Regional FlagHoly Paladin Guide 3.1Source
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#0 - 2009/06/17 06:21:34 AM

This will be a guide to using a paladin to full potential in raids and on boss fights, and is created out of self-experience, testing, and discussions with paladins from both my realm and guild.
If you have improvements, ideas, or other constructive information/critism for me, feel free to post it.
But I'd like all the flamers to stay outside the door, as this is NOT an e-peen booster, nor am I saying that I am the worlds best paladin, it can, and probably will be flawed, but I will try to update it as much as possible, with any new changes blizzard might do for us.

This post consist of a highly dangerous Wall of text

The guide will contain a few chapters, of which will be:

  • Itemization
    Healing guide
    Basic Paladin knowledge and talent.
    Glyphs and Enchants

  • I'd like to introduce myself before I start off with first chapter.
    My in game name is Daimy, and I've been playing a paladin since 11th of January, and have been raiding, instancing, and pvping since day one of hitting lvl 80.
    I don't have the BiS (Best in slot items) raiding or pvp gear to prove my worth, I don't have the high rating to say that I am an imba PvP'er, but what I do have is experience, and quite good knowledge of my class, and have done intensive testing, reading, practicing to optimize MY paladin to its full potential.

    My guild is currently doing 11/14 in Ulduar, and I've been healing since day one, but have now switched to the guilds offtank if needed, otherwise I am still healing on as many encounters I can.

      Chapter 1: Basic Paladin Knowledge and Talents

    Paladin is most commonly known as the MT (Main tank) healers, which means that it will be our job to keep the tanks alive, as we are single target healers, due to our lack of AoE (Area of Effect) heals, but this doesn't mean we're not capable of raid healing, we can actually do several healing tasks at the same time, if performed correctly.

    Our arsenal of healing spells consists of:

  • Holy light
    Flash of Light
    Beacon of Light
    Holy shock
    Judgement of Light

  • And then we have our mitigation spell known as Sacred shield, which assigns a shield to the target, absorbing 500 damage, and when procced on a target, increases our Flash of light crit chance by 50%.
    Our Holy talents are built around our main spells of course, with increased crit chance, effectiveness, and so on, on our precious, but few healing spells.

    To my awareness, the most common spec, depending on what you feel is needed is split between:

    51/5/15 – Cookie cutter holy spec with 5/5 in divinity.

    This is my current spec, as I am usually the one being assigned to the main tank, which requires a quite a lot of effective healing, meaning that its always good to be able to put out high numbers to keep the tank topped.
    Some might say that the 5% heal just adds to your overhealing, and I can to some extend agree on that, but I am getting used to the fact that I, instead of healing 10K normal, I know do 10,5K, and on crits it gives me roughly 1,5K more pr. Heal.
    Also the 3% extra crit really aint that necessary once you hit around 30% crit unbuffed, as your mana regen from crits should be more than plenty by then, and 3% wont make much of a difference

    Has all the “usual” healing abilities highly recommended in a raiding spec as holy, with 5% added healing.

    You're missing out on imp. Might, and 3% extra crit.

    51/0/20 – Cookie cutter holy spec

    This is the basic cookie cutter spec without Divinity, and has the 3% added crit, and the imp. Might.

    It has 3% extra crit for the extra mana regen that comes with that, and as the spec above all the basic raiding abilities, needed to optimize a paladin in raids.

    Not sure its a negative thing, as some find it useful, others don't, it's really a matter of taste, but it lacks the 5% added healing from Divinity.

    Now for a bit of an untraditional spec, of which I have yet to test but have heard great things about it.

    54/17/0 – Holy/Prot mostly used for Main tank healing.

    This spec looks extremely interesting to me, and I like the way its set up, it does seem to be very gear dependant though, as you lose around 5-8% crit, so I'd have to say that you would need at least 4/5 t8(.5) to make this work. Also with the 4p setbonus on our t8, it would give us great mitigation with sacred shield now proccing every 4th second instead of 6th, and having Divine guardian, for the extra absorption is two things I think is imperative for this spec.

    Extra absorption on our sacred shield, added survivability, and decreased time on stuns, decreased raid/party dmg to every member within 30 yards every 2 minutes is also a very nice feature if used correctly.
    As someone pointed out, this spec also has the beneficial 6% extra healing from auras, which is quite uselfull if your main tank aint a paladin healer, for long range fights.

    You miss out on 5-8% crit, and it seems very gear dependent meaning that, imo you should have at least 35-40% crit raidbuffed, without the retribution talent, if not more.

    Alright, so that was the basic knowledge of a paladin, and the most common specs used in raiding.
    Lets move on to how to itemize your gear.

      Chapter 2: Itemization and Gemming.

    Paladins as all other classes have some stats which are preferred, and needed for us to work optimal, and the usual priority list is as follows: Intellect>Crit>Spell power>MP5.
    Intellect is currently the most important stat for us, as it provides us with everything we want and need to function in a raid environment.

    First of all it increases our mana pool which is needed to stay active for long, healing intensive fights like Hodir to take one example. (This is true for our guild, might not be for yours. :))
    Secondly it increases our spellpower from the talent: Holy guidance, which increases our spellpower by 20% of our intellect.
    Thirdly it increases our crit rating, which is imperative for our regen as we regain 60% of the base mana cost of a spell back if it crits.

    So basicly, intellect increases everything we want, which is also why most people put intellect gems in all their sockets, despite the socket bonus.
    Crit, and spellpower is stats most people let come with gear, as intellect gives more than gemming for the pure spellpower/crit.

    Although I will say this, currently doing Ulduar, I am ending a lot of my fights with about 5K mana left, which in theory is a waste of mana.
    To be perfectly optimized, you should end your fights with less than 1K mana, but ofcourse this would meen that you wouldn't have the necessary (At least in my opinion) mana pool to spam heal if something goes wrong, or another healer dies.
    But aiming for a balance between having your healing output to be very effective, along with not wasting too much mana over other more useful stats, would be optimal. So what I'm trying to say is, try finding a balance, so that you wont be lacking mana during a fight, but also, not ending a fight with 15K mana spare.

    The ulduar itemization as it currently is, is very poorly for our choice of stats currently, as it usually forces you to choose between haste and crit, while giving you MP5, which is utterly useless as its designed at the moment.

    But as most of the paladin gear, non tier, is designed with MP5, and according to Blizzard statements, they intend to change this, so if you're raiding ulduar, I'd advise you to collect the MP5 gear anyway, and not discard it completely. You never know what blizzard comes up with of crazy ideas.

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    #3 - 2009/06/17 10:41:08 AM
    Added to the 'Paladin Guides & Useful Links' sticky: