BREAKING NEWS: Holy Avenger and Holy Paladins

Back in preparation for 5.0, I wrote a post where I talked about talents, including Holy Avenger. In it, I said:

You can see that Holy Shock and Holy Radiance both get the appropriate 30% bump. Even though I had Beacon on me and was healing myself with Flash of Light and Divine Light (and getting the extra holy power), neither of those spells were affected by the 30% bump.

[…]

Remember, though — those would only on the beacon target and it may actually be intended that you don’t get a bump to healing with those spells on a beacon.

So let’s look at Holy Avenger’s tooltip:

Abilities that generate Holy Power will deal 30% additional damage and healing, and generate 3 charges of Holy Power for the next 18 sec.

For a holy paladin, we can generate holy power in the following ways:

– Casting Holy Shock on any target
– Casting Holy Radiance on any friendly target
– Using Crusader Strike on an enemy target

… but we can also cast Flash of Light or Divine Light on a target with our Beacon of Light on them to gain holy power, via the Tower of Radiance baseline holy passive ability.

Now, if you were to use Flash of Light or Divine Light on a beacon target, you WOULD get the three holy power. Great. But you would NOT receive the 30% extra healing.

Since late beta testing and early 5.0.4 testing when I noticed this, I’ve been asking (bug report forum, beta forum, tickets, even tweets to Ghostcrawler) which behaviour is intended? The way I saw it, the Tower of Radiance heals were either incorrectly giving the extra holy power (if those kinds of heals are not supposed to benefit from Holy Avenger) or they were incorrectly not benefiting from the extra 30% healing bonus (if those kinds of heals are supposed to benefit). And I could not get an answer about it. Either way, it was buggy. Half of the tooltip worked on those heals, half of the tooltip did not. You see the issue, right?

Finally, today, Ghostcrawler responded to a tweet I included him in with the holy paladin in my guild, Jacii, who had been lamenting that he had accidentally kept Holy Avenger as a talent through last night’s raids after testing to see whether or not the Tower of Radiance heals did or did not benefit from it.

So he said it wasn’t intended to work with Flash of Light and Divine Light on a beacon target. Okay, that’s fine, that makes sense — but why, then, does it grant extra holy power?

I tested it on live servers and screenshotted the combat log and you can clearly see it IS giving me 3 holy power due to Tower of Radiance and Holy Avenger.

So there you have it, holy paladins. Holy Avenger WILL work with Tower of Radiance heals in 5.1. As to right now? Nope, still not working.

The first two heals are without Holy Avenger. Flash of Light hits for about 31k, Divine Light (non-crit) for about 40k. (Bear in mind this is on my pally at level 85 in heroic Dragon Soul gear.) The next three are with Holy Avenger and you can see that there isn’t a substantial difference between the first two heals and the last three heals (barring the crit, but if a crit is an increase of 100% from a non-crit heal, you can do math and see that the crit Divine Light wasn’t empowered either, since half of 82k is 41k).

You can see that though I’m gaining the extra holy power through Holy Avenger and Tower of Radiance, Flash of Light is still hitting for about 31k and Divine Light is still hitting for 40-41k, all before Holy Avenger fades.

CONCLUSION

Holy Avenger is still broken in terms of the healing bonus on live right now, but Ghostcrawler says it DOES work in 5.1.

So there you have it, holy pallies — don’t completely discount Holy Avenger once 5.1 goes live. I’m glad I was able to get in one last piece of important holy paladin information for you guys before my subscription ran out. :)

UPDATE: This has been fixed in 5.1.

5.0 & You: Talents, Glyphs and Playstyle Changes at 85

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2012. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringement and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

Last updated: Monday, January 21st, 2013. (Live release 5.1.)

The release date of Mists of Pandaria has been announced. The new expansion will launch on September 25th, 2012. Blizzard tends to release a “pre-release” patch about a month before an expansion launches, which is where we’ll see all the new changes to the game that aren’t Pandaren (no monks, either) and nothing over level 85, nor anything of Pandaria itself. This patch was recently confirmed as dropping on August 28th, 2012.

However, the time between the patch and the expansion’s launch can be a difficult time as it means it’s probably time for most people to relearn (yet again) how to play their class or spec.

Holy paladins who primarily raid in PVE content, fear not. I shall attempt to help you through these troubling times!

Please note that all data was accurate as of Wednesday, August 29th, live version 5.0.4. For all of my tests, I was in gear with an average equipped item level of 407, with the following stats: 10,845 spellpower, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), 16.84% spell crit chance, 4013 combat regen, 13.82% mastery. I was unbuffed for all of the testing.

Please note that all data was accurate as of Beta version 5.0.4 build #15983. For all of my tests, I was in gear with an average quipped item level of 407, with the following stats: 11,044 spellpower, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), 17.13% spell crit chance, 3890 combat regen, 13.82% mastery. I was unbuffed for all of the testing.

THE SPEC

Congratulations. We have all the spells and abilities we really need already. Next section, please!

Okay, not really. While choosing Holy as your class specialization does mean you get all the basic tools you need, now we get to play with some optional talents and spells. We will only have access to five talent points, not six, when the 5.0 patch comes out. They are granted at levels 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75. The final point is awarded at level 90.

So which should you pick? Bearing in mind that this is tailored for the 5.0 patch (and not for when you reach 90), wherever possible, I’ve made efforts to make the talent and glyph choices specific to Heroic Dragon Soul raiding. (Mostly 25-man, mind, but 10-man holy paladins ought to find it useful as well.)

Tier 1: Speed of Light, Long Arm of the Law, Pursuit of Justice

Speed of Light is an instant cast with a 45s cooldown that increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds. The downside is you have to hit the button.

Long Arm of the Law is a 45% movement speed for 3 seconds. It’s less useful because judging will not be something you *need* to do in the new 5.0 patch, although you can still do so if you wish (see below). The benefit is that you will almost always gain this movement speed boost when you cast Judgment (note the new spelling!), as long as it hits, that is, and can time it to avoid mechanics anytime you judge. (6 second base cooldown, 30y range, by the way, and the CD is affected by haste. In my testing gear, I had a 4.98s cooldown on Judgment.)

Pursuit of Justice is a flat 15% movement speed increase, which is tempting. However, the additional 5, 10 and 15% movement speed buffs all depend on if you have Holy Power. We shouldn’t really be hoarding Holy Power as healers, though, should we?

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Since all of them serve the same purpose (movement speed), you can use any of them for… running in or out of Black Blood of the Earth on Morchok, spreading out or collapsing on Yor’sahj, getting to your Black Phase spot on Zon’ozz, getting into position (either frost or lightning phases) on Hagara, no use on Ultraxion, really (unless you REALLY need to get your buff that much sooner), dodging fire and Shockwave on Blackhorn, no real use on Spine, no real use on Madness unless you have the Corrupted Parasite or you’re right NEXT to someone who’s about to drop their Corrupted Parasite.

Kurn’s Comments: I really like Speed of Light. On-demand with a short enough CD, with a really long duration and a whopping 70% speed increase. For those of you who enjoyed Divine Protection’s speed boost and damage reduction at the same time, you can macro these two together, as neither one is on the global cooldown.

Tier 2: Fist of Justice, Repentance, Burden of Guilt

Fist of Justice: This is exactly the same as our current Hammer of Justice, only it’s a 30s cooldown instead of a 1m cooldown. It replaces Hammer of Justice.

Repentance: At long last, any paladin can snag this talent and have the ability to crowd control things! Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead are all susceptible to this. The major exception here would be Beasts. Best part of this? 15 second cooldown, but 1 minute duration. While I do not expect us to be able to Repentance something every 15 seconds and expect others not to break, it’s nice to know that if it breaks early, we are not necessarily screwed. (By which I mean, it’s not an interminably long CD the way Hex is.)

Burden of Guilt: Judgments will basically reduce your target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 seconds. This is what is called a “gap-closer”, allowing a paladin (or their PVP partners, etc) to catch a target.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: There is no need for either Fist of Justice, nor Burden of Guilt in Heroic Dragon Soul. To be honest, there’s no need for Repentance, either, unless you feel like CCing some trash for fun.

Kurn’s Comments: Since this is a PVE guide, Repentance is really the best choice for us. We still have Rebuke for interrupts (albeit now on a 15s cooldown, it looks like, and despite there is not a lot of interrupting to do in Dragon Soul), so Fist of Justice isn’t really needed and neither is Burden of Guilt for a PVE setting, probably. But if you’re running dungeons, you may as well snag Repentance. And if the raids have anywhere near the amount of trash that Bastion of Twilight did, this may be useful in a raid setting, as well.

Tier 3: Selfless Healer, Eternal Flame, Sacred Shield

Up until now, the choices you had available to you were not altogether compelling. As of this tier, your talent choices become much more interesting.

Selfless Healer: Every time you successfully judge when you have this talent, you’ll stack a buff on yourself that lasts for 14 seconds. This buff stacks to 3 (and refreshes to 14s every time you add a stack) and will, for each stack, reduce the mana cost and cast time of Flash of Light by 35%, as well as increase its effectiveness by 35% per stack — but only when you heal OTHERS. If you heal yourself, its effectiveness is unchanged, which basically is why it’s named Selfless Healer. (Yes, Kurn, it’s called reading comprehension.)

Here are some sample numbers from beta build #15983, at level 85 with an average equipped ilvl of 407 and 11,044 spellpower.

Flash of Light costs 7560 mana and, with no buffs and 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), takes 1.13 seconds to cast. It healed me for 31,486.

1 stack of Selfless Healer: 4,914 mana, 0.736s cast time, 42,297 (non-crit)
2 stacks of Selfless Healer: 2,268 mana, 0.34s cast time, 52,683 (non-crit)
3 stacks of Selfless Healer: 0 mana, instant cast, 64,318 (non-crit)

Eternal Flame: This basically replaces Word of Glory. Using 1, 2 or 3 Holy Power charges, just like Word of Glory, you can heal a target; but there will be a residual HoT on the individual. At base haste levels, the HoT ticks every 3 seconds for 30 seconds. At my level of haste, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), it will heal people every 2.26 seconds for 29.43 seconds.

In testing with a 3 HP Eternal Flame, I healed myself initially for 39,212 and then had 13 ticks of it. The ticks were 4098 (5) or 4099 (8). Note that these ticks can crit!

That is 49,183 healing from the HoT and 39,212 from the initial heal, for a total of 88,395 healing.

Untalented, my Word of Glory healed me for 41,255.

