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!

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!

12 Replies to “Holy Paladins in Mists of Pandaria (BlizzCon Day 1)”

  1. Given the choices, this is likely how I would go for PvE healing…

    15 – Long Arm of the Law – It’s tied to an ability I already use (I’m all for less buttons on my hotbar) and even though the sprint is not as strong or lasts as long as Speed of Light, it should be enough to get you out of anything bad. Plus it’s technically an 8s CD. I’d much rather have a short sprint on demand every 8s than every 1m.

    30 – Fist of Justice – I actually keep HoJ on my bar currently, even in Holy spec. I find it’s situationally useful for stunnable mobs in dungeons and raids, which is more common than people might think. Repentance is nice, but if we’re talking strictly raid content and bosses, then chances are you have plenty of other CC around better than this and a lot of adds won’t be CC-able anyway. Stunable is more common in that situation and more useful to you personally in case of emergencies. Got a big bad add on you? Stun and run.

    45 – Sacred Shield – Same reasons listed above. Direct damage to the healer is very rare and I wouldn’t expect to take a lethal hit from anything.

    60 – Eternal Glory – Only because I currently use this already, so I know it can be pretty good and allow for extra, free heals. Plus, if Holy Pally mastery stays the same, then WoG will place a small shield on your target already. Though if Holy Shield has comparable power, it may be the better option, especially in cases of large incoming tank damage.

    75 – Acts of Sacrifice – Same reasons as Long Arm of the Law, less buttons on my bars and more or less acts passively. I can, however, see the use of Clemency and it would probably beat out this talent in terms of raw utility to a raid environment. If that’s the case then I suppose I can handle one more CD to watch (though I’d rather not seeing as how I already have so many to watch).

    90 – Sanctified Wrath – Soon as I imagined myself with wings and throwing out Holy Shocks like candy, I was sold on this. Theoretically you could get in a rotation of 3 shocks and 1 WoG (or 2 if you proc Eternal Glory) 4 to 5 times while this is active. That’s some pretty awesome burst healing right there, not even including the tons of IoL procs, though you’d probably wait until Wrath is over to use it.

  2. I would take Blessed Life over SS. You have more chance to take some direct damage, versus damage that reduces you to under 30%.

  3. I have to say I agree with the choices you decided on Kurn. Definately EG for raid heals and SS for tank healing. My specks will be one geared more for raid and other for tank healing. One thing they never mentioned or showed up on the screen was anything to do with DF. I hope that’s an ability we get with our speck and not something that was removed. Exciting times ahead.

  4. I think the whole point was that we didn’t choose specific talents and toss out the rest. Nevertheless, the 90 level talent Holy Avenger would give us a 10 second window to stack a massive shield when combined with the level 60 talent Holy Shield. I think we’re going to see some interesting effects by combining talents from two or three different tiers.

  5. SS is not something you put on someone. It is for you taking damage to reduce you to 30% so it really wouldn’t have much use for tank healing.

  6. I think I’m going to end up choosing based on what I intend to do that day. I’m so happy they’re doing this. I’m just really tired of cookie cutter this and cookie cutter that. If they had normalized us all in the beginning, most people could have seen a lot more content, I think.

  7. Holy Avenger looks to me to be the one to use at 90. Who cares if Shock is off CD when I can get 3 Power abilities for 10 seconds… so that is either 5 Double strength Word of Glory (consuming the Guardian) or 6 Light of Dawn, also healing the tank with Guardian double ups available after the 10 second window is up. Just seems way more awesome that being able to shock/shock/shock/3 Holy Power for 20s (netting 3-4 Word of Glory/Light of Dawn). Holy Avenger gives us a flat out amazing CD once a fight, which should be enough (and it turns our tank healing CD into a tank or raid healing CD), Sanctified Wrath allows us to generate HP fast and cheaply, but currently when I Wrath it’s mostly to up raid heals or allow my big heals to top the tank up more (and leave bigger shields) so Sanctified Wrath completely changes the use of that CD, and not necessarily in a more productive way. Divine Purpose is probably the catch all, and the best fallback option, though it adds to proc watching.

  8. Also, keep in mind this is all preliminary. Once 5.0 hits, I’m sure it will have some changes

  9. @Sol – That is true, but don’t forget that GoAK is (currently) a 5m CD whereas AW is a 2m one. You may only get to use GoAK + HA once a raid encounter (assuming a usual 5 – 7m fight), whereas AW + SW would get used 2 – 3 times. And no one said you had to use Shock only for tank healing. It would make very nice sniping to low-health targets in a raid, followed up by a LoD or WoG on whoever needs it.

  10. I don’t understand why wouldn’t the Holy Avenger talent be interesting. For me, the biggest issue with GoAK is that, in order to use it efficiently, I feel I have to spend it on big heals – DL and WoG. However, I can only use WoG once (or twice if I get the proc) so I get a bit ineffective on mana. With the talent, I would be able to spam WoG which turns GoAK to a CD that increases throughput and saves mana. I’d also get 5 free WoGs for each GoAK, with Divine purpose that’s about 1 free WoG for each 7 of them being cast. The question is, am I casting enough WoGs to get 35 of them for each GoAK?

  11. The encounter model for most of Firelands favours one big CD per encounter over multiple little ones. The fact that it more than doubles the effectiveness of the Guardian (because if it stays this way I have 10 seconds of Light of Dawn or the new Sacred Shield spam followed by 20 seconds to cast 5 doubled heals in) is the winner for me. Holy Shock on CD just doesn’t add anywhere near that level of power to Avenging Wrath. Honestly I think the GoAK bonus for Holy is far too good and won’t survive to the expansion.

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