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  1. #1

    [Holy] Dealing with Bursts of Raid Damage

    My first post.

    I'm curious how Holy Paladins best deal with those moments that are just supposed to be punishment for healers. Force and Verve, for example, Titan Gas, Unseen Strike, etc. When all raid members are brought to low health, when they're stacked or spread out, when they're still taking damage or not, it seems like other healers have go-to buttons for the purpose but we don't seem to roll that way.

    I imagine it means popping a throughput cooldown and working through the AOE 'rotation' as you would when simply everyone in the raid has some amount of healing to go through, but it always feels like a cooldown like Tranquility, Healing Stream Totem, or Divine Hymn beats me in simplicity, HPS, and HPM. I can either be:
    A: highly effective and suffering a huge hit on mana or
    B: not very effective and doing fine on mana. Whoops, two people died.

    The benefit of which, I imagine, is that the reaction can be flexible depending on the demands of the situation, end when extreme healing is no longer required, and I like that. I'll take complicated over simple any day, but what's generally the best way to react?

    1. Guardian of Ancient Kings beforehand, get 5 holy power beforehand, wait for the damage and then light of dawn, holy radiance, holy shock, light of dawn, holy radiance, holy radiance, holy shock, light of dawn?

    2. Avenging Wrath or Divine Favor, Light's Hammer, and the rotation outlined above?

    3. Holy Avenger and Avenging Wrath or Divine Favor, and then light of dawn, holy radiance, light of dawn, holy radiance, light of dawn, holy radiance?

    4. Something else entirely?

    I understand that in any reaction the goal is to minimize the amount of cooldowns you need to use, while still using at least one.

    TL;DR: It's Force and Verve time, it's your turn to do the heavy lifting, how do you react?

  2. #2
    Blademaster
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    What I do for Force and Verve is get as many 3pt Eternal Flames on raid members as I can. I can get around 7-8 Eternal Flames rolling before the F&V comes out.


    Make a macro, I personally name mine "coolies"

    /use Avenging Wrath
    /use Divine Favor
    /use White Tiger Gloves (Engineering)


    Then use Holy Avenger, and start generating Holy Power. Start Generating Holy Power with Holy Avenger when you are dancing the rings, because F&V comes out a few seconds after the dance has ended.

    When people start stacking up in bubbles, drop Light's Hammer to where its hitting at least 2-3 bubbles.

    Get raid members to use personal cooldowns during this time. You can get paladins to glyph DP for physical damage reduction as well.




    You can also LoD spam during this time as well, but Eternal Flame blanketing is more output.
    Iggy | <Apophasis> US - Shattered Hand |

  3. #3
    I'm building up a holy paladin from scratch for 5.2, because our guild's healers have been the weak point. I dinged about 10 days ago, and am working on gathering the LFR gear, and starting to get a good handle on how things work with 8k spirit. We're a 'normal mode 10 man' guild that's struggled the entire tier, so the average item level of our 'good' players is 485, and the healers we have has been a big part of what's been holding us back. Three healers is barely enough for the fights we were able to take down, and on fights that seemingly demand two healers we lose people in minutes.

    It seems like EF is often competing for holy power with LoD, regardless of how many people are taking damage. Is the HOT just that awesome, or is LoD just not that worth it?

    So Force and Verve is one of those situations where you want to use both AW and DF, depending on the damage taken, of course. Makes sense. Two three-minute self-buff cooldowns is probably about equal to the amount of through-put that a druid might have with Tranquility in the same situation.

    But 7-8 EFs without Holy Avenger? Probably not do-able till I can get the 4-piece bonus, eh?

    Say no one's really in danger (except the tank of course), is it more important to get an EF rolling on a player even if it most heals him for nothing?

  4. #4
    Always have at least one CD available.

