Tag Archives: paladin

Bubble Spec: the New Hotness

Ever since WotLK rolled melee and spell crit into one crit rating, Holy/Ret has been the spec of choice for the vast majority of holy paladins out there, with this 51/5/15 spec being the most popular choice. (Others choose to sacrifice 3 points in Divinity for an extra 3% crit from Sanctity of Battle, which is a reasonable choice.)

The classic Holy/Ret build synergises excellently with the current strength of Crit Rating as a holy paladin stat, but there’s a new contender on the scene: the 51/17/+3 Shield spec.

51/17/+3 Bubble Spec

This build sacrifices the extra 5-8% Crit chance from the Ret tree, which will be significantly less useful after 3.2. In exchange, it picks up Guardian’s Favor, for more frequent HoProtections, and two key talents:

Divine Sacrifice redirects 30% of all damage taken by raid members within 30 yards to you, for 10 seconds. Like Hand of Sacrifice, it’s capped at 150% of your health – but if you have Divine Shield up, that cap doesn’t trigger and it’ll mitigate the full 30% for 10 seconds. This is invaluable in situations where you’ve got big incoming damage on more than one target, or significant raid-wide damage (such as XT-002’s Tantrum, or Hodir’s Frozen Blows).

Edit: As a commenter pointed out, there are some indications that this will be “fixed” in 3.2 so that Bubble or No Bubble, it still caps at 150%. That definitely reduces the utility of the cooldown, although it doesn’t affect Divine Guardian.

Divine Guardian increases your Divine Sacrifice to 40%, which is a nice bonus, and it doubles the duration of your Sacred Shield and increases the amount your SS absorbs by 20%. That’s a hell of a lot of punch from two talent points.

This build really comes into its own when you’ve got 4 pieces of Tier 8 armor, for the set bonus: “Your Sacred Shield can now trigger its effect every 4 sec instead of every 6“. Effectively, this set bonus provides up to an extra 50% mitigation by letting Sacred Shield proc more often; when combined with the increase in absorption from Divine Guardian, your Sacred Shield can become a very powerful protective tool.

I know it’s hard to put aside the Crit Rating for something as unglamorous as a better shield, but I think every holy pally should at least take a look at this build when patch 3.2 hits, if they haven’t already.

Preparing for Mana Regen Changes in 3.2

Blizzard have been unhappy about the state of holy paladins for a while now – apparently crit is “too strong” a stat for us, and they don’t like our distaste for mp5 – and as has been widely reported, 3.2 brings some pretty solid regen nerfs to the table for us. In return, they’re buffing the mp5 on most items, in an attempt to make it more appealing for us.

The Changes

Most of the changes were announced or foreshadowed in this post:

So, we loseWeight Exercise 5% of our intellect, plus Replenishment’s been cut by 20%, plus crit-based mana regen has been halved. In exchange, we get a more powerful Beacon of Light (which is a subject for another post), and 25% more mp5.

Crunching Numbers

If you want to know just how this is going to affect you, you need to take a look at overall data from a raid, rather than just relying on your perceptions. I’ll use WoWWebStats (WWS) parses here to demonstrate, but you can also use other sites like WoWMeterOnline (WMO) or World of Logs (WOL).

Before a raid, take note of how much holy crit rating you have – personally, I’m usually around the 41-42% mark when buffed (since I don’t usually get Focus Magic, and we don’t have a regular raiding boomkin).

Step 1: Recalculate your Intellect

Because we’re losing 1/3 of the boost of Divine Intellect, it’s important to note how that affects our other stats.

To calculate this, make note of your stats when raid-buffed, then divide your current Intellect by 1.15 and multiply the result by 1.10, to see your raid-buffed Intellect after patch 3.2.

In my case, I’ll be going from 1657 Intellect to 1584 Intellect, a drop of 73 Int. Losing 73 Int costs me 1095 Mana and about 0.438% Spell Crit, which will further reduce the effects of Replenishment and Illumination.

Reducing mana pool will also affect the mana return from Divine Plea, but that’s a factor that’s under your control, as you can adjust how frequently you use Plea to compensate for a reduced return.

Step 2: Illumination

After the raid, take a look at the WWS parse. (If your raid group doesn’t use WWS or an equivalent service, you can save your own combat logs and upload them for your own use.) Select yourself, and pick a boss fight you think was typical, or pick “all bosses” or “defeated bosses” from the split menu if you want an average for the whole night.

Now, look at the top section of stats, and look for your “HPS time” stat. That’s the amount of time WWS identifies you as healing.

WWS Parse - Part 1
(Click to enlarge.)

This sample just shows one fight, so the HPS time is 6:17. If it’s a full night, the HPS time will be far higher, of course (but lower than you’d expect, since every raid wastes a surprising amount of time on getting ready, recovering from wipes, clearing trash, strategising, and so on).

So, now you’ve got the time you spent healing, the next step is to find out how much mana you got back from critical heals during this time. For this, click on the “Energies & Dispells” tab below the first block of stats, and look for Illumination (which is the talent that restores mana after crit heals).

WWS Parse - Part 2
(Click to enlarge.)

From these two screenshots, you can see that I spent six minutes and seventeen seconds healing (or 377 seconds), and got 27,718 mana back from crit heals. This equates to approximately 73.5 mana per second, or 367.6 mp5. Obviously, these numbers are going to vary based on factors like the rest of your healing team, whether it’s a progression fight or farm content, your latency, and so on.

So, my 41% spell crit gave me back mana equivalent to 367.6 mp5 on that fight. Halve that. That’s how much mana regen you’ll loseWeight Exercise from crits when patch 3.2 hits.

Also note that your reduced Intellect (as calculated in Step 1 above) will also reduce your spell crit, reducing Illumination-based mana returns further.

Step 3: Replenishment

On WWS Replenishment will show up in the “Energies and Dispells” display, just like Illumination. It doesn’t show on the screenshot above, because that fight had no-one with Replenishment, so here’s a sample screenshot (from a fight with 5:46 HPS time).

WWS Parse - Part 3
(Click to enlarge.)

On this fight, Replenishment restored 8190 mana over 346 seconds, an equivalent of about 118.3 mp5.

