The Eternal Debate: Selfless Healer vs. Eternal Flame

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Now that Selfless Healer has gained more widespread popularity among Holy Paladins, I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion about whether or not Selfless Healer is actually good for progression or if Eternal Flame should really be the only talent we choose when we’re trying to kill a boss for the first time. Personally, I think that both Eternal Flame and Selfless Healer are usable on any encounter, but I want to try to clarify some of the key points in the discussion.

I have yet to see anyone argue against Eternal Flame’s viability, so the discussion is mostly about whether or not Selfless Healer is good for progression. Fair warning: this post is fairly dense, so I’ve added a summarized version at the bottom.

Before I get into everything, I want to point out that this discussion exists because there are some factors that are subjective. Some of the points of contention just don’t have a great answer and you’ll have to form your own opinion about them.

Here are what I think are the four major arguments in the debate against Selfless Healer

  1. Eternal Flame does more healing than Light of Dawn
  2. Selfless Healer is a difficult or clunky rotation and has lots of nuances that require perfect play to truly be effective
  3. The buff from Selfless Healer just leads to more overhealing
  4. Selfless Healer requires too much buildup and people might die in the process

 

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Hello Everyone!

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!

Rise of the Selfless Healer

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.

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