Tag Archives: Holy Paladin

Shield Slot: Holy Paladin Shield Options

Notice: This does not include PVP shields now available without rating as of 4.0.1.

Recently, I have been seeing some interesting situations that holy paladins have put themselves in. Priest clothes with umpteen tons of spirit…off-hands the warlocks need…just mind boggling situations. So I thought to myself, if they are having a hard time finding a shield and want to result to off-hands with spirit and hit rating, perhaps I could be of some service. I have been pondering this post for a long time and it seems just right as . I hope this is as inclusive as possible but as always, welcome someone pointing out items that I forgot.

Blue Quality

Tor’s Crest – Source: King Ymiron – Utgarde Pinnacle (Normal)

Not a level 80 piece, but certainly worth mentioning to have until you hit that final level. It has all the basic stats that a holy paladin benefits from including Intellect, Critical Strike, and Spell Power; stamina being a given on almost all pieces.

Facade Shield of Glyphs – Source: Krik’thir the Gatewatcher – Azjol Nerub (Heroic)

A Level 80 blue that comes from the first boss in H:AN. This is the same physical model as Tor’s Crest only a different color. It too has basic healadin stats trading crit for MP5 which may be helpful when struggling with mana in the first bit after hitting 80.

EPIC Quality

Zom’s Crackling Bulwark – Source: BoE from multiple sources

The price range on this is server dependent but I have seen it as high as 2,000 gold. It isn’t a bad choice but provides minimal baseline stats for intellect, spell power, and MP5. This is a popular choice for shamans and moderately popular chocie for fresh 80 or new-to-holy paladins.

Protective Barricade of Light – Source: Emblem of Heroism Vendor – 35 Emblems

This is more than likely the first epic shield that you will have access to get. It is a very popular choice among healadins who have not had the chance to see other drops or be in raids to get other drops. I used this shield for quite some time when Emblems of Valor were end-game currency. This combines both of the blue quality shields providing all the stats: Intellect, Spell Power, Crit, and MP5. It is easy to see why it is a popular choice and for its price vs. gaining emblems is considerably cheap!

Protector of Frigid Souls – Source: Scourgelord Tyrannus (Normal)

One of the easiest shields above iLvl 200 to obtain. This shield shares a model with the Shield of Assimilation (see below) and offers the same stats with the exception of trading haste for crit rating. In comparison to the Protective Barricade of Light, this shield is better in all stats other than Intellect. So the choice for the easiest way to obtain an epic quality shield upon hitting 80 is whether to farm a normal instance for a drop, farm instances for emblems, or spend emblems you may have earned through the LFD tool.

Aegis of Damnation – Source: Maexxna or Gluth – Naxxramas (10)

Naxxramas was THE place to go for shields when Wrath first came out, providing us with the option of 3 different choices and their own unique models. This shield is a decent drop rate from Maexxna, the last boss of the Spider quarter, at 19%. This is a step up from the Protective Barricade of Light, enhancing most stats, while trading MP5 for haste. Mana regeneration can be worked around while haste is its own base stat, making this a better choice for faster heals.  Also, considering its model, it is paired excellently with Hammer of the Astral Plane for both looks and stats!

Shield of Assimilation – Source: Anub’rekhan or Gluth – Naxxramas (25)

If trading the MP5 for haste was a problem when going to the Aegis of Damnation, this shield provides a boost of Intellect and spell power while offering haste and MP5 instead of one or the other. This makes this shield great for holy light providing quickness and the mana regen needed to continue spitting out quick spells.

Voice of Reason – Source: Kel’Thuzad – Naxxramas (25)

This shield is highly popular. While it is a low drop from the last boss, it is better than a particular 10-man Ulduar shield I will tell you about in a minute! This shield provides the highest base stats, above all the afore mentioned shields, and includes the extra stats of Crit, Spell Power, and Haste.

Pulsing Spellshield – Source: XT-002 Deconstructor – Ulduar (10)

Providing amazingly yummy holy paladin stats (Int, SP, Crit, & Haste) this shield is better than most Naxxramas shield with the exception of the Voice of Reason. With XT being a possibility for the weekly raid quests, this may be an easy option to attempt to get if you are on the search. On as side note: I have had this shield since Ulduar was end game content and I am so incredibly sick of looking at it.

Ice Layered Barrier – Source: Hodir – Ulduar (10 Hard Mode)

This is a change from the Pulsing Spellshield in that it offers MP5 instead of crit and has a small int, haste, and spell power boost. However, this shield may be more difficult to obtain than other options as it is from a Hard Mode cache. If mana issues are not a problem for you and/or you are not a hard core progressive raider, there may be better options to attempt to gain.

Wisdom’s Hold – Source: Thorim – Ulduar (25 Hard Mode)

Reflecting back to Ulduar end-game, most of the shield were from hard mode caches. To quote the wowhead comments on this item, “The first shield I would consider replacing Voice of Reason with.” While it provides a minute boost in stats for spell power, you also lose 1 int . However, the haste boost is  +16 as well as providing something no other shield has yet to offer: a socket.

Pride of the Kok’ron – Source: Anub’arak – Trial of the Crusader (10)

*This is Vigilant Ward for Alliance*

With the introduction of TOC, came the concept of normal and heroic versions of gear. This shield has is a normal drop, that has a slightly better version from 10-Man Trial of the Grand Crusader. In comparison, again, to the Voice of Reason, this shield falls short in Intellect, Stamina, Crit, and Haste. It does however, offer MP5 and a YELLOW socket. That means when you gem for +20 intellect (as we all should be), not only do you negate the Intellect base stat loss, but also gain an amazing 2 MP5. I was a little let down by this socket bonus, tbh.

