Posted tagged ‘aura mastery’

Shared Topic: Fringe Benefits of Bringing Classes to Raid

November 10, 2010

Or, in the perspective I’m going to take, how to make them want you (and your paladin) badly.

Here’s a Shared Topic that’s pretty timely for our class. It was suggested by death knight veteran Shop of Runeforge Gossip and you can see what bloggers from other classes had to say by checking out the grand collection of links thread at Blog Azeroth. Since this post isn’t being written at the last minute (yay!) you can even write about it yourself and post a link to it in that thread.

And while you’re in the Shared Topics forums, please do me a favor and suggest a Topic. PLEEEEEASE!

Right, so I still don’t have a computer. Which means no WoW for screenshots or facts checking. Also means no photo editing, so you’ll be stuck with recycled pictures. I’m sorry. I’ll try to compensate with more dirty jokes.

Meters are Backstabbing Jerks

The day after 4.0.1 dropped, a pally friend whispered me: “We’re still bad at raid healing, and now we’re bad at tank healing too. Anything we can do, every other class can do better. There’s just no point in bringing us to raids anymore.

Even after the hotfix, it’s no secret paladins are looking terrible on the meters. This may or may not have improved since my forced vacation from WoW. In a guild with a strong, knowledgeable healing team this doesn’t matter (I’ve yet to receive a single negative comment from my guildies) but out in wild wild PuGs with under geared tanks and incompetent co-healers, our weaker output on paper (or is it on screen?) makes us the innocent target of much abuse.

Death to the Mediocre Paladin

It used to sadden me (ok, that’s an understatement, it sent me into a blind rage) when people would complain about paladin healing being too easy before 4.0.1.

What is more accurate is that pre-4.0.1, paladin healing was easy to be mediocre at. Any moron could spam holy light and keep a tank up while looking great on the meters. The good holy paladin, however, saved many teammates with the clever use of their Hands and Holy Shock. Prevented wipes with their cooldowns. Could compensate for dead or incapacitated co-healers by creatively adjusting Beacon and Sacred Shield targets. Being good, now, that took perfect reflexes, excellent judgment and a deep understanding of fight mechanics.

I’ve raided with many, many holy paladins in my time. I can count the good ones on the fingers of a single hand.

Ok, so enough about the past, you say. What about now? How do I make them love me now? And, well, more or less the same as before. Except now mediocrity isn’t enough.

How to Really Shine as a Healadin in 4.0.1

1) Expect the worst. Remember that girl at Blizzcon who said dps shouldn’t be taking damage? She wasn’t a healer. Unless you’re raiding with Ensidia or some other high end guild (and you’re probably not if you’re reading this blog), people are going to be stupid and terribad in every possible way. And you’re going to shut up and appreciate the challenge. After sweating buckets healing a tank standing in the fire (or healing a 5 man tanked by a mage), you’re going turn around and say “thank you, may I have another“. Always come prepared for the worst case scenario. It’s the rationale behind stacking mana you won’t use up, behind keeping a cooldown handy, behind watching everyone’s health bar, not only your assignments’. Your job comes first, but preventing a wipe is a close second and is everyone’s responsibility.

2) Gauge each player. The tank in blues will risk being two shotted and will struggle with aggro. The overgeared hunter will pull aggro all over the place. The priest with ungemmed gear will be dead weight. When you regularly run with the same group, notice patterns in their behaviour. The DK tank who often runs out of line of sight. The bear who forgets to use his cooldowns. The priest who gets tunnel vision. The rogue that always runs to the wrong side. Knowing each player’s individual flaws lets you act preemptively, whether it be positioning yourself strategically, hovering your finger over a cooldown at the right moment or being ready to yell “PERSON A! OTHER SIDE!”

3) Use Your Hands You’ve got four of them! Hand of Protection (which you can read about in depth if you click the link) will keep those clothies up all night. Or at least during trash and adds heavy fights. Hand of Salvation, or should I say Handjob of Salv, will earn you the undying love of at least one dps. (I’ve always wanted a macro that whispers my HoSalv target with “Handjob of Salv on you…enjoy the afterglow!“) Hand of Freedom will shut up many whiny tanks who complain they can’t move. Hand of Sacrifice, though inconveniently needing to be paired with Divine Protection or Divine Shield (depending on circumstances), is still a powerful single target damage reduction tool. You won’t use it often, but when everyone else’s cooldowns are used up and all hope is lost, you’ll learn to love it.

