Last Updated on April 14, 2008
II. Core Assumptions
V. Spells and Ranks
VI. PVP vs PVE
I would first like to give credit where it is due, as best I can. This is by no means entirely my work, though I did include some interpretation of my own. Further down this section I include links to the threads I compiled and sorted through to get to this information, the authors of the posts within these threads are the ones who deserve all the real credit. Special thanks to those who sifted through dozens of WWS parses to come to the knowledge we have now.
Keep in mind the purpose of this thread is not for me to spit out information, but for the Healadin community as a whole to work together. Keep posting updates and new findings, and I will update this page accordingly.
Healer Trinket Selection
Spreadsheets to note:
Healing Efficiency: This spreadsheet is great for comparing various heals based on your stats. There may be an updated version floating around (I got this from the 3rd page of the Healing Efficiency post), but I canâ€™t find it anymore. If anyone can find or make an updated version, please post here or PM me, and Iâ€™ll update this.
Gear Spreadsheet: This spreadsheet serves a similar function to the previous spreadsheet, but gives you some different feedback. It also allows you to tweak stats and buffs to your liking, and sort gear based on biggest upgrade to efficiency. THIS NEEDS AN UPDATE. I am working on it myself slowly at the moment, but I havenâ€™t done much excel work lately. Anyone who would like to go in and update/add some gear for 2.2/2.3 (though the math should be still intact) I would really appreciate it!
(Let me know if the hosting breaks, I have both of these saved and can upload them to my filefront account).
II. Core Assumptions
There are a lot of assumptions we are going to have to make, based on research many people have done on these forums. The basics can be found here:
Lets also define some terms before we continue too far:
GCD: Global cool-down
FoL: Flash of Light
HL: Holy Light
LG: Lightâ€™s Grace
DF: Divine Favor
DI: Divine Illumination (*not* Divine Intervention)
HPS: Healing per second
MP5: Mana per 5 seconds
4pt5: Four Piece Tier 5 set bonus
BoW: Blessing of Wisdom
BoM: Blessing of Might
BoL: Blessing of Light
BoK: Blessing of Kings
BoS: Blessing of Salvation
5SR: Five-second rule, the rule that allows your normal mana regeneration to continue only 5 seconds after the last completed spell was cast
WWS: WoW Web Stats, a very useful online reporting tool that allows you to see a lot of useful information regarding your play style.
OOM: Out of mana
Now, for the Assumptions:
-The GCD is 1.5 seconds.
-Haste can now lower the GCD, but cannot lower it below 1 second.
-Haste, when applied to HL, is applied to the base 2.5s cast duration, EVEN WITH 4PT5. -- NOT TRUE AS OF 2.3.0
-The 4pt5 bonus has no penalty for down-ranked spells.
-Generally speaking, efficiency remarks are based entirely on healing done per mana point spent.
-HPS discussions regarding HL assume LG is up.
-The +healing cast time coefficient for FoL is 0.429 (42.9% of your +healing is added to your MAX RANK FoL).
-The +healing cast time coefficient for HL is .714 (71.4% of your +healing is added to your MAX RANK HL).
-The penalty for down-ranking can be calculated via the following: (lvl + 11) / clvl, where lvl is the level you learned the spell in question, and clvl is your character's level. This level must be at 10 or more levels below your current level, and is a multiplicative modifier to the cast time healing penalty coefficients of the respective spell.
-There is a penalty for down-ranking imposed on Blessing of Light as well, following the same rules as above.
-It is assumed, in these discussions, that the paladin has all appropriate healing talents, namely:
*In some cases, Imp BoW
(If there are any more Iâ€™ve forgotten, post/PM to let me know!)
Paladins have a few very important stats, lets go over all caster stats and see their general use.
Stamina: While this offers no direct healing benefits, it does help you survive. If you are dead, you canâ€™t heal.
Intellect: A very undervalued stat, one point gives you 16.5 maximum mana, 0.35 damage and healing, and gives approximately .014% crit.
Spirit: Generally considered a wasted stat on paladins. A significant portion of a paladinâ€™s mana regeneration involves spell casting, and we rarely have the opportunity to stop casting as we generally spam efficient heals, hence we rarely leave the 5SR. Fortunately, our gear tends to not have spirit, so this isnâ€™t an issue.
MP5: The value you place on this stat depends largely what you are trying to accomplish. Further discussion as to the efficiency of this stat will be discussed in the gear section, but for now we will say it is flat mana regeneration, which is never a bad thing.