Bastion of Resolve – Source: Faction Champions – Trial of the Crusader (25)

*This is Bastion of Purity for Alliance*

Finally, a shield that excels about Voice of Reason and is drool worthy to any holy paladin, resto shaman, and maybe even elemental shamans! Providing top-notch stats for that level of end-game content, it also very appealing to look at! It has great stats in Intellect, Crit, Haste, and Spell Power. I also mean to say that the Horde version is visually appealing! The drop-rate and competition for this excellent piece can sometimes cause problems as the supply does not meet the demand. This shield also has a normal and heroic version.

Lost Pavise of the Blue Flight – Source: Sindragosa – Icecrown Citadel (10)

The Heroic version of this shield (and this shield itself) is BiS for strict 10-man healadins. While it does have MP5, it still also provides the haste and a potent amount of intellect and spell power. It does not provide a socket, and given a +20 gem is still comparable to the Heroic: Pride of the Kok’ron. The model used for this shield is amazing as well. Normal version of this shield is iLvl 258 and the Heroic is 264. This is also the only holy relevant shield from 10 man.

Bulwark of Smoldering Steel – Source: Marrowgar – Icecrown Citadel (25)

Much like the Lost Pavise of the Blue Flight, this is comparable to the Herioc: Bastion of Resolve because of the lack of a socket but the heroic version is overall BiS. I cannot even begin to describe just how amazing this shield is. Strong and potent healadin stats and ANOTHER YELLOW SOCKET on the Heroic version! Between gemming and enchants on the Heroic version you can add up to 45 intellect (59 if you are a JC with JC gem) and gain 5 extra base spell power (not inclusive of theorycrafted SP from int).

I fully believe that this covers every WotLK instance and raid and the available shields that can be beneficial. We can take away from this that relatively nothing is better than Voice of Reason until Trial of Crusader. I hope that listing them in this manner helps you when you are trying to figure out what to run for gearing that holy paladin of yours. Being able to see what drops where without having to sift through all the other loot. May the loot mother be with you when you attempt to gain any of these!

EDIT: Knowing I would forget at least one, thank you to Melfina for pointing it out and have a look towards the top of the EPIC quality list for the addition of Zom’s Crackling Bulwark.

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Cataclysm: 31 Paladin Talents

We have heard for a while that the talent trees are pretty much getting axed (pun intended!) in half. From what would have been 76 points to spend will now be a total of 41 and once you begin a tree, you must finish in it until 31 points are dunked into it. However, you also feel more of the spec as you put your first point into than you would right now being a Holy Paladin, Shadow Priest, etc.

The talent calculators for Holy paladin (and other classes) are now out and I want to take a minute to analyze. By no means am I trying to say this is or will be permanent, beta changes. But for now, here is a look at the 31 point holy tree (I will only cover massive changes like tier moves, new talents, or specific changes to the talent).

Tier 1

Sanctified Light: Moved from the fifth tier as it is right now, still has 3 ranks in the first tier and still maintains 3 ranks to increase Holy Light & Holy Shock crits by 15%.

Spiritual Focus: Down-ranked from 5 to 2 ranks and still does the push back mechanic.

Divinity: NOW IN THE HOLY TREE! As a bonus, it has been down ranked from 5 to 3 ranks but recieves an extra 1% healing bonus for a total of 6% at 3/3. This will hurt those who receive extra talent support from the prot tree, but I see it as a beneficial move as it is healing based.

Tier 2

Divine Intellect: GONE.

Judgements of the Pure:  Up from Tier 9 and accessible to all paladins with appropriate talent spending. It has also received a 6% nerf in the amount of the haste buff provided from 15% to 9% but is correlated with the downranking from 5 points to 3.

Improved Lay On Hands: Up 1 tier from Tier 3 but exactly the same.

Unyielding Faith: The same tier but changes the way fear mechanic works with healadins. Instead of the duration being reduced, it allows you to recover yourself more quickly by cutting off some casting time.

Tier 3

Divine Light: The big heal. I never really thought we particularly needed another massive heal. I would have preferred a more simplistic HOT than SS+FoL combo.

Beacon of Light: Received a BIG move from the end tier to the third. Has also been changed to only allow healing duplication only from Holy Light and Holy Shock. Well, at least baby healies will have it and it won’t suck to be low level.

Inspired Judgement: NEW TALENT! The damage done by your judgement, heals the beacon. Uhm. I’m not sure about this. When you’re keeping up your JoP it may help with the GCD judgement uses but it seems like it could be combined with something.

Tier 4

Infusion of Light: Now a solo talent instead of a chained talent.

Tier 5

Sacred Cleansing: OMFG! I CANNOT BELIEVE WE HAVE TO SPEND A TALENT POINT ON THIS. Having already covered dispelling mechanics, I think this along with all other mechanics for other classes is a stupid change.

Aura Mastery: Down 2 tiers, I am not a fan that this has become a chained talent and we MUST take it to get the bottom tier.

Improved Concentration Aura: Down a tier but seems to work the same.

Tier 6

Selfless Healer: Provides a higher crit percentage when healing others. As we do heal other people 98% of time, this seems kind of basic and worthless as a talent so far down the tree.

Purifying Power: Received a complete overhaul. Instead of doing things like reducing mana costs and CD’s for harming spells, when you Cleanse a harmful spell from an ally, you have a chance (50%/100%) to do judgement damage to the enemy.

End Tier

Divine Illumination: WTFDIDYOUDOTOTHISTALENT! It no longer does mana conservation/saving. Instead…provides even more crit. Crit is by no means a bad thing but Blizzard has said they want people to be more aware of their mana and by taking this away seems counterproductive.

With that being the end of the holy tree, you should have 10 points left, but at this point, it doesn’t seem that we will be getting any sigifcant support from the prot or ret trees when we only have 10 points left. I do hope with all hope that there are beta changes still coming to this.

A sample build (strong holy).

A Sample build (holy/prot).

