Holy Paladins; The Light and How to Channel It
Last Updated 8/20/2012 (Patch 4.3.4)
FINALLY updated for 4.3.
2.1. Primary Healing Spells
2.2. Utility Spells\Cooldowns
2.3. Other Spells
3. General Mechanics (Under Construction)
4. Talents and Glyphs
4.1. Mandatory Talents
4.2. Optional Talents
4.3. Prime Glyphs
4.4. Major Glyphs
4.5. Minor Glyphs
4.6. Sample Talent and Glyph Builds
6. BiS List
7. Gems, Enchants, Reforging, Food, Potions, and Flasks
7.2.1. Heartsong vs Power Torrent
8. Helpful Resources
This guide is primarily intended to help PvE-oriented players in raiding situations. That said, it can definitely be a useful resource for people in 5-mans and 5-man heroics or people who just want to familiarize themselves with the Holy Paladin play style. It’s not intended to be a guide to help PvP-oriented players for the main reason that I'm mediocre at best in PvP. It’s possible that some of this may be applicable to PvP though.
I'm not in a top world guild. I'm not that great. I don't place on World of Logs (well, rarely - Edit: TOP 200 LFR ULTRAXION - SRS BSNS HOLY PALADIN HERE, LOOK OUT WORLD). However, despite these things, I still recognize a few things about Holy Paladins that most people don't seem to realize: there are many decisions to make, and there isn't really always a right answer.
In Wrath of the Lich King there was one cookie-cutter build with no floating talent points. Despite the FoL-spammers insistence, HL-spamming was a near-one-button path to Victory (and it was better, I'm sorry). However, in Cataclysm, things are different, especially in terms of playstyle. You have about 5 or so "free-floating" talent points to customize your spec with and 2 glyphs (one Prime and one Major). You have to make spell choices quite often in Cataclysm: The tank is about to die - should I save him via spamming Divine Lights or Flash of Light but burn a lot of mana? Or is the incoming damage low enough some Holy Lights could do the trick?
In this guide, where there are non-obvious choices, I will try to show the reader the pros and cons of a choice, instead of deciding for them. I will cover the spell changes in Cataclysm, the Holy Power system, some general healing tips, talents, glyphs, gems, enchants, reforging, professions, and even helpful links to other Holy Paladin resources, several of which I have used in the creation of this guide. However, all of the words used in this guide are my own; there is no copy-pasting here from other authors here.
If you disagree with something written here, please post so in the comments below and I'll probably change it. Supporting your opinions with math will get you much farther than just with anecdotes, however.
Between Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, our spells have changed significantly. If you're new to Holy Paladins in Cataclysm, I'd recommend starting here. If not, you may already know most of this and just want to skip ahead to the third section.
2.1. Primary Healing Spells
These are the heals you’re going to use all the time, and you should have all of them bound in nice and key (lolpun) places.
Holy Light is our bread and butter spell in Cataclysm. When you have nothing better to cast, cast Holy Light to fish for Daybreak procs.
Holy Shock heals fairly well in Cataclysm, and has quite good Healing per Mana (HPM), but the primary purpose is to generate Holy Power. Unless somebody is need of a big heal (Flash of Light or Divine Light), Holy Shock should be used on cooldown, so as to not waste Daybreak procs, to maximize Holy Power gains, and to maximize Infusion of Light procs. Infusion of Light procs are incredibly important and should always be used on Divine Light or Holy Radiance when possible. If you have an Infusion of Light proc up, I recommend using it before Holy Shocking again.
Divine Light is one of our best heals. It has relatively low Healing per Mana (HPM), but incredibly high Healing per Second (HPS), especially when Infusion of Light procs. You should be using Divine Light whenever you need to heal somebody up quickly – not super quick because then you’d want to use Flash of Light, but moderately quick. If you didn’t need to heal them up quickly, try to use more Holy Light. It is very standard for top Paladins to have 30%+ of their healing done with Divine Light, and with all of our ways of regenerating mana, there is no reason to be scared to use a lot of it.
Word of Glory
When you have three Holy Power, you get a choice between spending it on Word of Glory or Light of Dawn. Word of Glory is a powerful, mana-free, instant cast targeted heal. Word of Glory is primarily used in 5-mans, PvP, and encounters in 10-mans where the raid is spread out.
Light of Dawn
The other option to spend your Holy Power is Light of Dawn. It is a medium-strength, mana-free, instant cast AoE heal. It is very powerful when people are grouped up. Since patch 4.3, Light of Dawn is superior to Word of Glory in pretty much all 25-man situations and a large amount of 10-man ones too.
Holy Radiance is pretty ridiculously good. It has no cooldown, generates Holy Power, and heals for a ton as long as there are 3+ people around. Before 4.3, it did not benefit from your Mastery, but now it benefits from all of our stats. There are a very large number of situations in Cataclysm, especially in Dragon Soul, where your party or raid have to stack up, so use Holy Radiance very often. The spell will probably make up the majority of your healing in 25-mans and will still be a significant chunk in 10-mans on many fights.
