Updated for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2
Some minor buffs for patch 5.2. Holy Paladins are still in a pretty good place for both raiding and PvP. This page focuses on PvE (raiding.)
|This Holy Paladin guide is primarily intended for use at level 90. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process. If you’re looking for advice on leveling your Paladin, check out our Paladin Leveling Guide.
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Other Paladin Guides:
Selected Patch Notes for 5.2 Paladins
Level 45, Tier 3 Talents:
- Eternal Flame’s periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.
- Sacred Shield’s periodic effect can no longer be dispelled. Each individual absorb effect can be dispelled instead.
- Selfless Healer now boosts Flash of Light by 20/40/60% (was 33/66/100%.)
Level 60, Tier 4 Talents:
- Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.
- Judgment now costs 5% of base mana.
- Blinding Light now has a 1.8-second cast time for Holy Paladins. It remains instant cast for Retribution and Protection.
Glyphs and Gear
- Glyph of Blessed Life no longer requires Seal of Insight to be active.
Holy Paladin Talents
- Speed of Light is a useful, burst speed increase for encounters that require it.
- Long Arm of the Law is probably useless, unless you are using Judgement all the time and constantly moving.
- Pursuit of Justice is a consistent speed increase. Generally this one will be the best choice, as you will have it up at all times and can otherwise forget about it. Take either this or Speed of Light depending on the maneuverability demands of the encounter.
- Fist of Justice is an improved version of Hammer of Justice, a single target CC. Instant. Stuns are always nice.
- Repentance is a single target CC that lasts longer than Fist of Justice and has a longer cooldown. It breaks on damage, but can grab sleep an add or other target for awhile. Has a cast time.
- Burden of Guilt lets you slow targets with judgement. More useful in PvP than PvE.
Do you need a stun or do you need to put enemies to sleep? Pick whichever suits the encounter best as none of them impact your healing.
- Selfless Healer is unimpressive and requires more management than the other two options.
- Eternal Flame replaces your Word of Glory and is a viable option in most cases. It basically adds a Heal over Time effect to your WoG. Whether you use this or Sacred Shield depends on how you like to play Holy. It also triggers your Mastery.
- Sacred Shield places a damage absorb shield on the target, a good choice. High levels of Haste will cause the shield to refresh faster.
- Hand of Purity is highly useful on encounters where you expect to be handling harmful periodic effects, and worthless for everything else.
- Unbreakable Spirit doesn’t function all that well for us.
- Clemency is the best option for most encounters, allowing you to use your hand spells twice in quick succession or more strategically to give your tank (or someone else) a pretty fair amount of extra protection. Wowhead has an interesting comment on this talent.
- Holy Avenger is the 2nd recommended choice as it’s an incredibly strong burst healing cooldown. The only problem is that it’s a 2 minute cooldown. If a powerful burst cooldown fits your healing style then this is your pick.
- Sanctified Wrath makes the already useful Avenging Wrath last longer, nothing bad about that.
- Divine Purpose is a random proc and the other two provide guaranteed effects. Divine Purpose will provide plenty of procs over the course of a fight, and will likely provide more overall healing than Holy Avenger. If that fits your style then this is your pic.
- Holy Prism is my 2nd favorite choice from this tie. It’s an area heal/damage and can be targeted on allies or enemies. It’s a little more versatile than the others. Cast on the main enemy or the tank.
- Light’s Hammer is useful for situations in which you expect your raid to stack up often. It’s provides an area Heal Over Time effect. Not so useful if the raid is spread out.
- Execution Sentence is solely for single target healing.
Glyphs are easily changed, many are useful (at least situationally) and none are “required.” Pick the set that best suits what you’re doing and your current gear level.
One Tome of the Clear Mind per change. Change ‘em out as you need to.
- Glyph of Divine Plea - DP goes from instant to a 5 second cast time, but you receive the mana instantly and suffer no loss to your healing effects. Lots of Haste makes this better by reducing the cast time.
- Glyph of Divinity - Adds another 2 min to your Lay On Hands cooldown, in return you get 10% of your mana back. Is it worth it?
