As promised, many moons ago, here is the continuation to the leveling guide to illustrate builds that will help leveling through all three arenas.
If you are looking for information on ways to level or heirlooms/Bind-on-Account items to buy, check out Part I.
Also, if at anytime, you need a quick reference to the leveling guides, they will be permanently linked in the right side bar with other helpful leveling resources.
Disclaimer: All builds go to Level 60 at which point you would be able to chose selective help from other trees and decide your best options from the Prot or Ret trees.
What build to chose?
As mentioned in Part I, the method of leveling you chose to do is strictly up to you. There are talents and glyphs and other things that will help you more significantly in a chosen method, so it is wise to chose a dominant method and build yourself up for that.
The three methods, again, are instancing, PVP, and questing. Each of these arenas are hard for a low level healer to really get any footing because the combination of lack of abilities and lack of output are haunting and burdening. But in a positive light, there are always ways to maximize the experience and life-span of the lowbie healer.
The Instancing Build
If you intend on leveling through the use of the Dungeon-Finder tool, it is strongly recommended to have a build that resembles one you would use as an end-game healer. This is because you will hold the lives of four other people in your hand constantly, and you will want to maximize your throughput and longevity as much as possible. This will help you do your job and maintain a level of efficiency. These days, being an out-of-mana (oom) healer is complicated because groups are in such a hurry.
If you are looking to use this method of leveling, try this build on for size.
Things to note on this build is that you are maximizing your throughput with haste effects, critical chances, and general output. What you will also see is that Blessed Life has one rank. Leveling can be dangerous with new tanks, this talent will help you (paired with the Spiritual Focus in Tier 1) to minimize the effects if you take healing aggro and no one realizes it. This is a general basis to Level 60, a cookie-cutter for baseline maximizing. Other tips for this method of leveling would be to finish Improved Blessing of Wisdom and Imp. Concentration Aura beyond Level 60. You could also switch Blessed Life to fill Improved Blessing of Wisdom if you see you are having no problems, it is only needed if you find yourself having problems with damage.
The Questing Build
This build will be very similar to the build used for PVP specs, so it would be reasonable to blend the two methods of leveling. The significant difference between the two will be damage vs. survivability. In a questing build, it is good to boost damage reduction as well as damage output. The reason for this is because it is still possible to have great healing output and manage to survive the quests and not spend hours on the same one. In the Holy Tree, there are some of these options available to us. There are also talents built around reducing the knock-back if you need to heal yourself during battle for quests.
Things to note in this build are the talents that maximize your general output as a whole. The two judgements talents (Enlightened Judgements and Judgements of the Pure) and Seals of the Pure are must haves for questing, these not only boost your effectiveness at healing (the judgements only) but they also increase seal/judgement damage and your ability to hit. Being the center of attention from any quest mob, Blessed Life is also a must. These less you have to heal yourself, the more you can focus on killing the mob. Talents like Spiritual Focus and Improved Concetration Aura will help your casting as you’re being attacked by the mob; this effects healing spells but also Exorcism, a major damage output.
You will want to fully utilize the damaging abilities in your arsenal like Consecration, Exorcism, Holy Shock, etc. That is why the talent Purifying Power is beneficial by reducing mana costs mainly for damaging abilities as well as Cleanse/Purify.
There are a lot of talents available to boost damage output in the Retribution tree so you may see help from that tree when you are finished with holy but note there are other talents useful for being an appropriate healer, even if you are questing, like Holy Light, Divine Illumination, and Infusion of Light.
This particular build could benefit heavily from the Protection tree but as PVP deals a lot with close range and your inability to do anything but heal, we will go with talents that benefit and help with you taking damage. The healer in most battlegrounds will be the target of many and there will not be much you can do in the way of killing them. So stick together and stick to a build that looks something like this.
Something important to note in the difference between a leveling PVP spec and perhaps and end-game PVP is the existence of ranks in Blessed Life. At lower levels, you’re missing something that most high level PVP’rs will have and that is Resilience. There are some boa’s that help with resilience but for the most part, your gear will have none on it so minimizing the damage taken is beneficial. Note the other points of this tree help with silences, fear, pushbacks, curses, diseases, poisons, and stun effects; all of which are common occurrences in PVP. As a PVP healdin, most out-of-tree help can be found in the Protection tree for further damage reduction and increased healing talents.
Other Important Things of Note
I would like to make it clear that these builds are ones that I see most beneficial for leveling. I have tried to explain all differences and illustrate why they may not look like the spec of the top Level 80 paladin healer. These are by no means raid worthy for end-game content and may not be the typical cookie-cutter builds but as I modify them to help you get started, you are always free to modify them as you gain experience and see how things are working for you. These are meant to serve as a guide not law.
It is also important to know that with Cataclysm, these builds will no longer be valid as the trees are going to a 31 point base. I am doing my best to cover the constant change of Cataclysm information, including trees and ability differences. There are build pictures available for Cataclysm Healers if you’re interested in end-game healing with the new expansion.
I sincerely hope that these builds benefit you and that it helps you to become a more confident low-level healadin. Take this knowledge and show the world how healing is done…paladin style! Good luck!