Thursday, October 9, 2014

[WoW] Holy Paladin Changes for 6.0

Keeping this as short and sweet as I can, here's a quick set of things you need to know for Holy Paladins in 6.0. Note that this doesn't include full changes in Warlords, just info for level 90. We have a slightly ridiculous number of changes, so even the short version of this is pretty long. If you're just interested in high level playstyle changes, check out the Conclusion section at the bottom.

Stat Changes
  • Item Squish is in. All your numbers are going to go down. Don't panic!
  • Intellect no longer increases your Crit with spells.
  • Sanctified Light was added, increasing the amount of Crit we get from things like gear and buffs by 5% (so if you'd normally get 100 crit rating from a piece of gear, Holy Paladins get 105).
  • There are no more Haste breakpoints. If you like Haste, stack it without worrying about your HoT ticks.
  • Spirit should be a lot more powerful, but you should need a lot less of it. However, this is not as apparent at level 90 and kicks in much more at 100.
  • Health with respect to healing throughput should be much higher, so people will be at less than 100% health more often. Your heals, however, will also do a much smaller percentage of your target's health. This should be okay! Admittedly I am unsure as to how much SoO changes with this.

Ability Removals

Talent Changes
  • Eternal Flame once again procs our Mastery, but the length of the HoT is now proportional to Holy Power spent, up to 30 seconds for 3 Holy Power. So no more spamming small HoTs everywhere; it's just not efficient.
  • Stay of Execution is a bit more powerful and the burst of healing is now at the beginning rather than at the end, making it easier to use.
  • Selfless Healer no longer affects Holy Radiance, and Judgment doesn't generate Holy Power. However, it buffs Flash of Light (now our primary throughput spell) a fair bit more than it did previously, by nearly twice as much.
 Ability Changes
  • Holy Light is our "efficient" heal, whereas Flash of Light is our throughput heal. They actually heal for identical amounts, but Flash is 66.7% faster to cast.
  • Avenging Wrath is now the mother of all throughput cooldowns, boosting healing by 100%, and Haste, Crit, and damage by 20%.
  • Beacon of Light now transfers multistrikes (of which for now the only thing that this affects are the multistrike SoO trinkets). Casting spells directly on the Beacon no longer generates Holy Power; however, casting Holy Light or Flash of Light on the Beacon will refund 40% of the mana cost, making direct Beacon healing extremely efficient. It also now has a small mana cost to keep people from macroing the ability to every spell cast.
  • Our area heals, like Daybreak and Holy Radiance, now only affect up to 6 injured targets instead of all targets in the area. (Note Light of Dawn always had this effect).
  • Holy Shock has twice the chance to Crit, rather than having a static +25%. This should help make Crit more attractive.
  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing is now applied by multistrikes (for now, only the SoO trinkets, same with Beacon).
  • Denounce now has a 40 yard range, up from 30. (hooray!)
  • All healers had most of their instant cast heals gain a 1.5 second cast time. For Paladins, Word of Glory, Eternal Flame, and Light of Dawn all have a cast time now, leaving us with only Holy Shock which is still instant.
  • Redemption no longer costs excruciatingly large amounts of mana.
  • Seal of Insight no longer increases our spell haste by 10%. Instead, that was rolled into Infusion of Light, a baseline Holy passive (and increases all Haste instead of just spell). This means if you want to do less healing but more damage, you can switch your seal without losing the haste, just 5% healing.
  Glyph Changes

Not listing every glyph change. Many of them are just numbers tweaks. But here's the major playstyle-altering changes.
  • Glyph of Divine Wrath now reduces mana costs by 25% while Avenging Wrath is active, but halves the healing bonus of the cooldown.
  • Glyph of Cleanse now grants Cleanse 2 charges, but increases the cooldown to 12 seconds.


Overall, the biggest changes to our playstyle is a much slower generation of Holy Power, and a lot less mobility with Holy Shock and our 90 talents being the only instant cast heals we have left. With less holy power, it makes Eternal Flame much less attractive, so I expect that whole tier to balance out a bit with all of them being viable choices.

With Divine Light gone, get used to using Flash of Light as our throughput heal. Note that unless you have stacks of Selfless Healer banked, Word of Glory at 2 Holy Power is still significantly stronger than a Flash of Light/Holy Light (and at 3 HP is a full 150% more powerful in a single cast).

Holy Radiance should be harder to spam, and only really worth casting if it'll hit two or more injured players, whereas today on live I use it almost exclusively over Divine Light because it hits nearly as hard on the tank after Beacon transfer is taken into account.

I'm not sure if at level 90 we'll see players sitting at less than 100% health much, but if that's the case, we should see Crit become a bit more valuable than it has been in the past, and it should also naturally make our Mastery a little less potent, because throughput will be a bit more important than bubbles.

I raid on Wednesday after the patch, so we'll see how this plays out in practice. I imagine SoO has been nerfed through the floor in anticipation of these changes, so I wouldn't panic about current content.

#WoW, #WarlordsOfDraenor


  1. Hello seeing as haste has no breakpoints and after raiding mythic last night with all the changes would a crit build be more viable than haste at this point, the more I read around it seems crit is the way Togo at lvl 90 for now. Not being able to EF blanket as much does gimp the haste build. Also being that mana isn't an issue @90lvl I think I'll be switching to crit and see how that works out

    1. Haste increases our HP generation via Holy Shock, but with fewer HoTs out there, it definitely means we're not getting as much out of Haste as we used to. No Haste breakpoints is largely immaterial to the discussion, given that just means you get a smooth curve out of increased Haste instead of a sawtooth graph.

      That in mind, though, most of our spells benefit from faster cast times. Also, Haste as a throughput increaser is usually at the expense of mana, so as long as mana isn't an issue, Haste is basically a free throughput increase, as is Crit.

      But I think we have enough synergies with Crit now, and the fact that players are ostensibly not at 100% health as often anymore, that Crit is definitely of way more value now than it ever has been.

      Traditionally Crit has technically been higher throughput anyhow, but it's been considered not as reliable as Haste because getting +10% throughput on all your spells is better than getting +100% on the occasional spell 10% of the time. Spikes are what kills tanks, and anything that allows us to smooth out incoming damage and outgoing healing (ie: making the fight more predictable) is ranked very highly.

      Perhaps slowing down the healing game will allow for Crits to average across a significant window of time much more easily. Previously, a significant window was 2 - 3 GCDs, because that's how long it would take to kill a tank. If it's now 7 or 8 GCDs, then Crit will average out to be a more consistent throughput stat than it has in the past.