Posted tagged ‘5 mans’

Long, Long Awaited Challenge Modes

July 23, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, this happened:

goldrun

That’s a Challenge Dungeon (or is it Dungeon Challenge?) Gold Run in case you’re wondering. My very first one.

At this point in the expansion, it’s probably a small feat. But to me, the little achievement was loaded in meaning. This (not exaggerated or overly dramatic at all) meaning:

Like my buddy Saif (though perhaps not as extreme as Saif), my early expansion sucked.

Challenge modes are exactly the kind of extracurricular WoW activities I love: small groups, an easy setting to display personalities, a not too straining mental exercise (but a mental exercise nonetheless) and an opportunity to heal a little differently. Normally I’d be all over this.

But Occasional Excellence was blown up by its leaders long before I had any time to turn my attention to non-raiding aspects of the game. Then I didn’t spend enough time in Conquest for it to be appropriate for me be all “Hei guys, make room for me in your Challenge Mode groups!

I suppose I could have sought out groups on open raid or something but, remember, this is me we’re talking about. I don’t talk to strangers. You have to twist my arm to get me to talk to non-strangers.

Since I don’t care about status (I was born awesome, no WoW achievement can improve on that! /modesty) or rewards (there are rewards for Challenge modes, right?) playing with non guildies kind of defeats the point anyway. What makes these kind of outside-of-raid activities fun for me is the opportunity to get to know some guidies, a small (non-scary) number at a time. The presence of a goal makes it all that much easier: mood gets awkward and you don’t know what to say? No problem! Just kill more things!

So when my fellow holy pally (who’s become a recurring character on this blog, readers of my WoL posts may remember him as “Copally”) asked me if I’d be interested in doing Challenge Modes, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot and was so excited I couldn’t sleep for a few nights (it’s a tad embarrassing how small of an exaggeration that is). Before I knew it, there were 5 of us dodging horde gankers in front of Niuzao Temple’s Summoning stone.

The first lesson we learned was that no NPC can compete, in terms of difficulty and complexity, with the Scheduler Boss. Especially with a half Australian-half North American team. I swear we spent more time with our calenders and maps open, calculating time zones, than we did watching videos and practicing pulls.

On our exploratory run, we wiped about 5 times, had a disconnect, had someone go afk and did a lot of pulls wrong. We got Bronze. Reassuring to know that, even if you do terribly, terribly, terribly bad, you still get a pretty flashy achievement and some bonus valour points.

It took us a few extra nights (I kinda lost count…a lot of our attempts were pretty short due to most of the team having exciting and demanding lives calling them away from the computer after 45-50 minutes), but eventually we got Gold (see above screenshot) and set a new guild record.

OF COURSE, our guild’s more experienced and mostly mainspecced (unlike us) Challenge mode team went to Niuzao Temple the following week and pretty much one-shot a Gold run (I didn’t check if they shattered our hard-earned guild record, but knowing them, they probably did), but hey, WE HAD FUN AND ITS THE FUN THAT COUNTS.

Since then, we put about an hour into learning Stormstout Brewery. On our exploratory run, we wiped just before the last boss and still won Silver, which was promising, but the Scheduler Boss wiped us before we could make another decent attempt, and every night we’ve planned since then has also been ruined by the same Scheduler Boss. I don’t know how many Golds we’ll manage before everyone gives up. I’m patient and can try forever, but apparently not everyone is like that, so I treasure my little Niuzao Temple Gold IN MY HEART.

Healing Challenge Modes a Holy Paladin

At this point, I’m far, faaaaaar from being a reference, but I did learn a few things about healing Challenge Modes from our (few) attempts.

A huge mistake I was making at first was trying to heal the 5 mans as I would heal a raid. You know, the Holy Shock-Holy Radiance-Eternal Flame trinity.

That’s bad. BAD!

I got flashbacks to my days of -just-dinged-90-when-MoP-was-young Heroic grinding where Holy Radiance did….not much.

