I have to come clean to all of you; I’ve been playing my Mistweaver Monk this entire expansion. I had a strong suspicion that Holy Paladins were going to be weaker than usual coming into BFA, but the main reason for swapping is that Holy Paladins just don’t feel very fun right now. Luckily, there’s a fairly new build that capitalizes on the strength of the Glimmer of Light Azerite trait that was introduced in patch 8.1, so I wanted to showcase how to play it for those of you who might want a change of pace.
Before we get into the build itself, I want to give credit to other people because I did not come up with this in any way. The buzz began when a player by the name of Shockwater on Kil’Jaeden-US played a prototype of this build during the first week of Mythic Battle for Dazar’alor. The build was then tested and refined by a few players from the Hammer of Wrath discord server until Holypalaswe on Draenor-EU released a video using the build to it’s full potential, and it’s currently the number one healing parse on Mythic Jaina.
The Glimmer of Light Build
This build utilizes three Glimmer of Light Azerite traits with Crusader’s Might, Holy Avenger, Sanctified Wrath, and Divine Purpose as talents and as much haste as you can get. The core focus is to use as many Holy Shocks as possible to maximize the number of Glimmer of Light buffs on the raid.
Glimmer heals for 1587 at ilvl 400 and 1826 at ilvl 415 per trait. Multiplied by 3 and increased by the hidden 40% increase that all healers received in BFA, each Glimmer buff heals for between 6665 and 7669 as a base. It’s also affected by crit, mastery, and versatility, so you can expect to see numbers from 7k to 9k during most of the encounter and up to as much as 30k during cooldowns! When Holy Avenger and Avenging Wrath are active, it’s possible to have up to 14 or 15 buffs of Glimmer on the raid. Even without the major cooldowns, you’ll still have roughly 5 or 6 buffs out at all times. Plus, each glimmer is transferred to your Beacon of Light (though at the reduced AoE rate).
The talents in this build are all specifically chosen to increase the number of Holy Shocks you can use.
- Crusader’s Might – Crusader Strike reduces the cooldown of both Holy Shock and Light of Dawn by 1.5 seconds.
- Holy Avenger – Increases haste by 30% and increases healing of Holy Shock by 30% for 20 seconds on a 1.5 minute cooldown.
- Sanctified Wrath – Reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 50% and adds 5 seconds to Avenging Wrath (from 20 to 25 seconds).
- Divine Purpose – Gives Holy Shock and Light of Dawn a 20% chance to reset their cooldown.
Holy Avenger is paired with Avenging Wrath to create a monstrous amount of raid healing while both buffs are active. Crusader’s Might and Divine Purpose help enhance burst windows and bolster lulls between major cooldowns.
The most crucial part of this build is finding three pieces of Azerite armor that each have Glimmer of Light on them. Luckily, there are quite a few pieces available that have Glimmer of Light, and you can very easily get one of each from the first three bosses in Battle for Dazar’alor! However, if you want to maximize this build’s potential, you’ll need to have a little luck gambling Titan Residuum to get the best secondary Azerite traits.
- Glimmer of Light – Every piece has to have this (that’s kind of the point).
- Bonded Souls – Only available from Battle for Dazar’alor. High healing and haste proc with good uptime–usually around 50%+.
- Light’s Decree – Technically a Retribution talent, this increases Avenging Wrath by 5 seconds, but it also adds 1.25 seconds to Sanctified Wrath’s buff (from 5 to 6.25). You only ever want one of these.
- Blood Rite – A high haste proc with pretty decent uptime (30-40%), but only available with Glimmer of Light on one of six possible Titan Residuum chest pieces.
- Treacherous Covenant – This is somewhat preferential. The upside to this trait is huge, but the downside of not having any increase when below 50% health and even taking more damage when below 20% can be dangerous on some fights.
- Breaking Dawn – Increases the range of Light of Dawn to 40 yards and increases healing by a flat amount. Light of Dawn still has very high usage in this build, so this is still a good quality of life trait. This combination mostly only appears on PvP items.
- Radiant Incandescence – A low priority trait but still decent with how often we cast Holy Shock.
