Classes

PVE Holy Paladin Guide

By Byron Mudry -

This guide gives you all of the most critical information that you need to know so that you can play a Holy Paladin at level 90 in PVE content.  The guide covers talents, glyphs, stats, reforging, and rotations. 

This guide will assume that since you are level 90 you will be able to take the basic information and run with it, simple topics like addons, macros, targeting, and more are not covered.

The Role of a Holy Paladin

As a Holy Paladin your role in a group is to heal other players. Holy Paladins have always been solid tank healers and due to several changes in Cataclysm and in Mists of Pandaria they can also do some solid group and raid healing. Holy Paladins excel at long fights and have great mana management abilities.

A Holy Paladin can also provide several benefits and abilities to serve a group in addition to the healing that they provide.

  • Provides either of two great raid buffs, either Blessing of Kings of Blessing of Might. These provide either a 5% boost to strength, agility, and intellect from BoK, or 3000 mastery from BoM.
  • Can lower incoming magic damage to all raid members by 20% for 6 seconds every 3 minutes with Devotion Aura.
  • Can make themselves or another player immune to all physical damage for 10 seconds every 5 minutes, in addition to a second bubble ability that they can use on themselves only that makes them immune to all damage for 8 seconds every 5 minutes.
  • A short term CC from Hammer of Justice (6 seconds every 1 minute), and a long term CC through the talent Repentance.
  • Can provide several short term helpful abilities through the use of Hand spells. Such as removing movement impairing abilities, transfering damage to themselves, or removing threat from a target.

Holy Paladin Talents and Glyphs

Holy Paladins have traditionally been main tank healers, since they provide large efficient heals and can keep up healing over a long period of time. Over the last few expansions though they have gained abilities that also allow them to AOE heal and are therefore solid all around healers now.

To make the most of your healing there are a few talents that you should select, however with the new talent system for the most part you are free too chose talents and glyphs that you like rather than specific ones. 

As a Holy Paladin you should make sure you choose the following talents:

Eternal Flame (Tier 3 talent) - This talent replaces your Word of Glory spell with a new and more powerful one. The initial healing that it provides is roughly the same as Word of Glory, but it also provides a HOT that lasts for 30 seconds. This HOT provides extra healing and has the added advantage of also transfering to your Beacon of Light target. While the amount of healing provided is low from a single HOT, it is possible to apply it to several players due to the 30 second duration.

Divine Purpose (Tier 5 talent) - This talent grants your abilities that cost Holy Power a 25% chance to proc a Divine Purpose buff. This buff allows you to cast another Holy Power ability within 8 seconds for free as if you had 3 Holy Power.

This provides a huge boost to your overall healing and a reduction to your mana consumption since a big part of your healing rotation will be using Word of Glory, which cost no mana but uses 3 Holy Power. This ability allows you to use it 25% more often upping healing output and reducing mana usage.

Light's Hammer (Tier 6 talent) - This talent grants you a new ability that places a hammer of light on the ground that radiates holy energy. Any enemy in the area takes damage and any ally is healed. The area of effect lasts 17 seconds and the ability is on a 60 second cooldown.

This talent grants a solid AOE healing ability as well as allowing you to deal some AOE damage at the same time. Since Holy Paladins have relatively few AOE healing options this is a must have.

For Holy Paladins there are no real Glyphs that are required for healing, however there are some that will change or enhance your healing is different ways. None offer any overall significant increase in your healing though.

The ones to consider however are: Divine Plea and Divinity.

Glyph of Divine Plea reduces the amount of mana received by 1/2 but allows you to use the ability twice as often, providing the same overall benefit, but allowing you to time it better. Glyph of Divinity lengthens the cooldown of your Lay on Hands by 2 minutes, but grants it the added bonus of restoring 10% of your mana. Since it is a one use per boss fight ability anyway (due to its 10 minute cooldown), the added 2 minutes doesn't affect you that much.

Holy Paladin Stat Priority

It is important to understand your stat priority for your class, as going after the wrong stats can really hurt your ability to play that class. For a Holy Paladin the key stats are those that allow you to heal for big numbers and over a long period of time.

The stat priority for a Holy Paladin is as follows:

Spirit > Intellect > Mastery > Haste > Crit

The first two stats of Spirit and Intellect will change priority depending on your current gear level and which fights you are dealing with. Intellect provides larger heals while Spirit provide higher mana regeneration. In most cases Spirit is a higher priority as a smaller heal, but one that you can continue to cast throughout a whole fight without running out of mana.

Important Notes:

  • Mastery - The key stat once you are looking past the core stats of Spirit and Intellect is Mastery. Mastery is your biggest secondary stat for a pretty simple reason, it boosts the absorption shield that your heals create on your healed targets. This shield does several things, all of which benefit you. The shield means that the target takes less damage, so you have to heal less, and therefore use less mana. This absorb ability does not affect a tanks generation of Vengeance.
  • Haste– Haste allows you to cast spells in a shorter time and for several of your heals (those that heal over time) to heal more as it will increase the number of ticks of healing that they do. Both of these benefits are very good for you as a healer, however they are still overshadowed by the benefits that mastery provides.

