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

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going to play a little game called Can Ophelie churn out an entire MoP Paladin healing guide (which will undoubtedly be outdated before it is even finished) before flying off to Hawaii?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 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!


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


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)


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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10 Comments on “How I’m healing in MoP – Holy Pally 4eva: Stats”

  1. Talarian Says:

    Yay Holy Paladins!

    I haven’t had a chance to whet my Holy Paladin’s teeth in a raid outside of LFR (And really, I do much the same as you in LFR. PAD ALL THE METERS, which is surprisingly good practice at understanding the limits of your static mana pool), but from what I’ve seen of my total healing done in LFR is a good split between mastery and Light of Dawn. I wonder if that’s a side effect of having people at max health a lot in LFR and so everything is just bubbles. But most of what I’ve seen corroborates your data around Spirit > Intellect > Mastery > Haste. Hopefully I get to test this out in a real raid setting next week, as I start raid #2 and bring my pally in.

    Having less haste, however, just means you need to be more proactive in your healing rather than reactive. I was already reforging for Mastery exclusively in Cata, so I’m used to not having much haste, so I didn’t really notice a huge drop in my casting speed. But using raid frames that show you when a player is targetted allows you a good half second warning that someone’s about to get hit with some sort of effect, often damaging, so it allows you to begin your cast *before* they take damage.

    The bottom line, as far as I see it, is both haste and mastery are throughput stats, but haste costs you mana while mastery saves you mana, which at least for the first tier of raiding where mana can be quite tight makes the choice pretty easy, to be honest.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Mastery almost always seems to top the charts, though that may be in part to the changes to Blessing of Might.

      Yeah, in LFR I just kind of run around throwing AoEs around. In guild raids, I’m generally on the tanks and I don’t stray too often so my healing tends to be constant single target heals, so yeah, as long as I don’t fall behind, I usually don’t need much haste because my bubbles soften the blows. (That and one of my co-healers is a Disc Priests who also comes bearing bubbles.)

  2. TradingPost Says:

    Very nice guide, I had to book mark it since my pally is only level 30 currently, I’ll be back =)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Your comment got stuck in my spam filter for some reason, sorry about that!

      Thanks for dropping by! Hopefully by the time your pally gets around to raiding, I’ll have finished this guide ^_^

  3. Ngita Says:

    It takes a lot of haste to even reduce our heals by 0.1 second but mastery gets larger quickly. I adapted to the lack of haste pretty quickly, besides holy shock is instant, light of dawn is instant, etc. Having said that I am looking forward to 2 seconds off holy shock from our 5.1 4pce.

    I normally drink a spirit flask and eat int food(panderan banquet) just to be confusing. But the lack of spirit on epics is a bit annoying. At one point I had 3 items with no base spirit 😦 Even yesterday for a 7 ilvl upgrade to my chest I got a lot more int and +mastery rather then +haste,But I lost 100 spirit and instead of a blue slot It was red . /Sigh why blizz.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, it’s weird. I ended up with a few spiritless pieces too and I don’t want to pass them up because they’re such a huge upgrade everywhere else. Though now that I have 2 pretty decent mana trinkets, mana is less of an issue.

      I don’t really miss the haste either (my fear of reforging away from haste comes from years of conditioning, I think) and I haven’t looked into the math, but I do believe you that it takes a lot of haste to notice a difference.

      I have seen some people swear, though, that a lot of haste makes a glyphed Divine Plea less ungodly. I’m not sure I’m to the point where I want to try that.

  4. Fearana Says:

    Your blog is the only thing wow-related that is not blocked by my office server’s firewall.

    I thought I would leave a comment this time to let you know you have other Holy Palys that read your blog but don’t comment.

    I gemmed Intel at the beginning of MoP… now it will cost a fortune to change all gems, including meta, to spirit. Damn.

    Bon retour, et merci pour cet article.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yikes! Yes, I imagine that would cost a fortune. But if you’re not running out of mana (and if you’re not running out of mana, I want to know your secret!), you might not need to regem. Intel is still our strongest throughput stat.

      Merci pour le commentaire, ça fait toujours chaud au coeur de rencontrer d’autres pally sur le blog 🙂

  5. ithilyn Says:

    Thanks for the article! Looking forward to your next guide posts.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks! I’m still trying to catch up on my RL work after being on vacation (with the mountain of paperwork waiting for me, you’d think I had been gone for 2 years instead of 2 weeks!) but I’m hoping to get around to writing the rest soon!

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