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:

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

The HPS Chart

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My Actual Healing
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Heals Cast

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Important Uptimes

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Defensive and Healing Buffs

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Holy Power Gain/Waste

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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.

Ironing Out Warlords Math

In my last post, I discussed some Warlords math, but that math is outdated. My apologies for that – I didn’t have access to the game at the time I did the math, so I was relying on tooltips from Wowhead for the mana cost and spell coefficients. We all make bad decisions sometimes, though, so I’m just going to chalk it up to a fumble.

Most of the information – aside from the numbers – is accurate. In terms of talents and spells to use and not to use, Eternal Flame still trumps Sacred Shield.

Here is the current math, based off my in-game stats and tool-tips, rather than wowhead. Lesson learned, there! :p

Name of Spell Mana Cost Healing Mastery Shield Overall Healing
Holy Shock 2352 7753 1146 8899
Holy Light 3300 16615 2456 19071
Flash of Light 6400 16614 2456 19071
Word of Glory 0 17584 2599 20183
Light of Dawn 0 29340 4336 33676
Holy Radiance 11405 33520 4954 38474
Eternal Flame 0 28907 4272 33179
Sacred Shield 4608 24612 0 24612
Holy Prism 5440 66465 9824 76289
Light’s Hammer 16608 155,820 23030 178850

I experimented with a few different rotations, looking solely at an Eternal Flame build, in order to determine which method was the quickest to get holy power as well as the least expensive.

Here are the rotations I considered, and the math behind each one. The total healing numbers considers mastery, but not crit, cooldown usage, versatility, multistrike, or procs – I will probably do those calculations on the best rotation I find serves as a solid foundation.

1st Rotation: HS – HR – HR – EF 

2352 + 11405(2) = 25,162 mana

160,000/25,162 = 6.35 ~ 6 times until OoM

~6 seconds per rotation

36 seconds until OoM

Healing Throughput: 461688 from HR, 53394 from HS, 199074 from EF

Total Healing: 298,656

2nd Rotation: HS – CS – HR – EF 

2352 + 11405 + 3500 = 17257

160,000/17257 = 9.27 ~ 9 times until OoM

~5 seconds per rotation

45 seconds until OoM

Note: Crusader Strike costs 3500 mana and has a 3.85 sec cd with my current haste

Healing Throughput: 80091 from HS, 346266 from HR, 298611 from EF

Total Healing: 412,968

3rd Rotation: HS – CS – HL – HL – HS – EF

2352 + 3500 + 1980 + 1980 + 2353 = 12165

160,000/12165 = 13.15 ~ 13 times until oom

~8 seconds per rotation.

104 seconds until OoM or 1.7 minutes until OoM

Healing Throughput: 231374 from Holy Shock, 495846 from HL, 431327 from EF

Total Healing: 1,158,547

4th Rotation: HS – HL – HL – HL – HL – HS – HL – HL – HL – HL – HS – EF

2352 + 1980(4) + 2352 + 1980(4) + 2352 = 20,544

160,000/20,544 = 7.78 ~ 7 times until oom

~17 seconds per rotation

119 seconds until OoM or1.9 minutes until OoM

Healing Throughput: 186879 from HS, 1067976 from HL, 232253 from EF

Total Healing: 1,487,108

When I saw how quickly each rotation would OoM a player, I decided to look at 2 Holy Power rotations as well. With a 2 Holy Power Eternal Flame, the heal hits for the same amount – the only difference is that the HoT lasts for 20 seconds instead of 30.

1st 2 Holy Power Rotation: HS – HL – HL – HL – HL – HS – EF

2352(2) + 1980(4) = 12624


12.6 ~ 12 times until OoM.

~10 seconds per rotation

~120 seconds til OoM or 2 minutes until OoM

Healing Throughput: 213576 from HS, 915408 from HL, 407652 from EF

Total Healing: 1,536,636

2nd 2 Holy Power Rotation: HS – CS – EF – HL 

2352 + 3500 + 1980 = 7832 mana per rotation

160,000/7832 =  20.42 ~ 20 times until OoM

~6 seconds per rotation

~120 seconds til OoM or 2 minutes until OoM

Healing Throughput: 177980 from HS, 381420 from HL, 663580 from EF

Total Healing: 1,222,980

3rd 2 Holy Power Rotation: HS – HR – EF – HL

2352 + 11405 + 1980 = 15737

160,000/15737 = 10.16 ~ 10 times until OoM

~9 seconds per rotation

~90 seconds til OoM or 1.5 minutes until OoM

Healing Throughput: 88990 from HS, 331790 from EF, 190710 from HL, 384740 from HR

