Patch 4.3 Holy Paladin Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

It’s time to get some serious Light-wielding representation in this joint. Not priests, who fall over if you look at them funny, but full-on armour-wearing divine light-calling Holy. Paladin. So, if you’re looking to get your heals up in Deathwing’s face – and before that, his tentacles and his back respectively – in Patch 4.3, here’s our quick start guide to talent specs, glyphs, gems, stats, changes in this patch, reforging, and our spell strategies, so you don’t waste any time.

Updated 29th November 2011 for Patch 4.3

Holy Paladin changes in 4.3

Holy Paladins have had some pretty serious changes in Patch 4.3. Holy Radiance is now a 3-second cast rather than an instant, now emanates from the target rather than you, but no longer has a cooldown, and now generates Holy Power with the talent Tower of Radiance. This affects your talent choices (Tower of Radience becomes stronger) and also means that Holy Paladins now have an AOE rotation of sorts – Holy Radiance x3 followed by Light of Dawn. Light of Dawn has also been buffed, increasing its targets to 6, as has its glyph – 25% bonus healing on 4 targets – meaning it’s more powerful, and is actually useful in 10-mans.

Finally, in a pretty big positive change, Holy Paladins no longer have to Judge as often – just Judge once a minute to keep Judgements of the Pure up.

Holy healing “rotation”

No, of course we don’t have an actual “rotation”. We’re healers, dammit, not TBC Retridins. But here’s a rough guide to what spells you should be using to avoid any of your raid or group falling over dead:

Tank Healing

Put Beacon of Light on the tank. Use Judgement when needed to keep Judgements of the Pure up. In damage-light phases, spam Holy Light on anyone injured – Beacon will transfer this healing to the tank. Of course, heal the tank if he or she is the only one injured! Use Holy Shock on cooldown and Word of Glory on 3 Holy Power. If more damage starts coming in or if you know you’re entering a high-damage phase, switch to using Divine Light on the tank (which will also generate additional Holy Power). If the tank’s going to die RIGHT NOW, use Flash of Light, but otherwise avoid it like the plague. If you’re OOM, use Holy Light and Word of Glory to heal the tank only – this should be close to mana-neutral.

Light of Dawn can also be an excellent tank-healing spell with Beacon, provided you are healing a large group of targets with it, and only with 3 charges of Holy Power.

Raid / Group Healing

Use Beacon on a tank anyway. Use Judgement when needed to keep Judgements of the Pure up. Spot heal with Holy Light – you should almost always be casting this – and use Holy Shock on cooldown. If more damage is coming in to a group, use Holy Radiance on someone in that group to build up Holy Power (assuming you have Tower of Radiance – see Talents, below), then use Light of Dawn at 3 Holy Power on the same group. Otherwise, use Divine Light for heavier heals. Use Light of Dawn if you have a clump of people (more than 4), and only with 3 Holy Power. Remember that your Guardian of Ancient Kings will cause splash healing near the target if used – use it in “clump” situations.

Buffs: Keep Beacon up, make sure you’ve got Seal of Insight and an Aura running, and remember to use either Blessing of Might or Kings on your group or raid.

Cooldowns: It’s probably better to use cooldowns one at a time rather than using them all at once – that way, you’ve always got an “Oh, crap!” button available.

Lay on Hands is the ultimate life-saving CD – remember, it doesn’t have a 30 min cooldown any more, so don’t be afraid to use it if needed. Remember, with Glyph of Divinity it will also return 10% mana to you.

Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings and Divine Favour are your “workaday” cooldowns – use them one at a time if you’re in trouble. You can combine them for HUGE healing if needed, but remember that will leave you out of options. Finally, remember your Aura Mastery for silence situations and AOE damage situations, and use your Hand spells. Hand of Sacrifice is an excellent tank helper, and Hands of Protection and Salvation can save an over-eager DPS. Finally, remember that Divine Protection also grants you a temporary speed buff. Use Divine Plea during damage-light phases to regen mana.

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Holy Paladin Talent Spec

There are a a few tweaks you can make here. Notably:

  • Tier 6, Holy: Tower of Radiance is great if you’re healing your Beacon target or if you need to do AOE healing. Under some circumstances in AOE damage heavy fights, Blessed Life (Tier 6) may be a better way to generate Holy Power.
  • Tier 1, Protection Eternal Glory is useful but not vital. Many healers would prefer…
  • Tier 2, Retribution Pursuit of Justice is a very useful talent – run speed is never a bad thing.

For more details, Kurn has an excellent, complete rundown of all talents in the healing spec (including other tweaks) over here.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Holy

Intellect is probably the most important Holy stat. Spirit controls mana regen and you should prioritise it if you are having mana problems. After that, Haste is the most important stat, followed by Crit and Mastery with Crit having a small advantage.

Reforging: Very personal, but reforge to Spirit until your mana feels comfortable for the content you’re doing. After that, reforge to Haste.

Gems: Use two Reckless Ember Topaz in the best two yellow sockets to activate Ember Shadowspirit Diamond, the best meta gem. After this, generally use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless you can gain 20 INt or more with one non-red socket. In that case, use Purified Demonseye or Reckless Ember Topaz.

Holy Paladin enchants

Several professions have “superior” enchants – use them if the stats are appropriate. Felfire Inscription on shoulders from Inscription, for example.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Haste
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker (if you don’t have Pursuit of Justice) or Enchant Boots – Haste
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent or Enchant Weapon – Heartsong – the latter offers more mana regen
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect

Glyphs

Prime: Seal of Insight, Glyph of Holy Shock, and Glyph of Word of Glory unless you don’t use it much, in which case Glyph of Divine Favour.

Major: Divinity, Divine Plea, and one more of your choice. Glyph of Divine Protection is awesome on magic-heavy fights, whilst Glyph of Light of Dawn is good for AOE, particularly in 5 or 10 man content.

Minor: What – evaaarrrr.

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