Posted tagged ‘holy’

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.

Level 40! Time To Get That Healing Offspec

February 24, 2010

I recently received my first email asking for paladin advice. I was super excited! Strangely enough, I get quite a few emails on blogging and writing styles (which I find both flattering and amusing since I’m a noob to blogging and my English education comprises of a few English Second Language classes back in high school), but for whatever reason, I’m very rarely asked about paladin stuff.

The question was from Mike, who has recently hit level 40 on his retribution paladin and was considering grabbing a healing offspec. He was looking for some recommendations and, in my enthusiasm, I replied with a wall of text he’s probably not finished reading yet.

After I hit the “send” button, I thought it would make for a good blog post. With everyone and their cousin leveling healers in the LFD system these days, I’m sure many players would benefit from some pointers. Plus, the last time I leveled a holy paladin was 4 years ago, so I’m sure you guys have stuff to add that I wouldn’t even have thought of.

So, after the cut is how I would go about building a healer at level 40.
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Holy Specs Debate: The Big Picture as of 3.3

February 1, 2010

Ah, speccing holy! For no other reason but to confuse us, there are two general PvE trends: Holy/Prot, sometimes called Bubble Spec, and Holy/Ret, sometimes called Crit Spec.

Making choices shouldn't be frightning.

There are tiny sparks of discussion floating around the internet, but I have yet to see someone address the issue the way I want it addressed. Ferraro’s holy speccing guide needs to be updated (I think it will be soon). The Holy Paladin does an excellent job of describing both specs, but doesn’t tie them together (here and here). At World of Matticus, @Dtotheug and jeffo briefly skimmed over the topic and left me spectually frustrated (sorry, bad joke, couldn’t help myself). At WoW.com, Chase Christian did a good job on his Holy 101 article, but I’d like to go more in depth. There’s the occasional thread on specs at Plus Heal, but forums are limiting. So I’m taking matters into my own hands.

Here’s the deal with the two holy spec trends.

Bubbles and Crits : An Overview

A Bubble Spec, 51/17/0+3 for example, is all about utility. Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian (DS/DG) are considered must haves for progression raids (read about them in 3.3 here!). Your Sacred Shield, a respectable source of damage mitigation, gets a boost via the Divine Guardian talent as well. The lowered cooldown on Hand of Protection is a favorite of mine for keeping those unruly dps (and occasional overzealous healing priest) under control. Stoicism, Improved Righteous Fury and the extra point in Toughness are lovely to have when you want to do some BGs without having to switch to a PvP spec. While they are considered PvP talents, they also shine at the most crucial moments in raids.

A Crit spec, 51/0/15 +5 for example, maximizes healing output and mana conservation/regen. Depending on what you do with your extra points, you can get 5 to 8% extra crit. What does that mean? It means your mana efficient Flash of Light heal and your instant Holy Shock have a higher chance of hitting harder. Harder is good, we like hard. Ok, the crit also boosts your already crazy powerful Holy Light heals, which will likely all go to overheal. Still, a toe-curling Holy Light crit has triggered many sighs of relief in my WoW life and shouldn’t be disregarded.

Who says crit also says Illumination. The more you crit, the more mana back you get. Everyone likes mana back, especially new 80 healers being tortured by merciless dps standing in junnk and pulling aggro left and right.

Other landmarks in the Crit spec are access to Heart of the Crusader and Improved Blessing of Might, should your raid be depending on you to contribute these buffs.

For discussion on debatable or “optional” talents, scroll down some! Also inserting cut due long long long post.
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Divine Sacrifice in 3.3: What You Need to Know

December 12, 2009

It’s no secret, I love gimmicky spells and Divine Sacrifice (affectionately, DS) gives me my money’s worth. It got changed with 3.3 (I don’t like to think of it as nerfed) and the patch notes are, um, interesting, to say the least. I did play around with some math when the changes to DS were first announced, however further changes have outdated that post (WHICH I WILL NOT LINK) and I don’t think it’s worth fixing. What is worth doing, though, is compiling the important stuff for reference purposes. Because, you know, if it concerns paladins, then it’s important. (Duh!)

