Tier 1: Level 15 Talents
Increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds. 45 second cooldown.
You gain 15% movement speed at all times, plus an additional 5% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power up to 3.
Any of these talents are fine to take – it’s up to each individual Holy Paladin to find what works best for them. Personally, I prefer Speed of Light for every fight in Siege of Orgrimmar (SoO) except Heroic Blackfuse. For that fight, I find Pursuit of Justice makes it easier to avoid the missiles.
Tier 2: Level 30 Talents
Stuns the target for 6 sec. 30 second cooldown. Replaces Hammer of Justice. 20 yard range. 3.5% base mana.
Puts the enemy into a state of meditation, incapacitating them for up to 1 min. Any damage from sources other than Censure will awaken the target.
Usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids, and Undead. 1.7 second cast. 15 second cooldown. 30 yard range. 10% base mana.
Your Judgment fills your target with doubt and remorse, reducing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
Any of these talents are fine to take – it depends on player preference and what you’re doing. Fist of Justice is used more often than Repentance or Evil is a Point of View in a PvE context. Evil is a Point of View is almost strictly PvP, but there may be uses for it.
Fist of Justice is my go-to talent in this tier because the raids in Mists of Pandaria (MoP) haven’t required a lot of crowd control (cc), which is what would make Repentance preferable.
Tier 3: Level 45 Talents
Your successful Judgments reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light, Divine Light, and Holy Radiance by 35% per stack and improves its effectiveness by 20% per stack when used to heal others. Stacks up to 3 times.
Consumes up to 3 Holy Power to protect a protective flame on a friendly target, which heals them for 5,629 and an additional 519 every 3 seconds for 30 seconds.
Healing increased per charge of Holy Power. The heal over time is increased by 100% if used on the Paladin. Replaces Word of Glory.
Protects the target with a shield of holy light for 30 seconds. The shield absorbs up to 396 damage every 6 seconds. 3 charges. 6 second cooldown.
Tier 3 is the most important of all the tiers as it determines the stat priority you follow. These are the stat weights for each of the talents:
Selfless Healer: Intellect > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Spirit.
Eternal Flame: Intellect >Spirit to Comfort > Haste to Breakpoint > Mastery > Haste > Crit
A haste breakpoint is the amount of haste rating needed to gain an additional tick of a HoT. For Eternal Flame, the breakpoints are, respectively: 3,506 rating; 7,170 rating; 10,867 rating.
Sacred Shield: Intellect > Spirit to Comfort > Haste to 5,335 > Haste > Crit > Mastery.
The reason I’ve listed Haste to 5,335 before Haste is that you shouldn’t try Sacred Shield without at least that much Haste.
I’ll discuss each of the play-styles more in-depth later on in the guide, but for now, I’ll leave you with this information:
Selfless Healer is the highest HPS spec. It is generally used in 25-man raids and for fights like Thok and Garrosh on 10-man.
Eternal Flame is competitive with Selfless Healer. It is generally used in 10-man raids with most Holy Paladins preferring the 7170 break-point. In 25-mans, it is used in place of Selfless Healer only for Malkorok, as the shield mechanic of the boss forces the use of Eternal Flame.
Sacred Shield is the lowest HPS spec as it doesn’t scale with Mastery. It has limited situational use on both 10 and 25 man difficulties.
Tier 4: Level 60 Talents
Places a Hand on the friendly target, reducing damage taken by 10% and damage from harmful periodic effects by an additional 80% for 6 seconds. 30 second cooldown. 7% of base mana.
When your Divine Shield, Divine Protection, or Lay on Hands are on cooldown, spending Holy Power will reduce the remaining cooldown by 1% per Holy Power spent, up to a maximum of 50% reduction.
You can use Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, and Hand of Salvation twice each before incurring their cooldowns.
Of all the talent tiers, this it the most versatile. Every one of these talents are useful but each one shines in different fights. Clemency is used in far more situations than the other two, but both Unbreakable Spirit (ubs) and Hand of Purity can be used effectively.
Figuring out which talent suits which fight is largely up to each Holy Paladin, but here are the fights I tend to use Unbreakable Spirit or Hand of Purity instead of Clemency.