What this means is that there is no downside to your upfront heal if you take Eternal Flame, unlike the old Flash of Light Glyph or the Glyph of the Long Word.

Bonuses: The Eternal Flame ticks can crit and each tick adds to your mastery shield on your target, also refreshing it to its 14s duration. Further, the ticks seem to be based on the amount of spellpower you had when you cast Eternal Flame, so if you have your wings up and cast an Eternal Flame with 4s left on your wings, the ticks will continue healing at the same rate as they did while your wings were up.

Eternal Flame does not stack with itself, though, at least not from the same paladin. As such, it’s well-worth putting on your raid frames to make sure you don’t waste the HoT portion. You don’t want to drop a 3-point Holy Power Eternal Flame on your tank while you have your wings up and then, 15 seconds later, do the same without wings. The lesser HoT will overwrite the stronger one. No rolling Eternal Flames like you’re a druid! ;)

Also, currently, the ticks can proc various things like Power Torrent, Seals of the Seven Signs, but will not add stacks to your Heart of Unliving spirit buff, for example.

Sacred Shield: Ah, the old Wrath of the Lich King spell is back, essentially, and is my personal favourite, sentimentally speaking, of course. It’s a buff you can cast on a single person that will absorb damage taken every 6 seconds and lasts 30 seconds. This is affected by haste. Again, with my haste level and spellpower, it will protect my target for 31.70 seconds, absorbing up to 12,729 damage every 4.53 seconds.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: While you may want to play with Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield, if you ever heal anyone other than the tanks, Eternal Flame is, at this juncture, the way to go. Period. You don’t lose any healing up front and you add a crapton of healing over time.

Kurn’s Comments: Eternal Flame. Which makes me really sad, because I love Sacred Shield. :( That’s not to say there won’t be times when Sacred Shield (heavy tank-damage fights) or even Selfless Healer won’t come in handy (when you have spare time to judge frequently), but Eternal Flame just adds to your throughput with absolutely no downside, apart from not being able to use Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield. I fully expect Eternal Flame to be nerfed TO THE GROUND. Or something. I would imagine they’ll either make the HoT tick for a shorter period of time or they’ll nerf the upfront heal a bit, if they do decide to nerf it. As of right now, there’s no reason to pick up either of the other talents in this tier for the majority of fights in Heroic Dragon Soul content. IMHO.

Tier 4: Hand of Purity, Unbreakable Spirit, Clemency.

Hand of Purity: 6 second Hand buff on a target that will reduce harmful PERIODIC effects by 70% for that length of time. It sounds good, but then you realize that many dots last upwards of 12 seconds. Shadow Word: Pain, at its base, is 18 seconds. Unstable Affliction is 14 seconds. Moonfire is 14 seconds. So while this might be a semi-useful buffer overall, more than likely, its aim is to buy you a bit of time until you can dispel someone. Cleanse now has an 8-second cooldown, so buying yourself 6 seconds of greatly-reduced dot damage is a bonus. (Don’t worry, we still get Sacred Cleansing, meaning we get the ability to dispel magic effects, it just isn’t baseline for any other paladin spec aside from holy.)

Unbreakable Spirit: Not really sure why this even exists, to be honest. For Divine Protection (1m), using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 2 seconds. For Divine Shield (5m), using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 9 seconds. For Lay on Hands, using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 18 seconds.

In order to reach the maximum of a 50% reduction in cooldown for Divine Shield, you would need to use 50 Holy Power (obviously), but that means about 17 casts of a 3-point Light of Dawn or 3-point Word of Glory/Eternal Flame. Bearing in mind that not every cast of ours will grant us Holy Power, it can take a while to earn up enough Holy Power to make this useful. It may be useful on some fights where you want to us Lay on Hands more or Divine Shield more, but, really, in PVE content, it will be rare that you’ll absolutely need Divine Protection to come up a few seconds earlier, due to the 1m CD.

Clemency: Pretty simple and, also, awesome. You can use Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation twice before their cooldowns come into effect.

Unfortunately, Forbearance is still caused by Hand of Protection, so you can’t BOP someone twice in a row without first waiting for Forbearance to drop off.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Well, Hand of Purity is not really going to do a lot, not even on something like Yor’sahj, because the dot from Yor’sahj lasts a minimum of 12 seconds. So don’t bother with Hand of Purity. Similarly, Unbreakable Spirit is not, well, useful at all, not in comparison to Clemency. Clemency becomes useful because we do use Hand of Sacrifice frequently (at least, I do…) and it’ll be nice to BOP certain aggro-drawing resto druids (ahem, JASYLA) on Heroic Spine twice (over the course of a minute) before the Hand of Protection CD becomes active.

Kurn’s Comments: My choice is Clemency. Hands down. (haha, get it? Hands? Yeah, I blame Walks.) There’s just not much of a downside here. Hand of Purity is underwhelming in its current incarnation (although it would be overpowered if it were much longer) and Unbreakable Spirit seems as though it would be best used in PVP (for the reductions on Divine Shield and, I guess a couple of seconds off on Divine Protection), except that you can’t use Lay on Hands in the arenas… so colour me still confused about this talent.

Tier 5: Holy Avenger, Sanctified Wrath, Divine Purpose.

Holy Avenger: This is a talent that has a 2m cooldown and lasts 18 seconds. During the 18 seconds, any ability that GENERATES Holy Power will deal 30% more damage or healing AND generate 3 charges of Holy Power. It’s really important to note that this is not an overall 30% boost in damage/healing! I tried to test this out and got some pretty odd results. Bear in mind I had my own Beacon on me and was casting all of these on myself, which did generate the proper amounts of Holy Power. However…

No buffs:
Divine Light: 42,827
Holy Shock: 23,310
Flash of Light: 31,789
Holy Radiance: 16818

With Holy Avenger:
Divine Light: 40,756
Holy Shock: 30,452
Flash of Light: 31,712
Holy Radiance: 21,881

You can see that Holy Shock and Holy Radiance both get the appropriate 30% bump. Even though I had Beacon on me and was healing myself with Flash of Light and Divine Light (and getting the extra holy power), neither of those spells were affected by the 30% bump.

Similarly, Crusader Strike (now 15% of base mana, clocking in at 3000 mana at level 85) is affected by Holy Avenger.

Without Holy Avenger, Crusader Strike: 2,766
With Holy Avenger, Crusader Strike: 3,503

If they fix the bug on Flash of Light and Divine Light (assuming it is a bug and not just really stupid design), we can estimate wht those heals would be with the 30% bump.

Estimated non-crit heals with Holy Avenger:

Divine Light: 40,756 x 1.3 = 53,201.2 = 52,983
Flash of Light: 30,712 x 1.3 = 39,956.8 = 41,226

Remember, though — those would only on the beacon target and it may actually be intended that you don’t get a bump to healing with those spells on a beacon.

Sanctified Wrath: Instead of a 20 second duration on Avenging Wrath, it now lasts 30 seconds and while Avenging Wrath is active, your cooldown on Holy Shock is 3s. While this may not be worth it solely for the reduced CD on Holy Shock, the extra 10 seconds of 20% extra healing may propel this forward as the better choice in this tier.

Divine Purpose: When you spend Holy Power, you have a 25% chance to cause Divine Purpose. Divine Purpose means your next Holy Power ability won’t use any Holy Power and will act as though 3 Holy Power were consumed. Lasts 8 seconds. I played around with this a bit and found that it sometimes allowed me to cast Word of Glory twice in a row and it let me cast 2 extra (free) Lights of Dawn at one point. So Divine Purpose can obviously proc off of itself, at least in this build.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Even if Holy Avenger weren’t broken in this particular build (since I imagine it’ll be fixed before August 28th), I’d go with the more-reliable Sanctified Wrath. We’re already used to using Avenging Wrath throughout the instance (hopefully!) so this won’t be a big change for us. We’ll just now be able to spam some more Lights of Dawn or Words of Glory/Eternal Flames. Alternatively, Divine Purpose is pretty decent, especially if it continues to be able to proc off of itself, but I know a lot of people like to get into a rhythm for their holy power generation and such and this might screw that up a bit. You’ll definitely want some sort of Power Aura or audio cue letting you know when this has procced (there’s an in-game one, mind you, but I tend to turn those off and rely on my own cues).

Kurn’s Overall Choice: Sanctified Wrath is probably what I’ll rely on. Note to self: Use Wings more frequently and stop being bad.

UPDATE: This Holy Avenger issue has FINALLY been fixed in 5.2.

GLYPHS

Okay, glyphs are changing. Gone are Prime Glyphs. We’re down to Major Glyphs and Minor Glyphs. Minor Glyphs seem mostly to be just neat little visual things. Major Glyphs are the ones that are really going to change your abilities.

First, let’s look at the differences between the current glyphs and the new glyphs with the same name…

Current Prime Glyphs (that holy paladins would use):
Divine Favor: Increases the duration of Divine Favor by 10s — does not exist in Mists
Holy Shock: Increases the critical effect chance of Holy Shock by 5% — decreases healing of Holy Shock by 50%, increases its damage by 50%
Seal of Insight: While Seal of Insight is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5% — does not exist in Mists
Word of Glory: Increased the healing done by Word of Glory by 10% — Increases your damage by 3% per Holy Power spent after you cast Word of Glory or Eternal Flame. Lasts 6s.

Current Major Glyphs (that holy paladins would potentially use):
Beacon of Light: Your Beacon of Light costs no mana. — Removes the global cooldown on Beacon of Light. (Beacon has a 3s CD on it in Mists and will maintain that, even though it’ll be off the GCD while glyphed.)
Cleansing: Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse by 20%. — does not exist in Mists.
Divine Plea: Your Divine Plea provides an additional 6% of your total mana. — Divine Plea now has a 5s cast time, but you receive 12% of your total mana instantly and your healing is not reduced. (This cast time is affected by haste.)
Divine Protection: Removes the physical damage reduction of your Divine Protection but increases the magical damage reduction by 20%. — Reduces the magical damage reduction of your Divine Protection to 20%, but adds 20% physical reduction. (This is basically the inverse of what it is right now. Baseline, it’s 40% magical damage. Glyphed, it’s 20% magical and 20% physical.)
Divinity: When you use Lay on Hands, you also gain 10% of your maximum mana. — Increases the cooldown of your Lay on Hands by 2m but causes it to give you 10% of your maximum mana.
Holy Wrath: Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin. — unchanged (note: categorized as “protection”)
Lay on Hands: Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 3m — does not exist in Mists.
Light of Dawn: Light of Dawn affects 2 fewer targets, but heals each target for 25% more. — unchanged
Salvation: Hand of Salvation no longer permanently reduces threat over time but instead reduces all threat as long as Hand of Salvation lasts — does not exist in Mists.
Ascetic Crusader: Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30% — does not exist in Mists.
Long Word: Your Word of Glory heals for 50% less up front, but provides an additional 50% healing over 6s. — does not exist in Mists.

