Posted tagged ‘mists of pandaria’

Heroic Megaera’s Diffusion Mystery

July 9, 2013

EDIT: I updated the numbers in the post following the excellent comments by Vixsin and Lakh. I have very little background with this sort of thing, so the help is very appreciated! I hope no one read the post expecting revelations and great number gymnastics. I’m only a curious healer who tends to fixate on minor details and who doesn’t turn away from a challenge. I have no answers myself, but there are some great comments in the comment section for those looking for information.

Ever since I stumbled across a parse where I randomly did 5 million healing from Diffusion, I’ve been fixated on figuring out how that spell works.

magsspellsbefore

Sadly, after hours and hours of pulling my hair out, I still don’t know.

In theory, Diffusion (available only on Heroic mode) is a debuff the Arcane Head puts on anyone who gets hit by its Arcany breath. The debuff redirects 10% of healing received to targets within 8 yards. It also stacks, which, if I understand right, would redirect 30% of healing received.

In practice, it is certainly a debuff put on Breath takers by the Arcane head that causes nearby players (and pets) to get healed, but how exactly it works is a still a mystery to me, even after I’ve gone nearly bald going through logs.

Anyone who, following this post, has further insight, is welcomed to share it. I’m happy to provide links to the actual logs if anyone wants to give it a go for themselves as well. Maybe I’ll finally get some closure and be able to move on with my WoW life.

Everything under the cut. Also, if you’re looking for guides on working World of Logs, I suggest you check out this post and this post, since I won’t be going into details on the how-tos.

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

January 8, 2013

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!

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!

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

December 30, 2012

Better late than never, right? I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can finish this guide by the next expansion. (2 years, is it? I can do this in 2 years.)

So now that we’ve explored Stats and Talents, the next logical step is Glyphs. Glyphs, actually, are fairly similar to the new talent system, but add an extra fun dimension to building a character. We get two types of Glyphs: Major and Minor. Major Glyphs directly affect existing abilities while Minor Glyphs, for the most part, just make abilities look cooler.

I won’t go into Minor Glyphs since they have very little effect on gameplay (though Glyph of the Falling Avenger can help during Tillers Dailies). I do, however, highly recommend Glyph of the Luminous Charger because, you know, we’re shiny paladins and our mounts should reflect that.

I divided the Major Glyphs into possible uses to make the post more efficient. I left out the ones that affect retribution- or protection-only abilities but included everything else, for the sake of completion.

Healing Style

These glyphs all affect how you’ll be healing. I fit Divine Plea into this category because the nature of the Glyph has very little effect on mana regen and a lot of effect on how you’ll fit the spell into your healing.

Glyph of Light of Dawn: Light of Dawn heals for more, but hits less targets. I’ve yet to find a use for this. In 5s and 10s, I get better results by putting Eternal Flame on everyone than by casting Light of Dawn, while in 25s, if I’m using Light of Dawn then I want to hit as many people as possible. Feel free to experiment and share your discoveries, though. Rating: Your mileage may vary.

Glyph of Flash of Light: If you cast Flash of Light, your heals for the next 7 seconds will heal for more. For the most part, unless you’re a weird Flash of Lighting paladin, this Glyph is a wasted slot. I have found use for it, however, on Tsulong’s Day Phase where Flash of Light can be a smart spell choice. Rating: Situational.

Glyph of Beacon of Light:
Removes the global cooldown on Beacon of Light, making this Glyph lovely for tank or target switching fights. Feng and Garalon come to mind as fights where I like to use this Glyphs. Also, if you’re running with a less experienced team where the tanks tend to die (or fight over aggro), this Glyph can be handy. Rating: Situational.

