Kurn's Holy Paladin Pre-Tier 11 Gear List (4.0.3)

Welcome one and all to Kurn’s Holy Paladin Pre-T11 Raid Gear List. Before we begin, let me warn you that I hate writing gear posts. I don’t do it often and I don’t know if I’ll do a BiS at T11 or T12 or anything else, but I’ve gotten a lot of people asking me about gear and rep and everything that I really felt this would be useful. The biggest reason I don’t do them is that hey, who’s to say that I’m the person who knows exactly what to wear? And also, it’s a pain to insert all the links to all the pieces. ;)

So. Here’s the caveat: These are my opinions only. Please feel free to comment with pieces you’d use instead. Please, let’s not argue about the relative stat values of crit, haste, mastery and spirit. Feel free to say that you’d want more crit, so you’d want X, Y and Z pieces, but I don’t want to moderate an argument over what secondaries are The Best. The expansion’s been out for less than a week and it’ll take a little longer than that for the community as a whole to figure out what’s “The Best”.

Here’s how I’m planning to gear pre-raid. My ideal gearset is based heavily off Vile Pickle’s BiS guide, but tweaked to my own preferences. I’m prioritizing haste and spirit over mastery and mastery over crit. I’m also ignoring anything that wastes valuable item stat points on resilience.

The first thing I did at BiS was select:

Hard Mode
Normal Mode
Available
5-Man
Other Size

That turned up a variety of items, which I then looked at in turn. Note that I didn’t edit the filters and weights, because I like BiS’s weighting intellect and spirit more than haste, which is more than crit and mastery. Basically, the default filters at BiS reflect my own gearing philosophy very well.

Also, remember, do NOT downgrade to mail! This was viable and useful in Wrath of the Lich King and I’m sure we all remember clothadins from Vanilla and BC, but in Cataclysm, you’ll lose out on your Plate Specialization bonus!

Helm: If you’re not an engineer, you may want to save 2200 Justice points for Crown of the Blazing Sun as it’s one of only two pre-raid helms that has a meta socket. It’s either the Crown (guaranteed purchase) or the Helm of Untold Stories from Lord Godfrey in heroic Shadowfang Keep.

Neck: The Quicksilver Amulet is beefy with the stats I want: spirit and haste. You get it from Steelbender in heroic Blackrock Caverns. Of course, the Celadon Pendant isn’t bad either, although it has mastery as opposed to haste, and is much more easily acquired with 1250 Justice points.

Shoulder:
Harp Shell Pauldrons from Ulthok in heroic Throne of the Tides are the clear winner in this slot. Spirit, haste and a socket! A red socket! I’d dump a Brilliant cut in there anyways, and it gives me an extra 10 haste. Sweet.

I wouldn’t really use the Pauldrons of the Forlorn or the Cinnabar Shoulders. Why? The Pauldrons have spirit, a socket and crit, which is my personal least-prioritized stat at the moment. I wouldn’t use the Cinnabar Shoulders because there’s no spirit.

Cloak: Solar Wind Cloak from Rajh in heroic Halls of Origination is pretty much the be-all and end-all of cloaks at this level. Spirit and haste aplenty. It’s such a good cloak that even the regular version is, IMHO, worth using over other 346 items.

If you’re absolutely desperate for a cloak and cannot find one ANYWHERE, get the Cloak of the Dryads which is a rep reward from Hyjal at Honored. Since you’re a healer, you want to be at least revered with this faction, so this is one you can acquire pretty easily. (A note, as a human who did all of Hyjal, I got 8000 rep into Revered after doing the whole zone. Getting to Honored is not an issue if you do all of Hyjal and wearing their tabard at friendly if you don’t feel like doing the zone is a great way to build up rep.)

Chest: If you’re using the selections I did on the BiS site filter and you’re looking at chests, the third one that pops up is the Light Elementium Chestguard. Looks good, right? Pretty and purple and shiny? Well, not so much. There are no sockets, no spirit… and the crafting requires three Chaos Orbs. Right now, Chaos Orbs are BOP, so your crafter has to be the one to acquire them off the last boss of a heroic dungeon. So either prepare to pay through the nose for this or get to be buddy-buddy with a Blacksmith who’ll run with you.

A much better solution is the Peacemaker’s Breastplate from Revered with the Earthen Ring. TWO sockets, spirit and haste. Sweet deal. Don’t feel like grinding rep with Earthen Ring or doing Vashj’ir? A good alternative is the Omega Breastplate from Anraphet in heroic Halls of Origination.

Wrist: Geez, not a lot of options here. I’m going to try to grab Bracers of Umbral Mending (the regular version is also decent) from Erudax in heroic Grim Batol.

Hands: Since I went Hyjal at the start and don’t particularly want to grind Earthen Ring rep, even as a human, I’m going to forego the World Keeper’s Gauntlets in favour of the Gloves of Curious Conscience which are acquired with 1650 Justice points. Yes, there’s a lot more intellect on the WKGs, but the GoCC also have a socket and have haste. And they’re just so much easier to get.

Belt: And here’s the reason I don’t want to grind Earthen Ring rep for a piece with no haste. The Sun King’s Girdle which is an exalted Ramkahen rep reward is clearly best in slot for us pre-raid. Like, it’s not even a question. If you’re a Blacksmith or have easy access to a crafter, Light Elementium Belt (2 Chaos Orbs!) isn’t a bad choice, but I think you’re much better off grinding Ramkahen rep. If you don’t have time for a rep grind like that, Belt of Barred Clouds for 1650 Justice points is pretty good, just not as good as the SKG.

Legs: Another bunch of pretty poor choices here, which means we’re going to have to go kill Lord Godrey in heroic Shadowfang Keep again for Greaves of the Misguided.

Feet: So bearing in mind that we’re going to hit exalted with Ramkahen, the natural choice in boots for us will be the Drystone Greaves which you get at Honored. 333, yes, but better than anything else out there, honestly, at least from my gearing perspective.

Rings: Lots of choices here! So many that it’s kind of overwhelming. But basically the ones I’d probably say are easiest to get are these:

Ring of the Great Whale – a BOE drop out of heroic Throne of the Tides, meaning it should be on the AH
Diamant’s Ring of Temperance – a revered reputation reward from Therazane, with whom you need to be exalted anyways for your shoulder enchant

Trinkets: Man, I’m just drooling over some of these…

Darkmoon Card: Tsunami – The Solace of the Defeated of Cataclysm. Beauty. Unfortunately, this is a Darkmoon Card, so you have to collect the Ace, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight of Waves or a Tsunami Deck already assembled. This is NOT going to be cheap.