Total Healing: 996,230

Just looking at the pure throughput numbers, the 2 Holy Power Rotation of HS – HL – HL – HL – HL – HS – EF is the strongest. With a 2 minutes to OoM timer, a 10 second rotation, and 1.5 million overall healing before stats are factored in, the loss of 10 seconds on the Eternal Flame HoT is not an issue.  Especially when you consider the fact the 3 Holy Power HS – HL – HL – HL – HL -HS – HL – HL – HL – HL – HS – EF rotation does only 1.4 million healing with a 17 second rotation and ~the same time to OoM.

So based off this very elementary math, 2 Holy Power EF is stronger than 3 Holy Power EF.

WoD Holy Paladin Pointers

I’ve been pouring over my math today, working to determine the best Level 45, Level 75, and Level 100 Talents. My current item level, which is what the math is based off, of course, is around 610 (it’s a bit higher, but I’m rounding down for the sake of clarity).

The level 45 talent choices are Sacred Shield, Selfless Healer, and Eternal Flame.

Sacred Shield allows you to place an absorb shield on someone that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs ~20k damage. It costs 23,040 mana to use and has 3 charges. With proper management, it is possible to have 4 Sacred Shields rolling, but at a cost of 92,160 for 4 Sacred Shield casts, you’re not leaving a whole lot of room for other spells. In a fight with heavy tank damage but no raid damage, Sacred Shield will win the Level 45 Talent competition. So Sacred Shield isn’t completely useless – just incredibly situational.

Selfless Healer causes your Flash of Light to heal for 33% more and cost 33% less for every stack of Selfless Healer that you gain – the buff is gained through judging. With Flash of Light refunding 40% of its cost when cast on a Beaconed target, Selfless Healer isn’t useless – in fact, if Flash of Light is only ever cast at 3 stacks of the buff, the mana cost of the spell is practically nothing.

Including the shield from Illuminated Healing, Flash of Light will heal for ~30k at 3 stacks of Selfless Healer with a reduced cost of 320 mana if used on a Beaconed target. Judging costs 8,000 mana to use, so the cost of judging is fairly negligible. Flipping a beacon off of someone costs ~5k mana, so if you have to flip a beacon before using FoL with 3 stacks of SH, the most the spell will cost is 13,192 (the 192 comes from the refund of a 320 mana cost FoL). More expensive than Holy Light, sure, but less expensive than Holy Shock and both spells heal for more.

Holy Shock and WoG will create a nice little cushion while waiting for judgment to come off cooldown, but this spec is infinitely playable. The only problem is the wait time on judgment, and I can honestly see haste trumping crit for this play-style for that reason. Is it competitive with Eternal Flame for raid-wide healing? Well, that’s something that still has to be tested, but as of right now? I’d say no.

Eternal Flame is a solid option for those already used to the play-style. Instead of using HR as filler, however, spam HL. Don’t use EF at under 3 Holy Power because the best part of the spell comes from the refreshed mastery shields – and at 3 Holy Power, that shield lasts 30 seconds. Crit will trump haste for this spell because the spec centers around gaining access to Holy Shock to gain Holy Power to dump into EFs. For that reason, EF users will want to look for crit before haste, and haste before mastery. If you’re wondering why haste comes before mastery, it’s easy – Holy Shock’s cd is reduced with enough haste, and mastery shields are not the amazing barriers to damage they were in MoP.

So which one is the winner? At the moment, Eternal Flame is, hands down. Why? Because Eternal Flame costs no mana and refreshes Illuminated Healing. With as expensive as our heals are currently, Eternal Flame can arguably be considered the only truly viable raiding spec. At least as of today – who knows what will change before the raid releases?

The Level 75 Talents are Holy Avenger, Sanctified Wrath, and Divine Purpose

Holy Avenger is a 2 minute cooldown that, while active, gives you 30% increased healing to any spells that give Holy Power. Only two spells do that – Holy Shock and Holy Radiance. Of the two, only Holy Shock is worth casting. Holy Radiance currently costs ~57k mana to cast, and 4 casts of it and you’re OOM. Besides, Holy Prism costs 2x less than HR and heals for 1.5x more. For this reason, Holy Avenger is no longer a viable level 75 talent for the serious holy paladin.

