Holy Paladin Pro's and Con's?

Hey there. I had a simple question for those paladins of the healer variety.

What sort of strengths do holy paladins compared to other healers? What to you bring to the table when it comes to raiding and PvP?

On the flipside, what are your more glaring flaws and weaknesses in those same areas?

I've been considering leveling a healer and learning how to properly heal, so I'm currently stuck in a conundrum on which class to level, so any comments on playstyle would help as well.

Thank you in advance if you do reply. I'm sure this question has been asked multiple times, but with 5.4 rearing around the corner I thought I'd ask what Holy Paladins think about their class.
Well to start holy pally is the only healing class I've played at lvl 90 so i can't say anything about other classes raiding and in pvp but i find healing as a paladin somewhat enjoyable.

In order to top the healing charts in raids you have to spam holy shock which is our basic way of getting holy power to eventually use light of dawn when we get 3 holy power, occasionally using some other spells during the cd of holy shock and throwing down your light's hammer when its off cd. I also find myself always keeping sacred shield and beacon of light on the main tank. Its a very basic healing class for the most part and i find it very easy.

In pvp we have close to no survivability and end up getting downed very fast but i don't really heal that much in pvp so maybe there's something I'm not doing.

Back to pve i find that the transition to raid healing and dungeon healing is pretty hard considering some of our most helpful aoe and single target heals are talents such as light's hammer and holy prism. Not saying its impossible to heal a dungeon with light's hammer, its just that I find it much easier to heal a dungeon with holy prism.

Overall are biggest pro is that its relatively simple healing and are biggest con being the transition from aoe to single target heals

I often find myself topping the healing charts in LFR's if not coming second to a restro druid.
http://imgur.com/7y9cnlf ?
PvP, second weakest healer.

In PvE, paladins are tank healers. We lack a lot of aoe besides Light of Dawn ( since taking the HoT off of Holy Radiance. Beacon tank, shock on cd. Hands for amazing utility.
In PvE, paladins are tank healers. We lack a lot of aoe besides Light of Dawn ( since taking the HoT off of Holy Radiance. Beacon tank, shock on cd. Hands for amazing utility.

Eh, not really.
The only kind of "tank healing" I do is 85% off of Beacon of Light. Other than that, I treat the OT (or the one who just switched out to drop stacks) the same way I do the rest of the raid -- HoPo sinks. When I touch the beaconed tank, it's usually just to nab a quick HoPo with Flash of Light and my LMG proc or a proc'd Divine Light to bring him up from anything less than 80%.

I don't really care much for the argument of there not being any good AoE. Holy Radiance with either Divine Favor or Avenging Wrath make for nice heals. Light's Hammer is also great to use for the stacked period. Then a T15 2-piece gives you a nice 50% bonus to Daybreak procs. It's not a "2-hit button" to AoE heal like something such as Wild Growth+Swiftmend or even Healing Rain+Chain Heal spam, but it works very well.

If there is any AoE problems, it's definitely going to be in the spread healing with the changes to EF and Illuminated Healing. Light of Dawn should fill this role, but it's just too weak to be used as an AoE heal without a decent amount of crit and the lucky 8-Daybreak-procs-in-a-row. Holy Prism provides nice healing, but only on a 20-second cooldown. Other than that, you're left with hoping you've successfully EF-blanketed the raid and pump out as many Holy Shocks and proc'd Divine/Holy Lights on everyone.

What sort of strengths do holy paladins compared to other healers? What to you bring to the table when it comes to raiding and PvP?

On the flipside, what are your more glaring flaws and weaknesses in those same areas?

I've been considering leveling a healer and learning how to properly heal, so I'm currently stuck in a conundrum on which class to level, so any comments on playstyle would help as well.

Thank you in advance if you do reply. I'm sure this question has been asked multiple times, but with 5.4 rearing around the corner I thought I'd ask what Holy Paladins think about their class.

I'd say the main strength is in the amount of burst healing we can do, as well as being mana-friendly after getting the hang of Holy Power. We've also good really nice "spot heals" with our Holy Shock and Infusion of Light procs. In addition, our Mastery really (pardon the pun) shines since it helps us be a secondary Disc-priest (I like to think of it as PW:S but a lot more heal-heavy than shield). Of course, this is looking to change come 5.4 since a large contributor to our Mastery's success will not be viable.

As far as weaknesses go, we're less stable in the spread healing department. Right now it's decent since we have Eternal Flame pillows and blankets for the raid, but it's really hard to rely on just that HoT since it's not as easy to apply nor as effective as a Druid's Rejuv. And this is just going to be more obvious in 5.4 when our other friend in the spread healing department, the Resto Shaman, will be getting a well-deserved buff.

