PvP Holy Paladin Rotation, Cooldowns, & Abilities

wotlk pvp holy paladin rotation cooldowns abilities

In this section we will be covering PvP rotation in Wrath of the Lich King and discussing your abilities/spells in further detail.

Player-versus-Player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to PvE content; instead of a defined rotation you should have a set of strategies. PvP requires fast thinking, fast reactions, and adaptability. Unlike the PvE scenarios, the encounters here are not scripted – you can expect anything from your enemy. However, this does not mean their actions can’t be predictable, depending on their situation at the moment (and yours).

The Holy Paladin is one of the most resilient healers you can find in Player-versus-Player scenarios: they wear plate armor and, through divine guidance, they rush into the middle of the battlefield to save their allies. The Holy specialization brings forth huge utility through the use of different “Holy” spells. Holy Paladins sacrifice their wellbeing in order to make sure their allies do not suffer. This specialization comes with fast and very powerful healing spells, but also slow spells that can instantly top off anyone who is targeted by them.

In this section, we will cover the abilities of a Holy Paladin, strategies for controlling a fight and keeping your allies alive, and how to best make use of the “Line-of-Sight” mechanic.

Offensive Cooldowns

  • Judgment of Light is one of your three available “Judgment” abilities. It is an offensive ability that inflicts a debuff on the target, offering a chance to heal 2% health to all the players who attack the target affected by this debuff.
  • Judgment of Justice is another of the three available “Judgment” abilities. It is an offensive ability that inflicts a debuff on the target, preventing it from fleeing and reducing its movement speed.
  • Judgment of Wisdom is the last of the three available “Judgment” abilities. It is an offensive ability that inflicts a debuff on the target, offering a chance to restore 2% mana to all the players who attack the target affected by this debuff.
  • Hammer of Wrath is an offensive ability that acts as an execute. It becomes available against targets that have 20% health or less, dealing holy damage.
  • Avenging Wrath is one of your most important cooldowns, as it offers 20% increased damage and 20% increased healing for 20 seconds. You can use this ability in case you or your allies are about to be burst down, or to contribute with damage for a kill.
  • Holy Shock is the ability that you will find yourself spamming most of the time. You can count it as an offensive ability, but it is also one of your main healing spells. This ability can either deal holy damage to your enemy or heal your target.

Defensive Cooldowns

  • If you have played Monopoly, then you must be familiar with the “Get out of Jail Free” card. This would be the best way to explain the Divine Shield: it is by far your strongest defensive cooldown, since it provides you with a 12-second invulnerability effect, which can be used in a very versatile way. You can use it to cancel out the enemy’s burst abilities, or use it to render yourself immune to any form of crowd control.

    However, this comes with a downside. While Divine Shield is active on you, your damage is reduced by 50%, so you cannot use it to set up a kill. But, you can use it to fully heal yourself and your ally without any concern for harm.

    Keep in mind that after the ability ends you will be affected by Forbearance, and you also won’t be able to use this ability for 30 seconds after using Avenging Wrath.
  • Divine Protection is a defensive ability that reduces all incoming damage by 50% for 12 seconds. Unlike the Divine Shield ability, this ability does not come with a downside – the only debuff that you will suffer after using this ability will be Forbearance. Just like Divine Shield, this ability can not be used for 30 seconds after using Avenging Wrath.
  • Divine Sacrifice is an ability that will redirect 30% of the damage received by all other friendly players within 30 yards to the Paladin. With the help of the Divine Guardian talent, we can turn this ability into a full-blown defensive cooldown, reducing the damage we receive by 20% for 6 seconds.

You can also use this ability in conjunction with Divine Protection in order to gain a 70% damage reduction. The way you can achieve this is through a macro that looks like this:

/cast Divine Protection
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice

This macro will help you retain the 70% damage reduction buff while also removing the Divine Sacrifice absorption effect from all nearby targets. To make this macro functional, you will have to double-tap the button.

With the help of the Improved Righteous Fury and this macro, you can achieve a 76% damage reduction for 6 seconds, and another 56% damage reduction for the remaining 6 seconds.

  • Sacred Shield is an ability that provides the target with a shield for 30 seconds – the shield blocks 500 damage each time it gets triggered. Sacred Shield will also grant your Flash of Light a 50% critical chance increase for 6 seconds every time it procs.

Utility Cooldowns

  • Aura Mastery is an ability that provides different effects depending on the currently active aura. When combined with Concentration Aura, it provides immunity to silence and interrupt effects for 6 seconds.
  • Hand of Freedom is an ability that provides immunity to movement-impairing effects for 6 seconds – you can either cast it on yourself or your allies. This ability can be used to remove any snare effects that have already been placed on you or your allies.
  • Hand of Protection is another ability that can be placed on either yourself or your allies. It provides immunity to any physical effect for 10 seconds, but renders the target unable to perform any physical ability while the effect lasts.