So I stopped using Holy Radiance and looked up my long-forgotten key-bindings for Flash of Light. It was a bit more mana intensive but it did the trick. I didn’t think to Glyph Flash of Light at the time, but I’ll definitely do that on our next attempt.

I didn’t have too many issues with mana, but I did find that if I could run with or ahead of our tank, I could plop down and drink as she was pulling and get a good wack of mana back before heal spamming was needed. Whenever I could, I’d squeeze in the Shado Pan trinket on-use mana back as well as Divine Plea. (Mid-pull, Divine Plea should probably be only use in case of emergency, but while running between pulls, it is, well, Divine.)

Stack of potions (instant Mana, Potion of Focus, Intellect Potions – called Potions of the Jade Serpent or something) are always handy too. On one of our Niuzao attempts, where I was furiously Denouncing the last boss, we were a mere second away from a Gold. ONE SECOND. Had I remembered to use an Intellect Potion, we wouldn’t have set a (short lived) guild record, but we would have gotten our achievement much, much sooner.

I squeezed in DPS where I could, but I discovered pretty quickly that whenever I stopped healing to do damage, our ret pally (who, remember, is my fellow Holy Pally in raids) would give into his healer instinct and stop DPSing to cover for me. Still, a little Denounce goes a long way. Holy Shock, Denounce and Holy Prism all do a respectable amount of Holy damage. The damage of Judgement and Crusader Strike is neglectable, and I’d rather use Flash of Light to build Holy Power, UNLESS there’s time to switch to Seal of Truth and DoT up a target (sometimes possible on boss fights). Just don’t forget to switch Seals back to Insight.

As for Holy Prism vs Light’s Hammer, it’s hard to say which is better. Light’s Hammer was delightfully waaaaay lower maintenance, but was mostly wasted since we never stay in the same spot for twenty seconds. Holy Prism does sexy damage to mobs, makes for a good instant heal when needed and has a sweet, little, better than nothing, AoE effect, but I found I wasted a lot of time keeping an eye on its CD and making sure I had the right thing targeted whenever I cast it.

Other than that, any kind of damage mitigation CD is lovely. Hand of Purity, Hand of Sacrifice, Devotion Aura…they just can’t come off CD fast enough!

Speaking of CDs, you can usually only fit one Lay on Hands in. I found it helpful to just ask our tank when she’d prefer me to use it (bar any emergencies) since when I used it whenever, it would often go to waste.

Gear-wise, I’m told the Legendary Meta and Tier set bonuses don’t work, and that the only things helping you deal with the gear scaling down are sockets. So don’t use your raiding helm and pick up as many pieces with extra sockets as possible.

And yeah, that’s pretty much all I can think of.

Wish me luck next week for our Scheduler Boss encounter!

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

January 7, 2013

That’s right! The end of this series is in sight and it’s time to talk about, you know, real healing spells!

As I see it, there are three components to paladin healing:

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

Since this is healing technique post #1, we’re going talk about Beacon.

beacon

The official description is rather clear. You put a buff, Beacon of Light, on a player of your strategic choosing, and the healing you do on other players transfers to your Beacon target.

The amount transferred varies based on spell used. So if Beacon is on Mary and you cast a Holy Light on Jack for 300 (numbers used in this post do not reflect actual in game averages), Mary would also receive a 300 heal. But if your Holy Radiance hits 5 people for 300, then Mary would be healed for 5 X (15% of 300) = 225.

You can move your Beacon of Light to different players during a fight, if you feel that’s the best strategy. If you plan on doing that often, consider Glyph of Beacon of Light to remove the global cooldown, making Beacon swapping faster.

Note as well the 60(!!!) yard radius on Beacon. Meaning Beacon can heal a player who’d be out of range by normal standards (40 yards), as long as they are within 60 yards of the person you’re direct healing.

Add Beacon to your frames

beacontracking

You’ll want to track your Beacon.