PS. At this point, I do not like 31 talent points though I am glad you will feel the tree at lower levels.

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Filed under Holy Paladin, Patches & X-Packs

Healer Coordination

In Wrath of the Lich King, an abundance of healers seems to have emerged. Regardless of raiding 10 or 25 man content, hard modes or normals, you work with at least one other healer out of at least 9 other people. Even though being in a successful raid requires coordination, something else goes into a successful healing team. Not only does it take coordination but it takes understanding and teamwork. Healing isn’t about generating threat or pressing the right buttons in the right order, it takes control and a particular level of understanding and attitude.

Healing Assignments

As much as people like to argue that these aren’t important, they are; even more so with inexperienced healers. They may not be needed for some who instinctively know what role to take, but for others they are a crucial point in understanding their role as a healer. Typical assignments allow for holy paladins and discipline priests for tank healing; shamans, druids, and holy priest are typically shifted towards raid healing. These are not concrete but are a standard “healing niche” that the class/spec falls into.

Regardless of spec or class, gear can also play a significant part in the role that someone is elected to fulfill. For example, 3 holy paladins in a 25-man, the lesser geared of the three is typically shifted to raid healing. I am a firm believer in skill > gear but it is true that it usually happens this way. If the run is with a set group of people, i.e. a guild, then take into consideration a healers strong suit when assigning their role as well; this theory is a little more difficult in PuGs.

The Attitude

You have to have the right attitude to work well with other people…for anything. Don’t ever think that your way is the best and only way! Don’t even let the words “it’s my way or the highway” form in your mind. Don’t ever say “You…do this.” Specifically, “You beacon so and so while I do this”. Why? Because you are stepping on the toes of their healing style. You’ve not taken into consideration anything about how they feel comfortable healing. It is also rude to assume they don’t know how to do their job. This type of attitude is also detrimental to encouraging new healers. Don’t push them to addons or macros, explain ways to better themselves but never push it. I do just fine without mouseover macros or healbot and I am sure they can too.

I beacon the tank I am healing so that I can always be situationally aware (which I will get to in a minute) and not falter on my specific job. Now there are fights that this is flexible for, like Dreamwalker, but for the most part, I do great doing it my way and for another paladin to push his/her way onto me makes me anxious, hasty, and falter a little.

There is an appropriate way to handle situations where things like beacon coordination is important but being an ass isn’t it.

There is also an appropriate way to encourage and help inexperienced players have better tactics but slamming them with orders and no explanations and not caring is not it either.

Compromise and coordination are important here; this allows for the shared ability of both people allowing comfort zones and a smaller window for error. Use your words to open up the discussion with the other healer(s).

Situational Awareness

I am not saying that having an addon here is required because the standard UI has them built in, but as a healer unit frames/windows are extemrely important. You should know where the tanks are in the frames as well as other healers. When a healer is having trouble keeping the raid up, it allows for you to spot cover them (benefit of beaconing your own tank), if a healer falls you know about it, etc. These frames allow you to know what is happening in your raid.

But you also have to be aware of what is happening in your immediate zone. Healers shouldn’t DIAF, stand in a frozen orb, etc. They should be able to know to move and heal accordingly. As a healadin, when you’re standing in a fire, holy shock is a great on the move…move. It allows you to go straight back into what you were doing before moving. It’s also spectacular for Marrowgar’s Bone Storm. The last thing you want to do is be so engulfed in healing that he eats you up and you get stuck in his teeth.

The Healing Role

It is important, that before you engage in healing, you understand some of the simple facts of healing. It is your own job to remind yourself that you are important, without you, the raid would inevitably die; but I can assure you, healing is a thankless job. Be prepared to face the “What happened there healers?” and the “OMG HEALZ PLZ!” or “MOAR HEALS!” You will be taken for granted. If not all the time, or if not in your guild, someone somewhere will make you feel like a failure.

It is important to know your class, know your spec, and know your role. It is even more important to be PROACTIVE than reactive. Be prepared and you will be good. Be willing to adjust and work well with your healing team you will be great.

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Filed under Healing Tips, Holy Paladin

Recycle A Post: Gylph Analysis

Since the release of 4.0.1, this information is outdated and you can find the current information by clicking here.

In light of Earth Day, Zelmaru has encouraged us to Recycle A Post. I have chosen my glyph analysis. It wasn’t a playful article but was one of my first informational posts for the holy paladin and I got some great tips on how to organize it. I also have received more insight on the use of the glyphs, so I wanted to rework these a little bit based on my expanded noggin! I hope this turns out better than the first one! I will also highlight (in green for Earth Day!) the changes that have been made for those who may have already read the original!

*******

The glyphs I use personally will be marked with **. I certainly hope that this helps people who are having a hard time making the glyph decision.

Majors

Glyph of Holy Light**: This glyph turns your biggest heal (Holy Light) into an Area-of-Effect (AOE) heal. I love this glyph. We are the only healing class that doesn’t have one and therefore are designed as tank/bomb healers (even though raid healing is possible). The glyph heals friendly targets within 8 yards for 10% of the holy light effect. It isn’t a lot but can make topping off the party while healing the tank a cinch. Furthermore, depending on your spec, should you be a HL spammer, this glyph is a must have.  Further analysis results in this glyph being highly valuable for the Valithria Dreamwalker fight. By using the Beacon on the boss, healing others, she also receives splash healing. This is highly recommended for all degrees of PVE healadins.

Glyph of Holy Shock: Coming back to this glyph I have had a change in thought. Holy Shock is a  part of my healing rotation, occasionally it can land for almost 11k with a critical effect. However, it isn’t so integral that 1 second makes much of a difference for my style; it can for others. It can also be paired well with the Libram of Binding Light. This is only recommended for healers who find themselves moving a lot, are dependent on Holy Shock, and have the libram.

