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Posts with tag the light and how to swing it

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 ways to start retadin combat off with a bang

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 with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

One of the perks of this job, at least in my mind, is receiving reader mail and interacting with the community. I love doing what I can to help people new to the spec; it's really why I started blogging and writing about retribution paladins in the first place!

Anyway, last week I received an email posing the following question:
I have noticed that some other ret paladins have very high initial DPS. How are they doing this and how can I do the same?
The string of abilities and buttons you hit at the beginning of combat, called opening sequences or openers, are a much-discussed topic among theorycrafters and the community at large. Naturally, your first few attacks can set the pace for the rest of the fight. Fortunately, the spec is forgiving enough that even if you flub a button at the beginning of an encounter, your overall DPS won't go straight in the toilet. Even so, I have a few pieces of advice up my sleeve from my own experiences that can help you start the fight off right.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Secondary stat discussion for the discerning ret paladin

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 with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Since we're approaching what should be the final content patch before Mists of Pandaria, now would be a good time to discuss secondary stats. We saw in Wrath that things like haste and crit got out of control near the end of the expansion; a mage in my guild longs for the days when he could get his crit up past some absurd number and make fire "good again."

I don't have the heart to tell him that no amount of crit will ever make him good -- but I digress.

Let's take a look at those stats on our gear other than King Strength and how they work together to give us some big numbers.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Four things for 2.4

The 2.4 PTR is up, which means it's time for everyone's favorite pastime: complaining about the patch notes. ZOMG, more badge loot and no attunement for Hyjal? Blizzard is caving in to casuals! Another difficult 25-man raid instances? Oh noes, the gear gap is back and Blizz only cares about raiders!

But class complaints tend to be more numerous and specific. In all the hubbub, it's sometimes hard to tell exactly what's going to happen to paladins in the next patch. So here, without delay, are the four things you need to expect in 2.4:

1. Enter the Sunwell.

Whether you're sitting around picking at your toes after having cleared BT, stuck bumping your head up against SSC or The Eye, or just waiting for another 5-man, Patch 2.4 has a new PVE encounter for you. People who enjoy small groups can go to Magister's Terrace and fight Kael'thas, hardcore raiders can set foot in Sunwell Plateau, and not-quite-as-hardcore raiders can burst into the attunement-free Black Temple and Mount Hyjal.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: The paladin's guide to engineering

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article suggesting that blacksmithing may be the best profession choice for paladins. However, a metric load of engineers wrote in to inform me that a) I am dumb and b) engineering offers some great options for paladins. I disagree with option a on principle, but after doing some research, I've come to agree more and more with b.

Engineering is indeed a viable (if still largely unprofitable) profession. While I might have soured on engineering after a torturous pre-BC time on my warlock, the new, revamped engineering has some wonderful tricks, toys, and ways to fill in the gaps in the paladin playstyle.

The basics

Dynamite and Bombs: They come in many forms, from these ultra-cheap versions to sophisticated gadgets. But no matter what type you make, they fulfill two important functions: they're wonderful ways to level engineering, and they provide a ranged attack/pull for a class that is otherwise lacking one. (Unless you grab Avenger's Shield or Holy Shock, but those are only available at later levels.)

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Blacksmithing for the rest of us

It's tough to figure out what crafting professions to take as a paladin. Jewelcrafting is fun, but the market is flooded. Engineering is great if you PvP, but otherwise it's not very useful. (Edited to add: I am wrong and forgot about the goggles. Please don't turn me into a chicken.) Tailoring and leatherworking are totally out. Alchemy is easy to level, but doesn't provide much of a return. And enchanting ... is a huge pain in the rear to get to max level.

That leaves blacksmithing. Unfortunately, most blacksmithing items seem tailored for warriors or retadins. There's not a lot of craftable healing or tanking stuff out there, and blacksmithing is tough to level. So today we answer the question: What can blacksmithing do for holy and prot paladins in endgame? (Sorry, retadins, your stuff was covered in Chris's wonderful ret gear series.)