Tyrande’s Favorite Doll – This comes from Archaeology, so this may actually never be something you can actually craft, considering the randomness of the profession.

Okay, let’s stop dreaming. On to stuff that’s much more realistic.

Mandala of Stirring Patterns – This is an interesting trinket that comes from being exalted with your local Tol Barad faction. I’m kind of eh about it, but it’s definitely interesting.

Witching Hourglass – Ascendent Lord Obsidius in heroic Blackrock Caverns.

Rainsong – BOE zone drop from heroic Vortex Pinnacle. Pretty awesome looking, actually.

Tear of Blood – dropped from High Priestess Azil from heroic Stonecore. THIS is something I really want. But I’ve heard the horror stories about heroic Stonecore… :)

What am I going to use? I’m not sure, but one of them will likely be Figurine – Dream Owl since I’m a Jewelcrafter. You get these odd drops as a JC that push you to “restore” various figurines and this is the healer version. I have this one already and like it very much.

Since I’m an alchemist there’s also the Lifebound Alchemist Stone that I may swap in now and again just for the buff to mana potions taken and for the stam. Since World of Logs STILL hasn’t updated things, I still don’t feel I have a firm grasp on how awesome our mastery is, but I feel it’s a decent stat. Just maybe not in the trinket spot. For now, I’m using this with a 35 mastery gem as part of my ret set. (Seriously, Hand of Light -> Templar’s Verdict -> 3HP TV -> Hand of Light -> TV = win.)

Weapon: Forget the Elementium Hammer if only because of the Chaos Orb issue. Go for the Scepter of Power from Setesh in heroic Halls of Origination.

Shield: Elementium Stormshield is a great pickup. With only one Chaos Orb used to craft it, this probably won’t be too bad to get crafted or even to buy. If you can’t pick that up, 950 Justice points will get you the Shield of the Mists.

Relic: This is kind of a tie between three items:

Book of Dark Prophecies, from High Priestess Azil in heroic Stonecore, has spirit, but no haste.

Book of the Well Sung Song, from Vanessa Van Cleef in heroic Deadmines has haste, but no spirit.

Tattooed Eyeball, crafted by scribes, is likely to be much easier to acquire than the other two.

I’ll probably just go with the Tattooed Eyeball since my guild has a 525 scribe.

Other Gear Guides:

Here’s an interesting post by tuutti of Paragon: Holy Paladin 346 Gear Guide

A lot of the options we’ve picked are pretty much the same, although there are differences (and I don’t include PVP points, nor do I assume you have 4000 JP saved up).

Gortlol also linked his or her list here: Holy Paladin Pre-Raid Gear. Cataclysm.

So what does all this mean?

1) Get to exalted with Ramkahen & Therazane, revered with Hyjal
2) Run Halls of Origination and the Stonecore a lot on heroic
3) Check out the AH for those BOE heroic drops

Also, don’t skimp on gems and enchants for your 333/346 gear. This stuff is going to last you into raids. My guildies need to use blue gems and good quality enchants on this gear, and I recommend the same for everyone else reading.

What to gem and enchant? Well, that’s another post entirely…

If you’ll excuse me, I need to finish up Deepholm and haul ass to Uldum to start my rep with Ramkahen!

Lowbie Holy Paladin Guidance

After a discussion I had with Majik and Oestrus on the latest episode of Blessing of Frost, I thought I’d throw some thoughts out here with regards to lower-level paladins who are new rerolls and such. We’ll break this down into 5 sections: 1-25, 26-50, 51-75, 76-80 and 81-85. You can also refer to my 4.0.1/4.0.3 posts for advice at 80 to 85.

In each section, I’ll look at the talents available and the glyphs available. This advice is based on healing in a PVE environment, so levelling through the Dungeon Finder, primarily. You should ideally fill out the talents in the order I discuss them as I’m selecting talents that will help your overall healing output the most.

1-25

Here’s the Wowhead link: 9/0/0

Why those talents:

Tier 1:

– 3/3 Judgements of the Pure because Judgements of the Pure is awesome. Always pick talents that will increase your haste.

– 2/3 Protector of the Innocent because we need to get to Tier 2.

Tier 2:

– 3/3 Clarity of Purpose: Talent that reduces your cast time on two spells, even though you only have one of them at the moment. 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds on Holy Light? Yes, please.

– 1/2 Last Word: Useful talent. We’ll want to fill this out with our next talent point, as well.

Glyphs:

We get one Prime, Major and Minor glyph slot at 25, 50 and 75. Here we’ll go with Holy Shock, Lay on Hands and Blessing of Kings. Holy Shock because you’re using it all the time, Lay on Hands because it’s never a bad thing to reduce that cooldown and Blessing of Kings because our minor glyphs suck and that’s one of the ones that sucks least.

Tips:

– Always have a Seal up so that you can judge so you can get your Judgements of the Pure up! At level 30, use Seal of Insight and feel free to swap to the Glyph of Seal of Insight, or you can wait until level 50 for that, too.

26-50

Here’s the Wowhead link: 21/0/0

Why those talents:

Tier 2:

2/2 Last Word: Fill this out so you can get down to Tier 3.

Tier 3:

1/1 Divine Favor: A real cooldown to use that will increase haste and crit chance. Pop this when you’re in trouble.

2/2 Infusion of Light: Crit Holy Shocks lead to a much shorter cast time on Holy Light and, later, Divine Light. And this talent also gives us 10% extra crit to Holy Shock. Even if this didn’t lead to Speed of Light, this is beautiful.

2/2 Daybreak: A chance to get two Holy Shocks in a row? Yes, please!

Tier 4:

1/1 Beacon of Light: Beacon, also known as Bacon, lets you heal the tank (or another beaconed target, but typically the tank) while healing someone else. This is only 50% of the healing your target gets, mind you.

1/1 Sacred Cleansing: The ability to cleanse magic debuffs. Ecstasy!

3/3 Speed of Light: At this level, it’s just spell haste, yet again reducing the amount of time it takes to cast your heals.

