An essential part of playing a spec is choosing the right glyphs to support your spell use. Here’s a quick guide to the best glyphs for Holy Paladins, current as of patch 3.0.8. (I originally covered holy paladin glyphs here and here; however, those posts are out of date since the changes during the WotLK beta and in patch 3.0.8.)
Major Glyphs: Your Choices
Glyph of Holy Light
Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target.
This is an excellent PvE glyph; at no cost, it turns your bomb heal into a mini-AoE which is great for topping up melee in a clustered fight. It’s had a bit of a history; it started in 3.0.2 as a 5-yard range AoE, which was increased to 20 yards in 3.0.8 and then hotfixed down to 8 yards within two days.
Glyph of Flash of Light
Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance.
This is a solid performer. On one hand, Flash of Light is economical enough that you don’t really need the mana return from a crit, and with Sacred Shield up you’re probably critting 80% of the time anyway. However, a couple of crit Flashes of Light will give a big, fast boost to a tank’s health, and more throughput is never a bad thing.
Glyph of Seal of Light
While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5%.
This is great to use for increasing throughput, obviously, although it does have the downside of preventing you from using Seal of Wisdom and autoattacking between casts to regenerate mana.
Glyph of Seal of Wisdom
While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cos of your healing spells is reduced by 5%.
This is a good starter glyph to improve mana conservation, which can be an issue for healing paladins early in the gearing process. When combined with a high crit rate, and gear like the Libram of Renewal, you can pump out a lot of healing for a surprisingly low mana cost.
Glyph of Divinity
Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.
This can be very useful in the event of a mana shortage, particularly given that potion use is now very restricted. It works particularly well with a minor glyph listed below. Of note, despite some ambiguous wording it does return mana to you when you cast it on a target without mana (ie a rogue, warrior or death knight); if you cast it on yourself, it returns double the mana, giving you effectively a free mana potion. The mana restoration is also independent of the actual amount healed.
Glyph of Cleansing
Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Purify spells by 20%.
This is the least useful of the holy Glyphs; even in arenas the limiting factor on cleansing is generally GCDs, rather than mana. If post-T7 raid content sees a huge return to decursing fights, this might come into its own, but generally it’s the weakest glyph and I’d avoid using it.
What about Glyph of Spiritual Attunement?
If you’re doing a lot of fights where you take large amounts of damage, and you can rely on someone else to heal you back to full health before you die (which is not necessarily a helpful thing to expect of your healing team), then this glyph can provide a reasonable source of mana return. However, given that Blizzard have stated they want to move away from ‘All AoE, All The Time’ fights, this glyph is likely to be situational at best, and there are far more generally-useful options to choose from.
Minor Glyphs: Your Choices
- Glyph of Blessing of Kings: Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Kings and Greater Blessing of Kings spells by 50%.
- Glyph of Blessing of Might: Increases the duration of your Blessing of Might spell by 20 min when cast on yourself.
- Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom: Increases the duration of your Blessing of Wisdom spell by 20 min when cast on yourself.
- Glyph of Lay on Hands: Increases the mana restored by your Lay on Hands spell by 20%.
- Glyph of Sense Undead: Damage against Undead increased by 1% while your Sense Undead ability is active.
- Glyph of the Wise: Reduces the mana cost of your Seal of Wisdom spell by 50%.
When you’re just starting out at 80, I’d recommend the following:
Majors: Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Seal of Wisdom and Glyph of Divinity.
Minors: Glyph of the Wise, Glyph of Lay on Hands, and dealer’s choice for your third minor. (I used Glyph of Sense Undead to help a bit with questing.)
This gives you a nice AoE effect from Holy Light, mana longevity as long as you have Seal of Wisdom up (which is made cheaper by the minor glyph), and a really nice mana regen effect from your Lay on Hands – top up your mana when you’re using Lay on Hands as an emergency heal, or get a whole mana potion’s worth if you use it on yourself. (Obviously, the minor glyph helps here.)
Once you’re better-geared and mana isn’t an issue, I would recommend:
- Leave your Holy Light (major) and Sense Undead (minor) Glyphs in place.
- Replace the Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (major) with Glyph of Seal of Light, and replace the Glyph of the Wise (minor) with Glyph of Blessing of Kings if you’re one of the unlucky Holy paladins who needs to spec for Kings.
- Replace the Glyph of Divinity (major) with Glyph of Flash of Light; leave the minor Lay on Hands glyph in place. You can still use LoH as a mana restore by casting it on yourself, of course, though you’ll only get normal mana return rather than the double helping you’d get if you still had the major glyph.
These changes will generally improve your throughput significantly at the expense of mana efficiency. If you’re still having problems with mana, stick with the original suggestions. You can, of course, tweak your Glyphs differently – for instance, I know a paladin who has both of the major Seal glyphs, because the other healer in his 10-man team dies a lot so he winds up switching between Seals depending on whether he needs output or longevity.
But Isn’t The Flash of Light Glyph BAD?
No, it’s not. It used to be problematic; before Patch 3.0.8 its effect was: “Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.” Most paladins refused to use this, because it rendered Flash of Light incredibly inefficient if you cast it on the same target within twelve seconds, leaving us with only Holy Light (huge and inefficient) as a spammable heal.
Blizzard clearly agreed that it wasn’t valuable enough, and changed the effect; now it’s a flat 5% bonus to Flash of Light’s crit rate, which is much more useful.