[Holy] - 5.2 Healing Guide

90 Draenei Paladin
13095
EDITED FOR 5.2:

The TL;DR is that Blizzard did not change a lot of our actual mechanics with 5.2. Most of the actual changes to our class and playstyle involve gear scaling from the new raid.

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Welcome to this 5.2 Holy Paladin raiding guide! This guide is intended to give you the basic and intermediate Holy Paladin knowledge needed to perform in raids. Unfortunately, this isn't a 100% comprehensive guide to everything under the sun, but it's enough to get you rolling and teach you some new tricks (hopefully!).

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Let's start with explaining our core heals and Holy Power system, the interaction of which tends to be the bread and butter of Paladin healing.

Holy Shock: This is as close to a "rotational" ability as we have. Because of its inexpensive cost and high critical strike chance as well as synergy with other abilities and talents, this is the cornerstone of our healing. You want to use this very close to its 6 second cooldown, because it's so effective. Generates a charge of Holy Power.

Holy Light: Light, slower single-target heal that is good for periods of low to moderate damage. This won't keep up with heavy damage, but it's still very useful and easy on the mana pool.

Divine Light: Our "heavy" and slower single-target heal. It has a high mana cost, but it also heals for a lot. Generates a charge of Holy Power if used directly on your Beacon of Light target.

Flash of Light: Our "emergency" single-target heal. Very quick and high HPS, but also lower HPM (healing per mana) than Divine Light. Use somewhat sparingly but don't neglect it if someone is on death's door. Generates a charge of Holy Power if used directly on your Beacon of Light target.

Holy Radiance: Our main AoE heal. Heals the target for a moderate amount and heals players within 10 yards of the target. Expensive but worth using (in moderation) in AoE situations. Generates a charge of Holy Power and, with the Daybreak passive, causes your next Holy Shock to have a decent AoE splash on nearby targets. Unfortunately, the short range means that its usefulness can be somewhat limited by fight mechanics and positioning.

Crusader Strike: Generates a charge of Holy Power, but also requires melee range, does no healing of its own, and has a fairly high mana cost for Holy. It also is subject to Expertise, which we will not have much of, so it has a chance to be dodged (or parried, if attacking from the front). Useful at times, but use with caution.

Holy Power heals:

Word of Glory: An instant, fairly strong single-target heal that scales linearly with Holy Power charges (2 HP heals for twice the amount 1 HP does, and 3 HP heals for three times the amount 1 HP does). There isn't a whole lot to say until we get to the talent section, where we learn about the wonders of Eternal Flame.

Light of Dawn: An instant, 6-target AoE heal that also scales linearly with Holy Power. It's one of our few tools to deal with spread AoE damage, and is great especially for burst AoE, but in many cases you will be using Eternal Flame (the modified version of Word of Glory with a 30 second heal-over-time attached, or HoT) quite a bit more, particularly in 10 mans.

One of the interesting mechanics of Holy Power is that WoG and LoD only consume a maximum of three Holy Power, but we can bank up to 5, making us much more versatile when planning around burst damage. For a predictable raid-wide AoE, for instance, it is very useful to bank a lot of Holy Power in order to use a powerful Light of Dawn immediately afterwards, another Holy Power generator, and then another powerful 3-HP Light of Dawn.

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Beacon of Light:

This is another core mechanic/buff. When you cast it on a raid/party member, a % of your heals cast on other raid/party members is duplicated and applied to the Beacon target. This is a fantastic mechanic and a staple of why Holy Paladins are generally considered the best single-target/tank healers.

You typically want to keep this on the active tank. Keep in mind that different heals scale differently - Holy Light transfers 100% of the amount healed, whereas Divine Light and Flash of Light transfer 50%. This can be useful strategically, for instance if both your tank and another player are taking a light to moderate amount of damage, it can sometimes be better to use Holy Light on the other player than using a heavier heal.

Most of your AoE healing (including Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn, and Light's Hammer) transfer 15% of their healing to your Beacon target, making your stream of Beacon healing fairly steady regardless of what type of spells you're casting.

