an entire CLASS when you use a Greater Blessing. So if you have 3 warriors and one is tanking, buff them all Salv and then hit the warrior tank with the simple Blessing of Light or Blessing of Might. Got three mages in the group? Peachy, throw Greater Blessing of Salvation at them all and be done with one cast.

Utility Blessings

Okay, so, blessings are crazy in Vanilla/Classic. First, and I don’t think I’m wrong about this (but I could be), Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Freedom, etc, ALL OVERWRITE your actual Greater Blessing of whatever. One blessing per paladin per person! So if you have to cast BOP on an overzealous melee, don’t forget to hit them with Salvation again.

That said, so many of these blessings are useful. Do not hesitate to cast Blessing of Protection on someone with a bleed. If it’s a melee, once the bleed drops off, hit them with their normal blessing so they can continue attacking. If a clothie is being attacked, keep BOP on them and re-bless them after, as they don’t do physical damage and aren’t prevented from casting while BOPped.

Blessing of Freedom is great to avoid slows. Don’t hesitate to use it on your tank if they need to get to a mob casting Frostbolt at them.

Blessing of Sacrifice is not as good as it is currently, but hey, it’s some damage mitigation.


Which aura to use? You have A LOT. You have the elemental resist auras, Frost, Fire, Shadow (though no arcane!), so if you’re expecting damage of any of those schools (Baron Rivendare’s Shadow Aura, Alexei Barov’s Shadow Aura, Lord Incendius’ fire attacks), use that resist aura.

Concentration Aura: if you and/or your casters are being interrupted a lot by damage, use this to prevent you from ever being interrupted. (Pretty sure you start at base 70% chance not to be interrupted in casting when damaged?)

Retribution Aura: mostly used while soloing to inflict more damage on anything hitting you.

Devotion Aura: The go-to standard. Who doesn’t want more armor?


Guess what? You have an overpowered ability. Well, to be fair, you have several. However, one of the best utilities you have is your Cleanse ability. At level 8, you get Purify, allowing you to dispell a disease and a poison. At 42, you get Cleanse which adds a magic effect to that. So with one click, you can remove a poison AND a disease AND a magic effect from someone. And there’s no cooldown. This is incredibly important. The only thing you can’t get rid of is curses. (Bring a mage, bring a druid.)

Cleansing is one of the most important things to do in the game, period. Get all the bad crap off your healing target and then heal them, for the most part.

Lay on Hands

Oh, that’s right, you do have Lay on Hands… except it literally is a 40 minute cooldown (when talented for it! 60 minutes otherwise!) and it literally uses all of your mana, so make sure to have a Major Mana Potion ready and judge wisdom and put up Seal of Wisdom and go hit the boss after you use it.

Turn Undead

You’re a paladin. A champion of the light. As such, you can Turn Undead. Note that this later became Turn Evil and included demons, but this is just for undead and not the Forsaken, either! This can be an effective form of crowd control. That said, just like a warlock’s fear, your dude can go running off pretty far in 20 seconds and may come back… with friends. Still, this is super handy on, say, the two adds in Scholo on Alexei Barov.

Divine Intervention

Known as “DI”, Divine Intervention is one of my favourite spells. It kills you instantly. But you don’t take durability damage. It requires a target, so target someone who can resurrect (priest, other paladin, druid, engineer with jumper cables) and cast it if you’re about to wipe. It removes the other person from combat (so make sure they’re in a good place and won’t pull when they click it off!) when it kills you, so they don’t die and can rez the group. However, druids have a 30m cooldown on their rez and it’s an in-combat resurrection, so they should be your last choice. Always try to DI a priest. This will rarely be an opportunity for you in a dungeon, though.


  • There is no healing rotation. Flash of Light for small heals, Holy Light for big heals, Holy Shock when moving as it’s your only instant, Divine Favor for forced crits, Lay on Hands once every 40 minutes.
  • Buff wisely and use Salvation for everyone except you and the tank.
  • Judge Light to heal and Judge Wisdom to regen mana. Feel free to run into melee with either of those seals up to gain health and mana yourself as well.
  • Don’t forget to cleanse.
  • You can CC for about 20 seconds with Turn Undead.
  • Use auras as needed and go Devotion Aura if none of the others are required.
  • DI a priest or paladin before a druid. Engineers with jumper cables are also valid options!


All righty, I’ll end things on this note, but will come back to talk about raiding. Any questions? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & UBRS

This is the last in a series of posts (for now) which focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Once Dire Maul is released, I’ll tackle DM East, West and North (plus Tribute Runs!), too.

Overall, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana, and you should always endeavour to have SOME +healing.)