- Glyph of Light of Dawn - great for small groups. Heal fewer targets for more.
- Glyph of Divine Protection - Taking a lot of physical damage? Glyph of DP reduces the magical damage reduction of your Divine Protection to 20% but adds 20% physical damage reduction.
- Glyph of Protector of the Innocent - Your Word of Glory also heals you for 20% of the amount healed, if you cast it on another person.
- Glyph of Illumination - Mana from Holy Shock crits in exchange for less overall mana regen.
- Glyph of Flash of Light - Casting F of L gives you a bigger subsequent heal.
- Glyph of Beacon of Light - Removes the global cooldown for this spell. Might have some use if you want to cast something immediately after B of L.
- Glyph of Righteous Retreat – Bubblehearth
- Glyph of the Falling Avenger - Take less falling damage while Avenging Wrath is active. Very situational, but could be nice.
- Glyph of Contemplation - Allows you to more effectively ponder the nature of the Light.
Holy Paladin Stat Priorities
- Primary Stats: Intellect > Spirit
- Secondary Stats: Haste/Mastery > Critical
- Weak: Hit and Expertise
- Useless: Excess hit & expertise.
Intellect is your best stat for healing power.
Spirit is very important, especially as you go from normal 5 mans to hard-mode 25s. Keep stacking Spirit, at the expense of everything else, until you’re happy with your mana use, or can at least “get by.” If you’re finishing the fight at full mana then you can drop some Spirit. If you’re running out then get more.
Hit and Expertise are only useful if you’re attacking. If you’re only healing then it’s a useless paid of stats.
Any expertise that you do have will add directly to your Spell Hit, including racial Expertise (if you have the appropriate weapon equipped.) Your Holy Insight will add Hit to your Holy Shock, Judgement, and Denounce. 15% Spell Hit is the cap and you’ll get no benefit from going higher.
Haste: Speeds up those cast times and Heal Over Time ticks and lowers the Global Cooldown time. You will heal more and faster and burn mana just that much faster.
Mastery puts a small absorb shield on your target, which is damage that you don’t have to heal. For this reason some people say that it’s more important than Haste.
Crit randomly gives you those nice big heals. Too bad it’s random. The other stats will improve your effective healing by significantly more.
Reforging: Stack Spirit and Reforge to Spirit until you’re happy with your mana usage, then go for Haste or Mastery.
In-Depth Holy Rotation
Seal of Insight should always be active, as it provides a bonus to our healing.
Healing is more of a reactive play style than most and rather than utilize a rotation it’s simply important to understand which spells are best to use in certain situations depending on the damage being sustained by the raid.
Beacon of Light should always be active on a target, usually a tank as this way you can provide constant healing to the tank while simultaneously healing the rest of the raid. The amount transferred to the target of your Beacon of Light varies depending on the healing spell used.
- 100% of the value of your Holy Light is transferred.
- 15% of Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn, Light’s Hammer and Holy Prism is transferred.
- 50% of every other healing spell will be transferred to the target.
Holy Shock allows us to build charges of Holy Power for use with Word of Glory and, on a critical strike/heal, grants us the Infusion of Light proc. Holy Shock should be used as often as possible to maximize Holy Power generation.
- Holy Light is our default heal as it provides good healing at a low mana cost.
- Word of Glory costs everywhere from 1-3 charges of Holy Power, increasing in effectiveness with each charge. A maximum of 5 Holy Power can be stored at any one time, allowing us to pool Holy Power for crucial moments where a quick succession of heals may be necessary.
- Light of Dawn is another Holy Power Heal that is most effective when the raid is stacked up so they can all benefit from the effect.
Divine Light is a heavy single target heal that should be used when healing through heavy sustained damage.
- Divine Shield, while technically a personal defensive cooldown, can be used to allow you to stand still and freely cast healing spells for the duration of the shield without fear of dying.
- Avenging Wrath boosts our healing by 20% for 20 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown, a useful healing boost.
- Divine Favor increases our Spell Haste by 20% and Spell Critical by 20% for 20 seconds making it excellent for healing through periods of heavy damage.
