Category Archives: Game Info

The Importance of Intellect, Redux

This is an update to this post, taking into account some factors I’d forgotten.

For people who don’t want to follow the math, here’s the conclusion up-front: Given items of equal quality, gearing for Intellect is better than gearing for mp5.

Read on to find out why!

Introduced in patch 3.0.2, there are a number of new/revised sources of mana regen that are based on your total mana, and therefore scale directly with Intellect:

Divine Plea
This is the new paladin spell at level 71; it restores 25% of your total mana over 15 seconds with a 1 minute cooldown (and a debuff to healing done).

This is the new raid regen buff granted by Shadow Priests, Retribution Paladins and Survival Hunters. It “causes up to 10 party or raid members to gain 0.25% of their maximum mana per second” whenever the priest, paladin or hunter uses a particular ability.

In addition, if you happen to raid regularly with a resto shaman, the Mana Tide Totem restores 24% of total mana over 12 seconds.

Doing the Math
To see how these balance out against mp5-based regen, let’s look at the value of 500 Intellect. (Note that I won’t be assuming the presence of Blessing of Kings, as you may not have access to it – and with current gearing levels it’s inferior to Blessing of Wisdom for regen anyway.)

500 Intellect on gear becomes 575 Intellect in play, thanks to Divine Intellect. 575 Int is worth 8625 mana. Assuming regen abilities are used on cooldown, on 8625 mana:

  • Divine Plea can return 2156 mana per minute, equivalent to about 180 mp5.
  • Replenishment can return up to 21.56 mana per second, equivalent to 107 mp5. This is dependent on uptime; 100% uptime is fairly unlikely.
  • Mana Tide Totem can restore 2070 mana every 5 minutes, equivalent to 34 mp5.

500 Intellect therefore gives anywhere from 180-321 mp5, depending on your group composition and the uptime of their regen abilities.

However, looking at the item value of Intellect vs mp5, 500 intellect costs you the same itemisation budget as 200 mp5, which is only 20 mp5 more than the mana return of Divine Plea alone.

Illumination and Crits
That increased intellect has another effect: it increases your crit chance, which increases your mana return from casting spells. This is a lot harder to model, because the mana returns from crit rating are very variable, depending on your spell choice and casting frequency. However, doing some rough napkin math:

500 Int on gear becomes 575 Int in play for a holy paladin; 575 Int equals about 3.45% spell crit, according to this Elitist Jerks post.

Using a very rough casting model (which assumes that you’re using about 60% Flashes of Light, 20% Holy Lights and 20% Holy Shocks; that you’re keeping up Sacred Shield on one target, Beacon of Light, and Judging once a minute for Seals of the Pure; and that your Haste compensates for time lost to positioning), 1% crit chance restores about the same amount of mana, over time, as 10 mp5. This assumes near-constant casting, which is typical of a paladin healer; however, even if you’re spending up to 40% of your time not casting, 3.45% spell crit still provides as much mana return as 20 mp5.

The Bottom Line

Assuming you use Divine Plea on every cooldown, and that you spend at least 60% of each fight casting, gearing for Intellect gives you as much mana return as gearing for mp5. In addition, gearing for intellect gives you extra mana return from Mana Tide Totems and Replenishment if you have access to them (up to 78% extra mana return, in fact). And, finally, gearing for intellect increases your healing output as well, by increasing your spellpower (via Holy Guidance) and your crit rate.

The Caveat

Don’t eschew mp5 completely.

Yes, gearing for intellect is better than gearing for mp5, assuming items of equal quality. However, you’re often not choosing between items of completely equal quality, and you shouldn’t disdain mp5 to the point where you’re discarding otherwise-excellent items just because they have mp5 on them. Mp5 is not a dirty word – it still does the same job it always did, it’s just that now Intellect does it better.

Gemming Your Holy Paladin

Time for the next installment in my series of ‘How To Gear Your Paladin In WotLLK’ posts: Holy Paladin Gem Choices. This is an issue that’s been somewhat complexified by the mountain of new gem cuts in WotLK.

Updated 1 Feb 09 to include the Reckless orange cut and adjust recipes based on 3.0.8.

In general, I will be talking about gemming for maximum effect (for PvE), not ‘how to use up your stockpiles of old gems’. Therefore, the first lesson:

  • Do not use TBC-era gems! No, not even epic gems. Even uncommon-quality WotLK gems are better than the very epic-est of TBC gems. Compare, say, Runed Bloodstone and Runed Crimson Spinel if you don’t believe me.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to look at each type of gem in a little more detail. I’ll list the gems of each color that are appropriate for paladin healers, and then we’ll look at the pros and cons of each gem.