The changes that went live, copied and pasted from the patch notes, are as follows (skip this if you don’t care):

Protection
* Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
* Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.

This left us with the following end result:

You better work you stupid picture that I spend tons of time cutting and pasting

What this means in plain English:

The damage redirected to the paladin by Divine Sacrifice is party-only, covers up to 30% of the party’s damage and maxes out at either twice the paladins health (assuming a full party) or when the paladin’s health is at 20%, whichever happens first.

When specced into Divine Guardian as well, hitting the Divine Sacrifice spell also offers a raid-wide 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds, regardless of whether or not Divine Sacrifice is canceled.

Also, while bubbling during Divine Sacrifice (Bubble Sac!) used to increase the damage redirected to the paladin beyond the paladin’s health cap, this is no longer the case. As a result, the spell is somewhat less effective, even within a party.


So what do we do with this?

Before I say anything else, I want to point out that Divine Sacrifice (DS – 1 talent point) and Divine Guardian (DG – 2 talent points) are connected and are respectively 10 and 15 points into the protection tree, meaning that a paladin will have to go at least 17 points into the protection tree to get full benefit from the spell.

Retribution paladins

Elitist Jerks has concluded that the DS/DG is not worth speccing into for PvE. DG is just too far down the prot tree and DS isn’t useful enough on its own. They recommended going up the holy tree for Aura Mastery when the urge for a utility spell strikes. PvP is a different story, with one point into DS being fine.

Protection Paladins

Theck from Maintankadin suggests getting the DS/DG talents and using the following macro to take advantage of the 20% raid wall without taking unnecessary damage:

#show
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/in 0.5 /script CancelUnitBuff(“player”,”Divine Sacrifice”)

Note that you might need an Ace2 addon to get the macro to work, but most players will have at least some addon installed with Ace2 included. There is an alternative macro, however you will have to hit it twice for it to work:

/cast Divine Sacrifice
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice

Using Divine Sacrifice without canceling it immediately can also be a strategy for paladin tanks willing to spare their party damage, but it is best used while not main tanking something.

Holy Paladins

I haven’t found any buzz about recommended spec changes. I have been wondering whether many holy paladins would take advantage of the “nerf” do Divine Sac to move into a Holy/Ret spec for the extra crit, but it seems like everyone is sticking with their current specs. What can I say? We love our utility.

Raid leaders

Because of the party-only effect of Divine Sacrifice, placing paladins who use the spell for the party damage mitigation in separate groups is ideal. Alternatively, placing 2 or 3 such paladins in the tank group for extra CDs is another strategy.

The party effect of DS will cancel if the casting paladin’s health drops below 20%, so the paladin will have to bubble in order to get full benefit from the spell. The bubble cooldown is 5 minutes (barring tier bonuses) and DS has a 2 minute cooldown.

Anything to add bossy paladin blog person?

Now that DS can’t kill us, we can use it without bubbling and keep the spell on cooldown, which is very nice. It lets us fit it into our regular fighting so we don’t have to save it for special abilities or OMG ITS ALMOST A WIPE moments. The spell is more effective if we bubble, but I like the freedom of being able to adapt as needed. One can never be too flexible.

Also, I was looking at some post-3.3 raid stats. One of our ret paladins who is still specced into DS (but not DG) did do some reasonable mitigation (40kish) during a Deathwhisper fight. This isn’t the time or the place to compare the usefulness of DS and Aura Mastery in a retribution build, but there’s room for thought (unless the discussion already took place in the 200 pages of retribution discussion on EJ that I didn’t read).


Where can I find more information on this amazing topic?