Spell Crit: Approximately 22 spell critical strike rating is required to gain 1% spell critical strike. This stat scales directly with the amount of mana you are burningâ€¦if you are dropping bigger heals this stat will give you more mana back. As such, it is extremely difficult to model against MP5, but if you have approximate percentages from your own heal style (from say, a WWS parse) then you can make an approximate model.
Healing: Scales directly with all healing abilities at a given coefficient. The use of this stat has to be balanced with the others, again further discussion in the gear section.
Haste: To get 1% spell haste, you currently need 15.76 haste rating. Until recently, haste was difficult to quantify and understand outside of a HL build. As a general rule, since the GCD = FoL cast time, haste is a fairly worthless stat for a FoL build. It is KEY for any pally who uses HL a fair amount, however. I believe the fastest HL you can get now with 4pt5 and other haste gear is 1.52s with LG up.
While gear is obviously meant to be tailored to taste, there are two main styles of gearing up once you reach end game. Both are perfectly viable, and are best suited to specific play styles and raid composition. They are as follows:
As of 2.3, the ability to spam law ranks of Holy Light (usually around 4 or 5) to great effect using BoL and haste is no longer plausible because of the down-ranking penalty now imposed on BoL.
Because of this, the general consensus is that the best path for armor is now 4 piece tier 6. Which four pieces you choose is entirely up to you and the availability within your guild, but there are certainly other options for every slot, important to note is the Season 3 arena gloves () seem to be very nice when looking at non-set options, as have absolutely no crit on them.
When looking at an item post-2.3, +healing seems to be the primarily desired stat, with some mixture of crit and mp5 mixed in secondary. The exact amounts of each of these stats are mainly up to preference and opportunity, those with shadow priests will likely prefer crit to mp5, those who get thrown in tanking groups often will probably want more mp5.
Librams: The use of librams is situational. Generally speaking, with BoL on a target (which normally happens for MT healing and at least 2 paladins are present) a good libram is , although it seems to provide a larger benefit (proportionally) to FoL. Pre-2.3, the was amazing with down-ranking holy light with 4 piece tier 5. Now that has been nerfed, it's no longer that appealing. The same holds true for the new token libram, the , as HL spam just isn't as viable as it once was. Until Blizzard makes up their minds as to what healing spell they want us to use, for non-BoL situations you are forced to use the (or for the Blood Elves who don't chain run Naxxramus to get it, like myself, the is a good alternative).
Gems: As of right now, there are two real options in terms of meta gems for healadins. One is the , which currently procs a lot more than it does for other classes, simply because it can proc off illumination, as well as heals itself. The other option, which is much more difficult to meet the requirements of, is the . Which you choose depends a lot on taste of gems in general, as the requirements for each have their limitations for other gear slots.
*NOTE*: In 2.3, is being introduced. My own initial tests indicate that the increased critical damage does NOT affect healing, leaving the as the reigning champ among paladin meta gems.
Looking at other gem slots, anything with healing, int, mp5, and crit on it is viable. Which you chose is entirely dependent on play style and current gear setup. Also, the availability of heroic/bt/hyjal epic gems (such as the ) can add unique tweaks to your gear to match your taste. Again, its up to your playstyle.
I don't like stacking gems because of set bonuses, but generally I follow a personal point system to keep track of the value of gems versus set bonuses. This is, of course, assuming I am not particularly short a specific stat at the time.
If you put a point value to the gems comparing blue vs epic, say 18 pts for a blue to equate it to healing, you get the following level calculations:
1 healing = 1 pt
1 mp5 = 4.5 pt
1 int = 2.25 pt
1 spell crit rating = 2.25 pt
Because mp5 can only be applied in whole values however, the actual worths of mp5 on epic gems is greatly diminished because of the other stats you are loosing.
: 11 + 2(4.5) = 20 pts
: 4(4.5) = 18 pts
: 11 + 4(2.25) = 20 pts (this gem is from heroics, so its understandable that it is of a lower point value)
: 22 = 22 pts
: 11 + 5(2.25) = 22.25 pts
: 10(2.25) = 22.5 pts
: 10(2.25) = 22.5 pts
This is also not taking into account Divine Intellect (+10% int) or Holy Guidance (35% of int converted to +healing). If we apply this to the gems with int...
: 11 + 5.5(2.25) + 5.5(.35) = 25.3 pts
: 11(2.25) + 11(.35) = 28.6 pts
Just food for thought. You can say my point values are arbitrary, and they are (just felt like making healing worth 1 point, and assigning "item levels" based on that), but the ratio of value stays the same. If I'm dealing with a socket bonus, I also check the level of the socket bonuses in my calculations. So for example, for even though the socket encourages the use of mp5 (and therefore an overall loss of effective points on a gem) the socket bonus compensates for this (an extra 4.5 pts), so I would put a in it because it is the highest pt (healing) gem I can fit in that socket while getting the socket bonus.
