This FAQ is now out of date, 4.0 update is a possibility
This is an FAQ and beginner's guide to the Holy Paladin and all its related mechanics. Its aimed at the lower to upper-middle ranges of Paladins, and is mainly just supposed to be a large grouping of general Holy information. More advanced players may want to refer to the Holy Paladin Compendium for 3.3 over at Elitist Jerks, for more in depth theorycrafting and discussion.
1. Contents (Copy and Ctrl+F to find it down the page)
2. Change Log
4. Base Values at 80
6. Raid Buffs
13. Useful Macros
15. Other Tools
16. Useful Links
2. Change Log
1.0 - Release, Patch 3.2.2
1.1 - Added Consumables and more info to Talents, fixed minor bugs, Patch 3.2.2
1.1.1 - Added a lot of minor tweaks and format adjustments, Patch 3.2.2
1.1.2 - Added 'Regen Comparison' section and expanded on Crazy Alchemist Potion, Patch 3.2.2
1.1.3 - Added 'Addons' and 'Useful Links' section, added some macros and updated for 3.3, Patch 3.3
1.1.4 - Updated a few things and had a general clean up, Patch 3.3.0a
1.1.5 - Updated for the more strict MMO-C BB code conditions (finally), Patch 3.3.5
AE or AoE - Area of effect spells, can be used to describe offensive damage spells, or defensive buffs or heals.
AM - Aura Mastery.
AW - Avenging Wrath, aka 'Wings'.
Beacon (Bacon) - Refers to Beacon of Light, the 51 point Holy talent.
BoK - Blessing of Kings.
BoL - Beacon of Light, see above.
BoW - Blessing of Wisdom.
Bubble - Refers to Divine Shield and Hand of Protection, due to the fact they both form a bubble of immunity around the caster or target.
CD - Cooldown.
DI - Divine Illumination for most of this thread, although can also refer to Divine Intervention.
DoT - Damage over time, a spell which does all or a portion of its damage over a duration.
DPS - Damage per second, the higher this number the more damage is being put out.
DS/DG - Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian.
FoL - Flash of Light.
FotM - Flavor of the month, typically related to classes or talent specs, but can also be used to describe other things.
HL - Holy Light.
HoF - Hand of Freedom.
HoP - Hand of Protection.
HoS - Hand of Sacrifice.
HoT - Heal over time, a spell which does all or a portion of its healing over a duration.
HPM - Healing per mana, the amount of healing you can do for every point of mana.
HPS - Healing per second, the amount of healing you can do in any given time divided by the number of seconds you can do it in.
HS - Holy Shock.
Int - Short for Intellect, you gain 15 points of mana before buffs and talents for every point of Intellect.
IoL - Infusion of Light.
JoJ - Judgement of Justice.
JoL - Judgement of Light.
JoW - Judgement of Wisdom.
JotP - Judgements of the Pure.
Mob - See NPC.
Mp5 - Mana per 5 seconds.
MT - Main Tank, the person taking the aggro of the main target or boss mob.
Noob - Newbie, a new player or insult to a persons knowledge or thinking.
NPC - Non-playable Character, a player controlled by the server, also known as a mob.
OOM - Out of mana.
PuG - Pick up group, or Public Group. A random group of players, usually picked up through the Looking for Group system or through the chat channels.
PvE - Player vs. Environment, any situation where the player is battling against opponents controlled by the server.
PvP - Player vs. Player, any situation where the player is battling against other players, usually the opposing faction.
QFT - Quoted for Truth or Quite F*****g True.
SoL - Seal of Light.
SoW - Seal of Wisdom.
SP - Spell Power.
SS - Sacred Shield.
Stam - Short for Stamina, you gain 10 hp before buffs or talents for every point of Stamina.
TL;DR - Too Long; Didn't Read, hopefully won't be used much in this thread but included for completeness.
Wings - See Avenging Wrath (AW).
4. Base Values at 80
Health - 6934
Mana - 4394
All mana based abilities as of 3.0 are a percentage of base mana, or mana with no Intellect. Which is why spells get more expensive as you level. (and why level 1 spells cost the same as level 80 ones)
For each stat on a piece of gear there is usually one stat point allocated to it, there are some exceptions like Stamina (1 point = 1.5 stamina), Spell Power (1 point = 1.666 SP) and Mp5 (1 point = 0.5 mp5)
The usefulness of Stamina is often times underated by healers and casters in general, although it is a very important stat to keep an eye on to make sure your health doesn't dip too low making you the butt of all "whos going to die and ruin our Undying/Immortal/Tribute to Immortality" jokes. For every point of Stamina you gain 10 health, but for every item point spent you gain 1.5 stamina, so you're effectively gaining 15 health every item point.
