Tectus Normal/Heroic Guide

The Basic Mechanics

Tectus is an interesting boss, as he splits into two smaller versions of himself when he dies, and then when those two shards die, they each split into two so that there are four shards to deal with at the end of the fight.

Tectus is a very hectic fight when it comes to mechanics. The most annoying ability is Crystalline Barrage, and if this debuff targets you, then you need to move out of the raid and away from the ranged group (which is generally stacked).

On top of this, Tectus casts Fracture, a spike that shoots up out of the ground, deals a large amount of damage to anyone hit by the ability, and knocks anyone hit by the ability back a few yards. As long as you pay attention, it’s easy to see where this ability will land, as the ground where it will hit has a light brown swirly void zone appearance.

While the spikes cast by Fracture disappear, the ones that Tectus cast called Earth Pillar do not disappear, and if you are hit by it, it is a one-shot (or very close to one!). So, you should definitely move out of these, and, like Fracture, the location of the Earth Pillar is predictable. These pillars can create line-of-sight issues, so it’s important that you are constantly aware of where everyone in the raid is, especially if you’re healing.

There are two ads that dps have to deal with during this fight, Night-twisted Earthwarpers and Night-twisted Berserkers. If an Earthwarper casts Gift of Earth, a void zone is left on the ground. Someone needs to soak this before the void zone reaches Tectus, as it travels towards the boss, or the boss will gain an ability called Accretion which increases the amount of damage Tectus does by 5% per stack. Managed properly, Tectus should never have over 1 stack of Accretion. Any dps who soaks the void zone will have to deal with Petrification, a 30 second debuff that slows movement speed by 2% and gives Tectus Accretion if he attacks a raid member with the Petrification debuff. Otherwise, stay out from in-front of the Earthwarper, as it deals a frontal cone attack.

The other ad, the Night-twisted Berserker, is easier to deal with. The only ability it uses is Raving Assault. This ability resets the Berserkers threat on all targets and causes them to charge at a random raid member. Anyone caught inside this charge needs to be prepared to mitigate a good amount of physical damage.

The only other ability to be wary of in this fight is Tectonic Upheaval, an ability that does raid-wide damage. It occurs when Tectus and/or the Shards of Tectus reach maximum energy, so it is important that the raid kill Tectus and/or the Shards of Tectus before a full cast of Tectonic Upheaval can go off. If a full Upheaval does go out, it is during the cast that healers should be prepared to use heavy raid cooldowns like Tranquility, Healing Tide Totem, Spirit Link Totem, Divine Hymn, Devotion Aura,, Power Word: Barrier, and Revival.

Holy Paladin 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. Sanctified Wrath
  6. Holy Prism
  7. Beacon of Faith

Speed of Light is my go-to talent.

Fist of Justice is my go-to talent.

Eternal Flame is my go-to talent.

Clemency is my go-to talent in this tier. There are opportunities in Tectus to use Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Freedom. Hand of Sacrifice is always good to use on tanks, Hand of Protection can save someone who fails to get out of the way of an Earth Pillar or Raving Assault, and Hand of Freedom is good to toss on dps who have the Petrification debuff.

Sanctified Wrath – Yes, there are fights where I prefer Sanctified Wrath to Holy Avenger, and Tectus is one of them. The heavy movement requirements of the fight makes Holy Avenger less than ideal – if I get targeted with Crystal Barrage when I pop Holy Avenger, the cooldown is completely wasted. With Sanctified Wrath, I don’t have to worry as much about wasting cooldowns, since I tend to pair this talent with the Glyph of Merciful Wrath.

Holy Prism is the go-to talent for this fight – the raid is too spread out for Light’s Hammer to be utilized well, and, considering the high mana cost of the spell, Holy Prism is just the better choice.

Beacon of Faith is my go-to talent.

The glyphs I prefer to use are:

  1. Glyph of Sacrifice
  2. Glyph of Beacon of Light
  3. Glyph of Merciful Wrath

Glyph of Sacrifice never comes out of my spellbook.

Glyph of Beacon of Light almost never comes out of my spellbook, unless a fight calls for the combination of Glyph of Divine Protection and Glyph of Divinity, or Glyph of Merciful Wrath and Glyph of Divinity.

