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Vlad

Holy Paladin: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Holy Paladin guide, which is fully compatible with Mists Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Holy Paladin rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Holy Paladin Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

New Abilities

Changes to Existing Mechanics

  • inv_qirajidol_sun.jpgDaybreak has been redesigned. Following a spell_paladin_divinecircle.jpgHoly Radiance cast, the next spell_holy_searinglight.jpgHoly Shock will also heal all players within 10 yards of the target, for the same amount as the original heal, divided among them.
  • The ability_paladin_beaconoflight.jpgBeacon of Light target will now also be healed for 15% of the amount healed by spell_paladin_divinecircle.jpgHoly Radiance and spell_paladin_lightofdawn.jpgLight of Dawn.
  • spell_holy_heroism.jpgGuardian of Ancient Kings has been redesigned. It now only heals the target of your heal for 10% of the amount healed. It heals nearby targets for 10% of the amount healed, as well. Moreover, for each heal you make while the Guardian is active (5 heals maximum), you gain a stacking buff that increases your haste by 10% per stack.
  • spell_holy_healingaura.jpgSeal of Insight now also causes you to receive a charge of Holy Power each time you take damage or you are stunned, feared or immobilized. This effect has a 20 second internal cooldown. Moreover, Seal of Insight now increases your casting speed by 10%.

Removed Abilities

Rotation and Spell Usage

Since healers do not have a rotation per se, it is hard to briefly list the rotation of Holy Paladins. The detailed explanations that we provide in our Cataclysm guide are beyond the scope of this article. Instead, we will just mention a few things that are interesting or relevant.
  • The overall "rotation", or spell usage, does not change much from Cataclysm. None of the old healing spells have been removed or even changed.
  • Being in melee range remains ideal, both for regenerating mana from spell_holy_healingaura.jpgSeal of Insight and for casting spell_holy_crusaderstrike.jpgCrusader Strike to generate Holy Power.
  • spell_holy_searinglight.jpgHoly Shock becomes usable in AoE healing situations, thanks to its new interaction with inv_qirajidol_sun.jpgDaybreak and spell_paladin_divinecircle.jpgHoly Radiance, as we mention above.
  • Holy Power can now be pooled, allowing you to use two inv_helmet_96.jpgWord of Glories or spell_paladin_lightofdawn.jpgLight of Dawns in a row (you will need to generate 1 Holy Power in between the two casts, but this is just one global cooldown). The new pooling system will also make Holy Power easier to manage, ensuring that you do not end up wasting charges accidentally.
  • spell_holy_heroism.jpgGuardian of Ancient Kings' severely diminished single target healing potency means new ways to make use of this cooldown will have to be found. It still remains possible to use Guardian of Ancient Kings to spam spell_holy_surgeoflight.jpgDivine Light on a target, the haste buff allowing you to cast a large number of Divine Lights.

Talents

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of increasing your movement speed:
  • ability_paladin_speedoflight.jpgSpeed of Light, an active movement speed boost that lasts for 8 seconds;
  • ability_paladin_longarmofthelaw.jpgLong Arm of the Law, a passive ability that increases your movement speed by 45% for 3 seconds each time you judge;
  • ability_paladin_veneration.jpgPursuit of Justice, a passive talent that increases your movement speed by 15% at all times and grants you an additional 5% for each charge of Holy Power you currently have (up to a maximum of 3).
Your choice here will depend greatly on the requirements of the encounter. Each of these talents has specific merits, and you will need to think about how your playstyle can best can make use of these.

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between 3 utility spells:

  • spell_holy_fistofjustice.jpgFist of Justice, a 6 second stun on a 30 second cooldown. This is an improved version of spell_holy_sealofmight.jpgHammer of Justice (an ability granted to you by default), the improvement being the increased range at which it can be cast and the lower cooldown.
  • spell_holy_prayerofhealing.jpgRepentance, a 1 minute long form of crowd-control that is broken by damage. In Cataclysm, this ability was only available to Retribution Paladins.
  • achievement_bg_topdps.jpgBurden of Guilt, a passive talent that slows the target of your spell_holy_righteousfury.jpgJudgment by 50% for 12 seconds.
These spells will be largely irrelevant for raiding. Picking one over the others will be a matter of personal preference or, possibly, encounter mechanics.

Tier 3 talents offer a choice between 3 healing spells:

ability_paladin_blessedmending.jpgSacred Shield provides an absorption shield that lasts for 30 seconds and absorbs a small amount of damage every 6 seconds. Sacred Shield can only be active on one target at once. The absorption amount scales with your gear.

Eternal Flame is a HoT that can be kept at 100% uptime. It costs Holy Power to use, and this ability replaces inv_helmet_96.jpgWord of Glory.

Selfless Healer grants you a stacking buff, each time you use spell_holy_righteousfury.jpgJudgment, which reduces the mana cost of your next spell_holy_flashheal.jpgFlash of Light by 35% and increases its amount of healing by 35%. This effect stacks up to 3 times.

It is hard to say which of these abilities will be better, but the choice looks like it will come down to Sacred Shield or Eternal Flame, depending on the encounter and your role.