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Your epic mount quest -- for the Horde!

Happy New Year, healers, tankers and facesmashers! And what better way to ring in the new year than by ringing out your epic mount quest? Two weeks ago, we showed our Alliance brethren the way to their epic charger. Now it's time to help those anorexic Blood Knights get their own horse.

WARNING TO ALLIANCE PALADINS: If you value your sanity, do not read any farther. The ease of the Horde epic mount quest, as compared to the Alliance one, will make you cry tears of blood, smash your face into the keyboard, and run wild in the streets with your hatred. Admittedly, smashing your face into the keyboard will help prevent you from being labeled AFK in AV, but do you really want to explain to your boss why you got "Blood Knights Are Pansies" tattooed across your lower back?

Okay? Let's do this!

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Filed under: Paladin, Walkthroughs, Blood Elves, Mounts, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: The paladin epic mount quest for Alliance

Dinging level 60 isn't nearly as fun as it used to be. You're probably already in Outlands, smashing faces with Tier 2-equivalent gear and looking forward to your flying mount. But wait! You've still got one thing left to do in Azeroth. Yep, it's time to head back through the Dark Portal and get your epic charger.

The Alliance and the Horde have vastly different questlines for their epic chargers, and I've got to say, the Horde one is tons easier. The Alliance one is so time-consuming that it might just be easier to shell out the gold for a regular horse/ram/elephantything. But for those who really want the status symbol, The Light and How to Swing It Presents:

Getting your epic charger (Alliance)

First off: if, as you're approaching 60, you can get your hands on Runecloth, Arthas's Tears, Arcanite (actually, start transmuting your own Arcanite a week before doing the quest if you're an alchemist), Stratholme Holy Water, an Azerothian Diamond or a Pristine Black Diamond, hang onto it. You'll need it later.

Your local paladin trainer will tell you that it's time to go see Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker in the Stormwind Cathedral District. Shadowbreaker will give you two quests: Emphasis on Sacrifice is supposed to prove your loyalty to the Light, and The Work of Grimand Elmore will help you get your horse's "barding", whatever that is. Emphasis on Sacrifice is easier, so let's go do that one first.

For Emphasis on Sacrifice, you must bring 150g to High Priest Rohan, a priest trainer in the Mystic Ward of Ironforge. In return, he'll give you his Exorcism Censer, which you can take back to Shadowbreaker. Shadowbreaker will then give you the quest Exorcising Terrordale. Head to Terrordale, the city just west of Plaguewood in Eastern Plaguelands. You need to use the Exorcism Censer on green circles that you'll find on the ground. Be prepared to face 1-3 spirits every time you use the Censer. After 25 spirits, you can return to Shadowbreaker and start work on Grimand Elmore.

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Filed under: Paladin, How-tos, Quests, Features, Mounts, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Heal me! for dummies

So you're cruising along, leveling your paladin (who you probably picked up leveling again after 2.3, you lazy blaggard) when you finally find a group for the instance you've been dying to go to. You join the group ... and discover that it consists of a warrior, a mage, a rogue and a hunter. They need a healer.

"But I'm ret/prot!" you exclaim. "I don't know anything about how to heal! How can I keep my party from become a splat on the floor when I'm not even holy?" Relax -- you don't really need to be a healing spec to heal regular, non-heroic, non-raid instances. All you need is a few add-ons, a tiny bit of gear, and some knowledge on how to properly play a healer.


