Posted tagged ‘paladin healing’

Thok Follow Up

January 5, 2014

Ok so, about a month ago (shit, when did time speed up so much?), I made a post about Thok in hopes to improve my healing numbers.

The question: Did it work?

The answer: Not really.

Yes, we got the kill (would have been a one shot if I hadn’t screwed up my fixate AND unknowingly stolen a jailer key). Yes, my Devo Aura and my Hand of Protection and my Bubble helped out (Bubble really shone in the last few seconds after we ran out of CDs and people were dying without any healers being able to cast). But my numbers refused to leave their abyss.

healingnumbers

I showed a pally tank for comparative purposes. (HEY AT LEAST I OUTHEALED THE TANK!)

I didn’t do significantly more healing than my copally who (because informed consent isn’t something I’m strong at) was unaware of the experiment and who wasn’t even using the Cleave trinket. (Granted, I don’t think the Cleave trinket is as powerful for us as for our Holy Priest who gleefully reads out his Cleave heals every attempt: “8%, 10%….12%!!!” Me: “3%” – I may, however, just need to remember that I have it in my bags whenever I visit the item upgrader.) I didn’t pre-pot (that explains it all, yes!?!), but I doubt having an int buff up for the portion of the fight with the least damage going around will have the strongest effect on healing numbers.

Here’s an instant-by-instant reply of my healing compared to everyone elses.

healingflow

We got another kill last night, but I was dead for all of the third Screech phase (the stupid dinosaur didn’t have the decency to properly chase his last fixate target before turning to me, which had him standing in the middle of the room when he fixated me, cornering me and forcing me to sacrifice myself).

Not much I could do while dead.

Not much I could do while dead.

Here’s the healing graph with my pretty pink flat line:

healingflowdead

We’ve been working on Siegecrafter for the last few weeks. Not a whole lot of progress being made, we still rarely reach the first Magnetic phase with more than half the raid alive, but since us pallies are on bench duty a lot (my copally and I take turn – there is always one of us on the bench), the wipes aren’t too painful for me. I’d say it’s one of the only fights where I’m happy to only be there for half of the attempts.

And with that, I wish you all a happy New Year. May 2014 bring you many kills, much glory and bountiful shiny lootses.

Holy Avenger and EF Blanketing – The Results

June 15, 2013

As I was researching yesterday’s post (and by researching, I mean creepy stalking top Holy Pally parsers on World of Logs), I noticed that every one of them was using a healing technique I hadn’t tried:

Holy Avenger on CD, Holy Power built through Holy Radiance and Holy Shock and sunk via Eternal Flame blanketing over as much of the raid as possible.

I checked both 10s and 25s, under the Heroics tab. Both used this trick, though 25s players seemed more likely to blow Divine Favor and Avenging Wrath at the same time as Holy Avenger (time for a macro?) while 10s generally staggered their CDs out more.

So it seems I’m well behind the times (that’s what happens when WoW takes the backseat for months), but I’m sure I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Plus before and after screenshots are always tons of fun.

The Changes

On top of using the Holy Avenger trick, I also started tracking Illuminated Healing (Mastery). I doubt it made a significant difference but it did lightly influence where I would cast my Holy Radiance/Holy Shock/Eternal Flame.

Our healing comp was a bit different than last week too. Last week my Copally was away, and this week we were missing our Monk and Druid S. This would have an effect on how each of us heal in comparison to one and other, but I really don’t think it would account for a drastic change. After all, we rarely use the same healing comp on a given fight from week to week anyway.

In terms of gear, if you look at the past few weeks, my gear will have improved, but between this week and last, the only differences were how I found two pieces that made me to think “I could have sworn I’d reforged these!“, and my weekly VP gear upgrading. So, some influence on my stats, but less than a clear change.

Notes on Throughput and Functionality

This is obviously a post on throughput. Throughput has its place. After all, if healers can’t keep up with the damage or with their teammates, they’re holding the raid back. Plus, guild and healing leads from all brackets (yes, I’ve seen leads from guilds who can’t kill normal Horridon obsess over healing meters) don’t see past meters and HPS. So meter milking is a good skill to have if you want some peace and quiet.

However, throughput is not a replacement for functionality.

A healer’s first priority is to keep the raid (or healing assignment, depending on the team and the fight) alive through every mechanic. Standing still and spamming heals isn’t a luxury most of us have access to. (And even if it were, it doesn’t sound very fun, you know?)