ALL this being said, the return of crit for FoL is small enough that having mp5 is actually better, even while chain casting. I figured this out by playing with the spreadsheet, I'm sure you could too. It is important to note however that crit also increases HPS, so you still want SOME crit (I shoot for around 18% before talents while raid buffed).
Once you get 4pc T6 most of this goes out the window. It has been generally accepted that when you are mostly or fully endgame, it is best to stack straight +healing gems as you most likely won't face regen issues, and having FoL's hitting for over 2.2k on MTs is always nice.
Trinkets: There are MANY trinkets you can choose from. There is no wrong answer, but here is a large selection of popular trinkets you can choose from (in no particular order):
Each offers its own strengths and weaknesses, but some discussion should be brought up about these. Currently, the regen trinkets (Lower City, Pendant, and Memento) are very popular with FoL builds, although the Memento is amazing for any healer. The is good for those who are using a HL haste build but arenâ€™t that close to the 1.5 soft cap due to GCD. The other trinkets (Ribbon, Essence, Tome, Sextant, and Ashtongue) offer an over +healing effect. Also, it is important to point out that those of you who are under the impression that the is a terrible item, there is some new information that you can find here (starting with my question about it on post #114).
Again, which trinkets you choose is entirely up to you. If you find yourself forgetting to pop your trinkets a lot, passive trinkets may be the way to go. If you find yourself OOM regularly, switching to a regen trinket might also be a good choice. Use what fits your taste and play style.
V. Spells and Ranks
Lets look at talents first. I've posted the two main styles I've personally used, if others have unique enough builds I'll add them here as well.
PvE Healadin WITH Imp BOM
PvE Healadin W/O Imp BOM
These talents are designed to maximize the effectiveness of your healing spells, while offering you some unique utility in each variance. Do not consider these the end all of talent specs, they are merely SUGGESTIONS.
As a holy paladin, your only real options for healing are FoL and HL. While you DO have holy shock, and it CAN save raids, its use is limited, at best. With a 20yd range and a generally weak heal at a high cost, it should be used ONLY to save people in an emergency when even a 1.5s cast is not fast enough. If you can get away with using a FoL or HL instead, do so.
In general raid healing, no matter what your spec it is common practice to make sure LG is up. This is not hard at all to do, even as an FoL build. Just use a low rank (normally 4 or 5) to keep it up, so that you can drop a quick HL11 in a pinch. Obviously on fights that require a lot of moving this may be difficult, but use your best judgment.
As far as ranks are concerned, let us split up the discussion based on the two primary spells.
FoL: Most people simply use FoL rank 7. Being the max rank, it takes no penalty from level difference in terms of +healing, and it is still very reasonable in mana cost. FoL 6 is another viable option, at a much cheaper mana cost and almost as much healing. A few people have mentioned using a low rank of FoL (normally rank 1 or 5) when they are OOM; this is simply a matter of taste, some people feel they do not have room on their bars for this, while others do.
HL: The generally accepted lowest rank to use is HL4. It is cheap enough to compete with flash heal (actually beats it with the ) and it hits approximately just as hard on a target with BoL, depending on your plus healing. Others argue that HL5 is a better choice, again it is up to taste. From there, anywhere up the spectrum is acceptable depending on gear/preference/the fight. A point to note is that HL9 is the lowest you can go for HL ranks without incurring the level penalty from down-ranking, so it is arguably the most efficient use of your gear. Again though, anything between HL4-11 can be used, depending on the fight and situation. I leave it up to you to decide!
Illumination: While not a direct spell, it still warrants its own section. This spell is what makes paladins such mana efficient healers, and is the reason we have spell crit on our gear. The catch with this ability is that it offers extremely high regen values, but ONLY while you are spamming. Unlike other classes which regenerate their mana by taking a break and stopping their casts, paladins get the most out of their regeneration while spamming, even if it's a low rank spell. For this reason, think of a paladin not as a class that regenerates mana, but rather as a class that makes the most out of a single point of mana compared to the other healers. Shadow priests and mana potions are most critical for this reason.
*NOTE*: This is slightly less true for those who have taken the FoL route, as the amount of mana returned by Illumination and the cost of the heal itself are small enough that stacking MP5 is a more appropriate compensation for any fight of even moderate length.