The one addon that I found completely necessary for healing was Clique. This enables you to press a key and click on name bars to heal their associated players. I bind Flash of Light to shift-left click, Holy Light to shift-right click, and Cleanse to shift-middle click. (Shockadins might want to bind Holy Shock to shift-middle click instead, or BoP as needed. Lay on Hands is NOT recommended.) This worked so well that I went through half of Botanica the other day without noticing that some of my action bars weren't working. It's easy to configure, and since paladins have only a couple of healing options, it's simple to use.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Add-Ons, Instances, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How To Swing It: Surviving 1-20 as a pally

A lot of people want a high-level paladin to heal, tank, or (as of 2.3) smash faces, but aren't sure how to get up to the point where it becomes fun. Does it get beyond Seal of Righteousness, Judge, Seal of Righteousness, Judge, heal? How can I make the same content I've done five times interesting? When are people going to stop laughing at my blood elf? Read on, as The Light and How to Swing It takes you and your paladin to level 20.

First off, you should know what to roll. Four races -- human, dwarf, draenei and blood elf -- can be pallies. If you're Horde, your choice is limited to one. Alliance have more choices, so you need to look at the racials of the classes and what races you've already played. If you haven't made a draenei yet, I would recommend them, as the 1-20 content will be new to you. Plus, the 1% hit aura is pretty nice. The human Diplomacy racial is killer if you're planning on doing heroics, and both Sword and Mace specialization come in handy if you're going Ret. As for dwarves ... well, dwarves have Stoneform, which is nice for PvP. There aren't a whole lot of benefits to being a dwarf paladin, but they are kind of cool-looking, especially female dwarves.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: A field guide to bad paladins

A couple lifetimes ago, I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to bad rogues for Encrypted Text. I considered doing the same for paladins, but as I didn't have a 70 Pally yet, I decided to hold off for a while. Well -- good news, everyone! I'm 70, and it's time to offend every race, spec and playstyle with the Field Guide to Bad Paladins. Please direct all Crusader Strikes to management.

The Guy Who Doesn't Understand Hybrids

  • Identification: A long time ago, someone told this Pally that paladins can heal, tank and DPS. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell him that you can't do all three at the same time. Paladins of this category are notorious for trying to do way too many things at the same time. He will pop a bubble and heal himself while tanking. He will run in and try to get a raid mob away from a clothie while in healing gear. He will tank with a two-hander.
  • Mating Call: "Don't worry, guys, I can heal myself! Wait, it keeps getting interrupted ..."
  • Habitat: Low-level instances.
  • Management: This guy's heart is in the right place -- his brain is just elsewhere. This problem can usually be corrected with some education at low levels. If he keeps trying to tank and DPS at the same time, suggest he roll a Death Knight. "They can tank with two swords!"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Humor, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-epic plate healing gear, part 3

Hmm, this list of pre-epic plate healing gear is becoming quite epic in itself. After we covered the upper body and lower body, it's time to discuss things that are not, technically, made of plate: cloaks, trinkets, weapons, shields and librams. Although I would totally like to have a cloak made of plate (or of PLATES!), and sort of wonder why there aren't armor classes on cloaks. It would keep all those pesky clothies away from our +healing and +spell crit cloaks. Mwahahaha!

Anyway, on to the list, and I promise this is the end of the listiness. The column two weeks from now is going to be "A Field Guide To Bad Paladins", so please, save your eggs and tomatoes for that one.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-epic plate healing gear, part 2

Two weeks ago, we explored the scarce amount of decent plate healing gear out there before raiding instances. This week, we'll be heading below the belt (not in that way) to find some plate healing or damage/healing gear for your belt, pants, boots, and rings. Okay, technically rings aren't below the belt ... or at least the rings we wear in this game aren't. And if you have a ring that is worn there, we really don't want to hear about it. The trinkets, weapons, shield and librams made this article run far over the word count, so those will have to be saved for Part 3. This is turning into an epic to rival Gilgamesh.