Since the Beacon buff doesn’t expire – the only ways to get rid of it is for the target to die, for the target to remove it (why would they want to do that?) and for you to cast it on a different target, Beacon tracking isn’t as crucial as it once was. However, since you, the player, are a human being, you sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes your target dies and you don’t put their Beacon back on. Sometimes your mouse slips a little and you cast Beacon on the wrong person. Sometimes you think you’re moving your Beacon to a new target but the cast doesn’t go off. Sometimes YOU EVEN FORGET TO CAST BEACON AT ALL! Tracking your Beacon is the fastest way to catch signs of your humanity and hide them before anyone else notices.

You’ll want to track the Beacons of other paladins in the raid.

But I run 10 man/don’t raid!” you say. You also look at me with that “I know you’re heavily biased toward 25 man raiding” eye. Yes, I do intend to be the last 25 man holy paladin standing. But! Even if you don’t typically run with other holy paladins, you still might run LFR, you might do some Battlegrounds, you might pug a raid.

Knowing what the other holy paladins are doing helps a lot with making strategic decisions as well as predicting where the fight is going. It only takes a second to set up your frames to track other Beacons and you’ll almost certainly discover that you enjoy spying on your fellows.

Choosing a Beacon Target

I wrote about Beacon strategies awhile back. The post is rather outdated, but you might find some ideas for creative Beacon use, if you’re into that sort of thing.

1- Beacon the Tank (or, your Assigned Tank): If you’re just getting started and are running 5 mans, Beacon the tank. In Mists, I believe the only time I Beacon a non-tank in a 5 man is if the tank dies and I decide to save the group. In a raid setting, Beaconing the tank, or the tank you’re assigned to heal, has been my strategy of choice this expansion. It allows for the most freedom, letting you choose between direct healing your Beacon target (which builds Holy Power as we’ll see next post), or healing around and letting those heals transfer through Beacon.

2- Beacon the other Tank: In a fight calling for 2 simultaneous tanks, you can either use strategy #1, or choose to Beacon the tank you’re not assigned to, and spam heal your tank. This is more mana consuming and doesn’t let you help out the raid healers as much, but in a fight that is high on tank damage and low on raid damage, this strategy makes it easy to keep both tanks alive if you don’t trust the person healing the other tank (and might help you climb the meters a little bit, if you’re into that). If you’re healing with another paladin, this choice allows for cross-beaconing (each paladin is assigned a tank, and gives Beacon to the other pally’s tank)

3- Switch from Tank to Tank: I’d only seriously use this strategy on fights where tanks alternate. Assisted by Glyph of Beacon of Light, plop Beacon on whichever tank is currently taking the most damage.

4- Beacon on Someone Else: I can only think of three occasions where I’d use this in Mists so far – healing kiters on Garalon, healing in Gara’jal’s spirit world (thank you Repgrind!) and extreme raid healing. Extreme raid healing was described to me by Cebrafin on my glyph post and involves Beaconing a player before casting Divine Light or Flash of Light on them to build Holy Power. While I’ve never come across this strategy (and I read A LOT of healing logs), and you would rarely use big heals when raid healing, this strategy could be used if you do need a big heal on a non-tank, or as a fun distraction in LFR or during a boring fight.

Next post: That Holy Power you keep hearing about.

Chibi Rykga says hi! (Thank you Rades for the link!)

Chibi Rykga says hi! (Thank you Rades for the link!)

Till next time!

The Key to Drinking on Borrowed Time

August 1, 2011

Clearly I’m talking about drinking for mana here. I don’t know what else you guys could be thinking…

And by “borrowed time“, I’m picturing 5-man heroic with one of those tanks who plays with his eyes closed and his finger on the forward button. And I’m picturing you, with your mana bar empty, cursing and swearing, trying to keep up.

I don’t get to look at other healers often. In 5 mans, I’m usually the healer. In raids, I’m too self centered to spy on my co-healer’s drinking habits. But I do like to talk to other healers, especially healers who are in guilds similar to mine, where we’re used to chilling a bit between pulls. And on the rare occasion where I’m not the healer in a 5 man, I’m watching my healer’s every move.

So, healers condemned to running 5-mans, tell me, which scenario is more like you?

