The Holy Paladin Guide for WotLK

   Posted by: free-wow-guide   in WoW Paladin Guides, WoW Raiding Guides


I. Introduction

Theorycrafting Tools
While talking about skills can be useful, sometimes you need to crunch the numbers to see what wins out. This is where these tools can come in, to help you find out what gear is better for you. As far as I know there is no Holy Paladin spreadsheet updated for 3.0, but if there is please let me know and I’ll include. Besides that there is Rawr, the Healadin module isn’t fully updated for 3.0 (just models FoL/HL cycle), but it should be by the time people hit 80.


There are many acronyms in WoW, and Paladins are doing there part to keep that true. For the new Paladins out there this is to help you not be totally confused while reading posts.

  • HL: Holy Light
  • FoL: Flash of Light
  • BoL: Beacon of Light. Was formerly Blessing of Light, but that spell no longer exists.
  • HS: Holy Shock.
  • DF: Divine Favor.
  • DI: Divine Illumination. For the purposes of this thread, it doesn’t refer to Divine Intervention.
  • AW: Avenging Wrath
  • IoL: Infusion of Light.
  • LG: Light’s Grace
  • JotP: Judgement of the Pure
  • JoL: Judgement of Light
  • JoW: Judgement of Wisdom
  • SS: Sacred Shield.
  • BoK: Blessing of Kings
  • BoW: Blessing of Wisdom
  • Mp5: Mana per 5 sec.
  • SP: Spell Power
  • 5SR: 5 second rule.
  • CD: Cooldown.
  • ICD: Internal Cooldown.
  • HPS: Healing per second.
  • HPM: Healing per mana.
  • WWS: WoW Web Stats.
  • OOM: Out of mana.

Assumed Raid Buffs
With the changes to buffs so that they are almost all raid wide, it is safe to assume during discussion you will have these buffs (unless otherwise stated).

  • 5% Spell Haste, from Wrath of Air totem.
  • 3% Spell Haste, from Sanctified Retribution or Imp Moonkin Aura.
  • 5% Spell Crit, from Moonkin Aura or Elemental Oath.
  • 144 Spell Power increase from Flame Tongue, or 280 from Totem of Wrath.
  • 0.25% max mana per sec, from Replenishment, with 90% uptime.
  • 10% increase to stats with Blessing of Kings.
  • 91mp5 from Blessing of Wisdom, or 109mp5 with Imp BoW.
  • 97 Intellect, from Arcane Intellect and Mark of the Wild.

II. Stats
For each stat I will try to demonstrate what 100 items points gives, which is equivalent to 5 epic quality Northrend gems. For most stats 1 item point is equal to 1 point in the stat. The exceptions are Spell Power (1 item point = 1.166 sp), Mp5 (1 item point = 0.4mp5) and Stamina (1 item point = 1.5 stamina).

While this won’t increase how much healing you do directly, a dead healer is not doing any healing. You won’t need stamina for all fights though, but if you are going to get a piece with low (or no) stamina I would recommend keeping a set of gear around that has higher stamina. So you can throw them on for fights with heavy AoE damage. For 100 item points you get 150, which with BoK becomes 1650 health.

Intellect has received a HUGE boost with WotLK mechanics, and is now one of the best (if not the best) stat for Holy Paladins. Let me list what 100 Intellect gives you:

  • 126.5 Intellect, with BoK and Divine Intellect
  • 1897 Mana at the start of the fight
  • 39.5mp5 from Divine Plea, if its used on CD.
  • 21.3mp5 from Replenishment, with 90% uptime.
  • 4.7mp5 from Arcane Torrent, if you are a Blood Elf.
  • 25.3 Spell Power
  • 0.759% Spell Crit

This gives you a lot of mana, which lets you cast a lot more Holy Lights and be more liberal in using them.

Despite being told while WotLK was still in its initial phases that they wanted to make spirit good for all healers, nothing ended up getting changed. Spirit still is as crappy as ever for Paladins, you are never out of the 5SR to gain any mana from it. 100 spirit gives you nothing .

Spell Power
Increases how much healing your spells do at a rate dependent on each spell, exact values are given in the spells section. FoL scales really well with Spell Power because it has a low mana cost, but gets more benefit from Spell Power then most 1.5sec spells. So once you get to higher gear levels its low amount of base healing won’t really matter, since 75% of the healing it does is from Spell Power. 100 Item points gives you 120 Spell Power, which increases each FoL by 134, and HL by 223.