The Choices








Choosing the Gems

So, that’s a lot of gems to choose from. When you’re making these choices, you really have to consider four major factors:

  • Mathematical advantage. Some stats are just stronger than others for holy paladins, because of the nature of our game mechanics. See this post for a discussion of why gearing (and gemming and enchanting) for Intellect is better than mp5, for example.
  • The stats you need for the content you’re doing. Mechanical advantage aside, nobody knows your gear better than you. If you need more healing output, gem for spellpower. If you’re PvPing, gem for crit and haste, for mobility. If you’re running out of mana, gem for Int/mp5/Crit.
  • Socket bonuses. As I’ve said before, many people get tunnel vision, and pick gems based on socket color regardless of how good the socket bonus is. Others ignore the socket bonus and gem for one stat with no exceptions. Neither choice is necessarily the wisest.

    A piece of gear with two blue sockets and a 3 mp5 socket bonus? I’d ignore that, and stick two red spellpower gems into it. A piece of gear with a red and a yellow socket, and a 5 spellpower socket bonus? That’s probably worth sticking to.

  • Meta gems. All other considerations aside, sometimes you have to socket a slightly sub-optimal gem for the sake of activating your meta gem.

Now you know the factors involved, let’s look at what to socket where.

Red Sockets

Runed Scarlet Ruby, no question.

In fact, if you’re not constricted by meta gem activation or an appealing socket bonus, this gem is arguably stronger than any other color gem and you can use it comfortably in any socket. However, if you need to socket other colors too, read on:

Blue Sockets

You’re really choosing between 9 Spellpower (Royal Twilight Opal), 8 Intellect (Dazzling Forest Emerald), 8 Haste Rating (Energized Forest Emerald) or 8 Crit Rating (Sundered Forest Emerald). All other factors being equal, I’d go for the Royal Twilight Opal again.

Yellow Sockets

Yellow has better choices than blue; none of these gems are really bad to socket, and depending on the kind of content you’re doing and the role you’re playing in your team, they often make for a more well-rounded gear set than pure spellpower gems anyway.

Avoid any of the green gems for this socket, and look at yellow and orange gems. Pretty much any of the orange or yellow gems I listed above are acceptable, in fact – although make sure you’re not needlessly piling on auxiliary stats like Haste at the expense of your mana pool or crit rating. Int and Crit are both multi-purpose, improving throughput and mana longevity; by comparison, Haste only improves throughput.

My personal preference is the Luminous Monarch Topaz or Potent Monarch Topaz for the balance of stats they provide. The Reckless Monarch Topaz is also acceptable if you’re trying to build up your Haste rating, but I generally feel that there’s more than enough Haste directly on gear and you’re better off gemming for Int or Crit.

Meta Sockets

Of the options I listed, the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond is the strongest choice; +Int has come into its own as a stat for paladins, and the proc is very powerful: +600 mana, 5% proc rate, possibly with an internal cooldown of 15 seconds.

Elitist Jerks has a comparison of meta gems in this thread and the IED comes out far ahead. The next best choice is the Ember Skyflare Diamond. Really crit-stacked healadins may also like the Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond but it’s still probably not strong enough to compete with the IED.

Also note that there are a few PvP-oriented meta gems that may prove very useful in specific content, such as those with reduced Fear/Silence/Stun duration, or improved run speed. You can see a complete list of jewelcrafter-cut WotLK meta gems with this WoWhead filter.

Holy Glyphs, Batman!

3.0.8 brings two welcome changes to holy paladin glyphs:

  • Glyph of Flash of Light – Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance. (Old – Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.)
  • Glyph of Holy Light – Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 20 yards of the initial target. (Up from 10 Yards)

Most of the Holy Paladins I know are overjoyed with this change. The Holy Light glyph change is just a straight buff without changing the functionality, and it’s a welcome one. The Flash of Light glyph change turns what was a horrible glyph that no sane pally should ever have taken* into something really strong and useful.

* I could explain in tedious detail why the old (current) Glyph of Flash of Light is so bad, but why rant when it’s being changed anyway?

The only sad thing about this, to my mind, is that now I have to say goodbye to either my Glyph of Divinity or my Glyph of Seal of Wisdom, to make room for the Flash of Light glyph. Onoez, too many choices!

Patch 3.0.8 – What Does It Mean for Paladins?

If you want to read all the details of Patch 3.0.8, check out this very comprehensive post on MMO Champion

These are the official paladin changes:

  • Avenging Wrath: Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Hand of Protection, and Avenging Wrath cannot be used within 30 seconds of each other anymore. Forbearance removed from Avenging Wrath.

