This is an update of my previous posts about Holy Paladin builds since patch 4.0.1:
Cataclysm Holy Paladin Build
Patch 4.0.1 is going live. You are not prepared!
Holy Raiding with a ToR build.
Several things have changed since, especially the launch of Cataclysm and the fact that you are probably all lvl 85 now (at least the readers interested into my previous articles for lvl 80 Holy raid healing).
So here is the update, for patch 4.0.3a with the recent change (nerf? :p) to Tower of Radiance and Light of Dawn. I have said before that LoD strength could create the opportunity for 2 different raid healing builds, but it's recent cut by 40% most probably closes this idea.
I must remind you that I'm not playing a Holy Paladin anymore and that my paladin is still 80, so this post is more for the sake of not leaving people with a 80 build, and written from the views I get both from elitist jerks holy paladin forum and the holy paladins from my guild (that are raiding now).
This post will also be limited to Holy talent tree, targeted at raiding. I will not cover itemization, this will be covered into a general healer's post that should happen later this week if I get enough time for that.
Holy Paladin Talent tree
Here I will detail the talent points at level 85, which means 41 points, 31 of which (at least) have to be into the Holy tree before you can look at the other paladin trees.
This build is a 31/3/7 it is a stricly PvE build, intended at raiding & instances. I will try to comment and justify the choices that can be done in the build. the mandatory PvE talents will not be commented upon. All comments are at the end of the talent list.
Holy Tree (31)
Protector of the Innocent (3/3) Casting a targeted heal on any target, except yourself, also heals you for 3722 to 4282.
Judgements of the Pure (3/3) Your Judgement increases your casting and melee haste by 9% for 1 min.
Clarity of Purpose (3/3) Reduces the casting time of your Holy Light and Divine Light spells by 0.5 sec.
Last Word (2/2) Gives your Word of Glory a 60% increased critical chance when used on targets with 35% or less health.
Divine Favor (1/1) Increases your spell casting haste by 20% and spell critical chance by 20% for 20 sec.
Infusion of Light (2/2) Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy Shock by 10%. In addition, your Holy Shock critical effects reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light or Divine Light by 1.50 sec.
Daybreak (2/2) Your Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light have a 20% chance to make your next Holy Shock not trigger a cooldown if used within 12 sec.
Enlightened Judgements (2/2) Grants hit rating equal to 100% of any Spirit gained from items or effects, and increases the range of your Judgement by 10 yards. In addition, your Judgement instantly heals you for 2481 to 2853.
Beacon of Light (1/1) The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all members of your party or raid within a 60 yard radius. Each heal you cast on party or raid members will also heal the Beacon for 50% of the amount healed. Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 5 min.
Speed of Light (3/3) Grants 3% spell haste and reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 30 sec. Casting Holy Radiance increases your movement speed by 60% for 4 sec.
Sacred Cleansing (1/1) Your Cleanse spell now also dispels 1 Magic effect.
Conviction (3/3) Gives you a 3% bonus to damage and healing for 15 sec after causing a critical effect from a weapon swing, spell, or ability. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
Aura Mastery (1/1) Causes your Concentration Aura to make all affected targets immune to Silence and Interrupt effects and improve the effect of all other auras by 100%. Lasts 6 sec.
Tower of Radiance (3/3) Healing the target of your Beacon of Light with Flash of Light or Divine Light has a 100% chance to generate a charge of Holy Power.
Light of Dawn (1/1) Consumes all Holy Power to send a wave of healing energy before you, healing up to 5 of the most injured targets in your party or raid within a 30 yard frontal cone for an amount depending on your charges of Holy Power.
Protection Tree (3)
Divinity (3/3) Increases all healing done by you and all healing effects on you by 6%.
Retribution Tree (7)
Crusade (3/3) Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, and Templar's Verdict by 30%, and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%. In addition, for 15 sec after you kill an enemy that yields experience or honor, your next Holy Light heals for an additional 300%.
Improved Judgement (2/2) Increases the range of your Judgement by 20 yards.
Pursuit of Justice (2/2) You have a 100% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. In addition, increases your movement and mounted movement speed by 15%. This effect does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Comments and possible changes
The goal of this build is both maximizing the hps and getting Pursuit of Justice. The main sacrifice done to get this talent is Eternal Glory in the protection tree.
This is a discutable choice, but with the recent nerf to Tower of Radiance, you will generate Holy Power much slower, mostly by using Holy Shock. Hence you will use Word of Glory less often, hence getting less use from Eternal Glory. Because of that I think a 15% speed increase at all times with a speed boost after using a judgement is more profitable. Especially during raids, but even in heroic instances, you will have to move a lot, and you all know that Holy Paladins aren't the best at healing in movement.
So being able to move faster and start to heal again faster after a movement will always be a nice thing for us.
There is a small leeway in the build though, in the Holy tree.
When you will be comfortable with raid encounters and know where to be at the right moment to limit damage to yourself, and/or can recast your judgement a little more often than every minute, you can drop points into Protector of the Innocent or Enlightened Judgements. To get some in:
Paragon of Virtue (2/2) Reduces the cooldown of Divine Protection by 10 sec, Hand of Sacrifice by 15 sec and Avenging Wrath by 30 sec.
If you can use Avenging Wrath on every cooldown with this talent it will result in about 2% gain of free hps. PotI is a very nice free survivability talent though, chose what you prefer.
The other debatable point is trading one point from Last Word to get:
Blessed Life (1/2) You have a 50% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power whenever you take direct damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds.
This talent, though not useful on every encounter, can give you some free Holy Power when you need it the most (aoe raid damage phases). And Last Word use is very situational and was more suited to LK spiky healing style. Though still nice for heroics when you can have to save an overzealous dpser, Last Word is definitely less useful in raids and unless you are strictly a tank healer this switch could be better for you.
Here is a direct link at the basic build: Holy Paladin 85 build - 31/3/7
Keep in mind the small changes discussed before and modify it according to your preferred playstyle.
I hope this article can help some of you, and as always comments will be much appreciated.
I am still waiting to get some more raid logs to analyze pondering if Tower of Radiance is worth keeping at all now that it does not affect Holy Light.
If you are purely a tank healer, you will probably use Divine Light from time to time on your Beacon target and it could still be worthwhile. But I think that any paladin not being on tank duty should ponder about dropping it completely.
Some first raid logs are showing that ToR could result in very few Holy Power gain, so low as 3 HP per boss fight. It should be clear that 3 talent points to get 3 HP in a whole fight is definitely not worth the investment, Blessed Life gives more for only one point in several encounters.