Any other Azerite traits will give a negligible benefit, and you have plenty of opportunities to get Glimmer with one of the above mentioned traits, so it’s really not worth ranking anything past these.
|Azerite Helm||Secondary Azerite Trait||Source|
|1.||Overseer’s Riot Helmet||Light’s Decree||Azerite Vendor|
|2.||Helm of Tempered Jade||Treacherous Covenant||Jadefire Masters|
|3.||Helm of Abyssal Malevolence||Radiant Incandescence||Azerite Vendor|
|4.||Helm of the Raptor King||Divine Revelations||Azerite Vendor|
|5.||SP1-R1-73D Orthogonal Optics||Relational Normalization Gizmo||Engineering|
|Azerite Shoulder||Secondary Azerite Trait||Source|
|1.||Spaulders of the Gorilla King||Bonded Souls||Grong|
|2.||Lockjaw Shoulderplate||Light’s Decree||Azerite Vendor|
|3.||Dyno-Sprocket Spaulders||Radiant Incandescence||Mekkatorque|
|4.||Kraken Shell Pauldrons||Radiant Incandescence||Azerite Vendor|
|5.||Pauldrons of the Horned Horror||Divine Revelations||Azerite Vendor|
|Azerite Chest||Secondary Azerite Trait||Source|
|1.||Breastplate of Arterial Protection||Blood Rite||Azerite Vendor|
|2.||Breastplate of Divine Purification||Treacherous Covenant||Champions|
|3.||Chestguard of the Deep Denizen||Radiant Incandescence||Azerite Vendor|
|4.||Sea Swell Chestplate||Divine Revelations||Blockade|
|5.||Desert Guardian’s Breastplate||Moment of Compassion||Azerite Vendor|
The good news is that you have a pretty decent chance of getting something usable when you buy a piece from the Azerite Vendor. For each slot, three of the possible six Azerite items have Glimmer, and that’s all you really need to get started.
Even though Holy Shock has been so closely associated with critical strike in the past, it’s really not as beneficial for this build because we’re very rarely relying on Infusion of Light procs.
Haste > Mastery > Crit >= Versatility
3. How to Play
This playstyle is most effective on bosses that have lots of raid-wide damage or particularly well-timed raid damage that synchronizes with Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger. Because Sanctified Wrath and Holy Avenger alter the cooldown of Holy Shock so much, there are two separate priorities.
Outside of Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger:
- Holy Shock – Generally, prioritize players that might die in the next few seconds > non-Beaconed tank (without Glimmer buff) > Beaconed tank (without Glimmer buff) > players without the Glimmer buff. Keep Holy Shock on cooldown and prioritize players over enemies unless there’s a very specific target you need to kill quickly.
- Light of Dawn – It’s usually better to use Light of Dawn before Crusader Strike to get 1.5 seconds off both cooldowns, but Light of Dawn can move below Crusader Strike in priority if there’s not enough targets for Light of Dawn to hit.
- Crusader Strike – Make sure you’re never using Crusader Strike when Holy Shock has less than 1.5 seconds left on its cooldown. You’re just wasting the reduction on the GCD it takes to use Crusader Strike; use Flash of Light instead.
- Flash of Light – With how often you’re using Holy Shock, almost every Flash of Light you cast will be buffed with Infusion of Light, but you’ll still be wasting a lot of Infusion procs.
During Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger:
- Holy Shock – The only priority is to make sure the tank without Beacon has a Glimmer buff, then prioritize players with the lowest health who also don’t have the Glimmer buff. The healing from Glimmer is so powerful during Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger that you really don’t need to worry about a buff on the Beaconed tank at all.
- Crusader Strike – Using Holy Shock as much as possible is the highest priority, so using Crusader Strike to reset the cooldown is much more important than casting Light of Dawn.
- Light of Dawn – Filler while Holy Shock and Crusader Strike are both on cooldown
- Flash of Light – Whatever globals are leftover. You’ll likely never have a global open for Flash of Light during both Holy Avenger Avenging Wrath, but you might have one while Avenging Wrath is active and not Holy Avenger.
4. Why You Should Play This Build
If, like me, you think that the current version of Holy Paladin is too slow and lacks any interesting synergy, well, this build still isn’t going to solve all of your problems, but it’s a little faster paced and is a playstyle that is unique for long-time Paladins. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Uplift ability from Mist of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor era Mistweaver Monk as well as current Discipline Priest’s Atonement.
I strongly dislike the Avenging Crusader playstyle, and this version makes cooldowns feel like you have a much more active involvement in the process. This build has a much higher cast-per-minute ratio than the traditional Holy Paladin style, so if you enjoy a faster playstyle, give this a shot!
Thanks for reading.