    For the occasions you mentioned:
    Force and Verve: The first one I will put down light's hammer over 2 bubbles and use Holy Avenger, rotating between holy shock, LoD, holy radiance, LoD, etc... The next one I will use avenging wrath and divine favor together. Just rotate between which CD is used for each Force and Verve that comes and using Holy radiance, holy shock (daybreak), and LoD.
    Titan Gas: Use Light's hammer on the ranged group for each titan gas. If you are using Holy Avenger it will be available for each gas phase. Here though the first 2 sets of full HP, I will toss eternal flame on each tank if they don't already have it up (if they do just LoD or toss eternal flame up on raid members). Outside of those you shouldn't have much issue healing through it but if you do you can throw in another CD (though I prefer to use them to keep up with tank damage between titan gas phases). Also Devotion aura will be available for the first and third titan gas (unfortunately it comes off CD right as the second titan gas ends).
    Unseen Strike: Go into it with full holy power. Place Lights hammer at the stacking point if its off CD. Make sure anyone with Windstep debuff is either topped off, has Hand of Protection, or eternal flame up. Before or right as it hits you can pop a CD of your choice to help with healing up after the hit. After the unseen strike hits, Light of Dawn as you are being tossed. Afterwards just work on topping people off. The only ones at risk of dying afterwards would be tanks or the person with the Windstep debuff, so focus on them first. No need to spam holy radiance here.

    Also outside of high damage phases there is nothing wrong with using holy shock on CD, placing multiple Eternal Flames (even with only 1HP) on raid members, and just casting holy light occasionally, as this will be fairly mana neutral, will continue to add healing to the tank through beacon and build illuminated healing. Doing this in low damage periods you should be fine mana wise to use higher mana heals during periods of high damage.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lorol View Post
    Make sure anyone with Windstep debuff is either topped off, has Hand of Protection, or eternal flame up.
    Can you clarify on this? I thought Unseen Strike cut through immunities. Is that simply to put a hold on the debuff damage ahead of Unseen Strike?

    I haven't had much experience with Ta'yak yet, but one of our big problems on the fight (aside from raid damage dealt being far too low... is that supposed to somehow be a 2-heal fight?) is that we have 10 people with 10 different 'mario bros.' skillsets on getting through the tornadoes. Eventually it's gonna come down to practice practice practice, but we lost a lot of people in that transition, seemingly very early on. Would that be the time to hit up Holy Avenger and load up on EFs? What do you do for the next one??

  6. #6
    You are correct unseen strike does go through immunities but it will remove the windstep debuff, that way that person has less risk of dying to the combination of unseen strike and wind step. I am specced into clemency so I can use hand of protection twice to remove the debuff.

    We 2 heal Tayak, ideally you want to get to the transition with as few stacks of intensify as possible and the first phase is easily 2 healed as outgoing damage isn't rough as long as the ranged are spread out and avoid tornadoes. You have plenty of time to heal up most of the damage that goes out. Not sure how you deal with the transition, but what we do, once everyone is dropped off at one end of the hallway stay put for a few seconds to allow healers to heal the raid up (tranquility, divine hymn, holy avenger + EF), then on the run toss out holy shocks, EF, LoD and use Devotion aura. And make everyone use survival CDs, instant heals of their own. But yes the tornado gauntlet just takes practice. We often still have a few people who die during it.

    Hm and I had responded to your question about EF vs LoD but it seems to not have made it into my previous post....so sorry if this gets repeated.
    Both EF and LoD are very good just used differently depending on the situation. I tend to use EF more when damage is more random or lighter. I typically get 5-6 EFs spread on the raid (even some with 1-2HP). Another good way to use EF is in preparation for high burst damage or during lighter raid wide damage. If you can anticipate the damage start putting EFs on the raid ahead of time. I switch over to using LoD when everyone is taking high damage (like most of the burst damage situations you mentioned) as you don't have as much time to start spreading EFs around. I will also typically make sure I have EF up on the active tank at all times.
    Last edited by Lorol; 2013-02-26 at 07:55 PM.

