5.0 & You: Talents, Glyphs and Playstyle Changes at 85

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2012. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringement and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

Last updated: Monday, January 21st, 2013. (Live release 5.1.)

The release date of Mists of Pandaria has been announced. The new expansion will launch on September 25th, 2012. Blizzard tends to release a “pre-release” patch about a month before an expansion launches, which is where we’ll see all the new changes to the game that aren’t Pandaren (no monks, either) and nothing over level 85, nor anything of Pandaria itself. This patch was recently confirmed as dropping on August 28th, 2012.

However, the time between the patch and the expansion’s launch can be a difficult time as it means it’s probably time for most people to relearn (yet again) how to play their class or spec.

Holy paladins who primarily raid in PVE content, fear not. I shall attempt to help you through these troubling times!

Please note that all data was accurate as of Wednesday, August 29th, live version 5.0.4. For all of my tests, I was in gear with an average equipped item level of 407, with the following stats: 10,845 spellpower, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), 16.84% spell crit chance, 4013 combat regen, 13.82% mastery. I was unbuffed for all of the testing.

Please note that all data was accurate as of Beta version 5.0.4 build #15983. For all of my tests, I was in gear with an average quipped item level of 407, with the following stats: 11,044 spellpower, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), 17.13% spell crit chance, 3890 combat regen, 13.82% mastery. I was unbuffed for all of the testing.

THE SPEC

Congratulations. We have all the spells and abilities we really need already. Next section, please!

Okay, not really. While choosing Holy as your class specialization does mean you get all the basic tools you need, now we get to play with some optional talents and spells. We will only have access to five talent points, not six, when the 5.0 patch comes out. They are granted at levels 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75. The final point is awarded at level 90.

So which should you pick? Bearing in mind that this is tailored for the 5.0 patch (and not for when you reach 90), wherever possible, I’ve made efforts to make the talent and glyph choices specific to Heroic Dragon Soul raiding. (Mostly 25-man, mind, but 10-man holy paladins ought to find it useful as well.)

Tier 1: Speed of Light, Long Arm of the Law, Pursuit of Justice

Speed of Light is an instant cast with a 45s cooldown that increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds. The downside is you have to hit the button.

Long Arm of the Law is a 45% movement speed for 3 seconds. It’s less useful because judging will not be something you *need* to do in the new 5.0 patch, although you can still do so if you wish (see below). The benefit is that you will almost always gain this movement speed boost when you cast Judgment (note the new spelling!), as long as it hits, that is, and can time it to avoid mechanics anytime you judge. (6 second base cooldown, 30y range, by the way, and the CD is affected by haste. In my testing gear, I had a 4.98s cooldown on Judgment.)

Pursuit of Justice is a flat 15% movement speed increase, which is tempting. However, the additional 5, 10 and 15% movement speed buffs all depend on if you have Holy Power. We shouldn’t really be hoarding Holy Power as healers, though, should we?

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Since all of them serve the same purpose (movement speed), you can use any of them for… running in or out of Black Blood of the Earth on Morchok, spreading out or collapsing on Yor’sahj, getting to your Black Phase spot on Zon’ozz, getting into position (either frost or lightning phases) on Hagara, no use on Ultraxion, really (unless you REALLY need to get your buff that much sooner), dodging fire and Shockwave on Blackhorn, no real use on Spine, no real use on Madness unless you have the Corrupted Parasite or you’re right NEXT to someone who’s about to drop their Corrupted Parasite.

Kurn’s Comments: I really like Speed of Light. On-demand with a short enough CD, with a really long duration and a whopping 70% speed increase. For those of you who enjoyed Divine Protection’s speed boost and damage reduction at the same time, you can macro these two together, as neither one is on the global cooldown.

Tier 2: Fist of Justice, Repentance, Burden of Guilt

Fist of Justice: This is exactly the same as our current Hammer of Justice, only it’s a 30s cooldown instead of a 1m cooldown. It replaces Hammer of Justice.

Repentance: At long last, any paladin can snag this talent and have the ability to crowd control things! Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead are all susceptible to this. The major exception here would be Beasts. Best part of this? 15 second cooldown, but 1 minute duration. While I do not expect us to be able to Repentance something every 15 seconds and expect others not to break, it’s nice to know that if it breaks early, we are not necessarily screwed. (By which I mean, it’s not an interminably long CD the way Hex is.)

