I have a confession to make. I lead a secret life in Firelands you weren’t aware of unless you stalked my armory profile or hung out in Standard Deviation’s healer channel. In 4.2 was a Mastery stacker. More than that, I ran with a relatively high amount of Spirit. I was awesome on Baleroc. My other results were generally good, though the build performed horribly on Rhyolith and Beth’tilac. I should have ran less Spirit but the final straw was Heroic Ragnaros. We have not yet killed him at this time, but the amount of raid healing combined with a four-healer composition meant I had to cast faster. My mostly full collection of 391 gear allowed me to reforge and meet the second Haste break point for Holy Radiance by replacing only 3 pieces of gear.
Secondary stats in 4.3 come in a decent variety, though Spirit/Haste is the most common. Changes to Judgements of the Pure will allow us to scale better with Spirit, perhaps allowing us to regularly reforge to additional throughput stats. Both Mastery and Haste stacking appear to be viable in 4.3 and the theorycrafters at EJ (from page 45-ish) are busy in the mathetorium. Keep yourself informed and keep an open mind.
While the tier 13 two piece bonus is not as much regen as the one from tier 12, Paladins seem to be getting one of the best versions. By tying our mana savings to a throughput cooldown, especially a haste boost, we will be taking advantage of the mana savings at the exact times we are casting the most spells.
The tier 13 four piece bonus is, in the right situations, awesome. It remains to be seen exactly how awesome and whether you’ll want to keep a 4 piece set ready, even dropping Heroic pieces down to LFR drops.
Changes to the way gear drops means you’re likely to find it a little easier to wear the four pieces you prefer. No more non-tier helm (or shoulder) because you’re stuck at an end boss. LFR introduces a new wrinkle as well, especially for Normal mode raiders with some tier 11 gear or a little more time on their hands.
I am still evaluating the Dragon Soul gear through the Wowhead database. For reference, and this is a simple thing anyone can do for their own non-Holy Paladin gear, here are the filtered lists (note, as usual, how difficult it is to filter trinkets):
I want to note a few things:
- The Vagaries of Timemace appears to be available from the first boss, which is nice when the only other option is from the last boss.
- There is only one cloak listed.
- The Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn appear to be super gloves from the Spine of Deathwing ( 7th of 8 ) encounter.
- I am not filtering for LFR loot, mostly because the item level will conflict with tier 12 items.
- The PTR commonly lists Heroic versions of Valor gear which never make it to Live. Plan to revisit the main Wowhead site with similar filters.
Someone else posted their own BiS list over at PlusHeal, but it is their own opinion based on their own goals. Consider carefully what you’re looking for and make use of all the available tools (gemming, reforging, extra gear drops) to perform your best.
Personally, I expect to gear with relatively high levels of Mastery early in the tier and to take a look at Haste stacking when I can support the over-3400 rating necessary to reach a useful break point for the new Holy Radiance.
Good luck out there, and I’ll see you at Deathwing!