Tier 4 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that can have an impact on your gameplay:

  • spell_holy_sealofwisdom.jpgHand of Purity is an active ability with a 30 second cooldown that reduces the damage the target takes from DoTs by 70% for 6 seconds. From the description, it sounds like this ability is quite strong. It remains to be seen, however, how many boss abilities are affected by this.
  • spell_holy_unyieldingfaith.jpgUnbreakable Spirit is a passive talent that reduces the remaining cooldown of spell_holy_divineshield.jpgDivine Shield, spell_holy_divineprotection.jpgDivine Protection, and spell_holy_layonhands.jpgLay on Hands by 1% for each charge of Holy Power you use, up to a maximum of 50% of the cooldown's duration. The ability seems most useful in reducing the cooldown of Lay on Hands, for Holy Paladins.
  • ability_paladin_clemency.jpgClemency is a passive talent that essentially grants your Hand spells two charges. This allows you to use them twice before the cooldown is triggered. This will most likely be of use, for Holy Paladins, in conjunction with spell_holy_sealofsacrifice.jpgHand of Sacrifice.
It is very difficult to tell which of these talents will be the best choice. In all likelihood, this will depend on the encounter. For instance, Hand of Purity's value would be greatly diminished on a fight without any DoTs on the tank, while Clemency would be very potent on a fight where there is ample opportunity to cast Hand of Sacrifice.

Tier 5 talents offer a choice between 3 spells that can improve your healing performance:

Holy Avenger causes your Holy Power generating abilities to generate 3 Holy Power instead of 1 for 15 seconds, every 2 minutes.

Sanctified Wrath reduces the cooldown of spell_holy_searinglight.jpgHoly Shock by 50% (although this does not currently seem to work on the Beta).

Divine Purpose gives you a chance, each time you use an ability that costs Holy Power, to have your next Holy Power-costing ability (cast within 8 seconds) cost no Holy Power and be cast as though you had 3 Holy Power.

We believe that Holy Avenger will be the best choice, due to the control it offers (allowing you to do great burst healing in times of need), but the other two talents could turn out to be more useful in some encounters (especially those where you do not need any burst healing).

Tier 6 talents offer a choice between 3 healing spells:

Light's Hammer is an AoE healing talent. Holy Prism can be used either as an AoE heal, or a single target heal. Finally, Execution Sentence is a rather powerful single-target heal. From initial results, it appears that for single target healing, Execution Sentence is by far the best choice. For AoE healing, the choice between Holy Prism and Light's Hammer will depend based on the dynamics of the encounter.

Glyphs

There are several Major Glyphs that can, in certain situations, be useful (Minor Glyphs are purely cosmetic):
  • ability_paladin_beaconoflight.jpgGlyph of Beacon of Light removes the global cooldown of ability_paladin_beaconoflight.jpgBeacon of Light.
  • spell_holy_aspiration.jpgGlyph of Divine Plea causes spell_holy_aspiration.jpgDivine Plea to restore 12% of your mana instantly, without any penalty to your healing. However, the spell now has a 5 second cast time. We believe that this glyph will prove useful in a large number of encounters.
  • spell_holy_layonhands.jpgGlyph of Divinity increases the cooldown of spell_holy_layonhands.jpgLay on Hands by 2 minutes, but causes it to return 10% of your maximum mana when used. If you know for sure that you will only be able to use Lay on Hands once per fight, then this glyph is probably entirely beneficial.
  • spell_holy_divineillumination.jpgGlyph of Illumination causes your spell_holy_searinglight.jpgHoly Shock critical hits to regenerate 1% of your maximum mana. The downside is that this talent reduces your mana regeneration from Spirit by 10%. Whether or not this glyph will be beneficial remains to be seen, but it probably depends on your critical strike chance with Holy Shock and your usage with the spell.
  • spell_paladin_lightofdawn.jpgGlyph of Light of Dawn causes spell_paladin_lightofdawn.jpgLight of Dawn to heal 4 targets (instead of 6), but increases its healing by 25%. This glyph seems very useful for 10-man raiders, but may be useful in other situations as well.
This concludes our Holy Paladin preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!
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As usual, awesome guide, Vlad!

Seems not much of the stuff has changed in MoP, so I can be fine with continuing my usual 'rotation.'

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As usual, awesome guide, Vlad!

Seems not much of the stuff has changed in MoP, so I can be fine with continuing my usual 'rotation.'

Thank you! Indeed, you are right, not much has changed. I expect that the most difficult thing for us to get used to will be efficiently managing the 5 Holy Power thing. And even that doesn't look so hard :)

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ability_paladin_blessedmending.jpgSacred Shield no longer increases your critical strike chance with spell_holy_flashheal.jpgFlash of Light, but its absorption amount now scales much better with gear.

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Not much has changed but I sure will miss turning my screen green while spamming Holy Radiance (i'll miss the HoT). I am glad I don't have to worry about not having Crusaders on when I go into a dungeon and find out I have had it on for halfway through. I am definitely excited for the return of Shockadins, especially for fights like Alyssrazor where the healers get to burn the boss too.

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