Holy Paladin Healing Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Holy Paladin, depending on the type of damage your group is receiving. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your healing output and your mana efficiency. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Holy Paladin rotation.
Welcome to our Rotation page for Holy Paladins. On this page, you will find everything you need to know about playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.
If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page, which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.
The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation tips, please visit our PvP page below.
Rotation / Playstyle for Holy Paladins
Healing as a Holy Paladin is, for the most part, all about using the correct spells for the specific circumstances in which you find yourself, particularly with regard to how many raid members are taking damage, how much damage they are taking, where they are located, and what spells you have available.
Single Target / Tank Healing
Healing a single target is a matter of performing a few straightforward tasks.
- Always keep Beacon of Light on the target.
- Use Holy Shock on them on cooldown.
- If the target is not in immediate danger and Holy Shock is on cooldown, use Crusader Strike to generate 1 Holy Power.
- Use Bestow Faith on them on cooldown.
- Use Word of Glory on them if you have the Holy Power available.
- Use Holy Light for low damage, and add Flash of Light for higher damage as needed and as your Mana permits.
Naturally, if the target is not taking enough damage to justify using all of the above on them, you should instead use the spells to heal other raid members as needed.
In case you are forced to move and Holy Shock is on cooldown, you can also make use of Light of the Martyr to heal your target if they are at risk of dying (as long as it does not put you at risk to do so).
Raid Healing for Holy Paladins
To heal raid damage, make use of your spells as follows.
- Keep Beacon of Light on the tank or on another target who is taking constant damage.
- Use Holy Shock on cooldown.
- Cast Crusader Strike (if Crusader's Might is selected) as often as possible for Holy Power and to reduce the cooldown of Holy Shock.
- Cast Bestow Faith on cooldown if selected.
- Make sure to use Judgment on the target on cooldown, to keep maximum uptime on Judgment of Light if you have selected this talent.
- Use Light of Dawn if you have the Holy Power available and the raid is sufficiently damaged to justify it.
- Use Holy Prism on cooldown, assuming the raid is sufficiently damaged to justify it, if you have selected this talent.
- Use Holy Light if you have an Infusion of Light proc and you can cast it without putting yourself in danger or impacting the rest of your rotation.
- Use Flash of Light if you have an Infusion of Light proc and you do not have a chance to use Holy Light. You can use it on a raid member in danger, or on your Beacon of Light target to generate 1 Holy Power.
- If no one in your group is in need of healing, and you will not need to heal them in the next couple seconds. Use Shield of the Righteous to deal damage.
As in the case of single target healing, if you are forced to move and Holy Shock is on cooldown, you can also make use of Light of the Martyr to heal a target, but we do not recommend using this spell otherwise.
5-man healing is very similar to single target healing, with the exception that you will sometimes find uses for Light of Dawn, and that if you have the Beacon of Virtue talent, you should use it when multiple party members are taking damage.
If you in more information about how Holy Paladin plays in 5-man content please refer to our dedicated Mythic+ page which you can find below:
The two main ways of generating Holy Power come from Holy Shock and Crusader Strike. While you will want to use Holy Shock on cooldown, Crusader Strike is a bit different. You will want to use this ability as often as possible in your rotation, if you have selected the talent Crusader's Might. If you have not, this ability will have less priority in the rotation, as it has a high Mana cost. Whenever using Crusader Strike, make sure to keep an eye on your Mana, as it can deplete a lot more quickly than our Mana pool did throughout BfA.
The other two ways to generate Holy Power is through the use of Hammer of Wrath and directly healing your Beacon of Light target with Holy Light or Flash of Light. In general, you will want to avoid healing your beacon target as it can result in overhealing, but the option does exist if you are in desperate need of Holy Power. Hammer of Wrath should be used when you cannot Holy Shock or Crusader Strike for optimal healing output.
Whether you use this Holy Power on Light of Dawn or Word of Glory will depend on what kind of damage the group is taking. If you need single-target healing, you would use Word of Glory. If you needed AoE healing, you would use Light of Dawn.
Throughout Battle for Azeroth, Holy Paladin did not really ever use their Infusion of Light procs and ignored them to continue their normal rotation. In Shadowlands, this has not changed much. When you get an infusion proc you still have two options. You can use Holy Light on a target who is in need of healing. If you decide you cannot use Holy Light, you will want to use Flash of Light on your beacon target (or someone who is at risk of dying) to generate Holy Power, assuming you have the Mana to do so. If either of the casts will impact your core rotation, you will want to ignore the Infusion of Light proc entirely and not consume it.
Holy Light scales extremely well with the conduit Resplendent Light which makes it an incredibly strong ability. However, you do not want to cast Holy Light if you have Holy Shock coming off cooldown before the cast will finish. If someone might die without receiving an immediate heal, casting Holy Light would also be a mistake.
Flash of Light has turned into a very efficient ability when it is buffed from Infusion of Light. Because of this, we can use it on our Beacon of Light target for 1 Holy Power. While normally it isn't worth wasting Mana on Flash of Light, it is now our best way to use infusions with the intention to gain Holy Power. Casting Holy Light is generally not worth as the risk of overhealing is so high and it does have such a long cast. Flash of Light is quick and costs a small amount of Mana.
