Half a Kingslayer

August 2, 2010

I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t start with the “the King is dead, long live the King” line. It’s getting old and it’s not exactly a world-first kill. Besides, I’m late with this post due to real-life swamping me with work.


On 18-07-2010 my wife managed to down the Lich King with her guild! Note that this wasn’t a guild-first kill, though. Nonetheless, I am very proud of my wife, who performed excellently during this night. She really deserves the kill and title.

I’m impressed by how fast she picked up on the mechanics of the fight. After three-shotting Sindragosa (and you don’t want to know how many times she’d wiped on Sindy before) they managed to down the Lich King in only 5 attempts. Of course, this is all still on normal mode, but it’s impressive anyway. Most of the rest of her group had already downed the Lich King before, I imagine that helped quite a bit. On the other hand, it’s really easy to screw up and wipe the entire raid with one simple mistake. I actually saw a Defile cover the entire platform, that was hilarious!

So, even though some may argue that she was carried through, I still believe she truly deserves to have killed the Lich King. Now, all that’s left are heroic modes and the Lich King kill for her resto shammy alt.

Congratulations Danice!

So much to do – so little time

July 29, 2010

I’m terribly sorry that I haven’t updated in a while, but I’ve been incredibly busy with work and whatnot! I promise that I’ll put up a proper post when I have the time!

Some topics I plan to post on:

  • Q&A – some search terms, since I’ve begun to get some (miraculously)
  • ICC progres
  • Guild related stuff (not spoiling anything just yet!)

In addition, I’m trying to put a post together on analyzing healer performance through combat logs. I’m not entirely sure if I can finish it, but I’ll try.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to stop blogging yet. I just have a lot of stuff I need to take care of first. Until next time!

Advice isn’t worth shit

July 14, 2010

… If you don’t listen to it.

There have been a few posts recently on people who make up some kind of excuse to not take advice from somebody else. I’m okay with that, on the surface. But it makes me want to cry deep within.

To be honest, I’ve been in pretty much the same situation. I’ve been in denial about my spec, gear and gems. I was absolutely certain that But not anymore. I’ve gone and changed as much as was needed to get my little pally as good as possible. Sure, I still have some things that are on my long todo list. But as I stand right now, I’m at least going in the right general direction. And I know that I at least have enough knowledge about Holy paladins to last me through the rest of this expansion.

So naturally, when I come across another Holy paladin (and by that, I mean “raid with”) I like to see what makes them tick. Sometimes it’s because they’re so awesome, sometimes because they’re failing horribly. Sometimes, it’s just out of curiousity. Most of the times, however, I’m shocked, horrified by what I see. I’ll go through some of my latest.. discoveries.

Fail #1

Suppose you’re applying for a guild as a Holy paladin. You would suspect that your application is reviewed by somebody who is at least knowledgeable of the spec. I was looking around on some guild sites, looking for Holy paladin applications to see how they’re judged, what they are rejected for and if they’re accepted or not. Now, I see a Holy paladin applying to one of the top guilds on my realm. I see somebody, assuming he knows what he’s doing,  asking a question in the application thread.

“Why are you specced in Divinity?”

I mean, come on! Why? Granted, this is a Holy paladin with a 51/5/15 spec applying. But it’s a pretty common talent to pick. So what do you mean, why? A straight-up 1-5% healing increase, how is that not good? There’s plenty of room for discussion on other aspects of his build. So I’m asking, why ask such a pointless question if you could’ve asked why this particular Holy paladin has specced in Ret at all? I’ve had some interesting discussions on this very topic with a few knowledgeable people and to be very honest, for a high-end raiding guild such as that, they should’ve at least asked the right questions. In my humble opinion.. FAIL.

Fail #2

The Holy paladin app who thinks he can get away applying half-prepared. This is a classic, really. I can give you an estimate, based solely on the apps that I’ve seen, that about 70% of the Holy paladin apps are not prepared to app for a high-end guild. I’m not talking about progression or gear level. I’m talking about basics. Making sure you have PvE gear, for example. Or at least have everything enchanted properly. And gemmed properly. And have a decent talent build. None of this all seems to matter to some. I could cry with shame to be honest. Faults like these are not fixable. It’s not a matter of fixing your shit after you’ve gotten feedback from the guild you’re applying to. It’s a matter of making sure that you have done everything within your power to fix your shit so that guilds will actually be happy to see you apply there. It can’t guarantee a spot, but it can guarantee that your app will be taken seriously.

A piece of advice from me: if you’re looking for feedback on how to do it right, do not apply to a high-end raiding guild.

Fail #3

Not having a clue how Holy paladins work. Allright, so you have a Holy paladin, you may have even looked up a cookie-cutter build and you know you’re supposed to gem Intellect all the way. Maybe you even know that having 2 piece T10 is a good thing.