Flash of Light
Flash of Light is “a quick, expensive heal”. The problem is that Flash of Light is VERY expensive for the amount that it heals on average. Flash of Light’s Healing per Mana (HPM) is much lower than that of Divine Light. It does have a higher Healing per Second (HPS) than Divine Light (without the proc, otherwise Divine Light is better). It is therefore only usually used in situations where the person is in danger of dying extremely quickly. Chimaeron is a good example of a fight that Flash of Light is commonly used on. It’s also great to snipe other healers on trash pulls and other fights that will end before you run out of mana if you're doing farm content. Since 4.3, the cost of Flash of Light matters a lot less because of the Spirit buff and because we are beginning to reach absurd levels of Spirit. Divine Light and Holy Radiance are still superior, but you can spam Flash in a few situations if you need.
2.2. Utility Spells\Cooldowns
These are important spells which should receive varying levels of usage from very frequent (Judgement, Beacon of Light, and Divine Protection) to very infrequent (Crusader Strike).
Beacon of Light
While Beacon of Light did receive a large nerf in Cataclysm (down from 100% effectiveness to 50%), it is still a very powerful and potent Holy Paladin spell that can account for up to 33% of your healing. It now lasts for 5 minutes, and only costs a low amount of mana to cast (or no mana if glyphed). Don’t be afraid to switch your Beacon over to a different tank on the fly just based on the amounts of incoming damage even if your Beacon is not glyphed because it doesn't cost much at all. I often switch my Beacon every tank swap on difficult fights (so around every 20-30 seconds).
Since 4.3, Judgement's use is limited to maintaining a minute long buff which increases our Spirit regeneration and Haste. While you only should cast it once a minute, it is absolutely critical that this buff be up at all times. I recommend installing PowerAuras and using an aura like the following:
Version:4.23; icon:Ability_Paladin_JudgementofthePure; buffname:Judgements of the Pure; alpha:1; owntex:true; exact:true; combat:true; size:0.4; y:200; texmode:2; inverse:true; finish:0
This will put up the Judgement of the Pure icon in the top middle of your screen whenever you are in combat and do not have the buff. In the PowerAura settings for this aura, you should make sure to set it to only apply to spec 1 or spec 2 (your Holy spec) so your other spec is not affected by this.
Lay on Hands
Lay on Hands is a critical emergency heal. It is almost always used to save a dying raid member, but can rarely be used instead purely for the mana gain from the Divinity glyph (H Ultraxion can be an example of this). Make sure you have this bound in a good spot and hone your reflexes. If you do, your last second saves with Lay on Hands will have your raid members loving you.
Majorly buffed back in Patch 4.0.6, Divine Plea is back to being an important Holy Paladin tool. Restoring large amounts of mana, it is potent when used with a Concentration Potion during a break in the fighting, a Hand of Sacrifice to reduce damage to healable levels, or just with external healing CDs from your fellow healers. I do not recommend using PERSONAL throughput cooldowns (especially Avenging Wrath, Intellect use effects, or Spell Power use effects) to offset the penalty of Divine Plea unless the situation gets really bad and people are in danger of dying because Divine Plea will diminish the effectiveness of your own cooldowns.
Avenging Wrath is a nice throughput cooldown. It should be used often to offset periods of heavy outgoing boss damage due to its low cooldown.
Divine Favor is a powerful cooldown. Haste is one of our best stats, and Critical Strike doesn’t hurt either. For maximum throughput, you COULD to use Divine Favor, Avenging Wrath, and Guardian of the Ancient Kings all at the same time. However, usually it is better to stagger your cooldowns so you can respond to multiple bad situations, instead of just completely annihilating one bad situation. Our T13 2p gives a mana cost reduction to spells cast 15 seconds after Divine Favor is cast. It's just another incentive to use this awesome spell.
Guardian of Ancient Kings
This is a very powerful cooldown. Since you only get 5 charges after you activate it, you want to make sure you spend all five (or most of the five) charges on Divine Lights or Word of Glories, since they are the biggest heals you have. While this at first appears to be mainly a single target tool, the massive splash from using the charges can help a lot in heavy AoE sections of boss fights, so don’t be afraid to use it even if it isn’t just one person taking damage.
Hand of Sacrifice
This is an extremely useful cooldown that you should use often to help out the tanks (mainly). Try to get into a habit of using this very often, almost even on cooldown. It is critical to use this for huge damage bursts on a single target like Impales on Madness of Deathwing.
Aura Mastery is a very potent cooldown with a fairly short cooldown, so you should aim to keep it on cooldown often as long as large damage is present. Omnitron Defense Council, Ragnaros, Heroic Zon'ozz, and Madness of Deathwing are three examples of fights where Aura Mastery can play a critical role. Be very careful with the timing on Aura Mastery because it only lasts 6 seconds and if you use it too soon before the ability you are trying to help resist is cast, then you may waste it.