To calculate the effect of the 3.2 changes on how much mana you get from Replenishment, you’ll need to do two things:

Take the Replenishment value, and multiply it by 0.8. This new value accounts for the nerf to Replenishment itself. Now take this new value, and multiply it by 0.956, which accounts for the nerf to Divine Intellect (since 0.956 is 1.15/1.10). That’s the new amount of mana you’d have regained from Replenishment in an otherwise identical situation, post-3.2.

Using the screenshot as an example, we get 8190 * 0.8 * 0.956 = 6263 mana over 346 seconds, or about 90.5 mp5. That’s a loss of nearly 28 mp5, on this particular fight.

Obviously, that’s a very small sample; for accuracy, you’re best off looking at a number of raids and totalling all the Replenishment mana returns and HPS times before you do any calculations.

Step 4: mp5

This one’s the most straightforward calculation. On your character sheet, take a look at your current mana regeneration while casting (without Blessing of Wisdom), and multiply that by 1.25. That’s your new gear-based mp5 total.

The Impact

Using the above calculations, you can work out how much mp5 you’ll loseWeight Exercise from the nerfs to Intellect, Illumination and Replenishment, and how much you’ll gain from the buff to mp5 on gear and enchants. If you’re still primarily in Naxx gear, you’ll likely loseWeight Exercise a fair bit of mana regen overall, because there was plenty of Naxx gear with Haste & Crit, and no mp5. If you’ve moved into Ulduar gear, the impact will be lower as pretty much every single piece of Ulduar spellpower plate has mp5 on it.

However, there’s one important factor to bear in mind: mana regen from mp5 is not the same as mana regen from crit. Quantitatively, they might still give you back the same amount of mana; qualitatively; they’re different.

Mana regen from spell crits lends itself to spike-based healing; crit-focused healers are good at throwing out a lot of healing very fast to compensate for damage spikes, and Illumination restores mana dynamically; the more you use, the more you regen.

Mp5-based mana regen, on the other hand, is a steady trickle of mana; if you engage in over-enthusiastic spike healing, you may run yourself excessively mana-dry until you wait for the pool to slowly top itself back up again. mp5-based mana regen lends itself to more measured, steady healing to keep a target topped up, and is particularly aided by mitigation from shields and damage diversion abilities (like HoSac and Divine Sac).

Whether we like it or not, Blizz has decreed that we need to focus more on mp5 and less on crit. Numbercrunching will help us mitigate the impact of the changes – by being ready to use more mp5-based gear, for instance – but it’s also going to be important to keep playstyle changes in mind, too.

Choosing Your Attributes

Hey folks, sorry it’s been so quiet around here lately — between family health woes and recovering from being sick myself, I haven’t had two brain cells to rub together! Things should be back to normal now, though.

There are plenty of guides around – my own, and other people’s – that tell you what gear goals you should set, how you should gem, what consumables you should use. The big problem with most of these guides is that they don’t tell you why. They don’t make the relationships between healer stats clear, so people wind up following a set of rules they don’t understand.

If comments on my posts are anything to go by, there are a lot of other-spec paladins learning the ins and outs of Holy, trying to make sense of all the advice. Knowledge is power, so let’s take a step back and look at first principles: your attributes.

1. Spellpower

This is your single most important stat, in the sense that if you don’t have enough of it, all the other stats in the world won’t help. There’s no point having a mana pool that will last for ten minutes of chain-casting if your heals aren’t big enough to keep your tank up.

Spellpower, obviously, increases the size of a number of your spells: Holy Light, Flash of Light, Holy Shock, Sacred Shield, Consecrate, Judgement of Light, and Exorcism. Healing spells have the following Spellpower coefficients:

  • Holy Light: 166%
  • Flash of Light: 100%
  • Holy Shock: 81%
  • Sacred Shield: 75%

What this means is if you have 1500 Spellpower, your Holy Lights will heal for an extra 2490 (1500 * 1.66), your Flashes of Light will heal for an extra 1500, and so on.

2. Intellect (and mana)

Intellect is the new black, as far as holy paladins are concerned. I’ve written about this before in detail, but to reiterate: all the important sources of mana regeneration are either based directly off the size of your mana pool (Divine Plea, Replenishment, Mana Tide Totem) or are affected by the amount of Intellect you have (Illumination-based mana return from heals that crit).

So Intellect has three main benefits:

  • It increases the size of your mana pool, thereby increasing your mana regen
  • It increases your crit chance, thereby increasing both your mana return and your throughput
  • It increases your spellpower (via Holy Guidance), thereby increasing your throughput

Great synergy; there’s nothing about Intellect that’s useless, and that’s why you’ll see holy paladins running around with a 30K mana pool in raids.

3. Crit rating

Crit rating increases your chance to crit, and that has three flow-on effects:

  • It increases your throughput; a crit heal does 50% more healing than a non-crit.
  • It returns 60% of the mana cost of the spell, from the Illumination Holy talent.
  • If it’s a Holy Shock that just crit, it will trigger the Infusion of Light effect, making your next Flash of Light instant or your next Holy Light very fast indeed. This is fantastic for healing-intensive moments and mobile fights. (Note that in 3.1, Infusion will still make FoL instant, but it will increase crit chance on HL instead of cutting 1 sec off its cast time.)

Obviously, crit is very popular with most paladins; including talents, you can get over 40% unbuffed Holy crit chance in Naxx-25 gear.

At level 80, 45.9 Crit Rating gives you 1% chance to crit.

4. Haste rating

Haste is something of the ‘new kid on the block’; it’s something that most paladins haven’t seen on their gear before (unless they were raiding Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau). It decreases the time required to cast a spell, but the way the mechanics work make a lot of people go crosseyed.

I read a fantastic guide to spell haste the other day, but stupidly I forgot to bookmark it, so I can’t link you all to it. So, I shall roll up my sleeves and attempt to explain it myself.

The way to make sense of Haste is in terms of how many spells it will allow you to cast in a given time period. 10% spell haste doesn’t knock 10% off the cast time of a spell, it means that in a given amount of time you can cast 10% more spells. In fifteen seconds, you could normally cast 10 Flashes of Light. 10% spell haste makes each FoL faster, so that you can fit 11 of them into those fifteen seconds.

