WoD (6.2) Rotations and Playstyle

Content

General Rotation

For Low Damage or Low Spirit

Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame or Light of DawnLight of Dawn

For High Damage

Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly LightHoly LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly Light > 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame or Light of DawnLight of Dawn


The general philosophy of playing a Holy Paladin is to keep your healing cooldowns on cooldown to maximize their effectiveness.  This applies to Holy ShockHoly Shock, 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism, and Avenging WrathAvenging Wrath.  There are caveats to this rule that you can read about below, but the basic assumption is that these three abilities will be used as soon as they come off cooldown.

Holy ShockHoly Shock should be used on cooldown to maximize Holy Power generation and Infusion of LightInfusion of Light procs.  With this in mind, the Holy Paladin rotation is an attempt to heal as much as possible between each cooldown of Holy ShockHoly Shock while trying not to overlap a cast time with the cooldown of Holy ShockHoly Shock coming back up.  At its most basic level, the rotation will look like this:

Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Holy LightHoly Light > 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame or Light of DawnLight of Dawn

This rotation is incredibly mana efficient and is sustainable for a very long time.  I’ll label this rotation as the Default Rotation.  Note that 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame and Light of DawnLight of Dawn are used only after we have accumulated three Holy Power.  Avoid using any Holy Power spender with less than three Holy Power.

We can upgrade this rotation for when we have more than enough mana to sustain the default rotation or in times where there is a lot of damage. Infusion of LightInfusion of Light increases the amount healed by Flash of LightFlash of Light by 50% or reduces the cast time of Holy LightHoly Light by 50%.  In the default rotation, using Infusion of LightInfusion of Light on Holy LightHoly Light doesn’t really do much because we can’t fit in another spell before Holy ShockHoly Shock comes back off cooldown.  Our best option is to use Infusion of LightInfusion of Light on Flash of LightFlash of Light instead.  By replacing our first Holy LightHoly Light with Flash of LightFlash of Light on every Infusion of LightInfusion of Light proc, we’ve upgraded our rotation to this:

Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly Light > Holy LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly LightHoly LightHoly Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light (Infusion of LightIoL) or Holy LightHoly Light > 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame or Light of DawnLight of Dawn

It’s important to be able to seamlessly shift between both rotations as the fight permits.  In times of high damage, use the upgraded rotation; in times of low damage, go back to the default rotation.

These two rotations are usable for almost all talent and glyph combinations.  Replace one of the Holy LightHoly Lights with any cooldown like 45.3 Sacred ShieldSacred Shield or 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism.

The Selfless Healer Rotation

The only talent that requires a different rotation is the Tier 45 talent, 45.1 Selfless HealerSelfless Healer. You can read more about the decision to choose Selfless Healer over Eternal Flame in this blog post. This rotation requires the use of JudgmentJudgment to make it effective so we have to slightly modify our rotation to be able to maximize our healing between Holy ShockHoly Shock cooldowns. Because we are using an extra global after Holy ShockHoly Shock, we are forced to use Flash of LightFlash of Light to be able to still fit two casts before Holy ShockHoly Shock comes off cooldown.

Holy ShockHoly Shock > JudgmentJudgment > Flash of LightFlash of Light > Flash of LightFlash of Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > JudgmentJudgment > Flash of LightFlash of Light > Flash of LightFlash of Light >>
Holy ShockHoly Shock > JudgmentJudgment > Flash of LightFlash of Light > Light of DawnLight of Dawn

Jeathebelle added a really great guide to all of the subtleties of playing Selfless Healer that you can find here.


Playstyle

The greatest strength of the Holy Paladin toolkit is Beacon of LightBeacon of Light and Beacon of FaithBeacon of Faith.  Both tanks consistently take damage and should be the primary recipients of both Beacons.  This allows us to heal the raid while passively healing the tanks at the same time. Healing a Beacon target reduces the mana cost of Holy LightHoly Light and Flash of LightFlash of Light by 40% and increases their effectiveness by 10%, so if there are times when other raid members are taking enough damage, swapping our Beacon of LightBeacon of Light to them can be more beneficial.  A few examples of this would be swapping Beacons to the other two players during Visions of Death on Kilrogg Deadeye, the Gift of the Man’ari on Socrethar, or to heal the Tortured Essences in Gorefiend’s Stomach.

For most situations, though, we will have both Beacons on tanks.  If the raid is taking no damage we should heal the tanks to stack Illuminated HealingIlluminated Healing on them, but otherwise it’s best to spot heal the raid and let Beacon of LightBeacon of Light heal the tanks passively.

Seals

Make sure that Seal of InsightSeal of Insight is active at all times for the 5% increase to all healing.  An active Seal is required to be able to cast JudgmentJudgment as well.

Single target vs. Multiple target

Unfortunately, Holy Paladins have very little in terms of multiple target healing.  What few abilities we have are either very weak or have very high mana costs.  As such, our playstyle doesn’t change from times when only one person is taking damage to times when multiple raid members are taking damage.

We do have a heavy, multiple-target healing combination, but it is advised to use it sparingly or not at all.  In any situation where the entire raid is taking heavy damage, the Paladin’s ability to heal the lowest members and save them from death is probably more beneficial than very low, spread healing–especially considering how effective other healers are at doing this for much less mana. If you do find yourself in a situation with only a few throughput healers, the entire raid is taking heavy damage, and people are grouped closely together, we can use the following combo:

Holy ShockHoly Shock > Flash of LightFlash of Light > Holy RadianceHoly Radiance > Holy ShockHoly Shock (DaybreakDaybreak) > Light of DawnLight of Dawn

Both Holy RadianceHoly Radiance and DaybreakDaybreak have 10 yard ranges so they can only be used effectively if raid members are grouped together.  I caution against this because the mana cost of Holy RadianceHoly Radiance is incredibly steep for how much it heals. On top of our multiple target heals being weak, they also only transfer 15% of their total healing through Beacon of LightBeacon of Light. 

