The Holy Paladin (aka Healadin). There is no other class or spec in World of Warcraft that can throw out fast & tremendous heals while taking a huge beating like the Holy Paladin. None! We are the most durable healer in the game. No questions asked. Also, no other healer can keep 2 people up at the same time through spike damage. None! This is what being a Holy Paladin is all about. Know your strengths, and use them to help keep your group/raid alive.
This guide originally started out as a pre-Kara guide for the Burning Crusade Expansion. With the release of Wrath of the Lich King Expansion, Blizzard has really changed the way Paladins heal with all the new skills and talents. Without getting nostalgic, let's just say that the class has grown dramatically - both in the power of our heals, and the flexibility of our healing skills. So I re-wrote this in an attempt to help Holy Paladins find the top pre-raid gear at lvl 80, and understand our new abilities and how to use them.
This guide is now much longer than before, so please use the Table of Contents on the right side of your screen.
Like mentioned earlier, Paladins now have an arsenal of skills to use. People who claim paladin healing is only casting 2 spells obvoiusly have no idea how to heal as a Paladin. We have so many different abilities to handle so many different situations now. It's great :)
OK, I'm not going to be able to list every possible scenario, so you're going to have to figure a lot of it out for yourself. There is no substitute for experience. However, I will give you some fairly straight forward ideas of how and when to use which skills.
Flash of Light - Use this when you only need a quick small heal. You will generally be spamming this on the tank to keep them topped off, and anyone else who needs topping off. It is our most mana efficient heal, and packs quite a punch. This is generally the most used healing spell.
Holy Light - use this when you need a big heal (generally when you see a tank get down to around 60% health, or anyone else who is taking a serious beating, but should survive the cast time). Because it has a realtively longer cast time than any other heal we have, make sure the you'll have enough time to cast it. If a DPS is getting beaten down by a mob, don't wait until they are just about dead to start casting this spell. They will then be dead before it completes.
Holy Shock - this is your instant heal. Use it anytime you need to be mobile and heal. It has a 6s CD, so you can use it quite often. This is also the spell to use when you know you can't wait for the cast time of Flash of Light or Holy Light to keep someone alive. I recommend that you make sure to keybind this with Divine Favor so that you have a guaranteed "crit Shock" at your fingertips if needed. That will also spark IoL, and then you can follow up with a 1 second cast Holy Light. That is a LOT of healing in a small amount of time. It is known as the "clutch sequence". Or you can follow up with an instant cast Flash of Light (if you are in the middle of a mobile fight). All in all, a phenomenal spell. Now, some people wonder if it's worth using Holy Shock on every CD just to try and keep IoL up. If the fight is relatively short, and you KNOW that you will not run into mana problems (like most heroics), then YES. However, if you are going into a very long fight where mana efficiency is critical, then NO. Holy Shock is not a very mana efficient spell, so you don't want to spam it if you don't need to. Going oom (Out Of Mana) is the worst thing you can do.
Judgement of Light - this is a nice spell now that it has a range. You judge a mob, and anyone who damages the mob will get a certain amount of healing. The amount of healing this judgement can put out is awesome. You should have this judgement up on mobs at all times (if you can). You generally want to judge the skull mob (i.e. first mob in the kill order). Once your judgement CD is up, you can move onto the next mob (i.e. second in the kill order), and judge Light on that one. I use my tab key to cycle through mobs, but you can use whatever works best for you. Now, you will have 2 mobs with JoL. When people hit both the mobs, they will get healing from both judgements. Repeat for the third mob. Now, you will have 3 mobs with JoL on them. When people are doing any kind of AoE damage (especially your tank), you'll see tons of healing flying everywhere. It's quite a sight to see all those healing numbers popping up :) Of course, your judgement will almost be done on the first mob, so cycle back to that one. If that one is close to dead, then don't waste your judgement on it. If it still have quite a bit of health left, then you may want to re-judge it, and then talk to your DPS. Mobs should not be alive for that long.
NOTE - Judgements can break CC, so be sure that you don't accidentally judge any CC'd mobs.
Lay on Hands - instantly heals target for your max health (20 min cooldown). This means that if you have 13k health, then this will heal for 13k. And it costs......0 mana!!! This is such an uber-spell. In addition, it also gives the target 1,950 mana. The amount of mana can be increased by 20% using the Glyph of Lay on Hands (for a total of 2,340). PLUS, you can also have that mana returned to you by having Glyph of Divinity. Then, with the Improved Lay on Hands talent, it also increases the target's armor by 50% for 15 seconds and reduces the CD by 4 mins. This one instant cast spell is just unbelieveable. You should be able to use this on every boss fight, and then some. Seriously, let me list out what this one single spell does when fully talented and glyphed:
So in a nutshell, glyph for this, and use it. If you ever have someone die in your group/raid, and this is not on CD, then you should slap yourself. Better yet, I'll slap you. NOONE should ever die while you have this spell available (people getting one-shotted are an obvious exception).
