This post refers to gear that drops in 25-man raids. If you’re looking for a list of gear to get ready for raiding, you might be more interested in my Pre-Raid Holy Paladin Gear List instead.
This post aims to provide a nice ‘wishlist’ of holy pally gear to aim for. Let me say up front that if you think I’m wrong about a piece of gear, that’s fine; I know that balancing spellpower, crit, haste and intellect is a personal juggling act and nobody knows your playstyle better than you do.
A couple of points to note:
a) In my opinion, ideal paladin gear has intellect, crit, haste (within reason; excess haste is useless) and spellpower, and doesn’t waste item budget on less valuable stats like spirit or mp5. This obviously affects the selection of items I consider ‘best in slot’.
b) I won’t be recommending anything lower than mail armor, and even then I won’t be recommending a lot of that. The debate about holy paladins wearing cloth and leather rages on, but for my part: I’m a plate elitist, and I make no bones about recommending plate to other paladins.
So, on with the show.
- Faceguard of the Succumbed, from Thaddius (and occasionally Gluth).
- Valorous Redemption Headpiece, from Kel’Thuzad. (T7 helm)
Faceguard of the Succumbed is the clear winner here, as it features a meta socket. The T7 helm has the meta socket, but unfortunately trades off the Faceguard’s 61 haste for an unappealing 20 mp5. The Helm of Diminished Pride from Maexxna/Gluth has huge crit and spellpower, but no meta socket and no haste, wasting its itemisation budget on mp5 instead.
Despite the mp5, the quest reward necks are excellent. Until you kill 25-man Malygos, however, the drop from Sapphiron is a very strong alternative.
- Valorous Redemption Spaulders, from Loatheb or Gluth or purchased with 60 Emblems of Valor. (T7 shoulders)
- Elevated Lair Pauldrons, from Malygos.
- Epaulets of the Grieving Servant, from Faerlina (and occasionally Gluth).
The Valorous Redemption Spaulders are marginally better than the other shoulders, partly because they’ve got a socket which makes them more flexible, and partly because they contribute towards getting the T7 set bonuses. The Elevated Lair Pauldrons are better than the Epaulets, as an iLevel 226 item, but they waste stats on mp5. They are an upgrade on spellpower compared with the other shoulders, but at this gearing level stacking spellpower is less valuable than stacking int, crit or haste.
- Pennant Cloak, from Sartharion with 2 or 3 drakes up.
- Shroud of Luminosity, from Grobbulus, Gothik, Heigan and Maexxna.
The Pennant Cloak is far and away the strongest cloak for holy paladins currently in-game, and it’s likely to be hotly contested by other casters as well. In comparison, the Shroud is very accessible, and still a very good piece of kit.
The Chestplate of the Great Aspects is ahead on every useful stat except Intellect. The T7 chest does have two sockets to the Chestplate’s one, adding greater flexibility, but it just doesn’t hold up.
- Bands of Mutual Respect, from Instructor Razuvious (and occasionally Gluth).
- Bracers of Liberation, from Grobbulus (and occasionally Gluth).
The Bands, despite being mail, are significantly better than the next-best Bracers, largely thanks to their gem slot. The Abetment Bracers from Gothik/Gluth also have a socket, but they waste itemization budget on mp5 so are generally inferior to both bracers listed here.
- Valorous Redemption Gloves, from Sartharion. (T7 gloves)
- Rescinding Grips, from Anub’Rekhan (and occasionally Gluth)
The T7 gloves are best in slot here; they beat the Rescinding Grips partly thanks to the gem slot that makes them more flexible, and partly due to their contribution towards the set bonuses. The Rescinding Grips are good alternatives until you get the Tier token, though.
- Waistguard of Divine Grace, from Patchwerk (and occasionally Gluth).
- Girdle of Recuperation, from Razuvious (and occasionally Gluth).
These two items are all but identical, with interchangeable crit and haste ratings. Pick the one featuring the stat you’re stacking.
- Valorous Redemption Greaves, from Thaddius or Gluth, or bought with 75 Emblems of Valor. (T7 legs)
- Leggings of Voracious Shadows, from Gluth.
Again, the T7 legs are best in slot; they have marginally more of all the appealing stats, better socket colors, and they’re part of the Tier set. What’s not to love? And best of all, you can buy them with Emblems if the RNG hates you.
- Poignant Sabatons, from Noth the Plaguebringer (and occasionally Gluth).
Really, there’s no competition for these at all, and they’re BoE so you can look for them on your AH.
- Signet of Manifested Pain, from Kel’Thuzad.
- Seized Beauty, from Anub’Rekhan, Patchwerk, Faerlina, Noth and Razuvious.
- Band of Channeled Magic, bought with 25 Emblems of Valor.
- Titanium Spellshock Ring, crafted by Jewelcrafters.
The Signet from Kel’thuzad is literally the only 25-man ring with all the stats you want and none of the ones you don’t; Seized Beauty is next-best, although the mp5 instead of Haste is something of a waste. The other two rings are reasonable substitutes, although I wouldn’t spend emblems on the purchased ring if you have regular access to Kel’Thuzad.
- Illustration of the Dragon Soul, from Sartharion.
- Soul of the Dead, from Sapphiron.
- Forethought Talisman, from Maexxna, Heigan, Gothik, and Grobbulus.
- Darkmoon Card: Greatness, from the Darkmoon Nobles Deck.
- Je’Tze’s Bell, BoE world drop.
- Embrace of the Spider, from 10-man Maexxna and Gluth.
Trinket selection is a tricky business, as they all have different effects. To be honest, this is one area where I haven’t done enough research to feel comfortable saying that X is better than Y. Input welcome, and I’ll update the post with more guidelines.
Speaking personally, I’m after Illustration of the Dragon Soul and Soul of the Dead.
- The Turning Tide, from Kel’Thuzad.
- Hammer of the Astral Plane, from 10-man Kel’Thuzad.
- Life and Death, from Gothik and Gluth.
The Turning Tide is an amazingly good holy paladin weapon; unfortunately, it’s also amazingly good for mages and warlocks, and you’ll have to beat them off with a stick. In the meantime, the other two weapons are both solid all-rounders with a healthy amount of each desirable attribute.
Obviously, Voice of Reason is the stand-out winner here.
- Libram of Renewal, bought with 15 Emblems of Heroism.
- Libram of Tolerance, from Patchwerk and Gluth.
Libram use tends to be very situational, but the 10-man Libram of Renewal is a more generally useful choice than the 25-man, except in rare situations where you need high throughput more than mana conservation.
The Tier 7 pieces are already best in slot for shoulders, gloves and legs, which means you have to use either the helm or the chest to get your socket bonus. Looking at what you’re giving up (and for comparison’s sake I’ll assume in all cases you’re socketing items with +16 Int yellow gems).
- Helm: Valorous Redemption Headpiece over Faceguard of the Succumbed
Net effect is +5 Int, +20 mp5, +9 Crit Rating, -61 Haste Rating.
- Chest: Valorous Redemption Tunic over Chestplate of the Great Aspects
Net effect is +21 Int, +20 mp5, -27 Crit Rating, -19 Haste Rating, -24 Spell Power.
It’s your choice as to which sacrifice you prefer to make.