Holy Paladin PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated on Oct 08, 2018 at 05:29 by Mysticall 13 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Holy Paladin in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Holy Paladins

Holy Paladins are always a strong healing specialization. With strong utility for teammates and the ability to actually deal large amounts of damage, they are considered one of the best healers. A strong understanding of cooldowns and when to use them is important to be good at this specialization.

1.1. Strengths of Holy Paladins

  • Large amount of healing cooldowns
  • Multiple defensive abilities
  • Great burst healing

1.2. Weaknesses of Holy Paladins

  • Weak spread healing
  • Easy to swap to if overextended
  • Limited mobility when out of Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedoms

2. Stat Priority for Holy Paladins in PvP

The stat priority for Holy Paladin in PvP is as follows:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Critical Strike;
  3. Haste;
  4. Mastery;
  5. Versatility.

Intellect is the best stat in all situations. Critical Strike is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to increasing the chance you get a Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc. This is followed up with Haste, that reduces the Global Cooldown on abilities and reducing your cast time.

3. Azerite Traits for Holy Paladins

Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage or healing of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Breaking Dawn Icon Breaking Dawn
  2. Radiant Incandescence Icon Radiant Incandescence
  3. Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together
  4. Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands

The most important traits you want to get are Breaking Dawn Icon Breaking Dawn and Radiant Incandescence Icon Radiant Incandescence. These traits increase your overall healing output. The other traits also work great for when you are using Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. Woundbinder Icon Woundbinder
  2. Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins
  3. Blessed Portents Icon Blessed Portents
  4. Earthlink Icon Earthlink

The middle and inner rings are important for additional defensives. The Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins and Blessed Portents Icon Blessed Portents traits are great defensive traits. However, you should try to get the Woundbinder Icon Woundbinder trait. This will help when your teammates are low and you need to recover quickly.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Gallant Steed Icon Gallant Steed
  2. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  3. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification
  4. Gemhide Icon Gemhide

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Talent Choices for Holy Paladins

Level Choices
15 Crusader's Might Crusader's Might Bestow Faith Bestow Faith Light's Hammer Light's Hammer
30 Unbreakable Spirit Unbreakable Spirit Cavalier Cavalier Rule of Law Rule of Law
45 Fist of Justice Fist of Justice Repentance ? Repentance Blinding Light Blinding Light
60 Devotion Aura Devotion Aura Aura of Sacrifice Aura of Sacrifice Aura of Mercy Aura of Mercy
75 Judgment of Light Judgment of Light Holy Prism Holy Prism Holy Avenger Holy Avenger
90 Sanctified Wrath Sanctified Wrath Avenging Crusader Avenging Crusader Awakening Awakening
100 Divine Purpose Divine Purpose Beacon of Faith Beacon of Faith Beacon of Virtue Beacon of Virtue

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

4.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Crusader's Might Icon Crusader's Might is the best choice in this tier. This allows you to use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock and Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawn more often. This results in an overall increase to healing output.

4.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Rule of Law Icon Rule of Law is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to play far away to avoid incoming crowd control. The charges on Rule of Law will mostly be used when your Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader is on cooldown.

4.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice is the best choice in this tier. This is a strong stun to use on a kill target or for setting up crowd control on the enemy team. Be sure to use Judgment Icon Judgment off cooldown. However, you can also use Repentance Icon Repentance if the enemy team does not have multiple interrupts and will not focus you. This gives your team additional crowd control for the enemy healer.

Important note: Repentance Icon Repentance shares a diminishing return with spells like Polymorph Icon Polymorph. You should not take Repentance when playing with a Mage.

4.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura is the best choice in this tier. The damage reduction from this talent greatly increases the survivability of both you and your teammates.

4.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger is the best choice in this tier. This gives you an additional healing cooldown as Holy Paladins are weak when they do not have Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath or Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader available.

4.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader is the best choice in this tier. This gives you a strong healing cooldown that allows you to heal your team and play aggressively.

If you are playing against a team will spammable crowd control (Fear Icon Fear, Polymorph Icon Polymorph, Cyclone Icon Cyclone)Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath is the best choice in this tier. This talent greatly reduces the cooldown of your strongest healing ability and increases its effect.

4.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose is the best choice in this tier. This will help with managing your Mana and increase your healing output. If you are playing against a team with a lot of spread pressure, Beacon of Faith Icon Beacon of Faith is a strong choice. This will help you keep up with the spread damage.

5. PvP Talents for Holy Paladins

The first PvP talent tier will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that you cannot remove. You will normally save your trinket for a stun or crowd control like Blind Icon Blind.

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.

Ultimate Sacrifice Icon Ultimate Sacrifice makes it so that your Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice will now transfer 100% of all damage to you. You can use this to negate a team's entire burst, as long as you heal yourself while it is active. You can also use this before a crowd control like Polymorph Icon Polymorph or Fear Icon Fear so they break from damage.

