PvE Holy Paladin Rotation & Cooldowns

PvE Holy Paladin Rotation & Cooldowns
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 21, 2024
  • Updated: May 22, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Once your gear is accounted for and you’re all prepped and ready to go, it all comes down to how well you push your buttons! As a healer, you will have less of a “rotation” and more of a priority system designed to help you maximize your output while also sustaining your mana pool for the duration of the fight — and most important, keep your teammates alive! This guide will cover the best approach to healing as a Holy Paladin in just about any encounter.

Spell Priority

You will want to have Seal of Insight active at all times as well as whichever aura your raid has assigned you to use. (Don’t be that Paladin who forgets to turn off Crusader Aura!)

  1. Cast Beacon of Light on the main tank (or whoever your primary healing target is) to apply or maintain the buff.
  2. Cast Judgement to apply/maintain your Judgements of the Pure buff (at least once per minute).
  3. Cast Light of Dawn if you have three charges of Holy Power and it will heal at least 2 targets.
    • Cast Word of Glory to spend your Holy Power on a single target instead.
  4. Cast Holy Shock on cooldown.
  5. Cast Flash of Light on a target that needs immediate healing if Holy Shock is on cooldown.
  6. Cast Holy Radiance if more than one target are stacked and need healing.
  7. Cast Divine Light on a target that is taking heavy damage.
  8. Cast Holy Light to top off a target if there isn’t more urgent healing to be done.
  9. Cast Crusader Strike on cooldown to generate Holy Power and deal some damage.
  10. If no healing needs to be done, melee attack to proc Seal of Insight.


Lay on Hands is more useful than ever when used with Glyph of Divinity and Glyph of Lay on Hands. Use it to save the life of a tank (or another teammate) who is about to die. In a pinch you can use it for the mana return from Glyph of Divinity, but it’s better to hold onto it as a healing cooldown.

Divine Plea is your best tool for regenerating mana, but it halves the effects of your heals while it’s active, so you won’t always want to mindlessly cast it on cooldown. Try to use it during a lull in the fight or pair it with another cooldown that buffs your healing to compensate.

Divine Favor is great personal Haste/Crit buff that you can use to compensate for the healing reduction of Divine Plea or just to put out some fast, big heals when the situation calls for it.

Avenging Wrath gives you (flightless) wings, along with a buff to your damage and healing. This cooldown can also be used to counter Divine Plea or just as a straight buff to your healing. Note that as of Cataclysm, this cooldown no longer triggers Forbearance and is not tied to your defensive cooldowns in any way.

Guardian of Ancient Kings is yet another powerful healing cooldown that will duplicate your next five targeted heals and put a little “splash” healing out around the target. This is most useful for tank healing but it can also be used for raid damage if the group is stacked. Be sure to use your strongest spells to get the most out of those 5 casts. Divine Light and Word of Glory are both nice big heals to double up.

Divine Protection is a personal damage reduction buff that has a short cooldown and should be used often so you can focus on healing your teammates instead of yourself. With the Speed of Light talent, this ability doubles as a movement speed cooldown.

Divine Shield, the classic “pally bubble!” You’ll want to save this for emergencies, or use it in conjunction with Hand of Sacrifice as a tank cooldown.

Aura Mastery when combined with appropriate aura can mitigate a lot of damage for your group, or completely counteract a Silence effect if used in conjunction with Concentration Aura.

Hand of Protection is an external mini-Divine Shield that makes the target immune to all physical damage. Be mindful that this also functions as a temporary threat drop, so you don’t generally want to use this on a tank. It also does nothing to stop incoming magic damage.

Hand of Sacrifice will allow you to take some incoming damage on another player’s behalf. This can make a great defensive cooldown to use on a tank, but you won’t usually want to use it without Divine Shield or at least Hand of Protection or Divine Protection, otherwise you may wind up dying in their stead.

Hand of Freedom can help your teammates escape mechanics that slow or root them in place.

Hand of Salvation can occasionally be useful to lower the aggro on a healer or DPS who has made some unsavory friends.


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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