Another core mechanic involving Beacon of Light involves a passive called Tower of Radiance. When you cast Flash of Light or Divine Light (your two heavy, expensive direct heals) directly on your Beacon target, you also gain a charge of Holy Power, making these spells much more mana-efficient when healing your Beacon target. I typically don't use Holy Light directly on my Beacon target if they're taking heavy enough damage that DIvine Light wouldn't overheal.

Beacon of Light healing does not apply the Illuminated Healing absorb shields (our Mastery).

Advanced technique: With the Glyph of Beacon of Light, the spell is no longer on the global cooldown, allowing you to recast it every 3 seconds without impacting your other casts. If your current tank does not need healing, it can make sense to swap Beacon targets to another player who does need the splash heal or simply to the person you're about to Divine Light for an extra charge of Holy Power. I wouldn't recommend working on this until you're comfortable with most of the other class mechanics, but it is definitely a very useful mechanic.

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Buffs:

You always want to use Seal of Insight. Spell haste, healing, and a small mana return when you get to melee a mob/boss. What's not to love?

For buffing the raid, it's been pretty simplified with MoP, but Blessing of Kings grants 5% Strength, Intellect, and Agility, while Blessing of Might buffs 3000 Mastery.

Blessing of Kings is covered by all specs of Monk and Druid. The Mastery of Blessing of Might is covered by all specs of Shaman, as well as a Hunter pet option, but it's worth noting that Might is far superior to the other Mastery options on any fight where range can be an issue because the other two buffs are either shorter-duration or an aura tied to the player/pet.

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Cooldowns:

Avenging Wrath: WINGS! Okay, this is a staple for any Paladin of any spec, and has been for a long time. 20% damage and healing for 20 seconds, available every 3 minutes. It's a very powerful throughput cooldown, and something you should be in the habit of using whenever you need to boost your healing output.

Divine Favor: Similar to Avenging Wrath, Divine Favor lasts 20 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown. Instead of a flat healing buff however, it increases your Haste and Crit chance by 20% each. This makes it another amazing cooldown. Given the choice, I would typically use Avenging Wrath for big single-target heals, and Divine Favor for AoE healing (where the crit is a bit more reliable than it would be single-target), but they're both quite strong in either scenario.

Guardian of Ancient Kings: This is our "raid save" so to speak (although it only serves that function to people within a small range). When you cast a single-target heal, the target is healed for an additional 100% and all targets within 10 yards are healed for 10% of the amount healed. It's extremely powerful, but a 5-minute cooldown and a cap of 5 heals ensures that you won't be able to use it more than once or twice per fight. An interesting side-note is that Guardian also increases your haste by 10% per stack, meaning that you can weave AoE heals into your Guardian duration to take advantage of the haste buff without consuming stacks of the spell.

If possible, you want to use 5 Divine Lights to consume your Guardian charges, because that is our biggest single-target heal and thus will splash the most healing. If you have 3 Holy Power, using Word of Glory/Eternal Flame is a good option as well.

Divine Plea: This is our mana regen cooldown. It returns 12% of our total mana over 9 seconds and is available once every 2 minutes. The downside is that while active, your healing is reduced by 50% (that's rough), meaning that you want to use it during lulls in damage where you can slack on healing or even stop entirely. Do use this often though, it's a core regen mechanic.

Hand of Sacrifice: Hand of Sacrifice is our tank cooldown and thus deserves a special mention. It transfers 30% of the damage the target takes to you, which makes it a very potent cooldown when the target is taking heavy damage and you are not. It can kill you in some cases, but with the inflated health pools nowadays it's a lot less dangerous than it used to be. It's also worth noting that damage taken from Hand of Sacrifice is considered magic damage, and is mitigatable by Divine Protection and raid cooldowns such as Power Word: Barrier and Aura Mastery, and you are fully immune to it while Divine Shield is active.

