Holy Paladin Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, priorities and healing strategies

Mists of Pandaria is here, and it brings with it huge changes like – like… Yeah, OK. Holy Paladin play hasn’t changed that much with the new expansion, aside from some new talents. But if you want to get up to speed with the changes MoP and WoW Patch [patchnumber] (aka “Kick Garrosh’s Ass At Long Last”) offers to your “rotation” and priorities, as well as suggestions for talent builds, stats, reforging, gemming, enchantments, and so on, we’ve got the goods!

Updated [guideupdated] to WoW Patch [patchnumber]

Holy Paladin Changes in WoW Patch [patchnumber]

Some minor changes, notably to our talents.

Holy Healing “Rotation” and Priorities

Obviously, we’re healers. We don’t have rotations. Duh. But here’s how you keep people alive in MoP:

Tank Healing

Note that as a tank healer you need to change your talents – see below.

Put Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield on the tank. 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 or above.

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 – it’ll destroy your mana. 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. Note that it no longer has a cone effect, making it much easier to heal a lot of targets if they’re injured – it just affects anyone within 30 yards.

Raid / Group Healing

Use Beacon on a tank anyway. Use Eternal Flame on as many raid members as possible, cast at 3 Holy Power. Spot heal with Holy Light and use Holy Shock on cooldown. If more damage is coming in to a group, use Holy Radiance on them. Try to stay in range of the boss to use Crusader Strike on cooldown for more Holy Power.

If there’s not much damage coming in, keep your Mastery shields up on players by casting Holy Shock/Holy Light.

Try to use Holy Radiance before Holy Shock to activate the Daybreak effect, twice if possible.

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.


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.
  • 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.
  • You can also “jury rig” a cooldown by using Word of Glory or Eternal Flame on 5 Holy Power, then using Holy Shock, then WoG or Eternal Flame again for a LOT of healing.
  • Remember your Devotion Aura for AOE damage situations, and remember to communicate with your raid leader about that.
  • Hand of Sacrifice is an excellent tank helper, and Hands of Protection and Salvation can save an over-eager DPS.
  • If you’re specced as we suggest below, also remember that Speed of Light is a powerful speed buff.
  • Use Divine Plea during damage-light phases to regen mana.
  • If you’ve chosen it as we recommend in Tier 6, Holy Prism is a very short cooldown group heal. Use it on the boss or mob nearest your party/raid on cooldown.


Make sure you have Beacon running on someone, make sure you’ve got Seal of Insight running, and remember to use Blessing of Kings on your group or raid unless someone’s already providing that or an equivalent (Monks or Druids), in which case use Blessing of Might.

Holy Paladin Talent Choices

There’s a lot more variability in the new 5.0 talent trees, and we encourage you to experiment – but here is a simple-to-use and powerful build to get started quickly with:

  • Tier 1: Speed of Light.
  • Tier 2: Fist of Justice – useful stun.
  • Tier 3: Eternal Flame
  • Tier 4: Unbreakable Spirit
  • Tier 5: Divine Purpose
  • Tier 6: Holy Prism.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Holy Paladin

Intellect is probably the most important Holy stat. Spirit controls mana regen and you should prioritise it if you are having mana problems – which you may after 5.0, as it changes the way our mana works. After that, Mastery is the best throughput stat, then Haste, then Crit. Note that Haste makes you burn through mana quicker, whilst Mastery doesn’t.

Reforging: Very personal, but reforge to Spirit until your mana feels comfortable for the content you’re doing. After that, reforge to Mastery. Reforge from non-healing stats and Crit first.

Gems: Generally use a Purified gem in Red sockets, a Sparkling gem in Blue sockets, and Zen gem in Yellow sockets.

Meta Gem: Revitalising Meta gem.

Holy Pallie Glyphs

Glyphs have become much more situational – and in the case of Holy Paladins, also pretty uninspiring. Here’s our choice of best-of-a-bad-lot:

Major: Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice is actually great, and highly recommended. Glyph of Divine Plea, and Glyph of Divinity are the best of the remaining lot for most situations.

Minor: Your choice. No performance-affecting choices here.

Holy Paladin enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
  • Chest – Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
  • Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery.
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
  • Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
  • Icy Veins, as always, have a great guide to Holy Paladins
    • Getsu’s Sanctuary has a lengthy 5.0 guide which I haven’t had a chance to read through fully, but looks very complete.
    • Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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