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An introduction to the holy paladin's healset

Seasoned paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine, now with a strong hint of holy. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Some say that hell is other people. Still others claim that hell is repetition. As for myself, I ask, why not both? I recognize now that resolving to level this paladin solely through the Dungeon Finder was a decision fueled by the type of naïveté only afforded to the impetuous. "Surely it can't be that bad," I assured myself as I began my journey at the eager level of 15. Now, fifty five levels later, I can only shake my head at my own hubris and rock myself to sleep at night.

Granted, I may be waxing a bit melodramatic here, but don't judge me until you have spent as long as I have "randomly" queuing into the same section of Blackrock Depths.

There is a silver lining to all this, however; repetition, although tedious, helps reinforce muscle memory. I could map out every Clique binding I have while mumbling in my sleep. One thing that I made sure to do while making my way up the leveling ladder was to really get to know my heals: how they functioned and in what situations they would be most useful. Therefore, this week I'd like to touch on those most important of abilities to the holy flavor of paladin, our heals.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

So you want to be a holy paladin


Seasoned paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

On a clear day, just after the sun has set and there is no moon in the sky, if you are very, very lucky you can just make out the approach of Warlords of Draenor. People with expensive telescopes and bucket hats will insist that it's Mercury, but I've learned to never trust anyone wearing a safari vest.

Let's address the question that is undoubtedly burning in your mind: should I use the "boost a character to level 90" feature on a paladin? Well that's a very good question, thank you for asking it. If you don't already have a paladin at max level and want one, Warlords provides a great opportunity to hit the ground running with your new favorite class.

Personally, I'm not entirely sure what I will boost. One thing I've always wanted to try was a holy paladin, which would seem to be an easy option given that my protection offspec saw about as much use as Denver's offensive line during the Super Bowl. But just jumping into a completely new role with mostly new abilities never appealed to me, especially if that first jump happened during raid time. I like to be able to prepare for my inevitable failure so that I can write up a short list of excuses why I Beaconed a hunter pet and healed only myself for four consecutive attempts.

Scenarios like that are why I try to learn a class from the ground up. Not everyone is like this though; many people prefer to go on the internet and read about these things. Therefore, as I'm leveling I'll recount what I've learned - my triumphs, my mistakes, my body count – in the hopes that should you choose to exalt one of the Light's blessed warriors out of the dregs of the single digits to the heights of the nonagenarians, you might find the transition just a tiny bit easier.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladining at BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It Paladining at BlizzCon

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Wow, what a weekend. Not only was the convention a lot of fun but it was great to meet fellow paladins and non-paladins alike. Most of my time was spent meeting people, watching panels, and playing demos. Amidst the chaos I didn't allocate much time to mulling things over, how the proposed changes in Warlords of Draenor would affect how I, and so many other ret paladins, approach the game, so now that I've had a decent night's sleep and my liver is mostly alcohol-free, I'm spending my day off in blessedly quiet reflection.

We didn't see much of any class discussion this year, and unless I missed an entire panel there wasn't a single paladin-related question throughout the entire convention. There are some big questions that it would be nice to have answered, like the permanency of holy power, the relative weights of our stats, the deletion of the warlock class, etc. We did get a few overall changes, changes that will affect ret in turn, so let's see how some of these could impact our day-to-day facesmashing in Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Paladin, BlizzCon, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution after patch 5.4

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution after patch 54
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Back in June (Wow, seriously? Tempus fugit, I suppose.) I shared my thoughts on some of the changes coming in patch 5.4. As is typical for me when it comes to change, I was a bit harsh in some of my pre-judgments and, now that we are well into the newest content Blizzard has to offer, I'd like to revisit a few of those points.

Inquisition's longer duration
Originally I was not very happy about this change. I felt that maintaining a relatively shorter duration buff was part of what distinguished a "good" ret paladin from a "bad" one, as if squeezing out a tiny amount of extra DPS would make a dramatic difference in performance, and that making it easier to maintain would make the spec utterly boring and unchallenging.

Boy, was I wrong. It took some getting used to at first, for as Inquisition's duration doubled the WeakAura bar that I used to track it remained the same, resulting in far too many early refreshes than I care to admit. But after the honeymoon I had settled into our new relationship pretty well. It may only be an additional 30 seconds, but it did wonders for setting my mind at ease when I went to refresh it.

I still wonder if this is where the devs will stop with it, or if they'll eventually make it passive or allow other abilities to extend its duration (essentially making it passive anyway). I would like to think that Blizzard has learned a great deal from how much tanks are enjoying active mitigation and realize that, on the whole, "active" is fun whereas "passive" is not.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Strength DPS gear in Siege of Orgrimmar

The Light and How to Swing It Strength DPS gear in Siege of Orgrimmar WED
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

A new patch means more gear, and more gear means another gear list. Let's get to it before I change my mind and write about how awful it was trying to solo Valithria Dreamwalker in 10-man heroic Icecrown Citadel as holy -- I still can't shake the nightmares.

Unless otherwise noted, the following gear can be found within the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. Non-tier pieces appear in normal, warforged, heroic, and heroic warforged varieties, similar to the gearing scheme in Throne of Thunder.

Oh, and although I covered Siege of Orgrimmar two-handed strength weapons in a previous article, I will briefly repeat their drop locations for the sake of completeness.

Head
Helm of the Night Watchman – drops from the Spoils of Pandaria encounter.
Thranok's Shattering Helm – drops from Galakras.
Helmet of Winged Triumph – token drops from Thok the Bloodthirsty.
Magdalena's Murderous Crown – drops from Ordos on the Timeless Isle, and named after death knight theorycrafter and community member Magdalena.