With utility, Paladins have a decent toolkit. I use Hand of Sacrifice very often on boss fights when I know someone is going to take a hurting. HoS + Beacon then start healing myself a bit if the damage is brutal, otherwise my running EF blanket will help cushion the blow. Hand of Protection is a neat way to cheese boss mechanics, turning 2-tank fights into 1-tankers (and thus giving you that extra melee DPS to burn that sucker down). And of course Beacon swapping is a fine method of healing that maximizes those running HoTs (especially when glyphed to be removed off GCD!). In the same hand, Paladins suffer from not having very good raid-wide cooldowns. Devotion Aura is the staple for Paladins, and it suffers from just not being as great as other cooldowns. In the same token, though, it is a baseline ability for all Paladins and can be a decent tool when you're able to have multiple Devotion Auras to use during a Tortos fight.

Holy Paladins are a very solid class to get your head in the healing game. There aren't too many gimmicky mechanics (Atonement/Eminence healing, HoT blanketing, etc) outside of having to use Holy Shock on cooldown so you can have free heals so it makes it less intimidating to jump in.
Holy shock then eternal flame, only use light of dawn to blanket shields(it's a pretty !@#$ty heal).

Cast some fillers inbtween shocks lol kind of like cata ret.

As for tank healers no we are not "pure tank healers" shamans and Druids are far better at that... Everything else is just using your class to its maximum.

Edit: some talents are very op on fights so you swap them out and GG!
Let me just say that I love play my Holy Paladin. I have for the past 4-5 years; however, lately Holy Paladins have been getting the raw end of the deal. You see some people talking about EF blanketing and stuff like that. It has come to the point that we are basically required to do this in place of the other possible talents just to try and keep up with druid, priest, or monk healing. Once 5.4 comes out, I have no doubt that Shaman will even trunk Holy Paladins overall. They are nerfing EF and a few other abilities greatly which will change how we heal a bit; blizzard is making some changes to offset these changes, but the changes being made will most likely just go to further over healing that we just do not need.

Instead of making the other talents more viable for raiding, they decided to destroy the one talent that most Holy Paladins enjoyed using. Go figure, players seem to enjoy a talent in a game so we will ruin it for them. I'm really hoping that more changes will be made to correct this issue, but I fear I'll be set aside because my class is on the lower end just like many Resto Shaman have been since MoP has come out.
In my experience, the plus side of Healadining is that it's fairly simple mechanics-wise, and it's very easy to tank-heal. Bacon of Light, heal da group as needed. Two tanks? Bacon of Light one, heal da other. There's not a lot of fancy rotations to master, so it's more about knowing what each ability can do and knowing when to use it.

The downside is that our group healing is...limited. We can do it for short bursts, but Holy Radiance-spam eats through mana, and the occasional charged-up Holy Shock or Light of Dawn helps, but isn't something you can spam-cast. So if you try to worry about keeping EVERYONE in a 25-man raid alive, you'll be driving yourself crazy.
Devs hate us

gave our fun aspects to healing monks

they don't know what to do with us now
With 5.4 right around the corner, I would suggest against a paladin at the moment if you have any other healer you're interested in. Right now, PTR has paladins at... 20% below the lowest other healer? Yes, buffs will be incoming, but the problem is that with that severe of a discrepancy, the amount of buffing required will likely cause a drastic change in paladin playstyle. With no recent news on updates, nobody can predict how we'll turn out, and that's not what you want when rolling a new class.

Right now, however, I put us as "solid."

We have amazing, sustained, stacked, AoE heal. On a fight such as Jin'Rhok or Megaera, where there are 12-20 seconds of constant damage that needs to be healed, paladins pump out the HPS.

Very fair tank healing. When a tank is taking major damage and needs constant heals (Horridon enrange, etc.), Divine Light spamming ---> Word of Glory is king, especially as our Mastery applies a shield, both reducing overheal and giving us a larger window within which to get them up to snuff. Lay on Hands gives us a second chance (it also applies mastery, which is important!), but, you know, that special comes with a 10 minute cooldown and applies Forbearance, and Light forfend you're a second late, because then you self-cast it because Corpse. >_<

We have Hand of Protection, which can gimmick out of select boss maneuvers. Typically (such as on Horridon), its usage is just quality of life rather than game breaking, but there are exceptions.

Low overheal (will change in 5.4) allows a lower geared paladin to meet the HPS of those with higher iLevels.

