Tag Archives: spells

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.


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.

Paladin Changes in 3.0.9

(I originally titled this post “Divine Plea Nerf Ahead of Schedule” but I thought that sounded too bitter.)

At the end of last week, I posted about the changes Blizzard announced for 3.1, including a nerf to Divine Plea (changing the healing penalty from 20% to 50%).

Not content to wait until 3.1, Blizzard continues the fine tradition of hasty nerfs to paladins (I sound bitter, don’t I?) by implementing this change in 3.0.9, which is going live this week with no PTR test time.

The paladin-relevant part:

  • The duration on all Seals has been increased to 30 minutes and can no longer dispelled.
  • Divine Plea: The amount healed by your spells is reduced by 50% (up from 20%) but the effect can no longer be dispelled.
  • Sanctified Seals: This talent no longer affects dispel resistance, but continues to affect crit chance.


  • Glyph of Holy Light — Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target. (Down from 20 yards, Tooltip text fix, was already hotfixed to 8 yards in game)
  • Glyph of Seal of Righteousness — Increases the damage done by Seal of Righteousness by 10%. (Old – Reduces the cost of your Judgement spells by 10% while Seal of Righteousness is active.)

If you’re curious why I’m bitter about the Divine Plea change, this post provides some backstory. It’s not that I object to the nerf in principle; it’s the implementation. Blizzard has shown a tendency, lately, to nerf first and test later, and paladins have copped quite a lot of that. Rolling a significant nerf like this into an abrupt live patch release, weeks (if not months) ahead of the overall changes to mana regen mechanics for every other healing class, strikes me as unduly hasty. Again.

Holy Paladin Glyph Choice

An essential part of playing a spec is choosing the right glyphs to support your spell use. Here’s a quick guide to the best glyphs for Holy Paladins, current as of patch 3.0.8. (I originally covered holy paladin glyphs here and here; however, those posts are out of date since the changes during the WotLK beta and in patch 3.0.8.)

Major Glyphs: Your Choices

Glyph of Holy Light
Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target.

This is an excellent PvE glyph; at no cost, it turns your bomb heal into a mini-AoE which is great for topping up melee in a clustered fight. It’s had a bit of a history; it started in 3.0.2 as a 5-yard range AoE, which was increased to 20 yards in 3.0.8 and then hotfixed down to 8 yards within two days.

Glyph of Flash of Light
Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance.

This is a solid performer. On one hand, Flash of Light is economical enough that you don’t really need the mana return from a crit, and with Sacred Shield up you’re probably critting 80% of the time anyway. However, a couple of crit Flashes of Light will give a big, fast boost to a tank’s health, and more throughput is never a bad thing.

Glyph of Seal of Light
While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5%.

This is great to use for increasing throughput, obviously, although it does have the downside of preventing you from using Seal of Wisdom and autoattacking between casts to regenerate mana.

Glyph of Seal of Wisdom
While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cos of your healing spells is reduced by 5%.

This is a good starter glyph to improve mana conservation, which can be an issue for healing paladins early in the gearing process. When combined with a high crit rate, and gear like the Libram of Renewal, you can pump out a lot of healing for a surprisingly low mana cost.

Glyph of Divinity
Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.

This can be very useful in the event of a mana shortage, particularly given that potion use is now very restricted. It works particularly well with a minor glyph listed below. Of note, despite some ambiguous wording it does return mana to you when you cast it on a target without mana (ie a rogue, warrior or death knight); if you cast it on yourself, it returns double the mana, giving you effectively a free mana potion. The mana restoration is also independent of the actual amount healed.

Glyph of Cleansing
Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Purify spells by 20%.

This is the least useful of the holy Glyphs; even in arenas the limiting factor on cleansing is generally GCDs, rather than mana. If post-T7 raid content sees a huge return to decursing fights, this might come into its own, but generally it’s the weakest glyph and I’d avoid using it.

What about Glyph of Spiritual Attunement?

If you’re doing a lot of fights where you take large amounts of damage, and you can rely on someone else to heal you back to full health before you die (which is not necessarily a helpful thing to expect of your healing team), then this glyph can provide a reasonable source of mana return. However, given that Blizzard have stated they want to move away from ‘All AoE, All The Time’ fights, this glyph is likely to be situational at best, and there are far more generally-useful options to choose from.

Minor Glyphs: Your Choices


When you’re just starting out at 80, I’d recommend the following:
Majors: Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Seal of Wisdom and Glyph of Divinity.
Minors: Glyph of the Wise, Glyph of Lay on Hands, and dealer’s choice for your third minor. (I used Glyph of Sense Undead to help a bit with questing.)

This gives you a nice AoE effect from Holy Light, mana longevity as long as you have Seal of Wisdom up (which is made cheaper by the minor glyph), and a really nice mana regen effect from your Lay on Hands – top up your mana when you’re using Lay on Hands as an emergency heal, or get a whole mana potion’s worth if you use it on yourself. (Obviously, the minor glyph helps here.)