Glyph of Merciful Wrath I prefer to use when I run Sanctified Wrath because it gets rid of the feeling of not having a cooldown available (using Holy Avenger as my primary tier 75 talent makes running Sanctified Wrath feel lacking in the cooldown department). The glyph doesn’t really provide a second cooldown – it just spreads the benefit of Avenging Wrath out, and since there’s not a lot of spikey raid damage during the Tectus fight, I feel comfortable running the glyph.

Other viable glyphs are Glyph of Divine Wrath, Glyph of Divinity, Glyph of Flash of Light, to name a few. If you can find a way to utilize a glyph to make it work for you, then it’s worth using.

Keep in mind that this is the way I handle the encounter, and you may find a way that works better for you. This guide is meant to be helpful, but is, by no means, the only approach a holy paladin can take to healing this fight.

Butcher Normal/Heroic Guide

After you kill Kargath in Highmaul, you get to decide which of 4 bosses you will kill next. Butcher is a hard dps check, Brackenspore is a healer check, while Tectus and Twin Ogrons are more about how well your raid can avoid mechanics.

For that reason, it is generally suggested that you go to Tectus after Kargath, but my guild prefers to deal with Butcher after Kargath. Since we don’t have dps issues, we kill Butcher and then move on to Tectus 3rd, Brackenspore 4th, and Twins 5th. I’ll be presenting the guides in the order my guild kills the bosses, but be aware that you can kill any of those 4 bosses after you kill Kargath – Highmaul doesn’t follow a linear path.

Butcher: The Basic Mechanics

On normal/heroic, Butcher is a straightforward fight. The tanks stay on top of each other, as the debuffs applied by the boss force a tank swap. Generally, the boss is tanked in the same spot he is standing in when you enter the room.

Two melee clumps are formed – one on either leg – with one ranged member in either group. The ranged dps is responsible for running out of the group at a set number of stacks (generally 4) to force the boss to cleave the other melee clump. For this reason, it’s important that the ranged who are responsible for forcing cleaves know what they are doing, because getting too many stacks on one group will one-shot an entire melee group which tends to cause a wipe.

Butcher also does a bounding cleave, and before it goes out, he casts a raid-wide knockback. When the knockback happens, the ranged stack up in the back of the room (excluding the two ranged assigned to the melee group) to take the damage from the bounding cleave.

Holy Paladin 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 or Unbreakable Spirit
  5. Holy Avenger
  6. Holy Prism or Light’s Hammer
  7. Beacon of Faith

Speed of Light is helpful when it comes to the knockbacks. Being able to hit Speed of Light allows me to get back in range to heal the tanks (who take the most damage on this fight) more quickly than either Long Arm of the Law or Pursuit of Justice.

Fist of Justice doesn’t really have any utility in this fight, but neither do the other two talents. Fist of Justice is my default tier 2 talent, and I rarely ever swap it out (unless I really need Repentance, but I’ve yet to find an encounter where Repentance is beneficial).

Eternal Flame is the standard for nearly all holy paladins now. However, if you’re in a group with strong raid healers, Sacred Shield could be used instead – assuming the only people you have to heal are the tanks and yourself.

Clemency or Unbreakable Spirit: For the most part, on this fight, I use Clemency because it gives me two Hand of Sacrifices to toss on the tanks when they have high stacks, and I can also use it to toss Hand of Protection on melee who aren’t smart enough (or perhaps aren’t geared enough) to mitigate the damage cleave does to them. Sometimes, however, Unbreakable Spirit is more useful than Clemency – on the rare occassions I have to become part of the melee group, that is. Granted, if I am forced into the melee group, I pair Unbreakable Spirit with the Glyph of Divine Protection in order to reduce the physical damage dealt by cleave.

Holy Avenger, in general, is my preferred 75 tier talent. Sanctified Wrath and Divine Purpose are both viable, so whichever feels the most comfortable to use should be the one you use. That being said, Holy Avenger, when played correctly, does provide a little more output than the other two talents – pre-tier. So, if you are using Sanctified Wrath or Divine Purpose and feel like you aren’t pulling the numbers you should be, you could try switching to Holy Avenger – chances are, if Sanctified Wrath isn’t working well for you, your crit isn’t high enough to make it worth taking.