Beacon of Light (aka Bacon) - This is the new uber 51 pt talent. It is so good that it's almost silly. Plus, it's really easy to use. In a 5-man, you cast this on the tank, and keep it refreshed (only lasts 60 seconds). Whenever someone other than the tank takes damage - you heal them, and an additional heal will go to the tank. Pretty straight forward. It essentially doubles your healing output. :)
In a raid, you have to be very organized and cautious on how you use this skill. The biggest reason is that your heals may be "sniped" by other healers. For example: You cast Beacon on the tank. Then you go to heal a DPs. However, another healer in your group gets their heal in right before yours, and tops that person off. Now, you heal that person for 0. That means that the Beacon (i.e. tank) also gets 0 healing. This can be very bad for obvious reasons. It's not an issue in 5-mans because you are the only healer, but things are different in a raid. Unless you are very organized in your healing, you can not rely on Beacon to heal your main target.
So even if you put beacon on your main target, you should directly heal them in a critical situation. This is very important, so let me say it again. "In a raid, if you put Beacon on your main target, you should still directly heal them in a critical situation."
Another option is to place the Beacon on a secondary target. That way, your main heals will always go to the main target, and you will always be able to reliably know that your heals will heal the main target. When you heal your main target, the Beacon will heal whatever secondary target you have picked.
Now, people ask "Who is my secondary target?". This depends on the situation. Here are some suggestions:
Divine Plea - Gives you 25% mana back over 15 seconds, but reduces healing by 20% during that time. This is the another added benefit of stacking Int. The more Int you have -> the more mana you have -> then the more mana you gain from this spell. This is also a two-sided coin, and must be used carefully. You don't want to gimp your healing output during a critical part of a fight, so obviously don't cast this right when you about to get into heavy healing. Personally, I found that you really want to cast this during any phase where the healing is not very intense (like if you are going to be stunned or something like that :) ) Learn the encounter, and you'll know when to avoid casting this. Most of the time, the brief 20% healing reduction is just fine, and not really noticed. Because of the relaitvely short CD, you may want to cast this earlier rather than later. Then, you can use it multiple times during a single encounter. This is also very useful to cast right when a fight ends. It can usually get your mana back up pretty high right away for minimal downtime (both when solo, and when running with groups/raids)
Avenging Wrath - Increases healing by 20% for 20 seconds. If you need some added oomph to your healing for a short amount of time, then this is your spell. However, this spell also causes the CD on your bubbles to be impacted for 30 seconds. So be aware when you use it that you won't be able to bubble for a bit. This is also a nice counterpart to Divine Plea. Cast them together, and you won't see any healing impact. Divine Plea reduces healing by 20%, and this will bring it back up. As nice as that sounds, I've primarily used it during healing intensive times for that extra boost, and kept Divine Plea for when I don't need any intense healing. Again, you need to know your encounters, and when to use the skills given to you.
Cleanse - instantly cures target of a single magic, disease, or poison. In a nutshell, anytime you see anyone get one of these debuffs, you Cleanse it. That being said, a smart healer will know when to Cleanse, and when you can ignore it or delay it. Of course, if you have time to Cleanse, then you should always do it. However, there are situations where you are healing away, and may have to make the choice between cleansing or healing. In those situations, you need to understand the severity of the debuff being applied. Then, balance it out with the need to heal.
Bubble - One of the neatest tools Paladins have is the bubble. You can bubble yourself or you can bubble others. Of course, the self bubble (i.e. Divine Shield) is uber powerful. However, Divine Protection and Hand of Protection (the bubbles for others) are also very powerful. Hand of Protection (HoP) makes the target immune to physical damage and is an aggro dump. So when that mage accidentally pulls aggro on a giant mob, toss them a HoP bubble. The mob will leave them alone. This is how you prevent someone from getting 1-shotted. :) Divine Protection reduces all damage by 50% This spell works great with Hand of Sacrifice.
Sacred Shield - this is a new spell, and it is phenomenal!!! It basically reduces damage on the target, and increases the chance of getting a crit Flash of Light. This should always be on the tank.
Hand of Salvation - reduces overall threat by 2%/sec for 10 seconds. This is primarily used to help that crazy DPSer who is pulling aggro. Now, most DPS classes have their own threat reducing skills, and should also have Omen so that this should not be an issue. However, someone might get a couple of crits back to back that cause them to jump their threat levels way too high, and their threat reducing/wiping skill may be on CD. In that case, this is the handy dandy spell that helps.