Okay, now let’s look at some of the new Major Glyphs. I’ll put in my recommendations at the end.

Avenging Wrath — While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 1% of your maximum health every 2s.
Battle Healer — Using melee attacks while using Seal of Insight heals a nearby injured friendly target, excluding the Paladin, within 30 yards for 30% of damage dealt.
Beacon of Light — as listed above
Blessed Life — While Seal of Insight is active, you have a 50% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power whenever you are affected by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. Cannot occur more than once every 20s.
Denounce — Your Holy Shocks have a 50% chance to reduce the cast time of your next Denounce by 1s.
Divine Plea — as listed above
Divine Protection — as listed above
Divinity — as listed above
Flash of Light — When you Flash of Light a target, it increases your next heal done to that target within 7s by 10%
Harsh Words — Your Word of Glory can now also be used on enemy targets, causing Holy damaged appromiately equal to the amount it would have healed. Does not work with Eternal Flame.
Holy Shock — as listed above
Illumination — Your Holy Shock criticals grant 1% mana return, but Holy Insight returns 10% less mana
Light of Dawn — as listed above
Protector of the Innocent — When you use Word of Glory to heal another target, it also heals you for 20% of the amount.
Word of Glory — as listed above

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility:

Battle Healer: I’m doing 100-200 or so damage with my white melee attacks, which heals a random nearby target for ~30-60. Crusader Strike hit for ~1385 and healed for ~416.

… pass. :P If you go ret and still want to heal, this glyph is probably for you.

Divine Plea: It’s affected by haste and we have plenty of opportunities to stand still for 5 seconds to regen 12% of our mana. It comes down to whether or not you want to heal (or can heal) at 50% effectiveness for 9 seconds or if you don’t bother healing at ALL for ~5 seconds (3.77s cast with my aforementioned haste). It’s all for the same mana return.

Divine Protection: I would only glyph this to add to the physical damage reduced for Morchok (Stomps are physical damage) and Madness of Deathwing if I was assigned to HoSac a tank for Impale, since our tanks each need one external cooldown on the third platform we do. I tend to die if I pop HoSac and either don’t pop my bubble (I prefer not to) or don’t pop a Divine Protection that is going to reduce my own physical damage taken.

Divinity: Well, 10% extra mana at the cost of another 2 minutes on my Lay on Hands… it’s not great, but there’s really not that much in terms of compelling choices.

Flash of Light: Ehhhhhhhhhhh. It would be hard to use this with Selfless Healer, if that’s what you’re thinking. What you would probably do, to get the most healing possible done to the other person, is:

Judge x3 (~10-12 seconds, depending on haste)
Flash of Light the target (full use of Selfless Healer’s 3 stacks) — I healed my target for 68,589.
Cast another heal on that target — I cast a Divine Light that healed for 49,189.
By comparison, without the 10% buff from Glyph of Flash of Light, I healed that same target for 46,343.

So the combination of mechanic and glyph works, but this is basically something that you would probably weave into your rotation after judging 3 times, and probably would be focused on the tank, because hopefully no one else is taking 100k+ damage.

The problem with that idea, though, is that Eternal Flame kind of blows Selfless Healer out of the water at the moment.

Illumination: This lowers the mana return from Holy Insight by 10%. Holy Insight allows 50% of spirit-based mana regeneration to continue while in combat. In the gear I’m in right now, at level 85, my in-combat regen in this beta build is 3890 mana per 5 seconds. Glyphed for Illumination, my regen goes down to 3512 mana/5 sec.

Check out Joe Ego’s Mana Regen post for more information on why the Glyph of Illumination kind of falls flat as spirit on gear scales up.

Light of Dawn: Great choice, still, for 10-mans. Still not a great choice for 25-mans.

Protector of the Innocent: I hated the talent. I still hate the glyph, but it works with both Word of Glory and Eternal Flame (albeit just its initial heal).

Kurn’s Overall Choices for Heroic Dragon Soul Raiding:
– Divine Plea / Light of Dawn (10m)
– Divinity / Divine Protection (for fights where I need 20% physical damage reduction) / Light of Dawn (10m)
– Protector of the Innocent / Light of Dawn (10m)

Uninspiring.

Note that the old Glyph of Divine Plea will become the new one, the old Glyph of Divinity will become the new one, the old Glyph of Divine Protection will become the new one, the Glyph of Light of Dawn is unchanged and Glyph of the Long Word will become Glyph of Protector of the Innocent. As such, all these glyphs should be available to us as of 5.0.

That said, I enjoy some of the new minor glyphs, which are not terribly useful in any raid-like environments we’ve seen in Cataclysm (unsure which, if any of these will be available at 5.0):

Glyph of Concentration: This is fun and, IMHO, pretty paladinesque.
Glyph of the Falling Avenger: No mage or priest handy for slowfall? No worries — pop your wings and gain slowfall!
Glyph of Fire From the Heavens: Judgment and Hammer of the Wrath crits show a Holy Fire effect. It’s cute.
Glyph of Righteous Retreat: When you’ve cast Divine Shield, you cast your Hearthstone 50% faster. So you bubble for 8 seconds and it takes 5 seconds to hearth. Bubblehearth is back!

HOLY PALADIN PLAYSTYLE

All right, worked your way through all that, have you? Good. Now, here are some changes you should be aware of.

1) No more Auras. They’re gone. Poof. As such, Aura Mastery as we know it is gone. All paladins (!) now have Devotion Aura (on a 3m CD): Inspire all party and raid members within 40y, granting them immunity to Silence and Interrupt effects and reducing all magic damage taken by 20%. Lasts 6 sec.

2) In place of our Auras on our bars are our seals — Insight, Truth and Righteousness. No more durations on seals, which is nice.

3) Beacon of Light now has a 3s cooldown, but it no longer has a duration. That sucker will stay on your target until they die or one of you leaves group.

4) Surprise, you can now store up to 5 Holy Power at once! You can still only use 3 Holy Power at a time, though. My new favourite move is to have 5 Holy Power, then Word of Glory / Holy Shock / Word of Glory. BAM.

5) Judging is now optional. If you have Selfless Healer, go for it. If you have Long Arm of the Law, go for it. Otherwise, there is no need to judge. At all.

6) Light of Dawn is no longer directional. No more facing people — it’ll just emanate from you and heal people around you who need it.

7) Holy Radiance has been redesigned: no more HoT component, but there’s still a splash effect.

8) Cleanse now has an 8-second cooldown, but not if you don’t actually dispel something. That means if someone dispels something before you do, you’re not on cooldown.

9) Fixed mana pools. Intellect no longer adds to your mana pool size. At level 85, I had 102,000 mana.

Rohan over at Blessing of Kings covers some of the more general changes in his post.

Kurn’s Conclusions

Overall, if you were comfortable playing a holy paladin in Cataclysm, you should be comfortable playing a holy paladin in Mists of Pandaria. The feel of, well, everything is pretty similar. The major difference for us is no longer needing to judge. Aside from that, Divine Protection doesn’t give you a sprint any longer, but you have access to your choice of speed enhancements in the first tier of the talents, so you’ll want to adapt to that. The fact that Beacon no longer expires is one less thing to keep track of, so you can basically set it and forget it.

I’ve healed a few runs of Temple of the Jade Serpent and Stormstout Brewery on beta and don’t seem to have much issue in terms of adapting to my newer spells/talents. It’ll be interesting to test them out in Heroic Dragon Soul, though. In particular, I am looking forward to hitting both my tanks with Hand of Sacrifice on Platform 3 during Heroic Madness of Deathwing, courtesy of Clemency.

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2012. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringement and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

Holy Paladin Roundtable

Oh my God, it’s a post to do with holy paladins! Shocking, I know. ;)

Back on August 4th, Megacode invited me, JoeEgo and Ophelie to join him for a Holy Paladin Roundtable. I got a chance to listen to it earlier this week and enjoyed how it turned out.

The ever-amazing, fantastically-talented Walks even made a sweet graphic about it. You can click the graphic to take you directly to the post on Mega’s blog.

You can also find the Holy Paladin Roundtable over at iTunes if you prefer!

Thanks again to Mega for putting this together. It was great to talk with him, Joe and Ophelie about holy pallies!

Speaking of holy paladins, fear not, I shall be putting together a “oh crap, 5.0 is here, WHAT DO I DO?” guide, coming soon. :)

Late Night Math: Pets, Beacon and Heroic Yor'sahj

Apotheosis (A-25m-2/8HM, seeking casters and a resto shaman! </shamelessplug>) got Heroic Hagara down as a server-first and our next target is Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping.

Assuming holy paladins are in the mix, a popular healing strategy is to beacon the tanks and heal the pets in the raid, because heals from Beacon of Light do not stack Deep Corruption and pets don’t receive stacks of Deep Corruption.

The question came up, the other day, about whether or not a hunter should use a Tenacity pet, who has the Blood of the Rhino talent. Would the lower DPS be worth 40% extra healing to a pet and then, ostensibly, 20% extra healing to the tank through Beacon of Light?

This was a popular strategy back on Valithria Dreamwalker. You would park a turtle or some other Tenacity pet with the same +healing talent basically on top of Dreamwalker or right next to her and you’d heal the pet for extra healing done. Unfortunately, this stopped being viable eventually when they fixed Blood of the Rhino to only affect the pet and no copied heals from that (ie: Beacon of Light).

But that was back in 3.3. Did 4.3 mean this was somehow working again?

I bothered Daey to get on his holy paladin, Saerani, while I was on Kurn and we experimented with him beaconing me and healing my pet. The first pet he healed was my cat, Whisper, who has no +healing talents at all, being a Ferocity pet.

So you can see here that Daey hits Whisper for 55355 (crit). This bounces to me for 27677, which is just half of that heal. (Yeah, I miss 100% Beacon transfers, too!) The same with the 27672 hit, that gets me for half — 13836. That is totally expected. This is the control for the experiment. Now let’s look at Daey healing my bear, Fozzie.

First, note that the non-crit heal hits for 40,102. Based on the heals Whisper got, it’s clear that Fozzie has the Blood of the Rhino talent if it hit him for a 40k non-crit.

But then you see that the heal to me was only 14322.

