Category Archives: Holy Paladin Specifics

Specs, Gems, Talents, Gear, and other things we have to worry about.

Dreamwalking in a Nightmare

I never thought I’d say this but…I hate the Dreamwalker fight! Not because of mechanics or anything, I love those. But those stupid orbs are so aggravating it makes me want to pull my hair out. We spent a good 2 ½ hours in there last night and didn’t down her. We had a resto shaman healing outside the portal, Punchileno with his resto set going in the portals, and myself also going in the portals. It would work pretty well until the adds starting going nuts. We were consistently wiping around 5 minutes, except for one time we got her to 97%. And then we died. AHHRG!!

 Sunday night we’re going back in there and I want to kill this bitch! Oh, wait, excuse me HEAL her. That’s confusing. It seems to less angry when you say “Man! I really want to heal this dragon!” I’m going to be equipped with a Glyph of Seal of Light and possibly some other different ones and a Holy/ret spec to see if that works any better.

 I’ve learned several things in this fight, chief of which is that I don’t know how the DPS takes the verbal beating we give them. I almost wanted to cry when we wiped on 97% because I knew if I hadn’t lost my stacks on the second portal we would have gotten it *sniff*. For your sanity guys don’t beat yourself up to much if you lose your stacks. Yes, that is the most important mechanic you need to master, but mastering things takes practice and losing your stacks when you’re just beginning isn’t something to berate yourself over. It’s like a DPS not getting inoculated on Festergut—yeah it may wipe us if you die, but yelling at everyone like a hooligan doesn’t help anything.

 Also, mad props to our outside healer. He was getting almost zero help from Punch and myself and still managed to keep everyone alive until people started taking stupid damage.

 Speaking of stupid damage, do everything in your power to avoid taking damage. Your outside healer is going to rip your face off if you stand in a circle that blasts you into the air, or if you are on interrupts and you don’t catch those frost bolts because you’re off doing something else. Each one of those frost bolts is a huge amount of damage and a slow, which will cause your portal healers to lose their stacks if it doesn’t get dispelled before they go into the portal. Incidentally, Holy Paladins don’t for get about Hand of Freedom. Cast it on yourself when she finishes her speech about the portals spawning and you should be good until the portals open. That has saved my stacks many a time.

 If you guys have the resources I suggest going and gemming up a full spell power set for this fight. Gosh, I’d never thought I’d say that. A holy light set will work okay, but the fight is going to be so much faster with huge amounts of spell power. No matter what you are wearing gear wise always pop a Flask of the Frost wyrm. You want throughput on this fight not mana regen.

 My highest HPS for all of our attempts last night was 17k. I’m only mildly pleased with that, because I feel I should be doing at least 20k. When I can do that easily I will be happy. Until then, it’s off to go watch more strats and read about how other Holy Paladins succeeded in this fight.

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Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes

Your screen is the equivalent of your eyes in a raid– it’s how you see your character, what your character sees, it flashes at you when there are dangers, and it shows you what you’re doing well and what you’re doing poorly.

Makes sense then that we need to have a fairly uncluttered user interface. Imagine trying to drive with a kaleidoscope in each of your eyes! You would hardly be able to see to avoid that pot hole, or that tree that just sprung up in the middle of your road! Those pesky trees…

Recently I’ve been working to de-clutter my UI and to find the best addons available for me. Mad props to Codi at MoarHPS who has to raid with no addons. You’re a better healer than I am!

I think I’ve tried most of the addons out their for holy paladins. They are few and far between, by the way. I’ve done BeaconCountdown, Power Aura Classic, Healbot, Clique, and a few others I cannot remember. Usually I like them for a few days (the thrill of a new toy) but then their annoying interfaces, difficulty configuring them to my needs, and the fact that some of these just don’t fit with my playing style usually sends me on the search for a new addon to fullfil my desires.

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How To: Spec for your type of playing style

Talent Specs. Everyone has them, few players fully understand theirs. I admit it, I’m guilty of not understanding my spec well, even into my young 80 days. Holy Paladin’s are fairly straight forwards when it comes to specing. We have the mandatory talents in the holy tree like Illumination and Light’s Grace, but then we have all these left over points that we can use to choose some skills from the Protection or Retribution trees, both of which are good options depending on what you’re play style is.

