Holy Power System
The Holy Power resource system can be challenging to master, but it is the most important aspect of the paladin class for a healer to master.
The reasons for this are the talents that change the original Holy Power finishers, Word of Glory and Light of Dawn into top priority spells, and the interaction with the Holy Paladin Mastery, Illuminated Healing, discussed previously.
What you need to know:
- Holy Shock and Holy Radiance grant 1 charge of Holy Power every time they are cast.
- Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Light grant 1 charge of Holy Power whenever they are cast on a raid member who is targeted with Beacon of Light; this is referred to as the Tower of Radiance (or ToR) effect.
- No ability will ever consume more than 3 Holy Power.
95% of a Holy Paladin’s spell arsenal consists of Hard-Cast Heals. A Hard-Cast Heal is a Healing spell that heals as soon as you finish casting it and doesn’t apply a Heal-Over-Time (or HoT) affect.
Blasts the target with Holy energy, causing 1371 to 1484 (+ 136% of Spell power) Holy damage to an enemy, or 9014 to 9764 (+ 83.3% of Spell power) healing to an ally, and granting a charge of Holy Power.
Holy Shock has an additional 25% chance to be a critical strike. 8.0% base mana.
6 second cooldown. Instant.*
Holy Shock is a Holy Paladin’s bread-and-butter spell. It has the highest priority of all our heals, and should never be off cooldown.
Here are the reasons Holy Shock has the highest priority:
- Holy Shock critical effects proc the Infusion of Light Passive
- Holy Shock generates Holy Power and is mana-efficient
- Holy Shock, when used after Holy Radiance, gains Daybreak, and becomes an AoE heal
Infusion of Light
Your Holy Shock critical effects reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light, Divine Light, or Holy Radiance by 1.50 sec.*
Infusion of Light is the primary reason you use Holy Shock on cooldown (after Holy Power generation), because of the cast-time reduction to your other hard-cast heals, especially Holy Radiance.
The reason I say especially Holy Radiance is because Holy Radiance procs Daybreak, which turns Holy Shock into an AoE (or area-of-effect) heal. Not only does Holy Radiance proc Daybreak, it also generates one Holy Power each time it’s cast. Holy Light and Divine Light also generate one Holy Power, but only when they are cast on the person targeted with Beacon of Light, which I’ll discuss more in-depth later on.
After casting Holy Radiance, your next Holy Shock will also heal other allies within 10 yards of the target for an amount equal to 75% of the original healing done, divided evenly among all targets. Stacks up to 2 times.*
Infusion of Light and Daybreak are important passives to manage in order to get the most out of your healing. In theory, it’s better to cast Holy Shock at 2stacks of Daybreak rather than at 1, but it is always better to cast Holy Shock on cooldown, regardless of Daybreak stacks.
The AoE heal provided by Holy Shock when Daybreak is at 2 stacks is nice, but the difference between a 1-stack Daybreak Holy Shock and a 2-stack Daybreak Holy Shock isn’t significant enough that you should wait for 2-stacks before casting Holy Shock.
Imbues a friendly target with radiant energy, healing that target for 5098 to 6230 (+ 67.5% of Spell power) and all allies within 10 yards for 50% of that amount. Grants a charge of Holy Power.
Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player target beyond 6. 36% of base mana. 2.5 second cast time.*
Holy Radiance is, in general terms, the 2nd most important spell for a Holy Paladin to use. Talents affect this priority list, of course, and I’ll discuss those talents and how the priority is affected later on.
For now, Holy Radiance grants one Holy Power, grants a stack of Daybreak, and is a moderately decent AoE healing spell. I’ll discuss the proper way to deal with large amounts of incoming tank damage vs dealing with large amounts of incoming raid damage later on.
A large heal that heals a friendly target for 15910 to 17725 (+ 149% of Spell power). 36% of base mana. 2.5 second cast time*
Divine Light does not grant Holy Power unless it is cast on the person who is targeted with Beacon of Light, yet it costs the same amount of mana as Holy Radiance to use.
