Holy Paladin Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.3)

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General Information

On this page, we list your Holy Paladin core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Holy Paladin.

The other pages of our Holy Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Shuttle, a Holy Paladin who raids in Blood Legion. You can watch his stream on Twitch and follow him on Twitter.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Paladin Transition Guide!

1. Rotation↑top

Healing is in great part based on your ability to react to the damage that the raid takes, and as such there is no set rotation. Rather, you must understand what spells are best suited to the different situations that can occur during a raid encounter.

Holy Paladins are good raid healers, and at the same time they can be good tank/single target healers. That said, the role at which they excel is a sort of mix of both, where they support the tanks with their Beacon of Light Icon Beacon of Light, while helping out with raid healing.

The way in which you heal depends on your tier 3 talent choice, so we will explore both viable cases (Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield Icon Sacred Shield).

1.1. Eternal Flame Healing

The first step is to place your Beacon of Light Icon Beacon of Light on players who are taking damage. Typically, this means placing it on the tank.

Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame should be kept up on the tank currently taking damage, and on any other raid members who are taking damage. You do not need to use Eternal Flame with 3 Holy Power, since the amount of Holy Power you use it with now only determines its duration (10 seconds per charge of Holy Power), and not its potency.

Holy Light Icon Holy Light and Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light should be used to heal raid members, and it is important to note that if used on your Beacon target, 40% of the Mana cost of these heals will be refunded to you (making them quite efficient).

To generate Holy Power, you will use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock on cooldown on any players that need additional healing. Additionally, you should use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike for more Holy Power.

You should use Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance when there is raid damage, but you need to beware of depleting your Mana too quickly.

You can use Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawn instead of Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame if there are at least 6 targets that will not be overhealed (or at least, not too much) by it, although do note that if you are facing heavy raid damage, this may be insufficient.

Finally, it is worth noting that, since your Mastery triggers off of each tick of Eternal Flame, it is a useful strategy to pre-HoT a target that you know will take damage so that an absorption shield can be built up on them.

1.2. Sacred Shield Healing

If you are using Sacred Shield Icon Sacred Shield as your tier 3 talent, then the way in which you play changes somewhat. Your Beacon should still be placed on the tank or on another player who is taking damage, just as above, but most of the rest of the playstyle changes.

You should always keep up Sacred Shield on two targets that are taking constant damage. This will mostly be the two tanks, but it can very depending on the encounter.

Holy Light Icon Holy Light and Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light are still used for healing individual raid members that are low on health (including your Beacon targets), while Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance should be used whenever there is raid damage (and this will also generate Holy Power).

For the rest of the Holy Power generation you should use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock on cooldown, and Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike whenever possible.

Your Holy Power should be spent almost exclusively on Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawn. You can use Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory if there is a single target in need of healing, but in every other situation Light of Dawn is stronger.

1.3. Seal

You should always use Seal of Insight Icon Seal of Insight.

2. Cooldown Usage↑top

As a Holy Paladin, you have several healing cooldowns. You should use them as we explain below:

  • Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath increases your healing done by 100% for 20 seconds, and also increases your haste, critical strike chance, and damage by 20% for the same duration. It is very useful during periods of high sustained damage.
  • Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands should be used to save dying raid members, especially tanks.
  • Hand of Sacrifice Icon Hand of Sacrifice transfers 30% of the damage taken by the target, over 12 seconds, to you, and you can use Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice Icon Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice to cause the ability to no longer transfer the damage to you (instead, the target simply takes 30% less damage), which we recommend doing in practically all situations. The effect is automatically canceled if the damage Hand of Sacrifice prevents on the target reaches 100% of your maximum health. This cooldown is excellent for reducing the damage taken by the tank, or other raid members. If you are not using the glyph, you must be aware of your current health and of the damage of the abilities being used against the target.
  • Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura is a raid cooldown, and it should be used at a time designated by your raid leader, or as part of a rotation with the other healers.
  • Hand of Protection Icon Hand of Protection can be used to clear harmful physical damage debuffs and bleeds from the target. Be mindful of the fact that bosses will not attack targets affected by Hand of Protection, though, so only cast it on the current tank if the off-tank is prepared to take over.
  • Hand of Freedom Icon Hand of Freedom removes movement-impairing effects from the targeted raid member, which can be very useful in certain situations. Note that Hand of Freedom also removes other "hand" spells from raid members, so it can be used to remove a Hand of Protection from a tank.

