Holy Paladin Guide

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Holy Paladin

In previous expansions, Holy Paladins have been able to stick to a fairly rigid rotation for healing; this isn’t the case in Legion. Some abilities’ cooldowns are affected by haste while others aren’t. This means that having a set rotation is impossible and we have to rely on a general priority list with a few exceptions. Similarly, without our absorption mastery, overhealing is just overhealing and a waste of mana. We are incredibly mana efficient healers, but you will still run out of mana if you’re careless. With the exception of spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock, don’t use cooldowns just because they’ve come off cooldown. Use them efficiently.

Ability Priority

  1. spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock – Use on cooldown without exception. If there is absolutely no damage on the raid and nothing to heal, use spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock as damage instead.
  2. ability_paladin_infusionoflight Infusion of Light – Use on Flash of Light as often as possible, while minimizing overheal. The ability_paladin_infusionoflight Infusion of Light buff lasts longer than the spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock cooldown, so you can potentially hold it for a few GCDs until someone’s health deficit justifies the 50% larger spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light.
  3. spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn – Use as often as possible. spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn has a small 5-yard radius around you as well as the frontal cone effect, so you don’t have to worry about everyone being exactly in front of you as long as you’re very close to them.
  4. spell_holy_righteousfury Judgment (if spell_holy_divineprovidence Judgment of Light is talented) – spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock and spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn should take priority during intense healing situations, but spell_holy_righteousfury Judgment is incredibly mana efficient, so you should be using it on cooldown.
  5. spell_paladin_holyprism Holy Prism (if talented) – spell_paladin_holyprism Holy Prism is much less powerful than it has been in the past. It’s only slightly more healing than spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn, but on double the cooldown. Regardless, it’s still a strong and consistent tool to help with area-of-effect healing.
  6. ability_paladin_blessedmending Bestow Faith (if talented) – Using this effectively will take some planning and practice, but it’s incredibly mana efficient. The easiest way to use this ability is on a Tank, especially one without Beacon if you are playing with spell_paladin_clarityofpurpose Beacon of the Lightbringer, so that the ability_paladin_blessedmending Bestow Faith heal transfers to your active Beacon. It can be used on a raid member who is going to take predictable damage from a delayed raid mechanic such as a damage-over-time effect, or it can also be used on yourself if you need to use ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr or spell_holy_sealofsacrifice Blessing of Sacrifice.
  7. inv_mace_2h_artifactsilverhand_d_01 Tyr’s Deliverance – Best used during moderate raid damage to be able to spam spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light or spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light. It can also be useful to increase your single-target healing during heavy damage to one person. This healing and the buff it provides are unpredictable in that it jumps from target to target, so you can’t count on it always providing the buff to the most injured players.
  8. ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr – This spell is an oddball. If you know you aren’t in any immediate danger of dying, using ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr is our highest single-target healing; however, this doesn’t mean we should use it all the time. It’s a good ability to use during movement and in high-pressure situations, but the damage inflicted makes the net healing (healing done minus healing needed to recover our damage taken) very low. Do not use this if it isn’t necessary.

If these abilities are on cooldown (or not needed because the raid is taking minimal damage), you should still always be casting something. If the raid is taking heavy damage, use spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light. If the raid is taking moderate to low damage, cast spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light. If the raid is taking very little damage, cast spell_holy_crusaderstrike Crusader Strike and spell_holy_righteousfury Judgment.

Using Cooldowns Effectively

Treat cooldowns similarly to your normal healing abilities and use them efficiently. Without our absorption mastery and infinite mana, we need to be much more thoughtful about when we use spell_holy_avenginewrath Avenging Wrath and, if talented, ability_paladin_holyavenger Holy Avenger.

spell_holy_avenginewrath Avenging Wrath – When paired with ability_paladin_sanctifiedwrath Sanctified Wrath, spell_holy_avenginewrath Avenging Wrath makes spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock an absolute monster. You should still treat spell_holy_avenginewrath Avenging Wrath as a personal cooldown and not as a raid cooldown. You will be able to heal the raid more effectively, but you still have a limited toolkit to deal with spread damage. Save this for when you expect damage. It’s fine to hold on to this cooldown for a while as long as you have a plan for the next time you’ll use it. Don’t activate this if spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock is on cooldown, wait for it to come back up so you can get more use out of it.