You continue to spam Flash of Light. Which is okay, by itself. There are plenty of Holy paladins doing the same thing. Most, however, haven’t got a clue what they’re doing. Some do, they make sure to have a good talent build to go with their playing style, they try to match their gear to fulfill their very specific needs and they even gem very specifically to reach certain goals. This is what makes a good Holy paladin. Not knowing why you’re gemming Intellect or what you’re supposed to do with all that glorious mana, makes a bad Holy paladin. And I’ve seen plenty.

Keep in mind that, if you’re going to spam Flash of Light, you have entirely different needs than a standard Holy Light spamming paladin.

I’m not kidding. Read some more if you wonder why.

Fail #4

This is the reason why I started this post, actually. When I raid with another Holy paladin, I have the nasty habit of inspecting them, checking out their talent build, gems and enchants. Maybe I’ll look at the gear. Based on this information, I’ll try to figure out whether this Holy paladin is healing HL-style or FoL-style. I’ll also check if he or she has Divine Guardian or Aura Mastery. When I’m done, I should have a fairly accurate idea of his/her playstyle and available cooldowns.

Of course, it happens often enough that I come across horrible talent builds, suboptimal gems or mediocre enchants. When I do, I’ll usually wait and see how the raid goes before commenting on it. What I can’t seem to understand is, why do these people pretend to know what they’re doing? If I do decide to whisper some well-meant advice, it never seems to occur to them that they could be doing so much better so easily. Most thank me for the advice, but continue to do the exact same thing over and over. Please, for the love of the Light, if you don’t agree with advice I give, just fucking say so! I am so sick and tired of Holy paladins who fail miserably without even knowing it, ignoring my advice entirely. If you say you appreciate the advice and are going to change things, then damnit, stop slacking and do it! It’s not all that hard!

If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have noticed that I’ve switched from FoL to HL myself. This was a complete overhaul of my gear, gems and enchants. I did it in a single night, spending less than 300g in total. The most important reason for that was that I felt I wasn’t carrying my own weight in raids. Now, it’s the other way around. I feel like I’m carrying other people. At least when it comes to tank healing. I haven’t encountered a single Holy paladin that could actually keep up with me. This is not because I’m awesomesauce or something. I don’t mean to be pretentious here. But the usual Holy paladin I raid with (not all of them, though!) just fail so bad that it makes me want to cry.

On a side note: something that has surprised me is the amount of FoL healers I encounter. Most of the Holy paladins heal using FoL spam, but I’ve only seen a few HL-style Holy paladins. I would seriously like to find another HL-style Holy paladin.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to distract myself with some cool new anime I’ve found.

Tanking goes Hollywood

July 11, 2010

I just watched the Prince of Persia movie together with my wife. As a fan of the old DOS-based games and even the 3D sequels, I just had to see this one. And quite frankly, I’m not disappointed. Knowing Hollywood, it definitely could’ve been a LOT worse.


If you still haven’t seen the movie but are planning to, and you don’t want any potential spoilers, please don’t read any further.

Now, I figure some of you might wonder what this has to do with the (extremely lame, I admit) title of this post. I won’t explain directly. I’d rather explain how I came up with it while watching the movie.

It (not the movie, but my train of thought) starts with a scene where Dastan is trying to convice his brother of the power of the dagger and the Sands of Time. Princess Tamina is watching them from behind a curtain on the outside of a window. Directly after Dastan convinced his brother Tus, the new king of Persia, the bad guy (Nazim) comes walking in the room to find out that Dastan has indeed returned. He also notices the dagger in Tus’ hands. Now we get to the actual part where I LOL’ed for a bit.

Tus is killed by Nazim, and the main Hassansin bad guy knocks Dastan to the ground and keeps him pinned down. His sword is near him on the ground, but he can’t reach it. He didn’t kill him yet, as ordered by Nazim. Boy, what a mistake that was. Picture this. Just when Nazim left the room and the Hassansin is about to kill Dastan, Princess Tamina comes screaming from her hiding place, with a dagger. Of course, this is plenty enough reason for the Hassansin (trained assasin, or did you expect otherwise?) to divert his attention from the knocked down Dastan (with his sword almost in reach, remember?) to Princess Tamina (with her dagger, remember?) and turn his back to Dastan.

One word: ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as tanks, somehow convincing a raid boss to turn his undivided attention to them while a number of others kill him slowly. Because, of course, those guys with shields, bucketloads of health and high armor make much more sense as kill-first targets than those cloth-wearing mages who inflict massive amounts of magic damage. Right?

That’s exactly what was going on in the movie. Dastan, dangerous and only temporarily knocked down and disarmed. Temporarily, as in, only as long as the bad guy keeps him down actively. Which he (the Hassansin) stops doing while Tamina charges at him. Can you follow? Bad choice.