My poor copally, who ended up, without his knowledge (if this were real science, this experiment would never make it past the ethics committee) being a control subject, is by far a better healer than I am. I spend more energy looking up techniques, but he makes less mistakes than me, and doesn’t panic and freeze up the way I do. When it comes to choosing a paladin for exploratory fights, he is the obvious choice.

Once your priorities are covered, though, there’s nothing wrong with taking your art to the next level and squeezing extra out of your character.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Holy Avenger to a freshly-pressed, new paladin. I’d like to see a new paladin healer master Beacon healing, Holy Power cycling and cooldown management before adding yet another CD. Once those are down, then by all means.

For your amusement, here is a list of my screw ups last night as I tried to fit the new technique into my routine:

1- On H-Jin’Rokh, dropped a fissure in the middle of raid.
2- On H-Horridon, almost got eaten by my pink dino (have really no idea how I survived that)
3- On H-Council, drowned in Quicksand
4- On H-Iron Council, got 3 stacks of flame lines, had to bubble, then had no bubble left to mask my inability to handle tornadoes. Also missed my pre-tornado Aura Mastery.

While on the average raid night, I earn no shortage of “that’s not good” and “Rykga, Rykga, Rykga“, the above aren’t mistakes I typically make (except for pre-tornado Aura Mastery. I always screw that one up.)

But enough chitchat. Here are the preliminary results of my healing with Holy Avenger experiement. (Also keep in mind that I was very clumsy with the technique. Imagine what this would look like if my CD timing were perfected!)

(more…)

Holy Paladin Notes for Throne of Thunder: Tortos

April 10, 2013

So. I’ve had the chance to see Throne of the Thunder a few more times since part 1. I started writing part 2, but got as far as Tortos before my blogging juice ran out. After sitting for 3 days on a Tortos write up, I figured I might as well post it. I can do the next fights, well, if I ever get a day off work or something.

(Also realized that April 7 was my fourth bloggiversary! 4 years since I wrote my first post here. It feels just like yesterday, yet like an eternity at the same time. So much has happened since then, so much, so fast! A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s ever read this little corner of the internet, linked to my posts, commented, offered me advice, RTed me on Twitter, hung out with me, invited me to their blog or podscast, got drunk with me or put up with me in any way. And a special cheers to all the guildies and friends over the years who’ve been such good sports about being featured as characters on this blog. You guys are the best – whether it was by or against your will. Here’s to 4 more years of being big grown up kids.)

Tortos

Icy Veins overall strat: http://www.icy-veins.com/tortos-detailed-strategy-wow

Predominate damage type: Physical (Though the raid will smacked by Nature damage from Rockfall)

Suggested Spec and Glyphs: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#l!^N|cnr

Track on your frames: None!

CD timings:
Devotion Aura – If you use it right after the first Quake Stomp, you can probably fit it in again near the end.
Guardian of Ancient Kings – Might be able to fit in twice if you use it right away. You’ll definitely want it off CD for the end.
Divine Favor/Avenging Wrath – You can use them on CD, or right before (or after) a Quake Stomp.
Divine Shield/Hand of Protection – Can be used to evade the stun from Quake Stomp. Hand of Protection can be used on a co-healer while you have Forbearance. Nice for 10s groups who 2-heal.
Divine Protection – Can be use for Quake Stomp or in combination with Hand of Sacrifice on the tanks, if Glyphed. If not Glyphed, use after Quake Stomps.

Move if: You are standing in swirly circles (Rockfall) or a spinning turtle is heading toward you.

Positioning: Kinda spread out. You’ll be moving and dodging most of the fight.

Discussion:

Quake Stomp (physical damage) happens about every 50 seconds. Before Quake Stomp, Rockfall will hit about once every 10 seconds, after Quake Stomp, it’ll be twice per second for 8 seconds, hence all the post-Quake Stomp cooldown suggestions. Toward the very end of the fight, Tortos kind of goes nuts with his little turtles so you’ll like to have some CDs available for that.

For glyphs, I opted for Glyph of Divine Protection to use during Quake Stomp and to help with Hand of Sacrifice. If you’d prefer to use Divine Protection to ease Rockfall’s Nature damage, you can pick another favorite Glyph.

Talentwise, Pursuit of Justice seems the most logical speed increase since you’re constantly running short distances. I haven’t actually tried Burden of Guilt, but I’m told that it can help slow the spinning turtles. I prefer Eternal Flame for level 45, but if you always use Light of Dawn on this fight, you could consider Sacred Shield. Clemency is nice for extra Hands of Protection, though Unbreakable Spirit works well too for more selfish healers (like me). Since there is constant damage throughout the fight, I’d go with Divine Purpose. And, Holy Prism is helpful since most of the raid will be spread out (though on 25 Light’s Hammer still does pretty good healing when used on the melee).

