Mission statement: Provide a quick reference guide so that anyone new to the class can read it and quickly be ready to take on the healing paladin role.
- General goal 1: Discuss the need to know and not list every possible spell and glyph like a crappy lecturer reading PowerPoint slides.
- General goal 2: Provide detailed information with theory-craft about how to maximize your paladin healing.
Disclaimer: This is being released before WoD and strategies and abilities are subject to change. This guide will be updated as they do but please make use of the comment sections and forums to discuss new/other/different ideas.
Table of Contents:
- Whats different from 5.4 – Skip to section 2 if 5.4 means nothing to you.
- Crash Course Guide:
- Talents and Glyphs
- The Spells
- It’s All in the Details: Min-Max Section
Section 1: New to Warlords of Draenor
Healing Changes in General:
- Bizzard has made it its goal to slow down healing and make it more about decisions rather than spamming heals in a race to keep players topped off. They are trying to achieve this by doubling players health but not changing the size of heals.
- They are also want to change how mana scales during content. Instead of starting tiers of content struggling for mana and finishing tiers where mana is irrelevant, they increased base regen and provided a cheap healing “rotation”. As you gear up you will gain Spirit more slowly and will never be able to spam your most expensive spells.
- Lastly, tanks are a little less powerful and raid cooldowns have been toned down. This means our heals mean more, are needed more, and we have greater control over mitigating incoming damage rather than our DPS and Tanking counterparts being able to do our job for us.
Holy Paladin Changes from 5.4 to 6.0:
- Holy Power finishers now have a cast time. Light of Dawn, Word Of Glory, and Eternal Flame all have 1.5 sec base casts. Part of another general change to reduce how much healing can happen while moving.
- Tower of Radiance no longer generates Holy Power. It reduces the cost of heals on the Beacon Target instead.
- Cool Down Changes: Avenging Wrath has been merged with Divine Favor, and Guardian of Ancient Kings to provide one mega cool down. Hand of Salvation is Protection only, Devotion Aura is Holy only.
- Mana Cost: Holy Radiance has a huge mana cost and cannot be spammed for Holy Power. Divine Plea is gone so there is no active mana regen ability. Additionally, Mana Tide Totem and Hymns of Hope are gone. Beacon of Light now also has a mana cost but Judge and Denounce are mana free.
- Divine Light is gone. Just have Holy Light and Flash of Light. They are the same strength.
- Eternal Flame now stacks Illuminated Healing again. The HoT is much weaker and 1, 2, and 3 Holy Power strength casts buffs the initial heal and the duration of the HoT (10/20/30sec). Sacred Shield is much stronger to compete with Eternal Flame.
- Holy Shock now has double your critical strike chance rather than a flat 25% bonus to crit. Critical strike is also our specialized stat and we gain 5% additional crit from its rating.
Section 2: Crash Course Guide
A: Talents and Glyphs
- 15 – Movement Tier: Speed of Light is a sprint on demand. Pursuit of Justice is a “static” movement buff (increases based on current holy power).
- 30 – Crowd Control Tier: Fist of Justice reduces the CD of your 6 sec stun to 30 sec. Other choices are 1 min CC and Aoe Daze. Either are perfectly fine options.
- 45 – Healing Spells: Eternal flame puts a HoT on your WoG. Refreshes mastery shields. Sacred Shield, a HoT Shield, is perfectly viable, changes play style. Selfless healer buffs Flash of Light but requires the use of the “non-healing wet noodle hitting” Judgment.
- 60 – Utility: All are useful, although Hand of Purity is only useful in rare and specific encounters. Unbreakable spirit cuts the CD of Lay on Hands, Divine Shield, and Divine Protection in half which can be a life saver. Clemency for double Blessing of Protections can be required for some fights.
- 75 – Healing Buff: An argument can be made for all three. Holy Avenger is biggest burst, Sanctified Wrath has the most sustained healing and best mobility, Divine Purpose can be fun and scales well with T17 Set Bonus.
- 90 – Healing Spells: Holy Prism for most encounters. Target boss and enjoy the huge smart AoE heal. Light’s Hammer is best for stacked infrequent AoE healing fights, biggest heal but long CD that wont always line up.
- 100 – Beacon of Light Modifiers: Beacon of Faith lets you have two beacons. Will be the winner in most situations. Beacon of Insight can be useful in small groups or single tank fights. Saved by the Light is very situational, mostly a PvP talent.
- Beacon of Light: No GCD triggered when casting Beacon of Light. Required if you do frequent beacon swapping.
- Hand of Sacrifice: Take away the humiliation of killing yourself while being useful. No damage transferred when using Hand of Sacrifice.