Hand of Sacrifice - transfers 30% of damage from target to you for 12 seconds. Although this is primarily a tanking spell, you can use it effectively while healing. You are basically taking incoming damage and splitting it up so that one person isn't slammed quite so hard. However, you also need to be careful with it. In a moderate damaging situation, it should be ok. In certain raid environments, however, the tank can take massive damage that 3+ healers may be fighting to maintain. If you take x% of that entire damage, that can be HUGE damage to you, and you'll die very very fast. So obviously you don't want to do that. Again, it comes down to understanding the situation. Know how much damage you will be taking if you use this, and if you can be kept alive. The perfect time to use this is in conjunction with your bubble. Anytime you bubble yourself, you should cast this on someone (usually the tank) to reduce their damage intake.
Hand of Freedom - Causes target to be immune to movement impairing effects for 10 seconds. This is always nice to cast on tanks when you are fighting mobs that can root/snare/slow/freeze/etc... Normally, you would need to cast Cleanse a whole bunch of times to keep the tank mobile. Now, you just need to cast one spell :) And keeping a tank mobile is obviously important so that they can grab mobs if necessary.
Healing in a 5-man dungeon and healing in a raid are quite different experiences. When running a 5-man dungeon, you will be the only healer. This means that you have full reign and control of 99.9% of the healing that will go on.
Here is my general cast sequence:
For raids, the biggest difference is who you put Beacon of Light on. Since there are multiple healers, you want to be 100% sure that your heal will hit your primary target when needed. That means that you can NOT rely on Beacon to heal the primary target for you in a critical situation. It's ok during regular healing, but if your heal is the matter between life and death of the tank, then directly heal the tank. I'm going to repeat the reason again since it is very important. In a raid, your primary target is your #1 priority. If your main target dies, and you have not put 100% effort into healing that target, then you should be slapped. Now, here is the reason you do NOT want to rely on Beacon to heal your primary target in a critical situation. Scenario - you put Beacon on primary target. You start healing random people in the raid. Your primary target start to take a big beating, along with some ransom DPS. Hmmmmm - you think that you sill save the day by healing that DPS, and then Beacon healing your primary target. So you load up a monster Holy Light...it's about to finish casting...then, the druid who is tasked with raid healing shoots an instant big heal takes that DPS to full health. This happens milliseconds before your heal lands, so there is nothing you can do to stop it. Oh crap! Now, you heal the DPS for 0. That means you heal your primary target for 0. That means - well, it's just not good.
Do not....I repeat...DO NOT rely on Beacon for any critically timed healing in a raid.
Now, you can still put Beacon on your main target a majority of the time, but just make sure to directly heal your main target in a critical situation.
OK, now, the common question used to be "What stats do I need to go into Kara?". Here is the rough equivalent for Naxx.
To comfortably run Naxx, you want the following un-buffed:
Now remember, these numbers are just guidelines. You can get by with a little less, but if you obtain these stats, then you will be more beneficial to your raid group.
Crit is the % chance that your spells will critically hit. When they do, you get 50% additional healing. So a heal that hits for 4k regular will hit for 6k as a crit. This is phenomenal in so many ways, and is one of the primary stats to stack. In addition, Holy Paladins get 60% of the mana cost back from spells that critically hit (with the talent Illumination). So if you cast a spell that costs 1k mana, and it critically hits, then you get 600 mana back. This is friggin awesome! So your heal hits for a huge amount, and you regain mana. So awesome!
Haste reduces the cast time of your spells, and reduces the global cooldown. This is very very important in that you will be able to get more heals off at a faster pace.
Haste is a phenomenal stat, and there is plenty of pre-Naxx gear to support it. However, with JotP (15% Haste on Judgements), Healadins do not need to stack it quite as much as before.
During TBC, this was a nice stat. Now, it is not very useful. Since we now have Divine Plea, we can regenerate our mana through that spell. It is MUCH more efficient than MP5. You are much better off stacking crit and haste.
There are some different choices when you consider for your raiding paladin, and I'll list some of the better choices. These are just suggestions, so if you wish to do something else (to make money, for example) go ahead.
Alchemy The key item from Alchemy is the Mercurial Alchemist Stone. It's a decent trinket that will last you quite a while.
Engineering Aside from repair bots, mounts, and PvP stuff, you will soon get to craft Unbreakable Healing Amplifiers. A very nice helm, but not released yet.