Glyph of Divine Plea: Removes the healing penalty from Divine Plea but adds a (freaking long) cast time. If you’re new to paladin healing, are just gearing or running with a less experienced team, this Glyph sucks. The healing penalty is a little annoying, but the cast time is deadly. I’m sure it becomes less of a pain as Mastery shields and Eternal Flame ticks become powerful enough to keep targets alive during the 5 second cast and quite a few commenters stopped by to say they loved the Glyph (so do try it) but I’m hesitant to go back to it. Rating: Your mileage may vary.

Glyph of the Battle Healer: You heal the raid a little when you melee. It does very little healing, but if I can melee on a fight and I can’t find a third useful Glyph, I’ll use it. A teeny bit of healing is better than no healing. Rating: Filler glyph.

Mana

These Glyphs are all about mana. Because we like our mana.

Glyph of Illumination: Affect mana regen via manipulation of Spirit and Holy Shocks. To see if you’d benefit from this Glyph, Joe Ego (theorycrafter at Leveling Holy and Elitist Jerks) made a spread sheet. To use, make a copy of the spread sheet, plug the appropriate numbers in the blue squares and look at your graph. Basically, those who’d get use out of the Glyph run with low Spirit and never miss a Holy Shock. Which isn’t many of us. It might make a good Glyph for someone wanting to try an all-Intellect gemming style combined with a Tier 4-piece. Rating: Rarely useful.

Glyph of Divinity: Increased the cooldown of Lay on Hands but adds a 10% mana return. Good in combination with the Unbreakable Spirit talent. I’ve come to use this Glyph as baseline, since I rarely want to use Lay on Hands more than once or twice per fight, and an emergency mana button is always appreciated. Rating: Go for it.

Self Preservation

These Glyphs affect self-healing or incoming damage reduction. Sometimes they add a bonus to your healing, other times they just keep you from having to blindly trust your raid healers.

Glyph of Divine Protection: Adds a physical damage reduction component to Divine Protection but lowers the magical damage reduction component. For fights with a lot of physical damage, this Glyph is like a ray of light shining through the clouds (with, you know, naked baby angels singing and stuff). Wind Lord Mel’jarak’s Rain of Blades comes to mind. But if a fight is mostly magical, leave this Glyph at home. Rating: Situational.

Glyph of Avenging Wrath:
You get some health back while Avenging Wrath is active. If you’re using Avenging Wrath on cooldown, most of the health back will be overheal, but I could see the use on fights with constant raid damage (like Garalon or Tsulong) if you can’t think of anything better to use as a third Glyph. Use in combination with the Sanctified Wrath talent for maximum effect. Rating: Rarely useful.

Glyph of Protector of the Innocent: You get some health back every time you use Word of Glory (and it works with Eternal Flame too). This Glyph is a waste if you’re using primarily Light of Dawn as your Holy Power sink, but if, like most Holy Pallies, you use a lot of Word of Glory/Eternal Flame this is a fantastic Glyph, especially on fights with a lot of raid damage. Rating: Common Situational.

Damage

These are all Glyphs that affect damage output. You’ll rarely use them for raiding (though they might come in handy to beat an enrage timer), but you’ll love them if you want to do your dailies in Holy spec, run challenge modes or are bored in 5s heroics or Scenarios. I couldn’t find any solid numbers for dps increases per Glyph and my napkin math was inconclusive, so I’ll just explain the Glyphs and let you decide which respond best to your dps needs.

Glyph of Word of Glory: After healing with Word of Glory, your damage output increases by 3% for 6 seconds. Our dps is pretty low, so on it’s own, this Glyph won’t make miracles.

Glyph of Double Jeopardy: Judging a different target does double damage. I did the math with my spellpower and the Glyph gave me a 1400dps increase. Take that as you will.

Glyph of Denounce: Holy Shock has a 50% change to reduce your Denounce cooldown. Which means that, on average, every 12 seconds, your Denounce will take 0.75 seconds to cast instead of 1.5 seconds (or slightly less, depending on your haste).

