*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***

*Small updates on Monday, October 18th, 2010 – Spell coefficients, a note about Enlightened Judgements vs. Paragon of Virtue*

*Update on Monday, November 22, 2010 – Glyph section somewhat out of date, links to 4.0.3a post.*

With 4.0.1 here as of Tuesday, October 12th, there are several things every single holy paladin absolutely needs to know. I’m going to try to break this down into TALENTS/SPELLSGEAR/STATS and GLYPHS. With regards to gemming, both Runed Cardinal Rubies and Brilliant King’s Ambers turn into Brilliant Cardinal Rubies, giving us 20 intellect. We can no longer gem for spellpower. I’m not changing out my gems quite yet, but as we gain levels, we might want to re-examine our gemming.

TALENTS/SPELLS

1) We cannot spec 31/5/5 at launch, because we only get 36 talents at 80. We are not going to be balanced for content at 80 with only 36 talents to spend. Assuming the talent trees stay the same, we have to drop 31 points into holy and then have a tough choice to make. Where do we put the remaining five talents?

Our only real choices:

0-3/3 Divinity: 0%/2%/4%/6% extra healing done to and by us. This is the same talent as the one that exists on live today, only it’s three talent points instead of five.

0-2/2 Eternal Glory: 0%/15%/30% chance for our Word of Glory not to consume Holy Power. This is an amazing talent that allows us to throw out more mana-free heals.

0-3/3 Crusade: 0%/10%/20%/30% extra healing (and damage) on Holy Shock (and lots of damage stuff by 30%). I kid you not, Holy Shock is an amazing spell in Cataclysm. 30% extra healing to it is not insignificant.

0-2/2 Improved Judgement: 0/10/20 extra yards on the range of Judgement. Combined with the extra 5/10 yards on Enlightened Judgements in the holy tree, we are looking at regaining our 40 yard range by dropping two points here.

My recommendations:

3/3 Divinity: 6% flat increase on healing. Do it.

0/2 Eternal Glory: Mana matters, but is not as huge an issue at 80 as it is at 85. The mana costs at 80 are not huge.

From a very early beta build:

Flash of Light: 1658
Holy Light: 263
Divine Light: 1842

Holy Light did get bumped to 9% of base mana sometime after I got these values, which is about 396 mana at level 80. I’m not sure if these values are even still remotely accurate. However, I know that mana wasn’t a huge problem until I hit 82-83. Bear in mind that a lot of things have changed since I was level 80 in beta and I might change my mind on this, but based on the trees right now and my beta experience so far, Eternal Glory doesn’t need our extremely precious two points. If mana is terrible, this should get consideration, but the level 80 values weren’t too bad.

2/3 Crusade: No, really, my hand to God, Holy Shock is used constantly. Holy Shock reduces cast time on FoL, HL and DL and is not an insignificant heal itself. We want Holy Shock to hit as hard as possible. Which means…

0/2 Improved Judgement: I hate that I’m not picking this up, but we’re out of freaking points and we have the base distance of 10 yards on the judgements and an extra 10 yards over in holy. Plus, there’s no more Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom. Judgement is seriously JUST damage and to proc Judgements of the Pure. Judging is now a selfish thing that you do once a minute, so it’s not worth it, with so few points available to us, to drop even a single point here.

So, as of right now, my recommended spec for 4.0.1 is:

31/3/2

Bear in mind that 2/2 Enlightened Judgements can be swapped to 1/2 and you can grab 2/2 Paragon of Virtue, although I think the range is a better choice for us right now in Wrath content.

2) The Holy Power Resource.
I nearly forgot to mention this, actually. Holy Power is a secondary resource, meaning it’s used alongside mana, not instead of it.

As you can see, you can have 0, 1, 2 or 3 charges of Holy Power.

For the moment, the only thing that a holy paladin can really use Holy Power for is to heal with our new heal, Word of Glory. Word of Glory with 1 charge of Holy Power heals for less than 2 charges, which heals for less than 3 charges. Word of Glory is an instant-cast heal that is basically a clone of Holy Shock, only there’s no cooldown and it doesn’t use mana. It’s solely dependent on Holy Power.

How do you generate Holy Power?

a) Crusader Strike, which is now baseline for all paladins. (This will be, admittedly, not something we probably use to generate Holy Power all that often.)

b) Using Holy Shock, which is now a passive just for picking holy as your spec. Every time you use Holy Shock, you get a charge of Holy Power.

c) Directly healing your Beacon with Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light. Doing so generates one charge of Holy Power, if you’re specced for 3/3 Tower of Radiance. And you should be.