- Guardian of Ancient Kings lasts for 30 seconds and while active will heal the target of our next 5 single target heals and those nearby for 10% of the amount healed. Each time this effect occurs our haste increases by 10%.
- Hand of Sacrifice transfers 30% of the damage taken by the target to you for 12 seconds or until the damage transferred equals 100% of the Paladin’s maximum health. This ability has a 2 minute cooldown.
- Lay on Hands instantly restores the target to maximum health on a 10 minute cooldown. This should be saved for a time when it’s absolutely necessary such as on a tank as it’s doubtful you’ll get a chance to use it twice during a single encounter.
- Divine Plea has a 2 minute cooldown allows us to regain 12% of our maximum mana over 9 seconds at the cost of a 50% reduction to all our healing during this time. Divine Plea should be used carefully to avoid negatively impacting our healing at a time when it’s most necessary. Additionally, it’s inadvisable to use Divine Plea at the same time as any of our cooldowns such as Divine Favor, Guardian of Ancient Kings or Avenging Wrath.
Tier 3 Talented Abilities:
- Selfless Healer should be built up to 3 stacks and saved for when an emergency heal is necessary.
- Eternal Flame simply augments our regular Word of Glory use and the DoT effect should be maintained on your primary target of healing, almost certainly the main tank.
- Sacred Shield should be used on cooldown.
Tier 4 Talented Abilities:
- Hand of Purity should be used when dealing with particularly damaging DoT effects.
- Unbreakable Spirit is a passive ability.
- Clemency simply allows us to use any of our Hand spells twice in a row.
Tier 5 Talented Abilities:
- Holy Avenger will allow you to, for the duration of the ability, generate nearly endless amounts of Holy Power for use with Light of Dawn and Word of Glory.
- Sanctified Wrath extends the duration of Avenging Wrath and reduces the cooldown on Holy Shock.
Holy Paladin Gems
As you probably know gems can be really expensive and I know not everyone has tons of extra gold lying around. So if you are like me and don’t have the extra gold to buy all the awesome gems I really recommend this gold guide. It’s working really well for me so far.
Note that in Mists of Pandaria gems with secondary stats have twice the value of the gems with primary stats, such as 320 Haste or 320 Spirit Vs 160 Int. While Int is still your most valuable stat this will mean that you will usually want to match socket bonuses unless they’re puny or are for a stat which has little use, such as Crit.
Your Plate bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int, that bonus does not add to other stats.
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect|
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +320 Mastery
|Blue||Sparkling River’s Heart: +320 Spirit|
|Orange||Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste|
|Purple||Purified Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +160 Spirit|
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: 600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Holy Paladin Healing Enchants
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
The enchants are pretty straightoforward, Int wherever possible, but there are a couple of Spirit ‘chants if you need more. As with gems, your Plate bonus adds to any Int bonuses from enchants.
|Holy Enchantments, Batman!|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.|
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: – 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats
Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit: +200 Spirit
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +170 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Pearlescent Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Spirit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.|
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour.
Flask – while you can use two Elxirs the one flask is better than any two of the Elixirs.
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 1,000 Int for an hour, Alchemists get 1,320 and 2 hours.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 4k Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat. Add it to a macro with any other healing buffs you want to use. This will give you a short period of massively increased healing.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Master Mana Potion: About 30k Mana
Race Choice for the Holy Paladin
Pandarens cannot become Paladins and race choices are unchanged from Cataclysm. For PvE purposes none of the racial abilities have a lot of use so play whichever race works best for you.
Which racials are useful for the holy Pally?
- Stoneform washes bleeds and other effects and reduces damage by 10%.
- Their Ranged Weapon Expertise is useless to you.
- Mace Expertise will add 1% to your Spell Hit if you equip one.
- Every Man for Himself is a PvP “trinket” and it will have the occasional use in PvE.
- Their increased Spirit is useful, though not large.
- Their Weapon Expertise will add 1% to your Spell Hit if you equip a mace or sword.