Glyph of Harsh Words: Lets you use your Word of Glory offensively, provided you don’t have the Eternal Flame talent. Since I always end up with tons of Holy Power I can’t use when trying to kill things in Holy spec, I would probably go with this as a Holy DPS Glyph. I’d use it in combination with the Sacred Shield talent if soloing, or possibly Selfless Healer if running instances.

PVP and/or CC

Glyph of Blessed Life: You have a 50% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when stunned, feared or immobilized. There is no situation in PvE where you will be any of these states frequently enough for this Glyph to useful (half a chance to gain a single charge? Really?) but perhaps it would have its use in PvP.

Glyph of Rebuke: Increases the cooldown on Rebuke but lengthens the effect. Again, I doubt it’ll ever come in handy in PvE, but PvP adepts might enjoy this Glyphs when quickly killing certain classes.

Glyph of Turn Evil: Instant casts on Turn Evil, but longers cooldowns. I’m not sure how many Demons, Aberrations and NPC Undead are in Pandaria, but this Glyph is available if you want to fear those types of mobs.

Glyph of Blinding Light: Blinding Light knocks down opponents for 3 seconds instead of blinding them for 6. Since damage breaks the blinding effect, this Glyph would let you damage your opponents right after using Blinding Light. I could see uses in PvP or soloing, but rarely for anything else.

And that completes the section on Glyphs. Tune in next time (whenever that might be) for another exciting chapter of Holy Pally 4eva!

Healing Garalon as a Holy Paladin

December 17, 2012

I interrupt my sequence of Holy Paladin Guide posts to whip out a boss healing strat. You see, since my last post, a number of people have sent me healing logs to look at (which is totally fine, I love analyzing logs, they make me happy) and too often the healing strat used on Garalon has made me yell out “NOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOO!”

garalon

Curious as to how I would it?

I hope so.

Here’s how I would distribute healers for this fight:

Kiters (and backup tanks): Holy Paladin
Tanks: Disc Priest or second Holy Paladin
Raid: Everyone else

I’ve yet to try the fight on 10, but my instinct would say have the Holy Paladin on Kiters and Tanks and the second (and third, if applicable) healer on the entire raid.

Why a Holy Pally to heal Kiters?

So far, Garalon is my absolute favorite fight to heal. The mechanics of a kiter taking huge amounts of damage and two tanks taking sporadic damage play into our strengths with so much precision that it’s almost as if the fight itself were designed to pay tribute to our class.

My guild at the time first tried using a Druid on the Kiters (where they got THAT idea, I have not a clue). It was quite disastrous, with both the Kiter and the Druid dying frequently. Then I started pitching in despite being assigned to the tanks (I’m a pally dammit, I can handle a Kiter and two tanks). While I wasn’t even the official Kiter healer, I still ended up doing most of the healing. By next raid I was begging to be the official Kiter healer. Garalon bit the dust a few attempts later.

With a proper healing technique, keeping the Kiters alive (while still doing significant healing on the tanks) is totally possible, and actually pretty easy. Which is why I encourage you Holy Pallies out there to campaign for your right to heal Garalon kiters.

Recommended Talents and Glyphs

Level 15: Doesn’t matter
Level 30: Doesn’t matter
Level 45: Eternal Flame (if you are healing the kiters, don’t even try anything else)
Level 60: Unbreakable Spirit or Clemency (Purity won’t work on this fight. I tend to side with Clemency because Hand of Sacrifice is so good here, but there could be use for US as well.)
Level 75: Divine Purpose (any could work here, but there will be a lot of use for Divine Purpose)
Level 90: Light’s Hammer if you want an AoE or Execution Sentence if you want to boost your single target healing (I originally thought Holy Prism cast on the boss every 20 seconds would do a lot more healing overall, but testing revealed otherwise.)

Glyphs: Beacon of Light. (The rest is up to you, though I find Protector of the Innocent especially useful on this fight because of the constant raid damage. I tried Battle Healer since I like to melee for mana but it does very little actual healing. Another option would be Glyph of Divinity for the extra mana.)