Burden of Guilt: Judgments will basically reduce your target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 seconds. This is what is called a “gap-closer”, allowing a paladin (or their PVP partners, etc) to catch a target.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: There is no need for either Fist of Justice, nor Burden of Guilt in Heroic Dragon Soul. To be honest, there’s no need for Repentance, either, unless you feel like CCing some trash for fun.

Kurn’s Comments: Since this is a PVE guide, Repentance is really the best choice for us. We still have Rebuke for interrupts (albeit now on a 15s cooldown, it looks like, and despite there is not a lot of interrupting to do in Dragon Soul), so Fist of Justice isn’t really needed and neither is Burden of Guilt for a PVE setting, probably. But if you’re running dungeons, you may as well snag Repentance. And if the raids have anywhere near the amount of trash that Bastion of Twilight did, this may be useful in a raid setting, as well.

Tier 3: Selfless Healer, Eternal Flame, Sacred Shield

Up until now, the choices you had available to you were not altogether compelling. As of this tier, your talent choices become much more interesting.

Selfless Healer: Every time you successfully judge when you have this talent, you’ll stack a buff on yourself that lasts for 14 seconds. This buff stacks to 3 (and refreshes to 14s every time you add a stack) and will, for each stack, reduce the mana cost and cast time of Flash of Light by 35%, as well as increase its effectiveness by 35% per stack — but only when you heal OTHERS. If you heal yourself, its effectiveness is unchanged, which basically is why it’s named Selfless Healer. (Yes, Kurn, it’s called reading comprehension.)

Here are some sample numbers from beta build #15983, at level 85 with an average equipped ilvl of 407 and 11,044 spellpower.

Flash of Light costs 7560 mana and, with no buffs and 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), takes 1.13 seconds to cast. It healed me for 31,486.

1 stack of Selfless Healer: 4,914 mana, 0.736s cast time, 42,297 (non-crit)
2 stacks of Selfless Healer: 2,268 mana, 0.34s cast time, 52,683 (non-crit)
3 stacks of Selfless Healer: 0 mana, instant cast, 64,318 (non-crit)

Eternal Flame: This basically replaces Word of Glory. Using 1, 2 or 3 Holy Power charges, just like Word of Glory, you can heal a target; but there will be a residual HoT on the individual. At base haste levels, the HoT ticks every 3 seconds for 30 seconds. At my level of haste, 32.49% spell haste (2618 haste rating), it will heal people every 2.26 seconds for 29.43 seconds.

In testing with a 3 HP Eternal Flame, I healed myself initially for 39,212 and then had 13 ticks of it. The ticks were 4098 (5) or 4099 (8). Note that these ticks can crit!

That is 49,183 healing from the HoT and 39,212 from the initial heal, for a total of 88,395 healing.

Untalented, my Word of Glory healed me for 41,255.

What this means is that there is no downside to your upfront heal if you take Eternal Flame, unlike the old Flash of Light Glyph or the Glyph of the Long Word.

Bonuses: The Eternal Flame ticks can crit and each tick adds to your mastery shield on your target, also refreshing it to its 14s duration. Further, the ticks seem to be based on the amount of spellpower you had when you cast Eternal Flame, so if you have your wings up and cast an Eternal Flame with 4s left on your wings, the ticks will continue healing at the same rate as they did while your wings were up.

Eternal Flame does not stack with itself, though, at least not from the same paladin. As such, it’s well-worth putting on your raid frames to make sure you don’t waste the HoT portion. You don’t want to drop a 3-point Holy Power Eternal Flame on your tank while you have your wings up and then, 15 seconds later, do the same without wings. The lesser HoT will overwrite the stronger one. No rolling Eternal Flames like you’re a druid! ;)

Also, currently, the ticks can proc various things like Power Torrent, Seals of the Seven Signs, but will not add stacks to your Heart of Unliving spirit buff, for example.

