There are quite a few changes for holy paladins as of patch 4.3. Some are nerfs, some are buffs, but either way, part of how we heal is going to change significantly.

According to MMO-Champion, patch 4.3 is dropping this week, as in tomorrow, November 29th, 2011.

Here are all the paladin changes that holy pallies will care about.

HOLY RADIANCE

  • Holy Radiance now has a 3.0-second cast time, no cooldown, and requires a player target. That target is imbued with Holy Radiance, which heals them and all group members within 10 yards instantly, and continues to heal them by a smaller amount every 1 second for 3 seconds.
  • Illuminated Healing (mastery) now also applies to Holy Radiance.

This means that Holy Radiance is now a spell with a target and a cast time, like just about every other spell we have. The healing from Holy Radiance will no longer emanate from us, but rather from the people we heal with the spell. Time to find a keybind or mousebind for Holy Radiance! (I’m still trying to figure that one out!) And our mastery will now also apply to targets healed with Holy Radiance.

As a result, several spells now include or exclude Holy Radiance in their effects:

So instead of a 3s base, it’s 2.5s base, just like Divine Light and Holy Light.

  • Infusion of Light now applies its cast time reduction from Holy Shock critical effects to Holy Radiance, in addition to its current effects.

Sweet, Infusion of Light procs will give us a super-fast cast of Holy Radiance.

  • Speed of Light no longer triggers from Holy Radiance and no longer lowers the Holy Radiance cooldown. Speed of Light now only triggers from Divine Protection.

This only makes sense. Holy Radiance no longer HAS a cooldown, so nothing should lower its non-existant cooldown. And we can’t constantly be casting Holy Radiance in order to get a speed buff. That would be silly. Unfortunately, this is technically a nerf, because now we only have one speed boost.

  • Paragon of Virtue now lowers the cooldown of Divine Protection by 15/30 seconds, up from 10/20 seconds.

But they buffed that, so we can now use Divine Protection every 30 seconds, which is pretty sweet.

  • Tower of Radiance, in addition to its current effects, now also causes Holy Radiance to always generate 1 charge of Holy Power at all times.

So this is a neat change that actually sort of gives us an “AOE rotation”. Cast three Holy Radiance on any target or targets (not just your beacon target!) and you’ll have three Holy Power. Cast Light of Dawn. Rinse and repeat. While no one is going to confuse us for resto druids or holy priests in 4.3, this does make us a little more viable as raid healers.

LIGHT OF DAWN

Yay for a buff! This means that everyone’s Light of Dawn will automatically try to hit 6 people. And if you’re in a 10-man raid group, there’s a change for you, too:

  • Glyph of Light of Dawn now lowers the number of targets to 4, instead of increasing targets to 6, but increases healing by 25%.

So that’s a nice little boost, too, and will be less wasteful. Light of Dawn may actually be worthwhile in 10-mans!

BEACON TRANSFERS

  • Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

That’s right, you can drop to 2/3 of Protector of the Innocent if you, like me, hate the talent, but felt badly about not sending the maximum amount of tiny heals to your Beacon target. Note that you should still have 1/2 Enlightened Judgements to ensure you hit the 8% melee hit cap to make sure your judgements are always hitting (to maintain Judgements of the Pure), but the small bits of healing from that also will not transfer, so if you were at 2/2 Enlightened Judgements for that reason, you can drop a point there quite safely.

Yes, this is technically a nerf, but I know that I’m actually not going to cringe when I go looking through a parse now, trying to line up all the itty, bitty Beacon of Light heals with whatever the holy paladin in question was doing at the time.

SEALS AND JUDGING

  • Seal of Insight, when Judged, no longer returns 15% base mana to the paladin. Judging Seal of Insight still causes damage, and melee attacks will still restore 4% of base mana.
  • In addition to providing haste, the effect from Judgements of the Pure now increases mana regeneration from Spirit by 10/20/30% for 60 seconds.

These two changes, quite simply, mean that we are no longer judging once every 8 seconds in order to regain 15% of our base mana. We will only need to judge once per minute to keep Judgements of the Pure active, not only for the increased haste, but for increased mana regeneration. Spirit is our friend!

And, well, that’s about it, to be honest. So really, just a change to Holy Radiance and talents that were affecting the old version/should affect the new version. A change to Light of Dawn and its glyph. A change to Seal of Insight and Judgements of the Pure. And a change to what heals transfer through Beacon.

SO WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO DIFFERENTLY?

Make sure you remember to bind the new Holy Radiance to something. You might want to add the Holy Radiance effect to your raid frames (tip: it’s called Holy Radiance!) so you can see how much of the raid is being affected by it. If you’re in a 10m group, you probably want to glyph Light of Dawn. And remember, no need to judge every 8 seconds. And you only have one sprint! But it’s usable every 30 seconds.

Don’t forget to check out my T13 (normal) loot list, too!

Good luck to you, whether you’re heading right for Dragon Soul or into one of the new dungeons!