Hand of Protection
This is a very useful spell, even for helping tanks. If it is cast on a player who currently has aggro on a mob, they will temporarily lose aggro, giving them time to drop some of their threat and for the tank to taunt. Additionally, it removes all debuffs in the "Physical" debuff category. This includes Mortal Strikes (including Madness of Deathwing - HUGE use there) and sometimes even armor debuffs. It is a very niche spell, but can still be very powerful on certain fights. If you intend to use it repeatedly as part of a certain boss strategy, make sure a tank has a macro for "/cancelaura Hand of Protection".
2.3. Other Spells
I've listed these in order of relative usefulness
Hand of Salvation
This can be great to help DPS who are struggling with threat. Your raid members may call out for Salvation from you, or you may just notice that have aggro on one of the Maloriak adds (an example) for some reason. Either way, it can definitely be useful. The Glyph of Hand of Salvation will change the spell from a small targeted threat decrease into a targeted temporary Fade. This can be very useful in quite a few fights.
Hand of Freedom
Hand of Freedom isn’t used all that commonly in raids, but there are still a few fights that apply movement slowing effects that you can Hand of Freedom out of. Heroic Hagara is a great example - using Hand of Freedom once you are in the bubble allows you to get out without the bubble slowing you down. You can use that method on other players to save them from a possible Ice Wave death if they enter the bubble too late into the wave to make it back normally.
Seal of Insight and Auto Attacking
While sometimes useful, be aware that casting spells resets the weapon swing timer. This means that you usually have to choose between casting spells and meleeing. Casting spells is almost always the better choice. Exceptions are things like Magmaw Phase 2, where literally no damage is going out or in other cases where the damage is low enough for it to be handled by 1 or 2 healers. Additionally, Word of Glory no longer resets the weapon swing timer. It was a change made for Protection and Retribution Paladins, but really on-the-ball Holy Paladins can take advantage of it as well if they are in melee range. If you time it right, you can melee and cast Word of Glory at the same time. Crusader Strike and Judgement are the other two exceptions that do not reset the swing timer.
Crusader Strike is very situational. It generates Holy Power and is best used in three different situations. All of these situations are pretty uncommon.
1. If you need AoE healing really badly, you can Crusader Strike to quickly generate Holy Power for Light of Dawn. This can actually be very useful in the first 2-3 minutes of Heroic Ultraxion, where the damage is low but mana conservation for the later sections of the fight is critical.
2. If there is very little damage going out, you can Crusader Strike to keep your Holy Power high for when the damage does start to get high. Usually though, there will be enough time for you to gain the needed Holy Power through Holy Shocks.
3. If you are out of mana and have NO way to regain it (seriously, what were you doing to cause this?! o.o), using Crusader Strike will let you auto-attack while you gain Holy Power, allowing you to use mana-free heals. Obviously, this is an extremely rare situation and only applies to low Spirit Paladins.
Rebuke: While it isn't often that you'll need to interrupt, sometimes a last second Rebuke can be the difference between a wipe and a kill. You should always have this key-bound somewhere easy to reach.
Hand of Reckoning: Sometimes, taunting can be very helpful. If your tank is about to die, and you taunt the boss to take a hit while you heal him, and then Divine Shield, you can save a life. I have used this on occasion to save the entire raid while the tank is battle rez'd or to kite the boss while the DPS finishes the last 2%.
Holy Wrath: This spell’s AoE stun component is very handy on certain fights. When glyphed, it will stun Elementals, which is critical on several fights: Ragnaros and Deathwing being the primary two.
Hammer of Justice: This stun sometimes works on adds in certain fights.
Righteous Fury: Sometimes, you'll need to gain healing aggro on newly spawning adds due to the way a fight works. If you do, use this spell.
Exorcism: Some rare times you need to DPS. Chimaeron Phase 2 is a good example. Once Mortality goes up, go nuts with the Exorcism spam (and Holy Shock and keep Inquisition up).
Inquisition: Honestly, this is used so rarely I wouldn't bother having it on your bar. It isn't even worth it in PvP except the most bizarre of scenarios.
4. Talents and Glyphs
In this section, I’ll go into an in-depth analysis of every Paladin talent that useful PvE talent that Holy Paladins can reach and divide them into two sections, Mandatory Talents and Optional Talents.
4.1. Mandatory Talents
These talents are pretty much required to maximize your character’s potential. There are some rare exceptions, like maybe dropping Light of Dawn on a fight where everyone has to stay 100% stay out and it is impossible to use, but for the most part, these are all mandatory.
Protector of the Innocent (2/3)
Since the 4.3 nerf to Beacon transfers from this talent, it is not nearly as valuable. However, you need two points in this to reach the next tier.