Scenario 1:

1- Mob pack dies
2- Drink
3- Catch up to group
4- Heal next pull

Scenario 2:

1- Mob pack dies
2-Catch up to group
3- Drink
4- Heal next pull

Scenario 1 is the careful healers. The “when I make a mess I clean it up right away” folk. These people are probably very successful and organized in their offline life.

They probably really hate 5 mans though.

Scenario 2 seems riskier (what if the tank pulls and I’m not ready?), but you have to get over appearances. Consider the following:

1- You can’t sit down to drink while you’re in combat, but if you’re already drinking when someone pulls, you’ll keep drinking.

2- If you mana bar has boiled dry, you want to drink as long as possible, but still be able to get up and back to business if you need to.

And which scenario allows you to drink into combat and get up when your team needs some heals?

Right.

Scenario 2.

Plus, if you’re a paladin (I swear, holy paladins were designed with 5 mans in mind!), Scenario 2 allows you to regen some mana via Divine Plea so that when you do sit down to drink, your mana bar is already partially filled up.

So the key to dealing with hasty tank without running out of mana?

If you need to drink, drink before the pulls, not after.

EDIT: I’ve had a lot of people mention that a tank might pull if you’re nearby but would wait if you’re out of range. I’m not sure that a tank who can’t see you sitting down and drinking is going to notice you’re out of range. And unless I’m totally drained, I also don’t want a tank to stop pulling. I’ll drink for a few seconds into the pull, then stand up when I need to start healing. If I need more time, I’ll ask for it.

You Can Always Tell When I’ve Been Pugging A Lot

May 14, 2011

The tank left, as many tanks do, after Zul’Garub’s raptor boss. A vote-to-kick popped up to kick our warrior. “Shitty fucking DPS” was the reason.

I glanced at Skada. The warrior was doing a bit above 8k. Not amazing, but stuff was dying fast enough and he wasn’t doing anything stupid. Besides, the other two dps were doing 9k and 11k respectively. If the warrior ranked as “shitty fucking“, then they ranked as just “shitty“.

Our three wipes so far has been due to:

Wipe 1: Tank failing on boulders
Wipe 2: Tank pulling more than he could hold aggro on
Wipe 3: Dps who initiated the vote-to-kick being outside the ring when raptor boss was pulled.

The warrior hadn’t caused any problems yet.

Since there were only 4 of us in the group, the final decision as to whether to kick the warrior or not was left to me.

Times I’ll Use Vote-to-Kick

I rarely kick players for being bad. Mainly because I know I struggle to reach 6k dps myself when playing ret. If I pop all my cooldowns, I might be able to reach 7k for a fraction of a second. If I’m lucky. So unless our weakest link is getting in the way of killing a boss (Grim Batol comes to mind), I don’t care about dps much.

Not actual DPS meters

However, when someone’s pulling 4k while the rest of the group, including the tank, is sitting at 14k, I’ll usually agree if a vote-to-kick is initiated.

I don’t know where the DPS benchmarks should be for heroics, but I do think that if someone’s doing under 5-6k, they’re not quite ready for the leap yet and shouldn’t queuing for them. There is a difference between normal 85s and heroics for a reason. But while it can justify a kick, I don’t think it justifies abuse.

I hate when players abuse each other. I know it’s not a big deal to most of the guys I play with, but if I were abused in a pug, and I wasn’t so confident about my healing ability, I’d be really shaken. (I have encountered, um, strange reactions in pugs, but they always started before the first pull and were so very weird that I suspect those players were stoned. Very stoned.) I’d rather see someone removed than witness verbal abuse. When the target of the abuse is sub-performing, especially if they haven’t gemmed or enchanted their gear, there’s not a whole lot I can do to defend them besides kick them and spare them misery.

Initiating vote-to-kicks, though, is something I will do if a player is being a douchebag and annoying me. I don’t mind carrying players, but I have no tolerance for annoying behaviour. Besides, if a person has no regard for the feelings of others, then I really have no regard for their feelings.