3.3 Patch Notes: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
Divine Sacrifice Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64205
Divine Guardian Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53530
Elitist Jerks Retribution thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t68951-retribution_updated_3_3_a/#Talent_Options
Caer Morrighan’s 3.3 Retribution take: http://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/retribution-paladins-in-patch-3-3/
Maintankadin 3.3 spec thread: http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/forum/index.php?f=1&t=26864&rb_v=viewtopic
Rhidach’s takes on 3.3 for Tankadins:
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/10/the-definitive-divine-sacrificeguardian-macro/
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/08/patch-3-3-for-tankadins/

My first meme-that-is-not-a-meme!

October 27, 2009

Jessabelle, aka Miss Medicina, recently came up with a great initiative to encourage some of us newer healing bloggers to get to know each other. While I’m not technically a healing blogger, I do find myself talking about paladin healing more often than I talk about tanking. Besides, I’m so flattered and excited about being tagged that I would gladly write about anything asked of me. Yes, anything.

I’m a bit run down with a fever, so my brain is soggy, but I’ll do my best to provide coherent and thoughtful answers.

So here’s how it works:

Post this questionnaire, with your answers, on your blog. Pick the healing class you know most about (or is the focus of your blog) for the questionnaire, and then send it over to another healing blogger you know and love who heals with a DIFFERENT class. Include a link to the blogger who sent you the questionnaire, as well as a link to the blogger to whom you are sending it.

1- What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Rykga, paladin, mainspec prot, offspec holy, bubble spec

2- What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
Mainly 25 man raiding, but I do 10s about once a week, 5 mans a few times a week and the occasional BG healing. Note that I’m primarily a tank in pve, although I do run as a healer rather frequently.

3- What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Hmm. Our pure healing spells are kind of crappy! I’d have to say Divine Sacrifice, which isn’t exactly a healing spell. I just really love gadgets and anything gadgety. While situational spells tend to be despised by the average player, they’re generally my favorites. It’s fun to plan around: “ok, I’ll use my DS on the first Frozen Blows, no wait, I’ll save it for the third when the healers are low on mana”. It’s not powerful enough to use as an “oh shit” button, but I love giving the healers a little cushion whenever I bubble. Trying to figure out how it works is also loads of fun. Bonus point about DS: I can fit it in all my specs!

4-What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
Um. Not really a healing spell but Divine Favor. Why? Because I haven’t macroed it into a combo with my Holy Shock and I rarely think to use it. Hey, we all have our weaknesses!

5-What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
We have rock solid, toe-curling, in-yo-face spells. Lots of sustained and burst tank healing. We can keep a tank up – or save one that was neglected, without breaking a sweat. We can also heal two targets at once, perfect for those 2 tank fights.

6-What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
Can’t move, dammit! Every time I end up in the fire, I have to interrupt my holy light, move, lose whatever haste buff I had, start casting again, only for the tank to die 0.0001sec before I’m finished the spell. I exaggerate, but moving is difficult and your timing has to be perfect. We’re also not great at raid healing. When 2-3 people take damage at a time, it’s no biggie, but when the entire raids decides to hang out in green goo, my little AoE splash heals aren’t much help.

7- In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
As a paladin, tank healing all the way. As a person, I especially enjoy doing little tasks that call for a bit of extra situation awareness. Healing Kologarn’s fist or Jaraxxus’ Incinerate flesh help me stay awake during those late, late raids. Funny thing is that my healing leader discovered that I liked those things before I did. First time I was assigned to heal Kolo’s fist people, I was indignant: “what do you mean I’m not healing the MT?!?!” After the fight, I whispered him: “you were right, I loved it.”

8- What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
It really depends! When we’re sharing a target, I’d have to say Disc priests. The damage on the tanks just seems less spikey with a disc priest nearby. If I’m 2 man healing a 10 man, then either druids, shamans or certain holy priests. In my experience, personal style has a larger impact on who makes a good partner than their class.

9- What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
Again, it depends! In a 25 man, I really don’t care who I’m healing with. If I’m 2 man healing a 10, then I find it most difficult with a disc priest or fellow pally. But for the most part, it depends more on the individual I’m healing with than their class.