Judgements of the Pure (3/3)
This is self explanatory levels of awesome.
Clarity of Purpose (3/3)
This is self explanatory levels of awesome.
Last Word (1/2)
This talent is pretty lackluster but one point in it is required to progress to the next tier.
Divine Favor (1/1)
Divine Favor is an amazing healing cooldown that all Holy Paladins need to have.
See "Divine Favor" in "2. Spells" above for more details.
Infusion of Light (2/2)
If Infusion of Light said "Increases your Agility by 2%.", we’d still put both points in it. Speed of Light, the follow-up talent, is just that good. However, it helps that Infusion of Light holds its own weight. The reduced cast time procs on Holy Light and Divine Light increase the throughput of those spells by a ton, and since we’re already going to be using Holy Light, Divine Light, and Holy Shock a lot, this talent just adds to the synergy between the three. If at all possible, you are going to want to use your Infusion of Light procs on Divine Lights instead of Holy Lights because it is a much bigger HPS increase.
Daybreak procs allow you to cast more Holy Shocks, which allow you to generate more Holy Power, which allows you to cast more mana-free Holy Power based heals. It is an important mana-saving and throughput talent and also can give you more instant casts to use while running.
Enlightened Judgements (1/2)
One point in here is enough to hit cap your Judgement spell and to advance to the next tier. Without hit-capping your Judgement spell, you’ll be wasting GCDs on the boss, so this first point is mandatory for that reason. The minor range increase and small heal that transfers through Beacon of Light and also can proc trinkets and enchants is just an additional awesome upside! I’ll cover the possibility of a second point under the Optional Talents section, but taking 2/2 is pretty rare.
Beacon of Light (1/1)
Even after its nerf to 50% of the Paladin’s healing in Cataclysm, it is still a mandatory talent. Enlightened Judgements will transfer through the Beacon as well, even if it is 100% overheal on you.
See "Beacon of Light" in "2. Spells" above for more details.
Speed of Light (3/3)
Haste is our best stat, and this talent gives us 3% of it permanently, which isn’t shabby by itself. The real kicker is the speed boost from Divine Protection, which is extremely nice for getting around quickly in fights.
Conviction is another mandatory talent. It has a 95%+ uptime, even with very low critical strike rating, and gives a 9% healing modifier that is multiplicative with all our other healing modifiers. It is even better point for point than Divinity, and THAT is mandatory too.
Aura Mastery (1/1)
Aura Mastery is an amazing cooldown which is required in any kind of serious raiding.
See "Aura Mastery" section in "2. Spells" above for more details.
Paragon of Virtue (2/2)
Paragon of Virtue is mandatory. With frequent Avenging Wrath usage, this works out to be at least a 1% healing increase. This is also completely ignoring the other two upsides - Divine Protection and Hand of Sacrifice, which work very well together to mitigate tank damage and even other raid damage.
Tower of Radiance
One point is completely mandatory because you get the Holy Power gain from Holy Radiance.
Light of Dawn (1/1)
This is pretty much mandatory. It’s one talent point and Light of Dawn –almost- always has a use. The exception to this is PvP. It's basically useless in 2s and 3s Arena.
See "Light of Dawn" in "2. Spells" above for more details.
Divinity (3/3) (in Protection's tree)
Even if Divinity was just a flat 6% healing increase for 3 talent points, it would still be mandatory. It affects every spell besides Lay on Hands and increases their scaling and healing. The added self-healing is just a bonus, which should apply to Protector of the Innocent and Enlightened Judgements, powering up the Beacon transfer of the latter talent even more.
Crusade (3/3) (in Retribution's tree)
Crusade is mandatory. It increases the power of Holy Shock, a primary heal we use often. I’ve seen a few people spec out of Crusade, but I believe that to be a mistake. Crusade gives Holy Shock an additional 1.3x healing multiplier, which will allow Holy Shock to continue to scale very well into future tiers, and even to scale better with cooldowns like Avenging Wrath. I can put up some math for Crusade if there is demand for it. There's just absolutely no better place for these three points.
4.2. Optional Talents
In Cataclysm, Holy Paladins have a lot of optional talents, but I’ll try to bring you, the reader, the most informed pros and cons of each possible. I've gotten a little more blunt based on some feedback, so I'll try to tell you what people typically pick as well and why they pick it.
Protector of the Innocent (3/3)
This is almost always taken just for lack of a better alternative. If you really want, you can drop the 3/3 point into 2/2 Last Word.
Last Word (2/2)
The second point in Last Word is optional but still pretty underwhelming. Additionally, if you use Light of Dawn more than Word of Glory (if you’re doing 25-mans or heroic modes), the point may be lost on you (talent puns). However, it is still good on a fight by fight basis, like if you were progressing on Heroic Chimaeron or a few other fights where people constantly dip low, I would recommend picking this up.