Glyph of Flash of Light**: With this glyph your Flash of Light spell has an additional 5% critical strike rating. I no longer stand to feel this is a universal must-have. Today, so many paladins have 30k+ mana pools that mana effieciency doesn’t seem to be a problem, therefore limiting them to the spam of the Holy Light. With that in consideration, Flash of Light is no longer used making this a wasted glyph for some. However, for the PVP healadin, it is all but required as FoL is a central (if not only) focus.

Glyph of Seal of Light**: One of the paladin’s defining abilities is seals+judgements. As a holy paladin, judging to proc the talent Judgements of the Pure is a must! When it increases your spell haste by 15%, why wouldn’t you? Therefore, it is important to use an appropriate seal for healing. This glyph adds an extra 5% healing effect to any spell that you cast; it also has an appropriate counterpart (Glyph of Seal of Wisdom) that reduces mana costs of all spells by 5%. Depending on your heal style and your mana conservation abilities, either one of these glyphs should be required. You are already using a seal…why not get a buff from it? In addition, if you are a constant SoW user, I have been told that switching to glyphed SoL is extremely helpful in the Valithria Dreamwalker fight.

Glyph of Judgement: I know I said that judging as a healadin is important for the haste buff, but that doesn’t mean you need a damage buff to how much damage you are doing with a judgement. It isn’t your job as the healer to do the damage.

Glyph of Cleansing: Without this glyph, Cleanse costs 6% base mana to cast each time; the glyph reduces this by 20%. To show you a little math, I have 30,034 mana but I only have (last I looked) 7449 base mana. It takes (at 6% a cast) 447 mana to cast Cleanse. With the glyph it would take 358. In the grand scheme of things, it is about 1% of my total mana to cleanse. In raids, I run with many other healers who can abolish disease, cleanse, cleanse spirit, decurse, etc. The sole burden of cleansing (or even fights that don’t require cleansing), does not rest on me so much that I should worry about <100 mana cost. ((I am pretty fond of this in-depth analysis!))

Beacon of Light: Even though I do not use this glyph, I would say that it is still useful. A standard cast of Beacon of Light lasts 60 seconds. This glyph adds 30 seconds increasing the buff to a minute and a half. If you find yourself forgetful to re-cast Beacon, I strongly suggest this. However, as it does nothing else and you find you have excellent buff management ((see my addon post for help with Beacon timing in NeedtoKnow)), you may find other glyphs more suitable.

Glyph of Divine Plea: I know that as a holy paladin, you are probably popping Divine Plea every cooldown. But that doesn’t mean this glyph is for you. The reduced damage effect makes this a tank oriented glyph. I have also recently been asked about the efficiency/need to use Divine Plea; is it worth it as a healer? Of course, mana conservation is needed at all levels of healing. As a healer, the glyph is worthless, but try using Divine Plea + Avenging Wrath; this will help mitigate some healing percentage loss. Also, to avoid using this ability as much, utilize Divine Illumination to the best of your cooldown ability!

Glyph of Divinity: Lay on Hands gives the target burst health based on the casting paladin’s health and it also “…restores 1950 mana”. The glyph applies the same mana gain to you as it does the target. 1950 mana is barely over the cost of Holy Light. This glyph may also encourage you to use LoH as a mana regen ability which could later prove to cause a lot of trouble.  There are worse ones to have, but there are significantly better as well.

Minors

Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom**: This increases the buff timer of BoW on yourself making it 30 minutes. This is considerably helpful when running with another paladin who wants Blessing of Might. How? If you cast Greater Blessing of Might on the two of you, you can replace your own with a standard Blessing of Wisdom and still have a 30-minute buff. They can cast Blessing of Kings and everyone is happy. If you are leveling Holy and find your mana bringing a lot of downtime but you buff yourself with Kings, try using this and save some Symbols of Kings at the same time. I personally find this considerably handy as I begin to run with fewer paladins.

Glyph of Blessing of Kings**: Blessing of Kings is the most universal buff we have and unlike BoW, this glyph reduces the mana costs of BoK by 50%. The lowered mana cost can make buffing during a wipe recovery go considerably quicker. There aren’t many minor glyphs to choose from and even though you don’t get much from this, I still recommend it. In addition, when running with druids and making use of the battle resurrections, rebuffing the risen with the least amount of mana use is important. This is highly valuable for those in a progressive raiding guild.

Glyph of the Wise: “Reduces the mana cost of your Seal of Wisdom by 50%”. Even if you had to cast this in combat, it is a onetime deal and you have the buff though you usually buff before combat when you can regain your mana with water. Furthermore, if you don’t even use Seal of Wisdom, this is a useless glyph for you. The argument could be made that one switches from Seal of Light to Seal of Wisdom often, which is unnecessary. You should use the seal that you are glyphed to buff and alternate judgements rather than seals.

Glyph of Lay on Hands**: Get it. Don’t think twice about it. Unlike a reduced Holy Shock CD (1-sec, see above); 5 minutes on your Lay on Hands could make or break a fight. This glyph paired with the talent Improved Lay on Hands reduces the cooldown to 11 minutes.

Glyph of Sense Undead: If you want to waste a glyph slot, don’t do it with this. This could be a helpful leveling glyph while you are in Icecrown but it is not viable for end-game content as it is a damage buff to undead. Okay, I still don’t recommend it but I am going to change my stance that it is worthless. I still put my heart in soul into the 3 that I have but I am also a miner by trade. I NEVER use my Sense Undead ability. But if you do because you can track nothing else, it is okay to have this glyph. I put stock into using the others even if you don’t have mana concerns and especially if you have a higher damage output off-spec but if you want it, go for it.

When you are making the decision to glyph your holy paladin you should always have your play style in consideration. Ask yourself: “What kind of healer am I?” “How is my mana conservation and regen?” “What spells and abilities do I use the most?”  These questions will help you eliminate some of the choices making it an easier decision.