For that reason, and that reason alone, Holy Radiance is better to use as a filler spell than Divine Light.
That doesn’t mean Divine Light has no place – it does. But to use it efficiently requires a fuller understanding of how Beacon of Light affects healing, which is such an integral part of Paladin healing that I need to cover Beacon of Light in-depth on its own merits – something I will do later on in this guide.
Flash of Light
A quick, expensive heal that heals a friendly target for 11882 to 13331 (+ 112% of Spell power). 37.8% of base mana. 1.5 second cast time.*
Like Divine Light, Flash of Light does not grant Holy Power unless it is used on the person targeted with Beacon of Light.
Flash of Light, however, is more expensive than Divine Light and does significantly less healing than Divine Light, so it is generally better to use Divine Light when Infusion of Light is active than it is to use Flash of Light.
That being said, Flash of Light does have some significant uses, which I will cover later on.
Heals a friendly target for 8390 to 9347 (+ 78.5% of Spell power). 12.5% mana. 2.5 second cast time.*
Holy Light is the spell you should take off your bars. Think I’m joking? I’m not. Sure, it costs less mana than Divine Light, but it heals for significantly less, and no one has time to spend 2.5 seconds waiting around for the meager heal Holy Light has to offer. And there is never a good reason to use Holy Light with Infusion of Light when Divine Light and Holy Radiance do much more healing.
Some paladins will suggest using Holy Light when you’re low on mana, but I won’t. If you are managing your mana correctly, Holy Light is a spell you should never have to cast.
Oh, and did I say take it off your bars? Don’t. You never know. There may be a situation where Holy Light ends up saving the day. I doubt any of us will ever find it, of course, but there is the key to healing, right there:
Always be ready to use every possible tool at your disposal, even if those tools seem useless.
Which means, of course, that you have to know what every single one of those tools does. And that’s what this guide is for!
Word of Glory
Consumes up to 3 Holy Power to heal a friendly target for 4803 to 5350 (+ 49% of Spell power)per charge of Holy Power.*
Word of Glory doesn’t look like it heals for much, does it? I mean, 5k? What kind of heal is that? But this is where Holy Power comes into play.
Before Spell Power is taken into account, a 1-Holy Power Word of Glory heals for 5k, a 2-Holy power Word of Glory heals for 10k, and a 3-Holy Power Word of Glory heals for 15k. Still doesn’t seem like much, does it?
Let’s throw Spell Power into the mix. It’s a safe bet to say that most level 90 Holy Paladins have at least 25,000 Spell Power, if not more. And 49% of 25,000 is 12,250. Add that to the original numbers for 1, 2, and 3 Holy Power Word of Glory casts, and you get a 17,250 heal for a 1-Holy Power Word of Glory, 22,250 for a 2-Holy Power Word of Glory, and 27,250 for a 3-Holy Power Word of Glory, respectively.
Still, the spell doesn’t hit very hard, so it’s not prioritized as a finisher. Certain talents change how Word of Glory works, which I will discuss when I cover talents.
Light of Dawn
Consumes up to 3 Holy Power to emanate a wave of healing energy, healing up to 6 of the most injured targets in your party or raid within 30 yards for 1627 to 1812 (+ 15.2% of Spell power) per charge of Holy Power.*
Light of Dawn is the other Holy Power finisher Paladin healers have at their disposal. The viability of this spell depends on the talents you choose. Without talents, however, you could safely remove this spell off your bars as easily as you could remove Holy Light. The AoE heal provided by Light of Dawn is, in a word, pathetic.
Lay on Hands
Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to your maximum health. 10 minute cooldown. Instant.Causes Forbearance for 1 min. Cannot be used on a target with Forbearance.*
Lay on Hands is listed under hard-cast spells because it is an instant, and it does a large amount of healing. It is better used as a cooldown, however, and I will explain its usage further when I talk about the multiple cooldowns that Holy Paladins have at their disposal.
