Holy Paladin Glyph Choice

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 (I originally covered holy paladin glyphs here and here; however, those posts are out of date since the changes during the WotLK beta and in patch 3.0.8.)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


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.

17 thoughts on “Holy Paladin Glyph Choice”

  1. Am I the only paladin that misses the old FoL glyph? FoL is nearly useless for main tank healing anyway in the days of 40k health pools and 15k boss hits. I found it far more efficient to judge, FoL (hot), shock, and then HL instead of spam FoL all of the time. Also having a hot allowed me to raid heal much more easily as well as stack many many hots on the tank due to BoL. Now our raid healing is back to spamming flashes on the raid in a reactive fashion while keeping up beacon, then switching to HL when the tank needs real attention. Crit on FoL is far less useful than HL anyway since you can already eternally cast FoL anyway. Now that the glyph has changed I am dropping it.

  2. Seconding the great post post by Fuzzy. Ive been lazy in keeping up with patch notes lately and was not aware of these changes. Shame on me. Thanks a ton for posting this article. Reminds me why I love this blog so much. Keep the solid analysis coming.

  3. Very useful post, I have been trying make up my mind about which glyphs to use for ages but couldn’t convince myself of the benefit of any of my combination ideas. I think I will take your advice and see how it all goes.

  4. Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom worked fine after 3.0.8 but seems broken now, as it’s not giving me any extra time when I cast it on myself. I thought maybe it was my PallyPower, but others have mentioned this as well.

    Thanks for the nice summary of glyphs!

  5. I agree with the first set of suggestions, but I don’t know about swapping as you get better geared. I’m now reasonably geared, and even with all the mana conservation/regen options I can still crank up the throughput to the point that I can go OOM on almost any boss. Paticularly if you start stacking haste, you can burn alot of mana very quickly. Imo its better to have the mana, and adjust what your casting to manipulate throughput rather than your glyphing.

    Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom was changed to only effect the regular wisdom, not greater wisdom, works fine for me.

  6. Socordia, Seal of blood and spirtual attument glyph do the exact same thing except spiritual attument is twice as good. secondly how much aoe would be needed? On this weeks 3d sarth I took 68k damage over 8.5 minutes, this gave me 2800 mana. So seal of blood would have given me 280 mana and Spiritual attunement would have given me 560 mana. In comparison my total mana gained from all sources (except mp5) was 125k mana. This means that Seal of wisdom saved me around 6k mana. A total 10-20x larger then seal of blood.

    The only thing I would disagree with the esteemed Siha on is, if your primary spell is holy light then using seal of light Glyph is just more overheal and seal of wisdom is superior even when your gear is close to best in slot.

  7. Sorry, Ngita, I can’t follow your numbers. 68k damage healed by others gives you 6800 mana per 10%, so the Seal of Blood glyph means an additional 6800 mana over the standard return from Spiritual Attunement. Having Seal of Blood active, though, you cannot use the Seal of Wisdom, i.e., it renders the SoW glyph useless. Hence, have to compare the SoB glyph against the SoW glyph. I don’t know how much mana you’ve spent total on this fight, but 125k * 0.05 is only 6250 mana, which is obviously less than 6800.

    So SoB glyph is better whenever you take a lot of damage (in a short period of time) and if it is possible that you are healed by others. Spiritual attunement has always been fantastic in high AoE fights, and an additional 10% is just awesome.

    Also, it took you 8 minutes to spend 125k mana, but I don’t consider a fight with 8500 damage/minute (68k/8) “high aoe”. Assume a shorter or more intense fight. We know better from BT/SWP.

    However, as Siha stated: “However, given that Blizzard have stated they want to move away from ‘All AoE, All The Time’ fights”, … I guess you’ll have to numbercrunch each particular fight in future.

  8. If I haven’t said it before in a previous post, I would like to mention how much I appreciate your blog. I’m the holy pally class leader in my guild and I use your posts on my forum thread as I couldn’t craft more comprehensive and detailed information on my own. I always credit your site and have used it as my main source of information for some time.

    Keep up the good work!

    Brendel (Lothar-US)

  9. Socordia the mana returned number from wws.Its what i actually gained rather then theoritcal maximum Heals when I am allready at full mana dont give mana, self heals dont give mana,is damage that is sbsorbed by sacred sheild record as damage taken? Perhaps sarth 3d isnt a good example as almost all damage is avoidable and what you dont avoid will kill you. But its the only fight that strains my mana.

    Using naxx is problematical. Sapph I take a lot of AOE damage but dont have any masa issues(holy light from start to finish) because I do receive a lot of Mana from spir.tual attunement and spend a lot of time moving. Patchwerk, I can not holy light from start to finish and take no damage at all.

  10. Why do you advise starting holy pallies to use Glyph of Divinity? Ideally, the pally should rarely (if ever) need to use Lay on Hands. Using a major glyph slot on something that can only be used once every 16 mins seems like a waste. Glyph of FoL would be the better choice.

  11. Because Lay on Hands makes an excellent mana restoration tool, especially when used on yourself. Many paladins I know no longer need to use Lay on Hands as an emergency heal, but they do use it as a free mana pot. That’s why I recommended it for fresh 80s, who are going to have more troubles with mana than geared-up paladins.

  12. “Sorry, Ngita, I can’t follow your numbers. 68k damage healed by others gives you 6800 mana per 10%, so the Seal of Blood glyph means an additional 6800 mana”

    I’m sorry Socordia, but your calculations are wrong. The glyph states “increases the mana received from Spiritual Attunement by 10% while active.”, meaning you’ll get an extra 10% _of the mana gained_. It does not mean that your Spirtual Attunement effectively will be 20%, but 11%.

    So if you take 100k friendly heals. Spiritual Attunement will give you 10% = 10k mana. And with the glyph, you’ll increase the mana received by 10%, meaning you’ll get an additional 1k mana. A grand total of 11k returned.

  13. Wow this has been really helpful! My holy pally (Holyhandz) who is now level 26 is going to be much better now that I have this info. Thanks a ton ;)

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