Reforging as Holy Paladin

When reforging simply follow the stat priority above for Holy Paladin and move the lowest stat to the highest stat that the piece does not have on it.

Reforging (Standard Reforge)
If your gear has these two stats…

Reforge this stat…

… to this stat

Spirit + Mastery

Do not reforge

Do not reforge

Spirit + Haste

Haste

Mastery

Spirit + Crit

Crit

Mastery

Mastery + Haste

Haste

Spirit

Mastery + Crit

Crit

Spirit

Haste + Crit

Crit

Spirit

 

Important Notes:

 

  • Spirit - At some point while gearing up you will get to an amount of spirit that allows your mana to last through the longest fights that you are dealing with. Once you have reached that point you can start to prioritize Mastery and Haste over Spirit on upgrades as long as you make sure that you maintain the amount of spirit that you already had, and continue to monitor your mana in fights, if at any point you start having mana issues, reforge some spirit back onto your gear.
Reforging (Once have no mana issues)
If your gear has these two stats…

Reforge this stat…

… to this stat

Spirit + Mastery

Do not reforge

Do not reforge

Spirit + Haste

Haste

Mastery

Spirit + Crit

Crit

Mastery

Mastery + Haste

Do not reforge

Do not reforge

Mastery + Crit

Crit

Haste

Haste + Crit

Crit

Mastery

 

Holy Paladin Cooldowns

 

There are several cooldowns that you can use as a Holy Paladin that can play a big part in your healing rotation.  They are as follows:

Avenging Wrath – This is best used when you need to heal through significant damage as it boosts all healing by 20% for 20 seconds and is on a 3 minute cooldown.

Divine Favor - This is another 20 second buff on a 3 minute cooldown but to crit and haste instead of overall healing as above. However, since they are on the same cooldown and last the same time, they are best used together for a huge boost in healing.

Devotion Aura - Reduces all raid magic damage suffered by 20% for 6 seconds, and stops you from being silenced or interrupted during that time. It is on a 5 minute cooldown.

Guardian of Ancient Kings – Summons a spirit that heals your target and those around it for 30 seconds. This is another great healing boost that can provide a huge amount of healing to help keep a tank alive through heavy damage. It is on a 5 minute cooldown so is best used between AW / DV cooldowns when you need a lot of burst healing.

Lay of Hands - This is your really big "Oh Crap" heal. It is best used on your tank if he is about to go down.

Light's Hammer - Assuming you took the recommended talents above you will have this cooldown. Use in on an area where there are multiple players concentrated together to provide an AOE heal over 15 seconds.

Holy Paladin Single Healing Target Rotation

Healing is a lot more about situational awareness than about a set rotation. By this I mean that if the target does not need to be healed, you shouldn't waste the mana to cast a heal on them just to push out big healing numbers.

The rotation that provides the most efficient healing output against a single target is roughly as follows:

1 - Seal of Insight – Make sure this seal is active for all encounters.

2 - Beacon of Light– Keep this active on the Tank that you are healing.

3 - Holy Shock – Use whenever available to generate Holy Power.

4 - Eternal Flame - Use when you reach 3 Holy Power to provide a good sized heal for free, along with the HOT it provides for the next 30 seconds.

5 - Holy Light or Divine Light - Use Holy Light as a filler while Holy Shock is on cooldown if the target is suffering light damage, or use Divine Light if the target is suffering heavy damage.

6 - Flash of Light - Use if you need to save someone quickly and will not have enough time to cast a longer cast time heal.

Important: Watch for the procs that Holy Paladins can generate. Divine Purpose procs allow you an extra and free Word of Glory. Infusion of Light lowers the cast time of several of you heals and will generally be used without even having to worry about watching for it.

Holy Paladin AOE Healing Rotation

While not as good at AOE healing as some healing classes, Holy Paladins can put out a good deal of AOE healing on demand, just don't expect them to keep it up forever. If damage is not large coming in on the group, it is best to just use your most efficient heal (Holy Light) and rotate through multiple targets healing each of them, however as raid damage increases and the number of targets being damaged increases, you can then get maximum healing by using the following rotation.

1 - Seal of Insight – Make sure this seal is active for all encounters.

2 - Beacon of Light– Keep this active on the main Tank.

3 - Light's Hammer (Talent Choice) - Use this ability centered on the most players possible once they start taking damage.

4 - Light of Dawn - Use when you reach 3 Holy Power to cast a powerful and free AOE heal.

5 - Holy Radiance – Use this ability to AOE heal and to generate Holy Power.

Comments on Holy Paladins

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About The Author

Byron "Messiah" Mudry
Byron has been writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years, and currently has a not-so-secret love affair with Hearthstone and Diablo III.

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