  • Divine Protection: The penalty has been removed.
  • Divine Shield: The penalty has been changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% in place of an attack speed penalty.
  • Hand of Reckoning(NEW): Available on trainers at level 16. It’s a 30 yard range taunt that causes Holy damage.
  • Judgements of the Pure: This Holy talent now increases the damage done by Seals and Judgements.
  • Judgement of Wisdom: Now returns a percentage of base mana instead of a percentage of max mana.
  • Sacred Duty: Interaction with Divine Shield and Divine Protection removed, but stamina bonus increased.

And there’s also

  • Reduced the spell power on the Titansteel Guardian to bring it in line with its item level.
  • Glyph of Holy Light now affects friendly targets in a larger radius.
  • The following crafted weapons have had their stats adjusted to properly reflect their intended power: [list including the Saronite Spellblade]
  • Avenger’s Shield no longer breaks Repentance, but unfortunately, Seal of Vengeance and Corruption damage will break it again. This will be corrected in a future patch.

Most of this is good news, or at least ‘good enough’. My thoughts on a few of these changes:

The Forbearance/AW change is better than nothing; it means people are going to start using Avenging Wrath again. (See this post for my early-November complaints about AW and how un-useable it currently is.) It’s still a little unfortunate in that using AW still locks you out of bubble – but 30 seconds is a lot easier to survive than 2 or 3 minutes. I still think it’d be much better handled by just making Wings and Bubble mutually exclusive, though. Still, this is a weak buff; if you can be confident you’re not going to take bubble-worthy damage in the next 30 seconds, go ahead and use your wings for bigger healing or damage output.

The change to the Divine Shield damage penalty is basically a good idea, but completely irrelevant to holy paladins since we’re rarely DPSing in endgame settings. It’s not an unreasonable change, since DS is meant to be a defensive ability, and it’s a lot more consistent with the modern state of how DPS paladins actually deal damage.

Hand of Reckoning. Possibly the least inspired name choice ever. (Not to mention that it’s really inconsistent, given that other Hand of… spells are temporary ass-saving buffs.) However, the ability itself is great – old-school paladins might be happy to face-pull if they can’t use Avenger’s Shield, but in the WotLK world of tank homogenisation this ability was probably necessary.

The Judgements of the Pure change is an interesting one. On the up side, I don’t think holy paladins are going to complain about more DPS, given how seal and judgement damage was gutted in Wrath – and for those wavering about the utility of Judgements of the Pure (which I no longer am, incidentally) it might help tip the balance.

“Shockadin” as a holy DPS spec is still basically dead, however, because the Holy DPS spec is almost identical to a standard full Holy healing spec, with the exception of picking up Seals of the Pure. (If I were looking to build a holy DPS spec, I’d probably go with something much like this 51/0/18 +2 build; you still have all the raw oomph of a main healer, and it covers all the DPS-relevant talents in Holy.)

On the other hand, I still feel that paladin DPS has been balanced badly. Our basic DPS is minimal, and requires talents to make it anything other than agonisingly low – either Ret, or (now) Holy. (To be honest, I’ve been told that prot DPS is in reasonable condition too, but I haven’t really looked into it since 3.0.2.)

This means that levelling paladins are boned – until you’re either level 40 (for Holy Shock if Holy), level 50 (for Crusader Strike if Ret), or level 60 (for Hammer of the Righteous if Prot), you have no active damage-dealing abilities apart from Judgements, Consecration, and auto-attacks with a Seal up. Your entire combat relies on one ability on a 10-second cooldown (or 8 with talents), and auto-attacking (with the occasional Consecrate until you run low on mana).

That is not dynamic or fun, and it can also be very hard to play – the total lack of burst output makes it hard to deal with healer mobs, for instance. I would not want to be levelling a sub-level-50 paladin these days.

Pre-Raid Holy Paladin Gear List, v.1

Okay, gear lists are always useful, and as more and more people are starting to hit the 78-80 range, it’s time to think about what you’re going to wear to your first Naxxramas raid. Remember, no-one likes being underdressed!

The following are some suggestions for each item slot; I’ll suggest the best items from various sources, so no matter your playstyle you can take a shot at gearing up. Note that this covers gear that does not involve raiding, arenas or battlegrounds.

As a general rule, I list the best item or items under “best option”, the next-best under “alternatives”, and then the other options below those. I haven’t even looked at lower-armor alternatives; if a decent piece of ‘lesser’ armor pops up, you might want to think long and hard about whether it’s worth wearing. (Even though I disdain the trend towards ‘clothadins’, even I’m wearing epic leather pants at the moment while I wait for a plate drop of comparable quality.)

This is, of course, a work in progress; I’ll update it if new gear appears or the theorycrafting thinktanks come up with new recommendations for gearing strategies. Or, of course, if I make a mistake. (Heaven forfend.)