ability_paladin_holyavenger Holy Avenger (if talented) – This is a good cooldown for a fight with lots of small burst windows. Similarly to spell_holy_avenginewrath Avenging Wrath, don’t activate this if spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock is on cooldown, wait for it to come back up so you can get off at least three Holy Shocks.

spell_holy_auramastery Aura Mastery – Use this to mitigate or recover from heavy-hitting boss mechanics. The harder a mechanic hits, the more beneficial spell_holy_auramastery Aura Mastery is. Coordinate with your other healers about when to use this.

spell_holy_divineshield Divine Shield – Immunity to most mechanics in the game. There are certain debuffs that you can no longer remove with spell_holy_divineshield Divine Shield, but it will save you from dying in most situations.

spell_holy_sealofsacrifice Blessing of Sacrifice – This is our Tank cooldown. It’s very powerful as a mitigation tool, but it’s also very risky. Use this only when it’s necessary; using it without any of the other healers knowing could result in you dropping health incredibly quickly and having to use spell_holy_divineshield Divine Shield or potentially dying.

spell_holy_divineprotection Divine Protection – Learn to use this often. Like spell_holy_devotionaura Devotion Aura, mitigating damage has the exact same overall outcome as healing and you should treat it that way. Use this if you plan on using ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr heavily or spell_holy_sealofsacrifice Blessing of Sacrifice.

Using Beacons Effectively

Your best job as a Holy Paladin is keeping tanks alive. How much overall healing you do doesn’t matter if the tanks are consistently dying. Your Beacon talent choice will have a large impact on how you heal, and should be based both on your required positioning and the tank healing requirements.

  • Take spell_paladin_clarityofpurpose Beacon of the Lightbringer if only one tank will take consistent damage at a time (swapping mechanics), or if you’re forced to be with range (grouped or spread).
  • Consider ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith if you’re able to be in melee and both tanks (or at least two people, not necessarily tanks) will take consistent damage throughout the fight.
  • Consider ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue if you’re able to be in melee and the fight is short enough to permit the additional mana use.

These are general guidelines; not all fights are that straight forward and tank damage may not permit you to rely solely on Beacon transfers.  ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith and spell_paladin_clarityofpurpose Beacon of the Lightbringer are both very close for throughput, so you should never feel like one is going to make you lose HPS.

With ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith, your Beacons will transfer no more than 32% of your healing to each tank. Especially in difficult content, hard-hitting bosses will require you to direct heal your Beacons, losing part of the value of the talent. In those cases, even if both tanks are consistently taking simultaneous damage, it may be more optimal to take spell_paladin_clarityofpurpose Beacon of the Lightbringer because your single Beacon will transfer up to 40% of your healing to the Beacon. Place your Beacon on the tank who will take the least damage (or who heals herself most effectively, e.g. a Death Knight), and spend more time and attention direct healing the tank taking the most damage.

The positioning of some fights will dictate which Beacon choice is best. For example, some fights require the tanks to frequently split up, such that you are able to be near one tank but far from the other. In that case, your direct healing on the distant tank will be severely reduced by the loss of mastery effectiveness. However, Beacon transfers are not affected by your mastery. Accordingly, if the distant tank is taking light or medium damage and the 32% transfer rate of  ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith will be sufficient to sustain his health, you should take  ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith and direct heal the people near you and the nearby tank. The distant tank will receive full Beacon transfers undiminished by your distance from him. Similarly, if the distant tank is further than 40 yards from you but still within 60 yards, he is out of range of direct healing but still in range of Beacon transfers, and  you should take ability_paladin_beaconsoflight Beacon of Faith. However, if the distant tank is taking heavy damage and is in range of your direct healing, you should take  spell_paladin_clarityofpurpose Beacon of the Lightbringer and place your Beacon on the distant tank. That way your direct healing on the nearby, un-Beaconed tank will transfer up to 40% of your healing to the distant tank; and when direct healing on the distant tank is necessary, your heals will be strengthened by 100% of your mastery effectiveness.

ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue is a higher HPS choice than either of the other two Beacon choices. With Beacons placed on 4 injured players for 8 seconds, ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue allows you to respond extremely effectively to raid damage. However, it is very expensive: using ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue on cooldown will cost you 60% of base mana–132,000 mana–every minute. Additionally, using ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue means neither tank will have a reliable stream of constant Beacon transfers, making the job of keeping both tanks alive during heavy tank damage much more difficult. Although you can–and probably should–cast ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue at a tank taking damage, there is no guarantee that one of the other Virtue Beacons will land on the other tank; and neither tank will have a Beacon at all half the time. Thus, ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue sacrifices reliable tank healing in exchange for higher AoE healing. This makes ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue an excellent choice in 5-man instances, but a risky option in raids. Nevertheless if damage on both tanks is low enough to be manageable with direct healing, you’re able to be in melee so your direct healing on the tanks will benefit fully from your mastery, and fight length and mana requirements will permit the heavy additional expenditure, you should consider Beacon of Virtue.

To use ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue effectively, you must fit as much healing as possible within the 8 second window that your Beacons are up. Accordingly, ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue has good synergy with low cooldown talents. Thus, when playing with ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue, you should typically also talent ability_paladin_blessedmending Bestow Faith, spell_paladin_holyprism Holy Prism, and Rule of  Law.

To maximize your healing within the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window, you must (1) take advantage of Beacon transfer delay, (2) delay cooldown-based heals until ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue is up, (3) take advantage of the GCD, and (4) effectively manage your mana.

  1. Beacon transfers from a heal occur a split second after the heal cast finishes. You can take advantage of this by casting your Beacon in that split second gap after a cast finishes but before the transfer is calculated. For example: If you cast spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light, then immediately cast ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue just as the spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light cast ends, the spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light will Beacon transfer to all 4 Virtue Beacons. This is extremely valuable, as it gains you an additional heal within the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window. This technique takes practice, but will pay off immensely when you master it.
  2. Any healing done while ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue is inactive will gain no Beacon transfer at all, and thus even your strongest spells will be much less effective outside the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window. This may require you to delay spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock , ability_paladin_blessedmending Bestow Faith, spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn, and spell_paladin_holyprism Holy Prism to ensure you can cast them while Beacon of Virtue is active.
  3. Instant cast heals do their healing at the beginning of the global cooldown, while cast-time heals that only take 1 GCD, like spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light, do their healing at the end of the GCD. You should take advantage of this to fit additional heals in the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window. For example, it may be possible to cast spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light and then spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn within the window, whereas reversing the cast sequence would result in the spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Light heal occurring after the window expired.
  4. Additionally, due to the high mana cost of using ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue, you should attempt to save mana for when ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue is active. Outside the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window, consider using spell_holy_crusaderstrike Crusader Strike and spell_holy_innerfire Consecrate for free damage. If healing is necessary to prevent someone from dying, consider ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr. ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr is by far your cheapest heal. Additionally, because ability_paladin_lightofthemartyr Light of the Martyr never transfers to your Beacon, it is relatively more valuable and viable outside the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window than any other heal.

What you cast during a ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window will vary depending on what heals are available for that window, as well as how much haste you have. The first 4 casts should always be the same:

  1. Pre-cast ability_paladin_blessedmending Bestow Faith.
  2. Pre-cast spell_holy_surgeoflight Holy Light.
  3. Cast ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue.
  4. Cast ability_paladin_longarmofthelaw Rule of Law, which will be available for every other ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue, together with your first heal within the ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue window.

After that, you should cast spell_holy_searinglight Holy Shock, spell_paladin_lightofdawn Light of Dawn, spell_paladin_holyprism Holy Prism (which will be available for every other ability_paladin_beaconofinsight Beacon of Virtue) and 1 or 2 spell_holy_flashheal Flash of Lights.


Holy Paladin Guide

Stat Priority
Macros and Addons