Posted tagged ‘hand of protection’

Save a Clothie Today! Use Hand of Protection.

September 17, 2010

It feels weird writing about current stuff while everyone is so gung-ho about Cataclysm. Me, I don’t really care about Cataclysm. I would if I were in the beta, but I’m not. Nor do I care enough to try to get a beta key. (I am on the PTR but it’s ugly and funny looking and scary and overwhelming)

Besides, after discussing it with a few people, I came to the following conclusions:

– With the game being in a lull, a lot of people are playing alts.
– Just because Cataclysm is coming out in about a month in a half is no excuse to be playing badly now.

So today’s topic: Hand of Protection (HoP, or BoP after it’s former name, Blessing of Protection).

And according to MMO-Champion, this is a spell we’ll keep in Cataclysm so no writing off this post as ancient history museum content!

The Scenario

During ICC trash a few nights ago, we had a couple of mobs come up on us from behind and started chomping on a healing priest and a warlock. I slapped the priest with my Hand of Protection and the warlock died.

The question: We had 3 other paladins in the raid, one of which was a fellow holy paladin. Why didn’t anyone HoP the warlock?

Hypothesis 1: Maybe they don’t understand how Hand of Protection works

Hand of Protection protects the target from all physical damage for 10 seconds. It’ll also drop aggro from the target since the mob thinks to itself: “Oh, I can’t eat this guy (or girl – mobs are very politically correct), I guess I’ll go eat this other guy (or girl).”

Another thing to note is that someone under the influence of HoP can’t do any physical damage either. So unless you absolutely must save a melee dps or a hunter (or you just want to be annoying), save your HoP for casters. Note that in dire circumstances (for example, you have a massive crush on the ret pally and want to impress them with your life saving skills) an aggro breaking HoP can be quickly followed by a Hand of Freedom, allowing the melee player to resume dps as soon as the mobs get off their face. (Thank you Mally and Daniel.)

The aggro dropping and no doing physical damage things are the reason you shouldn’t ever HoP someone who’s currently tanking (with a few exceptions that I’ll get into later).

Note that HoP is useless against magic damage, so it won’t help a target being roasted by a caster.

Hypothesis 2: They don’t know when to use Hand of Protection

To make an informed decision concerning your Hand of Protection usage, you will need the following:

– Knowledge of the physical damageness mobs you’re facing (you can tell which are physical damage mobs by the way they eat the faces of their victims as opposed to melting said faces)
– Raid frames with aggro warnings turned on.

ICC has very few boss fights that involve physical damage adds. With the exception of Lady Deathwhisper and Gunship (and Dreamwalker for non portal paladins), you’ll mostly be using HoP during trash. I usually use mine during the trash before Marrowgar and for the Valks after Saurfang.

On 25 man Lady Deathwhisper, you’ll want to use your HoP as soon as possible and keep it on cooldown since there is that chance of being mind controlled and HoPing the boss… (Thank you Daniel- funny story, the day after you left your comment, the other holy pally in my raid got MCed and HoPed the boss.)

You know to use HoP when a purple (warlock), white (priest) or light blue (mage) square on your frames lights up with an aggro warning. In some cases, a dark blue (shaman) or orange (druid) squares are also suitable targets. Just make sure it’s a caster type of druid or shaman.

When a target lights up with an aggro warning, keep your eye on it. As soon as they start taking damage, BAM! Hand of Protection.

Hypothesis 3 : They’re afraid of “wasting” their Hand of Protection

This could be true in certain instances.

In ICC, though, the places where you could use HoP are rather far apart. Depending on the casting paladin’s spec, the cooldown on HoP is 3 to 5 minutes, nothing to worry about. I prefer to use HoP as soon as I need it. I won’t know whether I’ll need it again and I’d rather save someone now than let someone die now out of concern that someone might die later.

If a caster gets eaten while my HoP is on cooldown, well, tough for them.

Hypothesis 4: They might have HoPed the same target.

Ha! Wrong! This is the funky thing about HoP: it causes forbearance (not to be confused with Jong’s Forbearance).

Causing forbearance means your target can’t be smacked by a Hand of Protection again for the next two minutes. So if someone beats you to a target, you won’t be wasting your cooldown. If you get an error message trying to HoP the priest, get that HoP on the warlock.

Hypothesis 5: They don’t have an appropriate UI

(Thank you Enlynn!)

As healer, you should have your UI set up in a way that you can access your spells very quickly. Unless you have jedi reflexes (and it does happen, I’ve seen some), this means either mouse-over macros or use of a Clique-like system.

HoP is part of your tools and should be just as accessible as Flash of Light or Holy Light. See Fictional Question #3 for some tips on choosing a proper key binding for your HoP.

Your fictional question: Are there other uses for Hand of Protections?

Glad you asked!

While most of the time, I use my Hand of Protection for loose trash mobs or boss adds, it can also remove a bleed effect. The fight that comes to mind is Saurfang, where HoP removes the Boiling Blood debuff. On heroic, when all the paladins in the raid use their HoP on a caster or healer with Boiling Blood, it can make a pretty big difference in the fight outcome.

Your fictional question 2: I’m not a healing paladin, can I still use HoP?

It’s a trainable ability, so yep.