- the War Stomp stuns nearby enemies and might have use when your personal space is being infringed upon.
- The increased health won’t be of much use since you’re not in PvP.
- Good with Herbalism, which is a useful skill.
- Gift of the Naru isn’t worth much with your healing abilities.
- The +1 to hit isn’t either, unless you’re doing a lot of interrupts or you’re doing damage in addition to your heals.
- Good with Jewelcrafting.
- Blood Elf
- Arcane Torrent silences all enemies within 8 yards and returns a small amount of your mana, which has some use. This is probably the only generally useful Holy Paladin racial ability.
- Blood Elves are also good with Enchanting.
Professions for the Holy Paladin
The crafting professions are rather expensive to level, so if your gold supply is short then I suggest you stick to the gathering professions and get out of poverty, first. That said, once you are able to get a crafting profession going there are ways to make gold, maybe a lot of gold, from them. Go here to see the expert.
Assuming that you can afford to level a profession you should know that all of them offer some kind of self-only buff or benefit. Generally that works out to a value of around 320 points of Int. Each profession also allows the creation of useful or interesting items. As with gems, your Plate bonus adds to any Int bonuses from professions.
Blacksmithing adds two slots for gems of your choice and gems with secondary stats have those doubled values, so you will be able to get 640 Spirit or Haste Vs 320 Int.
- Alchemy – You can make lots of potions to boost various stats and restore mana. As an Alchemist you get a +320 Int bonus from your own Int flasks and can make a bunch of mana potions to put on your action bar.
- Blacksmithing – allows you to install an extra gem socket in your gloves and bracers. Pop in a couple of nice gems. You can also make keys for opening locks and can make gear that might be interesting to use for Transmogrification.
- Enchanting – in addition to all the other interesting enchants, you can do your own rings for +160 Int each.
- Engineering – Lots of useful gadgets and you can make that Hog so you can travel in style. Synapse Springs will give you a 1,940 Int bonus for 10 seconds with a 1 min cooldown. Beware of side-effects which might be inconvenient in a raid setting.
- Inscription – One of the easiest professions to level, and about the cheapest. Everyone needs glyphs, so it can be a solid money maker. It has a shoulder enchant with 520 and 100 Crit.
- Jewelcrafting – Make two self-only gems with +160 Int/Spirit/etc over the “regular” gems.
- Leatherworking – This skill has little value to you outside of being able to create the 500 Int bracer enchant.
- Tailoring – Not much here, either, except for the cloak enchants. You will be able to enhance your cloak to sometimes increase Int by 2,000 for 15 seconds. Oh yes, you can also make a flying carpet (isn’t that enough reason to take this skill?)
- Herbalism – for the gold. The Lifebood effect adds 2880 Haste for 20 seconds with a 2 min CD. Haste is one of your best stats.
- Mining – a nice skill for earning gold, but the increased Stam really has zero value for you.
- Skinning – switch to your Ret or Prot build and earn some cash here. The crit rating bonus is to yawn over, since crit isn’t a good stat for you.
Holy Paladin Healing Video
How to Heal as Holy, what to use, and why, for raiding. While this was originally a 5.1 video everything in it is applicable to 5.2.
Holy Paladin Gameplay – also discusses his mistakes and how to manage your mana.
Faster Paladin Leveling
Need to hit the level cap quickly? Want to get another alt leveled? Need to get all your characters to the max level so they’re ready for the next expansion? Then what you need is to have an expert looking over your shoulder, telling you the most efficient path to take, where to go, and what to do.
Zygor’s Guide is that expert. Zygor’s in an in-game widget that keeps track of everything and shows you the best order in which to do all of those quests. With the ginormous number of mobs and quests in WoW having a leveling guide to show you the way will save lots of time as you blast to the level cap. Heck, you might find yourself never looking at your quest log again.
Whether you’re new to WoW or are decked head to toe in heirlooms, Zygor will keep you pointed in the right direction. Even if you gain a bunch of levels in the dungeons or PvP Zygor will figure out where you are now and where you need to go next. You’ll even be able to safely dump all the old quests. Pretty Sweet.
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