Tier 5:

1/3 Conviction: This is a buff to healing based on your crits, so up to 3% extra healing based on your crits. You’ll want to fill this out with your next two talents.

Glyphs:

Prime: Seal of Insight (or put Holy Shock back in if you swapped it out at 30)

Major: Divinity (why not gain mana when you do use Lay on Hands?)

Minor: Blessing of Might (again, our minors suck.)

Tips:

– Have Seal of Insight up with the Glyph so that your healing is increased by 5%.

– Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! You are one of two healers who can cleanse three kinds of debuffs, the other being druids. You can magic, diseases and poisons and resto druids can do magic, curses and poisons. So use your cleanse button!

– Typically beacon the tank and do not be afraid to directly heal your beaconed target.

51-75

Here’s the Wowhead link: 31/3/0

Tier 5:

3/3 Conviction: Fill out Conviction to bump up your healing done.

1/1 Aura Mastery: Ultimately, probably not the most useful talent in lower-levels, but play around with 100% extra resistance (with Resistance Aura up) or immunity to silence (with Concentration Aura up) for six seconds. Think of AOE Shadow, Frost or Fire damage. Or if a boss has an enrage and is doing physical damage, use it with Devotion Aura.

1/2 Paragon of Virtue: Divine Protection is a great button to prevent damage to yourself, Hand of Sacrifice is a great button to prevent damage to others and when you get Avenging Wrath, that’s a great button to help your output. This talent reduces the cooldowns on all these things. Pick this up at 1/2, we will definitely come back here.

Tier 6:

3/3 Tower of Radiance: Hooray, another way to generate Holy Power! This is why you shouldn’t be afraid to heal your beaconed target.

Back to Tier 5:

2/2 Paragon of Virtue: Here we go, pick up this remaining talent because it’s awesome and it can help us get down to our 31-point talent.

Back to Tier 4:

1/2 Enlightened Judgements: Now you can step back another 5 yards when keeping your judgement up. This is useful to get you the heck out of melee range.

Tier 7:

1/1 Light of Dawn: Hello, Light of Dawn! Our very own Circle of Wild Dawn! ;) This is our version of the holy priest’s Circle of Healing and the resto druid’s Wild Growth and even the shammy’s Chain Heal. Aim yourself at people. Hit the button (preferably with 3 holy power). Witness awesome group heals.

To the Protection Tree we go!

Tier 1:

3/3 Divinity: 6% increased healing. Bam, done. Eternal Glory is also an option, but mana should not be such an issue that you need the EG procs for more Word of Glory heals.

Glyphs:

Prime: Word of Glory (+healing)

Major: Light of Dawn (extra target, so up to 6)

Minor: Seal of Insight (see what I mean about our minors sucking?)

Tips:

– Get used to using Aura Mastery in various instances because it starts to get useful in BC dungeons and Wrath dungeons.

– Make sure you’re keeping Judgements of the Pure up. The extra haste is really going to come in handy in BC/Wrath dungeons.

– Make sure you’re keeping your Holy Power up and using it appropriately with Light of Dawn or Word of Glory as needed. Remember that 50% of each Light of Dawn heal will go to your beaconed target!

76-80

Here’s the Wowhead link: 31/3/2

To the Retribution Tree we go!

Tier 1:

2/3 Crusade: You’re using Holy Shock basically on cooldown. Increase its healing!

81-85

First, the Retribution tree:

3/3 Crusade: Fill this out for some awesomeness.

Back to the Protection tree:

2/2 Eternal Glory: This is where you end up learning how to use Word of Glory back-to-back when you get procs of EG.

And back to the Retribution tree:

2/2 Improved Judgement: Extra range! You now have a 35y range on your judgements, which is excellent.

So a level 85 spec looks like this:

31/5/5

Additional reading: 4.0.1 post /4.0.3 post

Hope that was useful for anyone who’s embarked upon the challenge of starting a new holy paladin!

Cataclysm Meta Gems (and the Holy Paladin)

(Edit: 12/14/10, math is hard!)

One of my very first posts here at Kurn’s Corner was about jewelcrafting. It’s woefully outdated, obviously, but demystifying the jewelcrafting profession has always been something I like to do.

I was on the beta the other day, before it shut down, and I had copied over a fresh character copy in 359 epic level gear. As I was trying to gem her up, I realized two things:

a) … what the hell do I stack?

b) Oh my God, the Insightful meta cut doesn’t have a level 85 version!!

I’ll worry about how to gem as a holy paladin later on, but let’s talk a bit about the meta gems.

My Insightful Earthstorm/Earthsiege Diamond cut has been my go-to cut for Madrana since Burning Crusade. That’s, you know, four years. And now there is no Insightful Shadowspirit Diamond cut. This freaks me out.

Here’s a list of all the meta gems at 85.

Right off the bat, we can eliminate a lot of them. Austere (tank), Chaotic (caster), Destructive (PVP), Enigmatic (PVP), Eternal (tank), Forlorn (PVP), Impassive (PVP) and Powerful (PVP) are not on-par with the remaining options for a PVE-based holy paladin.

So here are the gems that I think could be useful to a holy paladin.

Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% reduced threat. Typically, one would scoff at this, but were you aware that holy paladins no longer have an innate 50% less threat on their heals? Yeah, that changed at 4.0. So we’re causing a lot more threat than we did. Of course, in a raid situation, this should never be an issue, so this isn’t amazing, but if you’re honestly pugging all of the time and don’t have a solid tank with you, you may want to investigate this as a possibility.

Ember Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% maximum mana. This is the big brother of the current Ember cut and it definitely looks beefy! In lieu of Insightful (proccing mana returns), Ember certainly looks like a useful meta gem. Remember that Replenishment is still based off of maximum mana, as is Divine Plea, so this is not a bad balanced meta, since it affects our regen and also increases our output (54 int is equal to 54 spellpower).

Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 mastery rating and minor run speed. The instant I moved to my RL friend’s guild, I was instructed to enchant Tuskarr’s Vitality for the speed boost. I have been a convert ever since. I am going to be asking every member of my guild to have some kind of run speed bonus, whether in their spec or their meta or their boots. Normally, the run speed metas are very PVP-related, but Fleet gives us mastery rating. While we’ll have mastery rating gems (Fractured. They’re yellow.) and mastery rating enchants, meaning mastery rating won’t only be available via reforging the way it is right now, this is still a potentially useful meta gem. Not only do you get the run speed and the mastery rating, but it frees up your boots for a potentially better enchant. More on this in a bit.

Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 spirit and 3% critical healing effect. Another balanced meta for us, since the spirit is pure regen and the 3% increased effect on crits is pure throughput. Given the new world of “no one is ever fully topped off” style healing in Cataclysm, this will almost certainly not translate into more overhealing. Further, for a holy paladin, our mastery rating will benefit from the larger crit heals, creating a larger Illuminated Healing shield.

So which one to pick?

Bracing and Revitalizing can both be activated with a single green gem, as they require 1 blue and 1 yellow. The Zen Dream Emerald, which is +20 mastery and +20 spirit, would probably be the best cut for a holy paladin out of the various green gems available. This would leave the rest of our sockets open to stacking intellect or whatever it is we will try to be stacking. Ember and Fleet require two yellow gems, which needs to be done in two separate slots. Granted, we’d probably use an orange gem to get 20 intellect and 20 of another stat. My favourite orange gem is the Reckless Ember Topaz for the haste, but we could also use Artful Ember Topaz or Potent Ember Topaz as an orange gem of choice.

So with the Ember or Fleet choice, we have to use two gem sockets for our meta versus the one with Bracing or Revitalizing.

Ember/Fleet = 2 orange = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating

Bracing/Revitalizing = 1 green = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) = 40 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating

Kind of on par with Ember and Fleet, no?

But then we look at Ember’s effect – 54 intellect + 2% maximum mana.

So Ember really looks like this: 2 orange + 54 intellect + 2% max mana = 94 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 2% max mana

Fleet’s stats need to be combined with whatever boot enchant you’d like that doesn’t increase run speed. So: 2 orange + 54 mastery rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste

So Fleet is pretty much out of the running, if you’ll excuse the pun. ;) It does offer the most versatility, though. If you want 90 mastery or 90 haste, it would be easy to acquire those with a Fleet.

Bracing’s equation, with stats, looks like this: 1 green +54 intellect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 intellect = 94 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating

And Revitalizing looks like this: 1 green + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 40 intellect + 20 mastery rating + 74 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect

It looks to me that Bracing and Ember are both sitting pretty in terms of intellect, with Revitalizing being more of an option if you need the extra regen. However, it should be noted that you aren’t getting intellect from Ember’s effect of +2% mana. You’re just gaining mana. So your mana pool grows (which is great) but you don’t gain spellpower or spell crit from its effect. So its effect isn’t really equal to the extra mana 20 intellect gives you.

Since I plan to heal primarily with tanks that I know and trust, I’m throwing Bracing out the window. Fleet has been eliminated. That leaves me with Ember and Revitalizing as choices.

As of right now, and bear in mind that this is before Cataclysm has even launched, I’m thinking of going with Revitalizing to try out the 3% increased critical heal effect and the fact that it’s easily activated with a single green gem. I’ll be sure to write another post if I decide to go with Ember or another choice!

What Holy Paladins Need to Know for 4.0.3a

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

4.0.3a is about to be dropped, according to Boubouille at MMO-Champion, who has done a great job of compiling the changes. With the release of 4.0.3a, among other things, paladins are getting their talents reset due to changes to the class talents. What follows is a fairly complete compilation of the various changes holy paladins can expect when 4.0.3a launches and will be updated over the first few days of 4.0.3a if anything was missed. Special thanks to my buddy Walks for proofreading and adding some suggestions, including reminding me about Infusion of Light’s change!

Edits to the post after testing on live are marked with an asterix (*).

As with my 4.0.1 post, I’ll be breaking this down into different sections: TALENTS/SPELLS, GEAR/STATS and GLYPHS. Bear in mind that there are fewer changes for 4.0.3a than there were for 4.0.1 and I’ll only be talking about ones that have changed between 4.0.1 and 4.0.3a. That means that my 4.0.1 post is still useful! All changes have been compiled at MMO-Champion.com or Wowhead.com.

TALENTS/SPELLS

1) Beacon of Light now lasts 5 minutes. I remember when I first glyphed for Beacon of Light. I did so in order to get the extra 30 second duration on it so I could stagger refreshing Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light and also save 1500 mana or so. A five-minute duration on Beacon of Light means a lot of mana savings and a lot of GCDs saved. What this tells us, though, is that our beacons are  meant to be used on one person and not meant to be switched up mid-combat. This is a “quality of life” change that basically just makes it that much easier to “set it and forget it”. Good stuff.

2) Blessed Life: the effects of this talent cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds, up from every 2 seconds. This is a clear nerf to the utility of this talent. However, it is largely a PVP talent and this change really negates any use in PVE content, particularly if it still doesn’t proc from AOE-wide raid damage. Incidentally, this no longer stacks with Pursuit of Justice, according to my buddy Walks.

3) Illuminated Healing absorb shield now absorbs 10% of the total amount healed, up from 8%. Each point of Mastery increases the effect by an additional 1.25%, up from 1%. *Additionally, the shield now lasts 8 seconds, up from 6. It’s a buff! Oh sweet Lord, it’s a buff to our mastery! The jury is still out over the usefulness of our mastery because World of Logs, for example, does not properly attribute our absorbs from our mastery. Either it’s being attributed to Power Word: Shield/Divine Aegis or it’s not being counted at all. (As an aside, please take a second to politely lobby the WoL people to get that fixed!) I reforged a lot of my crit to mastery to see if I could notice a difference and the Recount I ran last night showed Illuminated Healing to be 26.4% of my healing done in Ruby Sanctum. While Recount (and probably Skada?) are up to date, World of Logs is almost certainly attributing Illuminated Healing to priest absorbs.

So just because you don’t see your mastery in action through the parse doesn’t mean it’s not doing something. As such, this is a good thing for us.

*Note that the increase in duration was not listed in the most recent compilation of patch notes, but I’ve confirmed this on live servers. The duration is 8s, up from 6s.

4) Light of Dawn has been redesigned. It no longer has an enforced cooldown, now costs Holy Power instead of mana, and scale in direct proportion to the amount of Holy Power used. In addition it now heals the 5 most injured group targets (including self) in a 30-yard frontal cone. Goodbye, Infest healing. Hello, Circle of Wild Dawn. ;) This works very similarly to a priest’s Circle of Healing or a druid’s Wild Growth, except you don’t have to select a target. You aim yourself at them and let ‘er rip. I kind of like this. It’s a way for us to use our 31-point talent without it being completely overpowered and it’s a way for us to have a smart heal, at long last. But since it’s not something you cast on a person, it’s distinguishing itself from Circle of Healing or Wild Growth. I haven’t had much chance to use it on the Beta (and Beta testing is now done!) since this change went in, so I’m anxious to see how it works.