MATH TIME.

14322 x2 = 28644 x 1.4 = 40,101.6 = 40,102.

So the original heal size, without the Blood of the Rhino bonus was 28644. With the 40% extra healing, we get 40,101.6 (rounded up to 40,102). If this +healing did transfer through Beacon of Light, we wouldn’t see me being healed for half of the original heal’s size. We would see it be half of the final heal’s size. The final heal was 40,102, so we would be looking for 20,051 as the heal that I got. But alas, I was only healed for 14,322.

Let’s see how this holds up with the next heal.

Fozzie is healed for 71865. I get healed for 25666.

25666 x2 = 51,332 x 1.4 = 71,864.8 = 71,865

Yup, same deal.

So it’s quite clear — Blood of the Rhino does not transfer any extra +healing from the pet to the Beacon of Light target. As such, on the Heroic Yor’sahj the Unsleeping encounter, I do encourage you to beacon the tanks and heal the pets, but don’t gimp your hunters’ DPS by forcing them to bring a Tenacity pet to the raid. Their regular pet will do exactly the same thing a Tenacity pet will.

4.3 and Holy Paladins

There are quite a few changes for holy paladins as of patch 4.3. Some are nerfs, some are buffs, but either way, part of how we heal is going to change significantly.

According to MMO-Champion, patch 4.3 is dropping this week, as in tomorrow, November 29th, 2011.

Here are all the paladin changes that holy pallies will care about.

HOLY RADIANCE

  • Holy Radiance now has a 3.0-second cast time, no cooldown, and requires a player target. That target is imbued with Holy Radiance, which heals them and all group members within 10 yards instantly, and continues to heal them by a smaller amount every 1 second for 3 seconds.
  • Illuminated Healing (mastery) now also applies to Holy Radiance.

This means that Holy Radiance is now a spell with a target and a cast time, like just about every other spell we have. The healing from Holy Radiance will no longer emanate from us, but rather from the people we heal with the spell. Time to find a keybind or mousebind for Holy Radiance! (I’m still trying to figure that one out!) And our mastery will now also apply to targets healed with Holy Radiance.

As a result, several spells now include or exclude Holy Radiance in their effects:

So instead of a 3s base, it’s 2.5s base, just like Divine Light and Holy Light.

  • Infusion of Light now applies its cast time reduction from Holy Shock critical effects to Holy Radiance, in addition to its current effects.

Sweet, Infusion of Light procs will give us a super-fast cast of Holy Radiance.

  • Speed of Light no longer triggers from Holy Radiance and no longer lowers the Holy Radiance cooldown. Speed of Light now only triggers from Divine Protection.

This only makes sense. Holy Radiance no longer HAS a cooldown, so nothing should lower its non-existant cooldown. And we can’t constantly be casting Holy Radiance in order to get a speed buff. That would be silly. Unfortunately, this is technically a nerf, because now we only have one speed boost.

  • Paragon of Virtue now lowers the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15/30 seconds, up from 10/20 seconds.

But they buffed that, so we can now use Divine Protection every 30 seconds, which is pretty sweet.

  • Tower of Radiance, in addition to its current effects, now also causes Holy Radiance to always generate 1 charge of Holy Power at all times.

So this is a neat change that actually sort of gives us an “AOE rotation”. Cast three Holy Radiance on any target or targets (not just your beacon target!) and you’ll have three Holy Power. Cast Light of Dawn. Rinse and repeat. While no one is going to confuse us for resto druids or holy priests in 4.3, this does make us a little more viable as raid healers.

LIGHT OF DAWN

Yay for a buff! This means that everyone’s Light of Dawn will automatically try to hit 6 people. And if you’re in a 10-man raid group, there’s a change for you, too:

  • Glyph of Light of Dawn now lowers the number of targets to 4, instead of increasing targets to 6, but increases healing by 25%.

So that’s a nice little boost, too, and will be less wasteful. Light of Dawn may actually be worthwhile in 10-mans!

BEACON TRANSFERS

  • Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

That’s right, you can drop to 2/3 of Protector of the Innocent if you, like me, hate the talent, but felt badly about not sending the maximum amount of tiny heals to your Beacon target. Note that you should still have 1/2 Enlightened Judgements to ensure you hit the 8% melee hit cap to make sure your judgements are always hitting (to maintain Judgements of the Pure), but the small bits of healing from that also will not transfer, so if you were at 2/2 Enlightened Judgements for that reason, you can drop a point there quite safely.

Yes, this is technically a nerf, but I know that I’m actually not going to cringe when I go looking through a parse now, trying to line up all the itty, bitty Beacon of Light heals with whatever the holy paladin in question was doing at the time.

SEALS AND JUDGING

  • Seal of Insight, when Judged, no longer returns 15% base mana to the paladin. Judging Seal of Insight still causes damage, and melee attacks will still restore 4% of base mana.
  • In addition to providing haste, the effect from Judgements of the Pure now increases mana regeneration from Spirit by 10/20/30% for 60 seconds.

These two changes, quite simply, mean that we are no longer judging once every 8 seconds in order to regain 15% of our base mana. We will only need to judge once per minute to keep Judgements of the Pure active, not only for the increased haste, but for increased mana regeneration. Spirit is our friend!

And, well, that’s about it, to be honest. So really, just a change to Holy Radiance and talents that were affecting the old version/should affect the new version. A change to Light of Dawn and its glyph. A change to Seal of Insight and Judgements of the Pure. And a change to what heals transfer through Beacon.

SO WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO DIFFERENTLY?

Make sure you remember to bind the new Holy Radiance to something. You might want to add the Holy Radiance effect to your raid frames (tip: it’s called Holy Radiance!) so you can see how much of the raid is being affected by it. If you’re in a 10m group, you probably want to glyph Light of Dawn. And remember, no need to judge every 8 seconds. And you only have one sprint! But it’s usable every 30 seconds.

Don’t forget to check out my T13 (normal) loot list, too!

Good luck to you, whether you’re heading right for Dragon Soul or into one of the new dungeons!

Kurn's 4.3 Holy Paladin Gear List

(Edited on December 15th, 2011 — hotfixes aplenty affecting the 4pc bonus, Heart of the Unliving and Timepiece of the Bronze Flight!)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, patch 4.3 is expected to drop in about a week (estimated November 29th), so it’s time for another one of those silly gear posts. Bear in mind that this is my opinion only and I will be prioritizing secondary stats in the following manner (keeping in mind that Intellect is always our primary stat):

Spirit > Haste > Crit > Mastery

Why am I prioritizing as I am? Due to incoming changes to Judgements of the Pure, our regen will be much more reliant on spirit, so I’ll look to have spirit on each piece possible. Haste, while it will drop slightly in priority due to the changes to Holy Radiance, will still be useful in getting more casts out. Crit will still be somewhat lacklustre. Mastery will get a bump up because it will now apply to targets on whom you cast Holy Radiance (and presumably those healed by the AOE effect), but my personal playstyle is not that of a raid healer, so I’m going to continue to focus on Spirit/Haste-heavy gear.

Note that I will focus primarily on the 397 ilvl gear from normal Dragon Soul, but in many cases, the 384 (Looking For Raid) version will work just as well.

As to the 2pc and 4pc set bonuses for Tier 13… Well, I’ll have a bunch of different potential gearsets in this post, I guess. I like the 2pc (although I feel it’s a little underpowered) and while I like the 4pc, I’m not sure how much use I’m personally going to get from it.

For reference:

2pc Tier 13 set bonus: After using Divine Favor, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
4pc Tier 13 set bonus: Increases the healing done by your Holy Radiance spell by 20%. 5%. (This was hotfixed!)

It’s also important to note that ALL TIER will be dropping from raids, including lower ilvl (384) versions of the tier from the Looking for Raid difficulty, so no tier will be available with Valor Points. As well, Alizabal, the new Baradin Hold boss, seems to be dropping tier gloves and tier legs as both previous Baradin Hold bosses have done.

Tier 13/ilvl 397

HEAD

Two real options here, the tier helm and the vendor helm. That’s right, helms will be available for Valor Points at the vendor.

Glowing Wings of Hope: 2200 Valor Points from the VP vendor. This will take a bit longer than you would expect to earn. While the weekly cap is being raised to 1000 Valor Points, you’ll only earn 100 VP per raid boss kill (regardless of 10 or 25-man format). There are probably better pieces to pick up from the VP vendor first, so you might be waiting even longer than just collecting the 2200 VP (which is a minimum of two weeks and a bit). That said, the secondaries on this (spirit and crit) aren’t bad.

Headguard of Radiant Glory: This is the tier helm and the token for it drops off the sixth boss in the Dragon Soul raid, Warmaster Blackhorn. Why yes, that IS 280 mastery on it. My vote is for the non-tier helm! But let’s see what we can cobble together, shall we?

NECK

Again, two options here, one from the raid instance and one from the vendors.

Threadlinked Chain: 1250 Valor Points on this baby, which is still at least a week and a bit before you can afford this. Again, I’m not sure if this should be our priority for Valor Points, but we’ll see where we stand after going through all the loot. Plus, it’s got spirit, which is great, but it has crit, so it’s not what I would consider the best combination of stats.

Petrified Fungal Heart: Beautiful! Spirit and geez, would you look at that haste? Insane. The best news here is that this drops from the first boss in Dragon Soul, Morchok. This is definitely Kurn’s Choice ™, due to ease of acquisition and the pretty, pretty stats.

SHOULDERS

Uh. Absolutely no choices here. Go tier or go home.

Mantle of Radiant Glory: The good news? These are fantastic shoulders. 2 red sockets, 20 intellect socket bonus, lots of haste. Even better, the token for these aren’t off the second to last boss, like they were in Firelands or on an end-boss, like they were on Cho’gall in Bastion of Twilight. They’re off the fourth boss, Hagara the Stormbinder.

CLOAK

Again, no choices here as there is not one single cloak that drops in Dragon Soul.

Woundlicker Cover: Well, at least it’s a great cloak. Red socket, intellect bonus, spirit and haste, all for the bargain-basement price of 1250 Valor Points! This is looking as though it might be our number one VP purchase.

CHEST

Back to options! It’s nice to have a choice in gear.

Shining Carapace of Glory: All red sockets, all of the time, it appears. I’m not complaining. This chestpiece is available from the Valor Point vendor for 2200 VP and is possibly more easily available than the tier chest. Still, the crit makes me more inclined to put something else (like the cloak!) ahead of this on my potential shopping list.