The formula for calculating your cast time when you have Haste gear is:
[New Cast Time] = [Base Cast Time] / [1 + Spell Haste]

So the base cast time of Flash of Light is 1.5 seconds; if you have 10% Haste, it reduces the cast time to (1.5 / 1.1), or 1.36 seconds. If you have 20% Haste, FoL’s cast time is (1.5 / 1.2), or 1.25 seconds. And so on.

There are a few things to know about Haste:

  • It reduces the Global Cooldown as well, down to a minimum of 1 second.
  • It does nothing to affect your mana efficiency on a per-spell basis, so if you don’t have enough Intellect/mana, Haste just means “I can go out of mana even quicker!”
  • As your Haste rating increases, more Haste has less effect on the cast time of any one spell, but it still increases how many spells you can cast over a given time by the same amount.
  • Haste is multiplicative, so if you have 10% haste from gear and another 5% from buffs, you actually have 15.5% Haste, not 15%.
  • If you incorporate all the haste effects you might get in a raid (Wrath of Air Totem, a Ret paladin’s Retribution Aura, your own Judgements of the Pure talent, et cetera) 20.6% Haste from gear and consumables will get you to the ‘cap’ of 1.0 second Flashes of Light (and a 1.0 second GCD).

At level 80, 1% spell haste requires approximately 32.79 Haste Rating.

Bear in mind that haste has two effects on your healing: a) it increases your overall throughput, by allowing you to cast more spells in the same amount of time, and b) it increases your responsiveness by reducing your cast time, allowing you to get that emergency lifesaving heal off that much faster. As your Haste increases, the effect of more haste on the latter decreases – it still reduces your cast time, just not by as much.

5. Mana Per 5, aka mp5

mp5 does exactly what it says on the tin: you regain the listed amount of mana every five seconds, regardless of whether you’re in combat or not, casting or not, moving or not – the only requirement is for you to be alive. :)

mp5 used to be beloved of holy paladins, back when we were all Flash of Light spammers. Because Flash of Light is much more mana-efficient than Holy Light, crit-based mana return didn’t matter as much, whereas well-stacked mp5 let you cast Flash of Light til the cows came home.

That’s changed in WotLK however; for starters, we need to use Holy Light heavily to keep up with incoming damage, and the mp5 needed to keep up with that would be prohibitively high. Secondly, gearing for Int gives better mana regen and throughput than gearing for mp5.

mp5 is not a bad stat, and there’s no need to ignore an item just because it has mp5. However, taking mp5 at the expense of superior mana return stats – that is, Intellect and Crit – is generally a mistake.

There are a couple of limited situations where mp5 may beat Int and Crit: if you’re silenced a lot, and can’t cast (to cast Divine Plea or regen mana from spell crits), if you have to move a lot, or if you never have a Replenishment buffer in the raid, no access Mana Tide Totem, and are bearing a lot of the healing load so you can’t afford to Divine Plea often.

mp5 may also become more valuable in Ulduar, if the tanks are taking Ridiculous Amounts of Damage™ and we have to heal so hard that we can’t afford to Divine Plea on a regular basis. However, there’s still a dichotomy in that gearing for mp5 probably won’t provide enough regen to compensate for such heavy healing; at that stage, stacking crit is likely to be more valuable (although I haven’t done the maths yet to model that;

So, What Do You Pick?

Most paladin guides you read say “stack Intellect!” with no exceptions or explanations. However, I tend to believe that that’s overly simplistic and not terribly helpful advice without context – these are generally guides aimed at raiding paladins, and stat advice for a geared healer in a 25-man raid group is quite different from guidelines appropriate for a starting healer in 5-mans.

Assuming you’re starting from scratch as a fresh 80, you’ll be running 5-mans and heroics while you’re gearing up for raids. (If you’re swapping from ret or prot as a raider and you’ve picked up a fair bit of offspec healing gear already, you can probably jump to the last stages of this process.)

As a fresh 80, in 5-mans and heroics, people aren’t going to die because you ran out of mana after a ten-minute fight; if the fight’s long enough for you to OOM, your DPSers are probably underperforming. No, in my experience, people generally died in 5-mans and heroics because I couldn’t keep up with incoming damage, or I couldn’t get a heal onto them fast enough after a spike.

As such, you should be gearing for spellpower first; extra mana’s no good if your heals aren’t big or fast enough to keep the tank up. So focus on spellpower until you have a reasonable level of it – as a rule of thumb, I’d say you should stack spellpower until 1650 or so. (Within reason, of course; don’t equip green “of spellpower” gear that has no other stats on it.) You’ll get Crit and Haste as part of this process, as just about every piece of appropriate gear has one or the other on it – sometimes, if you’re lucky, both.

Once you have a reasonable level of spellpower, start diversifying. Make sure your crit and haste levels are up to scratch – 30% holy crit, unbuffed, is a reasonable target for crit, and somewhere around 250 haste rating (8% Haste). This is the point at which you can start stacking Intellect in your gem and enchant selection.

TL/DR! What’s the bottom line?

You need to gear for spellpower first, to make sure you can keep up with incoming damage, before you start stacking Intellect like all the other guides say.

Holy Paladin FAQ – v1.0 (Pre-3.1)

Credits: This FAQ was developed in response to a request from Josh of Eye For An Eye, and was created at the PlusHeal forums with input from the community there. I’m posting a modified version of it here as a number of readers don’t frequent PlusHeal (although you should! it’s great!). The format is based on Josh’s excellent Ret 3.0 FAQ.

Holy FAQ – WotLK – Pre 3.1

  • Current as of 27 Mar, WotLK 3.0.9 build 9551.
  • This FAQ includes details that will be not be relevant after 3.1 goes live. It will be updated ASAP.
  • Many answers are simplistic and don’t go into details about choices in gearing, consumables, et cetera. This is intended to be an all-in-one FAQ; detailed discussions are elsewhere.


