Last month I mentioned I’d be sitting in on a Holy Paladin roundtable. We had a great time recording. You can listen to the show here, or find it on iTunes.
With Megacode hosting, we had a very symmetrical arrangement. Two Americans and two Canadians. Two humans and two elves. Two males and two females. It was eerie. So eerie, one of our friends created artwork to accompany the show. Thanks, Walks!
Holy Paladin Roundtable – Post Cataclysm
The Holding Hands achievement during Hagara in Dragon Soul can be one of the most frustrating things for a 25-man raid to complete. Originally, we tried several times with a long snake-like path. We found the lightning would occasionally refuse to jump between some players, which seemed to fail the achievement when we maneuvered players closer to force a jump. Even if it works, the setup is time consuming and the raid has to survive extremely high damage.
Then we found videos of the achievement with a simple line of elbow-to-elbow players. Ridiculously simple, stupidly easy, and still not 100% reliable. It took 3 tries for us to complete the achievement twice.
It’s issues like this that remind me why I’ve never been much for the Meta mounts and achievements.
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.
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?
For many fights in ICC the Glyph of Divine Protection is your newest and bestest friend. Festergut’s exhale? Kologarn’s Shockwave? Maybe some Instability? Divine Protection no longer causes Forbearance, so use it! Go find a nice, cozy patch of Coldflame and heal the raid while Divine Protection and Protector of the Innocent keep you alive. Don’t forget to macro /cackle.
Wait a second. You’re not getting hit in raids, are you? If you are then first make sure your tanks are alive (and awake) then consider an off-spec incorporating Blessed Life.