An Anatomy of Douchebaggery

The word “elitism” is tossed around a lot. But in my experience, the players who are the biggest douchebags in pugs aren’t particularly good players themselves. It almost feels like they’re people who’ve been picked on in the past for being bad and jump at the opportunity when they’re in a position to do it to others.

Or they’re people who don’t really understand the game or meters, and are looking to attack before they get attacked. (I actually met a healer who spammed healing meters from 5 mans. Yes, you are going to be on top when you’re the only healer. And a high hps just meant people were taking a lot of damage. No damage, no high hps.)

And wannabes. The wannabes. Players from upper-but-not-top guilds who just don’t have the skill, the focus or the discipline to be excellent. Or players from more casual guilds who assume they’re amazing because they’ve always topped the meters in their raids. These guys are quite possibly the worst culprits in heroics. They play badly, are mouthy and are quick to pry on anyone else.

Penny Arcade’s Internet Fuckwad Theory is often referred to explain douchebag behaviour. Which works if you have a Lord of the Flies view of people. But I have trouble believing the person spewing out bullshit and feeling real’ proud of himself for being such a badass is a “normal person”. Oh, maybe he acts like a normal person when there are consequences to his actions, but, really, if someone over the age of 12 gets pleasure from shitting on others or saying “naughty words”, I quite suspect there being something wrong with them to begin with.

Now, I understand anger and raging. I have quite the temper myself, although I’m more likely to get angry about time-wasting or arrogance than about wipes and mistakes. I’m also a lot more likely to get sarcastic and accusatory than swear or name call. But I understand tempers getting heated. Games are like that. You get involved in them, you use them as a safe outlet for stress and, well, I suspect (but have no proof) that the chemical effect games have on the brain trigger short term aggression or crankiness anyway. I’ll never hold outbursts in raids, pvp or even nasty heroics against people.

But gratuitous abuse? Or “OMG LOOK AT ME I SAID A NAUGHTY WORD IM SUCH A BADASS LOLOLOL!!!111one”? Give me a break.

No it doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It does, however, hurt my eye rolling muscles.

Hindsight Wears Rose-Coloured Glasses

I don’t want comments blaming LFD and saying “things were so much better before LFD“.

Sometimes I wonder if the LFD haters ever tried to pug 5 mans before the system got put in. I pugged alone in Vanilla and in pre-LFD BC. I pugged alone a lot.

Back then, pugging a 5 man alone was an all day event. If your instance wasn’t overly popular at that moment, finding a full group took a few hours. By the time you had your group together, someone would have to leave. Before max level, you didn’t always have the luxury of a tank-healer-3dps so you made do with what you had. You’d wipe a lot. People would often have to leave halfway through and you’d spend up to an hour waiting for a replacement while trying to 4 man the instance. I don’t think I ever finished an instance with the same 4 people I started it with.

Where people nicer and did they talk more?

I vaguely remember that they were and that they did. But when you’re stuck with these people for hours and when replacing them was a disgusting task, you either had to be patient or you didn’t pug.

So I suspect the shitty behaviour in pugs is due more to pugging being available to those who wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in the old system. Plus, with the all the incentives from instances nowadays, more players in general are pugging.

And really, I’d rather put up with the occasional douchebag than go back to struggling for hours every time I wanted to do an instance.

I Bet You All Want Me to React to 4.0.6a

February 13, 2011

Paladins
* Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

- Blizzard, Feb 11, 2011

There’s this weird pressure that comes from being a class blogger. I’ve never been one to keep up on the news. (What are patch notes?) Yet whenever something happens, a couple of people look at me (via email, twitter or in game whispers) from the corner of their eye, to see how I’m going to react.

