Eternal Flame vs Light of Dawn/Sacred Shield

90 Human Paladin
13100
I'm finally getting around to gearing up my Paladin after playing on my Restoration Druid for the first part of the expansion, but I'm having trouble figuring out which talent choice I should use in T45 of our talent tree.

The default choice for most seems to be Eternal Flame, which I currently use, but I've also seen some Holy Paladins using Sacred Shield instead and investing virtually all of their Holy Power into Light of Dawn and only using Word of Glory in emergency situations where a player is close to death. I am also curious as to how often I should be using Light of Dawn if I'm spec'd into Eternal Flame.

Clarification would be appreciated.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12465
Well...

I assume you are asking for raid purposes? If so, what raid size?

Some thoughts:

You didn't mention Selfless Healer.

I don't like Sacred Shield, but it does have its uses.

Eternal Flame is good, and I choose it if I'm in a raid, but I like Selfless Healer better. If I had better healing gear, I would likely choose Selfless Healer for most fights. In the right raid group, and in the right hands, I think Selfless Healer is the strongest of the 3 options, but those are 2 big IF's. Sacred Shield is arguably better sometimes, and Eternal Flame is good all of the time. Overall, Eternal Flame is kind of the *can't go wrong* choice, imo.

LoD with Eternal Flame - note that this question becomes completely moot if you are not using Divine Purpose. With no Divine Purpose, there are no EF *blankets,* so you are left with the same choice we had for all of Cataclysm, just that the WoG option has been buffed (again). As a side note, I am aware of Holy Avenger, and what it does. 18 seconds out of every 2 minutes, at best. Not really worth talking about, regarding this particular question, so I'm leaving it out.

I wouldn't look at this as a choice between abilities that appear to be at cross-purposes. Eternal Flame does not change the fact that WoG is single target, and LoD is multi-target. It does, however, give you the option to use either one in a raid healing situation, and either option is good, assuming you get the DP procs to spread more than 2 Flames (10m), and 4 Flames (25m). You might like to roll the dice, but I leave EF for the tanks, and use LoD for the raid. The choice, is yours to make.

I'm tired, I'll look at this again tomorrow.

Riôt
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90 Draenei Shaman
10060
If you're talking about raiding, it probably also depends a little little bit on your tanks.

All our tanks are pallies and they all have sacred shield (and use it heavily) -- so we've suggested pally healers spec into eternal flame. Sacred shield is extremely powerful for prot pallies since it scales with vengeance, and we've got some insane numbers out of it.

Selfless healer is an extremely powerful talent as well, although a bit more difficult to manage. Our MT is convinced it's a pvp talent, but I don't really see that! My main holy pally (I have 2) was specced into selfless healer and once you got used to taking advantage of the talent, it was really very very nice. A little more twitchy I think and requires a bit more management.

Eternal flame, however, remains very good. My 2nd pally takes that talent and the hot blankets are very nice w/ Divine Purpose.
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90 Human Paladin
13100
I assume you are asking for raid purposes? If so, what raid size?


25 man progression raiding.

Eternal Flame is good, and I choose it if I'm in a raid, but I like Selfless Healer better. If I had better healing gear, I would likely choose Selfless Healer for most fights. In the right raid group, and in the right hands, I think Selfless Healer is the strongest of the 3 options, but those are 2 big IF's. Sacred Shield is arguably better sometimes, and Eternal Flame is good all of the time. Overall, Eternal Flame is kind of the *can't go wrong* choice, imo.

LoD with Eternal Flame - note that this question becomes completely moot if you are not using Divine Purpose. With no Divine Purpose, there are no EF *blankets,* so you are left with the same choice we had for all of Cataclysm, just that the WoG option has been buffed (again). As a side note, I am aware of Holy Avenger, and what it does. 18 seconds out of every 2 minutes, at best. Not really worth talking about, regarding this particular question, so I'm leaving it out.

I wouldn't look at this as a choice between abilities that appear to be at cross-purposes. Eternal Flame does not change the fact that WoG is single target, and LoD is multi-target. It does, however, give you the option to use either one in a raid healing situation, and either option is good, assuming you get the DP procs to spread more than 2 Flames (10m), and 4 Flames (25m). You might like to roll the dice, but I leave EF for the tanks, and use LoD for the raid. The choice, is yours to make.