Dastan doesn’t think twice, picks up his sword and backstabs the Hassansin while he’s distracted by Tamina.

Kudos to Tamina for good intention though, it didn’t seem like she was really thinking about it, or even considering the possibility that she might’ve been one-shot by the Hassansin if Dastan wasn’t quick enough.

To me, this seems like a typical scenario one might see during a raid boss encounter. The tanks try their best to keep the attention of the boss focused on them, no matter who is most dangerous. Somehow, raid bosses keep falling for it. They’re getting themselves killed while the tanks keep their attention. How stupid is that, right? I mean, just look at what happened to the Hassansin!

By the way, I didn’t intend this to be a rant about tanking mechanics. I’m completely fine with it, from a gaming mechanic perspective. I just think it’s not very realistic. Which it shouldn’t be anyway.

Late again – no more RealID!

July 9, 2010

Just a short post, I promise.

I was going to put up a post about Blizzard’s latest RealID fiasco, but it seems I’m already too late!

Blizzard has announced that, instead of using real names (RealID) for their new forum system, users will be able to post using a unique handle. Much better, no?

Are we done with it now? Good.

On to the next topic. As most of you will probably have noticed (who am I kidding? Do I even have readers?) I’ve been pretty busy lately. Hence the lack of posts. But I’m planning a few posts that will probably be up soon.

So please, don’t go away. I’m working on some actual content here, please be patient!

Holy/Prot explained

June 26, 2010

Recently I’ve had to defend my talent build to justify a couple of choices I made. Not because I have a really exotic build or anything. But because some people just don’t know about Holy paladins. Unfortunately, this includes other Holy paladins. In this post, I intend to clarify why I have chosen certain talents. I won’t get into the Holy tree, as I have a cookie-cutter build that can be found on almost any Holy paladin.


Well, there’s no point trying to explain this. A straight-up healing increase is perfect for healers. Spending 5 talent points for a 5% healing increase and to get to the next tier seems obvious.

Guardian’s Favor

Because I want to spec into Divine Guardian, I need to spend some talent points in the second tier of Protection. Guardian’s Favor reduces the cooldown on Hand of Protection by 2 minutes and increases the duration of Hand of Freedom by 4 seconds. Now, I’m no huge fan of Hand of Freedom. To be honest, increasing its duration seems only useful for PvP or highly situational in PvE at best. But decreasing a cooldown on a helpful spell is always nice.


Even though this talent really smells like PvP, it’s useful enough to pick up instead of the other remaining talent in this tier of the Protection tree. Reducing stun duration gets you back to healing quicker, effectively increasing the time during which you can heal. It also reduces the chance that your helpful spells will be dispelled. This includes Sacred Shield and your Hand spells. Even though that’s pretty much PvP oriented or highly situational in PvE, the talent as a whole is useful enough to pick up.

Maxing out both talents brings you to the next tier in the Protection tree. We’re getting there!

Divine Sacrifice

This talent is required for Divine Guardian. Even without knowing what it does, you should know you need this. But let’s look at the effect for the sake of argument. During its duration, 30% of the damage of all raid members within 30 yards is redirected to you. This seems scary, no? The effect breaks when you get damage that reduces your health below 20% though, so it really isn’t that bad. Besides, as I’ll explain later, using this talent with Divine Shield prevents you from getting any damage at all, even the redirected damage from Divine Sacrifice! Neat, huh?

Improved Righteous Fury

This talent reduces all damage you take by 6%. This may not seem like much, but is actually really helpful if you think about it. For example, just having Righteous Fury on during the Saurfang fight decreases the rate at which he will gain Blood Power, at least from you. Which is helpful for the entire raid. On other fights with persistant damage auras, like Professor Putricide, this talent will reduce the damage you take so you have more time to heal other people.

However, using Righteous Fury increases your threat by 80%. So having it on may seem like a bad idea. Luckily, our healing spells only generate around half the threat that a DPS will generate. Not to mention a tank. To be honest, if you have Righteous Fury on and you somehow pull aggro, it’s not you who’s doing something wrong. The only exception I see here are on fights where adds spawn out of range of the tank. But even then it should be easy enough to get the adds off of you.

A good example of when using Righteous Fury is on the Saurfang fight. Yes, him again. Not only do you delay his Blood Power gain without doing anything at all, if you manage to pull healing aggro from the Blood Beasts, who do you rather see take a hit or two? You, who is wearing plate armor, or some cloth wearing ranged DPS? I thought so.


