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Posts with tag pally

The Light and How to Swing It: Evaluating Mists of Pandaria talents for holy paladins

paladin talents
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Speculating on talent choices that aren't even being publicly tested yet is risky business. Mists of Pandaria isn't in beta testing yet, which means that everything is still be up in the air. What if holy power gets scrapped between now and then? What if the developers decide that shockadins should actually be viable? There are simply too many unknowns when discussing an upcoming game that hasn't faced any public scrutiny.

At the same time, speculating on talent choices with no empirical evidence whatsoever is also fun, because we get to make it up as we go along. I am already imaging a build with the new Pursuit of Justice, where I stack up 5 holy power points via Boundless Conviction and run around with 60% bonus speed for an entire encounter. Will it work with 5 holy power points, or will the speed boost only count 3 of them? Only time will tell. Or Ghostcrawler. But mostly time.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Adjust your healing in patch 4.3

holy radiance
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

With patch 4.3 looming on the horizon, holy paladins need to be prepared for all of the changes that are headed our way. Both of our AoE healing options have been significantly altered, along with several of the talents and glyphs that support these abilities. Retribution paladins are also looking forward to a few buffs to their sustained DPS, but their ability to help with AoE healing is being greatly reduced.

Our core mana regeneration mechanic is about to be completely scrapped. In fact, if we continue using Judgement without making any adjustments, we'll actually have less mana in patch 4.3 than we do today. We've been healing with holy power for nearly a year now, but many of the habits we've picked up along the way will need to change.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Putting our Hands to work

paladin bubble
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

If healers were defined by their heals, then holy paladins would be the strong, silent type. Our roster of healing spells has always been meek. The three-heal model of Cataclysm and the introduction of our holy power heals definitely increased our selection, but we have nowhere near the healing spell diversity of a priest or druid. We're only now receiving a true AOE heal in patch 4.3 with Holy Radiance's redesign.

Rather than leaning on a variety of healing options, holy paladins like to keep it simple. We're able to compensate for our undiversified healing tool box by drawing on our numerous other abilities. We might not have as many healing spells as the other guys, but we certainly have more utility spells than they could ever dream of. Our "Hand of" spells allow us to go further than any other healer can.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Synergizing with priests

priest and paladin waving
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Holy paladins can't do it all. While we might be the best-dressed spec in the game, we occasionally need for other healers to give us a hand. The developers have done a great job giving each healer a niche for them to fill. A holy paladin must know the strengths and weaknesses of the other healing classes in order to be able to work alongside them.

While all healers are somewhat normalized by Cataclysm's introduction of the three heal model, it's each class's unique spells that give them flavor. We all start with the same base, and then our signature heals and cooldowns allow us to differentiate ourselves. Holy paladins can adjust their healing style and strategy to complement their partner healers instead of competing with them.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Patch 4.2 lets our mastery stack

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Intellect is the best holy paladin stat. There's no need to discuss it, as everyone agrees that intellect is king. Since all of our gear has intellect on it already, most of our stat choices revolve around our secondary stats. Haste and spirit are currently the two stats that most holy paladins prefer, with critical strike rating and mastery rating taking up the rear. Blizzard has already tried making our mastery bonus more attractive a few times in Cataclysm, but with little success.

In patch 4.2, the developers have made several changes to our mechanics that make the healing secondary stats much more powerful. Our critical heals will be healing for 200% of their original value in the next patch. Critical strike rating will be more valuable in a double-crit world, but haste will likely still be champion. On a more interesting note, our Illuminated Healing mastery bubbles are stacking on the patch 4.2 PTR. Each heal adds more absorption, up to a maximum of 33% of our total health.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Don't trust your mana bar

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Since patch 4.1 went live, I have been noticing some irregularities with my mana bar. I don't check it too often, as I'm usually focused on my raid's health instead. As expected, I watch my mana the most when it's running low. It seemed as if I was both gaining and spending more mana than usual, and so I started doing some research. A few threads on the WoW official forums revealed that there were others seeing the same sort of issues and that Seal of Insight and Judgement were the main suspects.

The initial reports that I found indicated that holy paladins were actually being robbed of mana after using Judgement. We normally gain mana after Judging, due to its interaction with Seal of Insight. The issue was that when casting a spell after Judging, we'd somehow lose the mana that we had just gained. Judgement actually costs us some mana, though typically we recoup the cost from the mana it grants. If we're not seeing a return from Judgement with SoI active, then we should actually stop Judging on cooldown. Luckily for us, that's not the whole story of what's happening.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Tackling AoE paladin heals

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered or awesome screenshots you may have!