Sacred Shield: Ah, the old Wrath of the Lich King spell is back, essentially, and is my personal favourite, sentimentally speaking, of course. It’s a buff you can cast on a single person that will absorb damage taken every 6 seconds and lasts 30 seconds. This is affected by haste. Again, with my haste level and spellpower, it will protect my target for 31.70 seconds, absorbing up to 12,729 damage every 4.53 seconds.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: While you may want to play with Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield, if you ever heal anyone other than the tanks, Eternal Flame is, at this juncture, the way to go. Period. You don’t lose any healing up front and you add a crapton of healing over time.

Kurn’s Comments: Eternal Flame. Which makes me really sad, because I love Sacred Shield. :( That’s not to say there won’t be times when Sacred Shield (heavy tank-damage fights) or even Selfless Healer won’t come in handy (when you have spare time to judge frequently), but Eternal Flame just adds to your throughput with absolutely no downside, apart from not being able to use Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield. I fully expect Eternal Flame to be nerfed TO THE GROUND. Or something. I would imagine they’ll either make the HoT tick for a shorter period of time or they’ll nerf the upfront heal a bit, if they do decide to nerf it. As of right now, there’s no reason to pick up either of the other talents in this tier for the majority of fights in Heroic Dragon Soul content. IMHO.

Tier 4: Hand of Purity, Unbreakable Spirit, Clemency.

Hand of Purity: 6 second Hand buff on a target that will reduce harmful PERIODIC effects by 70% for that length of time. It sounds good, but then you realize that many dots last upwards of 12 seconds. Shadow Word: Pain, at its base, is 18 seconds. Unstable Affliction is 14 seconds. Moonfire is 14 seconds. So while this might be a semi-useful buffer overall, more than likely, its aim is to buy you a bit of time until you can dispel someone. Cleanse now has an 8-second cooldown, so buying yourself 6 seconds of greatly-reduced dot damage is a bonus. (Don’t worry, we still get Sacred Cleansing, meaning we get the ability to dispel magic effects, it just isn’t baseline for any other paladin spec aside from holy.)

Unbreakable Spirit: Not really sure why this even exists, to be honest. For Divine Protection (1m), using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 2 seconds. For Divine Shield (5m), using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 9 seconds. For Lay on Hands, using 3 Holy Power brings the timer down by about 18 seconds.

In order to reach the maximum of a 50% reduction in cooldown for Divine Shield, you would need to use 50 Holy Power (obviously), but that means about 17 casts of a 3-point Light of Dawn or 3-point Word of Glory/Eternal Flame. Bearing in mind that not every cast of ours will grant us Holy Power, it can take a while to earn up enough Holy Power to make this useful. It may be useful on some fights where you want to us Lay on Hands more or Divine Shield more, but, really, in PVE content, it will be rare that you’ll absolutely need Divine Protection to come up a few seconds earlier, due to the 1m CD.

Clemency: Pretty simple and, also, awesome. You can use Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation twice before their cooldowns come into effect.

Unfortunately, Forbearance is still caused by Hand of Protection, so you can’t BOP someone twice in a row without first waiting for Forbearance to drop off.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Well, Hand of Purity is not really going to do a lot, not even on something like Yor’sahj, because the dot from Yor’sahj lasts a minimum of 12 seconds. So don’t bother with Hand of Purity. Similarly, Unbreakable Spirit is not, well, useful at all, not in comparison to Clemency. Clemency becomes useful because we do use Hand of Sacrifice frequently (at least, I do…) and it’ll be nice to BOP certain aggro-drawing resto druids (ahem, JASYLA) on Heroic Spine twice (over the course of a minute) before the Hand of Protection CD becomes active.

Kurn’s Comments: My choice is Clemency. Hands down. (haha, get it? Hands? Yeah, I blame Walks.) There’s just not much of a downside here. Hand of Purity is underwhelming in its current incarnation (although it would be overpowered if it were much longer) and Unbreakable Spirit seems as though it would be best used in PVP (for the reductions on Divine Shield and, I guess a couple of seconds off on Divine Protection), except that you can’t use Lay on Hands in the arenas… so colour me still confused about this talent.

Tier 5: Holy Avenger, Sanctified Wrath, Divine Purpose.