0. What do I do?

More than any other healer, paladin healers have a clearly defined role: you excel at healing a single target (or two) for massive amounts. You have no Heal-over-Time spells and no AoE heals, but you can keep a tank up through tremendous spike damage.

Which is not to say you can never heal a 5-man, or raid heal successfully – you certainly can, but it’s not your speciality.


1. How should I spec?

For PvE: 51/0/20 or, if you can’t rely on having Kings from another paladin, 51/5/15.
Some paladins choose to take the two points out of Pursuit of Justice, and put them into the Holy tree, into Conc Aura and/or Aura Mastery for a 53/0/18 build.

For PvP: 51/20/0 is the most common build for pure healing and support, although there are popular Holy/Ret hybrids for PvP as well.

2. What Seal should I use?

Use Seal of Wisdom or Seal of Light, depending on which one you have Glyphed (see Q. 7 below). This is purely to activate your glyph, as you’ll rarely be swinging in melee.

3. What spells should I use?

There are no hard-and-fast rules about what spells to use in what order, as healing is fundamentally a reactive activity and your choice of spells should always be based on the situation.

Flash of Light is a low-throughput spell with very good mana efficiency. Use this for non-urgent raid heals, and topping off the tank if they’re not taking much damage.
Holy Light is a high-throughput spell and is often used as the core heal for tank healing.
Holy Shock is a talent-based spell; it heals for a little more than Flash of Light, but is instant (with a 6s CD). Use this for an urgent heal. A crit Holy Shock gives you the Infusion of Light buff, making your next Flash of Light instant or your next Holy Light very fast and is a good way to put out a lot of healing fast.

Beacon of Light is excellent in situations where a couple of people are taking heavy damage, and can allow you to toss some raid heals while still healing your tank. Keep it on your tank in 5-mans; in raids put it on your heal target (if you’re going to be doing a lot of raid healing as well) or on someone else taking heavy damage. It’s costly on mana, so don’t cast it if it won’t be any use.

Sacred Shield should be used on people who will be taking multiple sources of damage, as it only kicks in after the first damage is taken. It does scale with spellpower, so it can absorb a lot of damage when cast a holy paladin. Try and keep it up at all times on your heal target.

4. What Judgement should I cast?

This depends on the situation:

– If you are the only paladin, use whichever your raid needs. If they’re not short of mana, go with Judgement of Light as a default.
– If there are multiple specs of paladin, have the ret paladins judge Light and the prot paladins judge Wisdom. (If the ret paladins want to judge Wisdom, that’s okay too.) Do not overwrite the prot paladin’s Judgement.

For more information on the complexities of who judges what, see this PlusHeal thread, and my previous blog post on the subject.

5. What Blessings do I want?

Wisdom > Kings > Sanctuary > Might until you start getting well-geared, then Kings > Wisdom.

See this post by Gryphonheart for details.


6. What stats do I want?

There is no easy answer to this question. Gearing as a healer is a balancing act between stats that improve your throughput (Spellpower, Haste, Crit, Intellect) and stats that improve your mana longevity (Intellect, Crit, mp5).

Intellect is the primary stat for a paladin healer because it affects your mana longevity (via mana pool, mana return effects like Divine Plea, Replenishment and Mana Tide Totem, and increasing your crit chance) and it affects your throughput (via Holy Guidance and increasing your crit chance). However, stacking Intellect early in the gearing process means you’ll never run out of mana, but your heals won’t be big enough to keep your tank alive.

As a general rule, go with the following order of priority on stats:

1. Intellect
2. Spellpower (which should be #1 on this list until you reach about 1700-1800; after that, focus on Intellect and the Spellpower will come via upgrades anyway)
3. Crit
4. Haste (but don’t go over about 500; much more than that is wasted due to the extra haste from your Judgements)
5. mp5 (far less important than the first four, but not useless)
6. Stamina

Bear in mind that unlike priests or druids, you will rarely get any benefit from Spirit. Don’t throw gear away just because it has Spirit, but ignore it completely when assessing an item’s worth.

7. What glyphs should I use?


Minor: none of these are essential; feel free to change them.

8. What enchants should I use?

See this post for a full run-down. In brief:

Helm: Arcanum of Burning Mysteries, Revered with Kirin Tor
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Storm, Exalted with Sons of Hodir, or Master’s Inscription of the Storm if you’re a Scribe.
Cloak: Greater Speed
Chest: Powerful Stats or Exceptional Mana
Bracers: Superior Spellpower or Fur Lining – Spellpower if you’re a Leatherworker.
Gloves: Exceptional Spellpower
Belt: Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs: Sapphire Spellthread
Boots: Icewalker
Ring: Greater Spellpower if you’re an enchanter.
Weapon: Mighty Spellpower
Shield: Greater Intellect

9. What gems should I use?

The best gems for socket colors are:

Red sockets: Runed Scarlet Ruby

Yellow sockets: Brilliant Autumn’s Glow or Smooth Autumn’s Glow

Red or yellow sockets: Luminous Monarch Topaz or Potent Monarch Topaz

Blue sockets: Royal Twilight Opal or Dazzling Forest Emerald

Follow your order of priorities from Question 6. If you’re still in the stage of gearing up spellpower, use Runed gems in red sockets, and Luminous or Potent gems in yellow sockets. If you’ve hit your target for spellpower, use Luminous gems in red sockets, and Brilliant gems in yellow sockets.

For blue sockets, the gems are so weak (relatively speaking) that you should think long and hard about whether you really need that socket bonus; there’s nothing wrong with putting an orange gem in a blue socket if the socket bonus is only 2 mp5.

Meta socket: The Insightful Earthsiege Diamond is streets ahead of the competition. (See this Elitist Jerks thread for the maths.)

For more details see this post (although bear in mind it’s old and some of the advice could use an update for raiders).

10. Should I stack any melee stats?
Generally, no.

– Crit and Haste Rating are equally useful for spells.
– Stamina is always nice; don’t gear for it, but consider it a bonus.
– Hit Rating is useful for making sure you land your Judgement for the haste buff, but shouldn’t be taken over anything more healery.
– Strength, Attack Power and Armor Penetration are useless. Defense, Dodge, Parry, Block Rating and Block Value are nearly as useless.