Holy Prism or Light’s Hammer: In general, I prefer Holy Prism for this fight, as it is less mana-intensive than Light’s Hammer. I switch between them depending on who I am healing with – if the guild’s disc priest is present, I am comfortable using Light’s Hammer, because I trust him implicity – he’s an amazing healer. If he’s not around, however, (which rarely happens, but real life does sometimes interefere with raiding), I tend to stick to Holy Prism, as my mana regen is much better. Light’s Hammer is murder on mana. Granted, there are other factors that I look to before deciding to use Holy Prism or Light’s Hammer, like who we have for dps (lower dps means more healing will be needed, whereas higher dps means the boss dies more quickly) and how geared the tanks are, to name two. There’s really no wrong answer here – it just depends on your raid.

Beacon of Faith never changes – I use double beacon for every encounter. The other 100 talents are just meh.

The glyphs I prefer to use for Butcher are:

  1. Glyph of Sacrifice
  2. Glyph of Beacon of Light or Glyph of Divine Protection
  3. Glyph of Divinity

Glyph of Sacrifice NEVER comes out of my spellbook. Of all the glyphs I have, I consider it to be a mandatory glyph. Because it’s not fun to forget that Hand of Sacrifice actually does damage to you if it’s unglyphed, and that unglyphed damage can be close to impossible to mitigate (not impossible, if you remember you have Divine Shield and Divine Protection, but I have seen many holy paladins die because they forget that Hand of Sacrifice does damage).

Glyph of Beacon of Light is a glyph I don’t change around very often because being able to toss out a quick Beacon swap when it’s needed can make the difference between a wipe and a kill, but I don’t consider it a mandatory glyph. Especially not for a fight like Butcher, where 95% of the damage is dealt to the tanks.

Glyph of Divine Protection is a glyph I use only when I take Unbreakable Spirit and need to be in melee range. Healers, no matter how much armor they have, take a lot of damage from cleave abilities, so I sacrifice raid utility here for personal survivability. After all, if I die on this fight, the rest of the raid tends to follow – Butcher is one of the best fights for a holy paladin, due to the Double Beacons on tanks, so there’s a lot of pressure to keep myself alive. For this reason, I swap this glyph with the glyph of beacon of light because personal survivability trumps raid utility when I am forced into the melee group (or rather, I should say personal survivability ensures raid survivability).

Glyph of Divinity gives you 10% mana when you use Lay on Hands. I personally love this glyph for this fight because an extra 10% mana can be a huge asset during a critical moment.

Other glyphs that can work well on this fight include Glyph of Merciful Wrath, Glyph of Flash of Light, Glyph of Divine Wrath, etc. It depends on your playstyle, your raid make-up, and what you need to do in order to kill bosses.

As always, this guide is my personal approach to healing the Butcher encounter, so please do not take it as the end-all, be-all of everything hpally. If it helps you in some way, then great. If you find another approach that works better for you, by all means, take it. And feel free, if you are so inclined, to leave your own tips and tricks in response.

Kargath Bladefist Normal/Heroic Guide

Kargath Bladefist is the first boss in Highmaul, and to get to him, you must ride an elevator (or speak to the man and be transported to the arena). As far as the fight goes, the mechanics are straightforward, so he’s a good introductory boss.

Basic Mechanics

There are four skulls around the room, and pillars of fire will occasionally burst forth from them. It’s easy to see where the fire pillars will be at since the ground lights up a few seconds before the pillar comes up, so the fire pillars are easy to avoid. If you have trouble seeing these pillars, you may need to turn on projected textures in your video settings.

Kargath casts impale on the tank he’s targeting, and impales force a tank swap. Generally speaking, impales are when healers will want to use externals on the tanks – granted, don’t use a cd on the tank if he’s using a cd of his own!