Sacred Cleansing (1/1)
Since recent changes in the last few patches, Holy Paladins typically do take this talent but there are exceptions based on your raid composition in 25-mans.
Improved Judgement (1/2 or 2/2)
Most of the time you won't need Improved Judgement. On most fights in this tier, you can stand 15 yards away from the boss with no issues. Some people are staunch advocates of at least 1/2 Improved Judgements, and that is fine. It's an optional talent, and the added range is nice. You're not giving up anything to get it besides maybe a point in Blessed Life or Last Word. This talent is also near mandatory if you want Pursuit of Justice (unless you are getting Eye for Eye which is so ridiculously fight specific I'm not even going to cover it here), so it will often be picked up.
Pursuit of Justice (2/2)
If you're going to put points here - please go 2/2. If you put 1/2 in Pursuit of Justice, all you're really gaining is 50 Haste at the cost of 35 Mastery and 1 talent point, and that is an absolutely terrible trade. You want 2/2 here or bust. That said, this is an extremely undervalued talent by many new Holy Paladins. This talent has nothing to do with “being slow at getting out of fires”, “latency”, or “having a bad reaction time”. It will certainly help players with those things, but that isn’t the point at all. The faster you move, the more time you spend healing. Pursuit of Justice often provides the largest HPS increase that these two talent points could provide. In addition to this awesome movement speed boost, you'll also gain Holy Power when stunned, feared, or immobilized, which is amazing on Halfus (instant 3 Holy Power during Furious Roar) and a few other fights.
Tower of Radiance (2/3 or 3/3)
The 2/3 and 3/3 ranks of Tower of Radiance are optional but extremely recommended. Since Word of Glory usage has been diminished by AoE nature of T13 and Blessed Life is pretty meh in T13 as well, this is usually where your points are going to be.
Blessed Life (1/2 or 2/2)
Blessed Life procs quite often in Cataclysm raids, but usually not enough to justify dropping Tower of Radiance for it. However, 2 out of 3 major Paladin specs will drop a 32nd point into Holy to pick up 1/2 Blessed Life, and the Pursuit of Justice spec has the option to drop Sacred Cleansing for this. There are false statements going around that say that the second point is wasted because you get hit by boss abilities more than once every 8 seconds, and that is almost always false. Maybe in rare cases like Halfus's Furious Roar you will get hit multiple times in quick succession, but on average, I gain 1 Holy Power from Blessed Life every 20-30 seconds. The second point is definitely not even close to being wasted except on rare occasion.
Eternal Glory (2/2)
Eternal Glory is a very tricky one to evaluate, and a lot of people have strong opinions one way or another on it. Some believe that Eternal Glory is an amazing talent and should be mandatory in any spec. They’d rather drop Divinity than Eternal Glory (please don’t actually do that). In reality, it is a very RNG talent. However, Paladin healers in 10-man raiding situations (especially ones just starting raiding) may find quite a bit of value in Eternal Glory. 25-man Paladins will likely find little to no value in Eternal Glory. Many 25-man Paladins opt for the Pursuit of Justice spec, and if they don’t, they'll opt for a heavier Holy build. This is picked up in the "classic" Holy Paladin spec, but it is passed over in a heavier holy build or a Pursuit of Justice build.
Enlightened Judgements (2/2)
The second point in Enlightened Judgements is optional. It doubles the heal from Judgement, which in turn will increase its contribution via Beacon of Light The range increase is nice though, but only half of that of Improved Judgements in Retribution. I would recommend this if you find yourself having range problems and cannot seem to adjust (on most fights you can always stand within 15 yards) or just like having the increased flexibility that additional range allows. As for a comparison between this and Improved Judgements, it again comes down to personal choice. Would you rather have a bigger self-heal and Beacon transfer heal or would you rather have the extra 5 yards? Both have their uses, but typically 1/2Improved Judgements is picked over 2/2 Enlightened Judgements.
4.3. Prime Glyphs
The first two prime glyphs are set in stone: Glyph of Seal of Insight and Glyph of Divine Favor. The last one is up to you though, so I'll go over all four.
Glyph of Seal of Insight
This is easily the most powerful Glyph that Holy Paladins have access to. A new 5% healing modifier that stacks multiplicatively with all our other healing modifiers? Yes please! Never drop this glyph.
Glyph of Divine Favor
Divine Favor is an amazing cooldown, and increasing its length by 10 seconds can help you in a lot of sticky situations. This should be your second mandatory glyph.
Glyph of Holy Shock
This is another very good Glyph because increasing the Critical Strike Chance on your Holy Shock will increase your number of Infusion of Light procs, which is always desirable. This is doubly true since Holy Radiance can benefit from Infusion of Light now too.