What ability you use will be situational and you will have to decide in the moment. Generally you will want to prioritze casting Holy Light unless it will impact your rotation or result in overhealing. Otherwise you will want to use Flash of Light or delay your Infusion of Light cast until a better opportunity arises.
A Word on Light of the Martyr
Light of the Martyr is an instant cast spell that heals your target and damages you for 50% of the healing amount. It cannot be cast on yourself and it does not trigger healing on your Beacon of Light target.
Due to the damage it causes to yourself, and the fact it does not transfer healing to beacons, its net total healing is quite poor. But because of the large up-front heal to the target, it can be a potent life-saving tool. This is why we do not recommend using Light of the Martyr outside of the specific situations mentioned above and absolutely never if there is a risk your low health or incoming mechanics may cause you to die from the additional damage the spell inflicts on you.
Cooldown Usage for Holy Paladins
As a Holy Paladin, you have several healing cooldowns. You should use them as we explain below:
- Avenging Wrath increases your healing done and Critical Strike chance by 30% for 20. It is very useful during periods of high sustained damage.
- Lay on Hands should be used to save dying raid members, especially tanks.
- Blessing of Sacrifice lasts 12 seconds, transferring 30% of the damage taken by your target to you. The effect is automatically canceled if the transferred damage would cause you to fall below 20% health. This cooldown is excellent for reducing the damage taken by the tank, or other raid members. Be cautious, however, because Blessing of Sacrifice can be dangerous to your own life if used without a damage reduction cooldown such as Divine Protection or Divine Shield, or when simultaneous raid damage independently threatens your life such that the additional damage taken from Blessing of Sacrifice can lead to your death.
- Aura Mastery empowers your chosen aura, increasing its range to 40 yards and also improving its efficiency. It is a raid cooldown, and it should be used at a time designated by your healing officer or raid leader.
- Blessing 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 Blessing of Protection, though, so only cast it on the current tank if the off-tank is prepared to take over.
- Blessing of Freedom removes movement-impairing effects from the targeted raid member, which can be very useful in certain situations.
You also gain various abilities from your talents. We cover these in a later section.
Optional Read: Mastering Your Holy Paladin
The above information should be sufficient to allow you to play a Holy Paladin at a very high level. There are only a few more details that you need to understand to further improve your performance.
Mastery: Lightbringer increases your healing to targets the closer they are to your position. Specifically, your healing is maximised on targets that are within 10 yards of you, and it decreases the farther away they are from then on. In general being with the melee group will maximize your benefit from Mastery and you should be there unless you can identify a specific reason to do otherwise.
Infusion of Light
Which ability you use your Infusion on will vary depending on the siutation. If you have time to cast a long heal before the target is healed up or dies, Holy Light will be the way to go. If your target is in danger of dying if not healed extremely quickly, you will want to use Flash of Light.
Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents
Tier 1 Talents
Bestow Faith should be used on cooldown, ideally on the tank. You can also use it on another player, provided you can be sure that they will need healing when Bestow Faith expires (for example, if they are affected by some debuff that is damaging them).
You need to make sure to cast Bestow Faith before the player actually needs the healing, since it operates on a delay. This will also help to minimise overhealing done by the ability, since it will be harder for other healers to top off the target before Bestow Faith finishes.
Light's Hammer should be used during AoE raid damage.
Tier 2 Talents
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.
Tier 3 Talents
None of the abilities granted from the tier 3 (Level 30) talent row will impact your healing or damage rotation.
Tier 4 Talents
Rule of Law works mainly to boost your healing on targets that are farther away from you than 10 yards, so you should use it when you need to heal such targets. It can also be helpful when you want to heal someone who is out of your maximum range. Note that it also increases the range of Light of Dawn, so using it before a Light of Dawn cast can be a good practice.
Tier 5 Talents
Divine Purpose procs will simply be used passively. You should only make sure to use them up before they expire, so that they are not wasted.
Seraphim should be used when you can pair it with damage events. Because it increases your secondaries, that means it also increases your healing output. Trying to time it when damage is going out or when you need to do significant healing will yield the best results.
Holy Avenger should be treated as a healing cooldown. Simply use it during a time of intense damage.
Tier 6 Talents
Sanctified Wrath increases the duration of your Avenging Wrath, an effect that occurs passively and does not concern you except that your cooldown will last longer. You should also make sure to use Holy Shock on cooldown while Avenging Wrath is active.
Avenging Crusader replaces Avenging Wrath. You should make sure that you are in melee range of a target at all times while Avenging Crusader is active and prioritize casts of Judgment and Crusader Strike while it is active.
Tier 7 Talents
As mentioned earlier, if you select Beacon of Virtue you should use it when multiple party or raid members are taking damage. You should prioritize healing targets that do not have the Beacon of Virtue buff on them if possible.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Added Crusader Strike and Hammer of Wrath to the Holy Power section.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Rotation updated to reflect changes in Shadowlands gameplay.
- 29 Oct. 2020: Added Shield of the Righteous to the rotation.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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