Holy Avenger: This is a talent that has a 2m cooldown and lasts 18 seconds. During the 18 seconds, any ability that GENERATES Holy Power will deal 30% more damage or healing AND generate 3 charges of Holy Power. It’s really important to note that this is not an overall 30% boost in damage/healing! I tried to test this out and got some pretty odd results. Bear in mind I had my own Beacon on me and was casting all of these on myself, which did generate the proper amounts of Holy Power. However…

No buffs:
Divine Light: 42,827
Holy Shock: 23,310
Flash of Light: 31,789
Holy Radiance: 16818

With Holy Avenger:
Divine Light: 40,756
Holy Shock: 30,452
Flash of Light: 31,712
Holy Radiance: 21,881

You can see that Holy Shock and Holy Radiance both get the appropriate 30% bump. Even though I had Beacon on me and was healing myself with Flash of Light and Divine Light (and getting the extra holy power), neither of those spells were affected by the 30% bump.

Similarly, Crusader Strike (now 15% of base mana, clocking in at 3000 mana at level 85) is affected by Holy Avenger.

Without Holy Avenger, Crusader Strike: 2,766
With Holy Avenger, Crusader Strike: 3,503

If they fix the bug on Flash of Light and Divine Light (assuming it is a bug and not just really stupid design), we can estimate wht those heals would be with the 30% bump.

Estimated non-crit heals with Holy Avenger:

Divine Light: 40,756 x 1.3 = 53,201.2 = 52,983
Flash of Light: 30,712 x 1.3 = 39,956.8 = 41,226

Remember, though — those would only on the beacon target and it may actually be intended that you don’t get a bump to healing with those spells on a beacon.

Sanctified Wrath: Instead of a 20 second duration on Avenging Wrath, it now lasts 30 seconds and while Avenging Wrath is active, your cooldown on Holy Shock is 3s. While this may not be worth it solely for the reduced CD on Holy Shock, the extra 10 seconds of 20% extra healing may propel this forward as the better choice in this tier.

Divine Purpose: When you spend Holy Power, you have a 25% chance to cause Divine Purpose. Divine Purpose means your next Holy Power ability won’t use any Holy Power and will act as though 3 Holy Power were consumed. Lasts 8 seconds. I played around with this a bit and found that it sometimes allowed me to cast Word of Glory twice in a row and it let me cast 2 extra (free) Lights of Dawn at one point. So Divine Purpose can obviously proc off of itself, at least in this build.

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility: Even if Holy Avenger weren’t broken in this particular build (since I imagine it’ll be fixed before August 28th), I’d go with the more-reliable Sanctified Wrath. We’re already used to using Avenging Wrath throughout the instance (hopefully!) so this won’t be a big change for us. We’ll just now be able to spam some more Lights of Dawn or Words of Glory/Eternal Flames. Alternatively, Divine Purpose is pretty decent, especially if it continues to be able to proc off of itself, but I know a lot of people like to get into a rhythm for their holy power generation and such and this might screw that up a bit. You’ll definitely want some sort of Power Aura or audio cue letting you know when this has procced (there’s an in-game one, mind you, but I tend to turn those off and rely on my own cues).

Kurn’s Overall Choice: Sanctified Wrath is probably what I’ll rely on. Note to self: Use Wings more frequently and stop being bad.

UPDATE: This Holy Avenger issue has FINALLY been fixed in 5.2.

GLYPHS

Okay, glyphs are changing. Gone are Prime Glyphs. We’re down to Major Glyphs and Minor Glyphs. Minor Glyphs seem mostly to be just neat little visual things. Major Glyphs are the ones that are really going to change your abilities.

First, let’s look at the differences between the current glyphs and the new glyphs with the same name…

Current Prime Glyphs (that holy paladins would use):
Divine Favor: Increases the duration of Divine Favor by 10s — does not exist in Mists
Holy Shock: Increases the critical effect chance of Holy Shock by 5% — decreases healing of Holy Shock by 50%, increases its damage by 50%
Seal of Insight: While Seal of Insight is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5% — does not exist in Mists
Word of Glory: Increased the healing done by Word of Glory by 10% — Increases your damage by 3% per Holy Power spent after you cast Word of Glory or Eternal Flame. Lasts 6s.