In a raid setting, it’s easiest for a holy paladin to use, but any paladin who wants to rescue a clothie in distress is free use their Hand if they can spare the global cooldown.

In 5 mans, I love, and I mean LOVE getting my HoP out as a tank. I know the trend is to let those who pull before you die, but I frequently use it to get mobs off hormonal casters. I also use it to teach impatient melee players a lesson, but, um, please don’t tell anyone.

Your fictional question 3: What’s this about exceptions to never using Hand of Protection on a tank?

General rule is, using Hand of Protection on a tank, even by accident is a bad, bad thing. My guildies still constantly remind me of a certain keybind mishap involving a tank and a few undesired HoPs… To prevent these embarrassing moments, make sure your HoP isn’t bound to anything that would include your press-to-talk button or any buttons bound to spells frequently used on tanks.

There may be times, however, when you’ll be asked to use your Hand of P on a tank. To assist in certain tank switches, for example, or to remove a bleed effect (Gormok the Impaler in ToC comes to mind). During the trash before Blood Council, a quick HoP immediately canceled by a Hand of Freedom can erase that annoying Bloodboil debuff. (Thanks Daniel!)

Different raid teams have different strategies, though, so even if you think it’s a good idea to help out by HoPing a tank, I caution you to wait until you’re asked. This isn’t the place to take initiatives. An unsuspecting HoPed tank might not immediately realize what happened, which could throw off their next move. The tank might also have used one of their own cooldowns and your Hand will be wasted.

Your Fictional Question 4: Is Hand of Protection useful in PvP?

I confess I’m not experienced enough in PvP to give a really good answer here.

In Battlegrounds, I love it. It’s great for protecting your caster buddy from annoying meleers buzzing around them. I believe, however, that it can be spellstolen by mages, dispelled by priests and purged by shaman.

In all logic, it would be useful in arena as well. All the arena junkie holy paladins I’ve raided with, however, never use their HoP. So I dunno.

Your Fictional Conclusion: Wow! What a fascinating spell! I promise to use Hand of Protection at all the right times! Thank you!

No, thank you.

Speaking of thanks, lets go back to the original scenario. When I used HoP on our priest that night, she thanked me. Which was very polite of her, but it sort of made me sad as well.

As a holy paladin, pulling our utility spells out of our toolbox is our job just as much as keeping Beacon up and casting Holy Light is our job. She shouldn’t feel the need to thank me for a HoP anymore than thank me for casting my regular, direct heals.

But so many holy paladins don’t go beyond their easiest task, then have the nerve to complain that paladin healing is boring. Of course it’s boring when you’re not using most of your spells!

A few weeks ago, we had a trial holy paladin bragging on our vent about how he only healed with one button. I wonder how if he knew how close to his head the Giant Spoon came…

But in conclusion, remember that, with Hand of Protection, YOU CAN save a squishy clothie TODAY! What are you waiting for?

What happens when I talk on vent

March 9, 2010

I coordinate the Sunday 10 man ICC runs. Last Sunday, we had a bit of a shakey start, but once we were off, we were off. Despite only having half of our normal group (and one of those who were helping us out claimed that he’d never been in ICC before), we were rocking the place.

Things were going great, but we noticed some strange things… At one point, Stinky dropped aggro on the tank and charged our mage.

Raid: Watch your aggro!
Mage: I was nowhere on the aggro list!
Tank: He wasn’t near me at all on the aggro list, this doesn’t make sense.
Me: Mages just have a secret taunt button.
Raid: You know, a real mage would have iceblocked.

We shrugged it off as a freak event, and moved on. Then Rotface did something similar, gobbling down our enhancement shammy and our poor mage in the process.

Rotface Tank: I somehow lost aggro, I don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense.

Great, we thought, a bugged instance. We ended up calling a wipe and trying again.

Sure enough, it happened again. Our mage had learned his lesson by then and iceblocked, so only on the shaman was sacrificed.

It was then that our Rotface tank figured out the problem. “It’s like I’m bopped, she said, I can’t attack or anything!

In our guild language, “bop” is the word for Hand of Protection. Quickly, I look for a pally to blame.

No other pallies in the raid.

I check my bop.

Sure enough, on cooldown, the timing coinciding exactly with the aggro reset. I was shocked. I must have hit the wrong button. But it didn’t make sense. I’ve had the same key binding for years and I’ve never hit it by accident.

Then it dawned on me: my key binding for bop is ctrl + right mouse button.

Ctrl = vent press-to-talk
Right mouse button = Holy Light

Speaking on vent and trying to heal causes me to bop the tank.

It had never been in a problem in the past because I don’t usually speak on vent. That night was different because I was leading and, due to some earlier events that evening, was feeling more outspoken than usual. Plus, I usually tank while I’m leading, so I don’t typically find myself casting Holy Light.

In my past guild, the first time I spoke on vent, we wiped. It was just coincidence, but I gained a reputation for wiping the raid when I speak. I guess it’s sort of a curse. Years later, I am still wiping the raid when I speak.

Anyway, for our final (and successful) Rotface attempt, I put bop on cooldown before the pull, then halfway through the fight, just to be safe. I did cast it by accident on a tank later on that night, but thankfully there was no wipe involved.

But I guess it’s time I start revamping my spell bindings.

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

October 27, 2009

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

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

So here’s how it works:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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