PvE Holy Paladin Healer Guide

What To Expect from Holy Paladin - Cataclysm Pre-Patch
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 21, 2024
  • Updated: May 21, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

The Holy Paladin continues to be a highly desirable healer for any raid team in Cataclysm, although some of its mechanics have changed. The class has gained a new core mechanic, Holy Power, and some new healing spells that take it from whack-a-mole single-target specialist straight to the top of the AoE healing food chain.

Holy Paladin Healing in Cataclysm

Holy Paladins have an all-new resource to manage and utilize in Cataclysm in addition to their mana pool. This resource is Holy Power, which shows up as an extra bar under your unit frame that lights up as you gain charges. Some of your abilities will generate Holy Power, and you’ll be able to spend it on two new healing spells, Light of Dawn and Word of Glory. You can have up to three charges at a time. Your next Holy Power ability will consume all of the charges you have, increasing its effect for each charge spent.

Beacon of Light remains an important part of the Holy Paladin’s toolkit even though it has been nerfed. The buff allows you to maintain a steady stream of healing on a tank without having to focus on them full-time. But you’re more than a single-target healer now with your new Holy Radiance spell, which leaps you forward to the front of the pack for stacked AoE healing.

Holy Paladin Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Powerful Stacked AoE Healing
    Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn will steal the show whenever your raid group is clumped together. No one will be able to compete with your raw healing output in those situations. Just be mindful of your mana.
  • Steady Tank Healing
    Beacon of Light will keep a steady stream of healing on your main tank, even when you’re focused on other targets. Raid groups will noticed a significant difference in their tank healing with and without a Holy Paladin.
  • Good Mobility
    The Speed of Light talent turns Divine Protection into a short-cooldown movement buff, resolving the build’s former mobility woes. You can also spec into Pursuit of Justice for a more consistent speed boost. Holy Paladins also have a lot of instant cast spells that allow them to continue healing and using their cooldowns while moving.


  • Requires Careful Positioning
    Light of Dawn is unique in that it is cast in a cone in front of you, so you will need to be mindful of where you’re standing and which direction you’re facing when you cast it. Holy Radiance has a 10-yard splash radius, so it can be hard to judge if a group is stacked enough to benefit from it. You also need to stand in melee as much as possible to generate Holy Power with Crusader Strike and to proc your Seal of Insight with melee attacks, which can make getting in position for Light of Dawn awkward, and it’s also inherently more dangerous than standing at range.
  • Weak Spread AoE Healing
    Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn both only work on players who are standing within their radius, so if your group is scattered all over the battlefield you won’t be able to utilize these powerful heals. You’ll be left spot-healing with your weaker single-target heals in those situations.
  • Mana Hungry
    Gone are the days of being able to mindlessly spam your most powerful healing spells without ever running out of mana, and Holy Radiance is a bit of a mana hog to boot. You do get a couple of heals that are “free” thanks to your new Holy Power mechanic, but you have to spend mana to get that Holy Power in the first place. You can use Divine Plea and melee to proc Seal of Insight, but these both will disrupt your healing.
  • No Easy DPS Offspec
    All of the other healers in Cataclysm have an option for a DPS offspec that can use most of the same gear. This isn’t true of Holy Paladins since your only option is Retribution, which requires Strength gear (for which you will have a lot of competition). This shouldn’t be a problem for finding a raid group since most teams will want their Holy Paladins to heal full-time regardless.

Best Races for Holy Paladin in Cataclysm

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance


Humans get a nice buff to their Spirit, which is now an essential stat for any healer’s mana regeneration. They have a couple of nice quality-of-life perks as well.

  • The Human Spirit increases your Spirit by 3%, offering a nice boost to your mana regeneration. As a percentage-based increase, this bonus gets better the more Spirit you have from gear and other sources.
  • Will to Survive is a free PvP trinket that will let you break out of stuns and other hard CC that you can’t dispel. It’s especially useful in PvP.
  • Diplomacy doesn’t help your healing, but it will make it easier for you to reach the reputation caps that are needed for your gear and enchantments.

Wow Horde Crest Horde

Blood Elf

Despite the arrival of Tauren Paladins in Cataclysm, Blood Elves remain the best choice for Holy Paladins due to Arcane Torrent.

  • Arcane Torrent will allow you to get back 6% of your mana every two minutes. It also doubles as an AoE silence and interrupt.
  • Arcane Resistance provides a little extra survivability against any enemy who deals Arcane damage.
  • Arcane Affinity is nice to have if you plan to level Enchanting.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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