Lay on Hands: This ability has a very hefty 10 minute cooldown, but heals for an absurd amount, making it the best "OMG X PLAYER IS ABOUT TO DIE" button in the game. It also returns a nice amount of mana when glyphed.

Divine Protection: This is our personal defensive cooldown. Baseline, it prevents 40% magical damage taken for 10 seconds (available every minute). Because it's easy to use and off the global cooldown, you should be in the habit of using this often for AoE damage or when you use Hand of Sacrifice. There is also a very useful glyph that changes it to 20% magical AND physical damage reduction, great for certain raid encounters.

Devotion Aura: Raid-wide 20% magic damage reduction for 6 seconds. Very powerful for magic damage (obviously), useless for physical damage. All Paladins have access to this and they don't stack, so speak to your fellow sparklies!

Divine Shield: I think everyone's familiar with this one, but it's our almighty BUBBLE! Use when you need to skirt encounter mechanics, are about to die, or need to cast Hand of Sacrifice to save a tank without risking your own life (this kind of ties into the first two).

Hand of Protection: This is an interesting cooldown, in that it's similar to our own Divine Shield - it not only makes the target immune to physical damage (and unable to deal physical damage) but also clears many harmful physical effects/debuffs on the target. Very, very useful for removing tank debuffs on fights such as Horridon, Durumu, or Iron Qon (all in Throne of Thunder). Since you can only have one Hand spell on a target at a time, be prepared to immedaitely follow it up with the less-painful Hand of Freedom when used on a tank or melee/hunter.

There are other cooldowns you can choose to talent into, but I will cover those in the talent section.

A note about throughput cooldown usage: You will typically want to stagger your throughput cooldowns (Divine Favor, Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings) rather than popping them all at once. This way you cover a larger period of time rather than being REALLY ZOMGPOWERFUL for a short period of time and then having nothing up your sleeve for 160 seconds.
Edited by Tailias on 4/23/2013 10:19 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
Talents:

Level 15: We have our choice between movement talents. All three have their uses - I'd recommend Pursuit of Justice for starting out because it's passive and easy to use, but do be prepared to swap to a different talent if necessary. Speed of Light is a really, really strong sprint that is great if you need to be somewhere *now*. I typically don't recommend Long Arm of the Law because we have little reason to ever cast Judgement outside of a couple oddball talent choices, but there are some cases where it will be useful.

Level 30: CC/stuns. None of them are particularly great for raiding as Holy outside of a few gimmick fights where you could use an improved stun or a CC. I typically take Fist of Justice just for trash and adds (nice for fights like Will of the Emperor or this tier's Council of Elders), but Repentence is a decent CC.

Level 45: Eternal Flame is our talent of choice in this tier.

I wouldn't be shocked if there is a gimmicky fight or mechanic where Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield is marginally better (or somehow really, really powerful) but it's absolutely safe to treat Eternal Flame as a mandatory talent. The HoT it leaves is extremely strong - it scales with Haste and Crit, it applies your Mastery shield, and it transfers to your Beacon of Light at a 50% rate just like WoG itself.

Level 60: All of these are situational talents, get used to swapping them depending on the fight. Unbreakable Spirit gives you a higher potential uptime on Divine Protection and some of our other utility spells, but all things considered it isn't that strong unless the other two talents are useless for a given fight. Hand of Purity is downright godly for DoT damage (like bleeds or magical DoTs) so it's amazing for some fights this tier. My typical default choice is Clemency though - having additional access to Hand of Sacrifice for my tanks can make a big difference, and there are several fights in ToT where Hand of Protection can play a large role too.

Level 75: These are fantastic talents that buff our Holy Power generators or otherwise give us more frequent access to Holy Power.

Divine Purpose is the mana-friendly choice - each proc is essentially a free heal, and because of Eternal Flame mechanics, you can just toss it on somebody who is likely to take some damage at some point sometime and the mastery shield it applies, the HoT it applies, and the Beacon transfer will still be worth it even if the initial heal is totally overheal. (Obviously that's not ideal, but it's still not a waste.) The proc rate is very high - 8% on a 1 HP heal, 16% on a 2 HP heal, and 25% on a 3 HP heal - but there is no failsafe mechanism so it's very feast-or-famine. You can get 5 procs in a row, or you could not get a single one for a long time.