And those fire pillars? They aren’t just for show. Kargath fixates a random raid member, and that raid member must then kite Kargath into a pillar, as the fire pillar cancels the fixate. Be aware of your surroundings when you do this, however, as it is very easy to kite Kargath on top of another player and get that player killed. This is a 1-shot mechanic, so make sure when you’re not fixated that you are also watching the people who are fixated – so you can get out of the way if they mess up!

Kargath also does an ability called Chain Hurl. When this happens, the 5 closest (read, in his hit box) to him will be thrown up into the stand to deal with the ads. The Drunken Bileslingers and Iron Bombers need to be killed asap, and aoe stuns and ccs can be used by anyone in the stands. There will always be one tank and one healer sent up, along with 3 dps.

Holy Paladin Specific Tips and Tricks

For Kargath, I use the following talents (listed 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

Speed of Light is great for when I get targeted with Berserker Rush, that really annoying charge Kargath does. With a burst of speed, I can get behind the fire pillar quickly, drop the charge, and get back to healing the tanks.

Fist of Justice has no utility on the ground. It could, however, be used if I ever healed stands. I shouldn’t ever have to, but if I were ever asked to heal the stands, I’d suggest switching to Blinding Light since it’s an AoE disorient.

Eternal Flame is pretty much standard for Holy Paladins these days. I have yet to find a fight that favors either Sacred Shield or Selfless Healer, so sticking to Eternal Flame is a safe bet.

Clemency is amazing for Kargath, because it gives you two usages of Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Freedom before the 2 min cooldown (5 min for Hand of Protection, called BoP by veteran holy pallies) is incurred. Hand of Sacrifice is great for Impales – throw a sac on the tank and breathe a little easier. BoP is great for Berserker Rush – use it on dps who just can’t seem to figure out how to kite!

Holy Avenger is what I prefer. Sanctified Wrath works well on this fight, too, as there is no heavy AoE damage. Divine Purpose is also viable – really, this tier is all about what you prefer to use.

Holy Prism is better than Light’s Hammer because the raid is too spread out to use Light’s Hammer optimally.

Beacon of Faith is the only viable level 100 talent for any fight – both of the other talents pale considerably in comparison to having a second beacon to toss around.


For Kargath, I use the following glyphs:

  1. Glyph of Sacrifice
  2. Glyph of Beacon of Light
  3. Glyph of Merciful Wrath

Glyph of Sacrifice is always a nice glyph, as the glyph keeps you from doing damage to yourself when you toss Hand of Sacrifice on a player.

Glyph of Beacon of Light takes Beacon of Light off of the global, so it’s nice to have in a fight like Kargath, where you may need to flip one of your two beacons onto a dps who is too dim-witted to move out of the fire pillars or away from Kargath.

Glyph of Merciful Wrath reduces the amount of healing done by Avenging Wrath (from 100% increased healing down to 50% increased healing) but also halves the cooldown (from 3 minutes to 1.5 minutes). I like this glyph for most fights, as it provides a solid hps throughput – after all, halving the healing and the cd as well means that you still get the 100% increased affect from Avenging Wrath during a 3 minute period – it’s just a bit less intense. For that reason, I dislike this glyph for fights with a lot of burst damage, but for Kargath, where burst damage is close to non-existent, Glyph of Merciful Wrath works well.

You can use other glyphs for this fight – Divinity, Flash of Light, Divine Wrath, to name a few – it really just depends on your raid set-up and what you feel most comfortable using. For me, Glyph of Sacrifice and Glyph of Beacon almost never come out of my spellbook, but I don’t expect other people to play the same way I do.

So please read this guide with that in mind – I am not claiming that my approach to healing Kargath is the best, just stating that it is the method I use. If it helps someone with their holy paladin, great, but if you disagree with the guide because you find another play-style works better for you, then that’s also great. Honestly, if you’re killing bosses without issue, then that’s all that really matters.

Insights into Heroic Butcher

Pictures are worth 1,000 words, right? Or so they say (who is they? I still haven’t figured this out… hmm). Anyway, here’s my healing breakdown from tonight’s Heroic Butcher kill. In picture form. Because pictures are awesome.

Talent and Glyphs 

For Heroic Butcher, I ran the following build:

image 7

with Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice, Glyph of Flash of Light, and Glyph of Divinity.