  7. #7
    It all depends on your group comp, but the general roll you need to play is spot healing, unless there is a true raid wide heal that will keep everyone alive, and compared to other healers we actually do fairly well in aoe, we get a lot of free heals to deal with it, with Light's Hammer being especially potent depending on the type of aoe

    Depending on the fight and your comfortability though, you basically want to rotate cooldowns, which may or may not include Holy Avenger, and you usually only want to use one or two Holy Radiances, and you want to avoid chaining two together as much as possible, as the Holy Shock buff provides a lot of the mana efficiency of the heal, if you're in 25 man you can get away with using LoD more liberally though, so Holy Avenger tends to pull ahead of Divine Purpose, where as in 10 man its a bit more dependant on your raid comp

  8. #8
    So don't be afraid to set a 1 or 2HP EF on a target if it's going to be a while (3 seconds or so) to get that third HP.

    And never sit on holy shock, or 5 holy power, even if no one needs healing.

    I'm trying to experiment with how the game changes while Holy Avenger is active. I love Divine Purpose, especially for 5-mans, questing, etc, or in LFR when it procs over and over and over while casting EFs.

    The problem, I realize, is that I just cant' control Divine Purpose or rely on it in raids when timing actually matters. I'm trying to get better at Holy Avenger.

    I saw that Glyph of Beacon removed the GCD on it, so in general do folks set up macros to change the Beacon to whoever's getting Divine Lit? That seemed brilliant to me.

    I've always loved the Paladin, and it's feeling good to give healing it's due. I want to be as awesome as I can.

    Do healers ever use Crusader Strike for an extra HP generator, if we're often in melee range anyway trying to get ticks of Insight?

  9. #9
    I personally have used the Beacon glyph almost since the beginning, but I tend not to change it around too much, I prefer using it for the 50% heal than the Holy Power generation, but when I was doing a lot more EF blanketing having it on my DL targets helped a lot

    I rarely bother with CS, its nice for some fights but its not really worth being in melee range for unless there's 0 risk, specially without any expertise it can quite often be a wasted GCD

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by iggyMG View Post
    *snip*
    What you just said is basically this: "I cheese healing while all the other healers do all the actual work to survive the burst." If you're not using Light of Dawn for situations like that, shame on you.

  11. #11
    The Patient
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reith View Post
    What you just said is basically this: "I cheese healing while all the other healers do all the actual work to survive the burst." If you're not using Light of Dawn for situations like that, shame on you.
    I kinda agree with this. Basic rule of thumb: high bursts of damage for a short time with 0 damage after --> LoD. So for F&V keep HS on cd, HR and LoD with lights hammer. On normal you can soloheal that with holy avenger, on Heroic I strongly suspect you cannot(lol)

    For Wind step: Hand of Protection removes the dot, thus removing the whole danger of people dying immediately after a unseen strike on heroic, since it ticks for 125ish k.

  12. #12
    "cheesing" healing/healing numbers is what allows raids to cut healers.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Reith View Post
    What you just said is basically this: "I cheese healing while all the other healers do all the actual work to survive the burst." If you're not using Light of Dawn for situations like that, shame on you.
    Its not like that at all, if your raid has smart people that use cooldowns for the AoE phases, or some people just take more damage than others, using Eternal Flame is your niche during that time, HR is incredibly inefficient compared to other healers (even taking into account how our mana is balanced around free heals) and LoD is just a loss of healing compared to EF, the main AoE Paladins excel at is Light's Hammer, everything else is better covered by other healers

  14. #14
    Having tried out a few of the tactics last night in an LFR, I'm very impressed by the throughput, but sometimes overwhelmed. On more than one occasion, I found myself reaching the end of the fight with no mana and no recovery options (try talking to LFR folks about mana regen cooldowns...). I set up a weak-auras notification for when Holy Shock is available, hoping to get myself more in tune with when to use it, and I need more notifications about my cooldowns so I'm not sitting on them (convinced that's another big problem).

    But I can definitely see Holy Avenger being a game changing cooldown, as I didn't realize that the 3HP procs off of direct heals on the beacon target as well (previously I had thought it would only proc off of HR, HS and CS). I'm also trying to get out of the habit of using Divine Light on DPS, but Holy Light just seems so slow. Unless it's via holy shock or EF, I'm never the first to recover that health, but even so the overhealing is heading to the beacon target so that's some work done.