I’ve tried to make this a comprehensive list, but I may well have missed something in all my staring at Wowhead and LootRank and MaxDPS. Feel free to ping me in the comments if so. (Note that I’ve generally restricted gear to the best few items in each slot; this is a gearing-up post, not a list of all available holy paladin gear.)

A Note On Badges
The level 70 Badges of Justice have been replaced by two types of Level 80 tokens. Emblems of Heroism drop in Heroic 5-mans, and 10-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 200 epics (the equivalent of 10-man Naxxramas drops). Emblems of Valor drop in 25-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 213 items. In this guide I’ve only referenced items purchasable with Emblems of Heroism, as Emblems of Valor aren’t accessible outside of 25-man raids.

A Note On Regen
This list is aimed at holy-spec paladins; therefore, Crit is valued highly because it’s our primary regen stat (along with Intellect, now). If you’re a protection or retribution paladin building an offspec set, you’ll want to avoid the crit-heavy items because they do nothing to help your mana, and look for mp5 (and, more importantly, Intellect) as a regen stat.

Edit: A Note On Spirit, and Balancing Stats
Yes, I know there are a number of pieces in here with +Spirit on them – usually necks, rings and cloaks. Yes, I know paladins get nothing out of Spirit. In general, those items with +spirit that are listed here are flat-out better than other alternatives, even if you completely ignore the +Spirit (which pallies generally should). That said, stat selection is a personal thing, and if you calculate that other items are more of a benefit for you because you’re stacking a certain stat, or it suits your playstyle, more power to you. (Just be aware that if that certain stat is Spirit, the other holy pallies will laugh you out of the clubhouse.)

Edit 2: Updates
There are a few item changes in Patch 3.0.8 that will affect some of these items (specifically, a helm, a weapon and a trinket). Check out this post for more details.



  • Best option: Ferocious Pauldrons of the Rhino from the second boss (Gortok Palehoof) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.
  • Alternatives: Pauldrons of Destiny from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme, or Discarded Silver Hand Spaulders from the same boss in Normal mode.
  • Failing any of the above, which are either hard to get (the Ferocious Pauldrons) or inferior (the mp5-laden CoT drops), Pauldrons of Morbidus are a really good slot-filler, with a good balance of stats. They’re from The Flesh Giant Champion, the conclusion of a quest chain in Icecrown. WoWhead is not entirely helpful on that quest chain, so your best bet is just to go to Darkrider Arly and do all the quests she and her paladin companion offer; the chain will lead you to this quest.


  • Best option: Wispcloak: BoE craftable by tailors. This is leagues ahead of the next alternative, and if you only have one epic crafted this should be it.
  • Alternatives: Deathchill Cloak: BoE craftable by tailors, Reanimator’s Cloak: BoE zone drop from Heroic Drak’Tharon Keep, Shroud of Moorabi from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, Shroud of Resurrection from the second boss (Gortok) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in Heroic Oculus, or Shroud of Dedicated Research from Honored with Kirin Tor. (The epic is significantly better than the blues, but any of them are fine if you can’t afford a Wispcloak. If you have the choice between them, pick one that bolsters stats where you’re weaker.)

Note for the really keen: you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 chest with 80 Emblems of Heroism. However, that’s still raid gear, and you’ll need something to wear while you’re racking up those 80 badges, so I’m not counting it in the list for now.

  • Best option: Patina-Coated Breastplate, BoE zone drop from Halls of Stone or Eregos’ Ornamented Chestguard from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in The Oculus. (Although it’s a lower iLevel item, the Chestguard is a stronger item than the BoE Breastplate. However, the BoE is still pretty good, and unless you get lucky on an Oculus run I’d recommend just picking up the BoE on the AH and spending your playtime working towards an item without a BoE alternative.)
  • Alternatives: Brilliant Saronite Breastplate: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths, or Besieging Breastplate from the Aces High! quest in Coldarra. (Honestly, the only reason to take either of these is if Patina-Coated Breastplates cost more than you can afford on your realm. They’re both fairly uninspiring; the BoP is probably a better choice than the BoE, despite its reliance on mp5.)


  • Best option: Bone-Framed Bracers: BoE from Naxxramas, or Bands of Fading Light: BoE from Utgarde Pinnacle. (The epic is, of course, better than the blue – however, it may be hard to acquire for a few months, as most guilds who see them drop will generally keep them for their own healadins.)
  • Alternatives: Catalytic Bands from the third boss (Mage-Lord Urom) in Heroic Oculus, or Bracers of Accorded Courtesy from Revered with the Wyrmrest Accord.

Like the chest, you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 gloves with 60 Emblems of Heroism.