I'm tired, I'll look at this again tomorrow.


I see many Holy Paladins using both Eternal Flame and Light of Dawn, which seems conflicting to me but I guess it comes down to the kind of fight they're participating in. I'm guessing that fights that have constant, heavy raid-wide damage, like Garalon or Stone Guard, would favor Eternal Flame because of the low probability of the ability over-healing when cast on any raid member, where-as I see Light of Dawn being more useful in raid encounters where damage comes out in bursts and is usually healed very quickly. (Most of the encounters of this expansion)

What peaks my curiosity is if I should be making a habit of changing my talents according to the fight. This seems like a no-brainer "duh", but how badly would I be hurting if I chose not to spec into Sacred Shield on a fight where there is heavier-than-average tank damage or if HoT's have a higher over-healing potential.

Edit: By the way, this is all taking into consideration that I'm spec'd into Divine Purpose. I feel it's a necessity due to how low a Holy Paladin's average Holy Power generation would be otherwise, and even with it my Holy Power generation feels sluggish at times. I cannot wait for my four set bonus...
Edited by Areos on 12/13/2012 9:53 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13100
If you're talking about raiding, it probably also depends a little little bit on your tanks.

All our tanks are pallies and they all have sacred shield (and use it heavily) -- so we've suggested pally healers spec into eternal flame. Sacred shield is extremely powerful for prot pallies since it scales with vengeance, and we've got some insane numbers out of it.

Selfless healer is an extremely powerful talent as well, although a bit more difficult to manage. Our MT is convinced it's a pvp talent, but I don't really see that! My main holy pally (I have 2) was specced into selfless healer and once you got used to taking advantage of the talent, it was really very very nice. A little more twitchy I think and requires a bit more management.

Eternal flame, however, remains very good. My 2nd pally takes that talent and the hot blankets are very nice w/ Divine Purpose.


Our primary tanks are a Brewmaster Monk and a Protection Warrior, although we may use a Blood Death Knight every now and then if one of them is absent.

I've been reluctant to use Sacred Shield because most fights don't have heavy enough tank damage (that I or the other healers aren't able to casually manage) to justify it, but I'm worried that Eternal Flame would go to waste as a throughput talent on any fight that I'm left spamming Light of Dawn instead. Once again, this simply comes down to respeccing to meet a fight's demand, but it's questions I'd like to see answered before I get heavily-invested with optimizing my gear a certain way.

Another random question: is there any difference in how I'll optimize my gear depending on either of the 3 talent choices? For example, if I choose Eternal Flame/Sacred Shield, is there a haste breakpoint I should be reaching towards, or should I just stick with mindlessly-stacking Mastery/Spirit? Also, does Sacred Shield gain any benefit from Mastery?
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90 Blood Elf Priest
7430
12/13/2012 09:51 AMPosted by Areos
For example, if I choose Eternal Flame/Sacred Shield, is there a haste breakpoint I should be reaching towards, or should I just stick with mindlessly-stacking Mastery/Spirit? Also, does Sacred Shield gain any benefit from Mastery?


I believe there's an easy Haste threshold to reach for EF around 1500, can't find the exact number.

If I were still a Paladin, I would mindlessly continue stacking Mastery/Spirit. I loved it in Cata, liked it in MoP beta, and it seems to be the only serious choice.

And no, Sacred Shield does not benefit from Mastery, only Spellpower and Haste.
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90 Human Paladin
13100
For example, if I choose Eternal Flame/Sacred Shield, is there a haste breakpoint I should be reaching towards, or should I just stick with mindlessly-stacking Mastery/Spirit? Also, does Sacred Shield gain any benefit from Mastery?


I believe there's an easy Haste threshold to reach for EF around 1500, can't find the exact number.

If I were still a Paladin, I would mindlessly continue stacking Mastery/Spirit. I loved it in Cata, liked it in MoP beta, and it seems to be the only serious choice.

And no, Sacred Shield does not benefit from Mastery, only Spellpower and Haste.


