Final Boss #75: Shuttle and Relil Discuss Holy Paladins

The Importance of a Clean UI

Healing Level: Beginning – Advanced 

In this post, I’d like to focus on the most important part of healing – your UI, or user interface.

It is a rare healer who can utilize the default Blizzard UI and perform well because they don’t give you a whole lot to work with. Most healers use add-ons for their raid frames and to track cooldowns, buffs, and debuffs.

One of the most popular replacement UI’s is ElvUI, which you can download here. If you choose to download ElvUI, I suggest watching a YouTube tutorial on how to configure it (it can be rather complicated). ElvUI comes with its own set of raid frames and the interface is very smooth and clean. A large number of the people I raid with enjoy using ElvUI because it’s such a smooth UI.

Now, you might be wondering why it’s so important to have a clean UI, and that’s an easy question to answer. When people start healing, there’s a tendency to tunnel (overly focus) on the health bars of others. Which is why you’ll see so many healers standing in bad – they are too focused on healing and not focused enough on keeping themselves alive. A clean interface helps minimize the damage from tunneling because it puts the raid frames near your feet where you can see everything in the environment.

As a healer, I get annoyed when I hear players who play dps classes only talk about how easy healing is and/or how boring it can be. Healers have a lot to deal with – another reason people can find the role stressful. You have to be able to watch your feet well enough to avoid all the fire, handle every mechanic properly, and keep the tanks and raid alive. Oh, and yourself – don’t forget, you have to heal yourself too (a lot of new healers forget that part!). On top of that, in a raid environment, you have to be able to trust the other healers in the group. That’s a lot of pressure, so if you can’t handle a lot of pressure, you should turn in your healing badge right now.

If you can handle the pressure, however, read on.

A clean UI is a healer’s bread and butter. It can make the difference between a kill and a wipe – yes, your UI is that essential. And everyone views a clean UI in a different way. Here is how my UI looks on my paladin and druid:

ky ui

druid ui

A lot of people will look at this UI and go “OMG, that’s so cluttered! How do you heal like that?” I know, because I have heard the question asked repeatedly over the years. The answer? “Easily.” Because, for me, this is clean. I am working with a small 13 inch monitor, so I don’t have much room to begin with.

Everything I need to see is near the center of the screen, and I can scale my raid frames up & down as needed, or zoom my camera in & out, to see more of the fight mechanics as needed. I track my cooldowns and buffs with NeedtoKnow (the gray bars in my druid’s screenshot), I use Decursive for dispelling (the little squares near my bars), Dominos for my bars, BigWigs as my Boss Mods add-on, Skada for meters, and Raeli’s Spell Announcer (RSA) to tell the raid when I’ve used my cooldowns. My UI is incredibly customized because I dislike the way ElvUI feels. Like I said, not everyone will enjoy the same UI setup, and it’s important to play around with your UI until you get it just the way you like it.

As a separate example, one of my friends uses ElvUI in conjunction with WeakAuras, and his mistweaving UI looks like this:

Chipnuts' Mistweaver UI

WeakAuras is a popular add-on for raiders, as it allows you to track anything you can imagine. Plus, if you’re really handy with scripting, you can design your entire UI with WeakAuras alone. I like WeakAuras, but my computer is just above the bare minimum requirements to run WoW – the processor said it didn’t like WeakAuras, so I decided to stick with my unique UI instead.

That’s another important point – you are restricted to what your computer can handle. If you have to run all your graphics on low, don’t try and use WeakAuras. You’ll just crash your computer. Search out an alternative, like the one I use (NeedtoKnow) which is less memory intensive.

And the truth is, even if you’re not a healer, your UI is the most vital component of your raiding toolkit. If your UI is subpar, you are going to have a lot less fun playing, and there’s a chance you may even underperform. I’m a minimalist, so my UI consists of the components I absolutely need in order to heal well, but not everyone is – and that’s okay.We’re all different people with different tastes, and healing is no different. Each healer has their own unique style, and I’ll talk about what that means in a later post.

As always, the opinions and thoughts expressed within this post are uniquely mine. Feel free to disagree. :)

Eternal Flame vs Sacred Shield

Caution: Math Ahead. This is an advanced theorycrafting post. Read on at your own risk. 

I’ve seen multiple Holy Paladins running Sacred Shield since Blizzard reduced the mana cost of the spell, but Eternal Flame is much stronger for two reasons: Eternal Flame benefits from Mastery where Sacred Shield doesn’t, and Eternal Flame hot ticks can refresh Illuminated Healing shields.