Once you’re better-geared and mana isn’t an issue, I would recommend:

  • Leave your Holy Light (major) and Sense Undead (minor) Glyphs in place.
  • Replace the Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (major) with Glyph of Seal of Light, and replace the Glyph of the Wise (minor) with Glyph of Blessing of Kings if you’re one of the unlucky Holy paladins who needs to spec for Kings.
  • Replace the Glyph of Divinity (major) with Glyph of Flash of Light; leave the minor Lay on Hands glyph in place. You can still use LoH as a mana restore by casting it on yourself, of course, though you’ll only get normal mana return rather than the double helping you’d get if you still had the major glyph.

These changes will generally improve your throughput significantly at the expense of mana efficiency. If you’re still having problems with mana, stick with the original suggestions. You can, of course, tweak your Glyphs differently – for instance, I know a paladin who has both of the major Seal glyphs, because the other healer in his 10-man team dies a lot so he winds up switching between Seals depending on whether he needs output or longevity.

But Isn’t The Flash of Light Glyph BAD?

No, it’s not. It used to be problematic; before Patch 3.0.8 its effect was: “Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.” Most paladins refused to use this, because it rendered Flash of Light incredibly inefficient if you cast it on the same target within twelve seconds, leaving us with only Holy Light (huge and inefficient) as a spammable heal.

Blizzard clearly agreed that it wasn’t valuable enough, and changed the effect; now it’s a flat 5% bonus to Flash of Light’s crit rate, which is much more useful.

Patch 3.0: The Brave New (Healadin) World

So, it’s Patch Day, and you’re confronted with a whole host of changes to spells you used to know like the back of your hand! What to do, what to do?

Holy paladin core mechanics have been changed quite noticeably in this patch, so let’s take a look at what you’ll see when you log in. Read on for details of changed spells, new spells, and paladin glyphs! (I’ll tackle the talent trees soon, but not tonight – I need sleep!)

Note that where relevant, I’m talking about spell ranks you’d use at level 70. I’m also only covering Holy and general paladin mechanics here; Protection and Retribution changes are topics for another day (or blog).

Changed Spells

  • The Forbearance debuff from Divine Shield and Blessing (now Hand) of Protection now lasts 3 minutes, not 1.
  • Lay On Hands now has a 20 minute cooldown (down from 60) and costs 0 mana.
  • Avenging Wrath no longer causes the Forbearance debuff, and increases all damage and healing done by 20% for 20 seconds.
  • Holy Shock now has a 6 second cooldown (down from 15) and the range of the healing effect now extends to 40 yards. Its mana cost is increased from 650 to 705.
  • Seals:
    • Pretty much all seals have had their damage reduced.
    • Seals now last for two minutes.
    • Seals aren’t consumed when you use Judgement.
    • Seal of the Crusader no longer exists and its damage boost has been rolled into base spells.
    • Alliance Paladins now get Seal of the Martyr (equivalent to Seal of Blood), and Horde Paladins now get Seal of Corruption (equivalent to Seal of Vengeance).
  • Judgement: Big changes.
    • Pre Patch 3: You use a generic “Judgement” ability to apply a debuff or damage to the mob based on the Seal you’re running.
    • Post Patch 3: You use a specific Judgement of Justice, Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom which applies the relevant debuff regardless of which Seal you have active. (It also causes damage.) For instance, you might keep Seal of Wisdom running for yourself while periodically using Judgement of Light to keep the Light effect on the mob for other players.
    • Judging now activates the Global Cooldown.
  • Blessings:
    • Blessing of Light no longer exists, and its healing boost has been rolled into base heal spells. Greater Blessing of Light also no longer exists.
    • Blessing of Salvation and Greater Blessing of Salvation no longer exist, replaced with Hand of Salvation.
    • Blessing of Freedom, Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection no longer exist, and have been replaced with “Hand of [foo]” spells.

New Spells

Hands by batega@flickr

  • Hands: are the new mechanic for situational buffs. You can only have one Hand spell on a given ally at any one time, but they don’t overwrite Blessings.

    • Hand of Freedom: a renamed Blessing of Freedom, slightly cheaper.
    • Hand of Protection: a renamed Blessing of Protection, with a longer Forbearance debuff.
    • Hand of Sacrifice: the new Blessing of Sacrifice. Lasts 12 seconds (instead of 30 seconds); has a 2 minute cooldown (instead of 30 seconds). Transfers 30% of damage instead of 104 damage per hit. A significant reduction to its utility; now it helps mitigate an occasional burst of damage, instead of helping the paladin escape CC to save a friend.
    • Hand of Salvation: the new Blessing of Salvation. Completely different mechanics; now works by reducing a single target’s threat for 20% over 10 seconds. Has a 2 minute cooldown. Huge nerf to its utility; however, this may not be a problem if tank agro generation has been buffed as much as reports indicate.


At 70, you’ll have two Major Glyph slots and three Minor Glyph slots to fill.