Holy/Prot– 51/17/03

This is your typical raiding build, the Bubble Sac. Most high-end raiders swear by this build, and I have known it to save a few raids in its time. If you like quirky, situational abilities you will enjoy the Bubble Sac spec. You’re going to put the 51* points into Holy that both the Holy/prot and Holy/ret builds will take.

Why Prot over Ret:

This type of build is extremely beneficial to a raid group. The skills you go into the prot tree to take are Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian. Divine Sacrifice now reduces the damage your party takes by 20%, which is redirected to the Paladin who cast it. The Divine Guardian talent also reduces the damage of the raid and your party by another 20%, and it buffs your Sacred Shield ability allowing it to last 100% longer and making it absorb 20% more. Both of these effects affect party members within 30 yards of you. Divine Guardian procs off of Divine Sacrifice, so you don’t have to worry about hitting both abilities. However, in most cases you’ll want to use your Divine Shield ability along with the Divine Sacrifice (Hence, the bubble sac) so that you won’t A) Die, or B) Cause yourself to dip below 20% health and cancel the party damage reduction effect. EDIT:  Going below 20% health will not cause the raid damage reduction to stop (Thanks Codi!).

In this build you’re going to take the 5 points in Divinity)on the first protection tier. On the second you’ll put 2 points in Guardian’s Favor and either 3 points in Stoicism or Anticipation. Personally I choose stoicism for those situation fights (like faction champs) where that will be useful. In a place like Ice Crown any dodge you have isn’t going to matter anyway, not with the aura that gives you 20% reduced dodge while you’re inside the Raid. In the third tier you’ll put the 1 point in Divine Sacrifice, and then you have another choice to make: You can go 3/3 in Improved Righteous Fury and 1/5 into Toughness, or you can go 4/5 into Toughness. Personally I do not take improved Righteous Fury. Whenever I have I seem to die faster, and in some fights you cannot use it at all for fear of pulling adds to you with healing aggro. If you like to live on the wild side I recommend this talent. But, if you’re like me and play a healer so you don’t have to get pummeled in the face by big monsters, I suggest taking Toughness. It’s passive and always active, and no tank will yell at you for that.

Any points you have left over you can plug either into Improved Devotion Aura, which will give you 6% extra healing to anyone effected by your aura’s, or into Benediction, which decreases the mana cost of your instant cast spells (i.e. Holy Shock, Beacon of light, Sacred Shield). If you have a druid with Tree of Life form IDA will not stack with them, and if your tank is a Paladin who is speced into that already it will not stack. So if you’re in a raid with no resto druids and no prot pallies then it is a hightly useful talent to take. Benediction is a nice substitute for those of us with leafy friends.

If you choose this build make sure to talk with your other Holy Paladin’s or Prot paladin’s who may have this skill, because they do not stack, and you don’t want to pop them at the same time.

*Note: You can take 1 of the points from Benediction(Or if you choose Improved Devo Aura in the prot tree, take 1 point from that) in the Ret tree and put it in Aura Mastery. This skill can be very useful in fights where you’re taking a lot of a particular type of damage. EDIT: Aura Mastery increases the effect of all Auras by 100% so any aura that is up will be affected by your AM. Thanks Ophelie for the tip!

Holy/Ret– 51/3/18

This build will maximize the mana you’ll get back  every time you cast. This build will give you an additional 8% passive crit. This build is more for the person who doesn’t want to (or can’t) handle balancing more than the cool down’s they already have. Your raid will not thank you very much for choosing this build– you may be able to pump out more HPS and top the meters, but I’ve seen many raids saved from doom by a well timed Bubble Sac. If you don’t raid often, or at all, then this is a good build for you.