  • Best option: Poignant Sabatons: BoE drop from Noth the Plaguebringer in 25-man Naxxramas, or Sabatons of Erekem from Erekem in Heroic Violet Hold. (The epic boots are incredibly awesome, but they’re probably also going to cost an arm and a leg on most realms, at least for a few months. The blue boots are an excellent replacement; although they have mp5, there’s so much of it it’s hard to hate them for it.)
  • Alternatives: Mojo Frenzy Greaves from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, or Brilliant Titansteel Treads: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths. (The epic boots have great stats, but are again let down by the total lack of +int on them; the blue boots are very solid all-rounders and are a fine replacement for either of the recommended boots in ‘Best Options’ above.)
  • Other decent choices include Harpooner’s Striders from the third boss (Skadi) in Utgarde Pinnacle, Skywall Striders from the third boss (Ionar) in Heroic Halls of Lightning); in the meantime, Slippers of the Mojo Dojo are a good starting point.

Lots of choices here, because you need two rings and they’re all Unique-Equipped.

Trinkets are very situational items; rather than relying on ‘best’ and ‘alternatives’, here are some of the choices. I’ll theorycraft out the numbers at some point in the future:

  • Je’Tze’s Bell, BoP world drop (mostly off elite mobs). Apparently should be fixed soon to be BoE, but I haven’t seen a confirmed source on that. An excellent trinket if you’re lucky enough to get one. The proc works out as approximately 25 mp5.
  • Darkmoon Card: Illusion, from the Darkmoon Prisms deck. Although the mana regen is on a 5 minute CD, it’s a welcome addition now potions are limited to one per fight. Across a 5 minute cooldown, it’s an equivalent of 20 mp5 (although it’s relatively more valuable in short fights).
  • Darkmoon Card: Greatness, from the Darkmoon Nobles deck. There’s a +Int version of this card (and a +Spi version as well) although Wowhead only shows the +Agi and +Str versions so far. With Divine Intellect, a +Int version would deliver 103 Int, with 345 Int on a proc (which is a 35% proc chance, probably with a 45 second internal cooldown). That’s a pretty huge boost, and if you synchronise the proc with Divine Plea, that’s a phenomenal amount of mana return. I’d go out on a limb and say this has the potential to be the single best trinket for pally mana (and the extra spell crit from the +Int is a nice bonus, too).
  • The Egg of Mortal Essence, purchasable with 40 Emblems of Heroism. A good, solid, easily-accessible trinket which will last you a good long time. A pure throughput trinket, with little support for mana issues.
  • Forge Ember from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. An excellent trinket, doing dual-duty for throughput and regen thanks to the crit and the proc effect.
  • Spark of Life from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. Less impressive than Sjonnir’s other trinket drop, this is still decent, particularly if you’re low on +haste.
  • Figurine – Sapphire Owl, BoP crafted by Jewelcrafters. While weak on the throughput side, this has the potential – especially socketed with Int gems – to be an excellent regen trinket. Notably, it provides a hit of mana independent of potions, dark runes, Divine Plea or similar regen cooldowns.
  • Mercurial Alchemist Stone, BoP crafted by Alchemists. A solid trinket, particularly with Wrath’s new limitations on potion use. This makes every potion that much more valuable, and has some nice equip bonuses to boot.
  • Tears of Bitter Anguish, a BoE drop from Nascent Valkyr in the Storm Peaks. A good throughput trinket, especially useful for fights with high mobility needs, although you probably only want to equip something like this in place of a +spellpower trinket once the rest of your gear passes muster. – this is being changed to work on melee crits only in 3.0.8.
  • Soul Preserver, from Mal’ganis in CoT:Stratholme. The equip bonus is nice, but the proc is underwhelming; it’s only a 2% proc chance, which comes into its own with multi-target healers. For paladins, it’s probably not the best choice for the slot unless you’re really lacking in trinkets.
  • Tome of Arcane Phenomena, from Eregos in The Oculus. Another starter trinket, better than the stacks of green quest reward trinkets you’re probably drowning in, but to be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Cannoneer’s Fuselighter from an early Icecrown quest. It’s got a good combination of stats, just not enough of them, but it’s the best of the pre-iLevel 200 trinkets.


  • Best option: War Mace of Unrequited Love: drops from the last boss (Keristrasza) in Heroic Nexus, or Titansteel Guardian: BoE craftable by blacksmiths. (Tough choice here; overall I’d pick the War Mace for a better balance of regen vs spellpower, but either one would be fine.)
  • Alternatives: Gavel of the Brewing Storm from Revered reputation with the Wyrmrest Accord, or Gavel of the Fleshcrafter: drops from the second boss (Salramm) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme.
  • There are other options, of course: the Beguiling Scepter from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in CoT:Stratholme, Jeweled Coronation Sword from the last boss (Ymiron) in Utgarde Pinnacle, or Totemic Purification Rod from Revered with the Kalu’ak; these are all good if you’re still waiting on Wyrmrest rep and can’t get the drops you want.
  • In the Meantime: Saronite Spellblade, BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter weapon while you wait to get one of the better options listed above.


