How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: Holy Power Healing

Review time!

The three components of paladin healing:

1- Beacon of Light Usage
2- Holy Power building and sinking
3- Cooldown Management

Yesterday we explored Beacon, today we’re doing Holy Power.

holypower

Holy Power: The Basics

Like a Rogue’s combo points, different spells you cast will give you points of Holy Power, which you can sink on a fun mana-free heal of your choice. You can use either Holy Power sink whether you have one, two or three points, but the more points you have, the stronger the spell.

Since Mists, the game lets us collect up to five points at a time, but a full strength sink will only use up 3 points. (The extra points are there so if you overshoot your Holy Power building, the casts aren’t wasted.)

Gaining Points Through Healing

We’ve got two healing spells that will always give us points and two spells that will give us points if we cast them on our Beacon target.

Holy Shock: Holy Shock (or, affectionately, HS) will give one point of Holy Power per cast. Since it’s very mana efficient and of decent strength, you should be using it on cooldown. I’m not kidding. The first thing I do when someone hands me their logs is whip out my calculator and check their HS per minute.

Holy Radiance:
Holy Radiance (HR) is cast on a target and AoEs to heal nearby allies. Unlike it’s previous incarnation in Cataclysm, it does not heal over time. It’s still a useful spell, but very expensive, so use it wisely.

Divine Light (DL):
This is our strongest single target heal. Slow and relatively expensive, this is a spell you’ll use on most, if not all fights, but that you have to use wisely if you don’t want to find yourself gasping for mana. You’ll gain a charge of Holy Power if, and only if, you cast Divine Light on your Beacon target.

Flash of Light: Flash of Light is our highest heal per second spell, but unfortunately, also our highest mana drain per second spell. Like DL, it grants Holy Power if you cast it on your Beacon target. As a general rule, you’ll only want to use it in emergencies or for gimmicky fights. (I’ll use it on Tsulong paired with Glyph of Flash of Light. I also used it early in the expansion as I was trying to heal through Gara’jal’s Spirit World in my quest-green gear.)

Healing Spells that Will Not Give Holy Power

Because I’m trying to squeeze a full spell guide into this post, I needed to find a way to include Holy Light.

Holy Light:
This is our small, cheap heal with the same cast time as Divine Light. It won’t generate Holy Power, but it does have the advantage of completely transferring (that’s 100%!) through Beacon. Good for when you’re waiting for Holy Shock to come off cooldown, don’t have the mana to cast Holy Radiance and aren’t close enough to the boss to cast Crusader Strike.

Non-Healing Ways to Build Holy Power

“When you cast Word of Glory using 3 Holy Power you will gain 1 Holy Power.”
- PvP 4 piece bonus

While you’ll usually build up your Holy Power by healing, there are a few other ways to squeeze in a point.

Crusader Strike:
If you’re in melee range, Crusader Strike is a fast, cheap, easy way to get some extra Holy Power during times of more relaxed healing. I do find this tier to be unfriendly to healing in melee, but if you’re able to pull it off, you’ll be rewarded in Holy Power.

PvP 4 piece:
For awhile, even the blue pvp set was considered better than raid gear because of how amazing the 4 piece bonus is (all this time, instead of doing dailies, you should have been doing BGs!). The 4 piece is still used quite frequently, especially by those who don’t run with the pve tier 4 piece.

Level 75 Talents:
Holy Avenger is a powerful cooldown that, when active, will make your Holy Power generating spells produce 3 points per cast instead of one. Sanctified Wrath will let you use Holy Shock more often when Avenging Wrath is active (and it lets Avenging Wrath be active longer) and Divine Purpose will sometimes give you a free 3 Holy Power strength spell after using a points sink. Which talent is best is debatable and more or less up to personal preference. See Talent section for more details.

Glyph of Blessed Life: I’m only adding this for the sake of completion. In PvE, you’ll never be feared, stunned or immobilized enough for a 50% single point proc to be useful.

Sinking Your Holy Power

As soon as you get 3 points of Holy Power, sink them. You’re allowed to bank two extra points if you go over, but going over should really only happen by accident. There’s no point in sitting on Holy Power.

You get two choices of where you sink your power.

Word of Glory/Eternal Flame: A strong, mana-free single target heal. The level 45 talent Eternal Flame adds a heal over time (HoT) component to it as well.

Light of Dawn (LoD): A multi target one-time heal. Can be modified with Glyph of Light of Dawn if desired. If someone chooses to heal with LoD as their primary Holy Power sink, they should consider taking Sacred Shield as their level 45 talent, as Eternal Flame is wasted if you never cast Word of Glory.

Opting for Light of Dawn as your primary Holy Power sink is often referred as “traditional” or “normal” healing: you rack up Holy Power, and at three points you hit your “Light of Dawn” button. Your Beacon target receives 15% of the healing you emit and you can use Sacred Shield as a bubble on your healing target.

Eternal Flame healing involves having as many Eternal Flame HoTs rolling on different players at a time. In addition to, well, healing them over time, the HoTs contribute to Mastery bubbles meaning those players will take less damage, AND the total healing (including overheal) transfers 50% through Beacon.

Raw healing potential wise, as far as I can tell, Eternal Flame healing beats Light of Dawn healing. Period.