Current Major Glyphs (that holy paladins would potentially use):
Beacon of Light: Your Beacon of Light costs no mana. — Removes the global cooldown on Beacon of Light. (Beacon has a 3s CD on it in Mists and will maintain that, even though it’ll be off the GCD while glyphed.)
Cleansing: Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse by 20%. — does not exist in Mists.
Divine Plea: Your Divine Plea provides an additional 6% of your total mana. — Divine Plea now has a 5s cast time, but you receive 12% of your total mana instantly and your healing is not reduced. (This cast time is affected by haste.)
Divine Protection: Removes the physical damage reduction of your Divine Protection but increases the magical damage reduction by 20%. — Reduces the magical damage reduction of your Divine Protection to 20%, but adds 20% physical reduction. (This is basically the inverse of what it is right now. Baseline, it’s 40% magical damage. Glyphed, it’s 20% magical and 20% physical.)
Divinity: When you use Lay on Hands, you also gain 10% of your maximum mana. – Increases the cooldown of your Lay on Hands by 2m but causes it to give you 10% of your maximum mana.
Holy Wrath: Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin. — unchanged (note: categorized as “protection”)
Lay on Hands: Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 3m — does not exist in Mists.
Light of Dawn: Light of Dawn affects 2 fewer targets, but heals each target for 25% more. — unchanged
Salvation: Hand of Salvation no longer permanently reduces threat over time but instead reduces all threat as long as Hand of Salvation lasts — does not exist in Mists.
Ascetic Crusader: Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30% — does not exist in Mists.
Long Word: Your Word of Glory heals for 50% less up front, but provides an additional 50% healing over 6s. — does not exist in Mists.

Okay, now let’s look at some of the new Major Glyphs. I’ll put in my recommendations at the end.

Avenging Wrath — While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 1% of your maximum health every 2s.
Battle Healer — Using melee attacks while using Seal of Insight heals a nearby injured friendly target, excluding the Paladin, within 30 yards for 30% of damage dealt.
Beacon of Light — as listed above
Blessed Life — While Seal of Insight is active, you have a 50% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power whenever you are affected by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. Cannot occur more than once every 20s.
Denounce — Your Holy Shocks have a 50% chance to reduce the cast time of your next Denounce by 1s.
Divine Plea — as listed above
Divine Protection — as listed above
Divinity — as listed above
Flash of Light — When you Flash of Light a target, it increases your next heal done to that target within 7s by 10%
Harsh Words — Your Word of Glory can now also be used on enemy targets, causing Holy damaged appromiately equal to the amount it would have healed. Does not work with Eternal Flame.
Holy Shock — as listed above
Illumination — Your Holy Shock criticals grant 1% mana return, but Holy Insight returns 10% less mana
Light of Dawn — as listed above
Protector of the Innocent — When you use Word of Glory to heal another target, it also heals you for 20% of the amount.
Word of Glory — as listed above

Heroic Dragon Soul Utility:

Battle Healer: I’m doing 100-200 or so damage with my white melee attacks, which heals a random nearby target for ~30-60. Crusader Strike hit for ~1385 and healed for ~416.

… pass. :P If you go ret and still want to heal, this glyph is probably for you.

Divine Plea: It’s affected by haste and we have plenty of opportunities to stand still for 5 seconds to regen 12% of our mana. It comes down to whether or not you want to heal (or can heal) at 50% effectiveness for 9 seconds or if you don’t bother healing at ALL for ~5 seconds (3.77s cast with my aforementioned haste). It’s all for the same mana return.

Divine Protection: I would only glyph this to add to the physical damage reduced for Morchok (Stomps are physical damage) and Madness of Deathwing if I was assigned to HoSac a tank for Impale, since our tanks each need one external cooldown on the third platform we do. I tend to die if I pop HoSac and either don’t pop my bubble (I prefer not to) or don’t pop a Divine Protection that is going to reduce my own physical damage taken.

Divinity: Well, 10% extra mana at the cost of another 2 minutes on my Lay on Hands… it’s not great, but there’s really not that much in terms of compelling choices.

Flash of Light: Ehhhhhhhhhhh. It would be hard to use this with Selfless Healer, if that’s what you’re thinking. What you would probably do, to get the most healing possible done to the other person, is:

Judge x3 (~10-12 seconds, depending on haste)
Flash of Light the target (full use of Selfless Healer’s 3 stacks) — I healed my target for 68,589.
Cast another heal on that target — I cast a Divine Light that healed for 49,189.
By comparison, without the 10% buff from Glyph of Flash of Light, I healed that same target for 46,343.