- Divinity: Gain 10% mana back when you use Lay on Hands. Mana-Pot while saving a life.
- Merciful Wrath: Reduces the effectiveness of Avenging Wrath but doubles the uptime. Good for encounters with more frequent small burst of damage. Not optimal with Sanctified Wrath Glyph.
- Cleanse: Gain 2 charges of cleanse, situational.
- Divine Protection: Instead of 40% less magic damage, 20% physical and 20% magical damage reduction. Situational.
- Flash of Light: 10% buff to next heal from you to the target of your Flash Heal. Can be good for tank healing if you find yourself spamming Flash of Light on a tank.
- Protector of the Innocent: 20% self heal when you cast Word of Glory. Situational.
B: The Spells
Single Target Heals:
- Holy Shock – Generates Holy Power, instant. Used on CD.
- Holy Light – Slow and Cheap. The Filler.
- Flash of Light – Fast and Expensive. For panic heals on single target. Good for 5 man dungeons.
- Word of Glory/Eternal Flame – Holy Power Finisher. Cast at 3 Holy Power. Keep on tanks, EF’s HoT ticks for 50% more on self.
- Sacred Shield – Acts as a HoT Shield. Has 3 Charges. Keep a charge regenerating at all times. Keep on tanks.
- Holy Radiance – Generates Holy Power. Heals up to 6 in a small radiance from the targeted player. Very Expensive.
- Light of Dawn – Holy Power Finisher for AoE. Cast at 3 Holy Power. 30 yard range.
- Light’s Hammer or Holy Prism – Most powerful healing spells we have, use on CD or as fight requires.
There are two major play styles. Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield. As of now they are very close in output and different fights will favor once spec over the other, don’t feel guilty picking the play style you prefer, they are very close to each other.
- Cast Holy Shock on CD.
- Use your finisher at 3 holy power, not less.
- Cast Light of Dawn with Sacred Shield talent. Cast Eternal Flame when using Eternal Flame talent. Using Word of Glory with Sacred Shield is situational and usually a HPS loss. Using LoD with Eternal Flame is situational and usually a HPS loss. Keep EF on tanks and self if no other obvious targets.
- Sacred Shield has 3 charges, 10 second recharge. Get 3 out on the raid and then just keep it recharging, okay to pool 2 charges, just don’t let it sit at 3 charges. Prefer tanks.
- Use Holy Prism with boss/enemy as target on CD. Biggest Heal we have. If you have Light’s Hammer save for raid wide damage or on CD based on Encounter.
- Beacon of Light should on the tank taking damage. With Beacon of Faith, level 100 talent, 2nd beacon should be on the other tank or whoever is taking frequent damage. They share a 3 second CD and has a mana cost. Frequent beacon swaps is a dead play style.
- Use Holy Light as filler. Your heals put shields on players so even if players don’t need a heal they likely can use the shield. Healing a target that needs more health is always preferred to just putting a mastery shield on someone with your over-heal, but don’t be worried about over-healing unless people are dying.
- Use Holy Radiance during heavy raid damage on clumped groups only, use sparingly it is too expensive to cast more than a handful of times.
- Use Flash of Light for heavy single target damage, if the target has Beacon of Light/Faith it will be more mana sustainable.
Using Cool Downs:
- Avenging Wrath is our major CD. 100% more healing plus 20% more crit and haste. Have a plan when you need to use it, if you don’t have a plan use on CD. Not using your CD’s is a common mistake that really affects your HPS. With Sanctified Wrath you can alternate Holy Shock and Holy Light (and LoD/EF at 3 HP) due to the very short CD on Holy Shock.
- Holy Avenger is a talent we can take. Every Holy Power generator generates 3 Holy Power while active. For max healing alternate Holy Shock – Finisher – Holy Radiance – Finisher if at ranged or if in melee and low on mana use Crusader strike instead of Holy Radiance.
Quick things to know but do little with:
- Always have Seal of Insight active
- Holy Shock has double your critical strike chance
- Holy Paladins gain 5% additional crit from gear
- Infusion of light reduces the cast time of Holy Light or Holy Radiance by 1.5sec after a Holy Shock crit. Basically a Holy Light haste buff, don’t need to manage if you are using Holy Light regularly as your filler.
- Enhanced Holy Shock is a level 92-100 perk. 10% chance for your Holy Light or Flash of Light to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a CD. Just double up on Holy Shock when it procs.