So I bet you all want to know how I reacted when I found out about Friday night’s nerf (I found out from Kurn of course, do I look like a blogger who reads Blizzard?). For your entertainment pleasure, here’s a time-line of events, starting with time 0 being when I processed the information:

0 sec: /facepalm
5 sec: OMG HOW COULD THEY?!? I’M SO MAD GODDAMN BLIZZARD QQ
30 sec: Wait a minute, I’m only a part-time/backup raider. And my 10 man team comp doesn’t really let me use Light of Dawn (LoD) anyway. These changes don’t change much for me.
1 minute: SHIT! Now I have to update my Beacon technique post. GODDAMN IT!
2 hours: Hey, I should test these changes. Wait a minute. My LoD are transferring through beacon. I WAS LIED TO.

That said, I only had one person to group with, so I don’t know if all the LoD heals transfer through to Beacon or it just one heal transfers. Those of you with more friends than me should test it and tell me about it ;D.

EJ seems to having the same experience as me.

(more…)

Secret Santa Guest Post: 5 Tips to make your healer happy, applies in Dungeons & Raids!

December 25, 2010

[EDIT by Ophelie] I’m really excited. I received a Secret Santa guest post from Nicegrl for Christmas! (And now I look like a slacker since I haven’t written my Secret Santa guest post yet.) Seems like she spends as much time as I do pugging heroics. I got a good laugh from her post and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Hello everyone I am Nicegrl guest posting for Bossy Pally. As most of you in Blog Azeroth community know, it is time for Secret Santa: Version 2010. I thought “Yay, this is fun” and signed up filled with joy. Until I got my mail: “You’ve been paired up!‏” (with a moderator of Blog Azeroth, so you better write something perfect or we will find you and make sure your blog just.. dies and your druid too) So I went into the fetal position, (as most healthy and normal people would after getting a challenge like this) and thought long and hard what my post would be about. Hope you guys enjoy it.

5 Tips to make your healer happy, applies in Dungeons & Raids!

After having spent sometime in Cataclysm HCs, I thought I’d share some advice that I picked up from my experiences with expert PuG DPSes. Please give all credit to them for the contents of this post, as they were the source of such invaluable tips. Since me and Bossy Pally are both healers, I will explain from the perspective of a healer how you guys (as Tanks and DPS) can help us in instances and raids to make it a much more pleasant healing experience. Consider this your Christmas gift!

Step One: DO stand in the fire! In order to get out of the fire, you must move. Moving is bad, since you might get out of range of your healer. Getting out of range of your healer is bad, so don’t move. Flawless logic.

Step Two: Help the tank by attacking and taking aggro from a ranged mob/add. If one is being crowd controlled, this one is your first choice (see step 3). Remember, less damage on the tank is less damage the healer has to heal! Where might the rest of the damage go, you may ask. No one knows… No one knows…

Step Three: Crowd controlling (CCing) is for wusses. Overpower your enemy!

Take, for example, this great conversation I had in a random Heroic:
Tank: Who can CC?
Priest: ….r u kiddin?
Shaman: I’ll do it.

The Shaman is clearly a wuss. The Priest had Light Of The Dawn (Killing Lich King Heroic 25 man) so he must be right. Because having Light Of The Dawn means you’re automatically right… in everything! Also, your healer will run out of mana if you CC the mobs, because the fight lasts longer attacking mobs one at a time. Again, flawless logic.

Step Four: When a tank marks a target with a skull, DON’T ATTACK IT! Skulls signify danger, so you should attack any other mob but it. This also helps you accomplish step number 2!

Step Five: Tactics are for noobs. Leroy Jenkins got the job done when he ran into the whelp room and survived it all. For example, if the tank says you should concentrate on attacking the adds or move when the boss charges, don’t listen. There is no such thing as an immune boss, so just keep attacking it! If your interface pops up with messages indicating the boss is immune, just ignore it. It’s just the boss tricking you.

Bonus Tip: If all else fails, blame your healer. A wipe occurs when everyone’s HP runs out. It’s the healer’s job to heal. Therefore, the healer is to blame. Use this line as mathematical proof that you standing in the fire did not cause the wipe. If they try to explain otherwise, call them retards and /ragequit.

With the best wishes for a happy Christmas to you all!

Love nicegrl.com

Save a Clothie Today! Use Hand of Protection.