So the combination of mechanic and glyph works, but this is basically something that you would probably weave into your rotation after judging 3 times, and probably would be focused on the tank, because hopefully no one else is taking 100k+ damage.

The problem with that idea, though, is that Eternal Flame kind of blows Selfless Healer out of the water at the moment.

Illumination: This lowers the mana return from Holy Insight by 10%. Holy Insight allows 50% of spirit-based mana regeneration to continue while in combat. In the gear I’m in right now, at level 85, my in-combat regen in this beta build is 3890 mana per 5 seconds. Glyphed for Illumination, my regen goes down to 3512 mana/5 sec.

Check out Joe Ego’s Mana Regen post for more information on why the Glyph of Illumination kind of falls flat as spirit on gear scales up.

Light of Dawn: Great choice, still, for 10-mans. Still not a great choice for 25-mans.

Protector of the Innocent: I hated the talent. I still hate the glyph, but it works with both Word of Glory and Eternal Flame (albeit just its initial heal).

Kurn’s Overall Choices for Heroic Dragon Soul Raiding:
– Divine Plea / Light of Dawn (10m)
– Divinity / Divine Protection (for fights where I need 20% physical damage reduction) / Light of Dawn (10m)
– Protector of the Innocent / Light of Dawn (10m)

Uninspiring.

Note that the old Glyph of Divine Plea will become the new one, the old Glyph of Divinity will become the new one, the old Glyph of Divine Protection will become the new one, the Glyph of Light of Dawn is unchanged and Glyph of the Long Word will become Glyph of Protector of the Innocent. As such, all these glyphs should be available to us as of 5.0.

That said, I enjoy some of the new minor glyphs, which are not terribly useful in any raid-like environments we’ve seen in Cataclysm (unsure which, if any of these will be available at 5.0):

Glyph of Concentration: This is fun and, IMHO, pretty paladinesque.
Glyph of the Falling Avenger: No mage or priest handy for slowfall? No worries — pop your wings and gain slowfall!
Glyph of Fire From the Heavens: Judgment and Hammer of the Wrath crits show a Holy Fire effect. It’s cute.
Glyph of Righteous Retreat: When you’ve cast Divine Shield, you cast your Hearthstone 50% faster. So you bubble for 8 seconds and it takes 5 seconds to hearth. Bubblehearth is back!

HOLY PALADIN PLAYSTYLE

All right, worked your way through all that, have you? Good. Now, here are some changes you should be aware of.

1) No more Auras. They’re gone. Poof. As such, Aura Mastery as we know it is gone. All paladins (!) now have Devotion Aura (on a 3m CD): Inspire all party and raid members within 40y, granting them immunity to Silence and Interrupt effects and reducing all magic damage taken by 20%. Lasts 6 sec.

2) In place of our Auras on our bars are our seals — Insight, Truth and Righteousness. No more durations on seals, which is nice.

3) Beacon of Light now has a 3s cooldown, but it no longer has a duration. That sucker will stay on your target until they die or one of you leaves group.

4) Surprise, you can now store up to 5 Holy Power at once! You can still only use 3 Holy Power at a time, though. My new favourite move is to have 5 Holy Power, then Word of Glory / Holy Shock / Word of Glory. BAM.

5) Judging is now optional. If you have Selfless Healer, go for it. If you have Long Arm of the Law, go for it. Otherwise, there is no need to judge. At all.

6) Light of Dawn is no longer directional. No more facing people — it’ll just emanate from you and heal people around you who need it.

7) Holy Radiance has been redesigned: no more HoT component, but there’s still a splash effect.

8) Cleanse now has an 8-second cooldown, but not if you don’t actually dispel something. That means if someone dispels something before you do, you’re not on cooldown.

9) Fixed mana pools. Intellect no longer adds to your mana pool size. At level 85, I had 102,000 mana.

Rohan over at Blessing of Kings covers some of the more general changes in his post.

Kurn’s Conclusions

Overall, if you were comfortable playing a holy paladin in Cataclysm, you should be comfortable playing a holy paladin in Mists of Pandaria. The feel of, well, everything is pretty similar. The major difference for us is no longer needing to judge. Aside from that, Divine Protection doesn’t give you a sprint any longer, but you have access to your choice of speed enhancements in the first tier of the talents, so you’ll want to adapt to that. The fact that Beacon no longer expires is one less thing to keep track of, so you can basically set it and forget it.

