Holy Paladin Mastery: Still Underwhelming

The News

People have been mentioning a change lately on the PTRs regarding the holy paladin mastery, but it was only today that Blizzard mentioned it in their updated patch notes:

Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin’s health.

… huh.

That is a lot of information for two sentences.

1) The paladin must refesh their OWN copy of Illuminated Healing on a target. That only makes sense, but they clearly wanted to be sure that two paladins couldn’t stack the same Illuminated Healing shield on someone, either to build it up doubly quick or get double the effect.

2) The shield rolls! That’s to say that if you put up a 2k shield and heal enough for another 2k shield, that becomes a 4k shield (without accounting for damage done to it, of course).

3) The shield rolls up to one-third (33.3333~%) of the casting paladin’s health. Right now, unbuffed, I have 121,761 health. 33.3333~% of that is: 40,586.9594. Let’s just call it 40,587 or about 40k. I’m in all 359s plus 5 372 pieces. The “baby” paladin is at 113,123 health, unbuffed, and is mostly in 346s with some 359s and a couple 353s, so her cap, unbuffed, is 37,707.629 — or about 37-38k.

These are not insignificant potential shields values they’re talking about, here.

4) Mastery rating will not increase the shield’s maximum size; it will simply allow more of our healing done to become a shield.

The Math Section

Now, having said all that, there are still things we need to look at. Bear with me, there is a LOT of math coming up and I am not a math wizard. These numbers could be completely wrong, but I’m reasonably confident they’re okay.

a) A 40k shield will take a LOT of healing to build up. Why? I have 8.92 Mastery on my gear on Madrana. That gives me 12% + 1.38% (13.38%) of each heal turned into a shield. If my average, raid-buffed, non-crit Divine Light hits for ~30k, let’s see how many times I’ll have to hit Divine Light on that one target to get to a 40k shield.

30k x 0.1338 = 4014

40k / 4014 = 9.965

I would have to throw 10 Divine Lights at that one target in order to max out the shield and that’s IF the target wasn’t already taking any damage (and assuming no crits).

While I could certainly scrounge up some mastery gear, most of my gear doesn’t have any mastery on it at all. I have it on my Heroic Burden of Mortality shoulders and my Maldo’s Sword Cane.

If I restored these pieces that I currently have reforged AWAY from Mastery, I would have 14.3% of my heals turned into shields.

30k x 0.143 = 4290

40k / 4004 = 9.324

So I’d still have to cast ten Divine Lights to hit the shield cap, assuming no crits.

b) Not all of our heals generate Illuminated Healing effects. Of particular note, Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent, the Guardian of the Ancient Kings and Beacon of Light heals do NOT proc our mastery. That’s an awful lot of healing that doesn’t cause mastery shields.

Right now, without having tested things out, without having looked too closely at Firelands loot, I’m not sure that Illuminated Healing’s change does a lot for us. Certainly it’s not as good as it sounds at first, not when you realize just how much healing you have to do to cap out on the shields. Of course, as we get more gear and we get more stamina, that shield cap will grow.

So what would happen if we walked into 4.2 stacked with mastery on heroic raid gear? Would even that make much of a difference?

Let’s find out!

The first thing I did was go through the Wowhead database to find all heroic-level items that a holy paladin can reasonably equip. That means all plate gear with intellect, although it also includes a cloak and a neck and a ring with no spirit.

Here’s the list:

Neck – Valiona’s Medallion – 143 mastery rating
Shoulders – Burden of Mortality – 171 mastery rating
Cloak – Shadow of Dread – 143 mastery rating
Chest – T10 – Reinforced Sapphirium Breastplate – 217 mastery rating
Gloves – T10 – Reinforced Sapphirium Gloves – 171 mastery rating
Boots – Life Force Chargers – 171 mastery
Ring – Signet of the Fifth Circle – 143 mastery rating
Weapon – Andoros, Fist of the Dragon King – 110 mastery rating

All of that mastery adds up to 1269 mastery rating.

Now, one MASTERY (1.5% absorption) is equal to 179.28 mastery rating (source: Wowpedia). So we can take the following equation:

1269/179.28 = x/1.5%

Thus, 1269 mastery rating is equal to 10.6174% absorption, since 1269/179.28 = 7.0783

7.0783 = x/1.5%

So 7.0783 x 1.5 = 10.6174.