Critical Strike Rating
Critical Heals end up healing for 50% more and cost 60% less mana, and 100 Spell Crit gives +2.17% crit rate at 80. Crit scale really well, but it starts out not being that great compared to other stats. This graph shows you how much effective mana is gained when you add 1% crit at varying initial crit rates. As you can see crit scales geometrically with itself, because you spend the extra mana from crit heals casting more heals which can crit. So going from 48% to 49% crit gives you twice as much mana as going from 0% to 1% crit. It also scales with how big your effective mana pool is.

While Crit Rating is good, especially at high gear levels, Intellect gives you 1/3 of the amount of Crit for the same item points while also giving you all the additional mana.

Haste Rating
Increases how fast your heals cast, but they cost the same amount of healing per mana. 10% Spell Haste does not mean your spells cast 10% faster, rather it means in a given time period you will cast 10% more spells. So the cast time after haste is calculated by (Base Cast Time)/(1 + Spell Haste). Some people like it because it allows them to react to damage faster. Personally though I think 23% passive haste we get from buffs is enough, and stats are better spent elsewhere. 100 Spell Haste at 80 will give you 3% haste.

Mana per 5 sec
Gives you the specified amount of mana over 5 seconds, wether or not you have been casting a spell. This stat is pretty crappy now, with Divine Plea intellect is better then it in every single way by far. 100 item points will give you 40mp5, which is 2880 mana over 6 minutes.

III. Abilities
Holy Paladins are no longer restricted to just casting two spells in combat. We got a few new good ones, and some old ones are now worth using. At level 80 a Paladin has 4394 base mana, which is a 48% increase over level 70. This is a brief run down of all the skills.

Flash of Light
This is your bread and butter heal that every class wish they had. It receives 113% of spell power per cast, if you have Healing Light. This was buffed by 25% with WotLK, so it scales even better with +healing now. This scales exceedingly well with spell power, since it has such a low mana cost for its coefficient. Typically you will be spamming this spell on the Tank (or the Raid) waiting for enough damage to be taken to use your mana on a Holy Light or Holy Shock.

Holy Light
This is your spell you use when things start to get hairy and you need to pump out the healing. Holy Light receives 188.5% of spell power per cast if you have Healing Light, which was also buffed by 25% with WotLK. This is one of the most expensive healing spells in the game, but it is also strongest single target spell. Generally when the tank health dips low or predictable burst is about to come you switch over to Holy Light to pick up on the healing. This is where a lot of the power of the Holy Paladin comes in, being able to spam efficient stream Healing (FoL) and then being able to power through the hard spots with Holy Light at a moments notice.

Holy Shock
Yay! This spell has sucked for so long, it used to only deal damage, and now it is finally a good healing spell. This spell got greatly improved in WotLK, to heal for a lot more, have a 40 yd range as a heal (finally), and a 6 sec cooldown. Along with Infusion of Light, which makes it so whenever you crit with Holy Shock, your next FoL is instant or your next Holy Light is 1 sec shorter cast time. It receives 90.5% of spell power per spell casting, if you have Healing Light. This is great a spell to use when you are moving and can’t cast anything else, or the tank took a huge burst and they will likely die before you can get a Holy Light off. It is around as efficient as Holy Light, so I wouldn’t use it in place of FoL if you don’t need the extra hps or an instant heal.

Beacon of Light
This is the spell that we were given to help us deal with being able to heal multiple targets at the same time. This is no CoH or Chain Heal, but its not meant to be. It can be much better, or it can be worse, it depends on the situation. This only takes into account effective heals, so if you heal someone for 4k, but they are only down 3k then the BoL will get healed for 3k. A common complaint of it is that it can’t be relied on because of overheals not providing any healing. It also only works on Paladin healing abilities, so if you have a trinket (or something else) that heals then that won’t proc BoL. If you place the Beacon on tank and go to raid heal you will need to watch the tanks health still and be ready to toss Holy Lights on him when needed. It can be a huge mana sink to keep it up, but it can be very worth in a lot of situations. But don’t feel like you need to have 100% uptime on it, sometimes it just won’t be effective when you only have 1 target that can use heals.

A perfect example of using it while tank healing is in Illidan Phase 2. While you can’t rely on it to keep the tank you are healing alive, you can use it to greatly help the other tank stay alive. So at the start of P2 I will cast it on the tank the I am not healing, and then just heal my tank as normal. Let me tell you, getting a 1.7sec 10k Holy Light crit (with AW) that heals my tank, and then heals the Beacon for 10k is amazingly awesome.