You also gain various abilities from your talents. We cover these in a later section.

3. Optional Read: Mastering Your Holy Paladin↑top

While the information presented above should enable you to perform very decently as a Holy Paladin, there are many things that you need to perfectly understand if you are to play your character to its full potential. In particular, you need to know the mechanics of all your procs and spells.

3.1. Pooling Holy Power

You can have up to a maximum of 5 Holy Power at one time. However, no ability that consumes Holy Power can consume more than 3. This means two things:

  • You do not have to worry about capping your Holy Power.
  • You can pool Holy Power in preparation for a damage burst. For example, you can cast two 3-Holy Power Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawns in the space of 3 global cooldowns.

3.2. Procs

Holy Paladins have two procs that they need to watch out for: Daybreak Icon Daybreak and Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light.

3.2.1. Daybreak

Daybreak Icon Daybreak, a passive ability, causes your Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance casts to make your next Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock (including multistrikes) heal up to 6 players in an area around the target for 15% of the original healing. in addition to healing the target itself. You can have up to two Daybreak charges at one time.

This proc is very useful, since you should only be using Holy Radiance on players who are near other players, and only during times when you want to do AoE healing. Therefore, it is very easy to simply use the Holy Shock on the same person you used Holy Radiance on. You can, of course, use it on other players for different reasons.

3.2.2. Infusion of Light

Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light causes your Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock critical strikes to reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light Icon Holy Light or Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance by 1.5 seconds, and passively increases your haste by 10% at all times.

3.3. Denounce

Denounce Icon Denounce deserves a special mention. This spell can be a useful and much-needed DPS boost during progression content, provided that you can spare the Mana required for it.

3.4. Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents

3.4.1. Tier 3 Talents

Sacred Shield Icon Sacred Shield should be kept up with 100% uptime on three targets. Two of the targets should be the current tanks, and the other two should be whoever you believe will be taking the most regular damage. Of course, if one or both tanks are taking no damage, you can adapt your targets accordingly.

Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame should also be kept up with 100% uptime on the tank or on a target that is taking constant damage. You can also use additional Holy Power (or Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose procs) to place it on secondary targets.

Flash of Light Icon Flash of Lights that are affected by Selfless Healer Icon Selfless Healer should be used on any raid members that are in urgent need of healing.

3.4.2. Tier 4 Talents

Hand of Purity Icon Hand of Purity should be used on a target that is affected by a powerful DoT. Usually, this will be the tank, or another raid member who is being targeted by a specific ability.

Clemency Icon Clemency allows you to use your Hand spells twice in a row. Simply exploit this to the maximum when you use your Hands in the encounter.

Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit works passively, so it is not of any concern to you.

3.4.3. Tier 5 Talents

Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger should be treated as a healing cooldown. Simply use it during a time of intense damage, and enjoy the extra Holy Power you gain.

Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose procs will simply be used passively.

Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath increases the duration of your Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, an effect that occurs passively and does not concern you except that your cooldown will last longer. To make full use of this talent, you will need to also use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock on cooldown (3 seconds) while Avenging Wrath is active, something that is not always possible.

3.4.4. Tier 6 Talents

Holy Prism Icon Holy Prism should be cast on the boss, or another enemy target that is near to raid members. This can be especially useful when the boss or an add has an aura that damages nearby players.

Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence can be used as a minor healing cooldown. Try to use it as many times as possible.

Light's Hammer Icon Light's Hammer can also be used as a minor AoE healing cooldown. Just use it when you want a bit of burst to your AoE healing.

3.5. Tips

Here are a few useful tips to conclude this guide on the Holy Paladin play style:

  1. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock before the fight (and then drink) to start with 5 Holy Power charges.
  2. Pre-heal the tank before the fight starts, in order to build up the shield from your Mastery (it will stack up to a shield equal to 33% of your maximum health, so a nice amount).
  3. Use Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance to set up Mastery shields on your raid members before the fight starts, on fights with pulsing AoE damage.
  4. Use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield to totally bypass encounter mechanics to either save you time, or save your raid DPS/movement, or allow you to stand still and channel heals when your raid's health is low.
  5. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike can be used to generate Holy Power.