In order to get to the next tier in the Protection tree, you need to spend one extra talent point. This goes here, in Toughness. I personally value the damage decrease from Imp. Righteous Fury more than the straight armor increase from Toughness. This is because armor only mitigates physical damage, but Imp. Righteous Fury mitigates all kinds of damage. I see no reason to spend more than one talent point in this marginally useful talent.

Now we’re cookin’! We’ve finally arrived at the fourth tier in the Protection tree! Time to pick up the talent which is the sole reason to spec so deep into Protection.

Divine Guardian

Do yourself and your raid a favor, spend a solid 2 points into this talent right away. This will give you a tool to decrease raid damage by 20% when Divine Sacrifice is activated. The thing is, Divine Sacrifice doesn’t have to be active all the time for Divine Guardian to remain active. So basically, you can macro Divine Sacrifice to activate and cancel the Sacrifice aura immediately, keeping Divine Guardian active without the extra damage redirecting to you. Another way to use this is to macro Divine Sacrifice together with Divine Shield. This will cause you to be immune to all damage being redirected to you, effectively giving you a massive temporary damage mitigation within 30 yards.

From this point on, you can pretty much choose where to put the remaining 3 talent points. Some people prefer to pick up Benediction in the Retribution tree, for cheaper instant cast spells. We have quite a few, so this might be a good idea.

Improved Devotion Aura

I’ve chosen to pick up Improved Devotion Aura, as I’m not always raiding with a paladin tank. The extra armor and healing increase are really nice to have. Especially if you also don’t have a resto druid with you. I’m still considering to change this to 3 points in Benediction though. It’s a personal preference to have this talent and it highly depends on what kind of group you’re raiding with.

So there you have it, the reasons why I have the talent build that I have.

To Use, or Not To Use

June 25, 2010

Since I’ve started going through some logs recently, I realized that I’m still not using my cooldowns when I should. Because of this, I’ve decided to write a post about our cooldowns as Holy paladins.

Now, there may be more Holy paladins that often forget to pop their cooldowns or use them at the exact right time. Sometimes, a raid leader may be calling to use cooldowns. At other times, we may need to remember to use them ourselves. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget plenty of times. And you’ll remember when the boss is down. When it’s too late. And you’ll forget it at the next few wipes.

If you’re raiding, you should know what cooldowns you have at your disposal. Sometimes using them at the right time can make the difference between a wipe and a kill. Wouldn’t you rather see the boss dead than your entire raid wiped? The key to making optimal use of cooldowns is correct timing.

Aura Mastery

Often mistaken for a pure PvP talent, Aura Mastery can bring a very nice situational cooldown to the raid. The key here is the part of the tooltip that says: “and improve the effect of all other auras by 100%”. Unfortunately, as some people have tested, this doesn’t actually mean all other auras, just your own. The good news, however, is that for 6 seconds, you can double the amount of resistance from any of your resistance auras. Or double the amount of armor from Devotion aura. In fact, this also works on Crusader aura, even though that won’t be much help during a raid.

I know that 6 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, and it isn’t. This is why using this particular cooldown at the exact right time is so important. It won’t do you much good if you time it wrong. Luckily, there are plenty of addons that can help you time stuff like this. I personally use Deadly Boss Mods and it really helps to watch the times for boss abilities where Aura Mastery can be helpful.

Divine Sacrifice / Divine Guardian

I know, I know. Two names, one spell. Divine Guardian is an extra effect of Divine Sacrifice, when you have the talent points spent in it. Divine Sacrifice is the actual spell. What this does, is effectively transfer certain percentage of the raid damage to you, the Holy paladin. Divine Guardian activates too, which reduced all raid damage by 20%. Considering the amount of damage flying around in ICC nowadays, this is a considerable amount.

There are two possible uses for this cooldown. The first is to macro Divine Sacrifice with Divine Shield (our awesome bubble). This enables you make full use of both Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian while being immune to the damage that’s being transferred to you. The downside is, of course, that this causes both Forbearance and puts your bubble on cooldown.

Another option is to macro Divine Sacrifice to cancel immediately when triggered. This will trigger Divine Guardian, but cancel out the Divine Sacrifice effect of damage being transferred to you. Without any other downsides, this would mitigate 20% raid damage for a short period of time.

Now doesn’t that sound neat? You can do all sorts of stuff with this! There have been several suggestions all over the web as to how these cooldowns can be used. I personally recommend finding a good moment to use both Aura Mastery and Divine Sacrifice for each fight, as the cooldowns are short enough to be available again for the next fight. When exactly is either up to you or your raid leader.

Both cooldowns are only available when you have spent talent points to get them. You can see why I recommend getting them. There are also cooldowns available to any paladin that should be used more as well.

Hand of Sacrifice

Remember what I said about Divine Sacrifice? Can you see the link here? Even though Hand of Sacrifice is only useful for a single target, it’s really good to split up the damage taken between you and the tank. I’m not sure if you can use this together with Divine Sacrifice, but it may be a good idea to test that sometime.