Holy Avenger doesn't have the same mana conservation aspect, but it is a very reliable cooldown and thus has a far more appealing design. It doesn't merely produce Holy Power but also supercharges Holy Radiance and Holy Shock (great for AoE healing obviously) and also Divine Light/Flash of Light when used directly on your Beacon target (thanks to the Tower of Radiance passive).

Sanctified Wrath is decent, but doesn't actually stack up to the other two talents in most cases. (There are some very strange circumstances where its unique design would be better.)

My opinion: DP and HA was pretty simple last tier, we needed the mana from DP on most fights so we did that. And then we specced HA on fights where we really needed the cooldown but the overall healing from DP procs didn't actually do much. BAM!

In Throne of Thunder gear, it's not really that much of a no-brainer. I would absolutely see HA vs. DP as something you can fine-tune from fight to fight depending on what you need.

Level 90: Light's Hammer and Holy Prism are both extremely useful. Swap from fight to fight as needed, although LH tends to be more of a no-brainer on 25m.

Light's Hammer: This is our ground AoE heal. Plop it on the ground, it heals people inside of it, easy enough to understand. It has a short enough cooldown (1 minute) and lasts 14 seconds, so it's quite useful if you have groups of people clumped together. Again, extremely powerful for 25m's and still quite powerful but something you need to think more about in 10's.

Also note that it snares enemies in its radius now. 50% slow every time it damages them. Apparently that's to make people want to use it in PvP (riiiight).

Holy Prism: Target enemy, press button, smartheal 5 low health players within 15 yards for a pretty substantial amount. Very nice talent, and because it's instant it is quite nice for mobility. Short cooldown, low mana cost, and 15 yards is a lot bigger than you think given how fat some of these bosses are. Still situational, but very good.

You can also use it as a targeted heal on a specific player if there are no mobs in range.

Execution Sentence: Really poorly-designed heal. The initial ticks do next to nothing, the final ticks and final burst are the real meat of it, so you really need to be clairvoyant and know that the target will need heavy healing in *exactly* 8-10 seconds. (It was good for Tsulong, I will say that.)

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Prime Glyphs:

We have a boatload of useful glyphs. Bring around a lot of those little tomes and be prepared to swap them out based on your current progression fight.

Glyph of Divinity: This is basically the equivalent of an extra mana potion every fight. Nice, especially at early gear levels, but definitely not mandatory either.

Glyph of Beacon of Light: Not quiiite a must-have... but very, very close. I have not removed this glyph from my spellbook since the beginning of the expansion. Being able to swap your Beacons with impunity is just an incredibly powerful mechanic.

Glyph of Flash of Light: Buffs our next heal on the target of our Flash of Light by 10%. Makes our "emergency" heal a bit more effective, but it's still a bad idea to overuse FoL. Definitely a useful mechanic for dealing with heavy burst damage though.

Glyph of Divine Plea: Adds a 5 second cast time to our Divine Plea, but removes the healing penalty and causes it to restore the full mana return at once. If you fully stop healing for the duration of Divine Plea, this cuts the downtime almost in half, making it a solid choice. On the other hand, if your cast gets interrupted because you have to move, you have to recast and lose another 5 seconds later (realistically, with haste, it's more like 3.5 - 4 seconds). Situationally useful.

Illumination: This is a great glyph when you first ding 90, because your Spirit is so low. Once you get some 5-man pieces, the Spirit regen outscales the mana return on crits. I recall the threshold being around 6.5-7k Spirit, but in any event it's not something you want to raid with.

