Tier 18 BiS List and Set Bonus Discussion

Since 6.2 comes out Tuesday, I figured I’d put a Best in Slot list together for Hellfire Citadel and talk a little about the Tier 18 2-set and 4-set bonuses and the implications of the class/role specific trinket.

Anyway, here’s what I will be going for in Hellfire Citadel:

Helm: Helm of the Ceaseless Vigil dropped by Kormrok

Shoulders: Shoulderplates of the Ceaseless Vigil dropped by Xhul’orac

Hands: Gauntlets of the Ceaseless Vigil dropped by Socrethar

Chest: Cuirass of the Ceaseless Vigil dropped by Mannoroth

Legs: Acid-Etched Legplates dropped by Hellfire High Council

Wrists: Wristplate of the Wretched dropped by Shadow-Lord Iskar

Waist: Anniharli’s Waistplate dropped by Mannoroth

Boots: Stompers of Brazen Terror dropped by Killrogg

Cloak: Polymorphc Cloak of Absorption dropped by Kormrok

Ring: Pompous Ceremonial Ring dropped by Velhari

Trinket 1: Libram of Vindication dropped by Archimonde (class trinket!)

Trinket 2: Intuition’s Gift dropped by Killrogg (on-use crit)

Trinket 3: Demonic Phylactery dropped by Socrethar

Shield: Soulwarped Tower Shield dropped by Socrethar

Weapon: Mindbender’s Flame Blade dropped by Hellfire High Council

While you’re free to use this list, keep in mind that I put a list together that best suits my play-style. I prefer having spirit on my neck and ring (only 1 is listed because the other will be the legendary ring!), but it’s perfectly viable – maybe even preferable – to go for the caster rings with crit/haste or crit/mastery. That said, this list is built from ten years of playing a holy paladin, so feel free to trust it if you don’t want to take the time to build your own list.

Tier 18 2-set and 4-set Bonus Discussion 

2-set: Increases the amount of healing transferred to your Beacon of Light targets by 25%.

4-set: Your spell haste is increased by 2% every time you heal your Beacon of Light target. Lasts for 6 seconds. Stacks up to 4 times.

The 2-set bonus is game-breaking. Holy Shock, Eternal Flame, Holy Light, Flash of Light, and Light of Dawn transfer through Beacon of Light at 50%. This 2-set bonus increases the transfer by 25%, so 75% of the aforementioned heals will transfer through Beacon of Light AND Beacon of Faith with this set bonus. If Beacon of Faith wasn’t a forced talent before (let’s face facts, it pretty much was), it definitely is with this 2-set bonus.

The wording on the 4-set bonus seemed straightforward to me – it should be any heals whatsoever on the Beacon target that triggers the effect. But one of my guildies brought up a good question – did the wording imply that it was ALL heals on the Beacon target, including transferred heals, or just direct heals on the Beacon target? Since I couldn’t find an answer on the forums, I sent a tweet to Shuttle, Midwinter’s Holy Paladin. Here’s what he said.

Getting an answer to that question helped me determine that the 4-set is not only worth taking, it’s pretty much required, especially with the way it synergizes with the class trinket, which I’ll get to in a moment. The 2% haste increase stacking 4 times leads to an 8% haste increase that should be possible to keep up 100% of the time without much effort. It should still be tracked, of course, but if you’re healing correctly, then keeping the 8% haste increase shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Class Trinket: Libram of Vindication 

Here’s what the Libram does for Holy: Healing with Holy Shock grants you Magnifying Light, increasing the healing of your next Holy Light or Flash of Light within 6 seconds by 101.03%

That’s the heroic tooltip, found on Wowhead. Since we use Holy Shock on cooldown, and Holy Shock critical strikes trigger Infusion of Light, this trinket is AMAZING. Holy Light typically heals for around 30-50k, depending on raid buffs, stat weights, and cooldown usage. With 50k at the top end of that spectrum, increasing the heal by 101% for 100,500 gives us the toolkit to be true niche tank healers again.

I’ve heard other pally healers complain about being forced back into a niche, but I’ve never minded being in the tank healer niche. I started playing in Vanilla, started raiding in BC, and tank healing was bread-and-butter paladin healing through multiple expansions. The only problem I have had with the tank healing niche is that we haven’t been given the toolkit we really need to BE tank healers. With the tier 18 set bonuses and the class trinket, we get our toolkit back.

Holy Power generation is still problematic, and I don’t see how Blizzard is going to remedy that. Right now, it seems they are relying on our set bonuses to give us the tools we need to fit the niche we were originally intended to fill, and even if it’s more of a band-aid than a real fix, I’ll take it. I’m tired of feeling like my single target heals don’t hit the tanks hard enough, and these set bonuses should help with that, if nothing else.

The Holy Pally Song

This video is old – 4 years old – but the content is so realistic. Especially while leveling alts.

On a more serious note, I will eventually get all the guides for Blackrock Foundry posted. I’ve been busy with real life things, so WoW-related activities got pushed a bit to the back-burner. And with Hellfire Citadel so close to release, it’s hard to say when I’ll be able to finish those guides. No worries though – they WILL get done.

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.