But for those of you who are more into the math of things, here’s the math I did – in a linear progression. I started with the baseline numbers of the spells at 0% Mastery and 0% crit, then factored in 10% Mastery. After I did that, I looked at 25% Mastery. Then I jumped back down to 10% Mastery and added 10% crit.

If you see something that looks inaccurate, please feel free to point it out, but remember that the math is based on the baseline numbers – which means that spellpower is NOT factored into the amount the spells heal for. Since spellpower fluctuates between players, I decided to leave it out of my calculations.


Note: I carry the decimals out to 5 decimal places for the sake of accuracy, not simply to be annoying!


Here’s the math for the healing done by a single Eternal Flame:

30/1.92 = 15.625  (Ticks in 30 seconds with No Haste)

9,133 + 15.625(346)

9,133 + 5,406.25


Here’s the math for the healing done by a single Sacred Shield:

30/5.75 = 5.21739 (Absorb shields applied in 30 seconds)



Now, that’s the math before you account for the baseline 10% mastery. Mastery doesn’t affect the shields applied by Sacred Shield, so that number doesn’t change.

For Eternal Flame, however, watch what happens:

The baseline heal is 9,133. 10% of 9,133 = 913.3. So the baseline heal increases to 10,046.3 (9,133 + 913.3).

The HoT portion of the heal is 346 and 10% of 346 is 34.6 which increases the base heal of the HoT portion to 380.6 (346 + 34.6). Then, remember from the previous math Eternal Flame math that you get 15.625 tics of the HoT.

15.625(380.6) = 5,946.875

5,946.875 + 10,046.3 = 15,993.175

Eternal Flame scales with Mastery – so at 10% Mastery, Sacred Shield is better. But when you start increasing the Mastery gains, you see the heal from Eternal Flame jump ahead – without the benefit of crit or haste, at 25% Mastery.

25% of 9,133 = 2,283.25 + 9,133 = 11,416.25

25% of 346 = 86.5 + 346 = 432.5 (15.625) = 6,757.8125

11,416.25 + 6,757.8125 = 18,174.0625

So, at 25% Mastery, Eternal Flame trumps Sacred Shield. But don’t assume that means that Sacred Shield is strong enough below 25% Mastery to use it over Eternal Flame. While the shields from Sacred Shield can crit, as all shields can crit, look at the difference between the two baseline spells at 10% crit.

Remember, the baseline Eternal Flame heals for 9,1333 + 15.625(346) Or a total of 14,539.25. Now, that’s a total of ~30 heals – the initial heal, the shield applied, and the 15 HoT ticks and their 15 shields. At 10% crit, well, 10% of 30 is 3, so 3 of those spells are going to crit. For the sake of seeing what will happen with absolutely perfect conditions, let’s look at what it will look like if the initial heal and its shield crits, and one of the HoT ticks crit.

Initial Heal crit: 9,133(2) = 18,266.

10% of 18,266 = 1826.6

Initial Heal shield crit: 1826.6(2) = 3653.2

Initial HoT Tick crit: 346(2) = 692

10% of 692 = 69.2

The other Hot Ticks: 14.625(346) = 5060.25

10% of 5060.25: 506.025

18,266 + 1826.6 + 3653.2 + 692 + 5060.25 + 506.025 = 30,007.075

So at 10% crit and 10% Mastery, one Eternal Flame heals for a total of 30,007.075.

Now let’s look at 10% crit and 10% Mastery for Sacred Shield.

Here’s the basic math for Sacred Shield again (so you don’t have to scroll back up!)

30/5.75 = 5.21739



Ok, well, Mastery doesn’t affect Sacred Shield, so there’s no use looking at that! It’s important to remember that you can have about 4 Sacred Shields rolling at once – if you know how to manage the charges correctly, so to find maximum benefit at 10% crit, I’ll assume that 4 charges are rolling.

4(5.21739) = 20.86956 (.10) = 2.086959 so ~2 charges of SS will crit.

3,397(2) = 6,794.

3,397(18.86956) = 64,099.89532

So, assuming MAXIMUM uptime on charges, Sacred Shield will heal for a total of 64,099.89532.