Blessed Hands Icon Blessed Hands makes your blessing spells will now have an additional charge. This gives you additional utility for your teammates and gives you multiple defensives. Abilities like Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection are already strong, but with 2 charges you will have a large amount of utility during an arena match.

Light's Grace Icon Light's Grace increases the healing of Holy Light Icon Holy Light and reduces the damage done to that target. This is great versus teams that have strong single-target damage because you will only be using Holy Light Icon Holy Lights on one person.

Cleanse the Weak Icon Cleanse the Weak makes it so that when you dispel a teammate that is affected by your aura, all of your teammates with the same DoT will have it dispelled. This is crucial versus specializations like Shadow Priest or Affliction Warlocks. This will allow you to dispel Vampiric Touch Icon Vampiric Touch on multiple of your teammates in one global cooldown. You can replace Light's Grace Icon Light's Grace with this PvP talent.

6. Racial Bonuses for Holy Paladins

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

The Tauren racial bonus (War Stomp Icon War Stomp) is really strong. This gives you additional crowd control against teams that are stacked or an extra interrupt when someone is casting a spell.

6.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns. Although this does put your trinket on a 90-second cooldown, it is still effective for removing stuns on you.

7. Playstyle for Holy Paladins

The main role for a Holy Paladin, besides keeping your team alive, is to use your utility to prevent your teammates from using cooldowns and keep them offensive.

To keep your team offensive, you will often push in with your team to try to get a Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on the enemy team. You can use Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom to increase the uptime your teammates have.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Before the gates open, you should use Beacon of Light Icon Beacon of Light on a teammate that might be the kill target for the enemy team. It does not have a cooldown, so it is acceptable if the enemy team swaps their target, but it is important to keep it active on the teammate that the enemy team is focusing.

Make sure your team has a strategy for crowd control, Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice is a strong stun that should be used on a DPS when trying to get a kill or on a healer to setup crowd control. If you are using Repentance Icon Repentance make it clear who you are using it on. This will break from any damage.

7.2. The Opener

The other team is going to try to force your trinket in the opener so they have an advantage later in the game. Use Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed to try to avoid incoming crowd control on you, and hold on to your trinket for as long as you can.

7.3. Healing Techniques

7.3.1. Basic Healing Rotation

This is the basic rotation you should be using.

  1. use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock.
  2. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock again if you get a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc and did not get a Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc.
  3. Use Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light procs on Holy Light Icon Holy Light.
  4. Cast Holy Light Icon Holy Light if the enemy team is far and cannot interrupt you.
  5. Use Light of the Martyr Icon Light of the Martyr if your teammate is dropping low on health and there are multiple interrupts available.
  6. Use Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light when your teammate is extremely low on health and you need to quickly heal them.
  7. Use Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawn if there is spread damage.

7.3.2. Burst Healing

Use this if the enemy team uses their cooldowns to try to kill a teammate.

  1. If you do not have Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader:
    1. Use Rule of Law Icon Rule of Law.
    2. Use Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger.
    3. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock.
    4. Cast Holy Light Icon Holy Light.
    5. Cast Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light.
    6. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock.
    7. Use Holy Light Icon Holy Light.
  2. If you do have Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader:
    1. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock.
    2. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock again if you get a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc and did not get a Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc.
    3. Use Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc on Holy Light Icon Holy Light.
    4. Use Judgment Icon Judgment.
    5. Use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike.
    6. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock.
    7. From this point on, you will want to be using Judgment Icon Judgment and Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike off cooldown. You also want to be weaving in a Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock to get a chance at a Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc. Use the Infusion of Light on Holy Light.

7.3.3. Sustained Damage Healing

Use this to heal sustained damage throughout the match (damage done when the other team does not have burst cooldowns available).

  1. Use Rule of Law Icon Rule of Law if you are trying to avoid crowd control and want to stay far from the enemy team.
  2. Use Judgment Icon Judgment off cooldown increase the damage of your next Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike or Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock on your target.
  3. Maintain Beacon of Light Icon Beacon of Light on your teammate that is being focused.
  4. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock off cooldown.
  5. Use Holy Shock Icon Holy Shock again if you get a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc and did not get a Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc.
  6. Use Light of Dawn Icon Light of Dawn if there is spread damage.
  7. Use Holy Light Icon Holy Light when you get an Infusion of Light Icon Infusion of Light proc.
  8. As long as it does not put you in danger of being swapped to or dying, use Light of the Martyr Icon Light of the Martyr for single-target healing.

7.4. Utility

One of the unique things about Holy Paladins is the amount of utility you have. Below are all of the spells you can use on teammates and when to use them.