Happy turtle hunting!

Preparing a Fight with World of Logs

January 28, 2013

When I want to really prepare for a fight, I don’t watch dozens of videos, I don’t compare various guides. Nope. When I want to go above and beyond to prepare for a fight, I go to World of Logs.

It can be more time consuming, but the depth of information is priceless. Plus, for those of us who need to apply knowledge in order to learn (if you were the kid who taught themselves math in high school by doing the exercises before reading the theory, WoL fight preparation is for you!), I find it’s the only way to get a solid idea of the fight before the pull.

Since I’ve been studying WoL a lot lately (and spamming posting my findings on my guild forums), I figured I’d share my approach, in case some of you would like to give this method a try.

Note that my strategy for tackling logs varies a bit from fight to fight depending on whether I want to observe general damage patterns, tank healing strategy or boss mechanics. It also depends on how much I already of the fight (learning the heroic version vs a completely new fight).

Together, you and I are going to prepare for Heroic Imperial Vizier Zor’lok.

1- Decide what we’re looking for

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t find it!

Let’s figure out our needs:

1) We (I) already know this fight on normal so we’re not too concerned about mechanics.
2) We know that this is a “heal through Force and Verve and don’t get hit by disks” fight so we’re not too interested in general healing strategies.
3) We do, however, want to get an idea of the overall damage patterns so we can choose our glyphs, talents and plan our cooldowns.

Now that we’ve figured out what we’re looking for, we’ll know not to waste time on individual healer spell breakdowns or incoming tank damage logs.

Instead, we’ll probably spend a lot of time looking at the “Total Damage Taken” graph and matching the spikes with the boss abilities from the Log Browser. We’ll probably also look at the “Deaths Overview” page to see what attacks tend to kill players. We might also want to compare a tank and a non-tank’s Damage Taken graphs with the Total Damage Taken graph.

If this is gibberish to you, don’t worry, I’ll explain it all in time.

2- Collect some background information

It does help to review a strat guide to get an idea of spell names (and general mechanics if this is a completely new fight) before perusing the logs. Even if you can’t understand general strat guides (I usually don’t), keep them opened in tabs for references.

Let’s open the Icy Veins strat and Pardeux’ strat.

3- Find some Logs

findinglogs

To find logs, select the fight (1), the size/difficulty (2) then the link to the kills (3).

To get a decent idea of what you’ll be facing, you’ll want to pick the logs of:

1) A recent kill (patches and hotfixes constantly change fights).
2) A kill in your language (it’s a lot of extra work to decode a foreign spell names).
3) A kill from a guild with comparable dps/healing strength.

findingguild

There are 106 pages of Vizier kills and I know my guild struggles a bit with dps performance, so I’m going straight to my URL bar (1) and to enter page 101 (if you’re not sure of the URL, go to the very bottom of the page and click on the “next” link on the far left. That will bring you to page 2. Then go back to your URL and replace “2” with “101”.)

The “US Guild!” logs seem perfect – fairly recent, in my language and probably in my guild’s dps range.

I’m going to choose logs from another guild in the same range as well for comparison purposes. I’m also going to pull up logs of a recent kill by a top notch guild (in the first 10 pages of the kills list) so I can see how the fight looks when executed perfectly.

4- Note the Length of the Fight

Our “comparable” fights:

fightlength1
fightlength2

And our “top notch” fight:

fightlength3

Building our strat: Knowing the fight varies between 7 and 10.5 minutes is important for cooldown planning. Because the fights are long, we know we can use our “long” cooldowns like Guardian of Ancient Kings twice, and our “medium” cooldowns like Avenging Wrath or Divine Favor at least twice, preferably 3 times.

5- Look at Damage Taken

findingdmgtaken

If you choose Damage Taken from the dropdown bar, you’ll get a graph with a lot of lines. Scroll down to the list below the graphs and uncheck every box. You’ll end up with graphs like this:

dmgtaken1
dmgtaken2
dmgtaken3

The first two are our comparable guilds, the last is the top notch guild.

These graphs make me giddy because they are very much alike. Which means the damage patterns will look like this: spiky at first, then a lull with possible minor spikes, then several intense spikes for the last ~1/3 of the fight.

See the 5 buttons on the top right corner, just under “Total”? You can play with those to check who died to what and when, verify when adds die (not shown in the images I posted, but there are 2 adds in the fight) and show/hide heroism (heroism is shown in the images as the large blue bar).