Superman's weakness is green kryptonite. When confronted with it, he has no option but to surrender. A Green Lantern's weakness is anything yellow, which I suppose means that they hate bananas. Aquaman's weakness is that he can't really do much on dry land, except possibly flop around some. Holy paladins, while not exactly superheroes, have been plagued by a longstanding weakness as well: We've never been able to heal a group with any sort of efficiency or potency.

In Cataclysm, the developers set out to break down the barriers that were preventing holy paladins from being effective group healers. The first order of business was expanding our toolbox to include a few AoE spells, and so we learned Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. While they've both seen some serious rebalancing and complete redesigns (as well as a rename or two), the final versions of these two spells are now our core AoE healing options. Both abilities tackle different situations, and knowing when to use which is key in being successful as a holy paladin.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: One heal or two

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. On Sundays, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email Chase with any questions you want answered, like how to party with Thrall.

There's no need to be ashamed. Many people have felt how you're feeling right now. Let's get it out in the open: You're concerned about mana efficiency. Running out of mana is not a nightmare -- it's a reality. If you choose the wrong heals, your mana pool plummets. Being inefficient with your heals isn't the status quo; it's a death sentence. Mana went from our least important stat to our most thought-of concern.

I have been working on different techniques to refine my healing strategy within the confines of our new healing paradigm, and I have come up with a method for saving mana and maximizing your healing done. One of the mechanics that makes holy paladins unique from other healers is our talent Protector of the Innocent, while another is Beacon of Light. When we combine the two abilities, we can achieve far more healing than would normally be possible through the method of splitting holy power points.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Holy paladins make a trade

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like about how Blizzard finally fixed the Light of Dawn animation.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it: Holy paladins saw a massive stealth nerf delivered recently. Tower of Radiance, once the pinnacle of a holy paladin's healing strategy, was reduced to rubble. ToR previously granted us an extra holy power point any time we used a core heal on our Beaconed target. The new version only works with Divine Light and Flash of Light, our two most expensive heals. Our holy power generation mechanics basically limit us to one holy power point every 6 seconds. Daybreak can help by letting us snag extra Holy Shocks, but not in a predictable manner. Tower of Radiance allowed us to control our holy power generation by using Holy Light to pick up a few extra points whenever we wanted.

The key to Tower of Radiance's potency was the cheap price of Holy Light. If we needed extra AoE healing, we could generate holy power points and then spend them on Light of Dawn. When low on mana, we could use our cheap Holy Lights to build points towards a zero-mana Word of Glory. ToR gave us the flexibility to do something productive with our Holy Lights during downtime and allowed us to exploit our free holy power-based heals. To make matters worse, the developers nerfed us from the other direction, by lowering Light of Dawn's potency by 40%.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Leveling your new Sunwalker


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like how awesome tauren paladins are.

After The Shattering hit Azeroth, it was clear that the world was never going to be the same. Entire zones were torn asunder, and everyone who can take up arms to combat Deathwing has stood up to fight. The Horde recently inducted the Sunwalkers into the fold, and they're eagerly training in the way of the Light. Now players won't be stuck with blood elves when they want to play the paladin class.

If you've been on the general forums in the past few days, you've seen some of the clever names that people have come up with for their tauren paladins. Retbull (gives you wings), Skim (Light milk), and Bovinity (divine cows) were among my personal favorites. I decided to start a new tauren paladin myself, figuring I could heal my way through the low-level dungeons and try out the new starting quests and zones at the same time. It's been years since I've played a new paladin, and it was time for a refresher course.

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

WoW Rookie: Leveling a paladin tank

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Want to level your paladin as a tank? You got it! Before the Dungeon Finder tool was launched in December, finding level-appropriate instance groups was well nigh impossible. Occasional knots of newborn death knights might putter about in a favorite Burning Crusade instance to scoop up some gear. The rest of the pre-Northrend instances remained ghost towns, populated only by speed-running level 80s who were farming or running low-level buddies through some quick levels. But the Dungeon Finder has re-invigorated the instances of Azeroth, Outland and beyond. What does that mean for leveling players? If you love to play in groups and instances or if you're looking ahead to raiding and want to lay down your skill base now, you can.

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Filed under: Paladin, How-tos, Instances, Features, Leveling, Guides, WoW Rookie

The argument for paladin stances

Righteous Defense lays out an intriguing argument for an idea that I still personally can't get behind: paladin stances. The recent changes around patch 3.3 have shined a light on paladin versatility, and basically, paladins are forced to pay the hybrid tax three times over -- because they can do it all without limiting themselves, they can't do anything as well as other classes. So RD makes the suggestion: instead of letting paladins have all of their spells under any aura, it's time to narrow things down a bit. Devotion Aura becomes tanking stance, gets Righteous Fury's threat bonus added to it, and enabling it makes pallies lose some other abilities (Avenger's Shield is RD's suggestion). Retribution Aura becomes a DPS "stance," with added benefits and costs, and so on. By forcing paladins into a playstyle, you can give them extra power, because you've taken away versatility.

