wotlk pve holy paladin rotation, cooldowns, and abilities
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: September 26, 2021
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

The Holy Paladin specialization is considered amongst the community as one of the most powerful single target healers, often called a “tank healer.” They are highly sought after in raids for the multitude of buffs and utility they offer alongside their big chunky healing capacity.

Most of the time being called the spam-one-button class due to Holy Light, effectively making  other healers a bit jealous. If we look in-depth into the class’s rotation, we will find that pressing one button on repeat is simply not what we are doing.

We will further delve into the specific details of how the class works with a single target rotation and also an area-of-effect rotation.

The Holy Paladin is often tasked with providing utility for impactful boss mechanics through the use of both Divine Sacrifice and Aura Mastery, alongside its other many utility tools called “Hands.” A couple examples of those spells being Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Protection.

The Holy Paladin is mostly considered a single target healer with the ability to offer (mainly) the second tank the same amount of healing that the first tank receives through the use of Beacon of Light. The Beacon of Light transfers any healing received by raid or party members within a 60 yard radius, effectively providing the Holy Paladin with a way to heal two targets at the same time with high potency.

The only absorption effect available for the Holy Paladin is Sacred Shield, while in the Holy Light Build it might not get the benefit of using the 50% increase of critical strike through the use of Flash of Light, it will still offer a good amount of absorption that procs every time the target is hit, effectively being refreshed with each hit. However, we must not forget to refresh it on the target!

As a Holy Paladin using the Holy Light Build, you effectively have an insane amount of mana, often resulting in mana pools over 40k. This allows us to spam our abilities to an extreme degree. However, most people are afraid to spam their abilities properly due to the fear of instantly being OOM (out of mana). This should not be the case since the Holy Paladin has several tools in order to regain mana, or to temper its consumption depending on the PvE scenario they encounter. One such tool is Divine Plea as it offers a 25% regain of your mana pool over 15 seconds but it reduces your healing capabilities by 50%. Divine Plea should be used in situations where the tanks or the raid itself will not rely on your solo healing capabilities and have some defensive cooldowns to spare in order to help you regenerate your mana.

The other tool that helps reduce your mana issues and it is often paired with trinkets in macros is Divine Illumination. You can literally bind it to a macro in order to reduce your spell’s cost by 50% and it can be used with trinkets such as Glowing Twilight Scale to produce more healing in dire situations or simply with trinkets such as Meteorite Crystal in order to create a vast amount of mana regeneration after the macro itself expires.

Holy Shock is an ability that you must use every time you get the chance and you have probably heard it from other healers as well. Why is that you might ask? Because of the empowering effects you gain from talents and the 4-piece tier set. The mechanic of Holy Shock offers a critical strike chance increase for Holy Light and also due to the Tier 4-set bonus, a reduction in cast time of 0.3 seconds. Do remember that while many people choose to ignore this bonus and not opt in for 4-piece tier sets, the 0.3 seconds could prove vital in fights such as Lich King if your tank is on the verge of dying.

Single-Target Rotation

Now that we have explained your abilities a bit in detail, we will now go through a single target rotation.

When it comes to the Holy Paladin, you will often be expected to take care of the tanks, since you’re often referred to as the term “tank-healer”. This means that at all times you must make sure to keep Beacon of Light active on one of the tanks, and switch it accordingly depending on the main tank in the PvE scenario you are encountering. Switching it simply means swapping it from one tank to the other, depending on who is main tanking and who is offtanking in the specific moment.

You will always want to make sure you are using the correct seal, this being the Seal of Wisdom, due to the glyph we have chosen, Glyph of Seal of Wisdom.

One important aspect that all the Holy Paladins should have in mind is the fact that they will have to maintain the Judgement spell on their target, simply using it on cooldown. The 

Judgement used by all Holy Paladins is the Judgement of Light, due to the fact that it provides high area of effect healing.

So, in the start of the fight you will want to apply Beacon of Light on the offtank while placing 

Sacred Shield on the main tank. Afterwards place your judgement on the target and start casting Holy Light. This is the part where all people say that you are literally spamming one ability, but in reality what you will have to do is restore judgement on cooldown on the target, use Holy Shock on cooldown as well on targets that seem low health apart from the tanks in order to empower your Holy Light and lastly manage your mana well with the use of Divine Illumination and Divine Plea.

Alright, now that we have the main spells in mind that we are going to use, we will move further into utility, because after all you are not a simple healbot that provides healing to targets in need, you also provide damage mitigation through the various spells that you possess.

Divine Sacrifice is a very strong defensive cooldown that can mitigate high amounts of damage. It should always be used in order, especially when there are multiple Holy Paladins or Protection Paladins in the raid since you will never want to waste it by overlapping it with your colleagues so make sure to listen to the raid leader’s calls!

Just like “DSEC,” Aura Mastery is a strong defensive cooldown that makes use of the auras that you possess, empowering each aura’s effect depending on the aura you are currently using. For example, you should use it paired with the Shadow Resistance Aura in fights such as Festergut/Lana’Thel in ICC, paired with Fire Resistance Aura against Ignis the Furnace Master in Ulduar and fights such as Garfrost in Pit of Saron where you will want to have Frost Resistance Aura.

Lastly, we should mention that most Holy Paladins often forget to make use of Lay on Hands. This ability is often a  trademark of the Paladin class and is found in many other video games. Most people are reluctant to use it due to its high cooldown but with the help of our talents and our glyphs we can reduce the cooldown in order to make proper use of the ability.

Lay on Hands offers a very strong heal in clutch situations, potentially saving you from an ill-viewed wipe and also saving you from the phrase, “we blame the healer.” It can be a life saver especially in fights such as Valithria Dreamwalker in ICC.

With the proper use of your rotation, you will definitely become a very sought-after healer and a must-have addition to any raid encounter.

AoE Rotation

Firstly, we do have Judgement of Light, a spell which will heal everyone hitting the target for a percentage of their health pool.

Secondly, we do possess Beacon of Light, a spell which makes healing possible for both the tanks for 100% of the healing done, or maybe just one tank and another party or raid member, endless possibilities.
Lastly, we did talk earlier in the guide about one must-have necessity, this being the Glyph of Holy Light. While it might not seem that strong, we must remember that we do indeed spam Holy Light, and this chunky healing spell will now also offer 10% of its amount to 5 targets in the range of 8 yards of the initial target.


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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