Building our strat: This fits perfectly with our cooldowns! We’ll pop Guardian of the Ancient Kings and another cooldown for the first major spike. We can use other cooldowns if there are spikes during the “lull” phase, and all cooldowns should be ready for use by the time the final spiky phase comes along. As well, spikes mean we’ll probably want to spec into Holy Avenger for the yummy burst healing.

6- Match up Damage Spikes to Boss Abilities

findinglogbrowser

Open the log browser.

logquery

Once you’re in the log browser, remove the current query (1) (I’m not sure why “Show all events” comes up by default. It did take me a long time to figure out how to use the log browser because of that.) then hit “Add Query” (2). Once you’ve entered your query, hit “Run” (3).

addquery

When you hit “Add Query”, the “Add Query” window pops up. The log browser only shows a limited number of lines so you have to be specific in what you’re looking for. It does take a little practice to become good at finding what you’re looking for but once you figure it out, it’s simple.

For this analysis, I want to look at spells cast (1) by the Source Imperial Vizier Zor’lok (2) (note: spelling is important when using the log browser). Then I hit save.

zorlokcasts

After running the query, the log shows all of Zor’lok’s casts.

The rest is just matching up the spells to the Damage Taken graph. Note that there is often a 5-15 second difference between the timestamps on the log browser and the timestamps on the graph, which can be frustrating and confusing.

We can conclude that all the first minor spike is probably Pheromones of Zeal damage (I would guess comparable guild #2 started the fight on the first platform, hence why they only have one spike at the beginning while the other guilds have 2 spikes), the second is Force and Verve, small spikes in between are people getting hit during Attenuation, medium spikes are likely Converts and the major spikes at the end are Force and Verve during the final phase.

Building our strat: Force and Verve is going to hurt a lot, so we should be ready with our cooldowns as soon as he starts casting it. We also know that Force and Verve and Attenuation are physical damage so Devotion Aura will be useless against them (Devo Aura might be helpful would be during the transition between platforms or MAYBE during Convert, since those are the only times any Magic damage will be going out). Hand of Protection, however, might be nice making Clemency an interesting talent choice. We should glyph Divine Protection, and we could combine it with Unbreakable Spirit instead of choosing Clemency as well. Because Force and Verve is AoE damage while we’re grouped up, Light’s Hammer is a good talent choice too. Holy Prism may also be an option, though I’m feeling more Light’s Hammer.

7- Peak at the Deaths Overview

deathsoverview

The deathlog is probably my favorite part of logs because it shows you who dies to what and when. During post-raid analysis it quickly tells you who’s dying to avoidable damage. In a pre-raid analysis, it tells you which abilities to be ready for, and helps you differentiate deadly abilities from abilities that just hurt a lot.

In this kill, 10 players died to Attenuation, 10 died to Force and Verve and one tank died to normal melee damage.

Building our strat: This just re-enforces what we already know: Force and Verve is going to hurt (so all CDs, talents and Glyphs toward burst healing and reducing physical damage), and we should concentrate extra hard during Attenuation.

Conclusion!

There you have it! We’re set for Imperial Vizier Zor’lok!

And for your enjoyment, attached is a copy of what I posted on our guild forums. (more…)

How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: Links and Ressources

January 21, 2013

So. Many. Words.

When I started on this project back in November, I set out to do a quick FAQ/Pally 101. I discovered pretty fast that there’s no way to do justice to paladin healing which a simple model like that. 11 817 words later (counting this post), I’m finally wrapping up with links to the resources I consulted and thank yous to everyone who helped with this project.

Alright, so either you’ve read every word in this series (HAHAHAHA) and you’re begging for more, more, more pally chat. (Shoot me an email, I’m always looking for fellow pallies to share my never-ending enthusiasm with!) Or oppositely, you found my verboseness overwhelming (or you hate my writing style) and you’re looking for something more…concise.

You’re in luck!

There is plenty of Holy Pally reading material out there for all tastes and levels of nerdiness.

Other Holy Paladin Guides

MMO-Champion’s [MOP] Holy Paladin Guide 5.0: Crafted by the most excellent Getsu (Kerfax on the MMO-Champion forums) with input from the folks at MMO-Champion, this guide manages to be both comprehensive and brief. It was huge source of inspiration to me and I used it quite a bit to double check my facts and ideas. You can also find Getsu’s guide on his blog.