Another important thing to point out regarding use of spells is the use of the /stopcasting macros. These, when used in conjunction with a casting bar such as Quartz can greatly increase your HPS, and reduce your over-healing. You can see a sample macro below, for HL11:
#showtooltip Holy Light(Rank 11)
/cast Holy Light(Rank 11)
The first line simply applies the tooltip of HL11 to the button, it serves no true functionality and can be deleted based on taste. The second line cancels any current cast occurring. THIS MEANS YOU CANNOT SPAM THE BUTTON WHILE USING THIS MACRO. Internal timing (in other words, your head) is key. The last line casts whatever spell you want that macro to cast. I personally have this macro cloned in my character-specific macro window for every HL between 4 and 11, as well as FoL. Yes, this will help with FoL because it compensates for latency and actually lets you cast in 1.5 sec intervals, instead of say 1.6 with a 100 ms cast latency (NOTE, this is NOT the same as your ping!).
As of 2.3.0, the need for stopcasting has essentially been removed. You can now spam the key and achieve almost the same effect as you could without stopcasting, but you don't have to be as careful. However, I'm gonna leave this here for the perfectionists.
VI. PVP vs PVE
The main difference in PvP vs PvE is the talent changes, as well as the general removal of most mp5. While an entire post could be made for PvP as opposed to PvE, lets keep it short. The general talent build for PvP is something like this, though individual preference makes it vary slightly:
PvP Talent Build
A key thing to point out is that you are trying to maximize HPS while still being able to survive and avoid crowd control. Again though, depending on your bracket and gear, spec can change.
As a paladin, you bring FIVE forms of utility that are all extremely important. If you find yourself not using one of the following on a regular basis, you may want to reconsider your activities in raids.
Auras: These are static buffs that affect anyone in your 5 man party (NOT the raid as a whole). Depending on the group and the fight, you may have to use different auras. If you are in a tank group, you will generally be expected to run Devotion or a resistance aura appropriate for the fight. If you find yourself in a caster group (ie, with a shadow priest) then Concentration aura would be the better choice, as being immune to cast interruption from taking damage is always nice. If you happen to have improved Concentration aura on a fight that has a boss that silence/counterspells, it may be most useful, especially in a caster group. Crusader aura isn't for raiding, though I'm sure pretty much every raiding paladin has left it on for the first few minutes of a raid at some time or another
Judgements: Obviously your ability to judge is dependent on a few factors. If the boss fight prevents you from getting close enough, or you are in a very healing-intensive situation, judging may not be appropriate. However, on traditional tank-and-spank fights, it can be extremely important, especially on DPS intensive fights. If there is a Retribution paladin in the raid, then you should always be applying a judgment. If you are the only paladin in the raid (or the only one putting an effort into judging) your best bet it to put a Judgment of Wisdom up. If two paladins are judging, a Judgment of Light is also useful. If there are any more paladins than two who are actively judging, one of you can slack unless that paladin is Retribution specced, in which case they should be using Judgment of the Crusader.
Wipe Protection: Some may argue we have the short end of the stick in terms of wipe protection, but this is entirely up to opinion. If the raid leader should call a wipe, simply DI someone who can res AND IS STANDING OUTSIDE OF THE BOSSES STARTING AGGRO RANGE. At the very least, you save yourself from a durability loss using this!
Blessings: These are your most powerful buffs, and probably the most powerful single buffs in the game. They are also, unfortunately, the most annoying to organize and use properly, as well as the shortest. Thankfully in 2.2 blizzard bumped the duration to double what it was for both Greater and regular blessings to 30 and 10 minutes, respectively. Since some people may not be as familiar with other classes' mechanics, I figured I'd give a short rundown for each class, giving blessings based on spec in the order they should be applied (the first is if only one paladin in the raid, second if two, so one and so forth) ON A TYPICAL FIGHT. Keep in mind this is from my personal experience, and may be different depending on the preferences of your guild mates. If you made it to level 70 and are raiding, I'm assuming you have some semblance of a brain and know how to use it should the situation require some thought. I am not going to include Blessing of Salvation (except for warlocks) because it depends greatly on how skilled your tank is, how good your DPS is at not being dumb and pulling aggro, and the variances of gear.
