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 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.