Icy Vein’s Holy Paladin Healing Guide (WoW MoP 5.1): I’ve only skimmed through this guide, but it seems rather accurate and very complete. Build with the intelligent page layout that we’ve come to love and expect from Icy Veins.

Taillias’ [Holy] Moar Light – 5.1 PvE healing guide: I came across this official forums guide as I was researching this post. I read a few excerpts and it seems solid.

Pardeux Raids’ Holy Paladin Class Guide: Pardeux’ guide has probably the most fun layout I’ve ever encountered. It was written either right before the expansion or very early on in the expansion so some of the wording might seem weird now, but it’s still very accurate work from a highly experienced holy paladin and raider.

Athlios’ Holy Paladin Guide: While I question its accuracy (Haste over Mastery in PvE with no explanation?), Athlios’ guide over at WoWHead is short, sweet and easy to navigate for quick references.

Shorter Articles Referenced for this Series

5.0 & You: Talents, Glyphs and Playstyle Changes at 85, by Kurn at Kurn’s Corner
Holy Paladin Talents part 1 and part 2, by Rohan at Blessing of Kings
How to Holy Paladin in Patch 5.0 including my first ever flowchart!, by Gina at Healbot
BREAKING NEWS: Holy Avenger and Holy Paladins (and its update), by Kurn at Kurn’s Corner
How to not fail at healing T14 Heroics, by Gina at Healbot
On Mana and the Glyph of Illumination at Level 85, by JoeEgo at Leveling Holy
Eternal Flame Blanketing, by Rohan at Blessing of Kings
Eternal Flame Blanketing, by Getsu at Getsu’s Sanctuary
Why I love <3 Hand of Purity, by Gina at Healbot

Active Holy Paladin Blogs

Getsu’s Sanctuary: If you want a holy paladin guide, a fight-specific guide, reflections on patch changes, or even some insightful non-WoW musing, Getsu’s your blogger.
Healbot: For a long time, Gina spoke of paladin healing in a 10s setting. It appears she’s now jumped ship to heal 25s, like, well, all of us holy pally bloggers. I’m positive, however, that her writing will continue to be excellent with all the enthusiasm and energy we expect when reading her blog.
Healing Spec: If you prefer to listen to your bloggers over reading them, you’re in luck! Megacode produces fantastic regular short podcasts on paladin healing. He’s also very active and friendly on Twitter so make sure you fin him there too!
Blessing of Kings: Rohan only occasionally speaks on the topic of holy paladins, but everything he writes is interesting, so if you haven’t added him to your reader yet, you should get on that.
Healing Mains: Elunamakata isn’t exactly a paladin, but she does write on topics of interest to all healers, including paladins. Definitely worth adding to your reader.
Orcish Army Knife: While he doesn’t write about paladins specifically, Rades’s posts have had a delicious holy pally flavour to them lately. And anything Rades writes is pure gold, so you should add him to your reader regardless.
High Latency Life: Once a mage, Rivs is now a holy paladin. And not just a PvE holy paladin like the rest of us, no, he’s one of the rare bloggers to venture into the mysterious realm of PvP. While he doesn’t write theory posts, he has a unique writing style and chooses topics that provide a nice break from the raiding-raiding-raiding posts we see everywhere. (Warning, NSFW!)

Occasionally Updated Holy Paladin Blogs

Leveling Holy: JoeEgo doesn’t update often, but when he does, it’s guaranteed to be informative and relevant. Add him to your reader so you don’t miss out.
Pardeux Raids: Pardeux hasn’t updated for about 2 months, but his series (on raid management, on healing technique among others) are still very relevant. Keep an eye on him for when he returns with his next series of posts. And if you stray off the blog and onto the rest of the site, you’ll find a wealth of information on classes, boss strats, videos and more.
fullspectrumholypally: I only discovered this blog as I was researching this very post, which is a shame as Bouchbagette has written a number of pieces that would have been useful to me for past posts. He (I think)’s been very quiet lately, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll return with some new juicy numbers.
Kurn’s Corner: Kurn, who dominated the holy paladin blogging scene during Cata, has unfortunately left us for the scary Outside World, but does stop by once in awhile to say “hi“.
Dwarven Battle Medic: Fannon is another holy paladin blogger who spends most of his time in the Outside World, but I’m not ready to give up on his blog yet. (Also, I get to babysit his daughter sometimes!)
Holy Shock: Ruthra updates in splurts, and from what I can tell, he’s still running as a holy paladin.