The only exception to all of this is that Light of DawnLight of Dawn is more healing than Word of GloryWord of Glory.  If we don’t have 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame talented, Light of DawnLight of Dawn should be your designated Holy Power spender.

Ability Specific Healing

45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame: At most, we can only reliably have 3 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame HoTs active on the raid at once.  Our best option is to have one rolling on each tank at all times and a third on ourselves. The HoT effect of 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame heals for 50% more when cast on ourselves so it’s more beneficial to keep on us when the raid is taking evenly distributed damage.  In any scenario, we should move our 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame to whomever is taking the most damage.

45.3 Sacred ShieldSacred Shield: Should be played very similarly to 45.2 Eternal FlameEternal Flame.  Keep one on each tank and a third on someone who is taking damage. The major difference is that 45.3 Sacred ShieldSacred Shield has a fairly high mana cost and can be used sparingly if there isn’t much damage on the raid.

90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism: Should be used almost always on cooldown.  If extra damage is going to happen a few seconds after 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism comes off cooldown, it’s often more healing per second to ensure that it will do as little overhealing as possible by waiting those few seconds. Until you are more comfortable with a fight, it’s advised to use 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism on cooldown. It’s also very important to always cast 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism on an enemy to achieve the most healing possible from the ability.  90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism should never be cast on an ally.

90.2 Light's HammerLight’s Hammer: It’s very hard to get full usage out of this ability because the times when it’s most effective are not always exactly 1 minute apart.  Because of this, 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism is ordinarily chosen instead. 90.2 Light's HammerLight’s Hammer is much more situational and should only be used on encounters where the additional cooldown can help push through a rough part of the fight. I would not recommend 90.2 Light's HammerLight’s Hammer unless it feels absolutely necessary for progression because it is a healing-per-second loss over 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism. If you do choose to use 90.2 Light's HammerLight’s Hammer, use it with other minor DPS cooldowns like Smokebomb or Nature’s Vigil in a chain of cooldowns. The ideal scenario to use 90.2 Light's HammerLight’s Hammer would be during Feast of Souls on Gorefiend or possibly during Jubei’thos’s Windwalk on High Council, though the strenuous healing demands of the rest of the encounter probably require the consistency of 90.1 Holy PrismHoly Prism.

Managing Cooldowns

Avenging WrathAvenging Wrath: This is the Holy Paladin’s only healing cooldown. It is an incredibly powerful ability that we want to get as much use out of as possible.  Sometimes this means holding it for a particular mechanic that will do a lot of damage, and sometimes this means using it early in the fight and then on cooldown after that.  The Tier 75 talent, 75.2 Sanctified WrathSanctified Wrath, makes our Avenging WrathAvenging Wrath even more potent.  It is definitely feasible to keep 75.2 Sanctified WrathSanctified Wrath without the Glyph of Merciful Wrath but usually only if it’s necessary for progression as the increased bonuses can lead to a lot of overhealing. The Glyph of Merciful Wrath tones down some of the bonuses of 75.2 Sanctified WrathSanctified Wrath and the reduced cooldown on Avenging WrathAvenging Wrath makes it very consistent.

Devotion AuraDevotion Aura: This is our “three-minute raid cooldown” to pair with all of the other healers’ raid cooldowns. Like Discipline Priests, our cooldown is damage reduction instead of healing throughput.  More than any other Paladin ability, Devotion AuraDevotion Aura should be used strategically with our other healing team members. It’s important to use these abilities separately from each other to maximize the amount of time covered. As such, we want to coordinate with our healing team when we’re going to use Devotion AuraDevotion Aura. All cooldowns of this type can be used interchangeably, but any damage reduction cooldown will be more effective when countering abilities that do significant damage over a short period of time. I highly recommend reading Dayani’s post about healer cooldowns for more information about the differences between each ability.

Hand of SacrificeHand of Sacrifice: This ability will almost exclusively be used on tanks.  It will usually be their job to call for specific external cooldowns, so we need to have Hand of SacrificeHand of Sacrifice bound to an easily accessible keybind to be able to use it quickly.  If a tank is not asking for regular external cooldowns, ask them if there is a specific point in the fight where you can use it.  If they aren’t sure when to use it, figure out a time when you notice the tank is routinely dropping low in health (or dying) and use it.  It’s much better to end a fight having used Hand of SacrificeHand of Sacrifice too often than not at all.

Divine ProtectionDivine Protection: Learn to use this ability regularly.  It reduces magic damage taken by 40% and can be glyphed to reduce magic damage by 20% and physical damage by 20%.  Being proactive about knowing when to use this ability can save a lot of deaths and, consequently, wipes to bosses.


Holy Paladin Guide

Introduction
Abilities
Talents and Glyphs
Rotations and Playstyle
Secondary Stats
Gems, Enchants, and Consumables
UI, Macros and Addons
Hellfire Citadel Encounter Tips

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3 thoughts on “WoD (6.2) Rotations and Playstyle

  1. Gala April 10, 2016 / 6:20 am

    OMG this is the best guide in the world for especially for beginner holy paladins! Ive been trying to find a simple and clear guide like this for ages! You rock! Now i’m running off to take the holy spec and start healing! Now i know what i’m supposed to do! Kudos to you, man!

    Like

  2. Seraphus April 22, 2016 / 11:37 am

    I agree, this is probably the best guide on the Interweb 🙂

    Like

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