September 17, 2010

It feels weird writing about current stuff while everyone is so gung-ho about Cataclysm. Me, I don’t really care about Cataclysm. I would if I were in the beta, but I’m not. Nor do I care enough to try to get a beta key. (I am on the PTR but it’s ugly and funny looking and scary and overwhelming)

Besides, after discussing it with a few people, I came to the following conclusions:

- With the game being in a lull, a lot of people are playing alts.
- Just because Cataclysm is coming out in about a month in a half is no excuse to be playing badly now.

So today’s topic: Hand of Protection (HoP, or BoP after it’s former name, Blessing of Protection).

And according to MMO-Champion, this is a spell we’ll keep in Cataclysm so no writing off this post as ancient history museum content!

The Scenario

During ICC trash a few nights ago, we had a couple of mobs come up on us from behind and started chomping on a healing priest and a warlock. I slapped the priest with my Hand of Protection and the warlock died.

The question: We had 3 other paladins in the raid, one of which was a fellow holy paladin. Why didn’t anyone HoP the warlock?

Hypothesis 1: Maybe they don’t understand how Hand of Protection works

Hand of Protection protects the target from all physical damage for 10 seconds. It’ll also drop aggro from the target since the mob thinks to itself: “Oh, I can’t eat this guy (or girl – mobs are very politically correct), I guess I’ll go eat this other guy (or girl).”

Another thing to note is that someone under the influence of HoP can’t do any physical damage either. So unless you absolutely must save a melee dps or a hunter (or you just want to be annoying), save your HoP for casters. Note that in dire circumstances (for example, you have a massive crush on the ret pally and want to impress them with your life saving skills) an aggro breaking HoP can be quickly followed by a Hand of Freedom, allowing the melee player to resume dps as soon as the mobs get off their face. (Thank you Mally and Daniel.)

The aggro dropping and no doing physical damage things are the reason you shouldn’t ever HoP someone who’s currently tanking (with a few exceptions that I’ll get into later).

Note that HoP is useless against magic damage, so it won’t help a target being roasted by a caster.

Hypothesis 2: They don’t know when to use Hand of Protection

To make an informed decision concerning your Hand of Protection usage, you will need the following:

- Knowledge of the physical damageness mobs you’re facing (you can tell which are physical damage mobs by the way they eat the faces of their victims as opposed to melting said faces)
- Raid frames with aggro warnings turned on.

ICC has very few boss fights that involve physical damage adds. With the exception of Lady Deathwhisper and Gunship (and Dreamwalker for non portal paladins), you’ll mostly be using HoP during trash. I usually use mine during the trash before Marrowgar and for the Valks after Saurfang.

On 25 man Lady Deathwhisper, you’ll want to use your HoP as soon as possible and keep it on cooldown since there is that chance of being mind controlled and HoPing the boss… (Thank you Daniel- funny story, the day after you left your comment, the other holy pally in my raid got MCed and HoPed the boss.)

You know to use HoP when a purple (warlock), white (priest) or light blue (mage) square on your frames lights up with an aggro warning. In some cases, a dark blue (shaman) or orange (druid) squares are also suitable targets. Just make sure it’s a caster type of druid or shaman.

When a target lights up with an aggro warning, keep your eye on it. As soon as they start taking damage, BAM! Hand of Protection.

Hypothesis 3 : They’re afraid of “wasting” their Hand of Protection

This could be true in certain instances.

In ICC, though, the places where you could use HoP are rather far apart. Depending on the casting paladin’s spec, the cooldown on HoP is 3 to 5 minutes, nothing to worry about. I prefer to use HoP as soon as I need it. I won’t know whether I’ll need it again and I’d rather save someone now than let someone die now out of concern that someone might die later.

If a caster gets eaten while my HoP is on cooldown, well, tough for them.

Hypothesis 4: They might have HoPed the same target.

Ha! Wrong! This is the funky thing about HoP: it causes forbearance (not to be confused with Jong’s Forbearance).

