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.
If tier 12 was an homage to tier 2...
We all know Paladins are hybrids. Yeah, yeah. We may have even encountered that rare breed of blockhead who asks if you can heal yourself while tanking. Tell him, “Of course, but only OS3D 25man.” (Seriously)
But the best part about being a hybrid in Warcraft are those little-used spells from the Prot and Ret trees. This time I am talking specifically about our two taunts: Hand of Reckoning and Righteous Defense. Do you have them keybound in your Holy spec? “Why,” you ask?
How about wipe prevention. Bubble then taunt a boss to buy your raid a few extra seconds. Even kiting the boss can buy more time than you ever could if you just stood there and healed. Keybinding lets you do this quickly, before the boss can eat even more of your raid.
But you came here for a real raid tip and not some last ditch desperation tactic. So, here are two great uses to match your two taunts:
1) Kiting the Animated Bone Warriors in Nefarian 10man. Your raid needs 3 healers anyway, so get out of your comfort zone, turn on Righteous Fury, and practice your taunt and kiting skills. This works for both modes, but be aware that Heroic adds hit very, very hard.
2) Lowering Cinderweb Spinners from the web in any version of Beth’tilac. Spinners do large spike damage with their Burning Acid attack, which can lead to overworked healers. On Heroic modes they will also cast Fiery Web Spin, which stuns a player for 25 seconds and can play havoc with your raid’s performance and/or drain healer mana cleansing a preventable debuff.
Spinners do laughable damage on the ground, so do your part and taunt them down as often as you can. You should always focus on your healing, but be aware that taunting them down can prevent a lot of damage and disruption to your raid for much less mana than the heals you would otherwise have to cast. On 10man, especially, you may be one of the few players with a taunt who doesn’t need to swap or re-imbue their weapon or change forms.
Complements of Zel, this is for all those hippies trying to figure out how to heal with a Paladin. Warning, the Cataclysm changes mean you’re going to need to use at least three buttons!
Healer fights are an interesting, and relatively new, concept. Following Valithria Dreamwalker (Icecrown Citadel) and Chimaeron (Blackwing Descent) is Baleroc, the newest example of a healer fight and, in my opinion, the best so far. Rather than running a HPS race or spot healing everyone in a small window of time, Baleroc is a healing fight wearing a dress. A familiar, fleshy dress.
I heard Blizzard likes spikey tank damage...
Maybe it is because tier 11 was the fastest pace of progress I’ve experienced or perhaps it is the outstanding look of tier 12 Paladin gear, but I took the time to make my own gear list for 4.2. I made this for myself and, thus, it prioritizes certain pieces so I’m not spending DKP unecessarily on minor upgrades.
- Spirit / Haste
- Spirit / Crit
- Spirit / Mastery
- Haste / Crit
- Haste / Mastery
- Crit / Mastery
Completing a four piece tier set is a priority due to the excellent bonus. Happily, all 5 pieces of the Regalia of Immolation are decently itemized (no Mastery) but the chest looks like the best slot for off-set gear. UPDATE: Kurn does a great breakdown on the various four piece options here. She delves into the stat details and has some slightly different preferences for these and other pieces.
Who wouldn't want to look like this?
Since I’ve always felt left out of all the Paladin whining, I thought I’d offer my honest opinion on the 4.1 patch notes. Behold! The WORST THING TO HAPPEN TO HOLY PALADINS.
Really, Blizz? Really?!
… and I have no idea what spec he was running, but it wasn’t shadow. We were just herp derp’ing around at the stone before a Baradin Hold raid. I had the foresight to run my solo/questing spec, which is also what I use while looking really bad in some weekly 2s Arena. I lost the first 3 (4?) matches while I was figuring stuff out and before we gave up on the last match I was turning it into a real game. Between his Drain Mana and my aggressiveness I was usually near empty on mana and spending a lot of time under half health. What kept me in the game? Rebuke to lock him down a bit, Denounce for free dps, dirt cheap Holy Shock heals, Blessed Life for extra Holy Power, a self-Beacon with Tower of Radiance for even more Holy Power, and Word of Glory (often with only 1 or 2 charges). He could not believe I could be healing myself so well with basically no mana. I admit I felt a little Overpoweredtm!
Efficient direct heals have always been key to the Paladin style and, as much as Blizzard says they want to avoid overspecializing the classes into particular healing niches, they know nobody would appreciate copy-pasting the same toolkit across every spec. So I really appreciate the new Paladin experience and Blizzard’s experimentation with some new and unique mechanics.
Did I say ‘experiment’? Well, in case you haven’t been MPQ-diving or reading the fine print on the Holy talent panel, there’s been a little ‘b’ for ‘beta’ next to each version number since The Shattering. Posts like this and this in my feed reader provide confirmation. Doesn’t that just suck all kinds of *nasty and horrible things you don’t want near your face*? Sure this change by itself isn’t game breaking and I’m sure I’ll heal pretty well next week, but it’s all getting a little bizarre. This recent comment from Nathera, combined with the 4.0.6a change, reveals how unstable the entire Holy Power system is for healing. Blizzard doesn’t quite have a handle on it but, worst of all, it looks like their right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
I enjoy Holy Power, but what was once a interesting and situationally powerful mechanic is slowly becoming a minor bump to healing output that only makes a difference in the long run. No matter how much crap I used to give my guild leader about padding with Judgement of Light, I’m not a meter whore and neither is any good healer. I play a Paladin because I save people and because, when it comes down to it, I’m one of the best at keeping that one special player alive; whether he’s the tank, the debuff target, or just “special”. Spending Holy Power for a little extra output just isn’t interesting or even very relevant to the way I play as a healer.