Sanctified Wrath makes Avenging Wrath last 2x as long and grants you more frequent access to Holy Shock by cutting its cd in half. That means AW will last for 40 seconds instead of 20, and HS will have a base cd of 3 sec for its duration. On the surface, this might seem to devalue haste when it in fact does the opposite. The faster your Holy Light casts are, the more Holy Shocks you can get out, and the more Eternal Flames you can have rolling. So far, this seems to be the go-to talent.

Divine Purpose gives Eternal Flame (or WoG) a 25% chance to proc Divine Purpose, which will allow you to cast a second Eternal Flame at 1 Holy Power as if it had been cast at 3 Holy Power. While it seems nice on paper, a 25% chance means that 1 out of 4 Eternal Flames will allow you to cast a free Eternal Flame. In contrast to Sanctified Wrath, Divine Purpose is just a sad, sad choice to make.

The Level 100 Talents are Beacon of Faith, Beacon of Insight, and Saved by the Light

Beacon of Faith gives you a second Beacon that has the exact same benefits given to you from Beacon of Light. For a serious raiding environment, Beacon of Faith is the only viable choice. 

Beacon of Insight is basically Penance – it increases the healing a target takes via a direct heal by 30%, assuming you cast a direct heal on them in the next minute. When the heal is consumed, or when the target reaches full health, the Penance turned Beacon bounces to a new target – completely beyond your control. For this reason, Beacon of Insight is a trashy talent. Don’t take it.

Saved by the Light is interesting because it allows you to basically be a holy priest (with some modification)- when you or your Beacon target drops below 30%, you grant the injured party a shield equal to 30% of their life. My current health pool is 180k, so the shield would give me 54k damage worth of breathing room. Tanks still have at least 400k health (most have around 500k), so that’s a shield of 120k, at least. The shield only lasts 10 seconds, so it’s a nice time-buyer. On paper, anyway.

The problem is that you can only shield the same person once within a 1 minute time period, so this talent is reliant on Beacon Swapping and heavy raid damage. Sure, it’s passive, but the benefit it offers is so minuscule next to the benefit offered by Beacon of Faith that it might as well be non-existent.

So for the level 100 Talent Tier, Beacon of Faith wins without a fight. 

In closing, here’s a quick bulleted list of tips:

  • Eternal Flame wins the level 45 Talent competition.
  • Sanctified Wrath wins the level 75 Talent competition
  • Beacon of Faith slaughters the Level 100 Talent competition.
  • Don’t use Holy Radiance, ever. Just don’t do it. Stop it. Take it off your bars. It heals for nothing and costs barely 1/3rd what Light’s Hammer does (LH heals for 3x more).
  • Use Holy Shock on Cooldown.
  • Use Holy Light on the targets you have Beaconed.
    • Don’t move your Beacons once they are placed unless you absolutely have to, and feel free to get rid of the Beacon GCD glyph.
  • Use Holy Prism on Cooldown
    • Don’t use Light’s Hammer. Just no. It costs half your mana. Are you crazy?
  • Spam Holy Light – SPAM IT
  • Make sure to cast Eternal Flame on yourself and DON’T Beacon Yourself
    • When you cast Eternal Flame, cast it on a non-beaconed target first, then the tank, then another non-beaconed target. Or a tank, then two non-beaconed targets. Preferably, don’t cast EF on beaconed targets if it can be helped. It’s rarely necessary for beaconed targets to have absorb shields due to the sheer amount of healing coming their way already. Especially if you’re spamming Holy Light hard enough (and you should be!)
  • Don’t use Avenging Wrath on cooldown – use it when you need to use it – when the party is taking serious damage and you need to get out 3 HP EFs as fast as possible.
  • Use Devotion Aura and your Hands when you need them – seriously, master that utility and do it fast – our utility is our lifeline, and it is the only reason we’re not considered completely useless healers right now. I mean, a shadow priest’s flash heal hits harder than my flash of light. Just to give you an idea of where Holy Pallies stand right now.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below – I will be updating more frequently now that Warlords is here, so don’t be shy!

Random Aside: Druid’s Transmog Set