Reworking most of these, I have changed my opinion on some of them but stand strong and steadfast in the use of most of them. I still believe that you need to consider your personal playing style when trying to choose as well as your ability to manage cool-downs and mana.

The original post was written in February so I feel I have grown in writing, in healing, in everything and I hope this republishing helps those that still face this decision!

PS. Feel free to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.

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Filed under Healing Tips, Holy Paladin, Paladin Guides

Class Changes Iminant

Blizzard has released dates in which they will phase out information regarding class changes for the new expansion. These will include spells that will be introduced from 80-85 as well as other new additions and ability changes. The dates are:

Shaman – April 7 (Released)
Warlock – April 7 (Released)
Priest – April 7 (Released)

Warrior – April 8 (Released)
Death Knight – April 8 (Released)
Rogue – April 8 (Released)

Hunter – April 9 (Released)
Druid – April 9 (Released)
Mage – April 9 (Released)

Paladin – April 16 14 (Released)

Apparently, Paladins need an overhaul or something as we have to wait an entire week after the release for evreyone else as we are “under development”. Blegh. Death Knights are so special they even get a teaser bit, but no not us. The only thing we get is dispel mechanics; I thought I would mention some of the most significant changes that have come along and highlight/elaborate on those for the paladin.

In Cataclysm each healing class will be getting three out of the five types of dispels, with one of these always being a defensive dispel magic. This design makes sure that finding a healer with the ability to remove magic isn’t restrictive in building teams for Arenas or rated Battlegrounds. It also allows the encounter designers to assume, when designing dungeon or raid fights, that every group can dispel magic.

In addition, we’re making the opportunity cost (what the player could have accomplished with different actions) for dispelling a bit steeper. We think the cost is too low for three reasons: 1) The actual mana cost is low. 2) You never waste a dispel. If you try to dispel a debuff that isn’t there then the dispel just won’t go off. 3) We have spells that remove debuffs with minimal input on the part of the player. In Cataclysm we are raising the mana costs, making it possible to waste mana by casting a dispel when there is nothing to dispel, and removing Cleansing Totem, Abolish Disease, and Abolish Poison from the game. With these changes in mind, we are working to plan dungeon and raid encounters where dispels aren’t in constant demand or spammed in order to be successful, though some need for dispels will still be a part of the design.

Currently, there is no consequence for casting dispel as you are unable to do so when it will be ineffective, but with Cataclysm dispelling will be another mana dump for the slower healers. Cleansing is NOT my strong suit as a healer; as such, I usually fall victim to the “Nothing to Dispel” and this will require much more self discipline. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily, but all the same, I am a fan of the current mechanic. With the change, paladins who struggle with mana issues and cleanse often, may want to talent into [Purifying Power], assuming it will still exist as a talent with the expansion.

Furthermore, the removal of “ticking” dispellers could mean a lot for heavy poison/disease effects that currently exist in WOTLK. With the release of Cataclysm, I don’t think Northrend is going to become obsolete therefore making these instances/raids more cleanse heavy than normal.

We are providing three dispel capabilities to all healing classes as follows:

  • Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poison.
  • Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
  • Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and disease.
  • Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.

Well, Paladins don’t get any changes…at this point. Shamans, on the other hand, not only lose their beloved Cleansing Totem, but also the ability to remove poisons and diseases all together! Is it necessary for EVERY class to remove defensive magic? I would be inclined to say no. The variety of dispelling effects are part of choosing your healing class, in my opinion. I think that druids and paladins have the best dispelling combinations but believe the shamans are getting the short end of the stick here. If this has been done to balance out some PVP distortion, I believe it is said best by Ginny, “Keep the PVP out of my PVE”. Why assume it is PVP related?

This design makes sure that finding a healer with the ability to remove magic isn’t restrictive in building teams for Arenas or rated Battlegrounds. It also allows the encounter designers to assume, when designing dungeon or raid fights, that every group can dispel magic.

As it stands in WOTLK, more instances require poison and disease than magic. Take for example Trial of the Champion 5-Man. When you face the rogue, a budding healer benefits strongly from removing that poison rather than healing through it. Have I been through everything in WOTLK? No. So I am always open for someone to let me know if I am wrong in this assumption, welcome it even. In addition, in raiding Naxxramas, they couldn’t ensure every group could remove curse for fights like Noth the Plaguebringer or Sapphiron.

In other Paladin-dispelling news:

Protection and Retribution paladins will lose their current ability to dispel magic.
Restoration shaman, Restoration druids, and Holy paladins will need to talent into their defensive magic dispels.

Again, I understand the Prot/Ret magic removal for PVP, but requiring us to talent into it because you want to make sure everyone group can remove magic…seems like a wasted talent point. Not that you should avoid taking it, but rather, a worthless requirement (because you know it will be required). Overall, I am not a fan of the majority of these changes. I know that today the press beta was released and I would like to see the ideas on these mechanics to change a little bit. From twitter outcry, it seems a lot of people agree with me on this point. I will do my best to keep this posted edited with links to the released class notes and keep all of you informed on paladin updates.

Source: Blue Post
EDIT: Links have been properly placed! Thanks Deyndor.

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Tarinae the Tankadin

I have played World of Warcraft for over two and a half years; from the very moment my boyfriend surprised me with TBC as a gift, I have played and loved Tarinae. My experience in gaming has always been centered around a love of balanced classes. In WoW, my idea of a balanced character would be classified as a hybrid; the ability to kick ass and heal is amazing.

In the past two years or so, Tarinae has went through so many transformations. She leveled and played through TBC as Retribution but went holy with WOTLK; when the barber shop was released, she went from a white bun to a red pony tail; she tried dual-speccing holy/protection; I gave her a back-story; she went from guild member to guild leader, etc. While the list goes on, I would like to highlight a particular experience for my very special muse this week: Windsoar!