3) There is no more Flash of Light spec/style, no more Holy Light spec/style. These distinctions are gone. You cannot spam Flash of Light. It is expensive in the new Cataclysmic world. You cannot spam Divine Light, our new big heal, which is sort of equivalent to Wrath’s Holy Light. It’s also expensive. Holy Light is dirt cheap, but heals for itty bitty chunks. We need to adjust to our new heals – the potency of Holy Shock, the weakness of Holy Light, the cost of Flash of Light and the additions of Divine Light, Word of Glory and Light of Dawn. Holy Radiance only comes into play at 83, so we can ignore that for the moment. (But it’s a lot of fun.)

4) Mana matters. We have lost Illumination. Seal of Wisdom is gone, replaced with Seal of Insight, which works a bit like Seals of Light and Wisdom combined, but procs from Seal of Insight only grant us 4% of *base* mana, not *maximum* mana the way Seal of Wisdom did. Further, Divine Plea is nerfed: 10% of mana over 15 seconds, two minute cooldown, reduces healing done by 50% while active. This can be glyphed to 15% of mana back, but that’s still a huge change. We cannot rely on it the way we have throughout this entire expansion. Nor can we rely on Innervates — your druid companions will almost certainly be using this on themselves. Innervate will also only work off the casting druid’s maximum mana, so feral Innervates will be useless. Even Replenishment has been changed. Instead of 1% of maximum mana per 5 seconds, it’s 1% of maximum mana per 10 seconds. What’s that? Mana Tide Totem will still be awesome? HAH. It will now increase party members’ Spirit by 200% for 12 seconds, on a 3-minute cooldown.

I say again, mana matters.

5) Beacon of Light only heals for 50% of what you heal others for. That’s right, the OP awesomeness of our beacon is gone. Combined with the Tower of Radiance talent, it’s clear that we are no longer going to want to set a beacon on someone and just ignore that target except for refreshing beacon, as we currently do.

6) Sacred Shield is gone and its effect has been rolled into our mastery. Mastery is a new stat that all 30 specs can make use of and each spec has its own. Ours is called Illuminated Healing and it means that when we cast a heal on someone, we create a shield the size of 8% of the heal on them, which lasts for six seconds or until it’s been consumed by damage. The 8% scales up with more mastery, which is increased by getting gear with mastery rating on it. Word has it that these shields our heals create are supposed to “roll” or at least not have a smaller shield replace a bigger shield.

7) Blessings have changed. For starters, Blessing of Wisdom is gone. You can find its mana regen properties in Blessing of Might, along with the attack power bonus. Blessing of Kings now only adds 5% to various stats and adds some token resistence to magic schools. Kings does NOT stack with Mark of the Wild. They are identical. Further, these are all 60-minutes and raid-wide and require no reagents.

8) Divine Intervention is gone. Farewell, old friend.

9) Resistance auras have been merged together. So have resistance totems.

10) In case you missed it above, Judgement NO LONGER applies the Judgement of Light OR the Judgement of Wisdom debuff to mobs. Goodbye, passive healing and goodbye passive mana regen.

11) Lay on Hands cooldown reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.

12) Our spell coefficients have changed. Thanks to Ophelie from The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon for doing all the scary math for us. Here are the new spell coefficients.

GEAR/STATS

1) In order to benefit from our armor specialization, you need to wear all plate. Wearing all plate grants us an extra 5% intellect. This is godly, since our spellpower is based on our intellect. Do it.

I’m currently wearing two mail pieces: Heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves and Earthsoul Boots. I plan to swap to Gauntlets of Overexposure from the Emblem of Frost vendor, which are identical to Fallen Lord’s Handguards from regular Lady Deathwhisper on 25m.

Ideally, Halion will drop his boots, Foreshadow Steps, (although Walks and I both know these are clearly a myth and do not actually exist). If they don’t drop for me by the time 4.0.1 drops, I will probably switch to my old 258 boots, Boots of the Courageous from Icehowl in TOGC 25, since I didn’t get the Protectors of Life crafted. The Earthsouls were better. Anyways, obviously not everyone is killing Halion with regularity, not everyone is killing Deathwhisper on 25 every week, so your options may be a bit more limited.