Debuffs to track on your raid frame

Pungency. (Make sure that you can see the number of stacks.)

Positioning

All hail my mad Paint skillz!

All hail my mad Paint skillz!

Assuming Garalon will be moving in a clockwise position, stand to the right of his front right leg.

In this position, you should be in range of the Kiter and both tanks and close enough to melee for mana (and Battle Healer) on the front right leg. You can possibly reach Garalon himself. As our big bug turns, keeping a proper position should only take minimal movement, giving you plenty of time to cast to your little heart’s content.

Pre-Pull Prep

Have a Beacon of Light on your first Kiter (generally this will be one of your tanks). If you have time, get a maxed out Mastery bubble on your Beacon target, then toss a 3 Holy Power Eternal Flame on them to keep your Mastery from falling off.

If your guild takes forever to pull, use that time to put maxed out Mastery bubbles with 3 Holy Power Eternal Flames on both tanks.

If you still haven’t pulled yet, dump Eternal Flame on yourself, then on everyone else.

During the Fight

Keep Beacon on the current Kiter. Have 3 Holy Power Eternal Flames rolling on the Kiter and both tanks. If you have some wiggle-room, get an Eternal Flame up on yourself. If you’re bored, put as many Eternal Flames as you can on people in range, but be careful to not let it fall off the Kiter or the tanks.

To build up Holy Power, use Holy Shock on CD. You should be in range of the front right leg (and sometimes of the boss) so you can use Crusader Strike too. There’s a lot of raid damage going on so Holy Radiance is never a waste (use it on a non-tank, non-kiting melee if possible) but it can use up your mana bar pretty fast. And since your Kiter will be taking a lot of damage, a Divine Light will also be helpful to charge your Holy Power.

Hand of Sacrifice is to be used a lot on this fight. You can choose to use it on cooldown, or time it to help out on Kiter transitions. (When I was learning the fight, we had a Warlock who was squishier than the rest. I always made sure I timed my Sacrifice for it to be available to keep him alive during his transitions.)

Handling Transitions

Watch the stacks on the Kiter. When it is almost time to change Kiters (most guilds aim for a transition at 20 stacks, in which case you’d begin your process at about 16 stacks), get a 3 Holy Power Eternal Flame on the receiving Kiter, and transfer your Beacon. Make sure Eternal Flame doesn’t fall off your original Kiter until the transition is completely over and they are safely back in range of the raid healers.

By the time the new Kiter gets his first stack of Pungency, he should have Beacon and a 3 HP Eternal Flame on him.

If a transition is difficult, time your Hand of Sacrifice and Aura Mastery to be available for it.

Keeping yourself alive

If you are positioned right, you should in be in range of the raid healers. But to help them out, keep an Eternal Flame going on yourself whenever you can, and use Divine Shield and Divine Protection whenever they’re off CD.

Staying alive should be easy.

Now go out to play!

Like any fight use your CDs right and use them often, follow the strat and you should have a blast on Garalon!

EDIT: I made some changes to the post in light of some of the points raised in the comments. Huge thanks to everyone who left some input. It’s players like you guys who make it so much fun to be a holy pally.

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

December 9, 2012

Yay it’s finally time for part 2!

For once I don’t feel like writing a really long general intro so I’m just going to skip to the really long specific intro.

Intro to MoP Talents

I was amused when MoP Talents were released and guide-writers painfully treated them like old fashioned talents, mapping them into “you should do this” cookie cutters. The new talents don’t work that way. The new talents are fluid.

In theory, this means you switch them around based on fights and strategy. In practice, this means you experiment with most of them and eventually settle on a combination that works for you 98% of the time.