I’ve healed a few runs of Temple of the Jade Serpent and Stormstout Brewery on beta and don’t seem to have much issue in terms of adapting to my newer spells/talents. It’ll be interesting to test them out in Heroic Dragon Soul, though. In particular, I am looking forward to hitting both my tanks with Hand of Sacrifice on Platform 3 during Heroic Madness of Deathwing, courtesy of Clemency.

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2012. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringement and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

8 comments

  1. Rohan says:

    Couple things: Pursuit of Justice, and Hand of Purity.

    For Pursuit of Justice, we still follow the cycle of build 3 HP, spend 3 HP. The difference is that we can go to 5 HP before spending. So that will set up a cycle of 5 HP -> 2 HP -> 5 HP, etc. And you don’t spend the last 2 HP unless it’s an emergency. So if you always keep those 2 HP banked, Pursuit of Justice will put your speed up at a minimum 130% (and often 140%). At least a 30% speed increase for the entire fight? Yes please. I think it’s the best talent for Holy in that Tier.

    For Hand of Purity, Ghostcrawler was suggesting that it worked on a lot more than just DoTs. That a number of boss abilities were set up as periodic effects. Maybe channelled spells count as periodic effects. If that’s true, then Hand of Purity much well be a useful tank cooldown.

  2. Kurn says:

    Rohan – It will never get you to 140% speed. It’s 15% base, plus 5% per 1 Holy Power up to 3, so a maximum of 130%. (It was changed not terribly long ago because when I started this post last week, I was pretty surprised at the change from 10% per HP to 5% per HP.) So if you always have 2 HP instead of 0, you’ll be at 125% the whole fight, true. But in Dragon Soul, you just don’t have the need for that.

    In my playing around on beta, I’m rarely keeping those “extra” points of HP, but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so enamoured with Eternal Flame (because I am!) or if it’s because I’m so used to 3 that I’m having trouble adjusting to 5, even though I overcap 3 pretty often on live.

    For Hand of Purity, I still don’t see a lot of use for it in Dragon Soul. Yor’sahj has a dot. Hagara’s the only one who channels, I think, with Focused Assault. So while MoP may bring other fights, for your regularly-scheduled Dragon Soul fights, Hand of Purity doesn’t make a lot of sense. Which is understandable, since they didn’t design any of the encounters with Hand of Purity in mind.

    With a 30s CD on Hand of Purity, I have to think it’s based more on PVP stuff, but, admittedly, I haven’t tested any raids or done any digging about raid boss encounters.

    Having said that, I went and found GC’s post:

    Examples include Fiery Grip on Spine or Black Blood of Go’rath during the tentacle phase of Zon’ozz.

    Tanks don’t get gripped on Spine, nor do they get Searing Plasma on them (unless they’re a bear and they swap out of form to BR someone), just based on their spec/stance/form. Our grip team, at this juncture, will break Searing Plasma under 2 seconds, on average, so Hand of Purity would (for my raid team) be fairly useless.

    The Black Blood of Go’rath is, I guess, a fair answer, but I’d rather have 2 Hand of Sacrifices for H Zon’ozz than a 6-second duration Hand spell since we have healing covered pretty well for all quadrants of the room. Perhaps while we were learning it, it would have been more useful, but I can’t really see Purity being all that useful in H Dragon Soul — at least not for my group.

  3. Getsu says:

    I disagree on a few of the talent choices you’re outlining here.

    As far as the third tier goes:
    Eternal Flame was already nerfed by about 70% of its HoT heal. It will likely be staying the way it is for the time being.
    Taking your numbers, EF will heal for a total of 113,314. If you add up all of SS shields you get a total absorb of 77706, with a WG of 41,885 bringing it up to 119561. In most situations each shield likely wont be used up entirely though, so for single target I would definitely prefer EF. If you count the shields heal on a damage heavy fight like Ultraxion though, you would likely be using LoD instead of WG. In that situation if you were using EF, you’d have to pick between healing one person (two through Beacon) or healing the group.