Seems like my results keep proving Sacred Shield stronger than Eternal Flame, eh? But wait a second – when you use Eternal Flame, you always have 3 – 4 HoTs rolling at a time. To get past the 64,099.89532 heal of 4 Sacred Shields, you just have to have 2 Eternal Flames up – one on the tank and one on yourself. Remember, casting Eternal Flame on yourself doubles the HoT portion of the spell.

Here’s the math for a self-cast Eternal Flame at 10% crit and 10% Mastery:

Initial Heal crit: 9,133(2) = 18,266.

10% of 18,266 = 1826.6

Initial Heal shield crit: 1826.6(2) = 3653.2

Initial HoT Tick crit: 692(2) = 1384

10% of 692 = 138.4

14.625(692) = 10,120.5

10,120.5 + 138.4 + 1384 + 3653.2 + 1826.6 + 18266 = 35,388.7

A self-cast Eternal Flame will heal for 35,388.7

30,007.075 (Standard Cast Eternal Flame)

35,388.7 (Self-cast Eternal Flame)

35,388.7 + 30,007.075 = 65,395.775

So even if you only have two Eternal Flames rolling, you are doing more healing than if you had 4 Sacred Shield charges rolling at 10% Mastery and 10% Crit. The numbers get even higher from there – in Eternal Flame’s favor, of course.

If you have 4 Standard Cast Eternal Flames rolling at 10% Mastery and 10% Crit, you are doing 120,028.3 healing ~ 1.87 times the amount of healing you could be doing with Sacred Shield at the max of 4 charges. Oh, and the best part of the whole thing? Eternal Flame costs ZERO mana.


If you see any disparities in my math or my logic, please feel free to point them out. As always, this is my own take of Holy Paladin healing, so please don’t view my word as law. Test what I suggest for yourself, and maybe come back and tell me what you’ve discovered – I love hearing from other holy paladins, so don’t be shy.

Blackrock Foundry Gear

Here is the gear that I will be going for in BRF – at least, that’s what a quick glance through the loot tables tells me. Not all of these items are perfectly itemized, but there is definitely a lot of well-itemized gear for holy paladins in BRF. I am going to be playing Eternal Flame, as I do not particularly care for Sacred Shield, and this list is based off an Eternal Flame stat priority of crit > mastery > haste > everything else.


Helm: Helmet of Guiding Light (crit/mastery)

Neck: Feldspar’s Control Choker (crit/spirit)

Cloak: Barrage Dodger Cloak (crit/spirit)

Shoulders: Pauldrons of Guiding Light (crit/haste)

Chest: Battleplate of Guiding Light (haste/mastery)

Wrists: Fleshmelter Bracers (mastery/multistrike)

Hands: Gauntlets of Dramatic Blows (crit/mastery)

Waist: Uktar’s Belt of Chiming Rings (haste/mastery)

Legs: Legplates of Guiding Light (crit/multistrike)

Feet: Iron Bellow Sabatons (crit/haste)

Ring: Firemender’s Smoldering Signet (crit/spirit)

Trinket 1: Ironspike Chew Toy (+190 intellect. Chance on attack to gain 1913 spirit for 10 sec)

Trinket 2: Auto-Repairing Autoclave (+427 spirit. Sanitizing, +131 haste up to 20 stacks).

Weapon: Fang of the Earth (crit/haste/spell power)

Shield: Heart of the Clefthoof (haste/mastery)


I should also point out that the same list will not be useful for those playing Sacred Shield, as SS prefers a haste > crit > mastery > everything else stat priority (although, honestly, mastery doesn’t really do anything for SS; it’s just better than multistrike/versatility).

As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own, and please feel free to leave any thoughts of your own.

Thoughts on T-17 Set Bonuses for Holy Paladins

T-17 2-set Bonus

“When you cast Light of Dawn, you have a 25% chance to also be able to cast a free 3 Holy Power Word of Glory” (Wowhead).

T-17 4-set Bonus

“When you cast Word of Glory, you have a 20% chance to be able to cast a free 3 Holy Power Light of Dawn” (Wowhead).

At first glance, this set bonus doesn’t seem all that amazing, right? Because holy paladins, in general, aren’t running Divine Purpose. Most are running Sanctified Wrath or Holy Avenger – Divine Purpose has rarely been touched during Highmaul.

But this tier bonus will change that. Divine Purpose becomes more desirable.

Divine Purpose: “Word of Glory (or Eternal Flame) and Light of Dawn has a 25% chance to cause your next Eternal Flame or Light of Dawn to consume no Holy Power but cast as if 3 were consumed” (Wowhead).