Hand of Protection

Even though this spell only prevents all physical damage, it’s still a good tool to have. When a DPS isn’t careful or gets aggro from an add, you can cast this on them to both prevent incoming damage and stop their DPS for a few seconds so their aggro drops. There are more uses for this, as with Saurfang you could cast Hand of Protection on yourself when you get Blood Boil (which is physical damage). You can still heal with Hand of Protection on yourself. Remember Aura Mastery? Combined with Devotion aura (preferably Improved Devotion Aura) you can mitigate the incoming damage by a substantial amount. This decreases the rate at which Saurfang gains Blood Power.

Hand of Freedom

To be completely honest, I haven’t ever used this spell before. I know there are a couple of good uses for it, but I can’t seem to remember using it on any occasion. Does anyone have a good suggestion on when to use Hand of Freedom? And on who?

Hand of Salvation

Very useful if you have a DPS gaining aggro too fast. If you run with Improved Righteous Fury and you’ve got it on, you may want to cast this on yourself if you gain healing aggro too fast as well.

There are many more spells in our arsenal, but I think I’ve at least managed to touch the most important abilities.

Moral of this post: Learn from my Fail and use your cooldowns when the situation calls for it.

Gemming for Holy paladins

June 20, 2010

As a Holy paladin, you probably know that Intellect is our primary stat. People who don’t play a Holy paladin may also know this, particularly other healer classes. You should at least know about this when:

  • You’re a class leader for Holy paladins
  • You’re a healing lead
  • You’re involved in recruiting or judging Holy paladin applications

If you don’t have to deal with Holy paladins at all, you probably won’t care and you don’t really have to know. If you are a Holy paladin but you’re focusing on Flash of Light, you probably already know but you’re gemming differently regardless. Nothing wrong with that, but in all other cases, it’s worth knowing a bit about why Holy paladins stack Intellect as if our lives depend on it.

Short answer

The short answer? Because our lives do depend on it. And not just ours, but also the lives of our targts. Unless you’re a FoL paladin, you should be stacking Intellect.

Long answer

Besides FoL paladins, Holy paladins should be stacking Intellect above all else. It gives us so many goodness in so many forms, that we should never ever want anything else. Well, besides Haste but that’s an entirily different story. I’ll leave that for another post. Gems, however, should be +20 Intellect in every slot. If you’re a Jewelcrafter, at least three +34 Intellect gems should be present. Intellect is our primary stat and for good reason.

Let’s look at what Intellect gives us. Copied from the Holy paladin thread over at the EJ forums.

Here is what 100 Intellect gives:

  • 121 Intellect, with BoK and Divine Intellect
  • 1815 Mana at the start of the fight
  • 37.8Mp5 from Divine Plea, if it is used on CD.
  • 18.1Mp5 from Replenishment.
  • 4.7Mp5 from Arcane Torrent, if you are a Blood Elf.
  • 24.2 Spell Power
  • 0.726% Spell Crit

So, let’s compare this to what would happen if a Holy paladin would gem differently. I’m assuming that you would gem to match socket colors for the socket bonus. I’m also assuming that the right way to gem is exclusively using Brilliant King’s Amber, ignoring the JC only +34 Intellect gems. I’ll be playing a bit with the exact numbers, but you can compare it to your own gear, which might have different sockets and other socket bonuses. Of course, I will also ignore yellow sockets, as they can be filled with Brilliant King’s Amber anyway. When comparing, I’m also ignoring the Blood Elf racial, Arcane Torrent. Not every Holy paladin has this.

Blue socket

First example. One blue socket, bonus anything between+5 and +9 spellpower. You would most likely want a Dazzling Eye of Zul in here, giving +10 intellect and +5 mp5. This way, you will lose +10 intellect. According to the data mentioned above, this is the comparison.

  • 12 intellect
  • 18 mana
  • 3.7 mp5 from Divine Plea
  • 1.8 mp5 from Replenishment
  • 2.4 spellpower
  • 0.007% crit

Compared to the gain of +5 mp5, you can easily see that you would actually not gain anything besides something between 2.6 and 6.6 spellpower from the socket bonus. This small amount of spellpower is in no way useful for Holy paladins. Verdict: it’s not worth it, always use Brilliant King’s Amber for blue sockets.

The most uninteresting stat to lose here is crit. Luckily, crit isn’t a great stat for Holy paladins anyway, so we can safely ignore the fact that we’re losing out on such a tiny bit of crit by not gemming Brilliant King’s Amber. For this reason, I’ll ignore the crit loss from this point on.