That turns me off of Sacred Shield even more, considering that I and many others will be stacking Mastery to kingdom come due to its efficiency and how well it scales itself.

If I could get a concrete number on this supposed haste breakpoint for Eternal Flame and whether it's actually worth investing haste into, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: I would look all of this information up myself normally, but there is no Elitist Jerks article I could find about Holy Paladins, and other articles online had conflicting information. :|
Edited by Areos on 12/13/2012 11:12 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13100
12/13/2012 11:12 AMPosted by Sparklefever
If I could get a concrete number on this supposed haste breakpoint for Eternal Flame and whether it's actually worth investing haste into, it would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.totemspot.com/vb/entry.php?b=41


Thank you. The first breakpoint being covered by the 5% spell haste buff is nice, though the second breakpoint seems out of reach unless I invest a good amount of haste into it, something I won't be willing to pass up Mastery for. Maybe later in the expansion, but not as of now.
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90 Tauren Paladin
0
Both SS and EF have their points. In many cases where SS is taken, it's used on Heroic boss fights where preventing tank spike damage is what will prevent a wipe. Preemptive shielding is very powerful.

Eternal Flame, on the other hand, provides some solid HPS. Using my own values and rounding...

SS will prevent 130k damage, guaranteed, on the tank, over 30 seconds.
Each EF (Just the HoT portion) heals for 72k, not counting crit or Mastery. With 18% crit and 32% mastery, you're looking at 112k, PLUS some potential Beacon transfer for another 42. Or 154k in ideal situations. Not guaranteed.

Additionally. SS, as mentioned, does not benefit from either crit or mastery. EF does. SS requires a global cooldown. Yes, it's easy to find most times, but it's still a cost. EF requires nothing, as you'd be casting your Word of Glory anyways. And best of all? EF ticks renews the duration on your Mastery shields. Have to heal a DPS that just got knocked to half health? Your Mastery will have 45 seconds before it gets wasted. Greatly reduces the overheal on our Illuminated Healing.

And if you're rockin' the 4-piece PvP like I am, there's not even a hint of a comparison. <Beams>

So really, even if you're using a single EF every 30 seconds, and spending the rest of your Holy Power/Divine Purpose Procs on Light of Dawn, the numbers are still very solidly equal (assuming the first EF is used on non-beacon). Once you exceed that once per 30 second usage, though, EF pulls clearly ahead. Ultimately, I would say it depends upon what role you're playing. Since you're in 25-man, there's a lot more raid healing going around, so Light of Dawn gains usage. But if you and your other healers are comfortable with you slamming an EF on the lowest health party member when raid damage goes out to help ward against potential death, you might see about doing so. One good part about having a paladin with this focus is that, when the healers are all focused upon raid healing, your EF beacon transfers help ensure that the tank doesn't drop off from reduced heals.

Unless you're doing Heroics. Then you should listen to wiser people.
Edited by Wards on 12/13/2012 1:35 PM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13100
Both SS and EF have their points. In many cases where SS is taken, it's used on Heroic boss fights where preventing tank spike damage is what will prevent a wipe. Preemptive shielding is very powerful.

Eternal Flame, on the other hand, provides some solid HPS. Using my own values and rounding...

SS will prevent 130k damage, guaranteed, on the tank, over 30 seconds.
Each EF (Just the HoT portion) heals for 72k, not counting crit or Mastery. With 18% crit and 32% mastery, you're looking at 112k, PLUS some potential Beacon transfer for another 42. Or 154k in ideal situations. Not guaranteed.

Additionally. SS, as mentioned, does not benefit from either crit or mastery. EF does. SS requires a global cooldown. Yes, it's easy to find most times, but it's still a cost. EF requires nothing, as you'd be casting your Word of Glory anyways. And best of all? EF ticks renews the duration on your Mastery shields. Have to heal a DPS that just got knocked to half health? Your Mastery will have 45 seconds before it gets wasted. Greatly reduces the overheal on our Illuminated Healing.