Basically, Blizzard is saying “Here’s a double Divine Purpose, go play with it.” The 25% chance on Light of Dawn turns into a 50% chance to cast a FREE 3-Holy Power Eternal Flame. That’s 1 full Eternal Flame cast for every 2 Light of Dawns you cast!

The 4-set gives you a 45% chance to proc a free Light of Dawn from Eternal Flame – seriously, the play off these two set-bonuses is going to be insane. Light of Dawn is pretty much useless for healing with, but to proc free Eternal Flames? I’ll be seriously surprised to see Holy Pallies with the 2-set NOT using Divine Purpose.

So what does that mean about stats?

Well, crit and mastery become far more important than haste. The reason is that crit and mastery are positively correlated – they impact each other in a good way. Haste is devalued because all haste does is decrease casting time – it’s still good, but it’s not anywhere near as good as crit and mastery combined. That’s why so much BRF gear has crit/mastery and so little has haste.

If you’re wondering why crit/mastery are so good for the tier bonuses, the reason is a simple one: an EF that crits applies a shield that’s 2x as large as an EF that doesn’t crit. Same with LoD – a LoD that crits applies 6 shields that are 2x as large as an LoD that doesn’t crit. Really, the only reason crit outweighs mastery is because shields themselves can crit. So if a 3 holy Power EF crits and applies a 2x normal IH shield that then crits again, you have a 4x normal IH shield (which pretty much guarantees it’s a full IH shield).

Granted, the more mastery you have, the easier it is to top off those IH shields, but the more crit you have, the faster you can do it. Thus, the stat priority for holy paladins as soon as 2-set is acquired is:

Spirit to comfort > Intellect > Crit > Mastery > Haste > Multristrike/Versatility

And that’s my take on the Tier 17 set bonuses. If you have any questions, comments, or disagreements, please feel free to voice them below.

Raiding Tips

This post is intended to help those who are newer to raiding, although those who have been raiding for a long time may find some of the tips beneficial. Feel free to leave any other tips you might have for raiders in the comments.


All your gear should be gemmed and enchanted.

Without gems and enchants in your gear, you’re a lot likelier to get kicked from a group – people expect competence, and showing up without your gear properly accessorized is a telling sign that you have no clue what you’re doing.


Always bring a flask, your own buff food, and crack potions.

Even the crappy 200+ to a stat is better than no flask at all. Not all raids will have someone who drops feasts like they’re candy, so it’s best to have your own stash of food for a stats buff just in case. And crack potions are a must for pre-potting and bolstering your dps (or hps, for that matter). If you don’t know what a crack potion is, it’s just another word for the dps potions – the ones that boost intellect, agility, and strength.


Listen to the raid leader.

That seems like common sense, right? But you’d be surprised by how many times I’ve had to remove someone from a group because I’ve instructed them to do something and they’ve completely ignored me. A good raid leader won’t ask you to do something without a reason and they will explain why if you ask them.


Be willing to speak up.

Communication is key in raids. Imagine a situation where you’re assigned to interrupts and you hit the button too early so the spell isn’t up in time to kick the nasty ability the boss throws out. If you don’t speak up and let someone else know that they need to handle the interrupt, that ability is going to be cast and then the healers are going to hate you forever – seriously, speak up and keep the healers happy.


Understand your class and where it works best.

What that means is – know how much dps you should be doing, if you’re a dps, and know what kind of healing you should be doing, if you’re a healer. Know which fights you’re going to be asked to do certain things – for example, boomkins are great for the bleacher adds on Kargath, hunters are great for the bounding cleave on Butcher, the flamethrowers on Brackenspore, the orbs on Ko’ragh, and dealing with Branded on Imperator. Yes, hunters do have a lot more to handle than other classes because they are the class that has the most mobility and the easiest time kiting. If you play a hunter and you can’t handle kiting, learn quickly or roll a different class.


Don’t stand in fire.

Or any other ground effect. Your dps doesn’t matter as much as your ability to stay out of the bad things on the ground. Numbers can be fixed – bad raid awareness, on the other hand, is a curse. You’re far more likely to be kicked from a raid if you can’t avoid the traps on Heroic Imperator, for example, than if you can’t manage to do 30k dps. Seriously, stay out of the crap on the ground.


Don’t panic.

Even though this is listed last, this is the most important tip I have to offer. When things start going crazy, keep your cool – especially if you’re a healer.