When it comes to the ‘perfect storm’ of holy paladin stats – Spellpower, Crit, Haste and Intellect – you’ll often find similar stats on elemental shaman mail, and it can make a good stopgap while looking for plate alternatives. Resto shaman mail is decent too, although it often has mp5 instead of crit, making it much less attractive.

11. Does my weapon matter?

Only the caster stats on it. On the rare occasions you melee with it, your ‘white damage’ (the damage caused by the actual DPS of the weapon) is irrelevant.

12. What consumables should I use?

Potions: Runic Mana Potion or Potion of Speed depending on your needs.

Elixirs: Flask of the Frostwyrm as the baseline flask, or Spellpower Elixir and Elixir of Mighty Thoughts for Elixirs instead of a Flask.

Food: Fish Feast if your raid uses them; otherwise Firecracker Salmon or Tender Shoveltusk Steak

See this post for more options and alternatives.


13. What addons should I use?

This is very much a matter of personal choice, so I can’t give you a canonical list of ‘the best’.

Plus, of course, any normal addons you might want to use like boss mods, threat meters and so on.

14. What macros should I use?

Again, there are no hard-and-fast rules here. Commonly people will talk about two frequently-used macros:

Mouseover Macro

This macro is used where you float your mouse cursor over your raid frames and hit your macro keybind when you’re mousing over the heal target. It’s fast because you don’t have to select a target, and good for healing lots of people at once (eg raid healing) or decursing/cleansing.

#showtooltip Flash of Light
/cast [target=mouseover][help] Flash of Light

Replace with the spell of your choice.

Healthrough Macro

This macro is designed so that if you have a hostile mob targeted (like a boss), you can cast your heal spell and it will land on the hostile mob’s target. It’s great for healing where you need to save whoever the boss is targeting and change targets fast.

#showtooltip Flash of Light
/cast [button:2,target=player][target=target,help][target=targettarget,help][target=none] Flash of Light

In order, this macro:
– Casts FoL on myself if I right click. If I left click or use the keybinding, then:
– Casts FoL on my target if they’re friendly. If they’re not, then:
– Casts FoL on my target’s target if they’re friendly. If not, then:
– Gives me the glowy-hand spell targeting cursor.

Replace with the spell name of your choice.

Rez Macro

This is used if your healers don’t use addons with rez monitors, to help cut down time wasted by three people rezzing the same corpse.

#showtooltip Redemption
/cast Redemption
/stopmacro [combat,nohelp,nodead]
/say Upsadaisy, %t!

Change the /say to /raid or /# (where # is your healer channel number) if that suits your raid group better.

For more useful macros, see PlusHeal: thread 1, thread 2, and the Macros forum.


Tier 8 Gear Sets – First Look

MMO-Champion has just posted information on the Tier 8 gear in the recent PTR patch (build 9704).

The sets:

First, let me say that the set does look better with a kilt than with pants, but I’m still pretty sad about the way this armor set turned out (compared with the awesomeness of the concept art, especially). This is one helm I won’t be showing, for fear of feeling like Thomas the Tank Engine.

Secondly, I’m disappointed: the Helm and Chest of the 25-man set are available on the Emblems of Conquest quartermaster, for 48 Emblems of Conquest each. However, logically the Emblems of Valor vendor should have two pieces of the 10-man set for Emblems of Valor, and they… don’t. Which makes it tough for people in 10-man teams who have poor luck with the RNG, or who pug and don’t get to rely on getting an equal shot at loot. I hope Blizzard will put the items on there.

That said, now let’s look at the stats.

For comparison’s sake:

  • 10-man Tier 7: 299 Stam, 309 Int, 35 mp5, 9105 Armor, 184 Crit, 181 Haste, 391 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 3 red sockets, 2 yellow sockets, 2 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 5 mp5, 12 Haste, 4 Crit)
  • 10-man Tier 8: 353 Stam, 363 Int, 74 mp5, 9432 Armor, 153 Crit, 214 Haste, 481 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 2 red sockets, 1 yellow socket, 4 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 28 Spellpower, 4 Haste)
  • Net effect of upgrading all 5 pieces: +54 Stam, +54 Int, +39 mp5, +327 Armor, -31 Crit, +23 Haste, +90 Spellpower, plus a change in gemming (if you socket for color).
  • 25-man Tier 7: 335 Stam, 345 Int, 40 mp5, 9335, 212 Crit, 203 Haste, 453 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 3 red sockets, 2 yellow sockets, 2 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 5 mp5, 12 Haste, 4 Crit)
  • 25-man Tier 8: 381 Stam, 386 Int, 79 mp5, 9538 Armor, 167 Crit, 249 Haste, 525 Spellpower, 1 meta socket, 2 red sockets, 1 yellow socket, 4 blue sockets. (Socket bonuses total: 28 Spellpower, 4 Haste)
  • Net effect of upgrading all 5 pieces: +46 Stam, +41 Int, +39 mp5, +203 Armor, -45 Crit, +46 Haste, +72 Spellpower, plus a change in gemming (if you socket for color).

It’s interesting to note that both armor sets nearly double their mp5 at the expense of Crit, and that the socket colors are an attempt to push people to socket more mp5 gems. I’ve never been more thankful to be a jewelcrafter, with my prismatic gems.

And the set bonus:

  • Paladin T8 Holy 2P Bonus — Your Holy Shock critical heals now also place a periodic healing effect on the target, healing for 15% of the Holy Shock’s heal amount over 9 sec.
  • Paladin T8 Holy 4P Bonus — Increases the damage absorbed by your Sacred Shield by 10%.

The 2P bonus sounds nice, but at 2k spellpower a crit Holy Shock lands for an average of ~6200, which means the HoT component only does 930 healing over a further 9 seconds, which is virtually insignificant.

The 4P bonus again sounds nice; at 2k spellpower your Sacred Shield will absorb 2200 damage instead of 2000 damage. (Sacred Shield absorbs 500 + 0.75*Spellpower.) Given that each Sacred Shield iteration will absorb that much, and it’ll trigger up to five times for one cast of the spell, this means you’re potentially gaining about 1000 damage absorption.