Glyph of Word of Glory
I would recommend using the other three glyphs and switching to this one when you need it. If you are a heavy Word of Glory user, I'd recommend switching on a fight by fight basis. Remember - even if the raid is at full HP besides the tank and the tank is beaconed with the raid grouped up, a Light of Dawn (especially a since the 4.3 buff) will vastly outheal Word of Glory (even glyphed).
4.4. Major Glyphs
The first two major glyphs are set in stone: Glyph of Divinity and Glyph of Divine Plea. The third one is up to you, the reader, though, so I'll go through the pros and cons of several of them.
Glyph of Divinity
This glyph is mandatory. In almost every single progression boss fight you will cast Lay on Hands at least once on -someone-, so taking this glyph is almost always the best choice for your first Glyph slot. It's very rare that the mana will go to waste, since when you use Lay on Hands on somebody, you're almost always down to at least 90% maximum mana.
Glyph of Divine Plea
Glyph of Divine Protection
This glyph is commonly used by high-end raiding Paladins as their third major glyph to reduce magic damage, which is the primary source of damage any Holy Paladin will be taking. The only other viable competition in most scenarios is Glyph of Lay on Hands.
Glyph of Lay on Hands
There are a few fights that will last long enough to use Lay on Hands twice with the Glyph. This leaves it with a limited purpose; perhaps just for fights like Nefarian, Al'akir, and other long fights. If you are chain-attempting a boss and intend to use Lay on Hands in every fight, it could help if your Lay on Hands would otherwise still be on cooldown when you needed it.
Glyph of Light of Dawn
Since 4.3, this glyph has the opposite of its old effect. It now increases the healing power of Light of Dawn but reduces the number of targets. This change makes the glyph extremely situational in raiding (I don't recommend using it really anywhere) but potentially viable in 3s or 5-man heroics or something.
Glyph of the Ascetic Crusader
If you are a big Crusader Strike fan (or more likely, there is a fight that suits itself to Crusader Strike use), this glyph could be useful for your third glyph slot. There are some uncommon situations where it could be useful though like heroic Ultraxion.
Glyph of Rebuke
Well, you probably shouldn't be getting put on interrupt duty since we can't interrupt while casting unlike other casters, which means you have to give up GCDs to interrupt. This is still extremely situational.
Glyph of Cleansing
This Glyph lowers the mana cost of Cleanse. Rarely worthwhile because Priests heal their targets when they Cleanse. May be useful for a few specific debuff heavy fights.
Glyph of Beacon of Light
This Glyph saves you 1405 mana every time you cast Beacon of Light. While you don't have to cast Beacon of Light often in most fights, in some fights this can be useful due to tank swapping. It still will only very rarely ever be worth a glyph slot. Glyph of Divine Plea and Glyph of Divinity both restore tons more mana than this glyph.
Glyph of Salvation
Glyph of Salvation can often be useful in very specific fights - it turns your Hand of Salvation into a targeted Fade. It's very much a judgement call though on when to use it over a mana-saving glyph.
Glyph of Long Word
I figure I’ll mention this one because if I don’t, somebody is going to barge in and yell "YOU FORGOT LONG WORD!" Honestly, it's awful and don't use it. (This is one of the few times I'm going come straight out and say this.)
4.5. Minor Glyphs
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you pick here. Most Paladins will opt for Glyph of Insight, Glyph of Blessing of Kings, and Glyph of Blessing of Might, just in case they need to rebuff after a battle res or something.
4.6. Sample Talent and Glyph Builds
Before I get any "HEY! You didn’t include X!", this isn’t meant to be an end all list of possible talent points. The whole reason I devoted an entire section to optional talents is because Holy Paladins aren't just the type of spec where you can go spec Holy once and never change your Holy spec ever again. Good and successful Holy Paladins will change their spec to adapt on a fight by fight basis. At the very least, they’ll change their spec before the raid when they know which bosses they’ll be attempting for the night.
Base spec (27+4/3/3 + 4): There are four floating points within the Holy tree. The first one is almost always placed into 3/3 Protector of the Innocent, but I have seen some 2/3 Protector of the Innocent and 2/2 Last Word builds. The second one is from Sacred Cleansing - some Paladins dump it for either 2/2 Last Word or, more commonly, 1/2 Blessed Life. The third and fourth floating points are 2/3 and 3/3 Tower of Radiance. I really don't recommend moving these, but you can if needed.
Pursuit of Justice spec (31/3/7): This spec is the spec of choice for 25-man raiders and for many end-game raiders even in 10s. The downside is the lack of Eternal Glory and since all of your points are locked into place, the build is -very- inflexible. The only changes you can make are the ones I described above in the Holy tree. Despite this, the movement speed bonus is great and, since Dragon Soul is such an AoE-heavy tier, you aren't missing much.
"Classic" Holy Paladin spec (32/5/4): This was the dominant spec in many previous patches, especially during Firelands in 10-mans. It picks up Eternal Glory 2/2 and Blessed Life 1/2 OR Last Word 2/2. Personally, I get Blessed Life 1/2. The spec has fallen out of favor somewhat due to the low Word of Glory use in T13 making Eternal Glory not very useful. However, it can still be a viable option for specific fights or even general use.