This list covers all the Glyphs, both Major and Minor, available for Paladins. However, looking at Glyphs that would appeal specifically for healer paladins:

Your Major Glyph Options

  • Glyph of Cleansing: Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Purify spells by 20%.
  • Glyph of Divinity: Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.
  • Glyph of Flash of Light: 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 10 yds of the initial target. (Note that the tooltip says 100 yards, but that’s a typo. It’s 10 yards.)

Note that there are some very nice Glyphs for Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom, but they’re not trainable for Scribes until Wrath of the Lich King, unfortunately.

Picking Your Glyphs

So, at 70 you’ll have three minor and two major glyph slots to fill. Regarding Majors, I’d skip the Flash of Light Glyph until you have a better idea of how your other heals hold up; frankly, I think it’s way too weak and slow a HoT to be worth the huge upfront gimp to the heal (especially since it means you can’t spam FoL to heal any more). Were the HoT a) bigger and b) faster, it might be worth it, but as it is I think it’s just dangerous.

The Holy Light glyph is a definite winner; the spell loseWeight Exercises nothing, and gains a useful mini-AoE. For me, the Glyph of Divinity is the most appealing choice for the second slot, as I don’t do much cleanse-heavy content. I’ll add a Glyph of Seal of Wisdom to the third slot when I hit 80.

As for Minor glyphs… well, it’s hard to pick them, since we don’t know what our options are yet! There are very few known minor glyphs for paladins yet, as they’re learnt through a discovery system with a 20-hour cooldown. The stand-out winner is Glyph of Lay on Hands (increases the mana restored by your Lay on Hands spell by 20%), which synergises nicely with the Major glyph for the same spell. For the other two Minor slots, I’ll probably use something like Glyph of the Wise and Glyph of Sense Undead, purely for soloing purposes.

Of course, it all depends on which Minor Glyphs one has access to – you can’t get a Glyph no-one’s learnt yet!


The short version:

  • Spell crit, spell hit and spell haste ratings are disappearing. Crit, hit and haste ratings now affect both spellcasting and physical abilities.
  • +heal and +dmg/heal ratings are disappearing, and being replaced with spellpower, which affects both spell damage and healing.
  • Existing items with +healing are being translated to spellpower stats instead; it’s not a direct 1:1 translation, so on Wrath Day you’ll end up with a lot less spellpower than your current +heal.
  • This is not a problem, because other mechanics are being revamped to account for it (for instance, healing spells are getting a much bigger boost from spellpower).
  • Existing items with +dmg/heal are being translated to spellpower as well, at close to a 1:1 transition.

For more details on how this works and what it means for your gearing, see my post on the gearing changes.

Drama and Woe Averted in Healadin Land

So, beta build 9014 landed on us overnight, and the paladin forums exploded in a storm of weeping – and pretty justified, too, I feel. Heck, people were upset enough that the main forum thread about it grew 16 pages overnight.

The two key changes were:

  • Infusion of Light no longer gives instant Holy Lights. Instead, it reduces cast time by 1 second.
  • Divine Plea is now confirmed to return 25% of mana, last 15 seconds, and reduce healing by 100% while active.

Infusion of Light is still nerfed – which is very disappointing, because it was the only talent that really felt fun – but Ghostcrawler has just posted that Divine Plea will be changed to a 20% healing debuff, instead of 100%, but DP will now be dispellable to compensate for it which seems like a pretty good tradeoff to me.

Somehow I managed to get the first response on the thread, but as I posted further down, I think it’s a pretty smart change.

Until now, the premiere healing spec for paladins post-3.0 has been a Holy/Ret hybrid build, 37/0/34, which goes deep enough in Holy to get Infusion of Light and deep enough in Ret to get Judgements of the Wise. This is largely because anything deeper in Holy is fairly average – the 51-point talent, Beacon of Light, is situationally groovy but not a must-have (it’s hideously expensive, and doesn’t proc off overheal), and everything between Infusion of Light and Beacon of Light ranges from ho-hum (Divine Illumination) to downright awful (Sacred Cleansing).

Making Divine Plea suddenly pretty awesome for healadins is a very smart choice. It means we’ll be regenning a decent chunk of mana in PvE every minute. Which means we don’t feel compelled to take JotW any more, because we won’t have mana woes that necessitate it. Which means we’re more likely to go deeper in Holy to take Beacon of Light (or Bacon of Light, as Ghostcrawler calls it) because JotW doesn’t look so ridiculously awesome next to it any more.

Holy Paladins in Wrath: New Spells

Note: this post contains information on Wrath of the Lich King. And in addition, it’s a bit speculative because it’s discussing things that may still be tweaked, nerfed, buffed, folded, spindled, mutilated, digested, adjusted, rejected, abolished, emasculated, disembowelled, inflated or otherwise amended. This is a beta, after all.

There’s been a lot of talk around the blogosphere about the changes to existing Paladin spell mechanics: in particular, the way situational Blessings are becoming Hand spells, and others are disappearing altogether. Now it’s time to take a look at what’s new, not just what’s different. I’ve held off on this post, since so much has been in flux, but now that Holy is officially not likely to change too much more, let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Continue reading Holy Paladins in Wrath: New Spells