In practice, though, both styles can be strong and viable. In the guild I’m raiding with now (they’re middle of road in terms of progression), I’m an Eternal Flame healer and one of my co-pallies uses Light of Dawn/Sacred Shield and we put out roughly the same numbers (however, I am just coming back from a month-long hiatus and am new to the team, which means I’m rusty, less geared and still learning the damage patterns. I’ll get back to you once I’m healing at full strength!)

Sinking at One Holy Power vs at Three Holy Power

I’ve been experimenting with this and reviewing logs from top guilds, and it does seem that sinking at 3 Holy Power beats sinking at 1, despite how much long it takes to build up that power. Though the paladins in the logs I’ve been reading likely used the PvP 4 piece. If you use the PvP 4 piece, you should definitely only be casting at 3 Holy Power – anything less would defeat the purpose.

However, as Talarian points out in the comments, the Eternal Flame HoT scales linearly (so if your 1 hp EF ticks for 200, your 2 hp EF will tick for 400 and your 3 hp EF will tick for 600), 3 people (non-tanks) with 1 Holy Power EF should come out to the same as one person with a 3 Holy Power EF. Better perhaps, because you’ve got 3 people getting little heals, rather than one person getting overhealed. Exception may be in certain 10 man fights where it is possible to have 2-3 Holy Power on the entire raid at once (this never happens on 25 man unless, by some godly intervention, you get 25 consecutive Divine Purpose procs).

And as Rades points out, the more times you cast Eternal Flame, the more chances you have of procing Divine Purpose, if you’re specced into it. Then, there’s also that emergency situations where you’re almost mana dry, need to get a heal out AT THAT VERY SECOND, Holy Shock is on cooldown and all you have is one flimsy Holy Power. That one Holy Power might be what prevents the wipe.

So one Holy Power or three? If you’re using the PvP bonus, three. On the tanks, three if possible. Other than that, use your discretion.

(Thank you to Talarian and Rades for your imput!)

And that completes another section of Holy Pally 4eva!

Tune in next time for cooldowns!

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7 Comments on “How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: Holy Power Healing”

  1. Talarian Says:

    Interesting about the sinking 1 HP vs 3 HP. Given that the spells should scale linearly with HP, what brought you to that conclusion?

    I mean, if I’m Eternal Flame Blanketing, I pretty much use 3 HP Eternal Flames on the tanks and then maybe a couple 1 HP EF on raid members, but is my original assumption about linear scaling off?


    • It’s also interesting to consider another aspect of using 1HP Word of Glory / Eternal Flames – to potentially proc a free 3HP from Divine Purpose. If your HP generators are on CD and you need that powerful heal RIGHT NOW it might be worth the gamble to use your lone HP to try to get a full free WoG…though it’s a risk, haha.

      It might be useful when you’re OOM also though, rather than wait for Holy Shock CD / enough mana to Holy Radiance? Toss the 1HP WoG, and pray you get a proc (or maybe even a string of procs, as Divine Purpose likes to do)

      • Ophelie Says:

        I actually meant to mention the Divine Purpose proc, but in my rush to get the post out, I completely forgot!

        I thought I did include the mana factor in the post… I think that part of the post needs an overhaul, haha. That’s what I get for rushing.

      • Talarian Says:

        Interesting point about Divine Purpose is that the proc chance is normalized with the HP you spend. A 1 HP cast is about 8.33% chance to proc, a 2 HP cast is about 16.67%, and a 3 HP cast is the full 25%. Sadly this information isn’t listed in game, but WoWHead’s comments as well as numerous posts on WoW’s forums (but haven’t found the patch notes or a blue post which confirms).

        Thankfully once you’ve procced Divine Purpose, further casts count as 3 HP casts so it’s easier to continue chaining once you’re up and running versus hoping that you hit Divine Purpose when using that 1 HP LoD/WoG.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I had gone by what I was noticing in logs – that those who were getting much more healing out of their Eternal Flame had their Eternal Flames ticking for far more than my 1 hp Eternal Flames.

      But after thinking about what you pointed out – 3 people with 1 hp Holy Power should come out to the same as one person with 3 hp. Better perhaps, because you’ve got 3 people getting little heals, rather than one person getting overhealed.

      If the PvP 4 piece is being used, however, you do need to use 3 holy power, otherwise you don’t benefit from the bonus. And in 10 man, on fights where it’s possible to have 2-3 Holy Power Eternal Flames on most, if not all, of the raid, you might as well go all out with stronger Eternal Flames.

      I’ll update the post.

      • Talarian Says:

        Yeah, the PvP 4 piece definitely requires waiting for 3 HP.

        I’ll have to look through some of my logs as well, or at least test it on myself or something. One would assume that the spellpower coefficient is also getting scaled or some such, otherwise you’d run into the Vanilla/TBC problem of people casting lower tier heals but getting almost as much healing out of it for cheap.

        At the risk of sounding ungrateful, my handle is spelled incorrectly in your edit. Should be all ‘a’, no ‘e’ in my handle.

        Thanks for the posts so far, I’ve learned a couple things out of them that I’ve taken back to my own healing. I may be an old hand at Holy Paladin-ing, but it’s good to see what others are doing.

        • Ophelie Says:

          It does scale linearly. I tested it after you commented :)

          I’ll fix your name, sorry about that. I think I fried my brain or something.


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