Breastplate of Radiant Glory: YES PLEASE. Seriously, we have been blessed with some amazing chestpieces this expansion, but this is SERIOUSLY an amazing one. 3 sockets (including a yellow, so we can slot in a Reckless gem in there for one of our two yellow meta gem requirements) and plenty of haste. Even if you don’t like haste much as a secondary, the third socket makes this the winner, hands down. This drops off Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul.

WRISTS

I feel as though I’ve stumbled into an alternate universe because we have not one, not two, but three choices this tier. Is this really the same game that gave us just one 359 option for bracers?

Flashing Bracers of Warmth: Selling for a mere 1250 Valor Points at the vendor, these bracers are the easiest of the three to acquire. They also lack a socket and have mastery on them as a secondary. Still, not a terrible choice if your only other options are 378 bracers or if you’re doing that whole “mastery-stacking” thing.

Heartblood Wristplates: Pardon me as I attempt not to drool. Red socket, spirit, haste? Awesome. They drop off the third boss in Dragon Soul, Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, so they may not be terribly difficult to acquire.

Soul Redeemer Bracers: … okay, I’m drooling. These are crafted. The recipe for them is likely to be a drop from Dragon Soul. The materials for these actually aren’t too bad: 4 Truegold, 30 Volatile Life, 2 newly-unbound Chaos Orbs and, okay, well, the 4 Essences of Destruction will be the sticking point. These will likely be dropping in Dragon Soul the same way Living Embers did. Bear in mind that there are no heroic versions of this, so for the next ilvl tier, the drops from Yor’sahj will be better. But these are still amazing until you clear Dragon Soul and move into heroic modes.

HANDS

Two choices here with the gloves, one from the vendors, the other our tier.

Gleaming Grips of Mending: 1650 Valor Points for these. There’s a red socket, which is nice, but there’s that pesky mastery stat again. Still, if you don’t get lucky with your tier token, these are perfectly viable and adequate.

Gloves of Radiant Glory: The token for these drops off Warlord Zon’ozz, the second boss in Dragon Soul. A blue socket and crit as a secondary. Meh.

Honestly, this choice really depends on how much you hate mastery and how often Conqueror tokens drop off Yor’sahj. Either are fine, but the tier will obviously help with 2/4pc bonuses.

However, if you get through the Spine of Deathwing encounter, you get a shot at ilvl 403 loot and the only piece of ilvl 403 armor we might be interested in here are the gloves.

Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn: Very pretty. Two sockets, which is more than the other options, and plenty of spirit and haste. These get my vote.

WAIST

Again, I feel as though I’m in an alternate dimension. Coming out of a tier with just one belt option, in Tier 13, we’ll have… three?

Blinding Girdle of Truth: 1650 Valor Points will get you this belt from the VP vendor. Two sockets are always tempting, but then there’s all that mastery. Not a bad choice, but with two other choices, this is not my top option.

Dragonfracture Belt: Wow, this is an amazing belt. This belt is like the devs are saying “Hey, holy paladins? Yeah, we’re sorry about that one crappy belt option in T12. Enjoy!!” It drops off Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul. This is definitely my first pick.

Girdle of Soulful Mending: Now this is a curious item. It doesn’t seem to drop off any boss, nor is there a recipe for it. It’s also Bind on Equip. Could this be a trash drop in Dragon Soul? Assuming it’s actually in the game, I think we have to assume it is. As such, this is your easiest way to upgrade to a 397 belt, although it likely won’t be cheap. And while it has 20 intellect more (at base) than the other two belts, it only has one socket. Even without epic gems (which are being introduced in 4.3, but are supposed to be quite rare), this is still going to be a loss of intellect compared to the other two options.

Honestly, if you can’t get Ultraxion down with regularity or if you can’t cough up the VP for the belt, the BOE will do in a pinch, but the only thing it has going for it is that it’s relatively easy to get (trash runs, at the Auction House, etc).

LEGS

Just two options here. One is our tier legs and the other is another crafted item.

Greaves of Radiant Glory: Our tier legs, whose token drops from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, the third boss in Dragon Soul. 3 sockets are great, but that mastery. Why mastery? Alas. T11 pants were crap, T13 pants aren’t great, IMHO.

Pyrium Legplates of Purified Evil: The only other choice apart from tier are these crafted legs. While they are awesome, there will almost certainly not be a heroic version of these, which makes me a sad moose. (#sadmoose!) These call for 8 Truegold, 40 Volatile Life, 4 newly-unbound Chaos Orbs and 8 Essences of Destruction.

FEET

Some interesting options here.

Pillarfoot Greaves: Dropping from Morchok, the first boss of Dragon Soul, are these boots. Two sockets, plenty of spirit… and crit isn’t terrible. These are likely going to be fairly easy to pick up.

Silver Sabatons of Fury: These are AWESOME. And they’re available from the vendors for 1650 Valot Points. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Valor Point boots are Bind on Equip again, like they were for Tier 11!

Best thing to do here is farm up the VP on another character in the first week and a bit and buy them for your main raiding character. Or, save up ~15k or thereabouts and buy your boots off the Auction House in Week 2 of 4.3. The important thing here is that you not spend your main raiding character’s VP on these boots, as awesome as they are. You have other things to save for.

WEAPONS/SHIELDS

A couple of options here, though none as awesome as the Eye of Purification (as in, they’re all boring maces).

Vagaries of Time: Dropping off Morchok, the first boss of Dragon Soul, this is a snazzy mace. Good itemization, though no spirit means that those nasty shadow priests, moonkins and elemental shaman will also be after it. Definitely worth picking up.

That is, until…

Maw of the Dragonlord: Definitely a healing mace, based on the Equip. I wonder if it looks like Light of Dawn… Anyhow, Vixsin of Life in Group 5 recently tweeted: “Healers, start cozying up to your loot council, because Maw of the Dragonlord is doing 10-20% of my healing on PTR.” Of course, this drops at the end of the Madness of Deathwing encounter, so only if you’re clearing Dragon Soul can you expect to see this.

As to shields… well, there’s one healing shield, but there’s also an off-hand that might be worth checking out.

Timepiece of the Bronze Flight: The only healing shield you’ll find. It’s fine and all, but there’s no socket. It drops off Warmaster Blackthorn, the sixth boss of Dragon Soul. This has been hotfixed to add a red socket with a 10 int socket bonus. This is almost certainly what we’d like to pick up.

Ledger of Revolting Rituals: Now this is where it gets got a bit interesting. Dropping off Ultraxion, the 5th boss in Dragon Soul, this off-hand has a socket. Dropping an ordinary Brilliant Inferno Ruby (+40 intellect) into it will give it 20 more intellect than the shield (the version without the socket) and if it’s an epic brilliant cut, that’ll be 30 more intellect than the shield. Is 30 intellect better than 15 haste and 8 spirit? Hell yes.

The thing is, holy paladins and resto shaman and elemental shaman are the only ones who would want that shield, versus any priest, moonkin, resto druid, ele/resto shaman or holy paladin who is using a 1H/OH-or-shield combination. If you’ve got very little competition, go for the Ledger. If you have competition, go with the shield, at least until the off-hand is being disenchanted and such.

Right, so in LFR (and bear in mind that this list is for NORMAL raiding, not LFR!), the shield has been “tagged” for paladins and shaman while the ledger has been “tagged” for priests, druids, etc. That means that a paladin cannot “need” on the Ledger. But it’s okay, because the shield was hotfixed to add a red socket along with a 10 int bonus, so the shield comes out ahead of the Ledger any way you look at it now.

RINGS

Signet of Suturing: This is a ring that drops off of multiple bosses with a shared loot table, much like our awesome spellpower axe, the Eye of Purification, did in Firelands. It is awesome. End of story.

Band of Reconstruction: 1250 Valor Points for a decent ring. It’s got spirit, but also has mastery. The yellow socket and its weak bonus isn’t great either. Not a priority for our shopping list.

Ring of the Riven: No spirit on this, but some haste and mastery, which is a combination we don’t see a lot. It drops off Hagara the Stormbinder, the fourth boss in Dragon Soul.

I’ll probably aim for Signet of Suturing and then whichever I can reasonably get first, the Band or the Ring. Bear in mind that casters will want the Ring of the Riven as well, though.

TRINKETS

Reflection of the Light: The healer Valor Point trinket, available for 1650 VP. Spirit is good. The on-use is good for bursty moments, but remember that it’s not like the Fiery Quintessence, which gave us Intellect. This is pure spellpower.

Bottled Wishes: The “caster” Valor Point trinket, this can be yours for 1650 VP. Again, this may not be as useful given the changes to Holy Radiance and such, but if your heals are feeling sluggish, this might be useful. Also, the on-use spellpower effect can be helpful for some burst throughput.

— Thanks to Oestrus for pointing out that I’d missed the VP trinkets entirely. Whoopsiedoodle. And speaking of the VP trinkets, since neither one of them has intellect, I would recommend picking only one of them and keeping another, intellect-heavy trinket on you. I would probably aim for the Seal of the Seven Signs (see below) and Reflection of the Light, to be honest, but I reserve the right to change my mind.

Seal of the Seven Signs: Preeeetty. Shiiiiny. While it sucks that the haste boost is a proc and not an on-use like the Shard of Woe, this is still pretty decent, if only because of the huge amount of intellect. Plus, that’s a LOT of haste when it does proc. It probably has a 45s internal cooldown or something, so that can still be 4-6 procs (and thus, 80-120s) of hasted goodness during a ~5 minute fight. It drops from Warlord Zon’ozz, the second boss in Dragon Soul.

Windward Heart: Another item on that shared loot table, like the Signet of Suturing, this is interesting because, according to the comments on Wowhead, it’s got a ~25s internal cooldown.

Heart of Unliving: Another ilvl 403 item, this is from the Spine of Deathwing, the 7th fight in the Dragon Soul. On the one hand, this adds 880 spirit to you, which is monstrous, especially given the Judgements of the Pure changes. On the other, there’s absolutely no stats on this. It really depends how you’re doing with mana, to be honest. This was hotfixed to add 323 intellect to it, so while that’s a lot less than any other similar ilvl trinket, you still gte that monstrously insane amount of spirit. It would allow you to drop spirit on some other gear, like the Ring of the Riven, so that’s something to keep in mind.

RELICS

Well, technically, we have two choices, both available from the vendors for 700 Valor Points.

Lightning Spirit in a Bottle: The “healer” relic, this has spirit… and mastery.

Mindbender Lens: The “caster” relic, this has haste and crit, but no spirit.