Originally I was going to include Glyphs in this post, but it turns out there’s an awful lot to say about talents. Glyphs will have to wait for their own post.

overall talents

Specialization VS Talents VS Glyphs

I’m writing this fairly late into Mists, so most of you know the difference between talents and specializations and can safely skip to the next section. But say you’re just coming back to the game after a hiatus. Or! You’re completely new to the game altogether (in which case, yay! We love you!). This section is for you.

Specialization or “spec”, as a paladin, defines your role. Holy is for healing, Retribution is for damage, Protection is for tanking. With me being primarily a Holy Paladin, I’m really only qualified to talk about that spec.

Talents are a completely different feature. At levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 you’re given the choice between three “talents” (if you’re using the default settings, use “N” to bring up talents). Talents can be either new abilities, or modifications on existing abilities. The difference between the old (and the more traditional RPG) talent system and this one is how every character in a given class (so in our case, all Paladins), regardless of spec, choose between the same talents (though some talents might behave differently based on spec).

Glyphs are a similar (but distinct) feature: extra abilities or ability modifications you can choose from. Again, all specs have access to all glyphs, but some glyphs may be useless to certain specs.

Glyphs and talents can be individually swapped around using Tome of the Clear Mind, which can be purchased from a variety of NPCs or made by Scribes. Gone are the days of spending 15 minutes mapping out your choices, only to have to start all over if you catch a mistake.

Level 15: Speed Boost

level15

You get to choose between a running speed cooldown (Speed of Light), a speed boost after Judging (Long Arm of the Law) and a small speed boost that increases with Holy Power (Pursuit of Justice).

I played with all 3, using Long Arm of the Law when doing dailies in ret spec and Pursuit of Justice for long runs back after wipes. In the end, though, Speed of Light ended up being the most convenient, both for raiding and for wandering around Pandaria. Your mileage may vary.

Level 30: Your Crowd Control

level30

Here you get a choice between a longer range and shorter cooldown to Hammer of Justice (Fist of Justice), a solid 1 minute crowd control (Repentance) and a debuff slowing enemies’ movement speed (Burden of Guilt).

As a PvE healer, I honestly don’t use any of these very much. I run with Fist of Justice most of the time but only really use it in 5s heroics when running with a clumsy tank.

When I’m doing my dailies in ret spec Repentance helps for “free the mind controlled guards” type quests and Burden of Guilt is nice for killing mobs who flee (think vermin during Tillers dailies)… I could see Burden of Guilt having use in PvP, but my knowledge of PvP too limited for this paragraph.

Level 45: The Interesting Level

level45

Selfless Healer makes Flash of Light stronger and cheaper after you Judge, Eternal Flame adds a HoT (heal over time) component to Word of Glory and Sacred Shield adds an absorb shield to a target.

Understanding this level takes a good knowledge of our healing spells, so if you’re a brand new holy paladin, you might want to come back to this section after reading the (to-be-written) “basic healing technique” section.

Unless you have a weird Flash of Light based style, you won’t be giving Selfless Healer a test drive. (It could maybe have some use if you’re having trouble healing the Spirit World on Gara’jal, but as a general rule Eternal Flame is really nice on that fight.)

Eternal Flame is the preferred talent of most. It’s fantastic in small groups or for tank/single target healing, and it allows for a technique called “Eternal Flame blanketing” that I’ll cover later on.

Sacred Shield has less healing potential on its own than Eternal Flame, but it is sometimes used in 25s raids (or world bosses) in situations where you tend to use Light of Dawn over Word of Glory as your Holy Power sink.

If you’re a beginner and/or if you’re running 5s, go with Eternal Flame. If you’re running 10s, Eternal Flame will generally be your go-to talent (with maybe the occasional exception). If you’re running 25s, you can choose between Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield based on your healing style, your assignment and the fight.

Level 60: Damage mitigation Cooldowns

level60

This level is a lot of fun because your choices really let you adapt to different situations.