However, to be honest, both of these feel pretty underwhelming next to the Tier 7 set bonuses: 2pT7 is +10% crit to Holy Shock, 4pT7 is -5% cost to Holy Light. Unless I’m missing something, the T8 bonuses just aren’t in the same league.

And there’s a relic:

  • Paladin T8 Holy Relic — Increases spell power of Holy Light by 160.

This is available for 25 Emblems of Valor, on the EoV quartermaster in Dalaran. However, I don’t think it’s superior to the Libram of Renewalfor 40 Emblems of Heroism – especially not given that Ulduar is meant to be a more mana-stringent raid. Still, if you’ve got spare EoVs lying around, it could well be useful for fast-furious-spam-frenzy fights where mana conservation isn’t an issue.

More Paladin Changes in 3.1 – Build 9684

Things are changing pretty fast for paladins at the moment. This is nothing like the huge revamp in 3.0.2, but there’s a lot to adjust to anyway.

From MMO-Champion, an update to the official patch notes and a list of undocumented changes.


  • Divine Plea can once again be dispelled.
  • Exorcism: Now can be used on any target and has a 100% chance to be a critical strike when used on Undead and Demons.
  • Shield of Righteousness: Base damage and scaling factor increased by 30%.
  • Spiritual Attunement: Removed from trainers. It is now available deep in the Protection tree for 2 ranks at 5/10%.

Divine Plea being dispellable is a PvP issue; I have some reservations about this, but until there’s strong PvP on the test servers it’s hard to judge the impact. (That said, it feels like something of a bait-and-switch, since Divine Plea was made undispellable when they nerfed it to reduce healing by 50%.)

The Exorcism change is a nice one; it helps normalise paladin damage, and gives Holy paladins in particular a bit more oomph in solo content. The Shield of Righteousness change is a straight buff, so woot for that.

The Spiritual Attunement change, on the other hand, is extremely disappointing. Now you will have to be Protection to tank anything; no more tanking as Holy in Prot gear. I can understand why they didn’t want non-tanking paladins to have access to Spiritual Attunement, to help control our mana, but it really detracts from our nature as a hybrid if we have to spec Prot to tank anything. Rohan over at Blessing of Kings has an excellent post on the issue: Will the Last Hybrid Paladin Please Turn Off the Lights? which includes a couple of much more elegant ways of restricting access to Spiritual Attunement.

Holy Talents, Patch 9684Holy

  • Judgements of the Pure was moved from Tier 10 to Tier 9.
  • Sacred Cleansing was moved from Tier 9 to Tier 8.
  • Enlightened Judgements was moved from Tier 9 to Tier 10.
  • Infusion of Light was moved from Tier 8 to Tier 10.
  • Aura Mastery now causes your Concentration Aura to make all affected targets immune to Silence and Interrupt effects and improve the effect of all other auras by 100%.
  • Blessed Hands: Now reduces mana cost of Hand of Freedom, Sacrifice and Salvation by 15/30%, and improves the effectiveness of Hand of Salvation by 50/100% and Hand of Sacrifice by an additional 5/10%. Moved to Tier 4.
  • Pure of Heart: Now reduces duration of all curse, disease, and poison effects by 15/30%.
  • Purifying Power: Now reduces the cooldowns of Exorcism and Holy Wrath by 17/33% instead of increasing critical strike chance.

The talent shifts are a little confusing to read like that; click the image on the right to see how the tree actually looks. (Please ignore the slightly dodgy spec; I was just picking up Aura Mastery to test it out.) For the classic 51-point PvE builds, it’s still perfectly straightforward to get all the abilities you need.

The Blessed Hands change is a nice buff; it previously reduced mana cost and increased dispel resistance for all hands. It’s worth noting that the new version provides no benefit for Hand of Protection, but the other changes are useful both for PvP and PvE. It’s actually a viable alternative to Imp BoWis or Imp Lay on Hands now.


  • Greater Blessing of Sanctuary now gives the target 2% of maximum displayed mana when the target blocks, parries, or dodges a melee attack.
  • Guarded by the Light got an additional effect – In addition, your Divine Plea spell is 50/100% less likely to be dispelled.
  • Ardent Defender: Reduced to 3 ranks for 10/20/30%.
  • Avenger’s Shield: Base damage and scaling factor increased by 30%.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: Now only grants mana on dodge/parry/block. In addition, will only grant mana if that is the active power type of the friendly target (Bears and Cats won’t gain mana).
  • Improved Hammer of Justice: Reduced to 2 ranks for 10/20-second cooldown reduction.
  • Holy Shield: Base damage and scaling factor increased by 30%.
  • Judgements of the Just: Now also reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 10/20 seconds, and increases the duration of the Seal of Justice stun effect by .5/1 second.
  • One-Handed Weapon Specialization: Reduced to 3 ranks for 4/7/10%.
  • Shield of the Templar: No longer increases the damage done by Holy Shield, Avenger’s Shield, and Shield of Righteousness. Now grants 33/66/100% chance to silence your Avenger’s Shield targets for 3 seconds.

From a healer perspective, most of these changes won’t make a significant difference. The change to Imp Hammer of Justice will affect 51/20 PvP specs slightly, but that’s about it.

From a tank’s perspective, I don’t have current enough knowledge of Protection to talk intelligently about these changes, unfortunately. Clearly I need to spec Prot for a week and go Heroic my face off!


  • Sanctified Seals was renamed to Sanctity of Battle, now Increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and attacks by 1/2/3% and increases the damage caused by Exorcism and Crusader Strike by 5/10/15%.
  • Divine Purpose: Moved to Improved Retribution Aura’s position.
  • Improved Retribution Aura: This talent has been removed.
  • Swift Retribution: Now grants its haste bonus while any aura is active.

None of these changes significantly impact Holy; they’re a step towards slimming Ret down (although I didn’t think Ret was particularly bloated in the first place, to be honest).

Of note, I’d seen some concern about Sanctity of Battle no longer adding to healing spell crit. I’ve checked on the PTR and it does still affect spell crit, and the crit part of the talent is worded exactly the same as Sanctified Seals, so this appears to be intentional.