- Daybreak is a passive talent that lets your Holy Shock splash 15%/30%(+ 100 Perk) of its healing to up to 6 targets within 10 yards after you cast Holy Radiance. Since Holy Radiance is rarely used due to its expensive and because Holy Shock is used on CD it is not something that needs to be managed closely.
Rotations are not completely realistic for healing, and it is important to pick the right heal for the job, when you need it. But I believe it is helpful to know what the general flow of healing would be during sustained damage.
- EF: Holy Prism – Holy Shock – Holy Light – Holy Light – HS – HL – HL – HS – EF…
- SS: Holy Prism – Holy Shock – Sacred Shield - Holy Light – Holy Light – HS – HL – HL – HS – LoD – Sacred Shield…
Holy Paladins have several spells that give significant utility and should be used frequently as it is a very important part of our tool kit:
- Hand of Sacrifice – 30% damage reduction for the target. This is your tank or “soak” CD to keep people alive for the hard hitting stuff.
- Hand of Protection – Immunity to physical damage. Frequently clears debuffs, can save squishy DPS from aggro pulls.
- Hand of Freedom – Clears movement impairing effects, anytime there is a dangerous slow effect it should be used.
- Divine Shield – Immunity for paladin. Use for uninterrupted casting, clear debuffs, soaking big hits, high raid damage, almost dead, oh shit I mess that up movements, and many more!
- Lay on Hands – Your huge instant save a Tank (or filthy DPS) spell.
- Devotion Aura – Raid wide damage CD, reduces only magic damage but can save the raid regardless.
Currently the stat priority is for both EF and SS is:
- Intellect > Crit > Haste > Mastery = Mulstrike = Versatility.
Spirit should be taken on all available slots: Neck, Cloak, Rings. Trinkets will be valued separately.
Enchants, Gems, Food, and Flasks:
- In WoD enchants, gems, and food are available in secondary stats only: Crit, Haste, Mastery, Multi-strike, and Versatility.
- Slots for enchants are neck, cloak, and rings. Go critcal strike for all. Weapon Enchant options are similar to the other enchants in that there are crit, haste, etc proc enchants but there is also a spirit enchant that is likely the best choice: Mark of Shadowmoon.
- All gems are prismatic. Go Critical Strike for all.
- Flasks are still primary stats. Go Intellect: Greater Draenic Intellect Flask.
BiS and Gearing:
Link from a guildie. Not my work or graphics!
In WoD there are multiple ways to obtain gear and many have random chance rolls to be a higher item level, have extra slots, have a gem socket. Lots of ways through crafting and garrisons to obtain and upgrade gear as well. BiS lists are hard to compile pre-raiding. I recommend using AskMrRobot (with corrects stat weights) to value gear. A very helpful gearing chart is also included in the gallery above.
Section 3: It’s All in the Details: Min-Max Section
The following section will have charts with more info about variations in rotations, talent, selections, and general min/max good/bad practices.
- The above looks at the projected HPS for the major talent choices. Beacon of Insight assumes perfect execution of following beacon which provides a 30% buff to healing that jumps every time a player is topped off or receives a heal from the paladin. The main take home of the above is that the talents are all very close although Sacred Shield has the highest mana cost. For the extra work of managing SS and its cost Eternal flame is the not so clear winner.
Tier 75 Talents and Tier 17 4pc Set Bonus:
- The above shows Sanctifed Wrath as the best sustained healing. Holy Avenger has the best Burst when using Holy Radiance while active. Divine Purpose averages below the others, scales best with T17 pc bonus. Overall the set bonus is only a few percent more HPS due to the slow holy power generation limiting the number of our finishers.
Updated Stat Weights
The most basic healing rotation costs 1500-1600 MPS. Our base mana regen is 963 MPS. Every 50 spirit is 21 more MPS. At these values we will never be mana neutral as we will never get enough spirit to cast indefinitely and spirit will always buy time before OOM.
Crusader Strike Use:
- Simply posting the above chart to show that Crusader Strike is not a cheap way to boost Holy Power production and healing. It is a loss for both. Crusader Strike should only be used during Holy Avenger if you have that talent if you don’t have the mana for Holy Radiance.
Sub 3 HP Finishers:
Frequently people will think they are better off casting 1 HP finishers to get more EF or LoD out. This is especially not a good habit to have in WoD because our HP finishers are not that much stronger than our other spells even at 3 HP and with EF the number of HP determine the length of the HoT. Casting 1 Holy Power finishers is more than not optimal, it is a HPS loss compared to just casting Holy light (a 1 hp EF is 1/2 the healing of a Holy light).
Thanks for reading, the guide is a work in progress and will be updated as the expansion, tuning, and creative game play evolves the holy paladin class.