The HPS Chart

Image 1

My Actual Healing
image 2

Heals Cast

image 6

Important Uptimes

image 3

Defensive and Healing Buffs

image 4

Holy Power Gain/Waste

image 5

Logs Interpretation 

I heal with a disc priest who regularly hits the 97th percentile, so it can be incredibly difficult to pull large numbers. Luckily, the point of healing isn’t to see how much HPS you can pull, but how well you can keep people alive.

And it just so happens that Heroic Butcher is a fight that is made for a Holy Paladin. Double beacon is incredible.

Now, you’ll notice the second picture I linked was the actual healing I did – that’s pretty self-explanatory. The chart shows which spells did the most healing. One of the first things you might notice is that Holy Prism, rather than Light’s Hammer, is on the list. The reason for this is quite simple – I don’t have the spirit to run Light’s Hammer without going oom. Seriously – I don’t have a spirit trinket and I only have 1,077 spirit. Which is also the reason I chose to run the Glyph of Divinity rather than the Glyph of Beacon of Light.

Especially since I was utilizing the Glyph of Flash of Light quite a bit – I needed the extra mana regen. We hit the soft enrage too, so there was a lot more healing required than usual (we didn’t have all our usual players – holiday raiding is rough).

The next chart shows my Heals Cast which is, again, self-explanatory. As you can see, Holy Shock, Eternal Flame, Holy Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Prism were the top 5 spells I cast. Beacon of Light and Beacon of Faith, of course, were applied pre-pull.

Next, you see the Important Uptimes which deals with Illuminated Healing (the absorb shield applied by hpally mastery) and Eternal Flame. Both are above 95% – which is, of course, ideal. As a note, the second Eternal Flame you see on the original healing chart is the one applied to myself – which is something I need to work on remembering to do, as the HoT from EF does quite a bit more healing when I cast it on myself. That’s why the uptime on that (if you look at the actual healing chart and not important uptimes) is at around 40% rather than 95+ (which is where it should be ideally). Like most healers, I forget to heal myself until I am about to die. And it’s always good to be able to find an area to improve – when we can’t improve, we can’t progress, and if we can’t progress, we die (dramatic, but you get the idea!)

The next chart of defensive and healing buffs shows you when I used my cooldowns. As you can see, I popped Holy Avenger 3 times during the fight and Avenging Wrath twice – in a 5 minute fight, that is exactly how many times I should have used them. Now, I could have perhaps chosen a better time to pop them – say, during the cleaves – but I was more concerned about keeping the tanks alive than optimizing my cd usage for ranks. Besides, I trust my other healers to handle the raid damage – on Heroic Butcher, on a hpally, it’s 100% about the tanks.

The very last chart is the Holy Power Gain/Waste – you’ll notice I gained 75 Holy Power from Holy Shock but wasted 2 of those Holy Power – which I actually remember, because I cast two Holy Power generating abilities back-to-back after activating Holy Avenger twice during the fact, and each time you do that, you automatically waste 1 Holy Power since you can’t store more than 5. I prefer wasting zero Holy Power, of course, since it’s such a pain in the ass to gain, but only losing 2 of 75 total – pretty good.

So this is one of my more solid logs from recent raids, although I definitely need to work on remembering to keep Eternal Flame up on myself and not casting Holy Shock generators back-to-back when Holy Avenger is active. But I can say that I Holy Shock’d as much as I should have (on cooldown!), I was proactive with mitigating damage (check out the Divine Protection, Divine Shield, and Healthstone usage!), my uptimes (aside from self-cast EFs) are exactly where they should be, and, most importantly? I kept the tanks alive. So, all in all, I’d say it was a good night.

A Trifold Approach and Thoughts on Talents

I’m sure some of you will remember that a couple weeks back I wrote this post about using a Haste/Mastery build rather than a Crit/Haste build. I still favor Haste/Mastery over Crit/Haste, but I’ve decided that the best approach utilizes all three. Rather than go for pure crit/haste or pure haste/mastery, I’m working on evening out all three stats – haste/crit/mastery.

