Holy Paladin: Mastery

85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
I'm creating this thread hoping to greatly reduce the influx of PMs and tells I get regarding our mastery. Keep in mind that is pretty much only for 25 man raids; I see some potential uses for this in 10 man, but for the most part it probably won't be as useful in a 10 man scenario.

The Firelands fights come in two categories: sustained AoE damage stages and no AoE damage/AoE damage that Holy Radiance isn't suited to heal. Beth'tilac, Lord Ryolith, Domo and the ground phase of Alysrazor are all mostly based around AoE healing for sustained amounts of time while while Alysrazor air phase, Shannox, Baleroc and Ragnaros are fights where Holy Radiance isn't even worth casting.

For the AoE fights, all we really have going for us is Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn, while all of the other healers are able to pump out AoE heals nearly non-stop. Now the way I look at it is that someone still needs to heal the tank and that since Paladins are pretty horrible at sustained AoE healing, a 25 man raid may as well put one or two Holy Paladins on full time tank healing and just have them Holy Radiance on cooldown.

For the non AoE healing fights, Paladins have the choice to choose between tank healing or... tank healing. Casting Holy Lights and Lights of Dawn on the raid simply doesn't compare to Chain Heal/Wild Growth/Circle of Healing/Prayer of Healing.

My guild's healing team is flexible enough to allow for a Paladin to have a weaker Holy Radiance in order to have more powerful tank healing. This translates in the AoE healers having to spend less time on the tank and more time doing what they're good at.


How does this relate to mastery? The golden rule of tanking and healing is that when it comes to handling damage, the best to worst order to do it in is this: completely avoiding the damage, mitigating the damage, healing the damage with a very large amount of fast heals, healing the damage with slow and large heals. Mastery helps mitigate damage and in some cases, completely avoid it. The reason why mitigating damage is so good is because it leads to reduced frequency of spikes in the tank's health and when spikes do occur, it makes them less pronounced, which in turn means that other healers don't panic and waste cooldowns or inefficient heals on the tank. Before the 4.2 change to make Mastery shield stack, the stat was mostly useless because such a huge portion of the shield was wasted on any given heal that gearing for Haste for faster reaction times was something pretty much every Holy Paladin agreed to being the better choice. But now we're in a position where Mastery is finally viable for a Paladin who wants to focus on tank healing.

The most important thing to note about healing with a Mastery set is that you sacrifice throughput in order to become a more effective tank healer. Your Holy Radiance (and mana regen) will be weaker than a Paladin who is going for a more balanced approach to gearing or a Paladin going for Haste. But in turn, you'll be putting a downright overpowered shield on the tank every time you heal him directly. And don't kid yourselves: if you're able to reduce the average hit the tank takes by 10k because of the Mastery shield, what you're doing is very nearly game breaking. The shield simply is that good for keeping tanks alive. What a full set of mastery comes down to is your guild's capacity to support one of its healers focus less on raid healing and more on tank healing.

Even if your guild can't (or won't) support a Paladin will a full mastery set, every Paladin should try to get off pieces with mastery on them so they can use them for Shannox, Baleroc and Ragnaros at the very least.
Edited by Zaroua on 7/4/2011 7:56 PM PDT
100 Human Paladin
13675
Good post Zaroua.

I've been extolling the virtues of Mastery since the patch, especially for 25-man raid guilds like yours and like mine (even though we are at different progression levels - the healing team makeup is what matters more).

In a 25-man raid, you have the freedom to become a much more specialized healer. In a 10-man (which I haven't done much of admittedly), having 1 healer incapacitated or forced to move causes the other healers to have to fill in their role temporarily. For 10-man healing, I'd most likely take a balanced gearing approach, maybe a little mastery heavy if I'm frequenly with a resto druid (and if holy was my mainspec, which it isn't!).

In a 25-man raid though, I'd be far more inclined to go with a mastery heavy gearing strategy. This frees up at least 1 of the tank healers to splash melee a lot more while taking some of the healing off the tank. Of course you always want a priest or shaman bouncing heals off the tank to get the -10% physical damage taken buff, and when combined with a mastery heavy holy paladin, the results are just insane, especially if you have a mastery-heavy disc priest applying PW:Shields on cooldown and Penances when needed. Even scary tank damage becomes relaxing when you're dealing with it like that.

07/04/2011 11:46 AMPosted by Atrahasis
Or take a disc priest to heal your tank


See above. It's not disc priest VERSUS holy paladin, it's disc priest PLUS holy paladin! The disc doesn't even have to pay full-time attention to the tank, and is free to mitigate spikes on the raid between shields and penanaces.
Edited by Dekkar on 7/4/2011 11:53 AM PDT
91 Blood Elf Paladin
7335
This is basically what I'm afraid of if they keep straight up buffing Illuminated Healing as-is instead of fixing class mechanics or adding HR/Beacon. Eventually the stat will be too strong at the limited applications it does have and we'll all be forced to take it and do stupid stuff like this.