I would be inclined to say switch to plate however you can, but keep in mind things like haste (see point #2) as you do so.

2) The amount of haste we want is going to rise. Bear in mind that Judgements of the Pure is dropping from 15% haste to 9% haste and the 3% haste from Swift Retribution/Improved Moonkin is GONE. That means the soft cap for haste that you want to aim for just jumped up from 676 to something like 1017 haste or thereabouts for a 1s GCD, given JotP + 5% spell haste (from a variety of sources — moonkin aura, shadowform’s aura and a shaman’s Wrath of Air). *** This number changes to 894 haste in 4.0.3a ***

That’s a large number, I know. Do not panic.

Why did we want to hit a 1s GCD in Wrath of the Lich King? We had a lot of spells that we needed to cast that were instant. Things like Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield, judging regularly, using Divine Shield and Divine Sacrifice… these are all on the GCD and with 1s GCDs, we’re able to hit these and get back to healing that much faster.

With the removal of Sacred Shield, the movement of Divine Guardian way out of our reach, the fact that we only need to judge once a minute, can we afford GCDs that are longer than 1s? Maybe. Though we’re losing Sacred Shield and judging 2-3 times a minute, we are gaining Holy Shock as a useful spell, which, thanks to Speed of Light, also gives us 30% haste to our next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Divine Light.

This haste can offset the longer cast times of Holy Light (3 seconds base, 2.5 seconds with 3/3 Clarity of Purpose, no more Light’s Grace!) and Divine Light, but it means using Holy Shock pretty much on cooldown.

We also gain Word of Glory, which is essentially a clone of Holy Shock, only it’s dependent on Holy Power instead of mana. Just like Holy Shock, Word of Glory is also instant. We also have Light of Dawn as our 31-point talent, which is an instant, conal heal that doesn’t heal for a ton, but can hit a lot of people at once. So, we lose:

- Sacred Shield (1/minute)
- Frequent judgements (2-3/minute)
- Divine Sacrifice/Guardian (1-2/fight)

Our commonly-used instants are now:

- Beacon of Light (refreshing every 60-90 seconds, depending on glyph)
- Holy Shock (6s cooldown, glyph no longer lowers cooldown, more if Daybreak procs)
- Judgement (1/minute)
- Word of Glory (when 3 Holy Power is accumulated)
- Light of Dawn (situational, but up to every 30 seconds)

So is it important to maintain as close to a 1s GCD as possible? Yes, I would say so. However, the other major benefit to haste rating is the lowering of cast times on various heals and that’s where Holy Shock and Speed of Light come in very handy. That’s why you shouldn’t panic. A 1.2s GCD isn’t as optimal as a 1s GCD, obviously, but don’t panic because your casted heals after a Holy Shock are still going to be pretty snazzy.

Some early beta build numbers are below. Bear in mind that in order to proc Speed of Light, you have to cast Holy Shock before the casted spell.

With 1026 haste only:

Flash of Light: 1.14s cast
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.68s cast

With 1026 haste and JotP:

Flash of Light: 1.05s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.54

With 1026 haste and Speed of Light (3/3):

Flash of Light: 0.879s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.29

With 1026 haste and JotP AND Speed of Light:

Flash of Light: 0.806s
Holy Light & Divine Light: 1.18s

A Speed of Light-hasted Holy Light casting in 1.18s is even a bit faster than I currently get on live.

I’m going to do my best to maintain my current haste rating of 1036, which I add to with 40 haste food. However, as previously noted, I need to replace my boots and my gloves with plate equivalents. IF I get the boots from Halion, I’ll be at 1016 haste. If I don’t, I’ll be at 1006, since I’ll drop to my TOGC 25 boots. (I ALWAYS keep everything I wore in the previous tier, just in case I need a resist set or something.)

3) Librams are now stat-sticks. That’s right, we get our very own ranged weapon slot for our relics (and many will no longer be class-specific in Cataclysm!) and they add to our stats. What this means is that, almost certainly, the higher the ilvl libram or relic you have, the better stats are on it. Pallies with the Libram of Renewal will want to get Libram of Veracity which turns into this lovely thing or, if you can spare the Emblems of Frost, the Libram of Blinding Light. (I know. I kind of died inside.) But it turns into this:

GLYPHS

*** This section is outdated for 4.0.3a, please see the 4.0.3a post for updates on some Glyphs and some Glyph choices ***

Glyphs are changing. They’re not going to be consumed any longer, but rather learned. We also have a new kind of glyph: Prime glyphs, in addition to Major and Minor.