The reason I’m looking at a tri-fold approach to the stats rather than a dual approach is that crit, mastery, and haste all increase throughput in an Eternal Flame build. It would be easy to say “Yeah, but crit gives more holy shock and more holy power” and leave it at that (if using a Sanctified Wrath build), or to say “Yeah, but mastery increases the shields from Eternal Flame (if using a Holy Avenger build) and leave it at that.

What I have personally noticed is that Holy Avenger and Sanctified Wrath builds do the same amount of healing – there may be 1- 2k hps difference between them, with SW pulling ahead. But that small amount of HPS is so negligible that the real question is “Okay, so what’s the gear difference and skill difference between the two players?” Because a 1-2k hps difference can be easily attributed to gear, and if a hps difference is so small that gear can be used to explain it, then the difference is really non-existent.

Crit is valuable with a Sanctified Wrath build because it allows a quick build-up of holy power. A 3 second Holy Shock versus a 6 second Holy Shock for 40 seconds rather than 20 roughly adds to 13 holy power gained in the space of a 40 second window. That’s enough holy power for around 4 full Eternal Flame casts.

Granted, throw in the Glyph of Merciful Wrath, and you can get those 4 full Eternal Flame casts every 1.5 minutes instead of every 3 minutes, and in a 5 minute fight, you can cast Avenging Wrath 3 times. That’s 12 full Eternal Flame casts in 5 minutes. Just from the talent, of course.

But then look at Holy Avenger – a 2 minute cooldown that lasts 18 seconds, increases healing by 30% and grants 3 Holy Power when a Holy Power generating ability is used. Assuming that your haste is high enough that you can only cast Holy Shock once every 6 seconds, that’s still a net gain of 3 Full Eternal Flame casts. More if you’ve got the mana to handle casting Holy Radiance  – with enough spirit (and a full HR cast of 2.5 seconds), you can potentially gain 4 full Eternal Flames from Holy Radiance casts. Plus the 3 from Holy Shock – that’s 7 total Eternal Flames. Since HA can be used every 2 minutes, in a 5 minute fight, that’s 2 usages – 14 full Eternal flame casts.

So, as you can see, the difference between the two talents is negligible. Sanctified Wrath and Holy Avenger are both viable – the spirit you have determines which one you should use, as well as the movement intensity of the fight.

I personally find myself preferring Holy Avenger for the majority of fights, but Sanctified Wrath is my preferred talent for fights like Twin Ogrons, where the movement requirement is ridiculously high and the value of instant cast spells is increased.

Deciding whether or not to use the Glyph of Merciful Wrath is the difficult choice – because it reduces the cooldown by 50% sure, but it also reduces the healing increase from 100% to 50%. Sometimes it seems the best option, and other times it seems like the worst possible choice to make – I’m still working on figuring out which fights require the glyph and which ones are best healed without it.

As to other glyphs – the Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice never leaves my spellbook. Neither does the Glyph of Flash of Light. The secret to Holy Paladin healing, it seems, lies in the Glyph of FoL. Because it increases the next spell cast on the target you FoL by 10%, I find that the glyph is a very valuable tool. When I’m using Holy Avenger, I will Holy Shock, then FoL a beaconed target, then cast Eternal Flame. This makes the Glyph of Beacon valuable, because of the condition of the FoL glyph. Granted, on a fight like Butcher (where you’re really only healing the tanks), Glyph of Divinity is really nice to have for the mana regen.

Holy Paladins are tank healers again, so raid healing isn’t our strongest point at all. Other pallies insist that beacon bouncing isn’t a viable play-style, but with Glyph of Beacon and the mana regen granted by casting HL and FoL on a beaconed target, there are ways to minimize the cost and maximize the healing you do. Granted, you also have to know when Glyph of Merciful Wrath is worth taking and when it’s not – because the use of it will force you to abandon a glyph (usually the Beacon glyph, since the free global is less important than the 10% increase to healing; or the Divinity glyph, if you’re using it).