It should also be noted that, as of right now, Light of Dawn’s healing (and overhealing) does get transferred to the beacon, with its 50% healing reduction, of course. But that can still be a lot of healing all at once on your beacon.

*After testing this on live, you MUST be in a party in order to use Light of Dawn! If you aren’t in a party and have 1, 2 or 3 stacks of Holy Power, you get an Invalid Target error if you try to use it. I tried targetting myself and using it, no dice. Then I thought “oh, don’t tell me it IS a targetted heal now!” but I tested this out with a guildie (thanks Num!) and it remains unaffected by any target. It’s definitely still a directional, conal heal. But you need to be in a party to use it.

5) Protector of the Innocent no longer triggers from self-heals. Well, this just makes sense. If we just healed ourselves, we generally don’t need to immediately heal ourselves again, do we? At least not in PVE content. This heal also transfers to the Beacon, with the 50% reduction.

6) Crusade now also has a proc on kill to increase the healing done by the paladin’s next Holy Light by 100/200/300% for 15 seconds, in addition to its current effects. This is mostly a PVE change, but it’s more for World PVE, like questing. This addition to a key talent will be great for all specs of paladin while questing so we can save our Holy Power for something like Inquisition instead of using Word of Glory on ourselves after killing a mob or two.

7) Lay on Hands no longer gives anyone any mana at all. However, go check out the Glyphs section for an exception to this.

8) Seal of Insight still does what it normally did, but will now also return 15% of the paladin’s base mana when judging. This is fantastic. Judging to get mana back again! With an 8 second cooldown, I’m pretty sure this will get nerfed at some point, but enjoy it while it lasts! I should also mention that Seal of Insight’s 4% base health/mana gain never procced at all on judgements, unlike Seal of Wisdom which procced from judgements. That could explain why they’re making sure we get mana returns from judging.

9) Holy Radiance will suffer diminishing returns further than 8 yards from the target or when healing more than 6 players. We haven’t had the chance to enjoy Holy Radiance yet, since we get it at 83, so this is just something of which to be aware when we do get it.

10) Clarity of Purpose, rank 2, now reduces Holy Light and Divine Light cast time by .3 seconds instead of .35 seconds. This is obviously a move to ensure that people get all three ranks of Clarity of Purpose instead of just dropping two points in here. Probably a PVP-based decision, or one to help balance rets/prots since any decent holy was probably going to drop all three points in here anyways.

11) Paragon of Virtue: Reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 10/20 sec, Hand of Sacrifice by 15/30 sec and Avenging Wrath by 30/60 sec. The big change here is that Hand of Sacrifice has been added to this talent. I do believe I’m going to go for 1/2 Enlightened Judgements and pick up that second point in Paragon of Virtue.

12) Infusion of Light now applies to Divine Light’s cast time as well as Holy Light’s. So 1/2 points in this talent will grant you .75/1.5s off the cast time of both Divine Light and Holy Light after critting on Holy Shock. While this means we can’t do a Holy Shock (IoL proc) -> Divine Light -> Holy Light combo for 2 hasted spells, we wouldn’t have been able to do that anyways with the change to Speed of Light. And speaking of Speed of Light…

13) Speed of Light: Grants 1/2/3% spell haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 10/20/30 sec. Casting Holy Radiance increases your movement speed by 20/40/60% for 4 sec. This is the big holy change. Instead of gaining 30% spell haste to Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light after a Holy Shock, you just now get 3% more spell haste. The other stuff stays the same. Yay for more spell haste! As mentioned in my 4.0.1 post, we still want to hold on to a 1s GCD and 3% passive spell haste just made that easier. See the Gear/Stats section to see what this means for all the haste we require.

*14) As previously noted, Holy Shock has been nerfed by about 30%. I’ve just confirmed this on live. Holy Shock was hitting for about the same as Holy Light. It’s now down from about 7k unbuffed to 5k unbuffed when I cast it.

Recommended Talent Spec: I still recommend 31/3/2 for current Wrath content, although you’ll note I recommend 1/2 Enlightened Judgements and 2/2 Paragon of Virtue, now. Also, 31/5/0 and 31/2/3 are viable, although the 31/3/2 build I first linked will probably give you the most amount of healing due to Divinity and the buff to Holy Shock from Crusade.

GEAR/STATS

1) With the addition of 3% spell haste from 3/3 Speed of Light, our haste softcap just changed again. Given 3/3 Speed of Light, plus 3/3 Judgements of the Pure and a Wrath of Air totem (or equivalent), you now only need 894 haste to reach the 1s GCD. You can check out this awesome spell haste calculator and see for yourself. It doesn’t have Speed of Light listed, but select Darkness/Netherwind Presence to add that 3% for Speed of Light and you’ll get the same result. Of course, this will change as we level once Cataclysm launches.

GLYPHS

1) Glyph of Beacon of Light (Major) now makes Beacon of Light free, instead of increasing the duration by 30 seconds. This is no longer a very useful Glyph, considering we’re really only expending 1500ish mana every five minutes. I suppose it might have its uses in PVP, but barring any kind of gimmicky fight in PVE, this is pretty sad.

2) Glyph of Lay on Hands (was Minor, now Major) now reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 3 minutes, up from 2 minutes. *** This wasn’t in the patch notes, but was how the Glyph was changed on Beta. This may not be included in the 4.0.3a patch.

3) Glyph of Divinity (Major) has been redesigned. It now grants the paladin 10% of maximum mana upon use. FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. A 7 (or 8) minute cooldown on 10% of your mana, regardless upon whom you use it, is just awesome. Rather than waste this raid-saving cooldown on yourself for extra mana, you just use it at ALL and you get mana back. This is a fantastic change. I was never a fan of glyphing this and using LoH on myself, preferring to use it on the tanks or whoever was about to die.

4) Glyph of Light of Dawn (Major) now increases the total number of most injured targets healed by 1. Yep, our version of Circle of Healing and Wild Growth. This glyph makes six targets healed by LoD.