(Disclaimer: There is a school of thought that you can reforge fully into crit, really focus on using Holy Shock on cooldown, and spec into Sanctified Wrath and use Avenging Wrath as a mana regen cooldown and continue to use this glyph as a minor mana regen increase even at very high gear levels - up to 13k Spirit with the T14 4-piece. I haven't seen anything to suggest it's remotely worth it from an HPS standpoint, but it is possible to be a mana gain at higher Spirit levels.)

Light of Dawn: HPS increase in situations where the last few targets of LoD would be wasted. This is a very useful glyph in 5-mans, useful for some 10-man fights, and I guess it might be useful in a 25 once in a blue moon.

Protector of the Innocent: Heals you for a percentage of the instant healing done by Word of Glory or Eternal Flame. Not super stellar, but if none of the other options are useful, it's not bad at all.

Divine Protection: If you're taking heavy physical damage and would like a cooldown for that, go ahead and glyph this. I like it for Wind Lord in Heart of Fear due to the dangerous burst physical damage that the raid takes, for instance.

Blessed Life: Mostly a PvP glyph, but if you're getting targeted by stuns, fears, or immobilizes frequently on a fight, hey - more Holy Power is very good.

Battle Healer: Our melee damage isn't significant enough for this to be worth it. It's really nice for Prot though.

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Stats and Gear:

Intellect remains our primary stat. Intellect increases our Spellpower and also gives a small amount of Crit chance.

Spirit increases our mana regen, and with the new regen system it is where the vast majority of our mana comes from. This makes it extremely powerful.

Mastery rating buffs our Illuminated Healing, a passive that adds a % of our healing as an absorption shield. This tends to be our bread-and-butter secondary stat.

Haste and Crit bring up the rear. Currently, it doesn't make a big difference which of the two you choose - neither is great for PvE healing (with a handful of exceptions), and since they're fighting for leftover scraps that aren't Mastery or Spirit, it's extremely unlikely that choosing one over the other will impact your reforging very much.

That being said, if your group runs without a 5% spell haste raid buff, you should typically aim for at least 1936 Haste rating for an additional tick on Eternal Flame. If you have this buff, then 0 rating is necessary to reach this plateau, and you would need 3506 (5806 without the buff D-: ) to reach the next one. I would not bother reaching 3k+ Haste at this point in the expansion - the tradeoff just isn't worth it, you would lose too much Mastery and would be gaining a stat that isn't mana-efficient.

There are obvious exceptions to the linear stat priority, like weapons (go with what has higher Spellpower - if you have a Sha gem, make sure to take that Intellect value into account) or trinkets (by design, trinkets are harder to weigh, so you need to take them on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking though, you want trinkets with passive Intellect and a mana return or Spirit proc/on-use).

Gemming:

You will be gemming secondary stats - as a Holy Paladin, that means you initially start with Spirit gems. Many Holy Paladins find that with very good gear (mostly ToT-quality), it's actually better to swap out Spirit gems to Mastery than to keep going with more Spirit.

Primary stats (Intellect, Agility, Strength, and Stamina) only grant 160 of their respective stat per gem (240 for Stamina), while secondary stats grant 320 - double. This is why even if you personally value Intellect above Spirit/Mastery on a 1:1 ratio, you will still want to gem Spirit or Mastery.

Prioritizing Spirit:
Blue sockets: Sparkling River's Heart (+320 Spirit)
Yellow sockets: Zen Wild Jade (+160 Spirit/+160 Mastery)
Red sockets: Purified Imperial Amethyst (+160 Spirit/+80 Intellect)

Prioritizing Mastery:
Blue sockets: Zen Wild Jade (+160 Spirit/+160 Mastery)
Yellow sockets: Fractured Sun's Radiance (+320 Mastery)
Red sockets: Artful Vermilion Onyx (+80 Intellect/+160 Mastery)

Meta: Revitalizing Primal Diamond (+432 Spirit and +3% critical effect bonus) - we're mostly using this for the Spirit, although having bigger crits is still good because Holy Shock has a high crit chance
Courageous Primal Diamond (+324 Intellect and a "Clearcasting" proc that makes your healing spells free, with approximately a 10% uptime) - do I need to explain why this is awesome? Of course not. It's just amazing, trust me. The legendary chain is a huge pain but it is SO worth it.