Figuring all of this out hasn’t been easy – it’s taken a lot of practice and a lot of experimentation to determine what works the best. Because even though math is beautiful – and it does show you the best route to take, in theory – the truth is, what works in theory rarely pans out in practice. Everything about hpally healing right now is very dynamic, so determining the optimal setup for each raid boss is where the real challenge starts. When you can do pretty much anything and have it work (as long as you know the class well enough), the challenge is much greater than when there’s only one right way to do something. Makes the game more fun, of course, but also more frustrating.

And my current goal, for now, at least, is to even out my stats and run about 15-20% of crit, mastery, and haste – I already have the mastery and haste I need, but my crit is at 11% passively. I’ve got a few more pieces to get (and I really need a spirit trinket) before I can balance my stats, but hopefully I will get a couple new pieces from my guild’s raid this week.

Armory: Kyaza on Anetheron

Raid Times: Fri/Sat 10pm – 1am EST

Current Progression: 6/7 Normal, 5/7 Heroic.

Dungeon Pre-Raid BiS List Haste/Mastery Build

I’ve put together a dungeon pre-raid BiS list that should be sufficient for players who have no desire to burn themselves out on their garrisons, on leveling alts to maximize their professions, and for players who have no interest in participating in the daily challenge mode quests (or feel they lack the skill).

Challenge modes currently reward 640 gear, so if you can do them, you should. But if you can’t, rest easy – Highmaul, the first raid, shouldn’t require more than a 630 ilvl minimum. And that is easily reached by doing level 100 5-man heroic dungeons.

The BiS list I’ve put together is for the largest group of players possible because the truth is, most players don’t have time to grind out heroic warforged dungeon gear or spend hours a day in challenge modes. This blog is meant to help everyone who plays a holy paladin, from those who’ve just started playing the class to those who have played the class for nearly a decade. No matter how long we’ve played, we’re all healers. And that is all that matters.

The stat priority assumed for BiS list is as follows:

Intellect > Spirit > Haste to 20% > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Multistrike > Versatility

On-use trinkets are almost always more valuable than passive trinkets, so both of the ones on this list are on-use.

Here’s the list:

Helm – Gutcrusher Coronet

Neck – Chain of Soothing Light (spirit is paramount on jewelry)

Shoulders – Goldsteel Shouldercaps

Cloak – Cloak of Mending Magics

Chest – Incarnadine Breastplate

Wrist – Goldsteel Bindings, Rivet-Sealed Bracers, or Incarnadine Bracers (decide based on needed haste levels)

Hands – Goldsteel Gloves or Verdant Plate Grips (decide based on needed haste levels)

Waist – Verdant Plate Belt

Legs – Rivet Sealed Legplates

Feet – Gutcrusher Stompers

Ring 1 – Ring of Purified Light (spirit is paramount on jewelry)

Ring 2 – Band of Growing Leaves (spirit is paramount on jewelry)

Trinket 1 – Fleshrender’s Meathook (Iron Docks)

Trinket 2 – Tharbek’s Lucky Pebble (Upper Blackrock Spire; spirit = necessity)

Weapon – Soulcutter Mageblade (Auchindoun)

Shield – Desiccated Husk Shield (Everbloom)

If you do Molten Core, the MC helm is 640 and your best bet. The legendary ring (epic for now, with a 680 possible ilvl) and the jewelcrafting 640 ring and neck are great pieces of jewelry if you happen to be a jewelcrafter or if you happen to have a jewelcrafting friend. Jewelcrafters can eventually turn those 640 rings/necks into 665 rings/necks, so that is one advantage of having crafting friends.

If you’re an alchemist, you can make a 620 trinket that will tide you over until you get the two dungeon trinkets you need, which will then free up your 3rd crafted gear spot (assuming you’re a jewelcrafter).

If you’re a Blacksmith (or you have blacksmithing friends willing to make you gear), then you can potentially craft 640 items for three of the following slots: Helm, Waist, Wrist, Hands, Chest, Shoulder, Legs, Feet. The enchantment is random, so you’ll have to cross your fingers and hope you get the stats you need! (Or use the truesteel reshapers to reroll the stats again and again until you get the correct stats).