Sacred Shield
First I will clarify how SS works, when you cast the spell on someone they gain a 30 second buff. Nothing happens until the target takes damage, when they do they will take the full amount, but will gain a second buff. This new buff will absorb the next 500 + 75% of your Spell Power damage and then expire, while it is active it will also increase the crit rate of FoL by 50%. This 2nd buff lasts a maximum of 6 seconds, and can only occur every 6 seconds.

This is most effective on Tanks since they take damage often, but can also be useful on group members if you know they are going to be taking damage more often then every 6 seconds. I am excited for this spell, and it will help smooth out burst on the tank. I’ll talk more about it when I had some time to play with it.

Avenging Wrath
With WotLK this now effects healing, but is reduced to a 20% increase. One disappointing fact, that I hope they change, is that using this spell still incurs a 1sec GCD. Which is abnormal for spells that just buff effectiveness of other abilities. It still causes Forbearance (now 2mins), so you should be careful while using it on some fights.

Divine Plea
This spell gives an insane amount of mana back, and makes Intellect an amazing stat. You do lose healing output so you might not want to just spam it. This will require more actual in game use once WotLK goes live to discuss it more. Especially how viable it is to spam on cooldown, which will likely vary a lot fight to fight.

Divine Favor
This is unchanged with WotLK, but with IoL it warrants no longer being relegated to just a HL macro. Saving it to use with HS for when the tank gets a big burst, for a combo with HL, can be very useful.

Divine Illumination
Nothing really changed with DI, try to save it for when you are going to be casting a lot of Holy Lights or have to renew BoL. But, don’t let it sit off cooldown for too long.

Lay on Hands
Is significantly better to use in fights now, since it no longer drains all of your remaining mana. Its uses are pretty obvious, save it for when the tank gets a huge burst and will likely die before a cast time spell reaches him. If you cast this on yourself with Glyph of Divinity and Glyph of Lay on Hands you will get 4680 mana back. Which is a substantial amount mana if you won’t need to use it on the tank.

Judgement of Wisdom/Judgement of Light
With Crusader Strike no longer refreshing Judgements and JotP, a Holy Paladin needs to actually judge on a regular basis. There are two main different strategies you can use for judging, you can either be trying to keep a 100% JotP uptime, or to keep 100% uptime on the Judgement debuff. It costs 3 GCDs per 2 min to keep JotP up, and 7 GCDs per 2 min to keep JotP and Judgement debuff up. Either way though with 15% extra haste you will be able to get more total healing spells out even after “wasting” 7 GCDs.

JoL was also buffed with WotLK and is definitely worth keeping up, but it scales significantly better with AP then SP. So if you have a Ret or Prot pally in the raid it is better for them to do JoL and you do JoW. Conversely though the Ret/Prot Pally will have a much more reliable uptime on there Judgement, since sometimes you just can’t spare the global, and some classes are dependent on 100% JoW uptime for their DPS cycle. So if you can’t guarantee to keep up JoW, it might be better for you to do your weaker JoL.

Hand of Sacrifice
The new version of this spell for WotLK is now very useful for PvE. A good button to use to help keep your tank alive when he gets some burst on him. Be careful though, the tank can take a lot of damage which will the be transfered to you. If your tank has BoL on him, it can be useful to just heal yourself while HoS is active so you don’t die.

Hand of Protection
Nothing new with this for WotLK besides a new name. Its good to use on someone when they pull aggro. Can also be used on tanks in some fights when you need to force a tank transition.

Hand of Salvation
This now gives 20% threat reduction over its duration. A dps will likely call for you to use it on them when they are close to pulling aggro.

IV. Gear
Most of the individual stats are discussed in the stats section. So this section is going to more geared for abnormal stats on items like meta gems, librams, and trinkets.

While there will always be one stat that is the best for you, that doesn’t mean you should stack it with little concern for the cost. The more of a stat is on the item, the more items points it takes per stat point. For example, one item could have 10 intellect, or it could 8 intellect and 7 crit rating, while being the same item level. So it is in your best interest most of the time to have items with balanced stats, and use gems to stack a stat since they are exempt from this rule. Sometimes balanced items won’t always be the best, or the distribution of stats on another item could be better, but in the general case balanced items are better.

Meta Gems
WotLK added a lot of new options for meta gems to choose from. This section isn’t finished yet, and I’ll provide more complete comparisons between them later.

Insightful Earthsiege Diamond
5% chance to restore 600 mana with a 15 second ICD. It is approximately 50mp5, but its worth depends on your ratio of HL to FoL.

Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond
This is an interesting new meta, that can be a large healing increase.

Ember Skyflare Diamond
This probably surpasses Insightful in mana regen. I will run the numbers on this at various 80 gear levels, once I have an idea of what they are.

Beaming Earthsiege Diamond
Similar to Ember, but you miss out from the extra crit and spell power that is gained from Intellect.


Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Justice
This is will most likely be the best Libram when you get to 80, because with lower gear levels you will be mostly spamming FoL. If you can’t obtain the rating for Deadly, they have a similar ones for the other Gladiator sets.

Libram of Renewal
Once you start Holy Lighting more this will be a huge increase in output. It reduces the cost of your Holy Light spell by almost 10%, it might even be better than the Gladiators in Naxxramas.

Libram of Tolerance
This libram seems decent, but I don’t see any situation where I would use it over Renewal. Since I can use the 113 mana I saved on a Holy Light to do a lot more than 141 healing.

Just a list for now, I’ll add some discussion for them later.

[Living Ice Crystals]
[Forethought Talisman]
[Illustration of the Dragon Soul]
[Soul of the Dead]
[Darkmoon Card: Illusion]
[Embrace of the Spider]
[Je'Tze's Bell]
[The Egg of Mortal Essence]
[Forge Ember]
[Figurine - Sapphire Owl]
[Soul Preserver]

V. Glyphs
Personally at 80 I am going to use Holy Light, Divinity, and Seal of Wisdom for my Major Glyphs. Here are all of the options you have currently.

Glyph of Holy Light
With 3.0.3 this Glyph got change, so the initial target of the heal can no longer get a proc from the Glyph, and how much it procs for is different. If your heal doesn’t crit, it will proc off of effective healing amount if its less then 50% overheal, otherwise it will proc off total amount. If it does crit, it will proc off of effective healing amount if its less then 66% overheal, other wise it will proc off total amount. While it isn’t as good as it used to be, it can still do some decent healing, and there is no better option available.

Glyph of Flash of Light
Personally I would never use this Glyph, even if I had a free slot with nothing else to use. It totally goes against the purpose of FoL, which is its spammability. Most of the time you are casting FoL on just one target, so how much direct healing you lose is no where near made up by the HoT.

Glyph of Seal of Wisdom/Glyph of Seal of Light
Both really good glyphs, especially since you will be keeping a Seal up anyway for JotP. I am going to go for SoW, because our mana pool isn’t what it used to be, it works well with Glyph of the Wise, and sneaking it some auto attacks with SoW up during a lull in the fight can be some massive mana return.

Glyph of Divinity
A good Glyph with no downside. If you cast LoH on yourself with this you will get double the mana returned. Which will make it great for fights where you are crunched on mana, and don’t need the burst heal of a Lay on Hands.

Glyph of Spiritual Atunement
Can be very nice on fights with a lot of AoE damage for free mana, but they did say they are moving more away from that. So it might end not being that great, time will tell.

Glyph of Cleansing
Situational, but I don’t think I cleanse enough for it to be better then my other options.

Minor Glyphs
Glyph of Lay on Hands – A big increase to LoH mana for a minor glyph, use this one.
Glyph of the Wise – Great Glyph to use with Glyph of SoW. Saves the cost of approximately 1 FoL per cast.
Glyph of Blessing of Kings – If you have Kings, this makes your life easier, and there is no better 3rd minor for raids.

VI. Consumables

While you can only use 1 per fight now, you do have some choice about which that will be.

Runic Mana Potion – The good old bland mana potion. Thankfully they also greatly reduced the range of mana restored.
Potion of Nightmares – This got changed from its former brethren, so that it lasts 6 seconds and is no longer dispellable. Can definetly see being able to use this easily in many fights for the extra 1200 mana over Runic. I will carry a stock of both of these along with me.
Potion of Speed – This could be useful in some fights if you know there will be 15 seconds where you will need to totally maximize output.
Potion of Wild Magic – Same idea as Potion of Speed, but I don’t see any reason to use this one over a Potion of Speed though.

Well Fed
These are the 4 relevant different buff types, but you can get different food that give the same benefit. Just chose them how you would your gems.

Firecracker Salmon
Imperial Manta Steak
Mighty Rhino Dogs
Spiced Wyrm Burger


Flask of the Frost Wyrm – A solid throughput increase, my flask of choice for WotLK.
Flask of Pure Mojo – With how poorly Mp5 has scaled to WotLK content I don’t see any reason to use this over Frost Wyrm.
Flask of Distilled Wisdom – Sadly this flask from Vanilla WoW is still half decent. I wouldn’t use it over Frost Wyrm though.