And if you're rockin' the 4-piece PvP like I am, there's not even a hint of a comparison. <Beams>

So really, even if you're using a single EF every 30 seconds, and spending the rest of your Holy Power/Divine Purpose Procs on Light of Dawn, the numbers are still very solidly equal (assuming the first EF is used on non-beacon). Once you exceed that once per 30 second usage, though, EF pulls clearly ahead. Ultimately, I would say it depends upon what role you're playing. Since you're in 25-man, there's a lot more raid healing going around, so Light of Dawn gains usage. But if you and your other healers are comfortable with you slamming an EF on the lowest health party member when raid damage goes out to help ward against potential death, you might see about doing so. One good part about having a paladin with this focus is that, when the healers are all focused upon raid healing, your EF beacon transfers help ensure that the tank doesn't drop off from reduced heals.

Unless you're doing Heroics. Then you should listen to wiser people.


Very insightful post, thank you.
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90 Human Paladin
7010
Eternal Flame is superior, from my experience.

Couple reasons.

First....Selfless Healer is a total Ret spec talent....it hits hard in ret, normal in Holy and the only fight it can sometimes be nice on is Gara'jal when you're trying to do quick heals...but even then you have to waste the GCD on a judgement.

Sacred shield is completely awesome....but garbage compared to Eternal Flame. Sure it's free....but can you have 10 of them stack on an entire raid, each one of them adding a tick to your beacon target? I don't think so.

Bottom line...quit raiding, start playing BG's/Arena's....get your conquest points....grab your 4 set PvP...and go face roll heroic raids at 100k HPS without worrying about mana regen because the set is so OP (Coupled with Divine Purpose and Eternal Flame).
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
12/14/2012 03:37 PMPosted by Helbare
Sacred shield is completely awesome....but garbage compared to Eternal Flame. Sure it's free....but can you have 10 of them stack on an entire raid, each one of them adding a tick to your beacon target? I don't think so.


Assuming that all 10 (?) of those Eternal Flames are doing something useful, and it's feasible to keep all 10 (again... ?) up without gimping your raid in other ways (read: Light of Dawn, or burst tank healing with WoG itself), then yes you're totally correct. Absolutely.

That's not always the case. I'm still kind of green to this expansion's heroic modes (only a few nights in H MSV thus far), but even so, from what I've seen/heard there are fights where multi-HoTing with Eternal Flame is a subpar strategy. Burst AoE damage occurs where LoD is great, spiky tank damage occurs where a frequent absorb proc can make a big difference and a trickle of healing would not, etc.

All I'm saying is, fine-tune your spec/glyph/etc. to the fight, and don't flat-out say "X ability is better than Y". Unless you're talking about Selfless Healer, because screw Selfless Healer. (I mean it.)

Bottom line...quit raiding, start playing BG's/Arena's....get your conquest points....grab your 4 set PvP...and go face roll heroic raids at 100k HPS without worrying about mana regen because the set is so OP (Coupled with Divine Purpose and Eternal Flame).


Read the patch notes silly :-P

The PvP gear is decent, but once you get your real 4-piece - even from LFR - you should be equipping that.
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90 Draenei Paladin
0
12/15/2012 08:38 PMPosted by Tailias
Unless you're talking about Selfless Healer, because screw Selfless Healer. (I mean it.)


:(

I really like judging things. It's the one thing I miss about previous holy paladin iterations.
Even so it seems unlikely to me that SH can really compete with EF/SS for holy.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
I remember in beta where everyone said SH was the only way to go because without it your mana was in the toilet. Rather funny now.

Also, i want to like and use sacred shield but... EF with divine purpose is just too powerful to pass up on any fight with any sort of raid damage going out.
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90 Draenei Paladin
0
12/16/2012 11:01 AMPosted by Keirisonis
I remember in beta where everyone said SH was the only way to go because without it your mana was in the toilet.


Mm, I remember this too. Wasn't Ascetic Crusader removing Judgment's mana cost at that point?

If it was entirely mana free I could probably convince myself to do it just for enjoyment's sake. But EF is so powerful. Argh, that talent tier.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
6590
12/16/2012 11:04 AMPosted by Lyria
If it was entirely mana free I could probably convince myself to do it just for enjoyment's sake. But EF is so powerful. Argh, that talent tier.


Also the tier with hand of purity. I want to use it so bad, but the other talents are so much better for so many fights.
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