Some (all?) of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Listen, I freaking love my Lightforge Armor, but it’s not for healing. It just isn’t. It never will be. Believe it or not, some of the pieces don’t have any intellect! But pick it up anyway. First, it looks awesome, particularly when paired with the Stormpike Battle Tabard. Second, the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All righty, let’s see what Rend, the Beast and General Drakkisath have for us in UBRS, as we follow in Leeroy Jenkins’ footsteps!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS)

Oh, by the way, you need a key. The key is a ring, the Seal of Ascension. The ring is forged through a long and annoying quest chain. I’ll definitely outline that At Some Point In The Future. ;)

General Drakkisath drops all of the Tier 0 chests. It took me over 60 kills over the course of Vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath in order to get my Beaststalker’s Tunic. My paladin was much more fortunate and got it after like, maybe a dozen runs. I had never even seen it drop on my hunter. 60+ kills. Do not take someone’s tier chestpiece from them. I beg of you.

Helm: There are a few helms of note that drop in UBRS, mostly off Rend’s dragon, Gyth. Of particular interest is the Tribal War Feathers helm, requiring level 55. While leather, it’s exclusively +healing and has a good amount of intellect. The Spellweaver’s Turban, requiring level 60 and dropping from Drakkisath, is cloth and has +hit, so ignore that, despite the slightly higher +damage/healing. Also off Gyth, also requiring level 55, is Gyth’s Skull of randomness. As always, look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration. Or, for tanking aspirations, anything with more stam, strength or defense.

Neck: The only neck of note drops from General Drakkisath himself, the Tooth of Gnarr, requiring level 58.

Shoulders: First up, the Lightforge Spaulders, requiring level 55, are your tier 0 shoulders. Get them. They drop off The Beast. They actually do have intellect, but are not the best healing shoulders. Hilariously, Leeroy Jenkins wanting the Devout Mantle is actually legit, it’s a pretty great choice! But that’s the priest tier 0 shoulder piece, so let the priests get it first. That piece drops from Solakar Flamewreath in the Rookery.

Chest: As mentioned, General Drakkisath drops all the tier 0 chests. Yours is the Lightforge Breastplate. Any of the caster robes would also work, but the Magister’s Robes would be the best in terms of pure +intellect. Again, let the mages have their tier piece. Chests all require level 58.

Cloak: The Frostweaver Cape drops from The Beast and requires level 58. It’s the only cloak worth mentioning.

Bracers: Nothing of note, though some tier 0 bracers are zone-wide drops and there are some green bracers that could be interesting if they’re of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Belt: Lots of tier 0 belts drop here as zone-wide drops, possibly including the shaman’s Cord of Elements. The Crystallized Girdle drops from Solakar Flamewreath and requires level 56. It’s leather and moonkin gear to be sure, but has a nice amount of intellect and some +dmg/healing.

Gloves: Not too much in the way of gloves.

Legs: Nothing fun in terms of legs, either, although the Warmaster Legguards, requiring level 58, drop from Rend, and are useful if you want to tank. +2% to dodge is great.

Feet: More cloth! The Faith Healter’s Boots require level 58 and drop from Rend.

Main Hand: While not as great as other options in other dungeons, the best option for a paladin healer in UBRS is the Mastersmith’s Hammer, requiring level 55. It drops from Goraluk Anvilcrack, who is upstairs from the Rookery. Take the first left, not the second.

Off-hand: The Tome of the Lost, requiring level 58, is okay. It drops from General Drakkisath. If your shield-wearing tanks don’t want Draconian Deflector and it drops from Drakkisath, you should snag it for tanking purposes.

Rings: Ooh, Band of Rumination, requiring level 58 and dropping from Rend, is really nice. Some mp5 plus crit!

Trinkets: Though there are absolutely zero stats on it, the Draconic Infused Emblem, which requires level 58 and drops from Drakkisath, is amazing. +190 healing for 15 seconds every 75 seconds. You will have competition. Doesn’t matter. This is definitely something you will want as a holy paladin. The other trinket here, Briarwood Reed, drops from Jed Runewatcher, a rare spawn in the same general area as Goraluk Anvilcrack. This is a little more of a grey area. It’s passive +29 dmg/healing, but it’s not pure +healing. Still, if you have crappy trinkets, this is valuable for you. Certainly, until Dire Maul and the Royal Seals of Eldre’Thalas come out, it’s very good for you.

That’s it for UBRS!

Thanks for reading! I’ll have more holy paladin guide stuff in the next few weeks, but hopefully these blog posts have been helpful. Next time, I’ll have more general Classic tips and tricks.