Holy (and Multi-Spec) Paladin Message Boards

MMO-Champion Paladin Forum:
This was probably my number one reference for writing this series. Lots of great conversations going on over there. Worth hanging out at, even if all you do is read.
Elitist Jerks Holy Paladin Thread: Not as active as it used to be, but on the bright side, it’s easier than ever to keep up with the thread. What little holy paladin theorycrafting is happening can be found within.
Wowhead Paladin Forum: Not the most active of paladin forums, but it’s there if you want to share your thoughts with Wowhead members.
Plus Heal Paladin Forums: Deceptively quiet. While there’s little chitchat going on, there are very friendly members who watch the forum like hawks. If you post a question, you’re very likely to receive a solid answer.
Official Paladin Forums: It’s the official forums! Very lively, with some good conversations going on.
Official Healing Forums: Less paladin centric, but the perfect place to hang out if you want to get into Holy Paladins vs everyone else discussions.

Biiiig Hugs and Thank yous

To Talarian, Trading Post, Ngita, Fearana, ithilyn, Boranos, Joe Ego, Rades, Sol, Saif, Megacode, Viktory, Rohan, cebrafin, grimmtooth, Shy, Malva, repgrind and Ace;

Thank you so much all of you for taking the time to read and comment on the Holy Pally 4 eva series (and/or the Garalon post). Whether it was to report a mistake, offer an alternative view or just say a “hi, I read this!“, your help, advice and support has been invaluable.

Huge thanks as well to everyone who retweeted me, who posted links on their guild forums or Facebook or who shared my blog on their own corners of the internet. You kept me motivated and excited while writing all these words about paladins.

Haters can say what they want about WoW players and the WoW community, but, me, I am constantly amazed at how much support and positivity go around in our circles.

And with that, cheers to WoW’s Holy Paladins, and may we never run out of internet dragons to slay (or heal)!

How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: Your Cooldowns. Use Them.

January 16, 2013

Second last post of the guide! (Not counting update notifications – of which should start, like, the day after I finish.)

You remember the three component of paladin healing?

1- Beacon Usage
2- Holy Power building and sinking
3- Cooldown management.

Even back when Holy Paladins were (wrongfully) accused of “one button healing”, proper use of cooldowns distinguished the decent Paladin healer from the good Paladin healer. Between mana buttons, output enhancing buttons and fight manipulation buttons, we had a lot of control over what happened during a fight.

Now that we have more healing buttons, we also have more cooldown buttons (including talents and excluding potions, I counted 17) and, more than ever, using cooldowns properly will take your playstyle to the next level.

What is a Cooldown?

Basics first!

A cooldown (or CD) is a spell or ability of considerable power which, when used, has a timer before it can be used again.

For the purpose of this post, the time between uses has to be at least 20 seconds (so Holy Prism can qualify). While Holy Shock does have a cooldown, I don’t think of it as a Cooldown Spell.

So how do I know to use a Cooldown?

First, make sure your UI clearly shows which cooldowns are ready to be used and how much time is left on those that are not.

Then, you’ve got two choice:

DPS Style: Use your CDs the second they’re ready, goals being to squeeze in as much healing as you can and to lower mana requirements for the fight.

Saviour Style: Save your CDs for specific moments, either to react to a predictable burst of damage, or to prevent a wipe in case of an emergency.

Both styles have their place and the wise Holy Paladin knows when to use each approach based on three elements:

1- The Nature of the Cooldown: There’s no point in using a specific damage reduction cooldown if that type of damage isn’t present, just like it’s silly to use a threat manipulation cooldown if threat isn’t a concern.

2- The Cooldown Timer: When a timer only allows one use per fight, the cooldown is best saved for an emergency or for the last minute of the fight. Abilities with very short cooldowns can be used more freely since they’re likely to be ready again by the time they’re really needed.

3- Knowledge of a Fight: If you know the types (magic vs physical) and patterns (burst vs periodic, single target vs raid-wide) of damage in a fight, you can plan your cooldown usage to get the most out of all your spells.

Cooldown use is also influenced by the strategy your raid or healing lead has in mind. It’s always a good idea to use your guild’s strategy threads to make sure you’re on the same page as your leaders when it comes to cooldown usage on specific fights. Prevents screaming matches.

I’ll also point out that on new progression fights, aka, fights where your team is just starting to learn the mechanics, aka, where you expect to wipe within the first 3-4 minutes, it makes sense to blow all your extra healing CDs early. They’ll help keep the team alive longer during the mechanics-learning process and they should be ready for use again by the time you recover from the wipe.