Which you choose is really up to you and your playstyle and what other gear you have and how your mana regen is doing. Since neither are perfectly itemized, this may drop down the priority list when looking at Valor Point purchases.

VALOR POINT PRIORITY LIST

All right, here’s what I think your priority should be when spending your Valor Points. I am not including Silver Sabatons of Fury. These should be your FIRST Valor Point purchase, but use an alt or gold to get these!

1) Woundlicker Cover – 1250 VP for this awesome cloak.
2) Glowing Wings of Hope – 2200 VP for this helm. Given that the tier helm drops off the 6th boss and is “meh”, pick this helm up when you can.
3) Reflection of the Light OR Bottled Wishes – 1650 for either trinket. Again, just pick one of them and go intellect-heavy for the other, I’d say.
4) Your relic – 700 VP for either the “healer” or “caster” relic.
5) Gleaming Grips of Mending – 1650 VP for your gloves, IF you can’t get your tier gloves from Warlord Zon’ozz. Will be replaced by the gloves from the Spine of Deathwing, though.
6) Blinding Girdle of Truth – 1650 VP for your belt, IF you can’t get the one from Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul.
7) Shining Carapace of Glory – 2200 VP for a chest, IF and ONLY if you cannot, for the life of you, get your tier chest. Because as soon as you do get your tier chest, vendor this sucker.
8) Flashing Bracers of Warmth – 1250 VP for these bracers, IF you can’t get the crafted ones or the ones from Yor’sahj, the third boss in Dragon Soul.

Honestly, you shouldn’t really need to buy 5-8. You should be able to pick up the raid drops, even if it’s just the LFR versions (which are ilvl 384 instead of 397). If you manage to cap your Valor Points at 1000 per week and just buy the first four items (and use an alt or gold to get your boots), you’ll be mostly done with Valor Point collection after five weeks (and an additional 800 VP), barring terrible drops or terrible luck.

2PC, 4PC OR WHAT?

Well, here’s what I’m aiming for:

VP helm
Tier shoulders (obviously)
Tier chest (fantastic)
Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn (Spine of Deathwing drop)
Crafted legs

I will likely pick up, as I am able, the tier legs and tier gloves so that I can play with the 4pc bonus. But I don’t tend to raid heal, so the boost to Holy Radiance will likely be lost on me. (Plus, a 5% bonus to HR is a lot more underwhelming than the original 20% HR bonus. Really, the only time I’d be likely to use 4pc is on Ultraxion, but that’s because I mostly tank heal and occasionally raid heal on that one fight.)

If you go with the 4pc, I would recommend the helm and the legs and still go with the Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn because they are the prettiest pretty off-set things you’ll find this tier, so if you have to pick one item to be an off-set piece, it should be the gloves (particularly as there will be a heroic version of the gloves, but no heroic version of the crafted legs!).

OVERVIEW BY BOSS

And here’s what you might like to see drop from the various bosses.

Morchok: Vagaries of Time (mace), Petrified Fungal Heart (neck)

Warlord Zon’ozz: Seal of the Seven Signs (trinket), potentially tier glove token for Gloves of Radiant Glory

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping: Heartblood Wristplates (bracers), potentially tier leg token for Greaves of Radiant Glory

Hagara the Stormbinder: Ring of the Riven (ring), definitely tier shoulder token for Mantle of Radiant Glory

Ultraxion: Dragonfracture Belt (belt), definitely tier chest token for Breastplate of Radiant Glory (chest), potentially Ledger of Revolting Rituals (off-hand — not a shield!)

Warmaster Blackthorn: Potentially Timepiece of the Bronze Flight (shield)

Spine of Deathwing: Definitely Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn (hands), potentially Heart of Unliving (trinket)

Madness of Deathwing: Definitely Maw of the Dragonlord (mace)

Shared Loot Table: Signet of Suturing (ring), Windward Heart (trinket)

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

And that’s all I’ve got for you, folks. I do hope this is somewhat helpful for you as you enter Dragon Soul and start seeing all that lovely loot drop!

Holy Paladins in Mists of Pandaria (BlizzCon Day 1)

I am, sadly, not in Anaheim, but I did purchase the virtual ticket, so I’m going to attempt to separate my own feelings about the various announcements separate from paladin information, so there may be a few posts this weekend. Also, paladin information is kind of scarce at the moment. All we have is some info about the talent trees and such.

Please bear in mind that this is all based on the WoW Preview and Class Talent System panels and anything can (and may!) change.

So, first up, they’ve changed up talents and such. Gone are the days of a huge talent tree. At level 90, we will have 6 tiers, with 3 choices on each tier. You get to pick one from each tier and that’s it. You get these choices at level 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90.

That said, you still get your “iconic” abilities at level 10. You will, however, now get more iconic abilities as you level.

So you’ll have:

Core Class Abilities – things that are available to everyone in the class
Spec Abilities – things that are available to everyone in that spec of that class
Talents – the 6 talents you choose at various levels.

They showed a slide of some of the Holy Paladin spec abilities. These are things you get for going Holy at level 10 when you choose to specialize. Bear in mind that these may not be exactly the same as they currently are!

Level 10: Holy Shock and Walk in the Light. This looks to be the same passive we currently have.
Level 20: Holy Wrath. Yes, that’s right, this is now specific to holy paladins, as far as we know.
Level 30: Judgements of the Pure. I expect this will work similarly to how JotP will work in 4.3.
Level 32: Holy Light. Yup, this is specific to holy paladins. It was mentioned that all paladins will have Flash of Light but Holy Light and Divine Light will be specific to holy paladins.
Level 34: Sacred Cleansing. Well, at least we don’t have to put a talent point here, eh? ;)
Level 38: Holy Radiance. Well, that’s accessible a lot sooner, geez!
Level 40: Beacon of Light. Available around the same point as it is now.
Level 46: Divine Plea. Interesting place for it.
Level 50: Infusion of Light.

That’s all they gave us for holy and it’s all based on a screenshot, so I’m sure no one should count on that info to remain all that accurate. :)

Now, as to the paladin talents. Remember, these are available to all paladins! And we can only choose one of each tier. Thanks much to Walks for sending me his written-out versions of the talent choices. :)

Level 15

This is the Movement tier. Your choices are:

Speed of Light (instant, 1m cooldown)
Increases your movement speed by 60% for 6 seconds. During this time, you radiate healing to nearby allies.

Well. Interesting. This is obviously taken from our current Holy Radiance sprint move, although it lasts two seconds more than our current Holy Radiance sprint and I’m sure the healing done isn’t terribly strong.

Long Arm of the Law (8s cooldown)
A successful Judgment increases your movement speed by 45% for 4 seconds.

So this is a sprint that can happen every 8 seconds, but it lasts 2 seconds less than Speed of Light and is 15% less fast. Still, it’s not a button you hit that you wouldn’t normally hit at some point, so it’s kind of passive. Interesting.

Pursuit of Justice
You gain 10% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power.

So that’s a maximum of 30% speed, but it could be, well, forever. Interesting.

As a holy paladin participating in PVE content, based on this information, I would likely select Speed of Light.

Level 30

This is the Crowd Control tier.

Fist of Justice (Instant, 30s cooldown)
Stuns the target for 6 seconds.

This replaces Hammer of Justice, but you’ll note that the CD is 30s, not the 60s that HoJ is.

Repentance (1.5s cast, no cooldown)
Puts the enemy target in a state of meditation, incapacitating them for up to 1 minute. Any damage from sources other than Censure will awaken the target. Usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids, and Undead.

Seal of Justice
Fills the Paladin with Holy Light, causing direct attacks to reduce the target’s movement speed by 50% for 5 sec and deal 87 additional Holy damage.

So that’s clearly the PVP way to go. ;) Actually, the Fist of Justice might be, too. Repentance for me!

Level 45

This can be considered the damage reduction tier. Sort of.

Blessed Life (8s internal cooldown)
You have a 100% change to gain a charge of Holy Power whenever you take direct damage or are stunned, feared, or immobilized. This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds.

They did say that, absolutely, this is direct-damage. Standing in AOE will not proc this.

Sacred Shield (60s internal cooldown)
When reduced below 30% health, you gain the Sacred Shield effect. Sacred Shield absorbs damage and increases healing received by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds.

Sadly, this is not the Sacred Shield of WotLK, but rather the one from the ret tree.

Ardent Defender (Instant, 3m cooldown)
Reduces damage taken by 20% for 10 seconds. While Ardent Defender if active, the next attack that will kill you will instead cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health.

Yup, Ardent Defender is planned to be available to all paladins.

I would probably grab Sacred Shield, since, as a healer, it’s rare that something will choose to beat on me specifically, so Blessed Life is a bit less useful. Ardent Defender is also more useful for someone expecting to take damage, so Sacred Shield seems to be the choice.

Level 60

This is clearly the healing tier. Finally, something that might be useful for us in terms of healing!

Selfless Healer (8s internal cooldown)
Your successful Judgments reduce the mana cost of your next Flash of Light by 50% and improve its effectiveness by 50% when used to heal others. Stacks up to 2 times.

Interesting. Over the course of 16 seconds, you can get a free Flash of Light. If Judgements of the Pure continues into 5.0 the way that it’s going to work in 4.3, this will probably not be the optimal choice for a PVE-based holy paladin, just because we’re not going to judge that much.

Eternal Glory (assumed 15s internal cooldown, based on this spell)
Your Word of Glory and Light of Dawn have a 30% change to not consume Holy Power.

Interesting change! Light of Dawn is now part of Eternal Glory. Really, that should have happened this expansion.

Holy Shield (requires at least 1 Holy Power)
Shields a friendly target, absorbing more damage per each charge of Holy Power consumed for 10 seconds.

Well, now. That’s certainly interesting… We get to shield people? Tempting, tempting!

As it stands, Selfless Healer is pretty lame for holy paladins in PVE. But Eternal Glory, particularly with its addition of Light of Dawn from its current incarnation, is tempting. It’s clearly the throughput choice. But Holy Shield is very interesting and possibly compelling, too. It would really depend, of course, on how much damage is actually absorbed. I would tentatively say that one should take Eternal Glory as a raid healer and Holy Shield as a tank healer.

Level 75

The utility tier!

Veneration
Your Consecration causes the Veneration effect on party or raid members within its area.

Veneration — you are immune to movement impairing effects for 6 seconds.

We’re never going to get “if you stand in my consecration, it will heal you”, will we? Anyhow. Definitely a PVP-related talent, at least according to how PVE stuff plays out at the moment.