Intellect is our most important stat, each point of Intellect is worth 15 mana. With Divine Intellect this is now 1.1 Intellect, worth 16.5 mana and with Blessing of Kings this makes every point of Intellect worth 1.21 for a total of 18.15 mana for every single point of Intellect. Although the first 20 Intellect on your character sheet will only be equal to 1 mana.
So for every 100 Intellect you gain:
- 121 Intellect with Divine Intellect and BoK.
- 1815 mana.
- 453 mana every time you use Divine Plea, 22.6 mp5 if used every CD.
- 18.1 mana every tick of replenishment, around 16.4 mp5 on average assuming 90% uptime.
- 108.9 mana every time you use Arcane Torrent, if you're a Blood Elf.
- 24.2 Spell Power from Holy Guidance.
- 0.725 Spell crit.
This still does nothing for Paladins until Cataclysm.
Increases how much you heal for at a rate depending on the coefficient of each spell, also increases the amount your Sacred Shield absorbs.
Has very little meaning to a Holy Paladin, although if its free then its of some use, since a missed Judgement doesn't proc Judgements of the Pure. You need 8% hit to reach the melee(and Judgements) cap against bosses, and as much as 17% for spells depending on buffs and debuffs.
Increases your chance to critically hit with an ability, for heals this means 150% healing, and combined with the Illumination or Infusion of Light talents, means you get 30% the spell's base mana cost back and can gain a buff making the next Flash of Light instant or increasing your Holy Light's critical strike by 20%. This stat has reduced value now since 3.2 when they buffed mp5 and nerfed Illumination (from 60%). 45.91 crit rating equals 1% spell crit at level 80.
Increases the rate at which your spells cast but they still cost the same mana. 10% haste does not mean the cast time is 10% less, but rather means that you will cast 10% more spells in the same time period. This is our best throughput stat (until you reach the soft cap in some cases). 32.79 rating equals 1% spell haste at level 80. Haste also decreases the global cooldown on spells, down to a minimum of 1 second, which requires 50% haste (This being the soft cap as it stops effecting Cleanse, Beacon, Sacred Shield and other instants as well as Flash of Light).
Mana per 5 seconds
Increases the amount of mana you gain over time, equal to an amount every 5 seconds. This is a very simple stat and also our best regen stat, being almost twice as good as crit point for point. Although this stat says it gives you mana every 5 seconds, since it was changed that mana and energy regened at a smooth rate, its now just how the stat is measured.
For this I assume a 6 min fight with not quite perfect timing of cooldowns, with crit being given optimal circumstances (4 Holy Lights per 5 secs or 1.25 sec chain casting)
100 Intellect is worth:
6033 (6251 Blood Elves) total.
- 1815 mana at the start of the fight
- 1815 mana from Divine Plea
- 1303 mana from Replenishment (assuming 90% uptime)
- 1100 mana from Illumination
- 218 mana from Arcane Torrent (used twice, Blood Elves)
50 Mp5 (2 points each) is worth 600 mana per minute
100 Crit rating is worth 2.178% crit, at 15.288 mp5 per crit
6. Raid Buffs
When any mention of 'Raid Buffs' is used, this is what its referring to.
- 5% Spell Haste, from Wrath of Air totem.
- 3% Spell Haste, from Sanctified Retribution or Imp Moonkin Aura.
- 15% Spell Haste, from Judgements of the Pure.
- 5% Spell Crit, from Moonkin Aura or Elemental Oath.
- 144 Spell Power increase from Flame Tongue, or 280 from Totem of Wrath.
- 1% max mana per 5 sec, from Replenishment, with 90% uptime.
- 10% increase to stats with Blessing of Kings.
- 92mp5 from Blessing of Wisdom, or 110mp5 with Imp BoW/Resto Shaman Mana Spring Totem.
- 111 Intellect, from Arcane Intellect and Imp. Mark of the Wild.
This is the Paladins big heal, and is the most effective big heal of all the healers and with its already fast base cast time and Paladin's inherently good haste, this spell allows you to put out an incredibly large amount of healing in a very short time. It receives 188.5% of spell power if you have Healing Light.