You’re going to put the 51* points in the Holy tree for this spec as well. Instead of going into the prot tree for Divinity first you’ll head on over to the ret tree and plug all 5 points into Benediction. In tier 2 you’ll put 3/3 points in Heart of the Crusader. You then have some options for your next two points. If you’re short on paladins and find yourself blessing people with might, I suggest putting the points into Improved Blessing of Light. If that would be a waste for you, got for Improved judgements, which will reduce the CD’s on your judgements  by 2 seconds. In the third Tier all your points will go into Conviction for 5% crit. The next tier you have another choice, although it’s not in the ret tree. You can put the 3 points into Sanctity of Battle for 3% more crit, or you can take those and put them in Divinity so that will be maxed out. If you choose Sanctity of Battle you’ll put the two leftover points into Divinity anyway.

This type of build, with 5/5 divinity and 5/5 conviction,  is often used for a Flash of Light build. But, you’re not going to achieve that with the Intellect your average paladin is going to be stacking anyway.

*Note: Like in the Holy/Prot tree you can take 1 point out of another talent for 1 point into Aura Mastery. If you’re not going for 5/5 Divinity and 5/5 Conviction you can take 1 point from Divinity and stick it in AM. However, this build is about the pure healing you can output, and if you’re building like this you’re not going to be able to use the gimmicky things as well as a Holy/Prot paladin. If you feel the urge for fun cooldowns, I suggest you try out the Holy/Prot healing style.

Well these are our two most popular, and most tried and true builds. Of course these are PvE builds, and not recommended for PvP.

Happy Healing!

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Purple Pally Monster?

(Above is a video from the vanilla days of WoW, easily one of my favorite WoW songs ever. While it’s not completely relevant to this post because the druid in the song is kind of a butt [And the fault of the paladin’s being butts is mostly Blizzards–at least where this post is concerned], it does a nice job of eluding to the fact that those that roll outside of their armour/spec are generally seen as scum bags. Trust me, with the number of Shaman who will freak when they see the Paladin BiS lists, there will be a Purple Pally Monster song soon enough. )

I’ve checked out the Best in Slots lists lately because, well, now that 25-mans are an option for me now (!!) I will be able to realistically covet those loots.

However, I’m noticing a disappointing trend that has been delivered from the Blizzard Gods…

Plate stuff stinks.

How am I supposed to be the epitome of Holy badassary if I have to run around in mail and cloth pieces?! Not to mention how will I deflect the angry stabbings from priests and shaman when I walk away with their pieces if I can’t be covered in 3 inch plate? Ah, it’s a vicious cycle.

 I’m very fortunate that my new guildies use a Loot council system where you’re allowed to link for any ups that you need. They don’t require you to roll on your highest armor type, which is a big improvement over my old guilds way of doing loot (“Paladins who role on mail and cloth are tools!!” “Yeah, but, you see here. this piece has haste while this piece gives MP5 which will seriously lower my throughput–” “NO!! Don’t touch my loot!!”). Of course armor consideration is still a problem, and I’m always going to be passed over when one of our priests needs the Meteor Chaser’s Raiment, the best in slot chest piece according to Codi from MoarHPS!(EDIT: /facepalm @ myself. You can purchase the chest peice for 95 emblems of frost. But the idea remains the same, when priest pieces have no spirit on them then they are often better than their hasteless plate counterparts). I personally agree with her BiS list over the Best in Slot Holy Paladin resource page, which says that  Mail of Crimson Coins from the Blood Princes is BiS. I guess I just like haste.

Well, lets talk a little bit about haste. Blizzard, bosom friend of mine, do you know that haste makes Holy Paladins happy? Crit makes us smile, but MP5 gets a “meh” from most of us. Now you want us to be happy, don’t you? Then stop force feeding us MP5 you…you…Ahhrgeggha!!!!11!1!! *NERDRAGE*

–Due to technical difficulties, please enjoy this break while we go find Pheadra and stop her from flying to California to scream at Blizzard employees–

 Okay, now that I’m back from my happy place…Most authorities agree that a Holy Pally who focus on a Holy Light build should at least be at the haste soft cap 676 haste rating, which is 20.6%. Holy Light builds are encouraged to shoot for even higher haste, to attempt to bring the casting time of HL down to 1 second.