That said, can you explain more about why you feel that mastery serves better as a tank healing stat than haste? What are you doing with your Beacon?
100 Human Paladin
13675
07/04/2011 11:55 AMPosted by Anohako
That said, can you explain more about why you feel that mastery serves better as a tank healing stat than haste? What are you doing with your Beacon?


As a tank with a holy offspec, I can explain this one (it was also in his original post). It's because it's a reliable absorb, and absorbs are always better for tank healing than straight-up healing is. It's always better to mitigate damage than to eat it and heal it up later. Disc priests can put a reliable absorb up once every 15 seconds. Any other absorbs are RNG reliant on critting. A holy paladin puts up an absorb 100% of the time.

EDIT: Imagine a tank with 190k HP getting hit for 2 hits of 110k by say, H Beth'tilac at 30 stacks or something (obviously haven't done that yet, but it's for illustrative purposes). After the first hit, he'll be at at 80k HP with the next one being 30k overkill. Absorbs can easily soften both of those, turning a 2-shot into a 3-shot, which is insanely powerful!

It's a good strategy in 2-3 tank fights. I don't know how it would fare on a 1-tank fight due to Beacon overhealing though.
Edited by Dekkar on 7/4/2011 12:37 PM PDT
85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
This is basically what I'm afraid of if they keep straight up buffing Illuminated Healing as-is instead of fixing class mechanics or adding HR/Beacon. Eventually the stat will be too strong at the limited applications it does have and we'll all be forced to take it and do stupid stuff like this.

That said, can you explain more about why you feel that mastery serves better as a tank healing stat than haste? What are you doing with your Beacon?


I leave it on the tank I'm healing and heal that tank. If that tank isn't taking damage or is taking very low amounts of damage, I'll drop a few Holy Lights on the raid. But otherwise, everything goes on the tank with the Beacon on it. I think I'll pick up Eternal Glory in my second spec and use it on the non-AoE fights.

As for Haste vs. Mastery, mitigating damage is just too good, especially with tank damage being so high and bursty still. If a Paladin was truly solo healing a tank with no outside interference, then it'd be easy to math out which stat is better, but this doesn't happen in raids. If the tank dips low he'll most likely get a ton of healing from the rest of the healers, mastery will help ensure that the tank dips low instead of simply dying.
91 Blood Elf Paladin
7335
EDIT: Imagine a tank with 190k HP getting hit for 2 hits of 110k by say, H Beth'tilac at 30 stacks or something (obviously haven't done that yet, but it's for illustrative purposes). After the first hit, he'll be at at 80k HP with the next one being 30k overkill. Absorbs can easily soften both of those, turning a 2-shot into a 3-shot, which is insanely powerful!

I raided WotLK. I know how powerful EH was that expansion. It's nowhere near as important this expansion, especially with the relative magnitudes of shielding that are possible this time around.

It's a good strategy in 2-3 tank fights. I don't know how it would fare on a 1-tank fight due to Beacon overhealing though.

No, this is a worse strategy for 2-3 tank fights because gearing for mastery does nothing at all to improve Beacon healing. This strategy is most valid when you have one single tank to watch and no other responsibility, and don't care about Holy Radiance or Beacon of Light.
17 Blood Elf Hunter
30
07/04/2011 12:53 PMPosted by Atrahasis
In fact tank dmg was designed NOT to be bursty or very high at all.


In heroic content, tank can still get some fairly good burst damage thrown at them. Enough to kill them in a couple seconds.

85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
This virtually eliminates BoL. Your thoroughput takes a huge hit.


Not really. With a normal playstyle, most of your throughput comes from Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn and Protector of the Innocent. You still get most of that throughput when choosing to focus on a tank, and you'll also get more ToR procs since you won't really be casting it on the raid anymore, translating into more WoGs/LoDs casts. Still a throughput loss overall, but not an extremely large one, not like it would've been pre 4.2 without the stacking shield.


I cant speak for firelands as off yet but in the previous tiers of raid content this has rarely been an issue. In fact tank dmg was designed NOT to be bursty or very high at all. They didnt want tanks to be globaled. In any event PW:B is still much better at fufilling the function your talking about, as is Deep Healing.

The advocation of this mastery strategy flies contrary to our current strength. Multi tank healing. The primary tool this is accomplished with is beacon of light. Beacon of light has ZERO interaction with mastery and is is virutally wasted when one casts solely on his beacon target. I.E If you want a single tank healer, bring a disc priest.