Engineers can craft 640 Helms and Inscriptions can craft Trinkets that they can eventually upgraded to 665. Leatherworkers can craft a 640 cloak that may be worth grabbing, depending on how lucky you can get with the rolled stats, since it can be upgraded, over time, to ilvl 665.

Tailors can also craft 640 cloaks that can eventually be upgraded to 665. To really be able to benefit from crafted gear, it seems that a plethora of alts with level 3 garrisons is a necessity. The nicer gear from professions will depend on the amount of crafting materials you can gather, which, in turn, depends on the garrison decisions you make.

A Different Direction – Haste/Mastery build

Reading the forums and other holy paladin blogs, it’s clear that everyone is saying “Crit is the way to go.” So I tried crit. I tried to make it work, but it doesn’t.

Sure, the stat looks pretty on paper, but once I realized that the amount of crit needed to make the stat viable would be at least 25% (20% buffed) and how hard it was to get that much crit-based gear, I decided to consult Vanity, the discipline priest in my guild and a math guru.

That conversation led to the revelation that most discipline priests (forums and blogs) are suggesting crit stacking, but Van has ignored the crit craze and his numbers speak for themselves. Within two minutes, he’d figured out the rating to percentage ratios, and it quickly became apparent that crit just wasn’t the right way to go.

For a Holy Paladin, these are the stat conversions:

1% Crit = 120 rating

1% Mastery = 110 rating

1% Haste = 100 rating

He gave me the numbers for versatility and multistrike as well, but those stats are so ridiculously bad for healers that I’m not even going to bother.

After that conversation, I decided to go do a little math of my own and find out how much haste I’d need to get Holy Light down to a 2 second cast – which, in turn, would be enough haste to make WoG/Eternal Flame/Light of Dawn all 1 second casts. Here’s the chart I came up with, and the chart goes from 1% to 100% haste:

Haste Cast Time Reductions

After that, I decided on a new stat prioirty, and so far, I’m having absolutely none of the healing or mana issues I was having while I was following the crit-crazed crowd.

My new stat priority:

Intellect > Spirit > Haste to 20% (unbuffed, need 25% with raid buff) > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Multistrike > Versatility

I’m using Eternal Flame and Holy Avenger because having 2 cooldowns (HA and Avenging Wrath) has proved to be more beneficial than the extra access to Holy Shock granted by Sanctified Wrath.

I’m worrying less about using Holy Radiance when I need to because Holy Avenger and Avenging Wrath allow me to get large shields out using my high cost spells. In-between using them (I pop them in intervals), I focus on regenning mana by spamming Holy Light on a beacon’d target. And I’m also worrying less about whether I’m flipping Beacons or not. If I need to flip my Beacon, I flip it. 1,000 mana? When I can use Holy Radiance and regen half its cost in 5 seconds (I have 5560 combat regen), I’m a bit less worried about avoiding casting it.

Basically, the lesson I’ve learned is that when I try to follow what other holy paladins do, it never works out well for me. I have my own style of healing, and I sometimes forget that the most valuable tool I possess is my intuition about what works best.

In the end, healing comes down to being able to trust yourself, to trust that you’re doing the right thing for you, and to ignore all the mainstream players who are saying that one stat is more valuable than another. It’s easy to fall into that trap – I mean, I still fall in it sometimes, and I’ve been healing on a paladin for 9 years now. The truth is, we put a lot more weight into the words of players who are well-known because they play in well-known guilds, so we end up thinking they know a lot more than a player they would consider “average.”

But they don’t – everyone is doing the same thing right now. We’re all trying to figure out the best stats to use, and there’s nothing wrong with people who want to rely on the mainstream players because they don’t want to do the math themselves. Not everyone wants to play the game so seriously, and I understand that.

For me, however, I’ve decided to run a Haste/Mastery build with an Eternal Flame/Holy Avenger setup. I no longer feel like my spells are too weak for me to handle large pulls in dungeons, and I have virtually no mana problems. Besides, the math speaks for itself, right? Get enough spirit to compensate for increasing haste, then stack the crap out of mastery. That’s what I’m going to be doing for the foreseeable future. Who knows? Maybe someone else out there will try out my playstyle and find that it works better for them than the crit-based style.