- Author: lettara
- Date: November 7, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
On its surface, Holy Paladins appear to be spamming Holy Light mindlessly. However, as you delve deeper into Holy Paladin theorycrafting, you’ll come to find massive amount of optimizations and a near-infinite skill cap.
Holy Paladin Basics
At its core, Holy Paladin is deceptively simply. You are spamming Holy Light while maintaining the following buffs:
Now that we understand the fundamentals, let’s delve into some more advanced topics.
Before the Pull
- Use Divine Plea
- Cast Beacon of Light on the tank
- Cast Sacred Shield on the tank
- Cast Holy Light on anyone to grant Light’s Grace
- Cast Holy Shock on anyone for a chance to proc Infusion of Light
- Drink if there’s time
- Pre-pot a Potion of Speed
- Begin pre-casting Holy Light
- Cancel Divine Plea before the Holy Light cast finishes
- Immediately cast Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom on the boss to grant Judgements of the Pure
First and foremost, you’re going to want to maintain 100% uptime on Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield, Judgements of the Pure and Light’s Grace. If there is a period of healing downtime, consider refreshing any or all of these buffs early.
Once your four buffs have been applied, start spamming Holy Light. There is great nuance to this, as a proper Holy Paladin will attempt to time some or all Holy Light casts with the bosses swing timer. You can weave in Holy Shock, Flash of Lights, or melee swings in order to align your Holy Light casts with the bosses attacks. This concept is what takes our spec from mindless, to having one of the highest skill-caps of any healer.
Read the addons and macros portion of this guide to find my swing timer Weakaura.
Cooldowns and Philosophy
Unlike most DPS classes, using cooldowns as a healer is far more nuanced than just “use them as much as possible.” Healing is spikey. Meaning that in many encounters, there will be one or several periods of intense healing. You will almost always see an increase in HPS if you save cooldowns for these moments, even if that means that you wait so long that you miss out on an extra cooldown cycle.
The exception would be fights that have high consistent damage on top of a burst window i.e. Patchwerk, or no burst window at all. These types of encounters are an exception to the rule, and using cooldowns as much as possible is likely the correct answer.
How to Plan Your Cooldowns
One of the biggest conceptual errors that I find healers making is not planning out their Cooldown Usage beforehand. To do this, go on Warcraftlogs and find how long it took your guild to kill the boss last week. Subtract a few seconds if you anticipate the gear your team acquired in the past week will speed up the encounter.
Next, look at the ‘Damage Taken’ chart in search of high damage windows that you would like to have cooldowns ready for. Make sure you have a complete understanding of the encounter beforehand, specifically with all the mechanics that deal damage.