Now, our base mastery is 8, which is 12% absorption.

12% + 10.6% = 22.6%

Let’s go back up to our example of my average heals.

Average Divine Light non-crit: 30k

Absorption = 22.6%

30000 x 0.226 = 6780

40k / 6780 = 5.899

So even with all the best-quality pieces with mastery rating on them, I would STILL have to cast 6 average Divine Lights (not including crits or absorbed damage between the casts) to cap out the possible shield size.

But Kurn, you ask, what if we reforged everything else to mastery? And gemmed for it? And enchanted for it?

Crap. You had to ask that, didn’t you?

<deep sigh> Okay, here we go.

I’ve created a profile at chardev that is in full 372s, all reforged for and gemmed for mastery. I feel vaguely dirty.

We start with a base 8 Mastery, which is 12% absorption.

2136 Mastery rating gives us 11.91 Mastery, which we add to that 8. 8+11.91 = 19.91 Mastery.

19.91 Mastery x 1.5% = 29.865%

30000 x 0.298 = 8940

40000 / 8940 = 4.47 Divine Lights (not including crits or absorbed damage between the casts) to cap out the possible shield size.

Now, this isn’t exactly 100% accurate, because the size of the average Divine Light will change by virtue of the fact that we lose a lot of intellect (and therefore spellpower) by gemming straight-up mastery. In fact, that profile has only 6533 spellpower as compared to my current 7282 spellpower. But hey! Do you know who has 6560 spellpower? The baby pally! That’s a pretty good comparison, right?

My average Divine Light heals for 26k on the baby paladin.

26000 x 0.298 = 7748

40000 / 7748 = 5.1626

So in order to cap out with full 372 gear reforged, gemmed and enchanted for mastery, one would still need to cast 6 average Divine Lights (not including crits or absorbed damage between the casts) to cap out the possible shield size.

BUT WAIT! Due to all the stamina gained by being in 372 gear, the cap rises!

126,857 health x 0.333333 = 42,285.6244

So now let’s say the new cap is 42k instead of 40k.

42000 / 7748 = 5.420

Okay, still 6 average-sized Divine Lights, not including crits or absorbed damage between the casts, are still needed to cap out.

Whew. (Don’t you complain. I warned you it was math-intensive!)


– We will not be able to prepare for Firelands by equipping all mastery gear and gemming and enchanting for mastery in the hopes of being able to get a capped out shield on a target in a couple of casts.

While mastery will be changed for our shields to roll, this may not be as effective for healing as critical strike rating may become. With the change to crit going from 150% of a regular heal to 200% of a regular heal, which benefits just about all of our heals (ticks of Holy Radiance can crit, all our casted heals can crit, Protector of the Innocent heals can crit). Especially in view of the fact that Holy Light’s transfer through to our Beacon of Light target will be 100%, crit might move up the ranks a bit more than mastery will.

So, there you have it. Mastery is still not going to be particularly good or impressive, although the way it works will certainly improve with the patch. However, given the changes to healing crits, and the fact that crit affects most all of our abilities, mastery may well still be dead last in our stat priority come Firelands and the 4.2 patch.

ETA: My apologies, I got caught up in the math that I forgot to mention the reason WHY I focused on maxing out our shiny new rolling shields.

If we cannot reasonably attain the shield’s cap in a small number of casts, then what use is the stacking and rolling functionality?

Even if we stack a LOT of mastery, even over intellect, we’ll still need at least 6 DL non-crit casts to cap our shield. With almost 8k of absorption per non-crit Divine Light, we could conceivably stack 20k worth of absorption in 2-3 casts, but that can easily be eaten up quickly, in a single blow.

The point is that in order for the shields to really matter, we need to be able to achieve a substantial shield in a short period of time/low amount of casts.

Right now, my shields are about 4k. Even with the change to our critical heals, I cannot hope to get more than 8-10k absorption on my tank between melee swings. While that’s still better than the 4k I’m getting now, it’s not substantially better. The shield still vanishes too quickly for us to really care. And even at high levels of mastery, that doesn’t change.

Thus, I expect high absorption from our mastery in 4.2, but this is not, in my opinion, a huge game-changer.