Windsoar wants to know about my thoughts on the tankadin…the oh-so-invincible Protection Paladin. She asks, “Is it a love you, don’t want to be you experience, have you tried it and hated it, or are you just not a tank at heart?” The simple answer is “tried it and hated it”.

The complicated answer is much more…complicated.

My experience as a protection paladin exists albeit it is limited. This past Brewfest, I had the same group of friends who wanted to do the Direbrew boss everyday; unfortunately, out of the 5 of us, 2 were healadins and none were tanks. I had been building a tank set from the heroics and Naxxramas runs I had been running, it wasn’t quite great but it was decent. So  went and dropped 15g to respec my secondary from Retribution to Protection. I didn’t take the time to research the spec, I went with a gut feeling (it was Direbrew after all). I set up bars and did the gemming/enchanting necessary. I was at bar minimum defense cap and I recall barely breaking 30k buffed hit points.

At this point in the process, I already felt disconcerted. She looked ALL wrong! She looked scary. But I went through with it and I tanked the boss a few times that week. I kept asking everyone if it was disastrous; I lost aggro a few times and only one person died once. Overall, I think I did okay. Great given the random-on-the-drop-of-a-dime-first-time tanking job! All the same… I hated every minute of it. I was frantic 100% of the time. I have always known what kind of tank character I want to play and paladin does not fall under that category. I watched and listened on many conversations that talked about the mechanics of the tankadin. I listened in and I don’t want any part of it ; “I love you, but don’t want to be you”!

I will always be a healadin; but, I only tank on 4 legs.

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The Leveling Healadin Part I

Leveling: Getting Started

Leveling a healer can be very trying at times. The lack of damage output can leave you fighting the same mob for seemingly ever, and can leave the most simple quests taking hours to complete. Leveling a healer can also result in a lot of downtime. Priest healers output a lot of mana usage for damaging spells, holy paladins spend time healing themselves from the result of lengthy melee, etc. This can be a very arduous task for even the most skilled player.

Nonetheless, healers are always going to be needed and healing itself is a fun role to play. It is also encouraged that every player plays a healer once. Don’t let leveling scare you though. Whether you are a new players or veteran-new-to-the-class, my intention is to create a leveling guide that will include avenues of leveling, heirlooms that can help, talents, and “rotations” for the questing types.  The guide will be divided into two parts. This should help with the amount of information as well as make it easier to read. In Part I I’m going to start with the avenues of leveling including questing, instancing, and PVP. I will also address the heirloom issue for those that have an 80 and access to BoA (Bind-on-Account) items. Figuring out how you want to level and setting up potential gear for a new character are the first steps in getting started.

Methods of Leveling

Dungeon-Finder Tool

When 3.3.0 went live, it changed the face of instancing leveling (potentially) forever. Prior to the patch, leveling through instances was an option that took a lot of work. Instances offer great gear and even better experience, but the hassle of finding the right group composition could make you pull your hair out. The tool allows you to queue for an instance as a tank, damage role (DPS), or healer and the tool then does the work of group making for you while you wait around crafting, chatting, or questing.

This tool is available when a character reaches Level 15 and the use of the dungeon finder can be very beneficial for characters of all classes and specs. Upon successful completion of the instance, you receive a level-based amount of extra experience as well as a [Satchel of Helpful Goods]. This bag can contain a variety of armor pieces and jewelry for the appropriate level. The gear will come with enchants supporting a multitude of class/spec combinations. The enchants found on this gear (i.e. of the moon, of the solider, of the bandit, etc.) is currently unavailable on uncommon quality items of low-level.

The extra rewards that can be reaped from leveling in the Dungeon Finder are plentiful and easy to obtain with the lack of work involved for finding the group; that makes this method a very viable method for leveling characters, especially healers. Healers are only responsible for their role in the group; they are not responsible for killing mobs and keeping themselves alive, they don’t have run around Azeroth to grind 30% drops off orange mobs that crave their blood, and the sheer amount of their downtime is cut drastically.

As a healadin choosing to level this way, you may find a standard PVE spec for instancing more beneficial than a questing build or PVP. Builds will be in Part II so check back. I will update this with a link as soon as it is out.

Questing

Questing in the starting zone!

This is the age old method of leveling. Quests or “missions” are a common part of MMO’s across the genre. Throughout the past five years, Blizzard has attempted to make questing less stressful. They have lowered mount levels to 20 allowing you to travel between spread out quests quickly; they have added heirloom items that increase experience gains; they have lowered experience needed in between levels of a certain range, etc.

All the same, after a few characters questing can become quite monotonous and repetitive; the same grind, the same rewards, the same traveling. Questing does provide the player with gear, experience and money; it also provides one thing that cannot be gained from the Dungeon Finder tool: reputation. Old-word reputations do not mean as much as they once did but working through these quests can help you get access to other racial mounts, cheaper repair bills in any city, and a neat title “Ambassador” from the achievement [Ambassador of the Horde]. For those interested in [The Loremaster] achievement, questing is doubly beneficial. If you have never leveled a character through questing, I strongly suggest doing it once (and even on both factions) because once Cataclysm strikes, these quests will never exist again and your chances will be gone.

However, questing as a holy paladin can be tiresome and lengthy. Without any real abilities built around the output of damage, melee is simply a back-and-forth between you and the mob. You will find that you are healing yourself throughout the fight and  but there is a build that will help maximize your healing throughput and damage out put for soloing mobs in your journeys. Check here later when Part II is released for a direct link to the questing build.

PVP

Patch 3.2 brought a brand new aspect to the game: PVP experience.