Hand of Purity is ideal for bosses who put DoTs (damage over time) on your healing targets (think Heroic Stone Guard – this might also work during Titan Gas phase on Will of the Emperor though I haven’t tested it, note that it does NOT work for Garalon’s Pheromones as counter-intuitive as that seems. Thank you to @Miskat0nic for clarifying.). One of my favorite tanks once described it as “6 seconds of love”.

Unbreakable Spirit reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield, Divine Protection and Lay on Hands based on your Holy Power usage (which should be high). Since it’s a passive ability (in other words, you don’t have to think about it), it’s nice to have as a baseline talent, especially if you’re new to paladin healing and are already suffering from cooldown-induced ulcers.

Clemency lets you use your Hands of Sacrifice, Freedom, Protection and Salvation twice before triggering the cooldown. This is especially wonderful for dealing with bad tanks in random groups since your Hands help you manipulate tank damage and aggro. Otherwise it comes in handy for bosses who deal REALLY BIG HITS (Sacrifice), for dispelling on the trash before Elegon and Will of the Emperor (Freedom FTW!) and to flirt with Warriors, Death Knights, Rogues and Retribution Paladins (Protection always gets their attention).

Level 75: Your Healing Boosts

level75

Your choices at 75 are between a Holy Power (and select heal) boosting cooldown (Holy Avenger), an added effect to Avenging Wrath reducing the cooldown to Holy Shock while Avenging Wrath is active and increasing the uptime of Avenging Wraths (Sanctified Wrath) and a passive ability that will sometimes give you a free full strength Light of Dawn or Word of Glory (Divine Purpose).

To beginners, I say start with Sanctified Wrath. Since it modifies an existing cooldown, it doesn’t add ANOTHER button to worry about. And you can’t go wrong with more Holy Shock casts and longer Avenging Wraths.

Holy Avenger is a somewhat complex talent (Kurn breaks it down here), and one I haven’t played much with. It’s an extra cooldown to think of, but it allows for strategic healing.

Divine Purpose would be lovely except that, like all random-proc abilities, it never procs when you need it too.

Personally, I primarily play with, as odd as it might sound, Divine Purpose. Because of my playstyle (which I’ll describe in a future post), the randomness generally doesn’t bother me and I like not having yet another cooldown to worry about. But, like I mentioned earlier, beginners should go with Sanctified Wrath. And if you’re an absolute control freak, you’ll probably enjoy Holy Avenger.

Level 90: Your Fun AoE Spell

level90

Holy Prism, when cast on an ally will give you a cheap (but not free), instant single target heal. Strength-wise it’s about equivalent to a Divine Light. You also get a bit of AoE damage on nearby enemies. When cast on an enemy, you get some damage on the enemy (nice for challenge runs, scenarios, dps races and when you’re bored) and a moderate (between a Holy Shock and a Flash of Light in strength) heal on 5 nearby teammates. This is nice for fights with burst AoE damage (Elegon and Blade Lord Ta’yak come to mind), especially in 10s. It looses power in stationary fights with small, periodic damage. The 20 second cooldown can be inconvenient as well since you have to monitor it.

Light’s Hammer has a very cool graphic (always important) and provides a nice area of periodic healing on the ground for about 20 seconds. The spell is mana-free, can be cast every minute and will heal any teammate standing in the effect. As a 25s raider, I use this talent most of the time. On 10 man, it loses some of its potency, with perhaps the exception of stacking fights with small, periodic damage (think Titan Gas on Will of the Emperor). Fights with constant movement tend to take away from Light’s Hammer’s usefulness as well.

Execution Sentence, while great as an offensive spell for doing dailies, is less attractive than the other two options. As a single target heal over time with a burst at the end, it doesn’t compliment our already super-strong single target healing style the way the AoE-ish Holy Prism and Light’s Hammer do.