11 Replies to “Holy Paladin Mastery: Still Underwhelming”

  1. I don’t think the point of the change was for us to try to cap our shield size when healing, it’s simply to allow us to stack our shields. So everyone who was complaining about not having stacking shields now has to shut up. Or start complaining about something new.

  2. I thing the thing to realize w/ rolling is that it makes mastery at least play hall vs the other stats. Remember that it isn’t the time between individual swings but the time between when the tank gets hit. If a 2.5 sec swing timer and 50% avoidance, you could easily have 2 misses, and have ~3 casts in that time. Without stacking the value of mastery just dropped to 1/3rd. So for example, if you stacked mastery and got 24% bubble from it, if it didn’t stack you only get 8% healing. So the ability to stack roughly tripled the value of mastery. May not overtake crit/haste but 3x effectiveness is a big buff.
    Not to mention being able to stack before the pull. Your 200k health main tank and 2 pamphlet healers can give him 280k effective health plus a disc priest shield… That’s a massive buffer before the pull. And since casting will refresh the timer, you can keep the buffer until it is used, and build it back up when a tank takes low damage.
    Think c

  3. Sorry posted early. Think Double Strike tank when you top him off before the switch. Or whatever the mechanic when the bile o tron is offline and you have to bring a tank from 0 to full in a couple seconds. Now they aren’t at 100% they are at 120% with all the extra bubbles.

  4. Yeah, the change to stacking shields sounded nice but I never really pined for it. I’ve been in the “Mastery for Beacon” camp and that’s where you’ll find me for a good, long time.

  5. I am not sure why the concentration on how much healing

    Mastery needed 2 things before it becomes a real stat. To apply to all heals and to not be munched. The munching has been resolved.

    In the case above from John your looking at perhaps a 10k shield on the double attack tank rather 4k. Of course he still needs to be actually hit again in the next 15 seconds, Something that does not always apply.

  6. While it won’t make mastery attractive, it accomplishes the most needed aspect: it fixes it. When, especially during tank healing, half your shields were wasted because they couldn’t roll, that was a serious problem. While its important that beacon and holy radiance utilize our mastery, its even more important that the shield munching was fixed.

    I honestly cannot see blizzard fixing both problems in one patch. While it would be nice, and I think Blizzard knows they need to be done, it’s better if they fix one aspect of it and make sure it doesn’t make us healadins overpowered. I wouldn’t be surprised if they added holy radiance and beacon shielding in 3.3… or even 3.2.1, or something.

  7. Let’s take the base amount of mastery since most have decided to steer clear of it, which is 12% of your direst heals. with the buff not stacking most were only seeing about half of the bubbles used so 6%. So at bare minimum you have just received a 6% increase in direct heals, That’s nothing to sneeze at and on top of that with the crit increase it will actually be larger.

    We invest 3 talent points into Divinity just to receive that kind of increase. Sure it effects all of our healing and not just our direct healing but it is a great example of how much of a buff this really is.

    Once 4.2 hits I’m sure it will be mandatory to precast before a pull and drink before entering combat which will basically give your tank a free 40k bubble.

    Though mastery may still be a little underwhelming and not worth stacking, with it’s change in 4.2 and the change in crit, overall this is a huge buff for paladins.

  8. “Though mastery may still be a little underwhelming and not worth stacking, with it’s change in 4.2 and the change in crit, overall this is a huge buff for paladins.”

    In other words, the change to Mastery makes little difference. The change to Crit makes our Mastery more useful.

    With a 2 second boss swing timer, we’ll be able to drop just 1 or two heals before another hit. Stacking a shield pre-pull will not be useful except for fights like Heroic Halfus or big movement pulls like old (living) Onyxia where the tank is practically required to out-range his healers at the start of the fight.

  9. Like many said, the change really isnt to make master the best stat ever, it’s simply a small absorb that to me, is like an extra 4k-8k heal on the target.

    However, I’m loving the change because, I used to try and cast DL last on my target to make sure my shield was the highest possible. Now i really dont need to worry about it. i can cast DL then HS and the shields will stack appropriately.

  10. I think the most important thing is, our overheals (apart from those caused by LoD and HR) are not as wasted as they were before :-) YAY!

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