My go-to Major Glyphs would be LoH, Divinity and LoD, although Divine Plea and even Cleansing may snag the LoH spot in the event that I find I need to Plea a lot or there’s a lot of cleansing to do. There’s also the Glyph of Divine Protection that could you may want to swap in as it may come in very handy on any fight where you take a lot of magical damage. Remember, Divine Protection no longer causes Forbearance and is only on a 1 minute cooldown, or 40 seconds if you’re specced for 2/2 Paragon of Virtue. That could be a lot of damage mitigated.


Hopefully that helps demystify the 4.0.3a changes we’re about to see. See you on the flip side of the Shattering!

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

Five Tips for Holy Paladin Healing in 4.0.1

We are at a horrible point in between expansions where we have new mechanics and are forced to try them out in Wrath content, where there’s a ton of AOE damage, where tanks can, and will, be two-shotted…

Here, then, are five tips for healing through WotLK content with our fancy-shmancy new Cataclysm healing mechanics. Please bear in mind that this advice is valid only for 4.0.1 and will likely be rendered useless come 4.0.3.

1) Flash of Light is Good. After a lot of playing around in the limited raid content I’m doing at the moment, and some advice from Chase Christian and Felomena, both of whom commented on this post of mine, Flash of Light is my go-to spell. Kind of.

I abuse Holy Shock and I cast Holy Light when I have a lull (and whenever I get an Infusion of Light proc) and most of the rest of the time, I cast the hell out of Flash of Light.

It’s expensive. Unbuffed, I have 383 mp5 in combat. That’s not a whole lot, either, although my Solace of the Defeated with 8 stacks, with Blessing of Might, ends up bumping that up to 602. (607 with a Flask of Distilled Wisdom, FYI.) Flash of Light, however, costs 1186 mana. So without Replenishment or Kings/Mark, both of which should be present in a raid setting, I just barely regen half of the cost of Flash of Light every five seconds. I have a 1.04s cast time on Flash of Light with Judgements of the Pure up and no other haste buffs.

See the problem here? If I’m casting a lot of Flash of Light, say 3 times in a 5-second window, I am spending 1186 x 3 mana, which is 3558 mana and in that same window, my regen is about 600, not including procs from my Insightful Earthsiege Diamond (which procs 600 mana back on a 15-second internal cooldown and can be assumed to be about 75mp5).

So while I highly recommend lots of Flash of Light use, don’t forget that it costs an arm and a leg, now! Hasted Holy Lights and Holy Shocks are good alternatives, as is Word of Glory, of course.

Flash of Light is also the spell of choice for a holy paladin for Valithria Dreamwalker, given the quick cast and the fact that, with a lot of stacks of Emerald Vigor or Twisted Nightmares, mana doesn’t matter. (Divine Light probably wins out in the heroism/burn phase at the end of the fight, though, given enough haste, since Flash of Light will almost certainly be under a 1s cast, so you’ll lose casting time due to the hard cap of a 1s GCD.)

2) Glyphed Light of Dawn is for Infest. Again, thanks to Chase (and other paladins commenting on LoD these days in general), I’ve managed to be the Infest healer on two 10-man Lich King kills in the last week by virtue of glyphing Light of Dawn, which reduces its healing done, but also reduces it to a 20s cooldown from a 30s cooldown. Guess what else has a 20s cooldown? That’s right, Infest.

If you stand just behind your ranged groups as Infest gets cast and you’re watching your bars, you can get rid of the Infest on all of your ranged, including yourself, plus your beacon target, who is the beneficiary of all your Light of Dawn heals. Yes, that’s ridiculous, but yes, that’s happening right now.

[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Hunter +*5937*
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Shammy 1 +4043
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Shammy 2 +4162
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Druid 1 +3822
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Druid 2 +3466
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Treant +*0* (O: 5650)
[21:33:50.890] Madrana Light of Dawn Treant +*0* (O: 5360)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 2968)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 1758)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 1810)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 1911)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 1733)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 2825)
[21:33:51.671] Madrana Beacon of Light Beaconed Tank +0 (O: 2680)

Of course, Light of Dawn is changing in a big way come Cataclysm, healing for much more than it currently does, but will be limited to 5 targets, 6 with the glyph. But for right now, boy, this is actually fun! :)

You can see this in action in our guild-first LK10 killing. I actually missed the first Infest, but at about the 30s mark, look at the tank’s Grid on the right. You’ll see every box get a debuff (the Infest one) and then you’ll see my shiny Holy Flashlight, er, Light of Dawn, and almost all of the debuffs vanish. Beautiful.

I highly recommend trying out being the Infest healer in a 10-man if you can manage it between now and Cataclysm. Make use of our 31-point talent before it’s changed forever!

I do not, however, recommend being the Infest healer when you’re also the designated cleanser of Necrotic Plague as I was on Sunday evening. That was more than a little stressful and I suddenly cursed myself for never actually having been the Necrotic Plague cleanser before. Still, it worked out all right, but messing with two new things on a fight I’ve done a couple dozen times was… interesting.

Anyways!

3) Beacon Smartly! In 3.3 content, we tended to do one of two things with our beacon:

a) Beacon the other tank and heal our tank.

b) Beacon our tank and heal the raid.

What you did depended primarily on the fight, if it was 10 or 25-man content and any healing assignments by your healing lead.

Now, due to Tower of Radiance, it’s less clear as to who gets our beacon in a raid setting. It might be hard to assign one holy paladin to two tanks due to the change in Beacon of Light (from 100% of a copied heal to 50% of a copied heal) but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be using our beacons on *something* to benefit from the increases in Holy Power.

So here are my suggestions, although I always recommend listening to your healing lead if they give you specific beacon instructions.

a) Beacon Your Tank: Do this in situations where your tank is taking a substantial amount of damage and you can really, really benefit from the extra charges of Holy Power for Word of Glory. Also, do this in situations where there’s just one active tank (whom you’re probably healing) so that you can sprinkle Word of Glory heals around as needed.

b) Beacon the Other Tank: Do this in situations where your tank isn’t taking a ton of damage and you don’t feel you particularly need Word of Glory to be used a ton. It can still be used for extra healing on, say, the Keleseth tank on the Blood Prince Council fight, too, which helps get extra heals on a tank that is running around the room and may run out of range of their healer’s heals. I most recently used my beacon on the tank tanking the Lich King on LK10 while I healed Infest, dealt with Necrotic Plague and healed the OT through Shambling Horrors and some Raging Spirits. That allowed my beacon target (the MT) to gain all my LoD heals, then allowed me to gain Holy Power by directly healing him when the OT wasn’t tanking anything.