  • Best option: Protective Barricade of the Light: 35 Emblems of Heroism
  • Alternatives: Facade Shield of Glyphs: drops from the first boss (Krik’thir the Gatewatcher) in Heroic Azjol-Nerub, or Tor’s Crest: drops from the last boss (King Ymiron) in non-Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. (Personally, I’d take the Crest as I’m finding I strongly prefer crit over mp5 in WotLK.)
  • Tharon’ja’s Aegis from the last boss (The Prophet Tharon’ja) in Drak’tharon Keep is a reasonable stopgap, although inferior to all of the above.
  • In the Meantime: Saronite Protector: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter shield which served me until level 80.

Libram choice is very dependent on your healing style; your typical rotation and spell choices are going to dictate what you find more useful, generally.

If you use Holy Light heavily:

If you rely on Flash of Light:

Unfortunately both of these require PvPing, costing both Honor points and Arena points, but there are no other Flash of Light-centric Librams in WotLK.

Holy Paladin Gear Enhancements 101

This post grew out of an answer I wrote for someone on the PlusHeal forums; I figured other people might find it useful too.

By the time you hit 80 and do a couple of instances, you’ll likely have upgraded a lot of your gear, if not all of it – only a few pieces of BT and Sunwell gear are better than the iLevel 187-200 blues you’ll find in level 80 instances and heroics and on the rep vendors.

One of the easiest ways to wring some extra oomph out of your gear is to make sure it’s fully enchanted – sure, don’t enchant something you pick up at level 73 that you know will be gone by level 77, but once you start picking up stuff in the endgame you really owe it to yourself – and the people you play with – to maximise your gear. The good news is that right now is a cheap time to get your gear enchanted; crafters and enchanters are often willing to do things for very low fees or even provide some of the materials, because they’re scavenging for skill-ups!

So, without further ado, here are the holy-pally-relevant item enhancements that have been introduced in Wrath, along with a bit of commentary and analysis of the choices.

You’ll note that for some slots there are various degrees of enchants for the same stat. In Wrath, many enchants have a basic version with very reasonable mats, and a top-of-the-line version with absolutely hideous mats. Spellpower to weapon is a good example: +50 Spellpower only requires 10 Infinite Dust and 2 Greater Cosmic Essences; +63 Spellpower requires 40 Infinite Dust, 20 Greater Cosmic Essences and 6 Abyss Crystals. Clearly, you’re best off saving the top-of-the-line enchants for gear that won’t be replaced for a long time, and use the cheaper equivalents on blues and early epics.


Your choice here; I tend to prefer Crit over mp5, so that’s what I’d pick.


Again, your choice here depending on whether you prefer Crit or mp5.


Greater Speed is the obvious winner here. Darkglow Embroidery is a reasonable alternative (according to WoWhead it’s got a 35% proc rate with a 75s internal cooldown) if you’re one of the rare paladins who took tailoring. (Damn clothadins!) If you’re having a problem with aggro on specific fights, just get a secondary cloak with Wisdom on it for those fights only.


10 Int is worth about 4 mp5, a tiny amount of Spell Crit, 150 mana and 2 spellpower. Your call as to whether that’s better than 8 mp5; numerically it’s about on par. I’d be inclined to go for Powerful Stats, simply because not only do you get the benefits of 10 int, but you get all the other stats as well. However, if you’re low on mp5 and feeling the pinch (or you can’t afford the significantly higher cost of the Powerful Stats enchant) Greater Mana Restore is a perfectly reasonable choice.


The stand-out winner here is the +23/+30 Spellpower (or the Fur Lining for leatherworkers). +16 Int is nice enough for early gear, and very cheap on mats, but is nowhere near good enough to compete with the spellpower enchants.

Note that unlike all the other crafter-only item enhancements, the blacksmith’s bonus socket is in addition to a regular enchant. Blacksmiths have no excuse for not making use of this.


Given the relative size of the enchants, the Spellpower enchant is vastly better than the Blasting enchant; it’s the only choice here. (And it’s way cheaper on mats, to boot.) For engineers, the Haste tinker apparently works out around a static 24 Haste Rating, which is okay if you’re scrounging for speed, but Spellpower is still way better.

And, as with the Bracers, Blacksmiths should absolutely be socketing their gloves at all times. There’s no reason not to.


These are BoE and craftable by blacksmiths for anyone’s use. There’s no reason not to use them, so do it. A free gem? Yes please!


Much of a muchness here. As a general rule Spirit is all but useless for paladins, so the Stamina threads are better; however, if you regularly get innervates or have much better access to the mats, the Spirit threads are okay.