Paladin PTR News – Holy & Protection Changes

Here’s a quick roundup of the latest changes from the PTR. I don’t normally post ongoing changes, unless there’s something big for holy paladins, but this time around the news sources are overwhelmed with Ulduar data and the class changes are getting a lot less press. So here we go. (The source: MMO-Champion.)

The usual caveat: all of this is subject to change before 3.1 goes live. If you watched the progress of class changes in the WotLK beta, you’ll know just how much something can change during the testing process.

This is from Build 9658 of the 3.1 PTR.


  • All paladins auras had their range extended from 30 yards to 40 yards.

Thank God. Along with Blessing of Kings being baseline, this is one change where we can all say “It’s about time”. On the other hand, now Holy needs an 11-point talent.


  • Sacred Shield now cannot be on more than one target at any one time.

This change was implemented because Sacred Shield was doing “too much” damage prevention in Ulduar.

  • Infusion of Light no longer has a chance to reduce the casting time of Holy Light, but increases the the critical chance of your next Holy Light by 10/20% instead.

No word on why this change was made, but I’m hoping it doesn’t stick, personally.


  • Hand of Sacrifice now lasts 12 sec or until the caster has transfered 100% of their maximum health.

A PvP limitation; I don’t think HoS gets used as much as it should in PvE content anyway.

  • Targets affected by Divine Shield, Hand of Protection or Divine Protection can no longer be affected by any of these spell for 2 minutes. (Down from 3 minutes)

A nice change. Not unbalancing, I think, just making life a bit easier.

  • Divine Sacrifice *New Talent* (Tier 3) – 30% of all damage taken by party or raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 150% of the Paladin’s health). Instant, 2 min cooldown.

Well, protection paladins finally got their 11-point talent. You can see some of their discussions in this Maintankadin thread.

Also, this isn’t a paladin change, but it’s something you need to know about anyway if you do any PvP:

Arms Warrior

  • Shattering Throw *New Skill* – Throws your weapon at the enemy causing [ 50% of AP + 12 ] damage (based on attack power), reducing the armor on the target by 20% for 10 sec, and removing any invulnerabilities. 25 Rage, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 5 min cooldown

Just like a priest’s Mass Dispel, that’s bye-bye bubble. Be wary of warriors wielding only one weapon!

Source: MMO-Champion.

Against Your Better Judgement: A Guide to Judging

Judgements: they’re not just for Retribution paladins any more.

There’s a fair amount of misinformation and misunderstanding floating around when it comes to paladin Judgements, and the issue of “who should Judge? when? why?” is something I’ve seen come up in discussion in a number of places recently, so: here’s a guide. First up is the primer; if you know the basics, skip to the end for the last three sections.

Three Key Facts

  1. You have to have a Seal spell currently active before you can cast a Judgement.
  2. There are three Judgement spell options, which share the same cooldown: Judgement of Light, Judgement of Wisdom and Judgement of Justice.
  3. Using a Judgement spell has three effects: damage, a debuff on the target, and a buff to you (and possibly others).


Casting a Judgement on a mob causes some amount of direct damage to it. This varies depending on which Seal you have active:

The damage from Judging each seal scales differently with talents and stats; going into detail is outside the scope of this guide.

Debuffing the Target

The Judgement spells all apply a different debuff to the target. You generally can’t stack more than one debuff of each type on a single target, regardless of how many paladins are judging – this has not always been the case, but that’s usually due to bugs. Each debuff lasts 20 seconds, so a paladin will need to keep re-judging to keep the debuff up.

Judgement of Light applies a debuff to the target which has a chance to restore health to anyone who hits the target. This healing is attributed to the paladin who applied the judgement, and confers zero threat.

The amount of healing it gives scales with the gear of the judging paladin; the amount is calculated by (0.18 * AP) + (0.18 * SP). Therefore, if you’re fighting with multiple paladins, this should be applied by the people with the highest combined attack power and spellpower.

Judgement of Wisdom applies a debuff to the target which has a chance to restore mana to anyone who hits the target. This is a flat amount; 2% of the attacker’s base mana, so it doesn’t scale with the paladin’s gear, the attacker’s gear, or anyone else’s.

Judgement of Justice applies a debuff that stops the target from fleeing, and restricts their movement speed.

Used against mobs, this spell will stop them from running away at low health if they would normally do that. Used against players, this spell restricts people to 100% speed – ie, standard running speed. It nullifies speed increases from mounts, gear (ie enchants and gems), skills (like Dash/Sprint) or talents (like Pursuit of Justice or Unholy Aura). PvP trinkets will remove this effect, but druid shapeshifting won’t – for obvious reasons, this is a popular judgement in PvP, especially in arenas.

Buffing You

Each paladin talent tree has a talent that synergises with the use of your Judgement spells; the effects of these are very different, depending on your spec, but all are useful.

Holy paladins have the Judgements of the Pure talent, which increases their Haste by 15% for one minute after using a Judgement. This is very useful for healing; you only need to judge once a minute to keep this buff up, and the Haste can make a big difference in your healing output.

Protection paladins have the Judgements of the Just talent, which is technically a further debuff to the Judgement target: it reduces the target’s melee attack speed by 20%. This is a huge bonus when fighting opponents that do a lot of physical damage (like, say, most raid bosses); it’s a lot of incoming damage that the tank no longer has to soak or avoid, a lot of damage that the healers no longer have to heal.

Retribution paladins have the Judgements of the Wise talent, which restores 15% of their base mana immediately, and grants the Replenishment mana restoration buff to the raid. This talent makes Retribution paladins very useful to most raid groups.

(In addition, Retribution paladins and many Holy paladins also have the Heart of the Crusader talent, which applies an extra debuff to the target giving all attacks against it an extra 3% critical strike chance.)

So Who Judges What?

Paladins are pretty popular these days, which means many (I dare say most) raid groups will have more than one – which means you should be sharing the Judgement duties around, or else people are going to overwrite each other and waste useful abilities.