Flash of Light
This is one of the most mana efficient heals of all the healers, it is generally used to keep the HoT from Sacred Shield rolling and to spam on the tank when nothing else is happening. It receives 113% of spell power if you have Healing Light. The HoT (since 3.3) is only availible as a result of Infusion of Light.
The 31 point Holy talent, this is our instant 'ohshi-' heal, which heals for a decent amount and can also be used offensively for soloing or on fights which require you to deal damage. It receives 90.5% of spell power if you have Healing Light.
Beacon of Light
The 51 point Holy talent, this is our form of AoE healing, and although its not as good as the other classes' AoE healing abilities, it can still hold its own in certain conditions, and allows us with its 60 yard range and ability to transfer the heal even if its entirely overheal, the longest range healing of any healer.
There are several good uses of beacon depending on the fight:
- Two tanks taking damage, Beacon one of them and heal the other, this is the most ideal use of Beacon, with it shining on fights with multiple bosses or heavy damage split over 2 tanks (e.g Patchwerk and Anub'arak).
- One tank and raid damage, this is also an equally good use of Beacon, especially on fights with targeted raid damage where the Paladin really shines.
- No tank fights, this is the worst case scenario for Beacon, in this case you will usually want to put it on yourself or the most vulnerable raid member and just raid heal as normal, while alerting other healers of your target so they don't waste mana healing them.
Firstly since the tooltip itself is quite hard to understand, I'll clarify how SS works. When you use it, it buffs the target with a 30 second buff called Sacred Shield, this is the buff which allows Flash of Light to HoT the target, this then allows it to proc its secondary buff which does the damage absorption, this is the buff which gives Flash of Light 50% increased crit chance. This ability then absorbs a decent amount of damage, with the coefficient being 0.75, so the absorb bubble is 500+(SP/0.75).
A 20% increase in damage and healing for 20 seconds, but causes a 30 second invisible debuff where you cannot use Bubble (or Divine Protection). This is best used with Divine Plea to cancel out the healing debuff, yet still allow you to heal as normal.
This is Blizzard's answer to all the Paladin's Vanilla and TBC mana problems, this ability allows you to gain 5 ticks of 5% of your total mana pool over 15 seconds. This ability is best used during periods of low or no healing, but if you can't see one of those coming soon you can always time it with Wings or a trinket so you can keep healing through it, alternatively you can call on Vent or TS that you'll be casting it and that your target will need some more healing or some HoTs.
A decent situational cooldown for a 1 point 3rd tier talent, specially considering thats where Holy has its fillers. It may look fairly poor at first glance but this small ability can change something like Hodir's Frozen Blows from a major pain to a mere tickle. A definite must for every spec in my eyes even if some people say its too situational.
Does what it says, instant crit on demand. Useful with Holy Light or Holy Shock to give you guaranteed Infusion of Light.
Pretty simple, try to use this when you know theres going to be plenty of healing to be done, or use it combined with Divine Plea to negate large mana cost that comes with the need to spam Holy Lights. But don't let it sit off cooldown for too long.
Judgement of Wisdom/Judgement of Light
As a Holy Paladin these are normally only used for keeping up Judgements of the Pure, but if you don't have 2 melee Paladins then making sure the 2nd Judgement is up can make quite a difference, with Judgement of Light in a 25 man raid being able to heal several thousand per second on its own.
This ability can be used to shield wall the entire raid from damage for 6 seconds with or without the damage transference part, as you can click off Divine Sacrifice (or macro it off using a modification of the Divine Plea macro below) and still give the 20% damage reduction to your raid.
There are several choices, I will try and give reasoning behind why they are/aren't good.
Glyph of Seal of Wisdom/Glyph of Seal of Light
Both very good glyphs, giving extra incentive to keep a seal up to Judge with for Judgements of the Pure, either of these glyphs are pretty much mandatory.
Glyph of Seal of Wisdom is an amazing glyph, specially when you stack it together with other mana reduction effects such as the Libram of Renewal or the 4 piece tier 7 set bonus, as Illumination works off base mana its actually more like a ~7% reduction, and more mana is always a good thing.
Glyph of Seal of Light is less worth it, with it just being a flat 5% which doesn't apply to Sacred Shield, also the inferior of the 2 Seals in terms of their own effect, as you can hit the boss to get several thousand mana back very quickly with Seal of Wisdom.
