Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Optimizing your Holy Power Use

I got a question on my ToR build post about the change of LoD and the best use of Holy Power considering it. Just quoting a part of the question "I am getting mixed input with WoG vs LoD and which to use".

Light of Dawn has changed recently from being a fixed strength heal on a 30s CD to being cast with Holy Power and without CD. One important fact to keep in consideration is that is still activate Holy Beacon (though it is not sure this will continue).
This change has two important consequences.

First LoD is not as bad as before, with a 3 HP stack and reasonable spellpower it becomes a strong aoe (cone) heal, not far from 10K / target affected. The position issue remains, and it is still a bit situational, but if you can manage to get two or more people in your cone (plus you) it is now a strong healing output ability.

Secondly, Holy Power now has two uses, Word of Glory or Light of Dawn. Obviously the uses are very different, one is a single target strong heal that can benefit from 2 talents (Eternal Glory and Rule of Law), the other is a raid healing ability that only benefits from its own glyph.

From my point of view LoD has always been very situational, but this change makes it strong enough to be valuable in situations like infest heals in a Hard Mode Lich King fight, it wasn't strong/reliable enough before. I am still using an Eternal Glory / Crusade talent template at lvl80 for the reason that I find WoG invaluable when a quick strong heal is needed, which happens to be what I'm the most useful for at the moment (I raid with resto druids and damage spikes are the only thing they can't deal with much better than me).

But I wanted to get inputs for the future, so I went to look at some parsing for good raiding guilds in the last days of the beta (when this change was pushed and before beta was turned off). Here are the results.

There seem to be two "templates" for Holy Paladins now.

The first template is a tank healer based on the TOR build & rotation for mana efficiency and spike management. You will do a little bit or raid healing with Holy Shock and Word of Glory from time to time, but most of your heal will be on your tank. LoD will only used in very specific occasions, when the raid groups up or on the melee group nearby the tank, if you use it properly with Beacon it will also be a spike heal on your tank.

The second is based on LoD "spam" for raid healing, this will require you to move often to position as efficiently as you can, your Beacon should be on the tank at all times to use LoD Beacon proc. You will use a Divinity template as you'll nearly never use Word of Glory.
Both of these templates have been used in lvl 85 raids and are efficient enough for me to mention them, the first one seem to be the most efficient, close to the output of resto druids (which are still very strong despite the various nerfs they got lately). But I think this is due to the fact that a LoD build is harder to master and requires getting used to. You'll need to move a lot and depending on your position the number of persons you will affect with a LoD will strongly change your hps. Moving speed boot enchants are advised, and don't forget you'll main HP source will still be Holy Shock on a 6s cooldown, keep crusade for that.

We'll have to wait until raids are live for more inputs, but at least this give us a choice of spec and not only one direction and gameplay to focus on, which is always good.


  1. Just wanted to say, I love the blog and the work you do to keep the rest of us holy pallies up to date. Keep up the great work.

  2. Thank you for the comment, it's always nice to know that what I do is useful for some of us.

    The blog will slightly change focus in the weeks to come though, as I am, sadly, leaving my paladin behind to play a shaman as my new main character.
    But I'm staying in the healing field and will try to focus on general healing tips and info.


    Besides, now that we're OP again, we're a super fun class to play.

    I've had the chance to do some heroics and some raiding now and I've come to adopt this strategy:

    1- When assigned to healing a single target (and you have your beacon on that target), you want to use WoG UNLESS you're positive you can hit 4 or 5 targets (including your tank) with LoD. Then, because of beacon, you'll get more healing on your tank than WoG would provide.

    2- When assigned to two or more targets as back heals, you'll be using Holy Shock and Word of Glory on your unbeaconned target and Holy Light/Divine Light/Flash of Light on your beaconned target.

    In heroics, I find myself having to use WoG more because of the amount of non-tank damage and because every spreads out. The only exception seems to be when I get all melee groups, where LoD is godsent.

    In raids I've been using LoD on fights where we're stacked, and WoG on fights where I can't see much what's going on.

  4. Of course, as soon as I leave that comment, Holy Light no longer generates Holy Power and LoD is nerfed so it doesn't outdo WoG.

    Oh well.

  5. hehe thank you for the input Ophelie, always nice to see your comments here.

    Even though I don't have enough time lately to read all my favourite blogs, and barely enough to play wow (I'm not even 85 yet). I'll enjoy the pile of reading I'll have when I get some more time back from work.
    I'm very happy you're having a blast with your paladin, I was delighted to see our hps go up with the last changes, and the birth of the new LoD style that finally gave us real effective choices and a serious role as raid healers.

    Sadly both of our main builds have just taken the nerfbat, I read that this morning too ... I'm very sorry for all of you my brothers (and sisters) in the paladin class. With the near destruction of the ToR style and the 40% (yes 40% !) nerf of LoD, both styles have just been completely destroyed ... I doubt paladins will get any sort of serious hps in raids with such heavy nerfs ... I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid it'll be another of these nerf times when you just have to endure and wait for the raid data to prove you're so bad you need buffs ... I really wonder if the beta was long enough, I tend to think it wasn't, sad sad. Lucky me, I'm a shaman now ...