All gems listed can be substituted for their equivalent Perfect gems, of course. Same thing, just different sources.

Enchants:

Shoulder: Greater Crane Wing Inscription - +200 Intellect and +100 Crit rating, or its lesser version
Cloak: Superior Intellect - +180 Intellect
Chest: Glorious Stats - +80 to all stats, or Mighty Spirit - +200 spirit. Spirit is probably the wise choice.
Bracer: Super Intellect - +180 Intellect, although the +170 Mastery enchant is a viable alternative if you're not rolling in the gold or are still using something not worthy of the 3 Sha Crystals.
Gloves: Superior Mastery - +170 Mastery
Belt - Living Steel Belt Buckle. This is expensive, but very worth it for the +320 spirit gem you can put the socket.
Legs: Greater Pearlescent Spellthread - +285 Intellect and +165 Spirit, or its lesser version
Feet: Pandaren's Step - +140 Mastery and 8% movement speed.

Weapon: Windsong is the cheap choice, and Jade Spirit is the expensive choice.

Jade Spirit is better than Windsong, but it's not game-breakingly so. If you're not a progression raider and you're not rolling in the gold, I wouldn't feel like you *need* Jade Spirit to do your job.

Substitute in your profession bonuses as needed. Leatherworking has a superior bracer enchant, Inscription has a superior shoulder enchant, etc.

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Tier bonuses:

T15 2-Piece: Increases the healing done by Daybreak by 50%.
T15 4-piece: Increases the healing transferred to your Beacon of Light target by 20%.

T14 2-Piece: Reduces mana cost of Holy Radiance by 10%
T14 4-PIece: Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 2 seconds

PvP 2-Piece: Increases the healing of Holy Shock by 10%
PvP 4-Piece: Casting Flash of Light grants 1 charge of Holy Power.

The PvP bonuses served us well in the past but are pretty much dead in the water for progression raiding nowadays. Let's make that clear!

The big question many of wondering is "Should I even bother upgrading my super overpowered T14 4-piece to the kind of weird, weaker T15 ones?" and... well, it depends on a lot of factors. Our new set bonuses are not awful by any means, but they are markedly worse than the 4-second Holy Shock.

That set bonus is going to be substantially nerfed in 5.3 though (which is, in typical Blizzard fashion, looming on the horizon but still impossible to put a timeframe on).

I have to give a pretty wishy-washy answer, to be honest. I'm not sure, at the moment, when exactly you should be dropping last tier's set bonus. You can find Holy Paladins all over the place, even in Blood Legion, using the T14 (admitted that is the upgraded heroic version of the set).

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Gear upgrade priorities:

Weapon > Trinkets > Helm/Chest/Pants > Gloves/Shoulders > Belt/Boots > Bracers/Neck/Rings/OH/Cloak

That being said, you do need to take into account how long a piece will last you, how good it is, etc. Use your judgement, but definitely lean towards upgrading your weapon or trinkets if you have good ones that will last a long time.

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Basic Healing Technique:

(I tend to be bad at explaining this sort of thing, so I'd like some constructive criticism!)

Start by putting Beacon of Light on your tank. Remember when I said you could swap it around all willy-nilly? Let's not worry about that for now.

Holy Shock as much as possible. It's the cornerstone of your healing, and as close to a "rotational" ability as we have. It's impossible to literally use it **on** cooldown, but you should be reasonably close.

Holy Light for low to moderate damage. Generally, this spell is better on targets that you don't have Beaconed, because it transfers so efficiently to your Beacon target.

Divine Light for heavy single-target damage. The threshold for swapping to Divine Light is much lower on your Beacon target because it grants you a free charge of Holy Power, which can be used to generate more healing. For very heavy damage, you will want to completely ignore Holy Light.