Judgement of Light is currently more useful than Judgement of Wisdom, because mana isn’t a problem for most people in current content. That may change – is likely to, in fact – in Ulduar, so raid groups in the future will need to revisit this issue. But for now, if you’ve only got one paladin, Judgement of Light is more useful than Judgement of Wisdom. And Judgement of Justice is useful only for the sake of triggering your talents; the debuff it confers doesn’t do anything useful.

So, in current content: Light > Wisdom > Justice.

Who judges which?

  • Judgement of Light scales equally with Spellpower and Attack Power. Ret paladins should be applying this if they’re present, as a Retribution Paladin’s AP + SP total will be higher than that of other specs. Protection paladins are next on the list; Holy paladins should only be applying this if there are no other paladin specs in the raid.
  • If there is a Protection paladin in the raid, they should not have their judgements overwritten, except by another Prot paladin – this is important, in order to keep Judgements of the Just active.
  • Holy paladins can apply whatever Judgement isn’t already claimed by another spec, as they only need to judge once a minute for Judgements of the Pure; their judgement doesn’t have to stay up.

This all leads to:

The Bottom Line

If your raid has:

  • Ret, Prot and Holy: Ret on Judgement of Light, Prot on Judgement of Wisdom, Holy on Judgement of Justice.
  • Ret and Prot: Ret on Judgement of Light, Prot on Judgement of Wisdom.
  • Ret and Holy: Ret on Judgement of Light, Holy on Judgement of Wisdom.
  • Prot and Holy: Prot on Judgement of Light, Holy on Judgement of Wisdom.
  • If all your group’s paladins are of the same spec, it doesn’t really matter who judges what. The best-geared paladin should judge Light, as it scales with gear, but it doesn’t really matter.

… But What About The Meters?!

There are holy paladins out there who will claim they should be judging Light so they get credit for all that healing done on the meters. There are raid leaders out there who look at healing meters and get angry if the Retribution paladin is nearly outhealing the Holy paladin.

To both of you, I say: fie on you! Healing is not a competition; the raid group is a team. Do you really want to give bad assignments that waste peoples’ potential, just so the meters look “right”?

If you’re that concerned about the meters, log the raid with WoW Webstats (aka WWS), look at the report afterwards, and ignore the amounts for Judgement of Light. Don’t let Meter Worry (or Meter Pride) goad you into encouraging the use of inappropriate Judgements, when in the right hands Judgements are powerful tools for your raid.

3.1 Paladin Info: New Glyphs and New Gear!

The deluge of information from the 3.1 PTR has begun!

Paladin Glyph Changes and Additions

  • Glyph of Exorcism — Increases damage done by Exorcism by 20%. (Old: Your Exorcism also interrupts spellcasting for 2 sec.)
  • Glyph of Divinity — Your Lay on Hands grants twice as much mana as normal and also grants you as much mana as it grants your target. (Old: Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.)
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands — Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 5 min.(Old: Increases the mana restored by your Lay on Hands spell by 20%)
  • Glyph of Beacon of Light *new* — Increases the duration of Beacon of Light by 30 sec.
  • Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous *new* — Your Hammer of the Righteous hits 1 additional target.
  • Glyph of Divine Storm *new* — Your Divine Storm now heals for an additional 15% of the damage it causes.
  • Glyph of Shield of Righteousness *new* — Reduces the mana cost of Shield of Righteousness by 1 to 6%.
  • Glyph of Divine Plea *new* — While Divine Plea is active, you take 3% reduced damage from all sources.
  • Glyph of Holy Shock *new* — Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 sec.
  • Glyph of Hand of Salvation *new* — When you cast Hand of Salvation on yourself, it also reduces damage taken by 20%.

There are some mighty interesting glyphs there. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to run with, personally; I’ll wait to make any decisions until a) it’s closer to release, and b) I see what Ulduar’s like. Still, some food for thought here! (I particularly like the buff to the Lay on Hands glyphs; they’ll make a great one-two punch as a Minor/Major combo.)

New Craftable Gear

Blacksmithing offers:

  • the Plate Girdle of Righteousness (49 Stam, 62 Int, 81 spellpower, 40 haste, 22 mp5, red & blue sockets with a +7 spellpower socket bonus)
  • the Treads of Destiny (73 Stam, 62 Int, 81 spellpower, 49 haste, 19 m5, red & blue sockets with a +7 spellpower socket bonus)

I need to do more than hasty napkin math, but these items look to be to be inferior to what I consider current best-in-slot – Waistguard of Divine Grace and Poignant Sabatons, both from Naxx-25, so I wouldn’t bother saving mats for them if you’re doing 25-man raids.

OMG Legendary!

For the first time ever, it looks like there’s a legendary that’s usable by – and of interest to – us healing paladins!

The Fragments of Val’anyr are like the old shards of Atiesh from level 60 Naxxramas; gather 40 to form the weapon.

Needless to say, this is going to be heavily sought-after, I imagine.

3.1 Patch Notes: Respec Time!

The 3.1 patch notes are out, and you can read them here on MMO-Champion. I’m not going to reprint them in their entirety, but! There are a couple of things of interest to holy paladins in particular.


  • Auras will now persist through death.
  • Blessing of Kings is now trainable at level 20. Removed from talent trees.
  • Talents
    • Protection

      • New Talent Divinity:Tier 1 protection talent, increases healing done by and to you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
      • Sacred Duty (Protection) rank 1 now increases Stamina by 4%.
    • Retribution
      • Benediction (Retribution) now affects Hand of Reckoning.
      • Fanaticism reduced to 3 ranks for 6/12/18% bonus and 10/20/30% threat reduction.
      • Repentance no longer resets the Paladin’s melee swing timer.
      • Righteous Vengeance reduced to 3 ranks for 10/20/30%.

Well, isn’t that interesting? That Tier 1 talent, Divinity, looks like a must-have for holy paladins – why wouldn’t you want an extra 5% healing done? For paladins who’d previously taken Kings, it’s an easy switch – for the rest of us, it means giving up a delicious 3% crit from the Retribution tree. Goodbye, Sanctified Seals – I’ll miss you!

Also of particular interest to Holy paladins:

  • Glyph of Holy Light: Can no longer crit and has had its range updated.

Obviously, it’s early days yet, and this is all subject to change anyway; I will, of course, keep you all informed.