Glyph of Holy Light
This is a decent enough glyph, with it being our only real form of multi-target healing, it can be very good if used in melee range with Beacon on the tank, specially in conjunction with Thorns type abilities on the mobs and Judgement of Light.
Glyph of Divinity
This is a good glyph with no real downsides, when coupled with the Minor Lay on Hands glyph and the Lay on Hands talent, this can be used almost every fight. And if you can afford to cast it on yourself, you will get double the mana back, equaling a total of 7800 mana.
Glyph of Beacon of Light
This glyph saves one BoL cast every 3 mins, which comes out as giving you more mana than Divinity unless you can cast Lay on Hands on yourself. It also saves you the extra GCD so you can do more healing because of it.
Glyph of Holy Shock
This is quite a poor glyph, because for the number of times you'll be casting Holy Shock back to back I doubt you'll be saying "I wish it was just that second faster".
Glyph of Cleansing
This is a very poor glyph, since the cost of cleanse can be offset with BoW and Divine Plea very easily.
Glyph of Lay on Hands - A solid choice, the only actually useful minor for Holy.
Glyph of Blessing of Kings - A decent choice for battle buffing, but still fairly poor.
Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom - An entirely convenience based glyph but useful if you only have 1-2 Paladins
There are several choices for your talent specs, I will try and list the most popular ones and give you their pros and cons
51/0/0 - The Basic Holy spec - This build is the starting point for most Holy builds, it includes 3-4 filler points which can go into either Imp. Blessing of Wsidom, Imp. Lay on Hands, Imp. Concentration Aura or Aura Mastery (although I believe AM is mandatory for all builds).
51/20/0 - Prot Subspec - This build is usually the build of choice for most 25 man raiders, as it provides Divine Sacrifice/Guardian and Imp. Devotion Aura, hailed as 'the' FotM spec. You can move about most of the Prot points besides Divine Sacrafice/Guardian, and as with Imp. Concentration Aura you can chop and change depending on your raid set up, moving Imp. Devotion into either the Holy or the Ret tree if you have other Paladins with it.
51/0/20 - Ret Subspec - This build is generally used for 5 and 10 man progression as it provides the most self buffs and overall utility for a small group. Some people take the top 5 points out of this and put them into Divinity, I personally don't agree to this as at least Persuit of Justice, is the best talent in the tree.
26/45/0 - 'Proly' - This spec is laying in ruin now after Blizz nuked it last patch, only included it for completeness.
Several of the points are exchangeable obviously, but to keep it fairly short I've kept it to the major builds
Arcanum of Blissful Mending - Head
Greater Inscription of the Crag/Lesser Inscription of the Crag - Shoulder
Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed - Back
Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats - Chest
Enchant Bracers - Superior Spellpower/Enchant Bracers - Exceptional Intellect - Wrists
Enchant Weapon - Mighty Spellpower/Enchant Weapon - Major Intellect - Main Hand
Enchant Shield - Greater Intellect - Off-Hand
Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower - Hands
Eternal Belt Buckle - Waist
Sapphire Spellthread - Legs
Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality/Enchant Boots - Greater Vitality/Enchant Boots - Icewalker - Feet
Elixir of Deadly Strikes - A very good choice, the best one for regen.
Elixir of Lightning Speed - A good throughput choice.
Guru's Elixir - A very cheap and easy potion and adds Stamina for that little boost if you need it.
Spellpower Elixir - A fairly poor choice given how little overall Paladins need spell power.
Elixir of Mighty Thoughts - A solid choice of Guardian Elixir.
Elixir of Mighty Mageblood - Another decent choice.
Flask of the Frost Wyrm - Simple flask, more SP.
Flask of Pure Mojo - Simple mp5 flask, provides more regen than the Flask of Distilled Wisdom.
Flask of Distilled Wisdom - This flask is pretty much useless now, with its vastly increased cost over Wrath flasks and since the latest Int and crit nerfs/mp5 buffs it has been relegated to a "look at me I have 50k mana" bit of fun flask.
Runic Mana Potion - The standard mana potion, always keep a few of these in your bags.
Potion of Speed - A decent choice, you can use these combined with Divine Plea to keep your HPS high enough to off set the healing reduction.
Potion of Wild Magic - Another potion you can use to offset Divine Plea, this has a bonus over Potion of Speed that it doesn't require more mana to do its extra healing.
Runic Mana Injector - A good choice for an Engineer and for non engineers to save bag space.