Taking a look at the Teir Ten pieces, we paladins should be extremely disappointed. Three of the Five pieces give haste: Lightsworn Spaulders, Lightsworn Tunic, and the Lighsworn headpiece. The rest give MP5, Crit, and Spellpower.

 Unfortunately, the headpiece (who’s item level 264 T10 upgrade is Best in slot) gives 2 less haste than the 245 piece. Now, I don’t want to make mountains out of mole hills here, but come on, these are supposed to be ups! We’re having to sacrifice what small amount of haste we can scrape from the regular 251 and 245 pieces for one of only three pieces that even give haste in the T10 set? Yes, I know that the piece has more intellect, spellpower, etc. than its T9 counterpart, but I can’t help but feel that our class is  misunderstood when we have to spend 95 Emblems of Frost, which are so painful to get, for something that isn’t going to be a complete upgrade until we can get into a 25 man group and get lucky enough to be given that token.

The fact that only three out of the five pieces means that I won’t be looking to get my four piece bonus for any reason. Luckily the two piece is still an option, but I’m going to have to take a hit in haste for a while until I can get the upgrade token.

All in all, for me ICC gear is a great disappointment. Having to dip into the limited armour pools for other classes makes me feel like a slime ball., and watching plate piece after plate piece drop and realize that I don’t want anything to do with them makes me a sad paladin indeed.

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Healer Survey From Miss Medicina

                 I recently discovered this survey when I was perusing wow.com the other day. This was created by Miss Medicina on her blog. She asks very interesting questions that I feel can benefit everyone who either reads the answers from all of us blogging healers, or whoever takes the (rather large) portion of time to figure out the answers! I really enjoyed filling this out and I hope she keeps more questions coming, or comes up with a really cool spread sheet at least :]

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What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?

Pheadra, Holy Paladin.

What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

I’m nearly always raiding, but with ICC coming out soon I think I’ll be doing a lot of 5 man content again.

What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?

This was a hard question. I choose Judgement of Light because it’s the only group healing spell that I have in my arsenal. It may not make up a large portion of my healing numbers, but it does the job of topping off raid members and lessening the impact of fights like the Twins. It also gives me a 15% haste buff for 1 minute every time I cast it, and I love haste!

What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?

Lay on hands. Not only is it on the longest timer, but it’s really build for emergency situations. I just can’t justify using it willy-nilly.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?

Our huge mana pools. We’re well-built for tank healing because we can afford to constantly cast with out crying “OOM!” two minutes into the fight. Also, the bigger your mana pool the more mana you get back from skills like Divine Plea. It’s a win-win for us.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?

Lack of group healing. Our heals don’t cast fast enough to save a dim-witted raid member from standing in fire if we’re the only ones worried about it. However, I’m not eager for Blizz to change this anytime soon. I’d rather see individual classes keep their niches (i.e. Druids raid healing, Pallies tank healing) then see everyone have equal footing for every healing need. Thats why Blizz makes different classes!

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? 

Definitely main tank Healing. Although it is never that much fun to heal with a great swath of Holy Pallies (lets just face it– someone’s beacon is always going to be routinely over written) I could beacon the off tank and heal the raid. But, that gets sticky sometimes and I’d rather leave the druids and priests their jobs. 

What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?

Druids. A good druid is irreplaceable, and makes everyone’s life easier. Their hots are fantastic (who doesn’t love nearly constant health back?) and a Druid and Pally combo can go along way. We stick to the tanks and they stick to the raid and no one’s beacons disappear :]. One gripe: They always out heal me on the meters!

What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?

Holy Paladins. As I’ve mentioned above, the beacon of light thing. Also when there are a lot of paladins in a raid group none of them are able to perform particularly well. We can’t use our skills to our full potential because by the time one of us casts a Holy Light on the tank some one else has either a) Already covered it and the tank is now back to full, or b) Was about to cover it and now they’ve wasted a good chunk of mana.

What is your worst habit as a healer?

Over healing. My meters are high because of Beacon of Light, but I do love to see those big numbers!

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?

People who refuse to use defensive abilities because it “will hurt their DPS.” Okay, buster, just because you may lose a few points of DPS because you had to ice block through the fire doesn’t mean you’re still the best if you died 30 seconds into the fight with a 7k DPS meter. Your job is to CONSTANTLY attack the boss throughout the fight, not worry about the rank you’re in.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?