Heavy-Holy spec (31+4/3/3 or 31+3/3/4 and other variants of such): This spec is a heavy-Holy spec in that it takes way more points than needed in the Holy tree. There are several reasons for this, most of them fight specific ones though: Last Word, Blessed Life, or even something like Denounce or Blazing Glory.
If you think I've missed any major ARCHETYPES in this section, feel free to suggest a general build and I'll probably add it. I still don't intend for this to be an exhaustive list though.
The standard established stat priority is:
Intellect > Spirit > Haste > Mastery > Crit
The order of the last two stats (Mastery and Crit) is interchangeable and is up to personal preference. Personally, I like the added Mastery, but there are good arguments for the power of Crit as well (primarily the extra instant cast spells for healing on the move).
Additionally, some people will argue that Haste > Spirit > Mastery > Crit after a certain point. They will make arguments like "Well, I never run out of mana, so why do I need more Spirit?"
The truth is that you could always use more Spirit. Holy Radiance is our best spell, and the more Spirit you have, the more Holy Radiances you can cast, so the higher your HPS will be. Haste increases your HPS nicely too, but not by as much. If you truly reach a level where you have near infinite mana, it means you are either A. outgearing the crap out of the content you are doing and don't need the other stats either or B. not pulling your weight and need to cast more. Either way, Spirit isn't the thing to blame.
Once we get a better mathematical model for Holy Paladins as well, we'll be able to map out the value of our stats over time better, but for now, this rough priority is useful.
6. BiS List
This should be a basic BiS list for a Spirit/Haste-oriented Holy Paladin: http://www.wowhead.com/profile=34423668
Some notes on this BiS profile (including debatable pieces and fight-specific adaptations):
- Too Much Spirit?: This profile maximizes Intellect foremost, then Spirit, then Haste, but the end result has over 4400 Spirit. See the above section for more information, but if you have this set completed, you obviously have all the content down and can do whatever you want.
- Weapon: Maw of the Dragonlord is ridiculously overpowered and you NEED to use it. However, there are one or two fights (Heroic Hagara yet again) where Vagaries of Time (heroic) might be a better option, especially if you only have normal Maw. Usually though, I'd take any version of Maw (maybe not LFR in some cases) over any other heroic weapon.
- Off-hand: Note that there is an almost identical off-hand to our shield from Ultraxion Heroic (it trades 3 Spirit for 5 Haste), which is ridiculously easier than Blackhorn Heroic. It is an excellent alternative, but I'd be nice and let your Priests/Druids get it first.
- Relic: There are several relic options, and none is perfect. Mindbender Lens (ilvl 397 haste/mastery) has a lot of Haste, but potentially Singed Plume of Aviana heroic is superior (ilvl 391 spirit/haste). Yet another option is Lightning Spirit in a Bottle (ilvl 397 spirit/mastery). Unless you have access you Singed Plume heroic from Firelands, I'd recommend Lightning Spirit.
- First Trinket: In my opinion, Heart of Unliving is BiS no matter what. 364 Int and 999 Spirit cannot be beaten. The second trinket slot is debatable.
- Second Trinket: This is the debatable one. Windward Heart's proc is nice, but not as good for Holy Radiance as Seal of the Seven Signs is. The issue is that proc Haste is more RNG than proc heals because the heals are rarely going to go to waste while the Haste sometimes can. I'd recommend Windward Heart for 10 man, but I'm not sure for 25-man (potentially Seal).
Meta Gem: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/68780/b...pirit-diamond/ OR http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/52296/e...spirit-diamond
Red Gem: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/52207/b...t-inferno-ruby
Yellow Gem: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/52208/reckless-ember-topaz
Blue Gem: http://db.mmo-champion.com/i/52236/purified-demonseye
I personally go with Burning Shadowspirit Diamond since they let it apply to heals in 4.3. They're both close though.
Meta sockets are almost always worth matching, unless it is like a Blue +30 Crit socket bonus.
Red sockets you should always fill with red gems of course.
Yellow sockets you should fill with red gems unless there is an exceptionally good Intellect socket bonus (or you are using the Ember meta and need the
Blue sockets you should fill with red gems unless there is an exceptionally good Intellect socket bonus.
I'm not going to include profession specific stuff here. You should know to replace stuff if your profession offers something better.
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect
Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Wrists: Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery (Get +50 Haste only if you are going for the 3k+ Haste build and will gem Haste too over Int)
Boots: Enchant Boots - Lavawalker*
Main Hand: Enchant Weapon - Heartsong (Power Torrent in uncommon situations only)
Off Hand: Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect
*If you have Pursuit of Justice, you'll want Haste to Boots. If you don't have Pursuit of Justice, you'll want to get Lavawalker to Boots, no questions there.