Spellpower Elixir
Elixir of Deadly Strikes
Elixir of Lightning Speed

Elixir of Mighty Thoughts
Elixir of Might Mageblood

Spellpower/Mighty Thoughts could beat out Frost Wyrm (67 SP vs 45 Int), but is more expensive to keep up while learning a boss.

Mana/Wizard Oils
They discontinued these with WotLK, and any old ones you have will not work on your new WotLK weapons.

VII. Trade Skills
Listed are the benefits you get from being each profession. With WotLK enchants can require you to have the profession to receive the stats, so you can no longer level Enchanting (or any other profession) for ring enchants and then drop it.

Mixology – 37 Spell Power or 13mp5 depending on Flask used. Also reduces how much gold you spend on consumables.

Socket Glove/Socket Bracer – Gives you 46 Spell Power, 40 Int, 40 Crit, 40 Haste, or 16mp5.

Enchant Ring – Greater Spellpowerx2 – Gives you 38 Spell Power.

Hyperspeed Accelerators – Which is pretty crappy for healing, it averages to 23 haste rating, and the normal spell power enchant is better then that.

Lifeblood – Small amount healed, but it is off the GCD.
Fire Seed – You take 10% more damage, and have 0 resistances. 33 Spell Power on average, but requires heavy farming of them to use every minute.

Master’s Inscription of the Storm or Master’s Inscription of the Crag – 37 Spell Power increase over The Sons of Hodir version.

Dragon’s Eye Gems – Gives you 21 to a stat, 27 spell power, or 12mp5.

Fur Lining – Spell Power – Offers you 37 spell power upgrade over normal enchant.

Toughness – This is pretty useless.

Master of Anatomy – 25 spell crit.

Darkglow Embroidery – 18.75mp5 on average at the cost of Enchant Cloak – Greater Speed.

VIII. Add Ons
A good UI for a healer is essential, you can be much more effective at healing with it then the stock UI. Here are some suggestions for AddOns.

Grid (Raid Frames)
Grid is a raid frame addon that I highly recommend for any healer. It makes it much easier to see the health of everyone in your raid, and is very customizable to fit your needs.

Pitbull (Unit Frames)
I find it much easier to keep track of your health and mana with this, then the insanely small bars in the default UI. This mod is also highly customizable, and can do almost anything you want it to do. XPerl is another popular Unit Frame addon. Both of these can also serve as your raid frames, but I find Grid does a better job.

Parrot (Scrolling Combat Text)
This addon helps me better keep track of damage incoming to me, and the healing I am doing then the default one. Another option is MikScrollBattleText.

Clique (Click Casting)
With a click casting addon you assign a mouse button (like middle mouse) to a spell, and whenever you press that button on a unit frame it casts that spell at that unit. I like using this with Cleanse, because I find I have better reaction times with it. Some people like assigning a button (or key-button combination) to all there heals, and using just that to heal.

PallyPower (Blessing Asssignments)
This AddOn will make your life keeping everyone blessed with the proper blessings much easier. While I am sure a lot of us have had their frustrations with PallyPower, it is significantly better then not using one. An alternative is ZOMGBuffs.

ClassTimer (Spell Timers)
Keeps track of the time left on all of your buffs/debuffs like Beacon of Light and JotP. Being able to see the time left on these spells at a glance makes it significantly easier to keep them up.

IX. Talent Builds
Here are a few sample talent builds that will give anyone a good starting point, and are by no means the only builds you can go. All of them are just guidelines meant to give people an idea of where to start and then customize for themselves.

Paladin (51/0/20) – World of Warcraft: PvE without any Blessing talents
Paladin (51/5/15) – World of Warcraft: PvE with Blessing of Kings
Paladin (51/0/20) – World of Warcraft: PvE with Imp Might and Wisdom
Paladin (51/20/0) – World of Warcraft: A guideline PvP build.

X. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much Mp5 is X% Crit worth (or vice versa)?
A: It depends on your spell rotation. If you are mostly spamming just FoL, then crit isn’t that much of a mana return. It is when you start using HL heavily, that it overtakes Mp5 in mana returns.

Q: Which is these two items are better for me?
A: There is rarely a right answer if it is close enough to deserve a post in this thread about it. Most of the time each item will be better in different situations. I would recommend using whichever is better in the situation you find you have more difficulty.

by Endoscient


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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 12:28 pm and is filed under WoW Paladin Guides, WoW Raiding Guides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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