Another option, which seems viable, would be the Lustrous Majestic Zircon. This gems gives +10 mp5. Using this gem would mean not losing +10 but +20 intellect. As the numbers scale evenly as compared to the Dazzling Eye of Zul, the math and outcome does not change when comparing this gem to Brilliant King’s Amber. The end result: Brilliant King’s Amber still beats anything else for blue sockets.

Red socket

Moving on. A red socket, also with a similar spellpower bonus as the blue socket. In this socket, you would gem a Luminous Ametrine. This would give +12 spellpower and +10 intellect. Again, you lose out on +10 intellect. Assume a maximum socket bonus giving +9 spellpower. You would then gain 21 spellpower over the 2.4 spellpower that +10 intellect gives. This seems like a pretty big bonus, as you “only” lose +10 intellect and +21 spellpower is almost the same as a Runed Cardinal Ruby (+23 spellpower). For FoL paladins, I would definitely recommend this glyph for yellow sockets if you can match the socket bonus. Otherwise, the spellpower gain is debatable and I would still recommend gemming a Brilliant King’s Amber. More about the spellpower gain later.

Another socket bonus you might get is mp5. To be completely honest, I have only seen this kind of socket bonus on the Exalted ring from Ashen Verdict. This particular bonus is +2 mp5.  The socket color of this ring being yellow, which means you can just throw a Brilliant King’s Amber in. Besides that, if you remember that +10 intellect still gives 5.5 mp5, you can easily see that anything other than Brilliant King’s Amber would be inferior with this socket bonus.

Spellpower vs. Longevity

Now, suppose you feel like you’re losing a lot of spellpower if you add it all up. Suppose you feel that this is a bad thing. First off, let me tell you that you’re not actually losing that much spellpower. Of course, the more sockets an item has, the more spellpower you could potentially lose by using Brilliant King’s Amber. However, the loss of spellpower does not weigh up to the gain of intellect. This is simply because of the way Holy Light works.

It’s a healing nuke. As simple as that. It gains the most from spellpower compared to our other healing spells, but also has the most powerful base heal. Combined, this makes Holy Light a really powerful healing spell. From the top of my head, I can tell you that, even while stacking Runed Cardinal Ruby’s (+23 spellpower) and getting as much spellpower as I possibly could, my Flash of Light crits would only heal for around 12k to 14k. My regular Holy Light hits for around 13k to 14k. If HL crits, I get anything from 19k to 23k. I really wish I could add a log to this particular statement, as it really feels kind of empty as it is now. Unfortunately, I have none at the moment.

What does this mean? Don’t use FoL? In a way, yes, that is what it means. As I’ve stated at the top of this post, this comparison is meant for HL paladins. In turn, this means that you should always gem for optimal results using Holy Light. Spellpower simply isn’t worth that much for Holy Light. It will only end up doing more overhealing, barring the Dreamwalker fight. The thing you need most when chaincasting HL is longevity. The only way to reach maximum longevity is by gemming Brilliant King’s Amber exclusively, preferably with 3 Brilliant Dragon’s Eye’s if you’re a Jewelcrafter.

A summary:

  1. The most powerful heal we have is Holy Light
  2. Holy Light costs a lot of mana
  3. You need to be able to cast Holy Light as long as possiblle

And as I’ve hopefully shown in this post, our most efficient way of gaining longevity is by getting as much Intellect as we can. For our gems, this means gemming full Intellect only!


I’m aware that our second most important stat is Haste. Unfortunately, the only thing Haste does is increase our throughput and decrease the time needed for a heal to land. There is already plenty of haste we can get from current gear available. The amount of hast we can get through gemming would sacrifice a bucket load of longevity, while increasing the need for more longevity. This should be a no-brainer. Don’t gem for haste, get it from gear.


I hope that this post will have shown why Holy paladins stack Intellect. I hope that fellow Holy paladins now either get their gems sorted, or at least know why they’re gemming the way they are. I also hope that the people who should have this knowledge, now have a clear understanding of what Intellect means to Holy paladins. I’ve seen some bashing of Holy paladin gemming full Intellect and I really, really hope that these people now understand why we’re not gemming anything else.

If anybody has additional suggestions, math or even a way to prove me wrong, I invite you to leave a comment. I might be wrong about some things and if I am, please feel free to correct me.

Good luck, bad luck

June 20, 2010

Wow, a lot has happened! I’m almost tempted to write up two posts! Almost.

Last night, we downed Blood Queen Lana’thel! Yay for us! This means that we’re now officially at 10/12 in ICC 10 normal. We also did a lol attempt at Sindragosa, just to see her and experience the fight for a bit. I was a bit surprised when we got her to phase 2 pretty easily, and we even survived 2 air phases. Of course, as everyone was tired as hell at that point (4 hours in the raid, well after 01:00 AM) we wiped. We didn’t have another go at it, obviously. Our first priority is to get the other bosses on farm first. Not getting down Putricide last night proved that we’re not there yet at all. May I remind you that this is still on normal mode? We’re no Kingslayers yet, mind you!

What pleasantly surprised me too is the fact that we didn’t even wipe on BQL for very long. We did maybe 3 attempts last week and only a few yesterday. All in all, I think we only wiped for less than 10 times in total. Very clean kill 🙂 the hint from a guildie about Tremor Totem also helped a lot! Yes, it works on the mass Fear she casts right before her air phase. Combine that with perfect timing from my wife’s resto shammy and BOOM! Less than a second of being feared resulted in the few seconds we needed to bring her down right before she went up in the air.

Allright, fast forward to today! I’ve swapped out some remaining gems again, the only suboptimal gem remaining is the one in my headpiece, but since I’ll be replacing the whole thing within a short while, I figure one +10 int +5 mp5 gem isn’t too bad. I’m certainly not going to buy an expensive Nightmare’s Tear to put in there before I have my T10 helm! I’m only 27 emblems away from that.

Now, for some raiding goodness. Or failure, really. I was going to do some VoA for the emblems, but when I got a group, we only had 20 minutes until the Wintergrasp battle. That should’ve been plenty of time, if the group I got in wasn’t such a failure. Healing was just fine, heck, I solo healed the tanks without issue (thank God for HL!). The raid healing was fine too, but at some point, we hit a point where damage simply wasn’t healable anymore. Raid healing couldn’t keep up and I even had trouble keeping the tanks up. Then, one tank died during the global cooldown I needed for Divine Plea. I spent a good 4 minutes healing and I just couldn’t keep up anymore. After the inevitable wipe, it was already almost time for Wintergrasp to begin.

I decided to join in for some honor (way to buy gems for free!) and to see if I could get a group directly after the battle. On my realm, Alliance outnumbers Horde by 7:1, so I can be pretty sure that we get Wintergrasp most of the time. Sometimes Horde decides to actually try and when they do, they usually win. Not this time though. Lucky me!

So after the battle, I got into a 25 man group for VoA. Everything went smooth, even did Koralon with 16 people right after. Toravon dropped some nice loot, too! Or, well, at least.. at least it’s healer plate. He dropped the Sanctified Lightsworn Gloves. Granted, it’s better than the normal Lightsworn Gloves I had, so I rolled and got them. Even went through the trouble of getting them properly gemmed and enchanted and I’m now wearing them. But why oh why does Toravon only drop the crappiest tier pieces for holy paladins? I already know I’m going to replace the gloves when I get my tier headpiece, but damnit! Couldn’t it have been the shoulders? Or the headpiece, for that matter.

A bit later on, I got invited into a 25 man ICC group. My wife had been on their run from the start and some people left, so they had a spot for another holy paladin. It was a very strong group, they got as far as Blood Queen Lana’thel with all bosses before that downed! So, my wife’s resto shammy is now at 9/12 in ICC 25, because of one very good PUG. Later, we found out it was actually a guild’s main run with some extras, but that’s fine.

Anyway, I got invited for some attempts on BQL. Fine by me! We didn’t get her down, but I really felt like I was doing my part, carrying my weight as I should. I was tank healing together with the raid leader but I seriously outhealed him during almost all attempts. Again, gotta love Holy Light! I noticed that he’s low on haste though, and has the same tier pieces as me, the legs and hands. Another example of why gearscore doesn’t matter. I won’t share his profile as I don’t want to name and shame, but I’m pretty sure that, even with my crappy gear, I can pretty much outheal him anytime.

The nice thing was that, even though I got myself saved for nothing (yet), they are planning a continued run next week. So if I’m lucky, I can probably attend and we might get Blood Queen down then!

I know healing meters don’t mean anything, except for maybe Dreamwalker, but I was kinda proud when I noticed that I was consistently on the top of the meters, slamming through the roof with 8.7k HPS. Man.. I just know that I never could’ve pulled that off with FoL. I’m really glad I switched!

Also, I got a guildie to pick up the Flask of Distilled Wisdom recipe for me (yes, especially for me) and as soon as I got the ingredients he made a couple for me. Yay for better consumables! I also picked up a full stack of Imperial Manta Steak for 50 silver. Happy me!

I’m thinking up a post about the benefits of gemming intellect and ignoring socket bonuses, with possibly a personal touch on why I’m happy that I switched to intellect gems. Also, I’ll be repeating some advice I have been given about the important stats for a Holy paladin. These are all things that you can find on any Holy paladin blog or forum, but since there are still people out there who are questioning how Holy paladins should gem.