For single-target damage, you'll want to start off with a 3 HP Eternal Flame on your target (to get that HoT rolling) and then just bank your Holy Power for when you need an instant (whether the target takes a dangerous damage spike, or you need to heal on the move, etc.). Don't let it stack up past 5 of course, because that's a waste of mana and resources, but you also don't need to spam it the moment you get 3.

Also try not to overwrite a more powerful Eternal Flame with a lower HP one, which has a less potent HoT. Sometimes it's necessary to save someone's life of course, but in general you should try not to.

For clumped AoE damage, Holy Radiance is a very powerful tool. Make sure to use your Daybreak procs as well, because the only thing more efficient than Holy Shock is a Holy Shock with an AoE proc associated with it. (The issue with Holy Radiance is making sure that your target is within 10 yards of other people who need healing. There are healing/raid frame addons that have tools called "cluster finders", for example Vuhdo has this functionality, and while it's a pain to set up, it's a very useful tool for a raiding healer.)

For total emergencies, or mechanics that are basically planned emergencies where you need to ZOMGHEAL or people will die, use Flash of Light. Just don't go nuts, or your mana bar will hate you.

Light of Dawn vs. Eternal Flame for AoE damage is always a tough call. Light of Dawn is better for burst AoE healing, but for periodic damage or pre-healing Eternal Flame typically wins out. Eternal Flame is also much higher overall HPS, and because it transfers to your Beacon target and stacks up Illuminated Healing on its target for 30 seconds, it can sometimes be a good idea to toss it out on someone who doesn't need the immediate healing but will benefit from the HoT and shield in the near future.

When healing large groups of people who are taking periodic raid damage, it may make sense to use Eternal Flame with 1 or 2 Holy Power to get it on as many people as possible, and spread your healing rather than focusing entirely on a few raid members. That being said, I would still try to keep a 3 HP Eternal Flame on the tanks if possible.

Make sure that you use your cooldowns. If there is no predictable burst phase where using Divine Favor or Avenging Wrath would be a no-brainer, then use them when things look a little dicey, for smaller damage spikes, or just to help with steady damage for 20 seconds.

Guardian of Ancient Kings has a longer cooldown and a different purpose, and should typically be used for either extremely heavy tank burst or (preferably) clumped AoE healing, where it functions as a "raid save". Coordinate with your other healers to figure out who pops their raid saves when.

Don't neglect your mitigation cooldowns either. Hand of Sacrifice requires a bit of thought (will I die?) but is generally a great idea for heavier tank damage. (If all else fails, bubble after you cast it!) Devotion Aura should be used for raid-wide magic damage, and again communicate with your other healers and/or Paladins in the raid.

My overarching point here is that letting your cooldowns sit is very bad (tm) and is the mark of an inexperienced and/or slacking healer.

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That's about it. Thanks for reading, and happy Holydays!
Edited by Tailias on 4/23/2013 10:16 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
Reserved for future use. I'M NOT DONE YET!
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
You may now post :-)

I still have to clean up a few areas that are kind of blocky, but for the most part it looks okay.
Edited by Tailias on 1/6/2013 3:06 AM PST
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90 Draenei Paladin
17265
Wowow look at all this great info!! Thanks for taking the time to write this up, I'll be going from bad to taking your raid spot in no time! <3
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90 Draenei Paladin
17050
Bolding and underlining!

But glad someone finally wrote one of these up for the Pally forums. :)
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
01/06/2013 11:44 PMPosted by Cadenbrie
Bolding and underlining!


Yesssssss... that was on my to-do list and I forgot, because I suck at layout.

Thanks for the reminder Caden!
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90 Dwarf Shaman
5345
Really helpful, thank you. I've had trouble finding a 5.1 guide and this one was exactly what I was looking for. Sticky requested. There needs to be a good Holy guide up there.
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
I feel like a total scrub bumping my own thread, but I'd like to get some discussion/criticism going!
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90 Human Paladin
6120
Even though I'm not specc'd holy right now, sticky requested.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
10745
Good luck getting it sticked, trying to get the Ret guild up for ages. Good job!!
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90 Gnome Mage
4210
My paladin is only Lev 46 but it appears he can only store 3 holy power charges instead of five. What am I missing? Also thanks for the guide it is helpful
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90 Draenei Paladin
17050
My paladin is only Lev 46 but it appears he can only store 3 holy power charges instead of five. What am I missing?