Really, the decision depends on how often you want to be using Word of Glory and if another tank needs the extra healing.

4) Don’t Forget About Divine Plea. Okay, it’s been nerfed. 15% (glyphed) of mana back every two minutes instead of 25% every minute. That doesn’t mean that it’s not at all useful. We should all have slightly larger mana pools now and, unbuffed (with about 43k mana), I’m getting about 1300 mana back per tick for about 6500 mana back per use. It’s not fantastic, but it’s something, at least, and will keep you casting just a bit longer. Similarly, don’t forget about mana potions!

5) Don’t Get Married to These Tips! These tips will be outdated extremely soon, perhaps even as soon as this coming Tuesday, when MMO-Champion reports that Patch 4.0.3 will be released. When Cataclysm comes out, or perhaps in a patch before that, like 4.0.3, 4.0.3a or some other patch, Light of Dawn changes, judging Seal of Insight changes to give us 15% of maximum base mana back and a variety of other things will change. I stress, again, that this is a temporary thing that will be hopelessly out of date by December 7th, 2010 at the latest!

Still, I hope it helps you feel better about healing as a holy paladin for the next little while. While I was pretty depressed about how ineffective I was, switching up my spell use quite a bit basically solved most of my issues and, therefore, alleviated a lot of my concerns.

Cataclysm Beta Builds 13221 & 13241

As always, thank you to MMO-Champion for listing the patch changes!

I never did talk about the last beta build (13221) so I’ll talk about those changes here as well.

13221:

* Holy Radiance’s effectiveness now diminish on targets farther than x yards away.

That’s cool. It was a little OP for someone 20 yards away to get the entire benefit of something that comes from us in a pulsing wave thing.

* Divine Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 8538-9512 to 11100-12366

* Flash of Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 5313-5961 to 6907-7750.

* Holy Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 3202-3567 to 4162-4637.

* Holy Shock base healing has been increased by 30%. From 3033-3285 to 3943-4271.

Holy crapsicle. Buff time! Hooray! Maybe now I won’t feel like my heals are completely ineffective.

* Lay on Hands no longer restores mana.

That’s okay! No worries! The new Glyph of Divinity means that anytime you cast Lay on Hands, you gain 10% of your maximum mana. That’s on a 7m cooldown with the new Lay on Hands major glyph.

* Beacon of Light now lasts 5 min, up from 1 min.

Well, that’s handy. We can now remove the major glyph of Beacon of Light which reduced its mana cost to 0 and put in that snazzy new Lay on Hands glyph. :)

* Mastery: Illuminated Healing now absorbs 10% of the amount healed, up from 8%. Now lasts 8 sec, up from 6 sec. Each point of mastery increases the absorb amount by an additional 1.25%, up from 1%.

Effing. Awesome. 8 second shield that’s a minimum of 10% of your heal and mastery givs you even more absorption? This is amazing.

All around, 13221 was a huge buff to holy paladins.

13241:

* Holy Radiance  20 yards range added to the tooltip.

Good to know.

* Light of Dawn now uses Holy Power instead of Mana. Now heals up to 5 targets. No longer has a cooldown – Consumes all Holy Power to send a wave of healing energy before you, healing up to 5 of the most injured targets in your party or raid within a 30 yard frontal cone for 1008.96 to 1124.15 per charge of Holy Power.

Okay, this is NOT a nerf, I repeat, this is NOT a nerf! Walks was telling me about this earlier tonight (guild stuff has me buried, so I haven’t tested anything yet). Here’s what he has to say:

Walks: The new Light of Dawn is kind of amazing.

Kurn: The lack of cooldown is really that good, eh? Is it a smart heal? (That would be asking too much, I imagine.)

Walks: Yes to both. 3 stacks of HP will heal for about 8.5k non-crit. It is a smart heal, but the players must be in front of you.

Kurn: Wait, SERIOUSLY?! A directional, smart heal, that heals for 8.5k non-crit? SS or it didn’t happen!!!

Walks: I will later! <3 Raid time. Oh, the LoD glyph lets it hit a sixth target.

So here we have an ability with a variable “cooldown”, that is a smart heal! It’s our version of Wild Growth and Circle of Healing! Complete with the glyph that will add another target to the heal. This is, to be blunt, awesome. And is finally a 31-point talent worthy of its spot. IMHO.

* Blessed Life now cannot occur more than 8 seconds (up from 2 seconds).

PVP talent for sure.

* Protector of the Innocent now affects heals on any target except yourself.

Small nerf, but it makes sense. Why proc a heal on yourself after you’ve just healed yourself?

Overall, holy paladins are looking AWESOME.

But basically, you want to go out there and hit full raid groups of people with Light of Dawn while you still can. ;) My record is 26 people, not including myself.

Cataclysm Beta Build 13202 & Live Hotfix

Let’s chat a bit about the reported changes affecting holy paladins from Cataclysm Beta Build 13202. Thanks to MMO-Champion, as always, for detailing the changes so quickly.

Holy

* Seal of Insight – Unleashing this Seal’s energy now also restores 15% of the Paladin’s base mana.
* Mastery: Illuminated Healing now only affects your direct healing spells, instead of all healing spells.

Both a buff and a nerf, really.

The Seal of Insight buff is pretty huge. Every time we judge, we will regain 15% of base mana which, at 85, is in the realm of 3500 mana back. That’s instead of a CHANCE of 4% base mana (936ish mana) back when we judge. However, I believe we still maintain the chance to regain 4% of base mana back with this active, but we are guaranteed to get 15% of base mana back when we judge.

This means judgements — and not missing them — just became way more important. Judgement is an 8-second cooldown. Ideally, we are busy doing other things and are busy enough (though not overwhelmed) to not cast this on cooldown, but rather 2-3 times a minute, the way we did in most of Wrath. Remember that this seems like a lot of mana back right now, but with something like Flash of Light costing over 6000 mana at 85, this isn’t a ton of mana. It has the potential to be a lot of mana regen, however, when used wisely.