Raid leading for PUGs and Failures

June 17, 2010

A while ago, I was fooling around a bit on a lowbie alt. No, no naked tabledancing in Dalaran. I was trying to get into a raid.

What’s so special about that, right? People do that all the time. People try to get in, fail to meet the requirements of the raid leader and get rejected, or even ignored completely. If you’re familiar with the raid you want to do, you might even start your own group. If you’re new to raiding, starting your own group might not be the best of ideas unless you have a pretty firm grasp on a wide range of topics. You will at least want to know about, or have a general idea of:

  • What role each class and spec can fulfill
  • How many of each role you need
  • What each role should be doing during the boss encounter(s)

Of course, it would also be nice to know a thing or two about raid buffs and addons. I haven’t compiled a list of good-to-have raid addons yet, but I might in the near future. In the meanwhile, you could look around on curse.com for raid addons.

When making your own raid group, it is important to have a clear goal, rules and requirements for people to join. So basically, you will want to ask yourself the following questions.

Where do I want to go?

Simple question really. What raid do you want to do? It’s pretty easy to decide whether you want to go to ICC or ToTC, but be sure to make up your mind beforehand. When you try to find people to join you, they will want to know and it’s not very polite to change the plan. Unless first negotiated with the rest of the group, of course.

How many people do I want to take?

It’s very important to decide early on if you want to do a 10 or 25 man raid. If you change the raid size later on, you might run into problems with people who are either already saved or have a guild run scheduled later in the week. It’s perfectly acceptable to change the plan when people have already joined, but make sure everybody knows and agrees before doing so.

How far do I want to get?

Also a very basic question, but a very important one. Try to get a feel for your group and set goals that everybody can agree on. For example, if you’re new to ICC, it’s not very realistic to set more than 4/12 as your goal. You can use a few factors to determine how far you could get. A good basis is your own gear and progress in the raid. If you don’t have very good gear yourself, don’t expect to be carried by other people too much. Some may not mind, but others can definitely give you crap about your own gear if you’re not exactly geared for the raid you want to do. This will also influence the other people you may take with you.

What kind of people do you want to take with you?

Okay, less simple that it seems. It’s very easy to demand that people overgear the content you want to raid. It’s also very easy to demand achievements for the bosses you plan to take down.It really depends on how you want to lead your group. It can make sense to demand completed achievements for the bosses you want to kill, but if you don’t have those achievements yourself, it might be a better idea to find a motivated group of people without that requirement. Also, it’s not a very good idea to demand gear that is much better than your own, since people will interpret this is wanting to be carried. If you in fact do want to be carried, please, find a guild and stop reading. This is not meant for you.

If you’ve asked yourself these questions and have the answers ready, you can start looking for people to join your raid. Spam the Trade and LFG chat channels, list your group in the Raid Browser, actively look for other people. When you have gathered a few people, let them know what you’re still searching for and see if they can help by asking guild mates or friends.

When you’re approached (whispered) by somebody who wants to join your raid, make sure he/she is qualified according to your requirements. Some people will lie to get into a group. Feel free to demand a manual gear inspect. Here, basic knowledge of other classes is a real lifesaver. Maybe you’ll want to check their achievements on the Armory, as some people do use the UnderAchiever addon to fake achievements. You might want to ask them a few basic tactics for their role on certain bosses to check if they really know what to do.

On the other hand, if you don’t have much experience yourself and you’re going with other people who also don’t have much experience, it may be a good idea to spend some time before each boss explaining the tactics. Make sure you know where to find the tactics you need and have read them well before starting. It’s very annoying to make people wait for you to read the tactics.

I was going to put a nice oneliner here, stating that leading a PUG raid is all about.. something. But it’s about so much, that I can’t really find the words to describe it in just one sentence.

Back to my alt for a bit, to give you an example of how not to lead a PUG. I saw somebody looking for more people for ICC 10, demanding at least a 5.3k GearScore and completed achievement for the first wing. I whispered the dear fellow saying: “Rogue 6k GS [The Frozen Throne]”. Yes, I linked to ICC 10 achievement for killing all bosses. As my dear alt was level 13 at the time, you can imagine what should have happened here.

But I got an invite. I was in a group at the time (with my wife’s alt) so I saw he tried multiple times. He even whispered me to say I should leave my group to accept the invite. Then I decided to break it to him.

I’m only level 13 and there’s no way I have that kind of GS or the achievement. Check people out before inviting them.

Luckily, he had a good sense of humor and we laughed about it. I woke him up pretty good though 😀

Moral of this story: Don’t let this happen to you if you’re leading a PUG. Don’t blindly invite people, always check what they’re saying. The Armory is a really good tool to help you with this. Use it!

As I wasn’t expecting this to turn into a guide to leading a PUG, if I skipped anything important, please leave a comment 🙂