  1. Girdle of Many Blessings: 24 stam, 22 int, 21 spell crit, 46 healing. 12% drop from Rokmar in heroic Slave Pens. Like the rest of the "Tier 2 redux with uglier colors" set, this is one of the best pre-epic belts. The spell crit is an especially nice touch for holy pallies.
  2. Girdle of Divine Blessing: 16 stam, 22 int, 18 spell crit, 48 healing. BOE world drop (35g) average. Or, if you're a lazy ass like me, you can just pick this up off the AH for cheap. A little less stam and crit is worth not having to find a group for heroic SP.
  3. Khorium Belt: 30 stam, 21 int, 8mp/5, 25 dam/heal. Crafted by blacksmiths. Or if you're REALLY lazy, you can find a blacksmith leveling up to craft one of these for you. Many will craft free with your mats, and some will even pay you if they get a skillup!
  4. Lightwarden's Girdle: 30 stam, 14 int, 23 def, 28 dam/heal. Quest reward from Deathblow to the Legion in Netherstorm. And if you're utterly desperate, there's this pally tanking belt that comes with a little dam/heal to help you out. At this point you should probably either pick up some cloth or green healing gear, or possibly just cry in the corner all night while listening to "Seventy Times 7."

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Must-have and must-miss talents

It's hard to determine the best and worst talents for a class that has three different roles. The best tanking talent is obviously going to be useless if you're primarily a healer, and the worst thing for a prot pally might be excellent with a ret build. Nevertheless, there are certain talents in all three trees that shine brightly, and other talents that make you ask "Who actually takes these?" These ... are those talents.

Best Holy Talents:

  1. Holy Guidance: Increases your spell damage and healing by 7/14/21/28/35% of your total Intellect. It's not a shiny new ability, it's not a magical button for mana efficiency, and it doesn't wow the crowds, but my God, is it good for both PVE and PVP. It allows the Int on our gear to do triple duty, increasing our healing as well as our mana pool and all-important crit chance.
  2. Healing Light: Increases the amount healed by yourHoly Light and Flash of Light spells by 4/8/12%. If you're full holy, you're probably raid/PVP healing or under a misconception about the power of Shockadins. If it's the former, this spell is invaluable. I only wish you could put five points in it ...
  3. Illumination: After getting a critical effect from your Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock heal spell, gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain Mana equal to 60% of the base cost of the spell. Pre-2.1, this would have been a no-brainer for #1. But they nerfed it from returning 100 percent of mana to 60 percent, since pallies were stacking spell crit and grouping with shadow priests for essentially unlimited mana in raids. Still a nice talent, but not as good as it used to be.
  4. Holy Power: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by 1/2/3/4/5%. This, along with the less-powerful-cause-it's-only-Holy-Light talent Sancified Light, works well with Illumination and spell crit for keeping up your mana.
  5. Spiritual Focus: Decreases chance to be interrupted by taking damage when casting Flash of Light and Holy Light by 14/28/42/56/70%. Not super for a raid environment, but excellent for PVP, grinding, and everything else. This talent saved me a ridiculous amount of times while leveling.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: How to tank as a Paladin

Before the Burning Crusade, Paladin tanks didn't really exist. Players certainly could spec into Protection (and some did, I'm sure), but the player base as a whole wasn't ready to even accept the possibility that a Paladin could or should tank. The gear didn't really exist for it, the Protection tree was weak, and most seemed willing to accept their role as heal / buff bots in raids.

Protection was even more laughable than Retribution is today, if you can believe it. You think finding a group as a Retribution Paladin these days is tough? I can't think of a single group I ran in before BC that had a Paladin tank, and I ran a lot of groups.

However, that all changed with the introduction of the Burning Crusade, and the redone talent trees...

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin macros

So recently, I decided to respec ret and give the most-vilified spec in WoW a swing while I leveled. I used the popular Seal/Judge Crusader, Seal of Command, Judge Command, Crusader Strike combo. But I kept forgetting to instantly re-seal Command after Judging, and as a result, I was pretty slow to kill things. I decided it was time to make a macro.

Now, I've used macros before on my rogue (usually involving pickpocketing when cheapshotting), but I had yet to make any for my pally. So I did a Google search and lo and behold, there were a ton of good paladin macro sites! These will be old hat for any experienced macroers, but for noobs like me, I figured a list would come in handy.

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

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