Both have their upsides; now that Judgements are important to Holy paladins for Judgements of the Pure (and Heart of the Crusader, for the newly-popular critadin builds with 18-20 points in Ret), Hit Rating is not entirely a waste of time. I’d probably go for Icewalker myself, but either is acceptable.


if you’re an enchanter, do this; if not, your rings go unenchanted.


The +Spellpower enchants are the obvious choices here; the Crit and Hit of Accuracy are nice (see the ‘Boots’ section for Spell Hit discussion), but 50-63 Spellpower is an order of magnitude more powerful. I list the Spirit enchant here solely because you may wish to carry a +Spirit weapon and offhand to be swapped in when you get innervated (for instance, after a battle rez). If you don’t get innervates, don’t bother – and, obviously, don’t take the +Spirit gear out of the hands of druids and priests who can make better use of it.


Well, that’s an easy one. :)

Happy gearing!

Instance Quest Checklist: Azjol-Nerub & Ahn'Kahet

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet, the two five-man wings of the Azjol-Nerub hub near Star’s Rest and Agmar’s Hammer in Dragonblight. I’m putting them all in the one checklist because there are so few of them. Also note that all these quests are available to both Alliance and Horde from the same questgivers.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet are two wings of the Dragonblight instance hub also called Azjol-Nerub. The former is a fast, three-boss run full of gauntlets – the first two bosses have little trash other than several waves of trash mobs which attack as part of the boss encounter (much like Mount Hyjal). The latter is a more traditional dungeon with spectacular scenery and a wide range of enemies. Azjol-Nerub is a 72-74 dungeon and Ahn’Kahet is a 73-75 dungeon, but I successfully cleared both of them when I visited at 71 with a group of 70s and 71s. You can’t get the quests until 72 for AN and 73 or 74 for AK.

The history of this zone is tied up with the history of Northrend as a continent. 16,000 years ago Azeroth was dominated by two nations of silithids; the Qiraji in the south and the Nerubians in the north. When Arthas came to power as the Lich King, the Nerubians opposed him and were eventually destroyed; many were turned to his service in undeath. Azjol-Nerub, the Upper Kingdom, is controlled by the Scourge; Ahn’Kahet, the Old Kingdom, is largely populated by Nerubian rebels and their various servants, although the Scourge does have some presence there.


Don’t Forget the Eggs!

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to destroy Nerubian scourge eggs.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The eggs are in a pit off the room with the first boss, Krik’thir the Gatewatcher, and can easily be destroyed after Krik’thir’s been killed.

Death to the Traitor King

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Pro tip for not wiping on the last boss – an impassable wall springs up around the boss platform when the fight starts, so make sure everyone is on the platform within the pillars before you engage. See the image below – you enter down the web ramp on the left, and you can see the purple ‘wall’ that appears when the fight starts. Make sure everyone is inside the outer ring of the platform.

Anub'Arak's platform

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom

The Faceless Ones

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill some trash and the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The Forgotten Ones are the three final trash mobs of the instance, before the last boss. There are only three, so if someone misses credit for one for any reason (being out of range, disconnecting, whatever) they’ll have to re-run the instance to finish the quest.

Funky Fungi

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 or 74 to get.
  • This is a very easy quest to miss. It starts from an item drop within the zone, from mobs don’t otherwise need to be cleared.
  • To get the quest, kill Prince Taldaram and head down the tunnel to the large open area with lots of patrolling humanoids and elementals. To the right is the web ramp to the area of the final boss (Herald Volazj), in front is the third boss (Jedoga Shadowseeker) and to the left there’s a ramp down to a subzone called the Shimmering Bog, full of Savage Cave Beasts.
  • The Savage Cave Beasts drop Ooze-Covered Fungus, which starts this quest. Although it says it requires level 74, there are reports of being able to get the quest at 73, either by clicking on the drop or by having someone else share the quest with you once you’ve got the quest starter item.
  • The quest requires you to collect 6 pieces of Grotesque Fungus, which drop from the Savage Cave Beasts in the Shimmering Bog.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: The Nexus, which is the first dungeon in Borean Tundra.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

The Nexus is the first wing of the instance hub in Borean Tundra also called the Nexus. It’s a level 71-73 instance, although semi-geared level 70s will have no problems with it. It’s in the centre of Coldarra, the island in the NW of the zone which can be accessed by catching a flight from Borean Tundra (for Alliance; I’m not sure where the Horde flights leave from).

Lore-wise, it’s focused around the Blue Dragonflight storyline; it’s a haven for Malygos’s allies and the final boss is a red dragon who’s been magically controlled into being Malygos’s latest consort. (Malygos seems to have bad luck with consorts – Sindragosa, his first consort, is the unlucky dragon who features in the WotLK cinematic and on the loading screen, and his second consort Saragosa meets an untimely end in Coldarra.)