Beacon of Light
The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all party and raid members within 0 to 60 yards.
Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time.
Your Holy Light will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed. Your Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn, Light’s Hammer, and Holy Prism will heal for 15% of the amount healed. All other heals will heal for 50% of the amount healed.*
All right. Here we are, at the most difficult – and yet most pivotal – aspect of Holy Paladin healing.
Beacon of Light isn’t a spell you just “throw on a tank,” though that’s what is done with it most often. The truth is, Beacon of Light can be used on anyone in the raid. If the tanks are the ones taking the most damage, then throw it on a tank.
Which tank, you ask? Well, the simplest answer is “the one with the least amount of gear.”
Beacon of Light, however, isn’t that simple a spell.
Choosing a tank to Beacon requires the knowledge of the following:
- Which tank is the most geared?
- Which tank is the best player?
- Which tank’s mastery will Illuminated Healing interfere with?
Remember, Beacon of Light won’t allow the mastery shields applied to other players to transfer through the beacon – the spell restricts the transfer to the healing output only. What does that mean?
Mostly, that you need to know whether your mastery, Illuminated Healing, will interfere with any specific tanks.
Let’s look at those masteries:
Mastery: Blood Shield
Each time you heal yourself with Death Strike while in Blood Presence, you gain 50% of the amount healed as a Physical damage absorption shield.*
This is the mastery of Blood Death Knight. Does Illuminated Healing interfere with their Mastery?
Mastery: Critical Block
Increases your chance to block by 4% and your chance to critically block by 18%.*
This is the mastery of a Protection Warrior. Does Illuminated Healing interfere with his Mastery?
Mastery: Divine Bulwark
Increases the damage reduction of your Shield of the Righteous by 8%, adds 8% to your Bastion of Glory, and increases your chance to block melee attacks by 8%.*
This is the mastery of a Protection Paladin. Does Illuminated Healing interfere with his Mastery?
Mastery: Elusive Brew
Increases your Stagger amount by an additional 5%.*
This is the mastery of a Brewmaster Monk. Does Illuminated Healing interfere with his Mastery?
Mastery: Nature’s Guardian
Increases your armor by 16%.*
This is the mastery of a Guardian Druid. Does Illuminated Healing interfere with his Mastery?
So now that you know which tank Illuminated Healing interferes with – Blood Death Knights – what does that mean about Beacon of Light?
Mostly, it means that you should use Beacon of Light over another tank (unless the blood death knight is undergeared or just bad) when you have to decide between a death knight and another type of tank.
Remember, Illuminated Healing does NOT transfer through Beacon of Light, so by keeping the spell on the blood death knight, you are keeping the majority of your shields from interfering with his ability to heal himself.
Beacon of Light is not only about tanks.
Remember? I said that earlier. Beacon of Light can also be used on a DPS who is taking an absurd amount of damage (think about Nazgrim where ranged dps like to turn their backs to assassins), it can be used on other healers (again, think Nazgrim, but this time on Heroic when a Sniper targets a healer), and you can also use it on yourself.
It’s not important to understand how a DPS’ mastery works because there is no DPS specific mastery that deals with self-healing.
Getting used to throwing Beacon of Light around to whoever needs it takes practice. The best way to start is to alternate throwing it from Tank 1 to Tank 2 when they tank swap, then gradually work your way up from there.
Beacon of Light is so integral that it SHOULD ALWAYS BE UP ON SOMEONE. So vital is the spell, in fact, that I almost forgot to write how vital it is because it’s “Common Sense” to me. The idea of a Holy Paladin not using Beacon of Light is so foreign to me it’s ridiculous – the vast majority of your healing as a Paladin is done via the heals transferred through Beacon of Light.
While Beacon of Light has so much versatility it’s impossible to cover all of it in one sitting, I will leave you with this: You rarely ever directly heal the person targeted with Beacon of Light.
In Part 3, I will discuss the Talent Tree as well as the Stat Priorities associated with each build.
*All spell descriptions are taken from Wowhead’s website.*