Output Enhancing Cooldowns

Divine Favor: (3 minutes) Increases haste and crit for 20 seconds.
Avenging Wrath: (3 minutes) Increases healing output. Can by modified with Sanctified Wrath (talent) and Glyphs of Avenging Wrath and the Falling Avenger.
Trinket with on-use Intellect: Empty Fruit Barrel was the only one I could find with an on-use Intellect boost.
Holy Avenger: (Talent only – 2 minutes) Increases healing output of certain spells and builds Holy Power.
Potion of the Jade Serpent: (Potion – Once per fight, may also use an extra one right before pull) Increases intellect for 25 seconds, which in turn increases healing output.

All of these cooldowns increase your throughput somehow.

I included a potion for completeness’ sake. You can only use one potion, total, per fight so only use a Potion of the Jade Serpent if you’re positive you won’t be needing a potion for mana later on. If a fight has a lot of damage right at the start, you can do like a dps player and pre-pot (drink a potion right before the pull to avoid triggering the once-per-fight restriction), however most fights in Tier 14 start off slowly damage wise, making pre-potting a waste. (However, as Talarian suggests in the comments, if a fight doesn’t start off with steep healing, you’re tight on the enrage timer and you don’t think mana will be an issue, you can pre-pot and use your damage spells for some smooth healer dps.)

All the other buttons (and the trinket), however, have a 2-3 minute cooldown, meaning you should use them at least twice on any fight longer than 6 minutes. On most fights they can be used DPS Style (as soon as they come up), but if a fight has conveniently spaced bursts of damage (think Empress in Heart of Fear), you can time your cooldowns to help you mop up after the bursts.

These throughput cooldowns also have a fantastic side effect: since they make your spells harder and/or faster, you can use lighter spells, saving mana. (Thank you Sol for the comment!)

Unless you need a biiiiig burst of healing, avoid having more than one cooldown active at a time. Hitting Divine Favor and Avenging Wrath together will, more often than not, result in 20 seconds of overheal. It’s much less of a waste to use one, wait for it to finish, then use another.

Extra Heals Cooldowns

Lay on Hands: (5-12 minutes) Heals the target for the amount of your maximum health. This is the tank saver. Can be modified with Glyph of Divinity for a bonus mana-return and with the Unbreakable Spirit talent for a cooldown reduction.
Guardian of Ancient Kings: (5 minutes) Adds to 5 of your single target heals and splashes healing onto nearby players.
Execution Sentence: (Talent only – 1 minute) Single target heal over time.
Holy Prism: (Talent only – 20 seconds) Can be used a cheap single target heal or as a small area of effect heal.
Light’s Hammer: (Talent only – 1 minute) Puts an area of healing on the ground for 17.5 seconds.

Lay on Hands and Guardian of Ancient Kings have fairly long CDs. On long, long, long fights they can be used twice (maybe three times if a fight goes over 15 minutes) but on most fights they can only be used once.

Lay on Hands is such a powerful tank savor that I like to save it for emergencies, regardless of fight length, unless I’m positive that our tanks won’t need it. As for Guardian of Ancient Kings, it’s nice to use twice on long fights, once early on and once at the end, unless you feel you might need to prevent a wipe halfway through. Never finish a fight with Guardian off CD. It’s such a great healing bonus that if the fight is almost over and you haven’t needed it yet, just use it. USE IT.

The other three are the level 90 talents. You pick one. They’re on short timers, so use them whenever they’re available, unless you have a perfect opportunity coming up within the next few seconds.

Raid-wide Cooldown

Devotion Aura:
(3 minutes) Reduces magic damage (AND ONLY MAGIC DAMAGE) for 6 seconds. Also prevents Silences and Interrupts for those 6 seconds, which is more useful in PvP than in Tier 14 raiding.

This time around, Devotion Aura (or, affectionately, Devo Aura) is our cooldown that affects the entire raid. It (only) lasts 6 seconds and is useless against physical damage.

There are still a lot of fights where Devotion Aura is lovely, though, so check the types of damage caused by different boss abilities. If there’s magic damage that affects more than 2-3 people at once, you’ve got a Devo Aura opportunity.

You can usually fit it in twice a fight, but check with your raid or healing lead – most teams like to coordinate raid-wide CDs for maximal benefit.