Go Forth and Experiment

The best thing about these talents is how much room there is for experimenting. If you don’t like your current setup, it only takes a second between fights to switch a talent. You can also jot down potential talent choices for individual fights while doing your pre-raid boss strat learning. For example:

- Massive DoT on the tank(s) (or on a various raid members): Think Hand of Purity (level 60)
– Need to help with crowd control: Repentance (level 30)
– Fight required sudden quick movement: Speed of Light (level 15)
– Small, but constant AoE damage on the raid: Consider Light’s Hammer (level 90)
– Massive, predictable damage spikes on the tanks: Clemency (level 60) and Eternal Flame (level 45)
– Need to run fast for extended periods of time: Pursuit of Justice (level 15)

Feel free to share your own and I’ll add them to the list (with credit given)!

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

November 2, 2012

Miss me much? I would have updated sooner, but I was too busy doing dailies.

(I actually kind of like not mind the dailies, but then my first three weeks of Mists coincided with a nightmare at my real life job. I was grateful to lose myself in dailies here and there, whenever I could spare a few hours.)

You and me, we’re going to play a little game called Can Ophelie churn out an entire MoP Paladin healing guide (which will undoubtedly be outdated before it is even finished) before flying off to Hawaii? I predict a lot of excitement and suspense. Ok, not really, but holy pally talk is always a good time.

Lighthearted comments aside, I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile, as I’ve been telling the many people who’ve asked for my advice. And you know that when people are resorting to asking an absent blogger who always was a little behind on the news, info the holy paladin world must indeed be scarce.

Surprisingly, things are not as dire as one may think: when I did my research for this series of posts, I found several very resourceful writers/bloggers that I wasn’t familiar with. These resourceful people need to start advertising!

I will share these secret links, but only AFTER my own guide is complete (unless references are necessary). So lets gets started.

Short Second Intro

I’m writing the posts in the order I would want to receive the information, if I were a newly 90 pally looking to get started with 5s. To my greatest satisfaction, this order also tends to coincide with the order that other pallies ask me questions in. Therefore we’ve got:

- Stats (with gems, enchants and reforging)
– Talents and Glyphs
– Basic healing (base spells)
– Intermediate healing (cooldown useage)
– Advanced healing (tricks and techniques)

This is the post on stats.

How Will I Know if My Stats Really Love Me?

This is the general consensus on holy paladin stats in MoP:

Spirit > Intellect > Mastery > Haste > Critical Strike

I say general consensus because healing is all about adapting to new situations, and because you’ll always find that one player who maxes out the least favoured spec and just rocks every fight that comes along. But, as my writing teachers always told me, make sure you master the ground rules before breaking them.

Lets have a closer look at these stats.

Spirit – We love you now

With our newly fixed mana pools and Intellect no longer affecting spell regen, your ol’reliable pal is now Spirit. Love it, stack it, show it off.

Especially at first, you’ll want to collect as much Spirit as you can. Try to pick up gear with Spirit on it, if you fail, reforge to Spirit. Enchant for Spirit when available, gem for Spirit.

As you gear up and feel less mana-starved, you can relax a little (but not much) and do things like gem for socket bonuses. But even at that, while a lot of pallies gem for socket bonuses, I still come across some high end holy paladins who ignore socket bonuses and go pure Spirit.

Intellect

Intellect is your strongest throughput stat. It’ll always be on your gear, so don’t let it keep you up at night.

I wouldn’t gem for pure Intellect, but if you do want to match a red socket bonus, a Purified stone (Intellect and Spirit) is pretty sexy.

There’s also some debate between Intellect food/flasks and Spirit food/flasks. I’ve tried both and didn’t notice much of a difference, but I do tend to prefer the Intellect stuff because, as Derevka details brilliantly here, point-per-point, Intellect costs more than Spirit, and thus 300 Intellect is much harder to acquire via gear than 300 Spirit. (Derevka explains it very well, so if you want to know more, I highly recommend his post.)

Mastery? But my Heals Are Taking Too Long!

Mastery has pretty much established its reign as our current top secondary stat. It’s been tried and tested and now all the cool kids are reforging to Mastery.