    In tier four I think that you’re undervaluing Unbreakable Spirit. Using it you can easily get Lay on Hands’ cd to 5 min. That gives you the ability to use LoH twice on almost every fight (as well as Divine Shield more often). When you can combine that with the Glyph of Divinity it becomes especially powerful because it can net you 20% mana over the course of most fights. While having access to Sacrifice more often is also useful, I can’t think of many situations where I would want two in quick succession.

  4. Joe Ego says:

    I do have something constructive to say, but I am rather intrigued by the potential of using Hand of Sacrifice simultaneously or in quick succession. :P

    Regarding Glyph of Illumination: It appears to be very good while leveling when you have low levels of Spirit on your gear, as shown in my post. It is also potentially very good with a lot of Crit. I don’t want to recommend chasing Crit yet, but it has potential because the glyph turns Crit into a regen stat and we likely won’t do much overhealing in the first tier. While 6k-7k Spirit will be relatively easy to reach in t14, I’ve seen beta parses with 50% Shock crit rate making the glyph look good until ~9k Spirit.

    Other spells can also help:
    *Sanctified Wrath gives more casts of Holy Shock, thus more chances to crit.
    *Divine Favor increases Crit by 20%.
    *The Tier 14 4-piece bonus reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second. Unknown is how this interacts with Sanctified Wrath.

    You have 102k mana at level 85 because of your meta gem. Standard mana is 100k at 85 and 300k at 90. Very few effects change the size of MoP mana pools.

    Glyph of Holy Wrath is now classified as “Protection” because Holy Paladins no longer have Holy Wrath. /sadface

    Selfless Healer & Glyph of Flash of Light look like a good combination when you have to deal with occasional severe spike damage. This could be on a tank or on a designated soaker of some sort. It is definitely the talent in this tier which requires the most interaction from the player.

    Sacred Shield could be really good in general, but is best used on someone taking frequent damage (the tank). This looks like a good default, especially if you don’t want to spend or worry about having Holy Power for Eternal Flame.

    Wherever Eternal Flame ends up (“To the ground” comes to mind), Blizzard has already expressed their goal that each of the talents in a tier be as equal in value as possible. For most players they will all be valid choices based on personal preferences.

    For high-end PvP and PvE there will likely be some talents which are more optimal than others. This will all be based on your teammates, your strategies, and your opponents. In other words, you’ll be doing a lot of talent changes between PvE fights and I predict a new market in UI addons to assist with these changes.

  5. Megacode says:

    Good post Kurn and some well worth looking over feedback. Between the three of you we have alot to chew on. But I think Joe hit the nail on the head. Our choices are going to be based on play style, group composition and strategy. We’ll be changing glyphs and talents on a fight per fight basis because regardless of what Blizzard wants, there will be cookie cutter builds per boss. Whether we choose to use them, that will be up to the player. I know for certain I will be using SS and EF and perhaps SH if I’m tank healing only. Otherwise, I’d prefer not having to Judge on cd(that’s just me).

    Mega

  6. Hyperian says:

    Seems like leveling as Holy might actually be fun. Some of the Glyphs and abilities are showing it might not be JUST a weak holy shock attack with a spamming of exorcizing (or now denouncing).

  7. Aani says:

    A lot of people don’t like the RNG of Divine Purpose, but it has pretty amazing synergy with Eternal Flame. It procs often, with no ICD, and can proc from using 1 HP. In low damage phases, it lets me get up a lot of little HoTs that actually squeezes in a lot of healing. Get 1 HP, throw an Eternal Flame, if it proces, I put a bigger HoT on a tank or something.

    My guess is it will get nerfed, because I’ve had it proc 4-5 times in a row, and we went through that in Cata with Eternal Glory.

    Also, I’ve been rolling Pursuit of Justice. Passive run speed boost that is always up is better for most situations. It will be one I change on a fight-to-fight basis, though, depending on the encounter needs.

  8. Talarian says:

    I’m actually a little sad that LoD is losing its directional component. I love watching videos of me healing and seeing me spin around to put a snap LoD in the right place as I’m running (Valiona and Theralion was a good fight for that).

    Also, I’d personally pick the Fist of Justic talent in Tier 2. Now, this is because the raiders in my team are, well, not very good. Being able to stun goblin sappers on every drop rather than half of the time is super useful for me.

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