7.2.1. Heartsong vs Power Torrent
Power Torrent's average uptime: 25%
500 Intellect * 0.25 = 125 average Intellect
Heartsong's average uptime: 65%
200 Spirit * 0.65 = 130 average Spirit
Now usually, I'd go "who in their right mind would possibly pick 130 Spirit over 125 Intellect?!", but there are other factors to consider here.
1. Saving Arcane Torrent for Power Torrents can sometimes waste more mana than you'd gain due to the very poor uptime of Power Torrent (~25%). If you're waiting 30 seconds after Arcane Torrent comes off cooldown for a proc (and it will happen sometimes if your Power Torrent expires right before your cooldown comes up), then you would have been better off just using Arcane Torrent without Power Torrent. The same logic goes for Divine Plea, but most players do not use Divine Plea on cooldown anyway. A well-equipped player will have an addon to monitor the Internal CoolDown (commonly called ICD) of their Power Torrent enchant, and those types of good decision making skills can often negate this point.
2. The regen for Power Torrent is not even -remotely- close to that of Heartsong. It's about half, assuming perfect conditions.
3. Proc Intellect is significantly different from real Intellect in that it adds a factor of RNG. Power Torrent has a poor uptime, as established above, so ~75% of the time when you're in tricky situations, your 'amazing Intellect enchant' is actually doing nothing besides giving you a small bit of extra mana it regenerated a while back. It's not giving you the extra spell power or critical strike that you may need at that point in time. On the other hand, Heartsong will have regenerated quite a nice chunk of mana for you to use more Divine Lights with.
All of this said, Heartsong and Power Torrent are very evenly matched enchants with very different purposes. One may be slightly better than the other at high levels of play, but it's very difficult to tell which and is very subject to personal preference.
If you want an enchant with a large amount of regen, pick Heartsong.
If you want an enchant with a lesser amount of regen but sometimes gives you additional spell power and critical strike, pick Power Torrent.
As for me personally, I'm using Heartsong right now as I finish the last two normal mode bosses I need, and then will switch to Power Torrent when 4.1 hits or when I start heroic modes. The majority of raiders in top guilds that I’ve seen stick with Heartsong, but I don’t have access to a Restoration Shaman, so I’m not sure for me personally.
At the end of the day, the difference between Heartsong and Power Torrent is so small that you could pick Heartsong if you had no money and pick Power Torrent if you liked shiny enchants more.
That's pretty much the verdict on the debate at the moment as far as I know.
So, now in 4.3, you can see the above math and notes and imagine that debate taking place again with a new 30% buff to Spirit, which is a 60% buff to Heartsong (0.5 Spirit regeneration multiplier up to 0.8 is a 60% increase).
Get Heartsong except in the rarest scenarios.
You should reforge following the standard Holy Paladin stat priority listed above: Spirit > Haste > Mastery > Crit
If a piece has Spirit and Haste, leave it be.
If a piece has Spirit and Crit, reforge the Crit to Haste.
If a piece has Spirit and Mastery, reforge the Mastery to Haste.
If a piece has Haste and Crit, reforge the Crit to Spirit.
If a piece has Haste and Mastery, reforge the Mastery to Spirit.
If a piece has Crit and Mastery, reforge the Crit or Mastery (this is personal preference) to Spirit (and try to find something better than that piece, seriously).
There are exceptions to this because some items will be very lopsided into one stat or another (100 Spirit with 20 Haste or something like that), but this is the general rule.
For Food, you should use Seafood Magnifique Feast, which guilds usually provide, or you should use Severed Sagefish Head. Don't use Spirit food - if you don't gem Spirit, why would you possibly food buff for it?
Remember, you can pre-pot before the fight starts with a Volcanic Potion. This will increase your mana regeneration and spellpower during the start of the fight at no cost (well just the materials cost of the potion). This isn't always that useful, but it can help give you a nice regen boost at the very start of the fight to keep your mana up, and every little bit counts (I would only use this on rly srs bsns fights).
The three viable potions to use during the fight are Potion of Concentration, Volcanic Potion, and Mythical Mana Potion. Typically, Mythical Mana Potions are superior unless you have a break to use a Potion of Concentration. Don't use Volcanic Potions during the fight unless you really need the throughput for some reason - the others are just flat out better in terms of mana regeneration.
Flasks are fairly straightforward. Again, if you don't gem straight Spirit (you shouldn't!), why would you flask for straight Spirit?
You should use Flask of the Draconic Mind for your Flask (or the Guild Cauldron version).
8. Helpful Holy Paladin Resources
http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t110847-...ly_compendium/ - The Elitist Jerks Holy Paladin Compendium. Not terribly updated recently, but the posts at the end of the thread are relevant.
“[HP] Blessed Life encounters” by iLive - It has an awesome summary of encounters which Blessed Life is effective on.