You're missing the passive ability Boundless Conviction which I don't believe you get until 85.
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I would add that the double BoP from Clemency is also useful on several fights this tier, including a fair chunk of HoF.

Actually BoP in general is worth a mention, since it can frequently clear nasty physical debuffs. It's not something that comes up all the time, but it's really useful when you can do it.

Also I guess I need to start calling it Hand of Protection one of these days.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
12730
Grats on getting stickied!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
10745
Wow excellent job on getting stickied. Now to get the Ret guild stickied.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
17775
If anything, I'd make the sections clearer. As you scroll down, the divisions don't really jump out at you. Makes it look like a list.

Also, can you explain how Kings is better than Might? And where you got your information from. I don't see how, let's say, 750~ Int ( I might even be high balling this for the average raider) is better than 9% (3000) to your mastery. I'd be more likely to follow your advice if it looked less like personal preference, ya know?

Mostly though, I want to see where you funnel your info from.

Finally, there's are several schools of thought when talking about talents. People have made other options work and excel for them. Instead of them making their own guide, you might want to include those here so that your guide looks less personal and more open ended. Which requires input from other holy paladins, so maybe they'll speak up.

I don't know if I'm making sense, but ya.
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90 Draenei Paladin
13095
If anything, I'd make the sections clearer. As you scroll down, the divisions don't really jump out at you. Makes it look like a list.

Also, can you explain how Kings is better than Might? And where you got your information from. I don't see how, let's say, 750~ Int ( I might even be high balling this for the average raider) is better than 9% (3000) to your mastery. I'd be more likely to follow your advice if it looked less like personal preference, ya know?

Mostly though, I want to see where you funnel your info from.

Finally, there's are several schools of thought when talking about talents. People have made other options work and excel for them. Instead of them making their own guide, you might want to include those here so that your guide looks less personal and more open ended. Which requires input from other holy paladins, so maybe they'll speak up.

I don't know if I'm making sense, but ya.


A lot of the info is from memory, from personal experience, and from reading LOTS of sources and opinions. Unfortunately, we don't have a centralized theorycrafting hub for Holy Paladins like some other classes do. I'm completely open to people's opinions and revisions - really. I like criticism because it means I can improve :-D

Kings vs. Might can depend on the situation... I suppose in 5-mans where people aren't flasked and are likely to have lower Agi/Str/Int values, the Mastery may be more important. It doesn't overly matter because in pretty much any raid you're going to have one or the other covered by another class... I guess I'll just remove that line.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8030
Really helpful information. Might want to work on cleaning up the healing techniques at the end though...there's a fair amount of information just lumped in together. Maby something like dividing it up into different headings, like Tank Healing, Spot/single target healing, Constant AOE Healing, Burst AOE healing. The information is all there, but it all kind of blends into itself as-is.

01/06/2013 02:55 AMPosted by Tailias
When healing large groups of people who are taking periodic raid damage, it may make sense to use Eternal Flame with 1 or 2 Holy Power to get it on as many people as possible, and spread your healing rather than focusing entirely on a few raid members. That being said, I would still try to keep a 3 HP Eternal Flame on the tanks if possible.

This may or may not be too much detail, but i generally only use 1-2 hp EF if I am not specced into divine purpose. In theory the overall proc chance is the same per hp spent, but in reality it's very easy to get the short end of the DP rng stick using anything but 3hp EF.
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Kings vs Might is ~750 of a primary stat vs 3000 mastery.

Most classes value 1 mastery to be more than 0.25 of their primary stat.

Generally Kings is the worse choice, if you have to choose.
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