Yesterday’s post was about dungeon healing as a holy paladin in Classic. Today, we talk about raiding.
The major difference here is that you are not the sole person healing and responsible for everyone’s health. You have like, 10+ other healers with you for a 40-man raid, and probably at least 4 other people with you for a 20-man raid.
More, you are almost certainly not the only paladin!
As such, the big change here is one of coordination, as well as a subtle shift of responsibility.
PallyPower was the gold standard for blessings, back in the day. This allowed you to easily bless everyone appropriately, in coordination with other paladins in the raid, and also kept timers for those buffs. But PallyPower is: a) defunct, b) not going to work anyway because you didn’t have to target people directly to cast on them.
As such, barring any new plugins (please do let me know if any exist!), you’ll have to go old-school on this.
The low-tech way is to write down which class gets which of your buffs. Then buff yourself first and then buff your way down the list of druids, hunters, mages, priests, rogues, warlocks and warriors, as paladins have already been buffed when you buffed yourself. By buffing yourself first, you have a visible timer. When your buff is running out, that’s a great time to rebuff everyone.
The higher-tech way is to use your raid frames to show you the buffs. Whether you use the in-game frames or something like Grid, you can probably figure out how to get them to display. For myself, I’m thinking of giving a yellow border to people who have my buff, but that’ll be something I’ll explore in the future, assuming an addon doesn’t come out before then.
As to who should buff what in a raid situation: make sure if anyone has an improved buff or otherwise talented blessing that they’re casting that one. You have someone who has improved wisdom? Great, they cast that across the raid. Someone with improved might? Same. Someone with kings? Perfect, they cast that on everyone. Let the people with unimproved talents cast Salvation. I definitely suggest you have a paladin channel for pallies to organize themselves here.
What about Blessing of Light?
In a raid situation, most of your paladins are probably going to be healing. That’s sort of what paladins do in raids in this era we’re revisiting. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a prot pally as an off-tank, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a ret pally doing some damage, but, by and large, pallies are used to heal. So if you have a lot of pallies healing, yes, by all means, throw Blessing of Light on the raid, if you’ve got Salvation, Kings, Might and Wisdom covered. Whoever’s blessing Salvation can be the one to throw Light on the tanks at the very least.
A good rule of thumb is one healer per group and 2-3 healers for the main tank and, if you can spare it, a couple tanks for the off-tank. This depends on the fight, of course. We always liked to have a variety of healers on the main tank — so a priest, a druid and a paladin. You had the priest with the nice, sweet Greater Heals, the druid with Rejuvenation and Regrowth spam, while the paladin would cast Flash of Light pretty much non-stop. Repeat this setup as possible for any off-tanks.
Additionally, there are lots of things to dispel in raids, so it’s a good idea to organize whole cleanses what group. Paladins can dispel all but curses with one click, so even if you have DPS paladins, assign them to a group to dispel so that the priests in the raid can keep healing. Try not to make the MT’s priest do too much dispelling. It’s a lot easier for a paladin to dispel and resume Flash of Light spam.
Speaking of dispelling, mages and druids are the only ones who can remove curses, so yes, even mages are going to need to decurse. Assign each mage or druid a group to decurse and have a backup plan for the main tank’s group in case someone eats it unexpectedly and then your main tank has two curses, a magic effect and a poison on them. ;)
Classic brings with it the concept of multiple potions and such while in combat. That means you can drink a mana potion every two minutes while in combat. But did you know that there are other things that can grant you mana?
- Dark Rune: This non-bind-on-pickup item drops in Scholomance and is super useful for gaining a bit of mana while your potions are on cooldown. It shares a cooldown with healthstones, but not potions. Also, since there are no soulwells, you probably won’t even have a healthstone, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Demonic Rune: This is a BOP item that drops off of virtually any demon, so it’s much easier to acquire than a Dark Rune, even though it’s BOP. While it basically does the same thing as a Dark Rune, the main difference is that a Demonic Rune can crit when it takes your health away. As such, always be aware of your health when you take it. A badly-timed use of a Demonic Rune that crits can absolutely kill you. That said, it’s shadow damage, so you might want to make sure you have Shadow Resist Aura up.
Of course, there are also other raid consumables. We’re talking Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Mageblood Potion and Nightfin Soup. These are pretty much the basics for a holy paladin. Also, load up on those Major Mana Potions.
There’s also downranking, but I’ll talk more about that in another post. Essentially, it’s the concept of using less-than-max-rank spells on purpose for the purpose of saving mana, particularly in periods of low raid damage. I’ll need to play around with things once I get to a decent level, but in some situations it’s perfectly okay to use, say, Rank 4 of Holy Light for only 190 mana instead of Rank 9 of Holy Light for 660 mana if you just need a small heal of 400-500 health, rather than 1600-2000 health. This really depends on your gear, though. At base levels, Rank 4 of Holy Light is equivalent to (and slightly more expensive than) max-rank Flash of Light. But if you have a lot of +healing… You can see where I’m going with this. In some cases, based on gear, you can do a lot of effective healing with lower ranks of spells.
The Five-Second Rule
Your mana doesn’t regen in combat (outside of any buffs that grant mp5, like Blessing of Wisdom) unless you haven’t spent mana for a full five seconds. One reason a lower Holy Light rank would be more useful than a max-rank Flash of Light is you can more easily interrupt a 2.5s cast than a 1.5s cast. So if your heal is no longer needed, you can hit escape or just move to prevent the cast from going through. This can enable you to hit the five seconds required to allow in-combat mana regeneration. Even a tick or two is helpful on some fights or if you’re a bit undergeared.
If you have at least three paladins, you want a resist aura, plus improved Devotion Aura, plus Concentration Aura and then you’re pretty much good. If you don’t need a resist aura, or there’s a large pack of mobs the tanks need to hold on to, toss up Ret aura.
Pick a seal to judge. Always judge that seal in the raid. You may want to double-up on wisdom and light to ensure that these are always being cast.
Divine Intervention Management
Don’t have all the pallies in your raid cast DI on the same wipe. With an hour-long cooldown, it’s best to spread out Divine Intervention. Decide who uses it in a rotation and make sure you’re clear on it before each pull. If you die before you can cast DI, call it out for the next person. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re deep inside Molten Core, you definitely do not want to have to run back, so DIing someone (preferably a priest or another paladin), is a good time-saver. Just don’t use all of them on the same wipe!
Well, that does it for this guide on how to raid as a holy paladin in Classic! Am I missing anything? Do you have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments below!