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Hi, I am new to being a Holy Paly and I was wondering how often I should be switching the target of my Beacon of Light. I see lots of palys running with the Beacon glyph which makes me think that I should be swapping lots. Right now I just put it on the MT or OT. Any pointers on how I should be using it would be great, thanks!
In general, keeping it on one of the tanks is the right thing to do. You want to keep it on someone who's taking consistent damage to minimize its overhealing. This doesn't always equate to a tank (for example, on heroic Lei Shi in Terrace, I kept my beacon on the ranged DPS who built the most stacks), but more often than not it's the most effective choice. It depends on the encounter.
You don't necessarily have to swap lots. The Beacon glyph is good for single target burst healing. If you swap your beacon and use DL/FoL to combat high incoming damage on one person, you'll be able to get holy power from Tower of Radiance, allowing you to cast more hard-hitting Eternal Flames.
90 Tauren Paladin
Beacon of light glyph is just convenient. Whatever tank is taking the most damage is the one you really want to beacon, unless you're assigned to do otherwise.
To make max use of beacon you could quickly swap it to some one you want to DL or FoL to get holy power for it, which is something I personally never do unless the fight has some sort of transition mechanic and the tanks aren't tanking anything.
Too, much of it happens to be the lack of serious contenders for the three glyph spots. Typically, you have five to pick from: Divinity (free mana), Beacon (Bonus cooldowns), Divine Plea (alternative regen), Protector (very minor self heals), and Flash of Light (free healing). There's also illumination, but that one is only good for green-geared 90's and certain gimmick builds (high crit, low spirit... good for certain heroic modes).
It's not the strongest effect there is, but the Beacon glyph...
(a) Shows up often. Even if just swapping between MT and OT, there are few fights where you won't do this a half dozen times. Compared to, say, Flash of Light, where you may see it once per fight (and FoL is something that you want to avoid casting, if possible).
(b) Smoother transition. Again, even if just swapping between MT and OT, you get to save a global so you can begin casting upon them right away. Sometime tank swaps happen unexpectedly, or you blinked and missed it. That extra second definitely makes a difference in tank survival... moreso than any other paladin glyph, I would say.
(c) Opens up a new strategy. Being able to swap Beacon instantly means that you can rely more upon Divine Light spamming by healing not just the tanks, but also raiders while still being mana efficient via holy power gains. Divine Light + HP, taking Eternal Flame and Divine Purpose talents into account, is almost but not quite as mana efficient as Holy Light spamming... however, it definitely has greater throughput. Even if you still prefer to have Holy Light as your goto spell for raid healing (when Holy Shock is on cooldown and you're out of/banking HP), you at least have the option to dish out a greater serving of the big green numbers.
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