Acts of Sacrifice
Reduces the cooldown by 20% and the mana cost by 20% of your Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Sacrifice.

In addition, your Cleanse will removed one movement impairing effect if cast upon yourself.

I almost wrote this off entirely, because who cares about the Cleanse and movement impairing effects? Then I re-read it. Reduces the cooldown by 20% of your HoFreedom, BOP and HoSac. Right now, HoFreedom is 25 seconds, so that would reduce it to 20 seconds. BOP is five minutes, so that would drop to four minutes and, properly specced, our HoSac is 90 seconds, but the base for all paladins is two minutes, so assuming a 2m CD here, it goes from 120 seconds to 96 seconds. Snazzy.

Clemency (5 minute cooldown)
When activated, immediately finishes the cooldown on your Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Sacrifice.

Even snazzier!

While Acts of Sacrifice is passive, Clemency is like a Marksmanship Hunter’s Readiness talent. Although it has a long cooldown itself, how awesome would it be to have BOP and HoSac up again at the touch of a button? Man, I wish we had this already. I can think of times (*cough*heroicshannox*cough*) where this would be useful in current content.

Level 90

This is, as Ghostcrawler said, all about burst and cooldowns. (Or, as Walks put it, Holy Power, Batman!)

Holy Avenger (Effective 5 minute cooldown)
Summoning your Guardian of Ancient Kings also imbues you with the power of a Holy Avenger [for 10 seconds].

Holy Avenger — none of your abilities consume Holy Power and cast as if 3 Holy Power were consumed. Lasts 10 seconds.

Interesting. A ten-second window where no Holy Power is used and those abilities are cast as if 3 charges of HP were used. On a five minute cooldown, using the current cooldown for Guardian of Ancient Kings. Not really a fan from a healer perspective, to be honest.

Sanctified Wrath (Effective 2 minute cooldown)
You gain more frequent access to one of your abilities during Avenging Wrath [for 20 seconds].

Holy — Holy Shock has no cooldown
Protection — Judgement has no cooldown
Retribution — You can use Hammer of Wrath

When I first read this, I missed the bit about Avenging Wrath being active. Whoops. ;) Still, every ~2 minutes, a 20-second window where Holy Shock has no cooldown and, as a result, we basically have limitless Holy Power? Yup, I’ll take that.

Divine Purpose (15% chance, assumed internal cooldown)
Abilities that cost Holy Power have a 15% chance to cause the Divine Purpose effect.

Divine Purpose — Your next Holy Power ability will consume no Holy Power and act as if 3 Holy Power were consumed.

This is probably the “safe” bet. A lot of the talents GC talked about in all the trees offered one passive version of something and one active version of something. This is clearly the passive version of Sanctified Wrath. Rather than have it all in a couple of 20s chunks, you get a bunch of extra healing over the course of your fight.

Tough choice between Sanctified Wrath and Divine Purpose. I think it would depend heavily on the encounters and would also depend on if the CD for Avenging Wrath changes. If it’s any longer than 2 minutes, maybe Divine Purpose is the way to go.

Check out this post at MMO-Champion to see all the talent choices for all the classes!

Stay tuned for more BlizzCon-related posts!

A Gear Post

I haven’t really spoken a lot about holy paladin gear of late. I think, actually, that the last post I wrote about it had to do with me stacking mastery to see how it would work out.

The Great Mastery Stacking Experiment lasted approximately two and a half weeks.

The whole reason I stacked mastery was because, due to various upgrades I had gotten, there was no way I could continue to stack intellect gems and still hit my ~1860 haste breakpoint to give me that 14th tick of Holy Radiance, given Judgements of the Pure being active, 3/3 Speed of Light (for 3% extra haste) and the 5% haste buff that can be gotten through a moonkin’s aura, a shadow priest’s aura or a shaman’s Wrath of Air totem.

Plus, there was a lot of chatter going on about mastery at the time.

So I reforged, regemmed and re-enchanted all of my gear to mastery. My gems were Artful Ember Topaz (20 int/20 mastery) and the only spot I didn’t have mastery were my boots, because I didn’t want to waste guild bank funds for Lavawalker for a mere 35 mastery rating.

It worked okay. I saw a distinct difference in terms of what I was capable of doing and I saw differences in tank squishiness. I do spend a LOT of my time just healing my tank(s), so why not, right?

However, as soon as I was able to hit my breakpoint again, thanks to more upgrades, I swapped everything back to full intellect gems, reforging to spirit and haste once again.

I did this for two major reasons:

1) I didn’t like the slow casts. While my (much beefier) mastery bubbles were doing okay at preventing tank deaths .5 seconds before my cast would finish, it felt as though I was casting through molasses. It was intolerable for me and it wasn’t something I ever got used to doing in the ~2.5 weeks I was stacking mastery.

2) The knowledge that I wasn’t able to help out with raid healing as much (and I don’t do a whole lot of it as it was or even is) was disheartening. I just didn’t like being pigeon-holed into a tank healing only role, which is hilarious, because THAT’S WHAT I DO.

But go figure, I suddenly felt as though stacking mastery was gimping me beyond what I was comfortable with and I didn’t feel a huge help from the mastery. It helped now and again, sure, but I didn’t feel as though what I was getting from mastery was at all worth all the intellect, spirit, haste and versatility that I was giving up.

So I went back to spirit and haste.

I got my T12 4pc a few weeks ago. It wasn’t my preferred four pieces, mind you.

In my T12 gear post, I had seen a problem. If one goes for the 4pc bonus, which piece should be the offset piece?

I had concluded that the gloves should be the offset piece, electing to pick up the Grips of the Raging Giant from Lord Rhyolith, primarily because the tier 12 Immolation Gloves have no spirit. Since our only 378 ilvl belt option, the Belt of the Seven Seals, also has no spirit, I decided to go with the Rhyolith gloves and aim for the helm, shoulders, chest and legs for my 4pc.

Picking the gloves as my offset meant not using the Clutch of the Firemother, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a very pretty piece of equipment, which is sad, but I was determined to have spirit on my gloves and I had plenty of haste to maintain my Holy Radiance breakpoint.

This was all done before I actually set foot into Firelands, mind you.

I ended up getting my T12 Immolation Headguard and then realized that if I bought the gloves, I would have my 4pc. So that’s what I did.

Behold, Divine Flame, our 4pc set bonus!

Too bad it sucks.

Looking over recent logs, over all boss attempts the other night, it did 1.2% of my total healing and overhealed 74% of the time. The most healing it’s ever really done for me was something like 3.3% and that must have been the stars aligning or something, because it’s usually around 1-2% of my total healing.

You can hear my initial reactions to the 4pc (and how underwhelming it is) on Episode 33 of Blessing of Frost.

Still, I figured, it’s free healing. That can’t be bad, right?

Well, when the heroic version of Clutch of the Firemother dropped on Tuesday night, I told Walks it was his if he wanted it, because it had never dropped on normal for him. He was reluctant and we both ended up selecting “Minor Upgrade” for it, which is an option you can choose within our guild that means that “I want this, but let anyone else who hit main spec for it get it before me”.

And I won it, with Walks insisting he wouldn’t use it until he got heroic shoulders off of Majordomo Staghelm — whom we haven’t even pulled on heroic yet.

So with the chest upgrade, I now have a choice: Break 4pc by keeping my Rhyolith gloves or keep 4pc by going back to my T12 gloves?

I’m going to break the bonus.

Let’s be clear: T11 tier was pretty terrible for us, but at least some of the T12 pieces are great. The helm and the legs, in particular, are fantastic from a holy paladin perspective. Your shoulder choices are tier (with crit as a secondary) or the ones from Beth’tilac (with mastery as a secondary), so I’ll go with the tier shoulders any day (slightly preferring crit to mastery). But the tier chest falls flat compared to Clutch of the Firemother if you’re not aiming for the 4pc.

If our 4pc were absolutely fantastic, I would have stuck to my gloves being my offset piece, but it’s really not that awesome. I do have all five tier pieces now, however, so I can swap things around a bit if I like, but really — Divine Flame recently did 27,000 healing total on a 6-minute heroic Shannox fight where I did 1.8 million healing.

I should probably go back to that gear post and plaster all over it that 4pc isn’t worth it, and maybe I’ll get around to that when time permits, but for right now, get your two-piece however you can (because that IS pretty awesome) and aim for your legs and your helm to be the two pieces you really hold on to.

Comfortable with my Class

On Tuesday night, Apotheosis got Heroic Beth’tilac 25 down.

Dar, one of our resto shaman, had posted to say she wasn’t going to be there, which left me with a difficult decision: who was going to heal Dar’s people in the northwest? For 28 attempts, Dar had dutifully healed that particular corner.

In order for it to go as smoothly as possible, I wanted to make as few major changes as I could.

What did that mean? That meant that I was going to take her spot.

I got to heal our moonkin, Hitoku and, lucky me, Majik, my caster officer and my co-host over at Blessing of Frost.

(The “lucky me” was sarcasm. If you couldn’t tell. ;))

So, for 28 attempts prior to Tuesday, I was essentially healing the ground tank, keeping an eye on Dar and other healers, taunting spinners down and generally watching everything, as a raid leader is prone to doing. I had never assigned myself to a cave and, to be honest, I would be happy if I never had to do so again… But I digress.

It took us 10 pulls to kill Beth’tilac Tuesday, bringing us to 3/7 25-man heroics. For each of those 10 pulls, I was healing my cave group, although my cave group migrated from northwest to southeast at one point. Jasyla said she liked that little northwest corner better and I could totally see why. The southeast corner is cramped and crowded!

Anyhow, during the first attempt, I lost Majik. Then, several other people died. So it wasn’t totally my bad, but I vowed to do better.

In the span of 10 pulls, ladies and gentlemen, I became a cave-healer pro. I kicked some ass. Not only did I keep my targets alive, but on try 10, our kill, approximately 97% of the Engorged Broodlings that spawned wanted to blow me up. I am not joking. Better still, I have it all frapsed and it’s embedded below. (Bear in mind that in P2, my computer suddenly decided to violently revolt and I experienced some tremendous lag and loss of framerate. It’s not the best video ever, but it is our first kill.)

 

Kurn, you may be wondering, what on earth does any of this have to do with being comfortable with your class?

Good question!

On the kill attempt, I was constantly the target of the broodlings, as I mentioned. Walks was healing up in the northeast and one thing he had been saying earlier in the night was that if a broodling was heading for someone at southeast, there was no way he could stop them, since they’re up on some damn ledge. So he took to calling out “ledge”.