…players will be able to gain experience within the Battlegrounds for completing objectives and actions that yield honor in them. These objectives include (but are not limited to) capturing flags in Warsong Gulch, gaining resources in Eye of the Storm or Arathi Basin, or taking objectives in Alterac Valley. Player level will also affect the amount of experience that can be gained within the battleground. -Blue Post

PVP experience put the concept of twinking a character at low level in danger of leveling out of their bracket. Due to this factor, patch 3.2 also included the option to turn of experience gains. This option stops experience in all forms; this includes PVP, questing, and instancing. This is not recommended if you want your character to reach higher level. However, for the same fee it takes to turn experience off (10g), you can also turn it back on when you are ready to continue your leveling ventures.

PVP is another viable way to level a healer quick and (relatively) painlessly. Aside from the fact the other players are seeking you out to kill you, in battlegrounds like Warsong Gulch that surge on Flag Carrier protection, healers are received very well. While it is dreadful not being able to go anywhere alone, you are very valuable to the group as a whole. They have also incorporated heirloom items that provide low levels with the PVP stat (Resilience) as well as an experience bonus.  The items that can be used effectively for holy paladins will be discussed below.

When leveling a healadin through PVP, you will want to make use of the damage reduction and other PVP talents that are built into the tree. In a future post, away from a leveling guide, I will discuss a PVP that will support a strong PVP background in healing as a paladin. A direct link will be posted here when it is published, but the PVP healer requires a lot of attention.

Click the link to follow the cut to heirlooms & gear!

Continue reading

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Cheers & Jeers: Glyph Analysis

I feel like offering an analysis of holy glyphs. I’ve heard of some different choices other than the ones I use recently and thought I would take a look at what they each bring to the table or why they should be kicked under the table. The glyphs I use personally will be marked with **. I certainly hope that this helps people who are having a hard time making the glyph decision.

Cheers: Glyph of Holy Light** (Ma): This glyph turns your biggest heal (Holy Light)into an Area-of-Effect (AOE) heal. I love this glyph. We are the only healing class that doesn’t have one and therefore are designed as tank/bomb healers. The glyph heals friendly targets within 8 yards for 10% of the holy light effect. It isn’t a lot but can make topping off the party while healing the tank a cinch. Furthermore, depending on your spec, should you be a HL spammer, this glyph is a must have.  ((In my own world, I feel more gratified seeing all the green all over the screen too hehe))

Jeers: Glyph of Holy Shock (Ma): Ugh. This is a glyph better spent with something else; please don’t take a spot up with it. What does it do? It reduces the cooldown of your Holy Shock by 1 second. ONE SECOND! I do not feel the need to elaborate that in all my healing experience I have never seen an occurrence where Holy Shock would have been a saving grace had it been ready 1 second faster. Never.  What can you do should you need an “oh-shit-button” and holy shock is down? Lay on Hands.

Cheers: Glyph of Flash of Light** (Ma): This glyph is a universal must have.  With this glyph your Flash of Light spell has an additional 5% critical strike rating. This is extremely useful in PVP where your main ability if FoL but it is also useful in all areas of PvE (raiding, instancing, and questing).

Cheers: Glyph of Seal of Light** (Ma): One of the paladin’s defining abilities is seals+judgements. As a holy paladin, judging to proc the talent Judgements of the Pure is a must! When it increases your spell haste by 15%, why wouldn’t you? Therefore, it is important to use an appropriate seal for healing. This glyph adds an extra 5% healing effect to any spell that you cast; it also has an appropriate counterpart (Glyph of Seal of Wisdom) that reduces mana costs of all spells by 5%. Depending on your heal style and your mana conservation abilities, either one of these glyphs should be required. You are already using a seal…why not get a buff from it?

Jeers: Glyph of Sense Undead (Mi): If you want to waste a glyph slot, don’t do it with this.  This could be a helpful leveling glyph while you are in Icecrown but it is not viable for end-game content as it is a damage buff to undead.  ((Yes, I’ve seen some raiding healadins use it.))

Cheers: Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom** (Mi): This increases the buff timer of BoW on yourself making it 30 minutes. This is considerably helpful when running with another paladin who wants Blessing of Might. How? If you cast Greater Blessing of Might on the two of you, you can replace your own with a standard Blessing of Wisdom and still have a 30-minute buff. They can cast Blessing of Kings and everyone is happy. If you are leveling Holy and find your mana bringing a lot of downtime but you buff yourself with Kings, try using this and save some Symbols of Kings at the same time.

Cheers: Glyph of Blessing of Kings** (Mi): Blessing of Kings is the most universal buff we have and unlike BoW, this glyph reduces the mana costs of BoK by 50%. The lowered mana cost can make buffing during a wipe recovery go considerably quicker. There aren’t many minor glyphs to choose from and even though you don’t get much from this, I still recommend it.

Jeers: Glyph of the Wise (Mi): “Reduces the mana cost of your Seal of Wisdom by 50%”. Even if you had to cast this in combat, it is a onetime deal and you have the buff though you usually buff before combat when you can regain your mana with water. Furthermore, if you don’t even use Seal of Wisdom, this is a useless glyph for you. The argument could be made that one switches from Seal of Light to Seal of Wisdom often, which is unnecessary. You should use the seal that you are glyphed to buff and alternate judgements rather than seals.

Cheers: Glyph of Lay on Hands** (Mi): Get it. Don’t think twice about it. Unlike a reduced Holy Shock CD (1-sec, see above); 5 minutes on your Lay on Hands could make or break a fight. This glyph paired with the talent Improved Lay on Hands reduces the cooldown to 11 minutes.

Jeers: Glyph of Judgement (Ma): I know I said that judging as a healadin is important for the haste buff, but that doesn’t mean you need a damage buff to how much damage you are doing with a judgement. It isn’t your job as the healer to do the damage.