Keeva at Tree Bark Jacket says that we’ll get 1 Prime/Major/Minor at 25, 50 and 75, so we’ll have all 9 slots at 80.

What this means for holy paladins is that we want to get all of our glyphs and we want them ASAP.

First off, what glyphs do we want?

Prime Glyphs, by the way, are supposed to be the no-brainers of the glyph world and they exist in order to let us be more choosy in terms of major glyphs, while minors are supposed to be more cosmetic.

PRIME

1) Glyph of Divine Favor. Divine Favor has changed, as you can see by the talent in the talent tree. This glyph extends the duration of Divine Favor by 10 seconds. This is lovely.

2) Glyph of Holy Shock. No longer does this reduce the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second. This now increases its crit by 5%.

3) Glyph of Seal of Insight. This works just like the current Glyph of Seal of Light. While you have Seal of Insight active, all your healing is increased by 5%.

4) Glyph of Word of Glory. Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%. Get this.

I would start out with Holy Shock, Seal of Insight and Word of Glory and eventually get enough crit to drop Holy Shock and pick up Divine Favor.

MAJOR

1) Glyph of Beacon of Light. Unchanged from live, it makes your Beacon last 90 seconds instead of 60 seconds. Yoink!

2) Glyph of Cleansing. Reduces the cost of your Cleanse by 20%. Not something I would personally invest in.

3) Glyph of Divine Plea. This used to be for prot pallies, but this is ours, now. This allows you to get an extra 5% mana back when you use Divine Plea, so you’re getting 15% mana back every two minutes instead of 10% mana back.

4) Glyph of Divinity. Same as on live, will grant you mana back and grants double the mana it normally does to its target. Actually has a spot in my glyph book, now.

5) Glyph of Light of Dawn. Reduces the cooldown of Light of Dawn by 10 sec and the amount healed by 20%. I wouldn’t touch this. LoD already heals for such a small amount (3k or so per target) that we do not need LESS healing done more often. I don’t think, anyways. This is a situational glyph, but I’ve been glyphed for it more often than not. This is golden on Infest on the Lich King, although this spell and its glyph are both changing in 4.0.3a.

6) Glyph of the Long Word. Your Word of Glory heals for 50% less up front, but provides an 50% additional healing over 6 seconds.

So what I would take here is Glyph of Beacon of Light, Glyph of Divine Plea and Glyph of Divinity. I’m not a fan of Glyph of the Long Word.

MINOR

1) Glyph of Lay on Hands. Reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 2m. Since Lay on Hands is a 10m cooldown now, this brings it to 8m. Lovely.

2) Glyph of Insight. Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Insight by 50%. Doesn’t sound like much, but at 85, that’s like, 1500 mana savings or something, since the seal costs over 3000 mana.

3) Glyph of Blessing of Kings. Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings by 50%.

4) Glyph of Blessing of Might. Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Might by 50%.

Obviously, Glyph of Lay on Hands, particularly since I recommend Glyph of Divinity. The other two are up to you, but those are the only minors a holy would find at all useful.

Also, El (of El’s Extreme Anglin’) says that there are several glyphs that will be turned into new ones.

Here’s the conversion chart.

Among them, some that affect holy paladins:

Flash of Light -> Word of Glory
Holy Light -> Divine Favor
Seal of Light -> Seal of Insight
Seal of Wisdom -> Light of Dawn (so many people will have this — make sure to replace it!)


Okay, I think that sums it up. It’s a long post, I know, but I will definitely update this post going forward, since there will undoubtedly be changes to the beta and PTR before 4.0.1 launches and probably some 4.0.1 changes that will, uh, surprise us…

And for those of you who like to tank in your spare time (or tank most of the time and heal in your spare time), here’s the Righteous Defense guide to Everything you need to know about Prot and 4.0.1 at 80.

Please bear in mind that this guide is somewhat out of date as of the launch of 4.0.3a. Please see that post for updates.

*** All content copyright © Kurn’s Corner, 2010. Reproduction of this guide in full or in part without express permission from the author (“Kurn”), represents copyright infringment and violation of copyright law. Please, if you like this guide, link to it, do not copy it. ***