Neck
Juggernaut's Ignition Keys – drops from Iron Juggernaut.
Malkorok's Tainted Dog Tags – drops from Malkorok.
Anafielle's Spiked Choker – drops from Ordos on the Timeless Isle, and named after ret paladin theorycrafter and community member Anafielle.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Step into the Hearthstone Arena

Step into the Hearthstone Arena
The Hearthstone beta has started, and most of us here at WoW Insider have been captivated by the free-to-play card game like a cat to a laser pointer. I know that I have sacrificed what would have been a very productive weekend for the greater good of gaming. Okay, so I probably wouldn't have cured cancer or solved world hunger, but still the game is very addictive despite being quite simple on its surface.

As I'm exploring everything Hearthstone has to offer, I have to say that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is the Arena. Essentially, the Arena is a game mode where you assemble a deck using one of three randomized heroes and a selection of semi-randomized cards and square off against other players. The more you win, the larger your heap of treasure will be. Lose three times and you're out, though you'll still receive some rewards for the highest level you were able to obtain.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Why ret's tier 16 bonus isn't as bad as everyone thinks

Why rets tier 16 bonus isnt as bad as everyone thinks WED
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

As we enter what are surely the twilight builds of the patch 5.4 PTR we are approaching the "speak now or forever complain about it afterward" part of the marriage between test and live servers. Feedback, I would argue, is more important at this stage, the mechanics stage where general ideas are taken from someone's brain and sculpted with pixels and code, than during the tuning stage, which is more or less a giant equation in need of balancing.

So I donned my lead-lined undergarments and pillow armor and plunged headfirst into the PTR Discussion forums, looking for posts featuring ret discussion. What I found was disappointing, to say the least. Instead of discussing the nice buffs to Inquisition, Guardian of Ancient Kings, or Unbreakable Spirit, most every forum entry I stumbled across was decrying our tier 16 four-piece bonus.

For the unaware, Wowhead shows the current iteration of our tier 16 bonuses as follows:

Tier 16 two-piece bonus: When Art of War activates, all damage is increased by 5% for 6 sec.
Tier 16 four-piece bonus: Holy Power consumers have a 25% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deal 50% more damage.

The four-piece bonus was reworked once, boosting the free Divine Storm's damage by 50%, but has otherwise remained untouched since. After some initial skepticism I began to really look forward to the bonus, something reminiscent of our tier 10 two-piece ("Your melee attacks have a 40% chance to reset the cooldown on your Divine Storm ability") from a time when the ret paladin reigned supreme.

As such I had a hard time understanding how these players could scream for change from their soapbox daises. I read through soul-crushing thread after soul-crushing thread, expecting to find some sort of logic I could latch onto in an attempt to see where they were coming from. The remainder of this article contains the main points I was able to glean from their diatribes, followed closely by why exactly I think these individuals are off their gourds.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Weapons and stats for ret paladins in Siege of Orgrimmar

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Weapons have always been my favorite piece of gear. They're iconic and powerful; they define our spec more clearly than any spell or ability. So when I stepped into Throne of Thunder and finally saw Zerat, Malakk's Soulburning Greatsword drop, I took one look at my aging Shin'ka, Execution of Dominion, a pale copy of its normal and heroic variants, and quickly tossed the axe aside. And then did the same thing to Zerat when we saw Uroe, Harbinger of Terror drop from Lei Shen. And again when a heroic Greatsword of Frozen Hells gracefully tumbled from the heavens and landed on the corpse of Horridon, nestled in whatever pockets or pouches or sacs a massive direhorn may have.

As patch 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar loom on the horizon, some exciting and deadly instruments wait to be plundered. Since this will (okay, might) be the final raid of the expansion, now is a good time to reexamine our stat weights before we make any judgment calls on the bludgeons that those savages have to offer.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The need to resuscitate first aid

The need to resuscitate first aid
Having played a paladin for the majority of my WoW career, first aid has never been anything more than a novelty to me, a way to accumulate a few extra achievement points by wasting some cloth that could probably be put to better use making bags or craftable gear. It has been years since I have used a bandage with the express purpose of actually healing myself from a grievous injury, as opposed to either attempting to clear out some bag space or trying to point out just how useless the things are. After archaeology's introduction, the newfound relevance of fishing thanks to good ol' Nat Pagle and the Anglers, and cooking's dramatic makeover, I think it's about time Blizzard breathed some life back into first aid.

In order to figure out how the blues can go about resurrecting this flat-lined secondary profession, let's examine how they have done the same with the others.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

3 things retribution paladins should borrow from windwalkers

3 things retribution paladins should pick up from windwalkers
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

After about a dozen or so failed attempts, I am finally leveling a monk. I'm not sure I could even tell you why I failed to push myself past level 20, but almost every jade-colored Grid square I had started would eventually meet the business end of the word "Delete" before learning how to ride a bike.

Now I am jabbing and kicking my way into Outland and, somewhat shamefully, am having a complete blast. I almost feel bad that my weekly playtime on the monk is exceeding that of my paladin by a significant margin, though after reading through the forums and seeing many posters make comparisons between ret paladins and windwalker monks, I don't feel quite as bad.

Indeed, in many ways my monk reminds me of my paladin -- a melee class using a secondary resource reminiscent of combo points and maintaining a damage-increasing buff feels right at home. Still, though, there are a number of major differences between the specs, enough to make me a little jealous of what monks have that paladins don't.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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