Unbreakable Spirit: Normal Siege bosses -Norushen, Sha of Pride, Galakras (if I’m healing bottom), Iron Juggernaut (with Divine Protection glyph – I’ll discuss glyphs later), Malkorok, and Spoils.
Heroic Siege bosses – Sha of Pride, Galakras (if I’m healing bottom), Iron Juggernaut (with Divine Protection glyph and only if the tanks don’t need the extra cooldown from my hand of sacrifice; otherwise Clemency for that fight), Dark Shamans (if I’m healing bottom, glyphed with Divine Protection, due to Iron Prison debuff), General Nazgrim (glyphed with Divine Protection), and Spoils (if tanks don’t need cd; otherwise Clemency).
Hand of Purity: Normal Siege bosses- None.
Heroic Siege bosses – Dark Shamans (if I’m healing top).
Tier 5: Level 75 Talents
Abilities that generate Holy Power will deal 30% additional damage and healing, and generate 3 charges of Holy Power for the next 18 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
Avenging wrath lasts 50% longer and grants more frequent access to one of your abilities while it lasts. For Holy: Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 50%.
Abilities that cost Holy Power have a 25% chance to proc the Divine Purpose effect. Divine Purpose: Your next Holy Power ability will consume no Holy Power and will cast as if 3 Holy Power were consumed. Lasts 8 seconds.
I’ve seen a lot of controversy about this tier, but most Holy Paladins agree: Holy Avenger is the king-pin of this tier. Especially if you’re lucky enough to have the Tier 16 4-set from Siege, which reduces the cooldown of Divine Favor by 60 seconds and grants 4500 mastery while active. Since I haven’t discussed cooldowns yet (I will, don’t worry, it’s on the list!), suffice it to say that Holy Avenger boosts your healing by at least 50% (assuming you have 4-set, of course).
Sanctified Wrath turns the 6 second cooldown of Holy Shock into a 3 second cooldown, but only when Avenging Wrath is active. I haven’t done the math on this talent, so I can’t say if it’s really worse than Holy Avenger, but the only Holy Paladins I have seen, personally, using this talent are those in 14/14 Heroic guilds experimenting with a Sacred Shield build.
As for Divine Purpose- the talent seems good, but it’s not. Any type of talent that is RnG-reliant in a PvE environment is not worth taking. There’s not a single fight in Siege where you can’t predict where tons of damage will come in, and it’s better to have a guaranteed form of burst healing than it is to have an RnG talent that might proc but might not.
Tier 6: Level 90 Talents
If an ally is the prism, they are healed for 16,404 and radiate 11,060 Holy damage to 5 nearby enemies within 15 yards. 20 second cooldown. 5.4% base mana.
Hurl a light-infused hammer into the ground, where it will blast a 10-yard area with Arcing Light for 14 seconds. Arcing Light: Deals 3,960 damage to enemies and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 2 seconds.
Heals allies for 3,690 every 2 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. 30 yard range. Instant.
A hammer slowly falls from the sky, causing 14,099 Holy damage over 10 seconds. This damage is dealt slowly at first and increases over time, culminating in a final burst of damage. Stay of Execution: If used on friendly targets, the falling hammer heals the target for 14,099 healing over 10 seconds. This healing is dealt slowly at first and increases over time, culminating in a final burst of healing. 1 minute cooldown. 40 yard range. Instant.
These last three talents ask us to choose between two AoE heals and a single-target heal. Execution Sentence has no real use in PvE (at least, not one I’ve found) and considering the amount of raid damage in Siege, either Holy Prism or Light’s Hammer is a superior choice.
The size of your raid is the first factor in deciding which of the two to use. Light’s Hammer is favored in 25-mans (and, by the way, the AoE heal from it caps at 6 targets) whereas Holy Prism is favored in 10-mans.
In general, Light’s Hammer is better for stacked fights – if you’re absolutely sure your raid is going to be stacked for a fight, Light’s Hammer may be better to use than Holy Prism. The converse is true for Holy Prism. If you know the raid is going to be spread out, Holy Prism may be better to use than Light’s Hammer. Again, it depends on the size of your raid, the strats you use, and which of the two talents you feel most comfortable with.
In Part 4, I will discuss cooldowns. Since a large portion of Holy Paladin healing depends on the ability to use the cooldowns at our disposal, I think a more in-depth look at those cooldowns may be beneficial.