But I haven’t seen a whole lot of math backing this up (Getsu does do a very good job on his guide at MMO-Champion though), and I’m a translator, not a theorycrafter.

What our Mastery does (just in case you’re a new paladin) is put an absorb shield on your target whenever you heal them. Mastery affects the percentage (%) of the heal that becomes the shield and the shields do stack. There is a maximum strength the shield can reach, however, that seems to be dependent on Intellect (I experimented with some reforging and gear removing). Other than pre-shielding before a pull, though, it’s unlikely you’ll max out your Mastery shields. The shield is called Illuminated Healing, if you’re looking to track it, or find it on logs.

The nice things with Mastery are that it’s mana friendly, makes our overheals worthwhile (as a Divine Light-happy pally I get a lot of overheal) and it allows for a lot of strategic healing.

The complaint I hear most often about choosing Mastery over Haste is that it feels like spells take forever.

This actually gets a lot better as your gear level increases and Haste finds its way to you, but until then, unless you’re a highly competitive player, it’s totally viable to follow a “Haste until comfortable, then Mastery” rule. (I’ll admit I personally have a lot of trouble reforging away from Haste.)

A Summery just for you!

Enchants:

Head: None! Yay!
Shoulders: Greater Crane Wing Inscription (Crane Wing Inscription is the cheap alternative, but usually the inscriptions aren’t expensive. Scribes can use Secret Crane Wing Inscription)
Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
Chest: Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit (Glorious Stats can work too but I prefer Spirit)
Wrists: Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect (Mastery works too, if you’re cheap.)
Gloves: Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery (Greater Haste is an alternative if you can’t give up Haste.)
Belt: Living Steel Belt Buckle
Pants: Greater Pearlescent Spellthread (Cheap alternative: Pearlescent Spellthread)
Boots: Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step (Again, Greater Haste if you’re stuck on Haste.)
Main Hand: Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit (Cheap alternative: Windsong)
Off Hand: Enchant Off-Hand – Major Intellect

Gems:

Sparkling (Spirit) gems can be used in any socket, if you don’t care about bonuses.

Meta: Revitalizing or Ember Primal Diamond (Burning exists too, but it’s really not as good.)
Blue Socket: Sparkling (Spirit)
Red Socket: Purified (Intellect and Spirit)
Yellow Socket: Zen (Spirit and Mastery)

Consumables:

Food: Mogu Fish Stew (Way of the Pot – for Intellect, my preference) or Steamed Crab Surprise (Way of the Steamer – for Spirit)
Flask: Flask of the Warm Sun (Intellect – my preference) or Flask of Falling Leaves (Spirit)

Potions: Potion of Focus (if you have time to use it) and Master Mana Potion (for when there’s no time). Potion of the Jade Serpent (for Intellect boost) and Darkwater Potion (or any other running speed boost) have occasional situational use.

Stats in Action Notes

I went into heroic 5s without paying too much attention to my stats (I even forgot to reforge some pieces to Spirit) and I did fine. So I wouldn’t stress about finding Best-in-Slot gear right from the getgo. Start by getting the best Intellect plate you can, to increase all your stats. Once you’re comfortable with your mana and the strength of your heals, you can start funneling toward better itemization.

Raiding requires a crapton (which is more than just a ton) more mana regen than 5s, mainly because the fights are 3x times longer. Don’t be surprised if your previously never ending mana bar gives you a wakeup call after you make the jump. In terms of differences between 10s and 25s, I didn’t feel much regarding stats. I feel them equally mana demanding, and Mastery tends to be the preferred secondary stat for both types of raiders.

LRF, as opposed to typical raiding, depends on how much effort you put into the fights. I run out of mana in LFR, but I like to pad the meters. The healers who tend to just stand there (typically LFR consists of 2 active healers and 4 healers who just stand there) are always at full mana.

AND THAT CONCLUDES STATS! Back to teh dailies!


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