I’m Jeathebelle, a healer in Promethean. Dreamguard has kindly invited me to join him on this site, and I’m very excited to come talk about all things Holy Paladin!
In the upcoming weeks I’ll be blogging about all the changes coming to Holy Paladins in Legion. It’s premature to do too much work now, when the spec is currently not live on Alpha and clearly still being iterated on (as indicated by recent blue posts discussing toning down the strength of Beacon of Light). But I have a lot to talk about based on what’s been released so far, and as soon as the spec is available for testing I’ll be finalizing up some posts to share my thoughts with everyone!
In the meantime, we’re still healing in WoD! I’ve moved my 6.2 Advanced Selfless Healer Tutorial to this site, where aspiring Holy Paladins can read it after digesting Dreamguard’s excellent overall guide for Paladin healing. I encourage fellow Holy Paladins to check it out, and get in touch with Dreamguard or me with any questions!
Happy New Year, everyone!
I’m very happy to announce a new author here on Sacred Shielding: Jeathebelle from <Promethean> on Stormreaver-US! Jeathebelle is a well-respected Holy Paladin with a lot of great insight and I’m excited to start the new year with more perspective.
In the coming months, we’ll both be working on theorycrafting for Holy Paladin in the Legion Alpha/Beta. There’s already been a lot of datamined information about Holy Paladins in Legion, but I’d chosen to wait until after the Holidays before fully getting into modeling for Legion and writing about the new changes.
There’s obviously a lot to discuss already and even more inevitable changes as new Alpha builds start coming in, so stay tuned!
We’ve finally seen all of the previews of each class and specialization heading into Legion. I wanted to wait until all of the healers had been previewed before writing this in case there were any fundamental healing design changes that might have been apparent from the non-Paladin healer previews.
The single biggest change to healing is the removal of absorption (mostly). And there was much rejoicing. Discipline Priests will still have Power Word: Shield, but it will have a six second cooldown, and Paladins lose their absorption mastery, Illuminated Healing. Similarly, they are removing a lot of absorption mechanics from tank specializations as well. I think this is a great change for healing. Absorbs are an interesting mechanic, but they have been too powerful for quite some time and lead to an unhealthy imbalance between healers.
The second big change to healers is a higher emphasis on damage. Discipline Priests have become a specialization that spends a significant portion of their time converting damage to healing; however, Mistweaver Monks have lost their ability to “fistweave” and, as a result, have lost their immunity to specific ranged-only mechanics. Each healer will now level as their healing specialization and accrue Artifact Power for their healing Artifact weapon rather than level as a damage-dealing spec and change back to healing later. To me, this implies that our damage will be respectable. My guess is that our damage will be relatively similar to a tank specialization’s damage-per-second.
In the same vein, healers will be spending more time doing damage when less healing is required. I should clarify that it’s not absolutely confirmed that we will spend time doing damage on progression bosses, but it was implied during a Q&A on classes during Blizzcon, and the change to healers’ ability to deal damage only reinforces the idea. I’m a little skeptical about this. I know that there’s still a lot of information that isn’t available to us yet, so I’ll hold off on my Final Verdict (ba dum tss), but I will voice some concerns:
I’ve written up some encounter-specific tips as a blog post first, but this will probably be merged into the Holy Paladin guide at some point as well. At the time of writing this, our guild is working on Mythic Mannoroth so my knowledge of the Mythic version of the Archimonde encounter is somewhat limited by the fact that I haven’t actually done it. I’ll probably update that section once we get to it, though at that point it will probably be part of the guide and updated there.
First off, this post includes tips for healing each boss in Hellfire Citdadel and not an encounter guide per se. If you are unfamiliar with the fights themselves, I suggest visiting the Wowhead Hellfire Citadel Guides written by Dayani, or watching the Proper Bird video guides on YouTube for more general information about each encounter.
I decided to write my own guide for Holy Paladins. There are plenty of guides out there that are perfectly fine, but I wanted to make one that went more in-depth about the choices behind playing a Paladin instead of just telling you what to do. This might mean that it’s too wordy for a lot of readers, but I’m ok with that. I hope that those of you who do want to read more about Holy Paladins enjoy it.
On Monday, Preach Gaming posted a new video in a series about major changes he hopes to see in Legion. This video covered the topic of the highly controversial Looking For Raid (LFR) system. I highly suggest watching the video beforehand, but I’ll cover most of the salient points here as well.
The first point that Preach makes is an analogy about how LFR is similar to Random Battlegrounds in that both are a facsimile for the real challenge, but we don’t cry about BGs because it’s been in the game since Vanilla. I don’t think this analogy is really that great because anything that involves Player vs. Player interaction can be a challenge depending on the skill level of whoever you’re playing against, but I think the underlying point he’s trying to make is this: we’re fine with having aspects of the game be “casual” as long as they don’t infringe on our sense of meaningful or rewarding progression. I wholeheartedly agree, BUT this leads to his next point: LFR does affect the way players acquire gear.
In my previous post, I touched on the Selfless Healer talent and how it felt clumsy and led to overhealing. I do still think that Selfless Healer is a little awkward, but I was wrong in assuming that the talent wasn’t an option for currently raiding Holy Paladins. So wrong.
A Holy Power Spender By Any Other Name
The first thing to discuss is why we haven’t seen Selfless Healer at all this expansion. A big factor is the power of Eternal Flame vs. Light of Dawn. Historically, Eternal Flame has been the strictly superior option as a Holy Power spender in comparison to Light of Dawn. The main reason for this is because Light of Dawn has an abysmal 15% transfer rate for Beacon of Light whereas Eternal Flame has 50% — the same as most other heals. When you consider that most Paladins take Beacon of Faith for raiding, that gap becomes 30% of Light of Dawn compared to 100% of Eternal Flame. Beacon of Light is often the biggest contributor to a Holy Paladin’s healing and one of the most compelling aspects of a Holy Paladin’s toolkit so it’s easy to understand how the Beacon transfer disparity between the two spells would influence a lot of thinking.
For the future of this blog I eventually want to go more in-depth into theorycrafting aspects of playing a Holy Paladin, but seeing as this is the inaugural post I’ve decided to cover a simpler topic: Talents.
Blizzcon is still a few months away and that means that we probably won’t be seeing much more specific information about class changes for the new expansion until then. But before we get more details, I’d like to talk about which talents I think could be improved upon heading into Legion.