10- What is your worst habit as a healer?
I always forget Divine Favor! I’m also terrible at mana management. Because I don’t heal regularly, I’m not in touch with my mana bar. I either end the fight at 95% mana, or meleeing because I’m dry. There’s no in between.

11- What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
I have to agree with Jes here- I really hate when people say “so and so needs heals!” over vent, as if I wasn’t staring at health bars. But then, I’m guilty of calling out when I need heals too. I do, however, wait until I’m at low health for quite some time before inquiring if my healer fell asleep. I also have trouble when I’m raiding with other holy paladins because I get very critical about technique.

12- Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
With other healers, yes, I think we’re neither inferior nor superior to other classes overall. We are probably the most challenged class when it comes to raid healing, but we make up for it by being such strong tank healers, and we have cool buttons like Hand of Salv and Hand of Protection.

13- What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
When my target doesn’t die before I do, it’s usually sign that I’m doing a decent job! I make sure that I used my Hand spells (Salv and Protection, sometimes Freedom), my bubble and DS at the right times. I do look at my stats, but evaluating paladin healing isn’t straightforward. On the more difficult fights, I’ll make sure that I kept Judgments of the Pure and Light’s Grace up most of the time, I check to see how much I was using Sacred Shield and Beacon and I compare my use of Holy Light and Flash of Light with the amount of damage taken by the tank.

14- What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
Hmm, I’m not sure! I don’t hear people talk about holy paladins that much. On the Plus Heal forums, there will be the occasional thread from a raid leader wondering why he should take a holy paladin on a raid when he could take a disc priest. Never having been in a guild where all the healers min/max, I can’t speak from a theory crafting perspective, but in my casual raiding experience, a good holy paladin and a good disc priest are pretty much equal. If you have to pick between the two based on class, pick the one that could supply whatever buffs are missing from your raid.

15- What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
Oh boy! The hardest thing for competitive-dps-turned-holy paladin to learn is that the meters represent very little of how good you are as a healer. You can have the HPS of a monster, if you can’t work with other healers, your timing is off and you don’t use your spells appropriately, you’re not getting the most out of your class. For people who are new to raiding all together, then it seems to be remembering to keep Beacon up and use it. Also, Flash of Light tends to be greatly overestimated. FoL is great in 5 mans, pvp or when you outgear the content, but if your target is constantly dying, for the love of the Light, use a stronger spell!

16- If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
It depends on the fight. On fights with a lot of tank damage, we shine and look fabulous on overall healing output. Otherwise, we’ll usually be somewhere in the middle with a lot of overheal. My guild has a casual approach to raiding, so how each player looks on recount is more due to their personal style than to their class.

17- Haste or Crit and why?
Haste. We’re pretty good for mana supply, so the faster we can pump out our consistent, big heals, the better. Crit used to be godly for paladins, but it’s role in mana regen has been significantly reduced, which lessened its appeal. I also run with a bubble spec (as opposed to a crit spec) so I prefer to focus on timing and reliability than crit.

18-What healing class do you feel you understand least?
I’m terrible with other healing classes. I just can’t keep them straight! Shamans are probably the class I have the least grasp on because the ones I play with are very quiet and don’t get involved in mechanics discussions.

19- What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
Grid+clique. Amazing what you can configure those addons to do for you! Otherwise, I like Omen because it tells me who’s about to pull aggro (Hand of Salv FTW!). I think that’s pretty much it.

20- Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Intellect above all. I love having a delicious mana pool I can swim around in. After that, Spell power and Haste. I don’t ignore mp5 like I used to, but I still don’t find it as important as the previous 3 stats.

So now I need to tag another blogger! The thing is, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world so I have no idea if these people will ever know I tagged them. But here are some newer healing bloggers that I would love to hear more from:

Leafie over at Leaf-Head, who is a healing druid and, according recent posts, experimenting with the arena world.

Andracon from Empowered Healing, a newer member of the priest community who makes great posts that always leave me wanting to hear more!

(Quick, everyone spam click on the links so they know they’ve been tagged!)

Also be sure to check out the other people who’ve answered this questionnaire!


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