Fight Manipulation Cooldowns

Hand of Sacrifice: (2 minutes) Transfers some damage from the target over to you.
Hand of Purity: (talent only – 30 seconds) Reduces damage from (most) periodic effects on the target. Check out Gina’s list of HofPurity opportunities.
Hand of Protection: (5 minutes) Prevents all physical (AND ONLY PHYSICAL) damage on the target (also usually removes bleed effects) for 10 seconds, but prevents the target from using physical attacks (melee and hunters don’t like this). Has added affect that melee mobs will stop attacking the target and go elsewhere (squishies like this, tanks to do not).
Hand of Salvation: (2 minutes) Removes the targets threat. Hunters appreciate the thought. Tanks, not so much.
Hand of Freedom: (25 seconds) Removes/prevents movement impairing effects. Useful on the trash to Elegon.

Hand CDs are called Hands for a reason: they give you some control over fights.

Hand of Sacrifice can be used DPS-Style, however some teams like to coordinate usage for certain fights. Check with your leaders before keeping Hand of Sacrifice on CD. Same goes for Hand of Purity, on fights where HofPurity is helpful.

Note that while Hand of Sacrifice on its own should not be able to kill you, if you have Hand of Sacrifice active while intense raid damage is going out, your face might meet the floor. I speak from experience. Be wise when you use it, and if you think you might die, get a damage reduction CD on yourself (scroll down this post to read about Divine Protection and Divine Shield). Also note that damage transferred through HofSac keeps its type. So physical damage to your target means physical damage to you.

Hand of Protection is really handy (oh the bad pun!) during trash, or for fights with lots of adds, if your team is a little clumsy. I’ve also used it to clear nasty Wind Steps on Heroic Blade Lord. The CD timer is long, though, so you’ll rarely get to use it more than once a fight. Choose your opportunity wisely.

I’ve yet to use Hand of Salvation, but if your team is a little clumsy, some of your trigger-happy dps might appreciate a good Salv. As for Freedom, in PvE, it is very situation specific, but does have occasional uses. Both have a fairly short timer and can be used rather freely.

If you really like your Hands, look into the Clemency talent, which lets you use all Hands (except Purity) twice before triggering the CD.

Mana Cooldowns

Divine Plea: (2 minutes) Returns mana for 9 seconds but lowers healing output during that time. Can be modified via Glyph of Divine Plea to negate the healing penalty in exchange for a 5 second cast time.
Trinket with on-use Spirit or Mana: Scroll of Revered Ancestors, Jade Courtesan Figurine, Vial of Ichorous Blood, Price of Progress all have on-use Spirit or Mana return.
Master Mana Potion/Potion of Focus: (Potion – Once per fight) Potions that restores mana.

Unless you’re drowning in a pool of your own mana, Divine Plea can (and usually should) be used DPS-Style starting when you reach about 80% mana. Be smart about it though, if you’re approaching a point in the fight where the healing penalty (or cast time) might be a problem, wait a little bit. Same goes for if a point in the fight where the healing penalty or cast time doesn’t matter is coming up.

As for your on-use mana-returning trinkets, they have no penalty associated with them, so if you have a such a trinket, you’ll want to use it right after your first few casts, then whenever it makes itself available.

Again, I put some potions in for completeness. The Master Mana Potion only restores a little bit of mana, but can be used instantly. Potion of Focus, on the other hand, restores more mana but requires that you drop what you’re doing to sit and drink. You only get to use one potion per fight, so choose wisely.

Personal Damage Reduction Cooldown

Divine Protection: (30 seconds to 1 minute) In it’s original state, reduces magic (AND ONLY MAGIC!) damage for 10 seconds. You can add a physical damage reduction component via Glyph of Divine Protection, and you can reduce the CD via the Unbreakable Spirit talent.
Divine Shield: (2.5-5 minutes) Makes you invulnerable (with some exceptions) for 8 seconds and removes most debuffs. The CD can be reduced via the Unbreakable Spirit talent.

Divine Protection has such a cute little CD that it can be used DPS Style for fights with regular raid damage, unless there’s a big burst of damage coming up. Check damage types before each fight to know whether or not to add the physical damage reduction Glyph.

While Divine Shield coupled with Unbreakable Spirit can have a fairly short CD, this spell is such a powerful oopsy-fixer that you’ll want to almost exclusively use it Savior Style. If you screw up and are about to be killed (and humiliated) by avoidable damage, you want this spell to be available to save your face. I mean your life. You’ll probably only get to use it once per fight, but you’re a good pally who doesn’t make many mistakes, right?

AND THAT ENDS THE HOW-TO PORTION OF THIS GUIDE!

Oh yessssss.

Next post is the one I’ve been looking forward to since day one! I get to update my links and point all you avid pally-info readers to some awesome resources and fantastic members of the paladin community.

But for now I need to rest my sore fingers.

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!


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