4) Use the right Aura. A common oversight that needed to be mentioned. Your raid will remind you if you forget to remove Crusader Aura, but no one will tell you if you leave Retribution Aura up. Resistance Aura for magic damage fights (you can use it for pretty much all of ICC) and Devotion Aura for physical damage fights. Since you’re now the only person with Aura Mastery, you’ll want to keep up the Aura most useful to the current fight.

5) Blizzard gave you cooldowns for a reason. I love cooldowns. I love cooldowns a lot. I keep pictures of cooldowns in my locker. I cried when they took Divine Sacrifice from me. It leaves us with Aura Mastery as our only real mass raid mitigation ability. If you’re expecting a period of major damage (or of mass stupidity), save it. Otherwise give everyone a break and use it on cooldown. Single target-wise, you’ve got your Hands and also your Lay on Hands. With the new short cooldown, you can use it about once a fight now. It’s perfect for those EEKINEEDASPELLBUTNOTIME moments. Save a tank, lay your hands on them.

6) Bubble for the cure Simultaneous need to move and cast Divine Light? Bubble, cast, move. Don’t abuse Divine Shield, but in a pinch, you’ve got an extra 8 seconds of reaction time.

7) Dispell, dispell, dispell What more do I have to say? If you can dispell it, do so. Unless it’s the abom on Putricide. Don’t dispell that unless a wipe is called.

8.) Remember it’s a healing TEAM. If you know you won’t be able to keep the tank up, get a druid to spare some HoTs. If another healer falters, spare an instant cast on their target while they recover. Notice damage patterns. Share your observations. In a PuG, your efforts won’t always be welcome, but more often than not, they will be.

Finally, remember that timing is everything. What holy paladins are currently missing in mitigation and raw output, we make up for in precision. With short but powerful abilities like Hand of Protection or Divine Shield, with several instant spells that can prevent a two-shot and with a mastery that allows a small buffer to cover casting periods, your timing can make or break your gameplay and be the difference between a kill and a run back.

Get the right spells out and the right times, and you’re a machine. You can’t fix meter-obsessed idiots, but you can prevent a wipe.

Aura Mastery

March 20, 2010

There’s a lot of things in game, things about my paladin even, that I don’t really stop to think about. Every time I feel like I know my paladin, I discover stuff that I’ve been taking for granted, that I never stopped to wonder if it’s right or wrong.

Aura Mastery is one of those things.

The part about “improve the effect of all other auras by 100%” leads to confusion. Does it affect all other auras that are currently up, or just any aura the paladin casting Aura Mastery happens to have up?

For example, say I have Shadow Resist Aura up and my pally friend has Fire Resist Aura up. I cast Aura Mastery. Will we get a bonus on both Shadow and Fire Resistance or only on Shadow Resistance?

I’ve sorta asked myself the question before. I did a quick search through various guides, but found no answer. Instead of testing it like I should have, I just shrugged it off and forgot about it.

Then yesterday I came across this thread at Plus Heal, where Vine states that Aura Mastery only affects the Aura the casting paladin has up. It reminded me of my past inquiries, so I decided to give it a try.

I tested with a few different paladins. I picked one aura, they picked another. With my character tab open, I hit Aura Mastery.

Sure enough, the stats from my aura increased, but the stats from the other paladin’s aura did not.

So the question revisited:

For example, say I have Shadow Resist Aura up and my pally friend has Fire Resist Aura up. I cast Aura Mastery. Will we get a bonus on both Shadow and Fire Resistance or only on Shadow Resistance?

The answer is: Only on Shadow Resistance.

(Of course, as I go to write this post I discover that both Wowhead and Wowwiki have the answer, but still, nothing like checking it out for yourself.)

What this means in practice

In a fight where Aura Mastery is needed, the paladin(s) with the talent (typically the holy paladin(s)) should be running the aura targeted by Aura Mastery.

Side note about Concentration Aura:

The 3.1 Patch notes read: “Aura Mastery: Now grants anyone affected by Concentration Aura immunity from Interrupt and Silence mechanics”

The spell description in the tool tab (the image at the top of this post) specifies the casting paladin’s Concentration Aura is needed for the silence immunity effect but the patch notes seem to be contradictory. I couldn’t figure out how to properly test this (I don’t know anyone with a horde character willing to silence without killing a pair of paladins for the sake of research.), but judging from how Aura Mastery affects other auras, until someone corrects me, I’m going to assume that the casting paladin’s Concentration Aura is required for the silence immunity effect.


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