Prot Warriors: Kings > Light (unless a paladin is not healing them) > Might
DPS Warriors: Might > Kings
Rogues: Might > Kings
Resto Druids: Wisdom = Kings (entirely based on their taste)
Moonkin Druids: Wisdom > Kings
Feral (tanking and dps) Druids: Kings > Might
Resto & Elemental Shaman: Wisdom > Kings
Enhancement Shaman: Might > Kings (unless they have extremely low crit, which is their problem, really )
Arcane Mage: Kings > Wisdom
Frost/Fire Mage: Wisdom > Kings (although generally speaking, no mage will complain if they just have kings, cause of the larger mana pool and hp)
Warlock: Salv > Kings > Wisdom
BM/Marks Hunter: Might > Kings
Survival Hunter: Kings > Might (they are all about huge amounts of agility)
Holy Paladins: Wisdom > Kings
Ret Paladins: Might > Kings > Wisdom (i think)
Prot Paladins: Kings > Sanctuary > Light (if another pally is healing them) > Wisdom > Might
Holy Priest: Wisdom >= Kings (generally wisdom is better, but some will QQ otherwise)
Shadow Priest: Wisdom > Kings
If you don't use it already, Pally Power is an Ace2 addon that does an EXTREMELY good job of managing your blessings. Simply give one paladin an assist (or leader) and they can assign not only class blessings, but with the new version assign 10 minute blessings to individuals. This tool tracks the time left on people's buffs, and checks to make sure they have it, and indicates if they don't, making mid-fight rebuffs a breeze. Druids, the bane of our buffing existence, are no longer a problem! Also, it shows all paladins with this mod how many symbols the other paladins have, as well as which blessings they have improved (so you can see which slackers didn't get imp BoW for raiding).
Healing: Last but not least, you are a healer. And a damn efficient one to boot. If you have any power over who you have in your group, the best buffers, from most to least effective, are as follows: shadow priest, elemental shaman, moonkin, resto shaman, resto druid. Shadow priests are the most amazing thing that you can get for a paladin of ANY GEAR SET. If your raid leaders don't believe you, point them to this thread. Because we get the most out of a single point of mana out of any other healer, AND we get mana back from the heals the shadow priests give (as of 2.1.3(?) only if its not an overheal, still amazing on any fight where we take damage to generate more net mana), its a fairly logical choice if you can spare the group makeup. The extra mana allows us to rank up, and in turn get even more mana back from illumination. Having a shadow priest GEOMETRICALLY, not linearly, increases a paladin's effective mana pool. However, for certain fights that require auras for the tanks, a paladin may have to suffer. But really, if your guild doesn't raid with at least two shadow priests, change it now, they are awesome.
Here is a list of the specific benefits each profession provides to healers. This may affect your profession decisions, but largely your profession choices are going to be governed by your personal circumstances (your guild's only alchemist, etc.).
These items are BoP (i.e. you must be that crafter to use them):
Alchemy - , which is one of the nicest trinkets available. There are other trinkets, however.
Blacksmithing - Not too much here you'd be interested in.
Enchanting - ,
Jewelcrafting - , ,
Leathercrafting - Not too much here you'd be interested in.
Tailoring - Not too much here you'd be interested in (unless you need a Spellthread crafter).
Of these professions, the items created from Alchemy, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting can all be replaced by other items. However, the ring enchants from Enchanting can always provide a benefit, no matter where in the game you are (pvping, raiding in Karazhan, raiding in Black Temple). For this reason, Enchanting is a very strong profession choice for a Holy Paladin.
Q: How much mp5 is x% crit or x crit rating worth?
A: As stated in the Stats section, this is entirely dependent on what rank heals you use, and in what ratio. Look at a WWS parse of you healing on a typical fight (or over the course of a night) and see what percentages it gives you (NOT of the amount healed by each spell, but rather the number of each used, make sure you use the breakdown to take into account different ranks). Then, you can plug your stats with these ratios into the Gear spreadsheet linked at the top of this thread, and see from there how much more mana you have over the course of the fight adding 1% and how much MP5 that equates to. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the fight is and the more running around you have to do, the more MP5 is worth.
Q: Is there a healing/crit/mp5 soft cap?
A: Not as far as I know. If any paladins in this thread can prove otherwise, then I will edit this accordingly. However, it is important to note that purely stacking one stat is not a very smart idea, as it pigeonholes you into only being effect for certain fights more than others. Being versatile is the best thing you can do as a holy paladin, as our roles on fights vary greatly compared to other healers (such as shaman, for instance, who almost exclusively raid heal).
Q: Is item X better than item Y for me? *insert armory link*
A: I have provided links with two spreadsheets, please use them. In general people will not be responsive to answer these kinds of questions and your post will likely be deleted by an Elistist Jerks member.
Well, that's all I have for now. I look forward to tons of input from you guys, I plan to update this main post regularly with the discussions of the thread itself.