    But I'm very encouraged about the path forward. It looks like a lot of fun.

  15. #15
    Scarab Lord nightfalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trisco2001 View Post
    I'm also trying to get out of the habit of using Divine Light on DPS, but Holy Light just seems so slow. Unless it's via holy shock or EF, I'm never the first to recover that health, but even so the overhealing is heading to the beacon target so that's some work done.
    DL and HL are the same cast time.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by trisco2001 View Post
    Having tried out a few of the tactics last night in an LFR, I'm very impressed by the throughput, but sometimes overwhelmed. On more than one occasion, I found myself reaching the end of the fight with no mana and no recovery options (try talking to LFR folks about mana regen cooldowns...). I set up a weak-auras notification for when Holy Shock is available, hoping to get myself more in tune with when to use it, and I need more notifications about my cooldowns so I'm not sitting on them (convinced that's another big problem).

    But I can definitely see Holy Avenger being a game changing cooldown, as I didn't realize that the 3HP procs off of direct heals on the beacon target as well (previously I had thought it would only proc off of HR, HS and CS). I'm also trying to get out of the habit of using Divine Light on DPS, but Holy Light just seems so slow. Unless it's via holy shock or EF, I'm never the first to recover that health, but even so the overhealing is heading to the beacon target so that's some work done.

    But I'm very encouraged about the path forward. It looks like a lot of fun.


    That took me a couple hours to set up and get working perfectly, but the performance increase I saw was instantaneous, significant increase in throughput and cooldown usage, when I'm on a challenging fight it allows me 99% accuracy with my mana cooldowns
    They all show coloured when available, grey when on cooldown with the timer and show the buff duration when it applies over the coloured icon before going grey-scale for the cd

    Once you've got triage figured out fully then something of this complexity will help a lot

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord nightfalls's Avatar
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    Cooldowns: My preference has been to use cooldowns at planned moments during a fight (granted this might take a few attempts to truly figure out). I still do need better CD trackers than what I'm using however, so I have to set up WA for that (will probably do if I have a decent lull after progression).

    Holy Shock: Track this CD, it's well worth it. I'd say the Level 90 talent CD is worth watching as well.

    Not only does HA give 3 HP from Tower of Radiance, it also increases the healing done too, which used to be bugged in the past. Hence if someone tries to tell you it doesn't increase TOR healing, tell them to keep up with the patches

  18. #18
    Now that is a nice arrangement. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm a WeakAuras nut, and I know exactly how to put something like that together! I'll give that a shot this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by voidspark View Post
    DL and HL are the same cast time.
    I mean to indicate health recovered per second, not how long it takes to cast a spell, sorry.

  19. #19
    Your raid cant depend on the healers to do ALL of the heavy lifting. They have to take responsibility for their characters and use their own PERSONAL CDs for that heavy damage thats about to come out. It wont save them, but it does help the healers out a shit ton on things like force and verve (since devo aura is fucking useless in that place anyway).

    One random example: say you have a shaman dps in your raid with ancestral guidance...during force and verve he will want to pop that when the damage is getting heavy to help out healers. Shadow priests will want to halo (i think) or vamp embrace...there are quite a lot of things that one can do to help assuming you have a decent raid comp.

    Smart dps and tanks help the healers out through heavy damage. If they dont, they need to learn their defensive CDs better so they arent screwing the raid over because they are lazy.
    Last edited by Theholypally; 2013-02-28 at 07:34 AM.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBmNL...ature=youtu.be (#1 SSB Gold run on Bleeding Hollow)
    "Your lights will go out. The darkness will envelop you. And you will fear the shadows that move within it."

  20. #20
    That interface looks very nice indeed, quite similar to what I'm using, not only for healing.

    I recommend to move it near the raid frames, so everything you need to look at is at the same spot

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