Causing forbearance means your target can’t be smacked by a Hand of Protection again for the next two minutes. So if someone beats you to a target, you won’t be wasting your cooldown. If you get an error message trying to HoP the priest, get that HoP on the warlock.

Hypothesis 5: They don’t have an appropriate UI

(Thank you Enlynn!)

As healer, you should have your UI set up in a way that you can access your spells very quickly. Unless you have jedi reflexes (and it does happen, I’ve seen some), this means either mouse-over macros or use of a Clique-like system.

HoP is part of your tools and should be just as accessible as Flash of Light or Holy Light. See Fictional Question #3 for some tips on choosing a proper key binding for your HoP.

Your fictional question: Are there other uses for Hand of Protections?

Glad you asked!

While most of the time, I use my Hand of Protection for loose trash mobs or boss adds, it can also remove a bleed effect. The fight that comes to mind is Saurfang, where HoP removes the Boiling Blood debuff. On heroic, when all the paladins in the raid use their HoP on a caster or healer with Boiling Blood, it can make a pretty big difference in the fight outcome.

Your fictional question 2: I’m not a healing paladin, can I still use HoP?

It’s a trainable ability, so yep.

In a raid setting, it’s easiest for a holy paladin to use, but any paladin who wants to rescue a clothie in distress is free use their Hand if they can spare the global cooldown.

In 5 mans, I love, and I mean LOVE getting my HoP out as a tank. I know the trend is to let those who pull before you die, but I frequently use it to get mobs off hormonal casters. I also use it to teach impatient melee players a lesson, but, um, please don’t tell anyone.

Your fictional question 3: What’s this about exceptions to never using Hand of Protection on a tank?

General rule is, using Hand of Protection on a tank, even by accident is a bad, bad thing. My guildies still constantly remind me of a certain keybind mishap involving a tank and a few undesired HoPs… To prevent these embarrassing moments, make sure your HoP isn’t bound to anything that would include your press-to-talk button or any buttons bound to spells frequently used on tanks.

There may be times, however, when you’ll be asked to use your Hand of P on a tank. To assist in certain tank switches, for example, or to remove a bleed effect (Gormok the Impaler in ToC comes to mind). During the trash before Blood Council, a quick HoP immediately canceled by a Hand of Freedom can erase that annoying Bloodboil debuff. (Thanks Daniel!)

Different raid teams have different strategies, though, so even if you think it’s a good idea to help out by HoPing a tank, I caution you to wait until you’re asked. This isn’t the place to take initiatives. An unsuspecting HoPed tank might not immediately realize what happened, which could throw off their next move. The tank might also have used one of their own cooldowns and your Hand will be wasted.

Your Fictional Question 4: Is Hand of Protection useful in PvP?

I confess I’m not experienced enough in PvP to give a really good answer here.

In Battlegrounds, I love it. It’s great for protecting your caster buddy from annoying meleers buzzing around them. I believe, however, that it can be spellstolen by mages, dispelled by priests and purged by shaman.

In all logic, it would be useful in arena as well. All the arena junkie holy paladins I’ve raided with, however, never use their HoP. So I dunno.

Your Fictional Conclusion: Wow! What a fascinating spell! I promise to use Hand of Protection at all the right times! Thank you!

No, thank you.

Speaking of thanks, lets go back to the original scenario. When I used HoP on our priest that night, she thanked me. Which was very polite of her, but it sort of made me sad as well.

As a holy paladin, pulling our utility spells out of our toolbox is our job just as much as keeping Beacon up and casting Holy Light is our job. She shouldn’t feel the need to thank me for a HoP anymore than thank me for casting my regular, direct heals.

But so many holy paladins don’t go beyond their easiest task, then have the nerve to complain that paladin healing is boring. Of course it’s boring when you’re not using most of your spells!

A few weeks ago, we had a trial holy paladin bragging on our vent about how he only healed with one button. I wonder how if he knew how close to his head the Giant Spoon came…

But in conclusion, remember that, with Hand of Protection, YOU CAN save a squishy clothie TODAY! What are you waiting for?


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