Unfortunately for those in favor, I don't think it'll ever happen. First of all, we already have a class in the game that uses stances, and I think that this type of gameplay is too close for Blizzard's comfort to implement in the same way on paladins -- they want the classes to play different. Second, the paladin class design has always focused on the versatility of being a hybrid. While paladins may want to limit themselves to see buffs, Blizzard has never shown an inclination to limit pallies' versatility just to make them more powerful. I like the idea of Righteous Fury's buff getting linked up to something else (it definitely seems like it's out there on its own as an arbitrary tanking buff), but paladins getting a fully implemented stance system doesn't seem likely at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Increase threat in five easy steps!

It sounds like an infomercial, but actually Righteous Defense has a great post on how a pally (or any class, really -- his advice is for pallies, but it's common sense enough that any tanking class can use the tips) can step up and increase their threat as far as it will go. I always enjoyed tanking when I did it (and now that I'm leveling up a pally, I'll hopefully be bashing heads in and taking damage again soon), and the key to tanking is just awareness: awareness of where the mobs are, who they're targeting, and where they should be. Increasing threat is really a passive kind of upgrade -- as long as you're hitting your spells right, using the glyphs designed to keep you at the top of an aggro list, and specced and hit-capped for the gear and abilities you're using, keeping threat up is pretty simple. It's just the positioning and dealing with surprises that can be hard.

The last point on RD's list is worth repeating for everyone: use your trinkets, as often as possible. Imagine that, in the next patch notes, you saw a spell under your class listing that did what your trinkets did (added a ton of spellpower or increased armor by 500) and went on to say (infomercial style again) "... at a cost of no mana, focus, rage or ." Wouldn't you be spamming that sucker as often as possible? Get your gear straight, use the right abilities, and break out your trinkets whenever you can, and keeping threat should be no problem at all for any given class.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Tips, Virtual selves, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight

Patch 3.3 PTR: Undocumented Paladin changes


Late last night while we were all in bed Blizzard left a patch on the PTR. For those of you who haven't read the patch notes yet, both documented and not, Blizzard is still trying to ease the level up experience for newer characters. This includes changing where certain skills and abilities are gained as well as changing what gear characters start with. For paladins, they've reduced the cost of the lower skill ranks of several skills. All of this seems to be preparation for Cataclysm when they expect people to level some of the new class/race combinations as well as the playable Worgen and Goblin races.

HOLY
Holy Shock/Holy Light/Blessing of Wisdom/Consecration/Exorcism/Greater Blessing of Wisdom/Holy Wrath/Flash of Light/Blessing of Wisdom: Mana cost of their lower ranks reduced.
While this is something that won't be noticed by those of you raiding Ulduar and the Argent Tournament, it should help out those trying to do Wailing Caverns or Scarlet Monastary as mana can sometimes be an issue at lower levels. As Holy Shock, Holy Light, and Flash of Light are all included, this should make it easier on those of you trying to level as an instance healer.

More after the break.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling

Exorcism can no longer be used on players

As an unannounced change in this morning's patch 3.1.1, Exorcism can no longer be used against players. The stated rationale for this change not being announced ahead of time was that they were "trying to get the tooltip changed at the same time to reduce confusion," which doesn't quite seem to hold water for me - wouldn't it be less confusing to tell the players, and not leave them to find out for themselves the next time they tried to PvP? Anyway, that's a relatively minor issue.

Recall that in patch 3.1, Exorcism was changed to be usable on all targets, and to automatically crit against demons and undead (before, it could only be used against demons and undead). Evidently Blizzard feels that it's just too much burst damage for Ret pallies in PvP, especially given that it means they can start up their combos from range. Edit: Just to clarify, the functionality of Exorcism in PvE is unchanged.

Ghostcrawler also promises that they're working on making Pally DPS "more interesting and also less bursty" instead of just using all your skills on cooldown, and that once they figure out how to do that, you'll be able to Exorcise other players again. He gives Conflagrate, Brain Freeze, Rip, Overpower, and Arcane Blast as examples of the kind of more interesting mechanics they might be going for. He invites feedback on ways to make Pally DPS more reactive, so go make your thoughts known in the thread if you have any ideas.

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, PvP

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