Of course, on the kill attempt, his broodlings came at me frequently. So I was always calling out “got it”, while running to the ledge where the spiders come down from, while ALSO trying to heal Majik and Hitoku and, you know, trying not to kill myself while doing so.

I think it was only after the whole raid was over for the night that I realized that there was no way in hell I would have been able to manage all that crap (seriously, FOURTEEN broodlings hit me!) AND keep Maj and Hitoku alive if I weren’t extremely comfortable with how my class works.

It’s almost instinctual after a certain point. Granted, my instincts aren’t always spot-on or great or whatever, as you can tell since I do let Judgements of the Pure drop off and don’t use my Guardian and the like on the kill (which I’ll blame on the fact that my computer was about to throw up on me) but they really served me well over the whole raid night. At various points during the entire night, I popped cooldowns appropriately, even using Lay on Hands on Hitoku at one point. I figured out where my Beacon of Light was best put to use (sadly, on Majik) and basically, that was all the real thinking I had to do about how to heal my group.

Venom Rain? Aura Mastery. I’m low on health? Pop my bubble to buy myself some extra time to heal up my group members before turning to myself. Need to regen mana? Use my shiny Fiery Quintessence and pop Divine Plea. See 3 bright orange beams on me from Engorged Broodlings? Don’t panic, use instant heals like Holy Shock and Word of Glory until I’m in position to interrupt one and can start casting again.

Paladins have changed substantially since the original World of Warcraft game came out. Holy paladins have changed and evolved right along with the other specs. While we still need to stand still and cast to be most effective, Holy Radiance (well, the current iteration, not the 4.3 version!), Holy Shock, Word of Glory and a Flash of Light with Infusion of Light proc are all things we can do on the run. Even a 1-2 point Word of Glory can be useful (you can see in the video I made some use of that) if you’re on the move and someone needs a heal ASAP.

Giving Divine Protection a shorter cooldown for Holy (due to Paragon of Virtue) is great and it came in handy all through the night when magical damage (which includes nature damage, which is what those nasty little Engorged Broodlings emit) was troubling me. No problem — Shift-A (my keybind for Divine Protection) to the rescue!

During the night, apart from maybe the first pull or two, despite having absolutely no experience healing where I was healing and healing the people I was healing, I felt calm and in control of myself.  I really do attribute my ability to adapt to cave healing to knowing what all my buttons do. The only thing I didn’t use duing the night was Hand of Freedom and I could have used it when I was stuck in the Volatile Poison on the ground at one point on our kill.

I encourage everyone to take a second look at all your abilities. Not just the ones in the holy tree, look at prot and ret as well. Read through your spellbook and be sure you understand what your abilities do. Armed with that knowledge, you can walk into a fight and adapt much more quickly than you would otherwise. Don’t forget about your Hand spells, your procs, your set-it-and-forget-its (like Holy Radiance and Guardian of Ancient Kings).

Paladins are very strong healers and not restricted to tank healing. Not only that, but we have a ton of utility, so don’t forget to use those utility spells! Once you know exactly what you’re capable of doing, you’ll react with your instincts, leaving your brain to sit there and worry about where you should be standing, rather than what spell to use.

(And you can always read through my second revamped Holy How-To Guide to help you out!)

Substantial Holy Paladin Changes in 4.3 (PTR)

MMO-Champion’s datamining has revealed a number of forthcoming changes to holy paladins on the public test realm for 4.3.

Let’s just jump right into the raw changes and then I’ll talk about what they potentially mean.

  • Divine Plea: You gain 12% of your total mana over 9 sec, but the amount healed by your healing spells is reduced by 50% and grants a charge of Holy Power. . 50%.
  • Holy Radiance: 40 yd range | 3 sec cast 1 min cooldown | Instant | Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target and Heals all party or raid members friendly targets within 10 20 yards for 50 up to 61 and another 683 every 1 sec for 3 sec sec, with effectiveness diminishing on targets farther than 8 yards away and grants a charge of Holy Power. . for each additional player target beyond 6. Lasts 10 sec.
  • Infusion of Light: Your Holy Shock critical hits reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance Divine Light by 0.75 sec.
  • Infusion of Light: Your Holy Shock critical hits reduce the cast time of your next Flashof Light, Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance Divine Light by 1.5 sec.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste and mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat. haste.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste and mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat. haste.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste and mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat. haste.
  • Seal of Insight: Unleashing this Seal’s energy will deal [1 + 25% of SPH + 16% of AP] Holy damage to an enemy. enemy and restore 15% of the Paladin’s base mana.
  • Clarity of Purpose: Reduces the casting time of your Holy Light, Divine Light and Holy Radiance Divine Light spells by 0.15 sec.
  • Clarity of Purpose: Reduces the casting time of your Holy Light, Divine Light and Holy Radiance Divine Light spells by 0.3 sec.
  • Clarity of Purpose: Reduces the casting time of your Holy Light, Divine Light and Holy Radiance Divine Light spells by 0.5 sec.
  • Infusion of Light: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy Shock by 5%. In addition, your Holy Shock critical effects reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance Divine Light by 0.75 sec.
  • Infusion of Light: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy Shock by 10%. In addition, your Holy Shock critical effects reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light or Holy Radiance Divine Light by 1.5 sec.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste by 3% for 1 min and your mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by 10%. min.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste by 6% for 1 min and your mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by 20%. min.
  • Judgements of the Pure: Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste by 9% for 1 min and your mana regeneration from Spirit while in combat by 30%. min.
  • Light of Dawn: Consumes all Holy Power to send a wave of healing energy before you, healing up to 6 5 of the most injured targets in your party or raid within a 30 yard frontal cone for 605 to 674 per charge of Holy Power.
  • Paragon of Virtue: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 30 20 sec, Hand of Sacrifice by 30 sec and Avenging Wrath by 60 sec.
  • Paragon of Virtue: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15 10 sec, Hand of Sacrifice by 15 sec and Avenging Wrath by 30 sec.
  • Speed of Light: Grants 1% spell haste. haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 13 sec. In addition, Casting Holy Radiance or Divine Protection increases your movement speed by 20% for 4 sec.
  • Speed of Light: Grants 2% spell haste. haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 26 sec. In addition, Casting Holy Radiance or Divine Protection increases your movement speed by 40% for 4 sec.
  • Speed of Light: Grants 3% spell haste. haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 40 sec. In addition, Casting Holy Radiance or Divine Protection increases your movement speed by 60% for 4 sec.
  • Tower of Radiance: Healing the target of your Beacon of Light with Flash of Light or Divine Light has a 33% chance to generate a charge of Holy Power. In addition, casting Holy Radiance will always generate one charge of Holy Power.
  • Tower of Radiance: Healing the target of your Beacon of Light with Flash of Light or Divine Light has a 66% chance to generate a charge of Holy Power. In addition, casting Holy Radiance will always generate one charge of Holy Power.
  • Tower of Radiance: Healing the target of your Beacon of Light with Flash of Light or Divine Light has a 100% chance to generate a charge of Holy Power. In addition, casting Holy Radiance will always generate one charge of Holy Power.

Whew. Okay, let’s take these one at a time. Bear in mind that Ghostcrawler has also posted some thoughts about various changes. Plus, the first set of patch notes is up.

Divine Plea: Same as always, but now also grants you one charge of Holy Power. Great, excellent. Anything that adds Holy Power is pretty good.

Holy Radiance: 40 yd range | 3 sec cast | Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target and all party or raid members within 10 yards for 50 to 61 and another 683 every 1 sec for 3 sec and grants a charge of Holy Power. This is different. We will now have a cast time for Holy Radiance and it will be a targettable spell. You will drop the Holy Radiance effect on top of someone and THEY will heal themselves and all party/raid members within 10 yards, etc, etc. Note that this is a much smaller radius than we’re used to (10 vs. 20 yards) and it’s been confirmed that there is no cooldown. There is still the cast time, however, and I would presume that the mana cost has not decreased. As well, note that it only heals for a total of 3 seconds. So it looks as though you get an initial heal on the target/allies within 10 yards and then 3 ticks (without haste included) of the new Holy Radiance spell. Oh and look, a charge of Holy Power.

Finally, Ghostcrawler has let us know that Holy Radiance will now benefit from Illuminated Healing, our much-maligned mastery. I guess we’ll see how that goes. Certainly it’s a buff to our mastery if another of our spells is going to benefit from it, but I don’t see the overall healing done by Holy Radiance, even in its new form, to be anywhere close to the mitigation from, say, Divine Aegis from a discipline priest’s Prayer of Healing.

Clarity of Purpose and Infusion of Light: Both of these talents remain the same except they affect the cast time of Holy Radiance now, as well as Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light.

Seal of Insight: The key point here is that judging with Seal of Insight up no longer grants you 15% of your base mana! Goodbye, judging on cooldown.

Judgements of the Pure: You’re now going to get more mana regeneration from keeping Judgements of the Pure up. At 3/3 JotP, you’re getting 30% extra regen from Spirit while in combat. This will keep us judging once a minute and makes up for the fact that we will no longer gain mana from judging. Ghostcrawler said we’d want to judge every 30 seconds, though the JotP duration has not (yet) changed. I guess we’ll want to watch for that to potentially drop to a 30s duration. At any rate, we were always getting a set rate of 3513 mana back per judgement (not including the cost of judging) and nothing we ever did could change that. This change tells us that more mana regen is available by stacking spirit. Interesting…

Light of Dawn: As Ghostcrawler said, this is moving to a baseline of 6 targets, up from 5. The associated Glyph of Light of Dawn will be changed to lower the number of targets but increase the output. The glyph changes this to 4 targets with a 25% boost in throughput.

Paragon of Virtue: Just a slight change to 15s and 30s off of Divine Protection’s cooldown as opposed to 10s and 20s.

Speed of Light: Still grants us 1/2/3% of spell haste, but casting Holy Radiance will NO LONGER give us a speed boost. Well, now the Paragon of Virtue change makes sense. Ghostcrawler says it’s a nerf compared to 4.2 (and it is, since we now only have one sprint) but, to be fair, if there’s no cooldown on Holy Radiance, it would hardly make sense to constantly have a 60% speed boost.

Tower of Radiance: I would say that they are attempting to pigeon-hole us into taking Tower of Radiance. I actually like the talent, but I know there are several builds out there that don’t drop 3 points here. Now, though, it’s worth taking even if you never directly heal your beacon, because it ensures (at least one point, anyhow) that you will always gain one charge of Holy Power anytime you cast Holy Radiance.

So. What do you fine folks think of the changes?