Jeers: Glyph of Cleansing (Ma): Without this glyph, Cleanse costs 6% base mana to cast each time; the glyph reduces this by 20%. To show you a little math, I have 30,034 mana but I only have (last I looked) 7449 base mana. It takes (at 6% a cast) 447 mana to cast Cleanse. With the glyph it would take 358. In the grand scheme of things, it is about 1% of my total mana to cleanse. In raids, I run with many other healers who can abolish disease, cleanse, cleanse spirit, decurse, etc. The sole burden of cleansing (or even fights that don’t require cleansing), does not rest on me so much that I should worry about <100 mana cost.

Cheers: Beacon of Light (Ma): Even though I do not use this glyph, I would say that it is still useful. A standard cast of Beacon of Light lasts 60 seconds. This glyph adds 30 seconds increasing the buff to a minute and a half. If you find yourself forgetful to re-cast Beacon, I strongly suggest this. However, as it does nothing else and you find you have excellent buff management ((the add-on NeedtoKnow is GREAT for watching your Beacon timer with focus targets)), you may find other glyphs more suitable.

Jeers: Glyph of Divine Plea (Ma): I know that as a holy paladin, you are probably popping Divine Plea every cooldown. But that doesn’t mean this glyph is for you. The reduced damage effect makes this a tank oriented glyph.

Jeers: Glyph of Divinity (Ma): Lay on Hands gives the target burst health based on the casting paladin’s health and it also “…restores 1950 mana”. The glyph applies the same mana gain to you as it does the target. 1950 mana is barely over the cost of Holy Light. This glyph may also encourage you to use LoH as a mana regen ability which could later prove to cause a lot of trouble.  There are worse ones to have, but there are significantly better as well.

Taking on this analysis, I don’t think I realized just how many glyphs a holy paladin may consider using regardless of how bad some of them may be. When you are making the decision to glyph your holy paladin you should always have your play style in consideration. Ask yourself: “What kind of healer am I?” “How is my mana conservation and regen?” “What spells and abilities do I use the most?”  These questions will help you eliminate some of the choices making it an easier decision. Good luck.

PS. Feel free to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.

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Filed under Holy Paladin, Paladin Guides

Beacon Who?

A Healadin’s Guide to Beacon of Light

As a Holy Paladin, you possess several defining spells and abilities that make you a strong healing force.  Many of the healing abilities are shared among all specs, but holy has one attribute that sets them apart: Beacon of Light.  In my journeys as a healing paladin, I have found that there are several different tactics in the use of Beacon and fights that require a particular use for the staple ability.

It is first important to understand what Beacon of Light actually does and why it is one of the most important spells in the holy paladin’s arsenal.  The in-game tooltip explains the spell effect as, “The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all members of your party or raid within a 60 yard radius.  Any heals you cast on party or raid members will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed.  Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 1 [minute].”  How does this translate to laymen’s terms? Simple; every, single point of healing done to one target also heals the Beacon for the same amount.  This ability also counts over-healing towards the beacon target as well.

This may not sound very flashy but this spell recently received an overhaul.  Prior to patch 3.2, Beacon of Light would only apply the effective healing done on a target.  The effective healing being only what is counted to take the target to full health, while anything over that is counted as over-healing. When the Beacon of Light went from effective to over-healing, holy paladins could see their Beacon targets healed for several thousand more than what was previously thought of as standard.

This change made a significant difference in solo healing instances and tank healing raid bosses.  As a paladin, finding the most comfortable way for you to use your Beacon is very important. Whether you find it helpful to Beacon the main tank, off-tank, or even yourself, there are certain fights that you may find beneficial to use it in a particular way. Knowing these will also be significantly helpful for the budding healer.

Garfrost in Pit of Saron 5-Man

Healing Garfrost the first time can prove to be quite a complication. There is a heavy combination of DPS always breaking line-of-sight and the tank running out of range to the forge.  As a paladin healer, should you have any doubts, need to Beacon the tank in this fight.  When he runs to the forge and is 20 feet away but bordering a flat line, you can break to heal yourself and attribute 100% of that effect to him. For that, it proves helpful to mark the tank with a vibrant raid mark so you can easily tell if he/she is in your LOS; the healing percent doesn’t apply if they aren’t. Tip to all: If you stack your debuff to 20+, you shouldn’t expect to stay alive.

Patchwerk in Naxxramas

Typically, as a healadin, you will find yourself assigned to heal a tank during this fight (or any fight for that matter).  When tank healing Patchwerk, it may be helpful to beacon the opposite tank of the one you are assigned to heal.  The reason for this is that in this fight, you are not healing anyone that isn’t your tank. Given this situation, your target will not benefit from Beacon heals.

Emalon in Vault of Archavon

I’ve seen Beacons used a variety of ways in this fight.  This is an adaptive placement fight so knowing where your tanks are in correlation to you is very important.  Occasionally, the tanks will bring the adds so far away from each other that it is impossible to heal both in emergencies.  If you are on the MT, your beacon is the only thing that can and will reach your far-out-there OT.  If you notice that his healers aren’t keeping the appropriate pace and he constantly taunts death, it is considerably efficient to Beacon him. However, if you are that far apart but your Beacon heals are just dumping into overheal, at this time you may find it helpful to Beacon yourself. Why? It seems that no matter where you go, if lighting nova doesn’t find you…chain lightening will. You should know to stand 10 yards from anyone…they probably don’t however and you are going to get slammed. Therefore, while never taking your aim from the tank you’re topped off again. It is also important to note, that in some occasions, raid healers think other healers should take care of themselves. I know, I know….

I hope that this small insight into successful Beacon use helps anyone and everyone.  I’ve been through a lot with its use from people telling me who to Beacon to other holy paladins thinking they are better than me.  But sometimes, you have to do what is right for your healing style, catastrophe could be waiting if you don’t.



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Filed under 5-Man & Raids, Healing Tips, Holy Paladin