Have you raided hard mode T11? Tanks frequently took over 60% to 80% of their health in damage in a few seconds. But now our heals only for 15% to 20% of a tank's total health instead of closer to 60-70% in WotLK. End result is the same as it was in WotLK: tanks take large amounts of damage in a relatively short period of time and healers are ill equipped to deal with damage of this nature.

No, this is a worse strategy for 2-3 tank fights because gearing for mastery does nothing at all to improve Beacon healing. This strategy is most valid when you have one single tank to watch and no other responsibility, and don't care about Holy Radiance or Beacon of Light.


This, pretty much. Tank swaps are good. Multiple tanks makes the mastery set-up lose some potential, but it's still obnoxiously good.
85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
Theirs a difference between being globaled and being killed in 4 or 5 hits or 2 or 3 hits. Haste allows you the time to heal between those.


In Wrath, a Paladin's Holy Light had a 1.3-1.4 second cast time, was spammable almost non-stop and healed for over half of a tank's health. All a tank needed to stay alive was a single heal to land between swings and heals landed very frequently. In Cata, a Paladin's Divine Light is a 1.9-2.2 seconds cast, can't be spammed and heals for about 20% of a tank's health. Tanks still take over 50% of their health in damage per swing very frequently (it's easy to not notice this because of all the HoTs, AoE healing effects and different shields active on the tank at any given time) but Divine Light *cannot* be spammed. So if the tank you're healing takes a swing, you either have to heal reactively and hope your Divine Light and another 2-3 heals all land before the next swing or the tank dies (or on normal modes, gets to very low health). Haste lets you land that one heal faster, mastery means that the tank might not die if other heals don't land.

Again even if we take your assumption as valid that tank dmg is way to bursty and you need a buffer, PW:B is much better at doing this. Druid hots are much better at doing this. Smart play will always favor those abilities. Now if you wish to mindlessly keep bubbles on your tank and handicap your thoroughput then by all means.


You most certainly need buffers and a single healer most certainly can't keep a tank alive on his own for an extended period of time. Other classes will have their HoTs on the tank. What mastery does is add a 100% reliable buffer that becomes more powerful as the tank's avoidance and mitigation go up. And all of the health buffers on a tank are the difference between life and death.



And you don't know how to interpret logs. First log is of normal mode. Normal modes are tuned so that appropriately geared players who have mastered their class will have a very easy time beating the encounters. The other logs are of farm content, which are even more worthless.
85 Draenei Paladin
7655
Even if one could argue that Mastery is a preferred Secondary stat, there is no way you'll convince anyone that it is better than intellect. And you are gemming straight up Mastery with disregard for intellect gems. And what's with your meta gem?

And I agree with the other posters, it seems you're trying to be a weak disc priest. Without something like PW:S, there just isn't a point. Being able to land heals faster is always going to be better than some mediocre shielding.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
12550
My question for you, Zaroua, if you would please:

I experimented a few months back with ~1260 haste, with Mastery after that. This was before the changes, and I used it for about a month. It performed *ok.* What do you think is a good number for haste, if you are going to use a Mastery-focused build?

Holy smokes, just looked at your character - looks like you have eschewed haste almost completely...what is the likelihood that you will stay that far into Mastery?

Thank you, in advance - and thanks for the post.

Riôt
90 Blood Elf Paladin
12550
07/04/2011 02:50 PMPosted by Aani
And what's with your meta gem?


Saw that too - would make some sense if it were a PvP build, but it is indeed strange.

Riôt

85 Dwarf Paladin
11575
Let's go back in time then shall we and look at progression content logs, specifically paragons first log in Janurary.


http://worldoflogs.com/reports/ml07jb08yd4kpwbz/sum/healingDone/?s=3584&e=4098

Those are the break downs of each healer. Youll notice in each case beacon heals for at least a MIN of 15%.


Again, you don't understand how to use logs. Of that 15%, a large portion of it comes from Protector of the Innocent, Light of Dawn, healing the raid when appropriate, etc. All of these things will also be transferred through Beacon for a Paladin using a mastery set to its full potential. You can link as many logs as you want, it won't change the fact that you don't understand how to interpret them since you're so insistent at only looking at the healing breakdown and calling it a day.


I have yet to have a heal miss but when it does ill get back to you. It's not really a hope, the dmg model on tanks is such that it does happen. You do land the heal in time, the vast majority of the time. In wotlk this wasnt the case because tanks would get GLOBALED. One shot and you no amount of haste would make up for that. In cata its not as harsh. With enough haste and buffers from friendly life blooming druids or riptide or renew it is NOT necessary to nerf your thoroughput so you can mindlessly keep a bubble on your tank. Again ill reiterate, if you want a proactive mitigating healer take a disc priest. They dont need to force themselves into a rather rigid inflexible playstyle as well as take a huge thoroughput hit to be able to do what your advocating.