Crazy Alchemist's Potion - A better choice for Alchemists, not only cheaper but also has a chance to proc any of the following potions as a secondary effect:
* If this procs it will leave you unable to do anything for 8 seconds, as such you should never use this potion at less than full health.
List of the benefits you can get from all the different professions.
Mixology - Either a 47 SP or 20 mp5 increase.
Flask of the North - The same 47 SP.
Socket Gloves/Socket Bracer - 40 Int, 46 SP, 40 Crit, 40 Haste, 20 mp5.
Enchant Ring - Greater Spellpowerx2 - Gives you 46 Spell Power.
Hyperspeed Accelerators - About 55-60 haste if you use them almost every CD. You're losing 28 SP though so an overall better stat, but not a constant which is what healers proffer.
Nitro Boosts - 24 crit rating, not great but better than Icewalker, with the added fun of nitro boosts. Gaining 12 crit over Icewalker, losing the run speed of Tuskarr's Vitality and the mp5 of Greater Vitality but gaining what can be an amazing scapegoat at times. Very situational.
Springy Arachnoweave - 27 SP at the loss of 23 Haste, no real gain from the parachute.
Unbreakable Healing Amplifiers - Not too bad but not all that great, you'll replace them very quickly with either T8 or T9 with badges
Lifeblood - A small heal, fairly poor but off the GCD.
Master's Inscription of the Crag - 46 Spell Power increase over Sons of Hodir (and you don't have to do the rep grind).
Dragon's Eye Gems - 42 Int, 48 SP, 42 Crit, 42 Haste, 21 mp5. The best bonus but can be annoying with multiple gear sets trying to keep the 3 gems in the same or similar gem slots.
Fur Lining - Spell Power - 46 Spell Power.
Toughness - 60 Stam.
Master of Anatomy - 40 Spell crit.
Darkglow Embroidery - 44 mp5 on average at the cost of Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.
13. Useful Macros
For now just the macros I use, can add more as I am given them or adjust mine as I know they're not very well coded.
Simply casts on mouseover > target > target's target. Change the Flash of Lights to what ever spell you want.
/cast [target=mouseover, help][target=target, help][target=targettarget, help] Flash of Light;Flash of Light
Casts Judgement on your target > target's target, without deselecting your current target.
#showtooltip Judgement of Light
/cast [target=target,harm,nodead][target=targettarget,harm,nodead] Judgement of Light
Divine Plea + remove
Very simple macro that cancels Divine Plea if its on or casts it if its not, useful if you want to cancel it just before a Holy Light goes off to get the most ticks out of it.
/cancelaura Divine Plea
/cast Divine Plea
Left + Right click space saver
Blessings and Seals are the most likely users of this, again change the 2 or 3 to what ever you want (if you leave #showtooltip blank it defaults to the button:1 version).
#showtooltip Greater Blessing of Wisdom
/cast [button:1] Blessing of Wisdom
/cast [button:2] Greater Blessing of Wisdom
Pally Power - An amazing mod for asigning blessings and Auras, takes some getting used to but definately a must have in my books.
Grid - A very useful mod for viewing all of your raid in a very compact area, along with the functionality of Decursive and very customizable.
Clique - A useful mod for binding mouse clicks to abilitys when mousing over others, this mod rivals the mouse over macro in terms of which one you use.
Visual Heal - A great mod for controling your overheal (not that you should care that much as a Paladin, but its still wasted mana) comes with mods such as Pitbull.
15. Other tools
Rawr - A superb tool for making your character for you, very good for beginners, although more experienced players would probably rather make their own decisions about what gear is best and such.
Guild Ox, Loot Ranks (Formally LootRank) - Useful if you want to try and get a quick and easy list of available gear although again, more experienced players will want to make their own decisions.
WoWEquip - Although this is technically an AddOn its something I though I'd put here since I find it incredibly helpful as a tool to plan out all of my gear and make all my decisions before I set foot in the raid.
16. Useful Links
Sh*t that should be on your bars and why - Useful thread by Firecrest.
Firecrest's 3.3 Holy Light build wish list - Useful thread by Firecrest.
17. Thanks to...
Endoscient at Elitist Jerks for his old Holy Paladin Guide which I took a lot of the structure of this from.
Our own Ronark for his Ret FAQ which inspired me to do this, and again helped me with the structure.
thoukaia for the other Healadin thread, which got horribly flamed and gave me the inspiration to do this one.
Firecrest for making me want to get off my ass and write this, rather than flaming thoukaia's thread.