Enchanting You will be re-enchanting your gear several times over throughout your raiding career and being able to get your own mats will save you a hefty bundle of cash. On top of that, you also get access to the +19 Spell Power to ring enchant which adds a nice chunk to your healing.
Jewelcrafting When relacing gear, you will also be replacing gems. JC has its abvious benefits here. There are some awesome JC-only cuts and items. These are prismatic, which means they can be equipped in any color slot and get the slot bonus. JC's can have three slotted at any one time. To give an idea of the bonus, the Quick Autumn's Glow blue cut is +16 Haste, and the Quick Dragon's Eye JC-only cut is +27 Haste. The Brilliant Autumn's Glow is +16 Int while the Brilliant Dragon's Eye JC-only cut is +27 Int.
Also, if you do an easy quest that you can get at L375 from the Grand Master Trainer you gain the ability to occasionally cut a "perfect" gem. The perfect gem procs reasonably often and adds +2 to the non-JC-only cuts, bringing them up to +18. This means you can cut four or five and put the regulars on the Auction House while keeping the perfects for your own gear.
There is the Figurine - Sapphire Owl, a Bind on Pickup Trinket. Awesome for stacking Intellect, with a nice mana return on use.
Finally, if you combine Alchemy with Jewelcrafting you can transmute the raw meta gems and cut them. For instance, an Earthsiege Diamond is an Elemental Fire and two raw green gems.
P.S. Thanks to cynyck for JC info
Here are a list of the talents you will be choosing from, along with some pros and cons and recommendations.
Holy - Tier 1
Holy - Tier 2
Holy - Tier 3
Holy - Tier 4
Holy - Tier 5
Holy - Tier 6
Holy - Tier 7
Holy - Tier 8
Holy - Tier 9
Holy = Tier 10
Holy - Tier 11
NOTE - So far, the crafted plate healing gear is sub-par. It has no Int on it. Please don't waste any time or money for any of them at this point. Hopefully Blizzard will take a second look at that and fix it. But for right now, I recommend avoiding it like the plague.
Some mail pieces that are pretty good too:
As for enchants, grab the Arcanum of Burning Mysteries (Kirin Tor - Revered).
A decent mail piece:
Use the Greater Inscription of the Storm (Sons of Hodir - Exalted) enchant. There is a lesser version for Honored rep levels.
As far as enchants, I would go for the Haste enchant.
Here are a few decent mail pieces too:
I think the best enchant is the +275 mana. More mana = more healing, and more regen from Divine Plea. The other option is +10 to all stats. That gives you +150 mana, along with +2 spell power, and a tiny itsy bitty bit of +crit. Personally, I think the +275 mana is superior.
Here is a good mail piece:
As far as enchants, get the +28 Spell Power. Anything less would be uncivilized.
Fortunately, you can now enchance your belts. Go find a Blacksmith, and have them socket your belt :)
This is an awesome mail piece - better than any plate drops pre-raid:
As far as enchants, you want to get the Sapphire Spellthread from a tailor (or the AH).
As far as enchants, get Icewalker.
If you are an enchanter, then you can get the +19 spell power to each ring. Otherwise, you are out of luck.
Get the +63 Spell Power enchant.
Get the +25 Int enchant.
Of course, all the rare (i.e. blue quality) gems have their epic upgrades. If you have enough money/badges for them, please feel free to get them.
However, both are viable.
Any of the food listed above will help you, so all are good.
Minor Glyphs (you get 3 at lvl 80):
The other glyphs that reduce mana cost of your blessings....meh. Blessings barely cost anything at all anyway.
Major Glyphs (you get 3 at lvl 80):
Macros can be a phenomenal help in making you a better healer. They help combine multiple actions into once click. Here are a couple of the smaller, but very useful, macros that I use:
1) Oh Crap! - This macro will stop whatever you are doing, and give you a self bubble. This is good if you are in the middle of casting a Holy Light, and, for whatever reason, a big bad mob is pounding on you. This will cancel your Holy Light, and immediately bubble you.
/cast Divine Shield
2) Crit Shock - This macro will give you an instant auto-crit Holy Shock. It casts Divine Favor, and then Holy Shock. This is great since it will automatically proc IoL :)
/cast Divine Favor
/cast Holy Shock
3) Crit Light - This macro does the same thing, but with Holy Light. For when you need to guarantee the monster heal :)
/cast Divine Favor
/cast Holy Light
Hopefully this guide will help you get ready for starting Naxx as a Holy Paladin. It's a fun time, and I'm sure you'll enjoy keeping the raid alive (or at least the main tank). Couple of things to remember:
|Parts of this page were originally written by Dilbrt.
|Wrath of the Lich King