Panic, for a healer, means causing wipes because you start pressing cooldowns like they are lifesavers – this is rarely true. You have to learn to look at crazy events as normal ones and keep your cooldowns for the moments that are already planned out. Do not forget that you are not the only healer in the raid, and that the 3/4/5 healers in the group can and will work together to make it through the crazy moments.

For dps, panic looks like tunnel vision. It means you stop paying attention to the mechanics and zone in on the boss – this is how you die. This is how you cause a wipe. Even to the very last second of the boss dying, maintain your calm – pretend, if you have to, that you can’t see the boss’s health so low so that you can maintain your grip on your rotation and dealing with the mechanics.

Normal/Heroic Ko’ragh Guide

After you’ve killed Twin Ogrons, Tectus, and Brackenspore, your raid will make its way to Ko’ragh. This fight is intriguing because there are tons of mechanics to deal with, and Ko’ragh really tests your tanks, dps, and healers. Without good communication, raid awareness, and a decent amount of skill, this boss won’t die – he is the first truly difficult boss in Highmaul.

Basic Mechanics

I’m not going to go into detail on this – rather, I’ll link you the guide found here at Icy Veins because there is just so much to handle. Tanks must properly manage Expel Magic: Arcane, while healers must deal with the high damage output of Expel Magic: Frost and the odd shield mechanic of Expel Magic: Shadow. All raiders must be aware of the high raid damage of Expel Magic: Fire and stay properly spread out.

DPS need to acquire Nullification Barriers in order to soak the orbs splashing down around the room – do NOT take these without a Barrier. They cannot be immuned, and they deal more damage than you have life. The Nullification Barrier is the mechanic that must be managed properly or your raid will wipe.

Your raid will also have to contend with Suppression Fields, and they are rather obnoxious as they deal high amounts of damage to anyone within them and also silence spell-casting. While these fields seem to be nothing but a nuisance, they are in fact, a vital aspect of the fight that tanks must master during the add phase.

When adds are out, dps need to make sure not to kill them until they are in a Suppression Field, as the adds explode and deal a large amount of AoE damage when they die. Tanks will need to use cooldowns when they position the adds inside the Suppression Fields – otherwise, there’s a high chance the tank will die.

You need an even split of magic damage dealers and physical damage dealers, and Heroism/Bloodlust should be used on pull. For more in-depth information about the mechanics, please visit the Icy Veins guide I linked above.

Holy Paladin Specific Tips and Tricks 

For this fight, I run the following talents (in order of tier)

  1. Speed of Light
  2. Fist of Justice
  3. Eternal Flame
  4. Clemency
  5. Holy Avenger
  6. Holy Prism
  7. Beacon of Faith

This is my normal set-up.


The glyphs I prefer to use for Ko’ragh are:

  1. Glyph of Sacrifice
  2. Glyph of Beacon of Light
  3. Glyph of Divinity

This is my normal set-up.

I’ve found that using Holy Avenger is best after Expel Magic: Shadow is cast while Avenging Wrath seems to work well on the Expel Magic: Frost. Really, Devotion Aura can be used during any Expel Magic: x ability, as it will decrease the damage the raid takes. I’d suggest not using it during Expel Magic: Fire, however, as the raid should be able to spread out enough that you don’t have to worry about using Devotion Aura. 

Hand of Sacrifice is the only damage reduction external that can be used on the DPS who are in the middle of Ko’ragh’s barrier, gaining Nullification Barrier. Since anyone within that barrier is immune to any type of healing or direct damage reduction, Iron Bark from Resto druids and Pain Suppression from Disc Priests are ineffective.

Hand of Sacrifice, however, works because it isn’t a direct damage reduction – it’s a damage transference. The Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice gets rid of the damage that you take, as the paladin casting the ability, but the spell itself is still attempting to transfer the damage to you. So make use of Hand of Sacrifice on your DPS soakers – you are literally the only healer who can help them (well, in that regard at least).

You can also use Hand of Freedom can help people who get stuck in the slow caused by Expel Magic: Frost. 

One important note – when Expel Magic: Fire is out, DISPEL. The people you dispel will take a lot less damage when the DoT wears off than those you don’t. The high mana cost of dispel is worth it. If you disagree with me, fine, but at least, for the sake of your own survivability, dispel yourself.

Disclaimer: This is the method I use to approach healing Ko’ragh, not the only method there is. Feel free to use my methods, disagree with them, or develop your own.