As to the mastery nerf, this is likely a direct result of the beta-realm raids where holy paladins apparently were using the hell out of Holy Radiance. It only makes sense. We’re not “the shielding spec”. We’re direct healers, primarily. There’s no way they want us to put tiny shields on 25 people with one GCD from Holy Radiance or Light of Dawn when it would take a disc priest a lot more time to do similar absorption (barring Power Word: Barrier).

I’m okay with these changes.

Let’s talk about the live server hotfix for paladins.

Source, Ghostcrawler, via MMO-Champion’s Blue Tracker:

Holy Paladin Hotfix
Yes, we buffed the 5 paladin direct heals (FoL, HL, DL, HS, WoG). This is a change for both level 80 and 85. We are going to tone down Holy Radiance as I described in the other thread. It can be powerful without being 75% of paladin healing.

I know it’s customary for players to classify everything as either overpowered or garbage, but we believe there are actual numbers in between say 1 and 100, so give the changes a chance before you dismiss them.

It is possible we will nerf Word of Glory for Prot and Ret at 85 to compensate for this buff since they probably don’t need stronger Words.

This went live late on Monday/early on Tuesday and pre-empted my rant about what a horrible time I had on Monday’s unofficial ICC 25 raid.

Just as an example, we had a resto druid, a resto shammy and Walks and myself go into portals on regular Dreamwalker, collecting orbs. We were also doing portal jockey. We wiped a few times. Obviously, the holy paladin method has changed here — Glyph of Holy Light is dead, so there’s no reason to beacon the dragon and heal a target near the dragon (be it yourself, a Tenacity pet for bigger splashes, etc). You just heal the dragon directly. (Oddly, Flash of Light worked better than Divine Light spam here, but that was pre-hotfix.)

I had 34 stacks of Emerald Vigor, more than anyone else. I came in fourth out of the four of us in the portals. And that includes a 600k+ crit Lay on Hands. Pathetic. Walks was just above me and then MILES ahead of us was the resto shammy and the resto druid at the top. Now I know that we’ve been supremely overpowered on this fight, but good Lord, that was embarassing. The entire night was an exercise in frustration. I couldn’t do what I was previously able to do, but not only the whole “handling two tanks alone” thing. I mean that I was unable to do my job with even half the effectiveness as before.

However, after the hotfix, I now feel better. NOW I feel as though I’m adjusting to the class changes. NOW I feel as though I’m fighting myself and my old habits to learn new tricks and tips, like #1 over at this bubblespec post, instead of fighting the new mechanics.

Is it a buff? Yes. Is it too much of a buff? Maybe. But it allows me to worry less about whether or not I CAN keep a target up, which lets me acclimate to the new ways of keeping my target up. Right now, that’s the priority for us — learn how to heal with expensive short heals and long heals, but a mana free heal and oh wow, need to generate holy power and all that jazz, too!

I feel that, since the hotfix, I’m playing smarter on the paladin. True, I haven’t raided on her, but I have recovered confidence in my spells and abilities just by virtue of playing with the heals alone and in heroic dungeons.

Is this the answer for all that ails holy paladins? No. But it’s about as good as it’s going to get at 80 before Cataclysm, probably. They’ve fixed us so that we can continue in our niche for the rest of 4.0.1 and still acclimate to working outside our niche with new mechanics.

Does this still terrify me for 85? Yes. But I do feel more hopeful and I think that while we’ll have to share single-target healing with others (and others will have to share some of the raid healing responsibilities with us!) it no longer feels as though an extra shadow priest can make up for our healing.

I do not think that paladins have gotten even remotely enough cool stuff. Still no Evangelism, Archangel, Atonement, Chakra, Holy Word: Chastise. We get Holy Radiance (at 83) and Light of Dawn and Word of Glory and then they screwed with each of our pre-patch heals, but nothing full of synergy, nothing really cool, although I definitely do like Holy Radiance. It has an unfortunately huge mana cost and 30 second cooldown, if you’re specced “properly”, so we can’t just slam on that button every time it’s up. I imagine it’s for those moments in Cataclysm that can be best related to XT-002. Quake? Holy Radiance. In other words, occasional heavy raid damage, but not an “on cooldown” ability, due to the prohibitive mana cost.

Still, there’s time yet and there will be patches in the future that will change talents and abilities. I hope to see more from Blizzard in terms of holy paladin attention, at least, if not new and exciting spells. This hotfix is a great step for us maintaining our raid spots and not screwing our raids over, at least until Cataclysm’s launch.

Cataclysm Beta Build 13183

Yet another beta build’s changes, according to MMO-Champion. Here are my thoughts on the changes that affect holy paladins.

Holy

  • Holy Radiance now heals all friendly targets within 20 yards, up from 10 yards.
  • Exorcism now scales from 22,5% of AP or Spell Power, up from 15%.
  • Lay on Hands: Forbearance effect no longer includes Divine Protection or self-targeted Lay on Hands.
  • Paragon of Virtue now also reduces the cooldown of Hand of Sacrifice by 15/30 sec.
  • Infusion of Light now reduces the cast time of your next Divine Light in addition to Holy Light.

I’m really pleased with the change to Holy Radiance. This changes it from being something you hit and run into range with to hitting it and healing from where you’re standing — or with just a bit of movement. I like it.

No comment on Exorcism, although I left that change in for those of you who want Denounce.

I’m THRILLED that Lay on Hands no longer causes Forbearance. It seems as though any time Blizzard wants to tune paladins, they just slap Forbearance on some spell. See: Wrath, Avenging. ;)

Paragon of Virtue is a good talent. I’m a fan of it. And now I might be even more inclined to put two points into it. Shortened cooldowns on Divine Protection, Avenging Wrath AND Hand of Sacrifice? Very snazzy.

Holy Shock crits reducing the cast time of Divine Light as WELL as Holy Light? I fully expect this to get nerfed, because that is one fast cast and one hell of a big heal, compared to Holy Light. But as long as it’s around, I’ll be quite happy.

Retribution

  • Crusade has an additional effect – In addition, for 15 sec after you kill an enemy that yields experience or honor, your next Holy Light heals for an additional 100/200/300%.

And another reason to pick up Crusade, although this is more PVP/levelling oriented. 300% on a Holy Light is, in pretty good holy gear at 80, about 21k? I also expect to see this nerfed. I also would expect you have to get the killing blow.

I still recommend Crusade for the 30% bonus to Holy Shock, of course.