    Once protected, the target will be afflicted with Forbearance, which blocks the use of Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Hand of Protection for 2 minutes. This spell cannot be cast on targets that have used Avenging Wrath in the last 30 seconds.
  • Cleanse is one of your most powerful abilities: it removes 1 poison effect, 1 disease effect, and 1 magical effect from a friendly target. The only limit with using this spell is the global cooldown limit, which means that you can spam it to your heart’s content.
  • Hand of Sacrifice is an ability that can be casted on an ally target in order to transfer up to 30% of the damage they receive to the Holy Paladin for 12 seconds. This ability works just like the Divine Sacrifice, but it is reduced to only one target.
  • Hand of Salvation is an ability that mostly works in the PvE scenarios only, however, you can make it useful with the Glyph of Salvation. With this glyph, the Hand of Salvation will provide you with a 20% damage reduction buff for 10 seconds that works both for yourself and your allies.
  • Beacon of Light is an ability that can be placed on yourself or an ally target, allowing you to effectively heal two targets at the same time for the same amount.

Crowd Control Cooldowns

  • Hammer of Justice is an ability that stuns the target for 6 seconds. It is extremely powerful and it can be used in order to set up a kill, or to interrupt a healer. With the help of the Improved Hammer of Justice, you will be able to have a “kill window” every 40 seconds.
  • Turn Evil is an ability that can be used to instill fear in Undeads and Demons. You can use it to fear a Warlock’s pet or a Death Knight’s ghoul and gargoyle. However, you should take into consideration that without the Glyph of Turn Evil this ability requires a cast time – if you do not position yourself properly, you can leave yourself vulnerable to an instant interrupt spell.

Healing Spells

  • Flash of Light is your main “filler” spell – this is the healing spell you will find yourself spamming the most.
  • Holy Light is your second healing spell: it has a longer cast time, but also provides a larger amount of healing. You can use it when you have no incoming threats towards you and your partner requires a big heal. Make sure to only cast it if there is no silence or interrupt effect available for your enemies, as you do not want to get spell-locked on Holy spells.
  • As we have mentioned in the Offensive Cooldowns, Holy Shock can be one of your offensive spells, while also doubling as one of your most spammed healing spells. You will find yourself in need of this ability in order to proc Infusion of Light for the rest of your healing spells.


The Holy specialization can be played in two major ways: you can either be a frontline healer or a backline healer. That is, you can either choose to follow your damage dealers and provide stuns and slows to the target, or you can choose to utilize LoS (Line-of-Sight) to provide healing while hiding yourself.

For example, as a frontline healer in battlegrounds you can aid your damage dealers with Judgment of Justice to slow the target, or a well-placed Hammer of Justice to create what we call a “crowd-control lock”. You will also be able to assist them with damage reduction with the help of Divine Sacrifice while staying close to them.

Beware, however, that you will be susceptible to incoming threats if you choose to play in the frontline and that you may leave your team without a strong healer.

As a backline healer, you can abuse the terrain to avoid any casters that may pose a threat to you, utilizing a tactic called “LoS”. LoS stands for the “Line-of-Sight” and applies to anything that simply breaks the sight of your opponent to prevent them from finishing casting an ability that targets you.

While in the backline, you can simply kite any melee attackers while also providing heals for your allies. 

The Holy Paladin can tank quite powerful hits from his enemies: this can be achieved with the multitude of defensive abilities that the Paladin possesses, and the fact that he is using plate armor. So, do not be afraid to cast your spells even if you are in the thick of the battle.

For arenas, you can apply the same mindset, but keep in mind that in a lot of cases utilizing LoS can be more beneficial than following your teammates. The proper use of LoS can turn you into a nuisance to the enemy team, especially since you can receive large amounts of damage as a Holy Paladin, without getting to the point of panic.

To address the actual gameplay, we will offer you a list of priority spells that you will have to keep in mind:

  • You will have to cast Beacon of Light on yourself if you are healing your ally, or on your ally if you are about to heal yourself, to maximize the amount of healing. 
  • Sacred Shield has to be applied to the target that is about to receive the bulk of your healing spells, and it has to be maintained on the target that receives most of the damage. Keep in mind that you can only have one instance of this spell active.
  • Your main “filler” spell is the Flash of Light. You will find yourself spamming it at all times. This spell is amplified by the Sacred Shield.
  • Just as we mentioned before, Holy Light should only be used when you find yourself in a safe position, or if you have to restore a big chunk of health. 
  • Prioritize your Judgment spells according to the situation you find yourself in. Use Judgment of Light when you need to output more healing, and use Judgment of Justice to slow down a target that is either trying to flee from your damage dealer or is chasing you.
  • Do not waste the Hammer of Justice, even if you have the stun available to you on a small cooldown. You should use it to escape a dangerous situation or to create a possible kill window, just as we mentioned earlier.
  • Be careful when using Avenging Wrath. While it may empower your healing spells by a tremendous amount, it can also leave you vulnerable to incoming attacks. Time it in combination with Divine Illumination for maximum effect.
  • The use of your utility spells is situational and will require practice to pull off. One trick we can offer you: you can cast Hand of Sacrifice on your teammate in arenas when facing a rogue comp to break the incoming Sap effect on yourself.

Have faith! With proper practice, you will master the Holy Paladin and bring forth salvation to those in need all around you!


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.
Notify of

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Hey, thank you for the guide. Just a small correction tho.
In the PvP Holy Paladin Rotation section under the Hand of Salvation description you claim that the dmg reduction works for everyone. That is not true, the glyph explicitly says that it works just for the Paladin.

Scroll to Top