Everyone is super excited about spreadsheets, right? Right?! Well, if you aren’t, then maybe this post won’t be as interesting for you, but at least it will be exciting for the rest of you.
Holy Paladins were enabled on Alpha a few weeks ago, so there’s still a whole lot to discover and even more that could potentially change. I have a working spreadsheet that I’m fairly satisfied with, but I’m holding off on releasing it into the wild until we’ve had a chance to do some raid testing and I can see what realistic overhealing and casts-per-minute will look like for each ability.
These numbers are not necessarily indicative of which talents and abilities we’ll end up using in Legion, but they’re fun to look at in the meantime; just remember that this is all preliminary and more than likely will change before Legion.
Throughput versus Efficiency
One of the major changes in Legion is that there will no longer be spirit on items. We have a base regen that is four percent of our total mana every five seconds and we may be getting more mana regeneration through trinkets, but I think they’re still working on how trinkets are going to work for healers in Legion. This means that an ability’s healing-per-mana (HPM) is going to be more significant for longer than it has been in previous expansions.
In making the spreadsheet, I was surprised to see how incredibly efficient Judgment of Light is. At 28.14 HPM, it’s almost twice as efficient as the runner-up, Holy Prism, at 15.17.
Nothing in this graph is too shocking. Holy Light is still our most efficient filler spell, but it is notable that Light of Dawn is more HPM than Holy Shock. This is also assuming we hit 5 people with Light of Dawn, something I haven’t been able to reliably test.
While our new ability, Light of the Martyr, is cheaper than even Holy Light (7.5% of base mana compared to Holy Light’s 10%), the effective healing of Light of the Martyr is very low due to the damage we inflict to ourselves in the process.
It’s interesting to note that when we take Stoicism as our Tier 75 talent, Light of the Martyr becomes more mana efficient than Holy Light, but we also lose our unbelievably economical Judgment of Light.
In Legion, we may see an increased reliance on efficiency, but throughput will still determine which talents we choose and how often we use each ability for a majority of encounters. While Judgment of Light was an impressive front-runner in efficiency, it doesn’t even come close to the powerhouse that is Light’s Hammer. The potency of Light’s Hammer isn’t anything new. We’ve always had the option of showcasing this subtle sledgehammer, but Holy Prism has always been such a consistently strong ability on a relatively short cooldown that Light’s Hammer was never fully utilized. Now that Holy Prism and Light’s Hammer are in different rows, we can choose both. Por que no los dos?
This chart shows how much potential healing each ability has at any given moment (assuming its off cooldown). It doesn’t necessarily show how much each ability will contribute to our overall HPS, it’s more of a priority list of which spells we’ll want to use first when they come off cooldown.
You’ll notice that this chart has an added ability that wasn’t on either HPM chart: Lightburst. This is the jumping heal-over-time-ish spell that comes with our artifact weapon, Tyr’s Hand. It doesn’t actually cost any mana, so it’s efficiency is, literally, off the charts (that was a joke), but its HPCT isn’t too shabby either. It does, however, have a minute and a half cooldown, making it a pretty small part of our overall HPS.
You might also have noticed that Light of the Martyr is at the bottom. Stoicism does help make Light of the Martyr a slightly more attractive choice as a filler than Holy Light, but at the cost of Judgment of Light and total HPS, but we’ll cover that later.
Even with Stoicism, Light of the Martyr only barely edges out Holy Light in HPCT. I’m very hesitant to say that we’ll never use Light of the Martyr in its current state, but it’s hard to see the silver lining at the moment. I would love to be dead wrong about Light of the Martyr, though. We’ll just have to wait and see how it performs during raid testing.
More Talent Combinations!
In Legion, our talents are looking much more interesting. All three options in the 15, 75, and 90 tiers have a direct influence on HPS while each aura brings unique raid utility, and we finally have a real choice between Beacon of Faith and Beacon of the Lightbringer! All-in-all, I expect that we’ll have many more opportunities to swap talents based on each specific encounter. That being said, some talent combinations are looking much stronger than others.
Of the 54 possible combinations of talents from tier 15, 75, 90, and 100 (excluding Beacon of the Savior), here are the top 10 and, just for fun, the worst talent combinations and their projected HPS.
There’s a lot of really interesting data here. Holy Prism and Judgment of Light are looking very strong; both making up 80% of the top 10. Beacon of Faith and Beacon of the Lightbringer are equally represented with Lightbringer usually being higher, but Faith being in more combinations. Overall, each of the top 10 are fairly close to each other meaning we should, hopefully, be able to play with different talents without feeling like we’re sacrificing throughput.
Even though it may look like Stoicism is awful, the talent combination of Light’s Hammer, Holy Prism, Stoicism, and Beacon of the Lightbringer was still at 109,476 HPS, right behind number 10. It still performs less optimally than Judgment of Light and Daybreak, but it’s not too far behind if Light of the Martyr was ever discovered to have unique benefits that my spreadsheet isn’t accounting for.
Haste… uh, sucks?
All classes have had significant changes to shuffle around the weights of their secondary stats. We lost all raid buffs, our 5% crit affinity from Sanctified Light, the 10% passive haste from Infusion of Light, and the additional haste from Avenging Wrath. Losing so many sources of haste has given our naturally HoT-free toolkit even less synergy with haste. Other than our cast times, Light’s Hammer is the only ability that is affected by haste in any meaningful way. As such, haste is really far below all other secondary stats in relative power; usually less than half the weight of the second-to-last stat.
The actual weights of each secondary stat will differ with gear and talent choice, but the general priority is crit > intellect >= mastery = versatility >> haste. Surprisingly, versatility rivals mastery in many talent combinations and isn’t very far off from intellect and crit either. Its also very likely that I’m not calculating mastery’s effectiveness very well. In fact, I’m sure of it. Without proper raid testing (and likely some addons), it’s really hard to know how much benefit we’ll get from mastery, so take all of this with a pretty big helping of salt and skepticism.
Even though it’s still really early, I’m really liking the new aesthetic of the front-line healer that we’ve become and I’m excited to see how it ends up working in Legion. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some raid testing soon and fine tune the spreadsheet so that you guys can poke and prod as well. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Paladin feedback thread on the official alpha forums for other opinions on Holy Paladin and give feedback if you actually have access.
Thanks for reading!