  • Aura Mastery Icon Aura Mastery: a strong 3-minute cooldown that should be used when your team is taking a lot of spread pressure and you need to sustain them. It is important that you try not to overlap this cooldown with others.
  • Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom: this is a great ability for getting away from enemies or to use on your teammates to catch up to an enemy.
  • Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection: this is a strong ability against melee classes. This should be used on a teammate that is being focused and you do not want to use cooldowns or or do not have any left. Alternatively, it can be used on yourself, but it does give you the debuff that prevents you from using Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield for 30 seconds.
  • Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice: use this ability when the enemy team uses multiple offensive cooldowns. This way, you use one cooldown when the other team has used 2-3 cooldowns. If you use this before a crowd control ability that can be broken from damage, it will break.

7.5. Defensive Techniques

Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield is your primary defensive cooldown. Using this ability makes you immune to everything and should be used when you or a teammate is about to die. This will guarantee that you will stay alive if you are being focused; and guarantee that you will not be interrupted if your teammate is being focused.

Divine Protection Icon Divine Protection can be used while stunned and can only be used on yourself. Use this if you are being focused and need to reduce any incoming damage.

8. Best Team Compositions for Holy Paladins

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your healing rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. Holy Paladins have the ability to play aggressively with their teammates when they need to use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on the enemy healer or use their utility to play defensively with their Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedoms or Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protections.

8.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena you will be focusing on crowd controlling the enemy healer and rotating your utility to keep your teammate alive. Holy Paladins have multiple defensives that allow them to survive high dampening situations. For example, Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield will always make you immune to all damage, even in long matches with high dampening. The same goes for Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection that makes you immune to all physical damage. You also have Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice to help setup Repentance Icon Repentance on enemy healers.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Holy Paladin + Arms Warrior
  • Holy Paladin + Destruction Warlock
  • Holy Paladin + Feral Druid
  • Holy Paladin + Shadow Priest
  • Holy Paladin + Havoc Demon Hunter

8.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will place Beacon of Light Icon Beacon of Light on the teammate that will be taking damage. If the enemy team is using multiple burst cooldowns you will want to use your Avenging Crusader Icon Avenging Crusader followed by the rest of your burst healing rotation. When your team is ready to use their burst rotation, you will want to use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice and Repentance Icon Repentance on the enemy healer. This crowd control is very hard to stop if you are able to Hammer of Justice the enemy healer behind a pillar or out of line of the rest of the enemy team. There are going to be teams that will try to focus you. Make sure to rotate your Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection to survive as long as possible. If you are playing against a team where Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection does not help, try to line of sight any damage or use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • Jungle (Holy Paladin + Marksmanship Hunter + Feral Druid)
  • WMP (Holy Paladin + Frost Mage + Arms Warrior)
  • Holy Paladin + Arms Warrior + Havoc Demon Hunter
  • RMPally (Holy Paladin + Arcane Mage + Assassination Rogue)

9. Useful Macros for Holy Paladins

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Holy Paladins can benefit from.

9.1. Hammer of Justice 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Hammer of Justice
  • /cast [target=arena1] Hammer of Justice

Using this macro will use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while healing your team. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

9.2. Cleanse Party Macro

  • #showtooltip Cleanse
  • /cast [target=party1] Cleanse

Using this macro will use Cleanse Icon Cleanse on party player 1. This makes it easier to dispel a teammate while healing the rest of your team. If you want a macro to dispel the second party member, change the party1 to party2.

9.3. Freedom Party Macro

  • #showtooltip Blessing of Freedom
  • /cast [target=party1] Blessing of Freedom

Using this macro will use Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom on party player 1. This makes it easier to freedom a teammate while healing the rest of your team. If you want a macro to freedom the second party member, change the party1 to party2.

10. Changelog

  • 08 Oct. 2018: Added talent table.
  • 02 Oct. 2018: Removed PvP Gear and War Mode sections.
  • 25 Sep. 2018: Added Azerite Traits section.
  • 17 Sep. 2018: Updated guide for patch 8.0.1.
    • Updated Introduction and spec overview.
    • Added Stat priority.
    • Updated tier 2, 3, 6, and 7 regular talent sections.
    • Added PvP (War Mode) talents and gear sections for the new BfA system.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Added Basic Healing Rotation section.
    • Updated Burst healing and Sustained Healing sections.
    • Updated Defensive section.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Removed Artifact Traits and Relics sections.
  • 16 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 16 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
    • Updated recommended tier 1 regular talent.
    • Updated "Sustained Damage Healing" rotation.
  • 02 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 24 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2.
  • 30 Aug. 2017: Removed artifact trait description.
    • Updated recommended tier 6 honor talents.
    • Updated burst and sustained healing rotations.
  • 25 Jun. 2017: There are no changes needed for Patch 7.2.5.
  • 18 May 2017: Guide was added.
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