Since you don't realize this: if the Disc Priest is healing the tank, he's nerfing *HIS* throughput to do so. Not only that, but Divine Aegis is a hell of a lot worse than Illuminated Healing. And not only that, but Disc Priests are damn amazing raid healers.


Even if one could argue that Mastery is a preferred Secondary stat, there is no way you'll convince anyone that it is better than intellect. And you are gemming straight up Mastery with disregard for intellect gems. And what's with your meta gem?

And I agree with the other posters, it seems you're trying to be a weak disc priest. Without something like PW:S, there just isn't a point. Being able to land heals faster is always going to be better than some mediocre shielding.


I'll most likely be re-gemming to accommodate socket bonuses before next week. As for my meta gem, I've been using that meta and resist flasks since Ulduar. I'd rather sacrifice a wee bit of throughput for more survivability. There's been 3 fights where I feel the meta wasn't preferable: Saurfang, Vezax and Baleroc.

I'd say that a Disc Priest trying to tank heal over a Paladin in 4.2 is a Disc Priest trying to be a weak Paladin.


@Riot: Until you feel comfortable. If you simply can't stand the long cast times, then balance things out. In any case, because of the itemization in Firelands, it'll be very hard to have a BiS set-up with a very high amount of mastery. As upgrades start rolling in, mastery will drop down - and I certainly don't advocate using a 372 mastery piece over a 391 piece. Unless it's our set gloves.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
5020
07/04/2011 11:39 AMPosted by Zaroua
I'm creating this thread hoping to greatly reduce the influx of PMs and tells I get regarding our mastery.

I'm not sure who you are (or who you think you are) but why should anyone care what you have to say about our mastery? Or about anything related to our class?

Or rather, why should anyone care what you have to say over what anyone else has to say? You imply you're some kind of expert Holy Paladin yet you've killed one more FL boss than I have and I'd consider myself fairly mediocre.

07/04/2011 03:24 PMPosted by Zaroua
Since you don't realize this: if the Disc Priest is healing the tank, he's nerfing *HIS* throughput to do so. Not only that, but Divine Aegis is a hell of a lot worse than Illuminated Healing. And not only that, but Disc Priests are damn amazing raid healers.

A decent disc priest is more than capable of both healing the tank and healing the raid, especially with Earth Shield and/or Beacon on the tank to smooth out any damage spikes. Again, I don't understand where you get off on thinking you're better than everyone else and can just make arrogant pronouncements about classes/specs when (admittedly limited) data says the opposite.

07/04/2011 03:24 PMPosted by Zaroua
I'd say that a Disc Priest trying to tank heal over a Paladin in 4.2 is a Disc Priest trying to be a weak Paladin.

Perhaps it's much different in 10-man (a lot is) but I've found Disc priests to be vastly superior tank healers in 4.2, especially on fights where beacon can't be used to cross heal the tanks (Beth, any one tank fight).

I'd say a Paladin trying to be a tank healer in 4.2 is a Paladin trying to be a weak disc priest. Why is your unsupported opinion better than mine?

07/04/2011 03:24 PMPosted by Zaroua
As for my meta gem, I've been using that meta and resist flasks since Ulduar. I'd rather sacrifice a wee bit of throughput for more survivability. There's been 3 fights where I feel the meta wasn't preferable: Saurfang, Vezax and Baleroc.

This is mind boggling to me. Again, maybe this is a 25 vs 10 thing but an Intellect meta and flask seems infinitely better than added resistance.

Intellect increases the strength of PotI (personal survivability), mana regen, throughput (the survivability of everyone else in the raid), and longevity. I know of no fight where -2% damage would outweigh 54 intellect and +2% mana. And there is no way that the added resist is superior to 300 intellect. Perhaps it helps you survive longer but what about your raid?

07/04/2011 11:39 AMPosted by Zaroua
But in turn, you'll be putting a downright overpowered shield on the tank every time you heal him directly. And don't kid yourselves: if you're able to reduce the average hit the tank takes by 10k because of the Mastery shield, what you're doing is very nearly game breaking. The shield simply is that good for keeping tanks alive. What a full set of mastery comes down to is your guild's capacity to support one of its healers focus less on raid healing and more on tank healing.

I strongly disagree. Mastery is only a +% increase to your heals that (most of the time) cannot overheal. The absorb isn't strong enough to add significant EHP and I don't know of any fight where a tank has to have more than his maximum health or even where that would be useful.

I can only believe that 25 man is even more different from 10 man than I thought because in my experience in 10 mans there is little benefit in smoothing a tank's health vs. overall HPS.

It seems like if you geared for maximum HPS you'd give the other healers in your raid more mana and time to spend cross healing the tanks and that would be infinitely better at smoothing a tank's HP than our mastery.
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