PvE Holy Paladin Stat Priority & Reforging

PvE Holy Paladin Stat Priority & Reforging
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 20, 2024
  • Updated: May 22, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Holy Paladins don’t have any significant stat caps to aim for and instead must focus on maintaining a balance between mana regeneration and throughput.

When choosing gear, you also need to be aware of your new Plate Specialization passive ability that was added in Cataclysm. It’s no longer worth it to wear Cloth, Leather, or Mail armor pieces, even if their stats are better. You gain a significant amount of Intellect by wearing full Plate armor, and Intellect is your most valuable stat.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Spirit
  3. Haste
  4. Mastery
  5. Critical Strike

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Holy Paladin as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Spirit is the primary mana regeneration stat for all healers in Cataclysm, with MP5 being removed. The amount of Spirit you actually need comes down to how comfortable you feel with your mana pool. Once you get to the point where you are not burning through your mana on a typical fight, you may want to consider dropping some Spirit in favor of throughput stats.

Spirit also gives Holy Paladins Hit thanks to the Enlightened Judgements talent, so regardless of your mana, you’ll want to maintain at least enough Spirit to reach the 8% melee Hit cap so that your Judgement, Crusader Strike, and melee attacks all land. You don’t need to worry about the 17% spell Hit cap as a Holy Paladin because the abilities I just mentioned all use the melee Hit cap. With just one point in the talent, you will need 1920 Spirit to reach the 8% melee Hit cap (or 1680 Spirit for Draenei due to their Heroic Presence). Note that only the Spirit you gain from items and effects is converted to Hit. You can see this as the green number on the tooltip when you hover over your Spirit stat in the character window.

Haste is the most valuable throughput stat for Holy Paladins. It not only speeds up your casting time, it also increases the ticks from your Holy Radiance and even speeds up the time on your global cooldown, allowing you to cast your instant spells faster. The only downside of prioritizing Haste is that it increases your throughput by speeding up the timeline of your spells and not by adding anything to them, so you’ll be healing more but also spending your mana faster. But as long as you have the mana to support it, Haste is your most valuable stat aside from Intellect.

Mastery is a distant second to Haste for Holy Paladin throughput. Each point of Mastery improves your Illuminated Healing, adding a small absorption shield to every target you heal. Compared to Haste, Mastery offers a direct increase to your output without requiring you to spend more mana, but ultimately it just doesn’t compete with being able to cast faster.

Critical Strike is almost as good for Holy Paladins as Mastery, but both are significantly less useful than Haste. You’ll generally want to replace your Crit gear or Reforge it to something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your healing output.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Holy Paladins will want to Reforge any Mastery or Critical Strike on their gear to Spirit or Haste. Once you are comfortable with your mana, you can even start to Reforge some of your Spirit to Haste.


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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2 months ago

Is there an amount of haste where your GCD is at 1 and haste no longer returns value for instant cast spells?

Does haste increase your weapon swing and in return increase mana gained from our seal?
Does weapon swing have any sort of haste cap? What’s the number for this?

How much spirit is needed for Hit Cap?

Reply to  Luxrah
2 months ago

Perfect, thanks for the numbers and logic behind them! Cheers!

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