In a word, yes. Blizz has been perfecting the Holy Tree since vanilla (Unlike the Ret and Prot Trees) and we have less issues than other classes with patches because of that. We’re the best suited for tank healing but not much else which allows us to work really well with all other healing classes because we don’t step on their toes.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?

I use my tanking boyfriend. He’s usually the one who I’m healing so it stands to reason that he’s the best one to ask how my performance was. I also use recount, but I take anything on that addon with a grain of salt. I also talk to the other healers. Talking to other people about whether or not Im doing my job can sometimes be a humbling task, but, hey, if we’re not improving what’s the point?

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?

I feel like people really don’t understand what stats are important for us. I’ve had DPS and tanks repeatedly come up to me and tell me that I’m geming wrong; Intellect is not as good as Spell Power for healers. Well, maybe for other healers but the size of my heals are already larger compared to something like a druids, and the larger I can get my mana pool the better for me. I also get SP and crit for each point of intellect. So…one stat that gives me only one thing or one stat that gives me three other things I need? It’s a no contest, and I wish people would stop laughing at my geming! (Note: The only time I would feel that it would be acceptable to gem for SP is if you’re running a Flash of Light built and you gem for SP and Haste. Really the only people who would do this are people who are raiding on a regular basis with another holy pally, one who is gemed in the Holy Light, intellect based build. Higher end guilds use this for a heavily pally healed raid group, but the average raider is not going to need to worry about it.)

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?

Intellect is your friend! I know it’s highly boring and unimaginative, but the best is what it is and you can’t go wrong with intellect. Another thing I feel is difficult for new holy pallies to realize is that you’re going to want haste over crit until you hit the soft haste cap. You’ll get crit from intellect on your gear, but haste is much harder to come by, so choose that haste chest piece over the crit one!

If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?

Very high over healing–around 60% on a regular basis. This isn’t because I’m a terrible spazz and need to constantly heal everything (although it is somewhat because of that), but because of Beacon of Light. Especially if it’s a 25-man and there are two tank healers and I have the other tank beaconed. Assuming the other healer is doing half of their job a large portion of my heals are going over heal. Another pattern that is noticable is my healing output drops on fights where I have to really concentrate on the tank, and only the tank. In most fights I can predict when hits will happen and I can throw out heals to raid members of myself, but on fights like Sarth 3 drakes zerg even though I’m the only healer my HPS is only about 2.4k. In a fight like Anub on ToC10 I usually hover around 4k HPS, and in VoA I’ve even gotten up to 6K HPS.

Haste or Crit and why? 

At the moment, Haste! I have about 13% haste and 30% crit now and I’m really feeling the haste hurt. Crit gets me mana back and thats all well and good, but being able to actually get a heal off in time to save a tank on ToGC is more important to me.  

What healing class do you feel you understand least?

Resto Shaman. All I know is that I like their gear stats, and there always OOM.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?

I use bartender (which may not count as a just for healing add-on), grid for seeing the health of all raid members, pally power because its frustrating to be that one pally who has to have his buffs manually assigned to themself, and Recount. I use Beacon and Sacred Shield macros to cast those spells on my respective tanks and a few macros for “OSHIT” moments like a lay on hands, avenging wrath, trinket macro, and a mana back macro.

Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?

I stack int out the wazoo. However, I’ve slipped in a few +20 haste gems to help out with my suck-tastic haste rating.

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To finish this article off I’m going to tag some of my favorite bloggers around the WoW blogosphere!

Thanks to The bossy pally Ophelie over on her blog The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon for her very amusing views and her article  “Sorry guys, I gotta go, I have a raid in about 30 minutes”  which actually helped me to start this site!

 

To the author of The Holy Paladin who has the best, most easily understood paladin website I’ve ever read. Thanks for keeping up the site and answering all my questions in a timely manner! He releases new articles on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and they are the highlight of my blog reading days!

 

I know it’s not a lot of people, but I hope that the list will continue to grow!

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