These are the quests you should have when entering The Nexus:

Have They No Shame?

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Librarian Serrah in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to pick up a book from the ground in the Nexus.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Finding the book: it’s on the ground in a tunnel before the first boss, Grand Magus Telestra.

Postponing the Inevitable

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Archmage Berinand in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to use an Interdimensional Refabricator inside The Nexus (on the eastern edge of the platform of Anomalus, the third boss).
  • Precursor chain:
    1. Berinand gives you a quest to take geological readings around Coldarra.
    2. The three main readings are taken in the large blue buildings (which can be seen on the minimap as clumps of blue circles). The readings are taken by clicking on the blue spheres on the ground in each building.
    3. The fourth reading is taken just behind the meeting stone outside the Nexus entrance (down at ground level among the crevasses).
    4. Then return to Berinand, and he gives you this quest.


Prisoner of War

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • This quest is given by Raelorasz in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to lay Keristrasza to rest in the Nexus. This one’s the only long chain in this set, and the second-last step is a pain in the neck:
    1. The chain starts from a dropped item, the Scintillating Fragment which drops from Coldarra Spellbinders and Mage Slayers (the human mobs in the area).
    2. Take the pendant to Raelorasz and he asks you to get items from General Cerulean and Warbringer Goredrak. These are two named mobs – a dragonkin and a drakonid respectively – who can be found on the blue ‘summoning circle’ areas near the Nexus. General Cerulean is to the north of the Nexus, Warbringer Goredrak is to the south-west.
    3. Raelorasz then gives you an item which can be used to summon/release Keristrasza, a member of the Red Dragonflight.
    4. Keristrasza wants to deal with Malygos, and asks you to gather Crystallized Mana Shards from around Coldarra – they’re pinky-purple crystals that can be picked up from the ground.
    5. Then she asks you to kill Saragosa.
    6. Once you’ve done that, return to Raelorasz, who gives you a quest to lure Malygos out. Warning: this quest can bug out easily. Here’s how to complete it.
      • First, ride to the north-west entrance of the Nexus (around 25,23), and use the Flare Gun you’re given. This calls Keristrasza down. Make sure you’re dismounted.
      • However, do not use the flare gun if Keristrasza is already on the ground doing the quest event for someone else – make sure you don’t fire it til she has flown away, or you’ll put your flare gun on cooldown and cause the quest to bug for the person who was there first.
      • When Keristrasza lands, she’ll address you, so you know it’s your turn to do the quest. She lies Saragosa’s corpse on the ground, calls to Malygos, sets Saragosa’s corpse on fire, and then flies off (with you on her back – you don’t have to mount up, it’s just an automatic part of the quest event).
      • Keristrasza flies around for a while, then lands – do not move and you should get the quest completion just fine, unless it’s bugged out. (Malygos then turns up, taunts her, freezes her and takes her away, but that’s not your concern until later.) If you fail to get the completion, you’ll have to redo the event from the flare gun step.
    7. Return to Raelorasz, who gives you the final quest to enter the Nexus and lay Keristrasza to rest.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

With the launch of Wrath of the Lich King (which I am thoroughly enoying, incidentally), there are a whole bunch of unfamiliar instances to play in. Of course, one can dive right in and just go for the sights and the bosses and the loot, but in the drive to hit 80 some quest XP is always nice.

Edit: Galadria has posted a horde-side quest guide on her blog.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

Utgarde Keep is the first and easiest dungeon in Wrath of the Lich King. It’s inhabited by half-giant vrykul, and is a quick and easy run (until you get to the last boss, who is disproportionately difficult).


These are the quests you should have when entering Utgarde Keep:


  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Defender Mordun in Howling Fjord to loot items from within the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.

Into Utgarde!

Quick and easy, just like the instance!

Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet: WotLK

Finally, the WotLK version of the much-loved Jewelcrafting Quick Reference Sheet. The format’s changed slightly and it’s not as pretty, because Blizzard introduced a ton of new gem cuts in WotLK, and there just wasn’t room for them in the old layout.

This table includes all jewelcrafting gem cuts excluding BoP gems that are JC-only. It is current as of 3 November 08, final WotLK beta build.

Jewelcrafting Reference TableJewelcrafting Reference Table

If you prefer it in PDF form, you can download a copy here: jc30a.pdf.

Last updated 7 November 08.

Edit, later on 7th November: Sharp-eyed reader Canth spotted two duplicate entries; I’ve corrected them, and taken a moment to fix some formatting issues. If you downloaded the PDF already, you might want to grab the new copy.