We wear plate and wear shields, so we take less damage than most other healer classes... except on fights where it'd be useful, since some boss attacks ignore armor (I'm looking at you, Attenutation! D:<

We are terrible at recovering from raid-wide Burst damage compared to many other healers. In a short damage window, such as Tortos' stomp or Wind-Lord's Rain of Blades... whereas a Monk can use Revival, or a Druid Tranquility, and priests do whatever the heck it is that causes health bars to shoot up, our only method of dealing with sudden burst damage is to blow Wings/Divine Favor and HOPE that people are stacked for our Holy Radiance (10 yard radius heal), or to talent into Holy Avenger and hit the raid with 4-5 weak Light of Dawn's over 15 seconds (with enough haste and some luck), or to do the same trick but instead hit the lowest 4-5 raiders with a very powerful single target heal (Word of Glory/Eternal Flame). Clearly less useful in 25-man.

Spread healing, as mentioned, is terrible. If you keep Holy Power banked at 5, you've got an easy emergency heal to hit any raider with. This method of healing, however, reduces your overall output by NOT striking more players with weaker Eternal Flames for the increased shield duration (effectively giving our Mastery 45 second shields instead of 15 second). Everyone except for Shaman can handle this better.

The only thing we bring is HPS and minor shields (except in tank healing spam mode). We do not bring damage, such as Monk or Disc priest (and two other classes in the next patch, at least). Our utility is boss-fight dependent (Hand of protection on physical debuffs, Devo Aura on Magic fights. Devo makes us competitive, but I would strongly argue against OP-ness).

Poor mobility. Many healers suffer, which is intended, but we're very limited. We basically have three spells we can cast here. Holy Shock, on a 6 second cooldown. Word of Glory IF we have banked holy power. If you're zero, tough luck. If you're not, you can get one spell off. ANd three, lay on hands, with its 10 minute cooldown. The obvious solution here is to befriend a warlock and put up with their poor hygiene, terrible taste in clothes (and friends), and the inevitable dark betrayal as they consume your soul in order to cast a bigger fireball, so thatway you have a handy-dandy portal.

Int gear. Not quite PvE related, but we are the only spec in the game that uses int plate. As such, leveling without heirlooms is a chore (and subject to abuse as you roll on caster cloth/leather/mail). More to the point, in order to do dailies or any kind of solo activity, you need a second full set of gear, which will never be as strong as your main set (case in point: my Holy set vs. Ret set is 535 vs. 505). You will be bored. And you will not have the option to do a different role without climbing some major hurdles. The other healers do not have this issue... Shadow, Boomkin, and Elemental use almost identical gear as their counterpart, if reforged a bit. Mistweavers are in a spot like ours, but their base damage is higher and most importantly, they have an actual cleave mechanic that isn't a level 90 talent on a 1 minute cooldown.

PvE summary
A paladin will not be sat, and we have nothing to truly complain about. We have a lot of weaknesses, but not quite glaring ones. We bring solid HPS and enough party mechanics to justify a raid-spot, and our Mastery, while it cannot trivialize or negate any kind of mechanics unlike a disc's shields (ours are usually only 30-50k on a select handful of people), it DOES help with the flow of battle by giving healers that extra half-second to focus on the newly injured, and is quite noticeable on a tank.

But since the onset of 5.4 will change the way we play in an unpredictable manner (as of this post), I'd advise a different class. Priest, which has 2 heal specs so at least one is usually favored, is always a good target. Druids are fun from all that I hear, Shaman are finally getting a little bit of love, and Monks have amazing special abilities.

I suggest a Monk, despite their newness making them prime targets for unexpected playstyle changes. Two healing styles in one spec, and most important of all... many many races to pick from! :D
I don't even know where my flash of light spell went. -LFR Hero.

We have a lot of AOE. Holy radiance gives you a holy power, procs your holy shock to do additional aoe healing, and sometimes makes your cast time shorter so you can cast a quick holy radiance. That puts you at 3hp, ummm oh yea, that one spell that does the cone on our head, durr ok, press that one! Repeat, use holy shock on cooldown. Remember to put Bacon (mmmm) on the tank and switch it during tank swaps.

As long as you aren't spamming, you'll do decent on heal meters even in crappy gear and noone will be the wiser. Shhhhhhhhh....

oh pros and cons: You're a healer and it's like other healers cause peoples hitpoints go up when you cast spells. Every class is so homogenized, you can keep your spells int he same places; fast spell, slow weak spell, slow big spell, ae spell, instant spell 1, instant spell 2, tank cooldown, get-mana-back cool down, self damage reduction cooldown....

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum